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Title: Zoological Mythology (Volume II) - or The Legends of Animals (Vol. II of II)
Author: De Gubernatis, Angelo, 1840-1913
Language: English
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Part First.




  THE HOG, THE WILD BOAR, AND THE HEDGEHOG,                           1


  THE DOG,                                                           17


  THE GRASSHOPPER,                                                   41






  THE ELEPHANT,                                                      91


  THE MONKEY AND THE BEAR,                                           96


  THE FOX, THE JACKAL, AND THE WOLF,                                121


  CHAMELEON,                                                        153


  THE SPIDER,                                                       162

Part Second.



  BIRDS,                                                            167




  THE WREN, THE BEETLE, AND THE FIREFLY,                            207


  HORSEFLY, AND THE CICADA,                                         215




  THE OWL, THE CROW, THE MAGPIE, AND THE STORK,                     243


  THE WOODPECKER AND THE MARTIN,                                    264


  THE LARK AND THE QUAIL,                                           273


  THE COCK AND THE HEN,                                             279


  THE DOVE, THE DUCK, THE GOOSE, AND THE SWAN,                      294


  THE PARROT,                                                       320


  THE PEACOCK,                                                      323

Part Third.





  THE CRAB,                                                         354


  THE TORTOISE,                                                     360


  THE FROG, THE LACERTA VIRIDIS, AND THE TOAD,                      371


  THE SERPENT AND THE AQUATIC MONSTER,                              388

  CONCLUSION,                                                       421




First Part.





    The hog as a hero disguise.--The disguises of the hero and of the
    heroine.--Ghoshâ, the leprous maiden.--The moon in the well.--Apâlâ
    cured by Indras.--Apâlâ has the dress of a hog.--Godhâ, the
    persecuted maiden in a hog's dress.--The hogs eat the apples in the
    maiden's stead.--The meretricious Circe and the hogs.--Porcus and
    upodaras.--The wild boar god in India and in Persia.--Tydœus, the
    wild boar.--The wild boar of Erymanthos.--The wild boar of
    Meleagros.--The Vedic monster wild boar.--The dog and the
    pig.--Puloman, the wild boar, burned.--The hog in the fire.--The hog
    cheats the wolf.--The astute hedgehog.--The hedgehog, the wild boar,
    and the hog are presages of water.--The porcupine and its quills;
    the comb and the dense forest.--The ears and the heart of the wild
    boar.--The wild boar and the hog at Christmas.--The devil a wild
    boar.--The heroes killed by the wild boar.--The tusk of the wild
    boar now life-giving, now deadly; the dead man's tooth.--The hero
    asleep; the hero becomes a eunuch; the lettuce-eunuch eaten by
    Adonis, prior to his being killed by the wild boar.

The hog, as well as the wild boar, is another disguise of the solar
hero in the night--another of the forms very often assumed by the sun,
as a mythical hero, in the darkness or clouds. He adopts this form in
order sometimes to hide himself from his persecutors, sometimes to
exterminate them, and sometimes on account of a divine or demoniacal
malediction. This form is sometimes a dark and demoniacal guise
assumed by the hero; on which account the poem of _Hyndla_, in the
_Edda_ calls the hog a hero's animal. Often, however, it represents
the demon himself. When the solar hero enters the domain of evening,
the form he had of a handsome youth or splendid prince disappears; but
he himself, as a general rule, does not die along with it; he only
passes into another, an uglier, and a monstrous form. The black bull,
the black horse, the grey horse, the hump-backed horse, the ass, and
the goat, are all forms of the same disguise with which we are already
acquainted. The thousand-bellied Indras, who has lost his testicles;
Arǵunas, who disguises himself as a eunuch; Indras, Vishṇus, Zeus,
Achilleüs, Odin, Thor, Helgi, and many other mythical heroes, who
disguise themselves as women; and the numerous beautiful heroines who,
in mythology and tradition, disguise themselves as bearded men, are
all ancient forms under which was represented the passage of either
the sun or the aurora of evening into the darkness, cloud, ocean,
forest, grotto, or hell of night. The hero lamed, blinded, bound,
drowned, or buried in a wood, can be understood when referred
respectively to the sun which is thrown down the mountain-side, which
is lost in the darkness, which is held fast by the fetters of the
darkness, which plunges into the ocean of night, or which hides itself
from our sight in the nocturnal forest. The illumined and illuminating
sun, when it ceases to shine in the dark night, becomes devoid of
sight, devoid of intelligence, and stupid. The handsome solar hero
becomes ugly when, with the night, his splendour ceases; the strong,
red, healthy, solar hero, who pales and grows dark in the night,
becomes ill. We still say in Italy that the sun is ill when we see it
lose its brightness, and, as it were, grow pale.

In the 117th hymn of the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_, the Açvinâu cure
the leprous daughter of Kakshîvant, Ghoshâ, who is growing old without a
husband in her father's house, and find her a husband; the Açvinâu
deliver the aurora from the darkness of night, and marry her.[1]

In the eightieth hymn of the eighth book of the _Ṛigvedas_, the same
myth occurs again with relation to Indras, and in a more complete
form. We have already remarked, in the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_,
the maiden Apâlâ who descends from the mountain to draw water, and
draws up the somas (ambrosia, or else the moon, whence, as it seems to
me, the origin of the double Italian proverb, "Pescare, or mostrare la
luna nel pozzo," to fish up, or show the moon in the well, which was
afterwards corrupted to indicate one who says, or narrates, what is
untrue or impossible), and takes it to Indras, the well-known drinker
of ambrosia (here identified with the moon, or somas). Indras,
contented with the maiden, consents, as she is ugly and deformed, to
pass over the three heavenly stations, that is, to pass over his
father's head, her vast breast and her bosom.[2] In the last strophe
of the hymn quoted above, Indras makes a luminous robe, a skin of the
sun, for Apâlâ, who has been thrice purified, by the wheel, by the
chariot itself, and by the rudder of Indras's chariot.[3] And the same
myth occurs once more in a clearer and more complete form in a legend
of the _Bṛihaddevatâ_. Apâlâ beseeches Indras, loved by her, to make
for her a beautiful and perfect (faultless, unimpeachable) skin.
Indras, hearing her voice, passes over her with wheel, chariot, and
rudder; by three efforts, he takes off her ugly skin. Apâlâ then
appears in a beautiful one. In the skin thus stript off there was a
bristle (çalyakaḥ); above, it had a hirsute appearance; below, it
resembled the skin of a lizard.[4] The bristle or thorn upon the skin
of Apâlâ is naturally suggestive of the hedgehog, the porcupine, the
wild boar, and the bristly hog. The aurora, as the Vedic hymn sings,
shines only at the sight of her husband; thus Apâlâ, of the ugly or
the hog's skin, and Ghoshâ, the leprous maiden, become splendid and
healthy by the grace of their husband. Thus Cinderella, or she who has
a dress of the colour of ashes, or of a grey or dark colour, like the
sky of night (in Russian stories Cinderella is called Cernushka, which
means little black one, as well as little dirty one), appears
exceedingly beautiful only when she finds herself in the prince's
ball-room, or in church, in candlelight, and near the prince: the
aurora is beautiful only when the sun is near.

In the twenty-eighth story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the
maiden persecuted by her father and would-be seducer, who wishes to
marry her, because he thinks her as beautiful as her mother (the
evening aurora is as beautiful as the morning aurora), covers herself
with a hog's skin, which she takes off only when she marries a young
prince.[5] In another story of White Russia,[6] we have, instead, the
son of a king persecuted by his father, who is constrained to quit his
father's house with a cloak made of a pig's skin. In an unpublished
story of the Monferrato, the contents of which Dr Ferraro has
communicated to me, the girl persecuted by her step-mother is
condemned to eat in one night an interminable number of apples; by
means of two hog's bristles, she calls up a whole legion of pigs, who
eat the apples in her stead.

As to the rudder of Indras's chariot in the lower bosom of Apâlâ, it
would seem to me to have a phallic signification. Indras may have
cured Apâlâ by marrying her, as the Açvinâu, by means of a husband,
cured the leprous Ghoshâ, who was growing old in her father's house.
In the tenth story of the _Pentamerone_, the king of Roccaforte
marries an old woman, believing he is espousing a young one. He throws
her out of the window, but she is arrested in her fall by a tree, to
which she clings; the fairies pass by, and make her young again, as
well as beautiful and rich, and tie up her hair with a golden ribbon.
The aged sister of the old woman who has grown young again (the night)
goes to the barber, thinking that the same result may be attained
simply by having her skin removed, and is flayed alive. For the myth
of the two sisters, night and aurora, the black maiden and she who
disguises herself in black, in grey, or the colour of ashes, consult
also the _Pentamerone_, ii. 2. According to the Italian belief, the
hog is dedicated to St Anthony, and a St Anthony is also celebrated as
the protector of weddings, like the Scandinavian Thor, to whom the hog
is sacred. The hog symbolises fat; and therefore, in the sixteenth
Esthonian story, the hog is eaten at weddings.

The companions of Odysseus, transformed by the meretricious
enchantress Circe, with the help of poisonous herbs, into filthy hogs,
care only to gratify their bodily appetites, whence Horace, in the
second of the first book of the _Epistolæ_--

      "Sirenum voces, et Circes pocula nosti,
       Quæ si cum sociis stultus cupidusque bibisset
       Sub domina meretrice fuisset turpis et excors
       Vixisset canis immundus, vel amica luto Sus."

The hog, as one of the most libidinous of animals, is sacred to Venus;
for this reason, according to the Pythagorian doctrines, lustful men are
transformed into hogs, and the expression "pig" is applied to a man
given over to every species of lust. In Varro[7] we read:--"Nuptiarum
initio, antiqui reges ac sublimes viri in Hetruria in conjuctione
nuptiali nova nupta et novus maritus primum porcum immolant; prisci
quoque Latini et etiam Græci in Italia idem fecisse videntur, nam et
nostræ mulieres, maximæ nutrices naturam, qua fœminæ sunt, in
virginibus appellant porcum, et græce choiron, significantes esse dignum
insigni nuptiarum." The rudder of Indras, which passes over the upodaras
(or lower bosom) of Apâlâ, is illustrated by this passage in Varro.

As to the wild boar, its character is generally demoniacal; but the
reason why the Hindoo gods were invested with this form was in a great
degree due to equivocation in language. The word _vishṇus_ means he
who penetrates; on account of its sharp tusks, in a Vedic hymn,[8] the
wild boar is called vishṇus, or the penetrator. Hence, probably, by
the same analogy, in another hymn, Rudras, the father of the Marutas,
the winds, is invoked as a red, hirsute, horrid, celestial wild
boar,[9] and the Marutas are invoked when the thunderbolts are seen in
the form of wild boars running out from the iron teeth and golden
wheels;[10] that is, carried by the chariot of the Marutas, the winds,
who also are said to have tongues of fire, and eyes like the sun.[11]
Vishṇus himself, in the _Ṛigvedas_, at the instigation of Indras,
brings a hundred oxen, the milky gruel, and the destroying wild
boar.[12] Therefore Indras himself loves the shape of a wild boar,
which, in the _Avesta_, is his _alter ego_. Verethraghnas assumes the
same form. We know that the sun (sometimes the moon), in the form of a
ram or he-goat, thrusts and pushes against the cloud, or the darkness,
until he pierces it with his golden horns; and so Vishṇus, the
penetrator, with his sharp golden tusks (thunderbolts, lunar horns,
and solar rays), puts forth such great strength in the darkness and
the cloud that he bursts through both, and comes forth luminous and
victorious. According to the Pâuranic traditions, Vishṇus, in his
third incarnation, when killing the demon Hiraṇyâkshas (or him of the
golden eye), drew forth or delivered the earth from the waters (or
from the ocean of the damp and gloomy night of the winter).[13]
According to the _Râmâyaṇam_,[14] Indras took the form of a wild boar
immediately after his birth.

The Arcadian wild boar of Mount Erymanthüs is familiar to the reader.
Hêraklês killed it in his third labour, in the same way as Vishṇus in
the third of his incarnations became a wild boar; Ovid describes him
very elegantly in the eighth book of the _Metamorphoses_--

      "Sanguine et igne micant oculi, riget horrida cervix;
       Et setæ densis similes hastilibus horrent.
       Stantque velut vallum; velut alta hastilia setæ,
       Fervida cum rauco latos stridore per armos
       Spuma fluit, dentes æquantur dentibus Indis,
       Fulmen ab ore venit frondes afflatibus ardent."

The wild boar of Meleagros is a variety of this very monster; it is,
therefore, not without reason that when Hêraklês goes to the infernal
regions, all the shades flee before him, except those of Meleagros and
Medusa. Meleagros and Hêraklês resemble each other, are identified
with each other; as to Medusa, we must not forget that the head of the
Gorgon was represented upon the ægis of Zeus, that Gorgon is one of
the names given to Pallas, and that the Gorgons, and especially
Medusa, are connected with the garden of the Hesperîdes, where the
golden apples grow which Hêraklês loves.

In the sixty-first hymn of the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_, the god,
after having eaten and drunk well, kills, with the weapon stolen from
the celestial blacksmith Tvashṭar, the monster wild boar, who steals
that which is destined for the gods.[15] In the ninety-ninth hymn of
the tenth book of the _Ṛigvedas_, Tritas (the third brother), by the
strength which he has received from Indras, kills the monster wild
boar.[16] In the _Tâittiriya Brâhmaṇam_, we find another very
interesting passage. The wild boar keeps guard over the treasure of
the demons, which is enclosed within seven mountains. Indras, with the
sacred herb, succeeds in opening the seven mountains, kills the wild
boar, and, in consequence, discovers the treasure.[17] In the
fifty-fifth hymn of the seventh book of the _Ṛigvedas_, the hog and
the dog lacerate and tear each other to pieces in turns;[18] the dog
and the pig are found in strife again in the Æsopian fable.

In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[19] Puloman assumes the form of a wild boar to
carry off the wife of Bhṛigus; she prematurely gives birth to Ćyavanas,
who, to avenge his mother, burns the wild boar to ashes. The thunderbolt
tears through the cloud, the sun's ray (or the lunar horn) breaks
through the darkness. In the popular Tuscan story, the stupid Pimpi
kills the hog, by teasing and tormenting it with the tongs, which he has
made red-hot in the fire. In the ninth of the Sicilian stories collected
by Laura Gonzenbach, the girl Zafarana, throwing three hog's bristles
upon the burning embers, causes the old prince, her husband, to become
young and handsome again; it is ever the same lucid myth (a variety of
Apâlâ). Thus, in the first Esthonian story, the prince, by eating pork
(or in the night forest), acquires the faculty of understanding the
language of birds; the hero acquires malice, if he has it not already;
he becomes cunning, if he was previously stupid; we therefore also find
in a story of _Afanassieff_,[20] the wolf cheated, first by the dog,
then by the goat, and finally by the hog, who nearly drowns him. The
wolf wishes to eat the hog's little ones; the hog requests him to wait
under a bridge, where there is no water, whilst he goes, as he promises,
in the meantime to wash the young porkers; the wolf waits, and the hog
goes to let off the water, which, as it passes under the bridge, puts
the wolf's life in danger. Hence the belief noticed by Aristotle, that
the hog is a match for the wolf, and the corresponding Greek fables.
This prudence is found carried to the highest degree in the hedgehog.
The Arabs are accustomed to say that the champion of truth must have the
courage of the cock, the scrutiny of the hen, the heart of the lion, the
rush of the wild boar, the cunning of the fox, the prudence of the
hedgehog, the swiftness of the wolf, the resignation of the dog, and the
complexion of the naguir.[21] A verse attributed to Archilokos says:--

      "Poll' oid' alôpêx, all' echinos en mega,"

which passed into the proverb: "One knavery of the hedgehog is worth
more than many of the fox." In the _Âitarey. Br._,[22] the hedgehog is
said to be born of the talon of the rapacious hawk. In the Æsopian
fables, the wolf comes upon a hedgehog, and congratulates himself upon
his good luck; but the hedgehog defends itself. The wolf flatters it
and beseeches it to lay down its arms, but it answers that it is
imprudent to do so while the danger of fighting remains. Hence the
common belief that the wolf is afraid of the hedgehog; hence the
proverb, "It is very easy to find the hedgehog, but very difficult to
hold it." In a fable of Abstemius, the hedgehog appears as an enemy,
not only of the wolf, but also of the serpent; it pricks the viper
which has taken refuge in its den. Then the viper begs it to go out,
but it answers, "Let him go out who cannot stay." The hedgehog has the
appearance of a little wild boar; and as an enemy of the wolf and of
the serpent, it appears to me to combine in one the dwarf Vishṇus and
the wild boar Vishṇus, the exterminator of monsters, who, as we know,
almost always assume, in Hindoo mythology, the form of a wolf or a
serpent. And inasmuch as Vishṇus, like Indras, is a thundering and
rain-giving god, in his character of sun in the cloud, or nightly and
autumnal moon, the hedgehog, too, is believed to presage wind and
rain. The wild boar, when dreamed of, is, according to Artemidoros,
quoted by Aldrovandi,[23] an omen of tempest and rain deluge. To this,
refers also the fable spoken of by Ælianos and Pliny concerning the
hogs carried off by the pirates, which make the ship sink. The
cloud-hogs are evidently represented by this myth.

The porcupine seems to be an intermediate form between the hedgehog
and the wild boar. According to the popular belief, the ashes of a
dead porcupine are, when scattered on the head, an excellent remedy
against baldness, and a hair-restorative. And inasmuch as it is
difficult to make the porcupine's quills fall, I read in
Aldrovandi,[24] that women "Ad discriminandos capillos, ut illos
conservent illæsos, aculeis potius hystricum, quam acubus utuntur."
This information derived from Aldrovandi is interesting, as enabling
us to understand a not uncommon circumstance in Russian stories. The
hero and heroine who flee from the monster that pursues them have
received from a good magician or a good fairy the gift of a comb, of
such a nature that when thrown on the ground it makes a dense thicket
or impenetrable forest arise, which arrests the pursuer's
progress.[25] This is a reminiscence of the porcupine with the
thick-set quills, of the bristly wild boar, of the gloomy night or
cloud itself, of the horned moon, which hides the fugitive solar hero
and heroine from the sight of the pursuer.

Notwithstanding this, the hog and the wild boar generally play in
Indo-European tradition a part resembling that of the scape-goat and of
the ass _souffre-douleur_. In the _Pańćatantram_, the ears and the heart
of the credulous ass, torn by the lion, are eaten. In Babrios, the
_rôle_ of the ass is sustained by the stag (which is often in myths a
variation of the foolish hero). In the _Gesta Romanorum_,[26] the wild
boar loses, by his silliness, first one ear, then the other, then his
tail; at last he is killed, and his heart eaten by the cook. In Germany,
it is the custom, as it formerly was in England, to serve up at dinner
on Christmas Day an ornamented boar's head, no doubt as a symbol of the
gloomy monster of lunar winter killed at the winter solstice, after
which the days grow always longer and brighter. For the same reason, the
common people in Germany often go to sleep on Christmas Day in the
pig-sty, hoping to dream there; this dream is a presage of good luck.
The new sun is born in the sty of the winter hog; even the Christian
Redeemer was born in a stable, but instead of the hog it was the ass,
its mythical equivalent, that occupied it. For this reason, too, the
devil often assumes in German superstition the form of a monstrous boar,
which the hero kills.[27] The wild boar is also described as an
_aversier_ (or demon) in the romance of _Gavin le Loherain_[28]--

                        "Voiés quel aversier,
      Grant a le dent fors de la gueule un piet
      Mult fu hardis qui a cop l'atendié."

The author of _Loci Communes_ says that Ferquhar II., king of Scotland,
was killed by a wild boar; other writers tell us, on the contrary, that
his death was caused by a wolf; but we already know how, in the myth,
wolf and wild boar are sometimes equivalent the one to the other.

In the same way as Vishṇus changed himself into a wild boar, and the
hog was sacred to the Scandinavian Mars, so was the wild boar sacred
to the Roman and Hellenic Mars; and even Mars himself assumed the
shape of a monstrous lunar wild boar in order to kill the young
Adonis, beloved of Venus. There is no god or saint so perfect but has
once in his life committed a fault, as there is not a demon so wicked
as not to have done good at least once. The adversaries exchange
parts. In Servius, it is with a wild boar's tusk that the bark is cut
off the tree in which Myrrha, pregnant with Adonis after her incest
with her father, shuts herself up (we have above seen, on the
contrary, Indras who opens with an herb the hiding-place of the wild
boar, in order to kill it). We here have again the incestuous father,
the girl in the wooden dress, the forest, the penetrating tusk of the
wild boar which bursts through the forest of night, and enables the
young hero to come forth, whom he kills in the evening out of
jealousy. In the ancient popular belief of Sweden, too, the wild boar
kills the sun whilst he is asleep in a cavern and his horses grazing.
Notice, moreover, the double character of the tusk of the nocturnal
lunar wild boar; in the morning it is a life-giving tusk, which
enables the solar hero to be born; in the evening it is a
death-dealing one; the wild boar is alive during the night, and the
darkness is split open by the white tooth of the living wild boar. The
lunar wild boar or hog is sacrificed,--it is killed at morn, in the
nuptials of the solar hero. The tooth of this dead wild boar, in the
evening, causes the death of the young hero or heroine, or else
transforms them into wild beasts. In popular fairy tales the witch,
feigning a wish to comb the head of the hero or the heroine, thrusts
into his or her head now a large pin, now a dead man's tooth, and thus
deprives them of life or human form. This is a reminiscence of the
tusk of the cloudy, nocturnal, or wintry wild boar who kills the sun,
or metamorphoses him, or puts him to sleep.

To represent the evening sun asleep, a curious particular is offered
us in the myth of Adonis. It is well-known that doctors attribute to
the lettuce a soporific virtue, not dissimilar to that of the poppy.
Now, it is interesting to read in _Nikandros Kolophonios_, quoted by
Aldrovandi, that Adonis was struck by the wild boar after having eaten
a lettuce. Ibykos, a Pythagorean poet, calls the lettuce by the name
of eunuch, as it is that which puts to sleep, which renders stupid and
impotent; Adonis who has eaten the lettuce is therefore taken from
Venus by the lunar wild boar, being eunuch and incapable. The solar
hero falls asleep in the night, and becomes a eunuch, like the Hindoo
Arǵunas, when he is hidden; and otherwise, the sun becomes the moon.


[1] Cfr. the chapter on the Duck, the Goose, the Swan, and the Dove.

[2] Imâni trîṇi vishtapâ tânîndra vi rohaya çiras tatasyorvarâm âd
idam ma upodare.

[3] Khe rathasya khe 'nasaḥ khe yugasya çatakrato apâlâm indra trish
pûtvy akṛinoḥ sûryatvaćam.


      Sulomâm anavadyâñgîṁ kuru mâṁ çakra sutvaćâm
      Tasyâs tad vaćanam çrutvâ prîtas tena purandaraḥ
      Rathaćhidreṇa tâm indraḥ çakaṭasya yugasya ća
      Prakshipya niçćakarsha tris tataḥ sâ sutvaćâ 'bhavat
      Tasyâṁ tvaći vyapetâyâm sarvasyâṁ çalyako 'bhavat
      Uttarâ tv abhavad godhâ krikalâças tvag uttamâ.

_Godhâ_ seems to signify he who has the form of a hair (_go_, among
its other meanings, has that of hair). As an animal, the dictionaries
also recognise in the godhâ a lizard. But perhaps we may also
translate it by toad or frog; we could thus also understand the fable
of the frog which aspires to equal the ox. I observe, moreover, to
exemplify the ease with which we can pass from the ox to the frog, and
from the frog to the lizard, how in the Russian story of
_Afanassieff_, ii. 23, a beautiful princess is hidden in a frog; in
Tuscan and Piedmontese stories and in Sicilian superstitions, in a
toad. In the stories of the _Pentamerone_, the good fairy is a
_lacerta cornuta_ (a horned lizard). Ghoshâ, too, has for its
equivalent in Sanskṛit, karkaṭaçṛiñgî, which means a horned shrimp. In
other varieties the young prince is a he-goat or a dragon.

[5] For the persecuted maiden in connection with the hog or hogs, cfr.
also the _Pentamerone_, iii. 10.

[6] _Afanassieff_, v. 38.

[7] _De Re Rustica_, ii. 4.

[8] _Ṛigv._ i. 61, 7.

[9] Divo varâham arusham kapardinaṁ tveshaṁ rûpaṁ namasâ ni hvayâmahe;
_Ṛigv._ i. 114, 5.

[10] Paçyan hiraṇyaćakrân ayodaṅshṭrân vidhâvato varâhân; _Ṛigv._ i.
88, 5.

[11] Agniǵiḥvâ manavaḥ sûraćakshasaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 89, 7.--In the
_Edda_, the chariot of Frey is drawn by a hog. The head of the
mythical hog is luminous. In the twenty-eighth story of the second
book of _Afanassieff_, Ivan Durák obtains from the two young heroes,
who miraculously appear to him, three marvellous gifts, _i.e._, the
hog with golden bristles, the buck with golden horns and tail, and the
horse with mane and tail also of gold.

[12] Viçvet tâ vishṇur âbharad urukramas tveshitaḥ çatam mahishân
kshîrapâkam odanaṁ varâham indra emusham; _Ṛigv._ viii. 66, 10.--In
the Thebaid of Statius (v. 487), Tydœus, too, is dressed in the
spoils of a wild boar--

      "Terribiles contra setis, ac dente recurvo,
       Tydea per latos humeros ambire laborant
       Exuviæ, Calydonis honos."

[13] According to other fables, the three persons of the Trinity at one
time disputed as to who had the pre-eminence. Brahmân, who, from the
summit of the lotus where he was seated, saw nothing in the universe,
believed himself the first of creatures. He descended into the stem of
the lotus, and finding at last Nârâyaṇas (Vishṇus) asleep, he asked him
who he was. "I am the first-born," replied Vishṇus; Brahmân disputed
this title and dared even to attack him. But during the struggle,
Mahâdeva (Çiva) threw himself between them, crying, "It is I who am the
first-born. Nevertheless I will recognise as my superior him who is able
to see the summit of my head or the sole of my feet." Vishṇus (as hidden
or infernal moon), transforming himself into a wild boar, pierced
through the ground and penetrated to the infernal regions, where he saw
the feet of Mahâdeva. The latter, on his return, saluted him as the
first-born of the gods; Bournouf, _L'Inde Française_.

[14] ii. 119.

[15] Asyed u mâtuḥ savaneshu sadyo mahah pitum papivâń ćarv annâ
mushâyad vishṇuḥ paćataṁ sahîyâm vidhyad varâhaṁ tiro adrim astâ; str.

[16] Asya trito nv oǵasâ vṛidhâno vipâ varâham ayoagrayâ han; str. 6.

[17] Varahoyam vamamoshah saptanâm girîṇâm parastâd vittam vedyam
asurânâm vibharti, sa darbhapińǵûlam (pińǵalam?) uddhṛitya, sapta
girîn bhittvâ tam ahanniti, already quoted by Wilson, _Ṛigv. San._ i.
164.--Cfr. the chapter on the Woodpecker.

[18] Tvam sûkarasya dardṛihi tava dardartu sûkarah; str. 4.--The dog in
relation with the hog occurs again in the two Latin proverbs: "Canis
peccatum sus dependit," and "Aliter catuli longe olent, aliter sues."

[19] i. 893.

[20] iv. 13.

[21] Daumas, _La Vie Arabe_, xv.

[22] iii. 3, 26.

[23] Cfr. Aldrovandi, _De Quadrup. Digit. Viv._ ii.

[24] _Ibid._

[25] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 28.

[26] lxxxiii., quoted by Benfey in his Einleitung to the
_Pańćatantram_.--The fable is taken from the thirtieth of Avianus,
where the wild boar loses his two ears and is then eaten, but the cook
(who represents in tradition the cunning hero) has taken its heart to
eat it:--

      "Sed cum consumpti dominus cor quæreret Apri
       Impatiens, fertur (cor) rapuisse coquus."

[27] In Du Cange, too, "_aper_ significat diabolum; Papias M. S.
Bitur. Ex illo Scripturæ: 'Singularis aper egressus est de
silva.'"--Cfr. also Uhland's _Schriften zur Geschichte der Dichtung
und Sage_, iii. 141, _et seq._

[28] ii. 220, _et seq._, quoted by Uhland.




    Why the myth of the dog is difficult of interpretation.--_Entre
    chien et loup._--The dog and the moon.--The bitch Saramâ; her double
    aspect in the Vedâs and in the _Râmâyaṇam_; messenger, consoler, and
    infernal being.--The dog and the purple; the dog and the meat; the
    dog and its shadow; the fearless hero and his shadow; the black
    monster; the fear of Indras.--The two Vedic dogs; Sârameyas and
    Hermês.--The favourite dog of Saramâ; the dog that steals during the
    sacrifice; the form of a dog to expiate crimes committed in former
    states of existence; relative Hindoo, Pythagorean and Christian
    beliefs.--The dog Yamas.--The dog demon that barks, with the long
    bitter tongue.--The red bitch towards morning a beautiful maiden
    during the night.--The intestines of the dog eaten.--The hawk that
    carries honey and the sterile woman.--Dog and woodpecker.--The dog
    carries the bones of the witch's daughter.--The dog-messenger brings
    news of the hero.--The nurse-bitch.--The dog and his collar; the dog
    tied up; the hero becomes a dog.--The dog helps the hero.--The
    branch of the apple-tree opens the door.--The dog tears the devil in
    pieces.--The two sons of Ivan think themselves dog's sons.--The
    intestines of the fish given to be eaten by the bitch.--Ivan the son
    of the bitch, the very strong hero, goes to the infernal
    regions.--Dioscuri, Kerberos, funereal purifying dogs of the
    Persians; the penitent dog; the two dogs equivalent to the two
    Açvinâu.--The luminous children transformed into puppies; relative
    legends; the maiden whose hands have been cut off obtains golden
    hands; branches of trees, hands, sons born of a tree; the myth
    compared and explained in the Vedic hymns, with the example of
    Hiraṇyahastas; the word _vadhrimatî_.--The demoniacal dog.--The
    strength of the mythical dog.--Monstrous dogs.--The dog Sirius.--To
    swear by the dog or by the wolf.--A dog is always born among
    wolves.--The dog dreamed of.--Double appearance of the dog; the
    stories of the king of the assassins and of the magician with seven
    heads.--St Vitus invoked in Sicily whilst a dog is being tied
    up.--The dog of the shepherd behaves like a wolf among the
    sheep.--The dog as an instrument of chastisement; the expressions to
    lead the dog and the ignominious punishment of carrying the
    dog.--The dogs that tear in pieces; the death caused by the dog
    prognosticated; the dogs Sirius and Kerberos igneous and
    pestilential; the incendiary dog of St Dominic, the inventor of
    pyres for burning heretics, and the dog of the infected San Rocco.

The myth of the dog is one of those of which the interpretation is
more delicate. As the common dog stays upon the doorstep of the house,
so is the mythical dog generally found at the gate of the sky, morning
and evening, in connection with the two Açvinâu. It was a fugitive
phenomenon of but an instant's duration which determined the formation
of the principal myth of the dog. When this moment is past, the myth
changes its nature. I have already referred to the French expression,
"entre chien et loup," as used to denote the twilight;[29] the dog
precedes by one instant the evening twilight, and follows by one
instant that of morning: it is, in a word, the twilight at its most
luminous moment. Inasmuch as it watches at the gates of night, it is
usually a funereal, infernal, and formidable animal; inasmuch as it
guards the gates of day, it is generally represented as a propitious
one; and as we have seen that, of the two Açvinâu, one is in especial
relation with the moon, and the other with the sun, so, of the two
dogs of mythology, one is especially lunar, and the other especially
solar. Between these two dogs we find the bitch their mother, who, if
I am not mistaken, represents now the wandering moon of heaven, the
guiding moon that illumines the path of the hero and heroine, now the
thunderbolt that tears the cloud, and opens up the hiding-place of the
cows or waters. We have, therefore, thus far three mythical dogs. One;
menacing, is found by the solar hero in the evening at the western
gates of heaven; the second, the more active, helps him in the forest
of night, where he is hunting, guides him in danger, and shows him the
lurking-places of his enemies whilst he is in the cloud or darkness;
the third, in the morning, is quiet, and found by the hero when he
comes out of the gloomy region, towards the eastern sky.

Let us now examine briefly these three forms in Hindoo mythology. I
have said that the mythical bitch appears to me sometimes to represent
the moon, and sometimes the thunderbolt. In India, this bitch is named
Saramâ, properly she who walks, who runs or flows. We are accustomed
to say of the dog that it barks at the moon, which the popular proverb
connects with robbers. The dog that barks at the moon,[30] is perhaps
the same dog that barks to show that robbers are near. In the 108th
hymn of the tenth book of the _Ṛigvedas_, we have a dramatic scene
between the misers or thieves (the Paṇayas) and the bitch Saramâ, the
messenger of Indras, who wishes for their treasures.[31] In order to
come to them, she traverses the waters of the Rasâ (a river of hell);
the treasure that is hidden in the mountain consists of cows, horses,
and various riches; the Paṇayas wish Saramâ to stay with them as their
sister, and to enjoy the cows along with them; Saramâ answers that she
does not recognise their brotherhood, inasmuch as she is already the
sister of Indras, and the terrible Añgirasas.[32] In the sixty-second
hymn of the first book, the bitch Saramâ discovers the cows hidden in
the rock, and receives in recompense from Indras and the Añgirasas
nourishment for her offspring; then men cry out, and the cows
bellow.[33] Going towards the sun, in the path of the sun, Saramâ
finds the cows.[34] When Indras splits the mountain open, Saramâ shows
him first the waters.[35] Having previously seen the fissure in the
mountain, she showed the way. The first she guided rapidly, the band
of the noisy ones having previously heard the noise.[36] This noise
may refer either to the waters, the sounding rivers (nadâs, nadîs), or
the lowing cows (gavas). Now, this bitch that discovers the
hiding-places, inasmuch as she breaks through the darkness of night,
seems to be the moon; inasmuch as she breaks through the cloud, she
seems to be the thunderbolt. The secret of this equivoque lies in the
root _sar_. In the _Ṛigvedas_, we have seen Saramâ disdaining to pass
for the sister of the thieves or the monsters; in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[37]
the wife of one of the monsters, of the very brother of Râvaṇas the
robber, is called Saramâ, and takes, instead of the monster's part,
that of Râmas and Sîtâ the ravished wife. We have already several
times seen the moon as a beneficent cow, as a good fairy, or as the
Madonna. Saramâ (of which Suramâ, another benignant rakshasî, is
probably only an incorrect form[38]), the consoler of Sîtâ, who
announces prophetically her approaching deliverance by her husband
Râmas, appears to me in the light of another impersonation of the
moon. It is on this account that Sîtâ[39] praises Saramâ as a
twin-sister of hers (sahodarâ), affectionate, and capable of
traversing the heavens, and penetrating into the watery infernal
regions (rasâtalam).[40] The benignant sister of Sîtâ can only be
another luminous being; she is the good sister whom the maiden of the
Russian story, persecuted by her incestuous father, in _Afanassieff_,
finds in the subterranean world, where she is consoled and assisted in
escaping from the power of the witch; she is the moon. The moon is the
luminous form of the gloomy sky of night, or of the funereal and
infernal region; whilst its two luminous barriers in that sky, in the
east and in the west, are morning and evening aurora; the luminous
forms of the cloudy sky are lightning and thunderbolts. And it is from
one of these luminous mythical forms that the Greeks, according to
Pollux, quoted by Aldrovandi, made of the dog the inventor of purple,
which the dog of Hêraklês was the first to bite. The dog of the
Æsopian fable,[41] with meat in its mouth, is a variation of this
myth. The red sky of evening appears purple in the morning, and in the
evening as the meat that the dog lets fall into the waters of the
ocean of night. In the _Pańćatantram_, we have instead the lion of
evening (the evening sun), who, seeing in the fountain (or in the
ocean of night) another lion (now the moon, now his own shadow, the
night, or the cloud), throws himself into the water to tear him to
pieces, and perishes in it. The hare (the moon) is the animal which
allures the famished lion of evening to perish in the waters.

The two sons of the bitch Saramâ preserve several of their mother's
characteristics. Now they are spoken of together as Sârameyâu; now they
are mentioned together, but distinct from one another; now one alone of
them, the most legitimate, by the name of Sârameyas, whose identity with
the Greek Hermês or Hermeias has already been proved by Professor Kuhn.
Saramâ in connection with the Paṇayas, merchants or thieves, and Saramâ
as the divine messenger, gives us the key to the legend of Mercury, god
of thieves and merchants, and messenger of the gods.

In a Vedic hymn we find described with great clearness the two dogs that
guard the gates of hell, the monsters' dwelling, or the kingdom of the
dead. It prays for one departed, "that he may be able to pass safely
beyond the two dogs, sons of Saramâ, having four eyes, spotted, who
occupy the right path, and to come to the benignant Manes" (for there
are also the malignant ones, or Durvidatrâḥ); these dogs are called "the
very fierce guardians, who watch the road, observing men, have vast
nostrils, are long-winded, and very strong, the messengers of Yamas;"
they are invoked "that they may cause to enjoy the sight of the sun, and
give a happy life."[42] But the _Ṛigvedas_ itself already shows us the
two sons of the bitch Saramâ, as the two who look in turns (one after
the other), whom Indras must put to sleep.[43] One, however, of the two
sons of Saramâ is especially invoked and feared, the Sârameyas _par
excellence_. The Vedic hymn speaks of him as he who returns
(punaḥsaras), and represents him as "luminous, with reddish teeth, that
shine like spears, in the well-rooted gums," and implores him to sleep,
or "to bark only at the robber, or at the thief, not at the singers of
hymns in honour of Indras."[44] The bitch Saramâ is passionately fond of
her son; in recompense for her discovery of the cows of Indras, she
demands nourishment for her son, which nourishment the commentator
explains to be the milk of the liberated cows; the first rays of the
morning sun and the last rays of the evening sun drink the milk of the
dawn or silvery twilight. In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[45] the bitch Saramâ
curses King Ǵanameǵayas, because his three brothers, when attending the
sacrifice, maltreated and flogged the dog Sârameyas, who had also gone
there, although he had neither touched with his tongue nor desired with
his eyes the oblations destined to the gods (as, on the contrary, the
white dog did, who, in the sacrifice of Dion, near Athens, stole part of
the victim, whence the name of Künosargês was given to that place). The
same legend occurs again, slightly modified, in the seventh book of the
_Râmâyaṇam_.[46] Râmas sends Lakshmaṇas, his brother, to see whether
there are any disputes to be settled in the kingdom; Lakshmaṇas returns,
saying that the whole kingdom is at peace. Râmas sends him again; he
sees a dog erect on the doorstep of the palace, barking. The name of
this dog is Sârameyas. Râmas enables him to enter the palace. The dog
complains that he has been beaten without just cause by a Brâhman. The
Brâhman is called, appears, confesses his fault, and awaits his
punishment. The dog Sârameyas proposes as his punishment that the
Brâhman should take a wife (the usual proverbial satire against wives),
and become head of a family in the very place where he himself had
supported the same dignity prior to assuming the shape of a dog. After
this the dog Sârameyas, who remembers his previous states of existence,
returns to do penitence at Benares, whence he had come.

Therefore the dog and the Kerberos are also a form into which the
hero of the myth passes. The Hindoo and Pythagorean religious beliefs
both teach that metempsychosis is a means of expiation; the curse of
the offended deity is now a vengeance now a chastisement for an error
that the hero or some one of his relations has committed, and which
has provoked the deity's indignation.[47]

Sometimes the deity himself assumes the form of a dog in order to put
the hero's virtue to the proof, as in the last book of the
_Mahâbhâratam_, where the god Yamas becomes a dog, and follows
Yudhishṭhiras (the son of Yamas), who regards him with such affection,
that when invited to mount into the chariot of the gods, he refuses to
do so, unless his faithful dog is allowed to accompany him.

Sometimes, however, the shape of a dog or bitch (as it is easy to pass
from Yamas, the god of hell in the form of a dog, to the dog-fiend) is
a real and specific form of a demon. The _Ṛigvedas_ speaks of the
dog-demons bent upon tormenting Indras, who is requested to kill the
monster in the form of an owl, a bat, a dog, a wolf, a great bird, a
vulture;[48] it invokes the Açvinâu to destroy on every side the
barking dogs;[49] it solicits the friends to destroy the long-tongued
and avaricious dog (in the old Italian chronicle of Giov. Morelli,
misers are called Cani del danaro, dogs of money), as the Bhrigavas
have killed the monster Makhas.[50] And the skin of the red bitch is
another monstrous form in which is dressed every morning (as the
aurora in the morning sky), in the twenty-third Mongol story, the
beautiful maiden who is in the power of the prince of the dragons; she
(as moon) is a beautiful maiden only at night; towards day she becomes
a red bitch (the moon gives up her place to the aurora); the youth who
has married her wishes to burn this bitch's skin, but the maiden
disappears; the sun overtakes the aurora, and he disappears with the
moon. We have already seen this myth.

In the eighteenth hymn of the fourth book of the _Ṛigvedas_, the
thirteenth strophe seems to me to contain an interesting particular. A
devotee complains as follows:--"In my misery I had the intestines of the
dog cooked; I found among the gods no consoler; I saw my wife sterile;
the hawk brought honey to me."[51] Here we find the dog in connection
with a bird.[52] In the twenty-fifth story of the fourth book of
_Afanassieff_, we find the woodpecker that brings food and drink to its
friend the dog, and avenges him after his death. In the forty-first
story of the fourth book, the dog is killed by the old witch, because he
carries in a sack the bones of her wicked daughter, who has been
devoured by the head of a mare. In the twentieth story of the fifth
book, we have the dog in the capacity of a messenger employed by the
beautiful girl whom the serpent has married; he carries to her father a
letter that she has written, and brings his answer back to her. In the
legend of St Peter, the dog serves as a messenger between Peter and
Simon the magician; in the legend of San Rocco, the dog of our Lord
takes bread to the saint, alone and ill under a tree. The name of
Cyrus's nurse, according to Textor, was Küna, whence Cyrus might have
been nourished, like Asklêpios, with the milk of a dog. I have already
said that the story of the dog is connected with the myth of the
Açvinâu, or, what is the same thing, with that of the horse; horse and
dog are considered in the light of coursers: the horse bears the hero,
and the dog usually takes news of the hero to his friends, as the bitch
Saramâ, the messenger of the gods, does in the _Ṛigvedas_.[53] The hero
who assumes the shape of a horse cautions his father, when he sells him
to the devil, not to give up the bridle to the buyer. In the
twenty-second story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the young man
transforms himself into a dog, and lets his father sell him to a great
lord, who is the devil in disguise, but tells him not to give up the
collar.[54] The gentleman buys the dog for two hundred roubles, but
insists upon having the collar too, calling the old man a thief upon the
latter refusing to consign it into his hands. The old man, in his
distraction, gives it up; the dog is thus in the power of the lord, that
is, of the devil. But on the road, a hare (the moon) passes by; the
gentleman lets the dog pursue it, and loses sight of it; the dog again
assumes the shape of a hero, and rejoins his father. In the same story,
the young man adopts, the second time, the form of a bird (we shall see
the Açvinâu as swans and doves in the chapter on the swan, the goose,
and the dove), and the third time that of a horse. In the twenty-eighth
story of the fifth book, a horse, a dog, and an apple-tree are born of
the dead bull who protects Ivan and Mary fleeing in the forest from the
bear. Riding on the horse, and accompanied by the dog, Ivan goes to the
chase. The first day he captures a wolf's whelp alive, and carries it
home; the second day he takes a young bear; the third day he returns to
the chase, and forgets the dog; then the six-headed serpent, in the
shape of a handsome youth, carries off his sister, and shuts the dog up
under lock and key, throwing the key into the lake. Ivan returns, and,
by the advice of a fairy, he breaks a twig off the apple-tree, and
strikes with it the bolt of the door which encloses the dog; the dog is
thus set at liberty, and Ivan lets dog, wolf, and bear loose upon the
serpent, who is torn in pieces by them, and recovers his sister. In the
fiftieth story of the fifth book, the dog of a warrior-hero tears the
devil, who presents himself first in the form of a bull, and then in
that of a bear, to prevent the wedding of the hero taking place. In the
fifty-second story of the sixth book, the dogs which Ivan Tzarević has
received from two fairies, together with a wolf's whelp, a bear's, and a
lion's cub, tear the monster serpent to pieces. The two dogs carry us
back to the myth of the Açvinâu. In the fifty-third story of the sixth
book, the monster cuts Ivan's head off. Ivan has two sons, who believe
themselves to be of canine descent; they ask their mother to be
permitted to go and resuscitate their father. An old man gives them a
root, which, when rubbed on Ivan's body, will bring him to life again;
they take it, and use it as directed. Ivan is resuscitated, and the
monster dies. Finally, in the fifty-fourth story of the fifth book of
_Afanassieff_, we learn how the sons of the dog are born, and their mode
of birth is analogous to that mentioned in the Vedic hymn. A king who
has no sons has a fish with golden fins; he orders it to be cooked, and
to be given to the queen to eat. The intestines of the fish (the
phallos) are thrown to the bitch, the bones are gnawed by the cook, and
the meat is eaten by the queen. To the bitch, the cook, and the queen a
son is born at the same time. The three sons are all called Ivan, and
are regarded as three brothers; but the strongest (he who accomplishes
the most difficult enterprises) is Ivan the son of the bitch, who goes
under ground into the kingdom of the monsters (as of the two Dioscuri,
one descends into hell, like the two funereal dogs, light-coloured and
white, of the Avesta, which are in perfect accordance with the Vedic
_Sârameyâu_[55]). In the same story, besides the three brother-heroes,
three heroic horses are brought forth by the three mares that have drunk
the water in which the fish was washed before being cooked; in other
European variations, and in the Russian stories themselves, therefore,
we sometimes have, instead of the bitch's son, the son of the mare (or
the cow). The two Açvinâu are now two horses, now two dogs, now a dog
and a horse (now a bull and a lion).[56] Ivan Tzarević, whom the horse
and the dog save from danger, is the same as the Vedic hero, the sun,
whom the Açvinâu save from many dangers.

In the Russian stories, as well as in the Italian ones, the witch
substitutes for one, two, or three sons of the prince, who have stars on
their forehead, and were born of the princess in her husband's absence,
one, two, or three puppies. In these same stories, the hand of the
persecuted princess is cut off. In the thirteenth story of the third
book of _Afanassieff_,[57] the witch sister-in-law accuses her husband's
sister of imaginary crimes in his presence. The brother cuts her hands
off; she wanders into the forest; she comes out again only after the
lapse of several years; a young merchant becomes enamoured of her, and
marries her. During her husband's absence, she gives birth to a child
whose body is all of gold, effigies of stars, moon, and sun covering it.
His parents write to their son, telling him the news; but the witch
sister-in-law abstracts the letter (as in the myth of Bellerophôn), and
forges another, which announces, on the contrary, that a monster, half
dog and half bear, is born. The husband writes back, bidding them wait
until he returns to see with his own eyes his new-born son. The witch
intercepts this letter also, and changes it for another, in which he
orders his young wife to be sent away. The young woman, without hands,
wanders about with her boy. The boy falls into a fountain; she weeps; an
old man tells her to throw the stumps of her arms into the fountain; she
obeys, her hands return, and she recovers her boy again. She finds her
husband; and no sooner does she uncover the child in his sight, than all
the room shines with light (asviatilo).

In a Servian story,[58] the father of the maiden whose hands had been
cut off by the witch, her mother-in-law, causes, by means of the ashes
of three burned hairs from the tail of the black stallion and that of
the white mare, golden hands to grow on the maiden's arms. The
apple-tree, with golden branches, which we have already mentioned, is
the same as this girl who comes out of the forest (or wooden chest) with
golden hands. From the branches it is easy to pass to the hands of gold,
to the fair-haired son who comes out of the trunk.[59] The idea of a
youth as the branch of a tree has been rendered poetical by Shakspeare,
who makes the Duchess of Gloster say of the seven sons of Edward--

      "Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
       Were as seven phials of his sacred blood,
       Or seven fair branches springing from one root."[60]

In Hindoo myths, the hand of Savitar having been cut off, one of gold is
given to him, whence the epithet he enjoys of Hiraṇyahastas, or he who
has a golden hand. But in the 116th and 117th hymns of the first book we
find a more interesting datum. The branch is the hand of the tree; the
branch is the son who detaches himself from the maternal trunk of the
tree; the golden son is the same as the golden branch, the golden hand
of the tree. The mother who obtains a golden hand is the same as the
mother who has Hiraṇyahastas--_i.e._, Golden-hand--for her son. The
Vedic hymn says that the Açvinâu gave Golden-hand as a son to the
Vadhrimatî.[61] The word _vadhrimatî_ is equivocal. The Petropolitan
Dictionary interprets it only as she who has a eunuch, or one who is
castrated, for her husband, but the proper sense of the word is she who
has something cut off, she who has, that is, the maimed arm, as in the
fairy tale, for which reason she is given a golden hand. As the wife of
a eunuch, the Vedic woman, therefore, receives from the Açvinâu a son
with a golden hand; as having an imperfect arm, she receives only a
golden hand, as in the 116th hymn of the first book, the same Açvinâu
give to Viçpalâ, who had lost his own in battle, an iron leg.[62] The
_Ṛigvedas_, therefore, already contains in its germ the very popular
subject of the man or woman without hands, in same way as we have
already found in it, in embryo, the legends of the lame man, the blind
man or woman, the ugly and the disguised woman.

But to return to the dog. Besides his agility[63] in running, his
strength holds a prominent place in the myth. The Kerberos shows an
extraordinary strength in rending his enemies. In the Russian stories
the dog is the hero's strength, and is associated with the wolf, the
bear, and the lion. In popular stories, now terrible lions and now
dreadful dogs are found guarding the gate of the monster's dwelling.
The monk of San Gallo, in Du Cange, says that the "canes germanici"
are so agile and ferocious, that they suffice alone to hunt tigers and
lions; the same fable is repeated in Du Cange of the dogs of Albania,
which are so great and fierce, "ut tauros premant et leones perimant."
The enormous chained dog, painted on the left side of the entrance of
Roman houses, near the porter's room; the motto _cave canem_; the
expiations made in Greece and at Rome (whence the names "Canaria
Hospitia" and "Porta Catularia," where a dog was immolated to appease
the fury of the Canicula, and whence the verse of Ovid--

      "Pro cane sidereo canis hic imponitur aræ,")

at the time of the Canicula or of the Canis Sirius, to conjure away
the evils which he brings along with the summer heat, in connection
with the _sol leo_, and the corresponding festival of the killing of
the dog (künophontis), besides the barking dogs that appear in the
groin of Scylla,[64] are all records of the mythical dog of hell. The
dog, as a domestic animal, has been confounded with the savage brute
which generally represents the monster. The dog is scarcely
distinguishable from the wolf in the twilight. In Du Cange we read
that in the Middle Ages it was the custom to swear now by the dog now
by the wolf.[65] In the country round Arezzo, in Tuscany, it is
believed that when a she-wolf brings forth her young ones, a dog is
always found among them, which, if it were allowed to live, would
exterminate all the wolves. But the she-wolf, knowing this, no sooner
perceives the dog-wolf than she drowns it when she takes the wolves to
drink.[66] In the district of Florence, it is believed that the wolf,
as well as the dog, when it happens to be the subject of a dream, is
(as in Terence) a prognostic of sickness or death, especially if the
dog is dreamt of as running after or trying to bite one. In Horace
(_Ad Galatheam_) it is an evil omen to meet with a pregnant bitch--

      "Impios parræ præcinentis omen
       Ducat et prœgnans canis."

In Sicily, St Vitus is prayed to that he may keep the dogs chained--

      "Santu Vitu, Santu Vitu,
       Io tri voti vi lu dicu:
       Va', chiamativi a lu cani
       Ca mi voli muzzicari."

And when tying the dog up, they say--

      "Santu Vitu,
       Beddu e pulitu,
       Anghi di cira
       E di ferru filatu;
       Pi lu nuomu di Maria
       Ligu stu cani
       Ch' aju avanti a mia."

When the dog is tied up, they add--

      "Fermati, cani
       Ca t' aju ligatu."[67]

In Italy and Russia, when the dog howls like a wolf, that is, plays
the wolf, it forebodes misfortune and death. It is also narrated,[68]
that after the alliance between Cæsar, Lepidus, and Antony, dogs
howled like wolves.

When one is bitten by a dog[69] in Sicily, a tuft of hair is cut off
the dog and plunged into wine with a burning cinder; this wine is
given to be drunk by the man who has been bitten. In _Aldrovandi_,[70]
I read, on the other hand, that to cure the bite of a mad dog, it is
useful to cover the wound with wolf's skin.

The dog is a medium of chastisement. Our Italian expressions, "Menare il
cane per l'aia" (to lead the dog about the barn-floor), and "Dare il
cane a menare" (to give the dog to be led about), are probably a
reminiscence of the ignominious mediæval punishment of Germany of
carrying the dog, inflicted upon a noble criminal, and which sometimes
preceded his final execution.[71] The punishment of laceration by dogs,
which has actually been carried out more than once by the order of
earthly tyrants, has its prototype in the well-known myth of Kerberos
and the avenging dogs of hell. Thus Pirithoos, who attempts to carry off
Persephônê from the infernal king of the Molossians, is torn to pieces
by the dog Trikerberos. Euripides, according to the popular tradition,
was lacerated in the forest by the avenging dogs of Archelaos. It is
told of Domitian, that when an astrologer on one occasion predicted his
approaching death, he asked him whether he knew in what way he himself
would die; the astrologer answered that he would be devoured by dogs
(death by dogs is also predicted in a story of the _Pentamerone_);
Domitian, to make the oracle false, ordered him to be killed and burned;
but the wind put the flames out, and the dogs approached and devoured
the corpse. Boleslaus II., king of Poland, in the legend of St
Stanislaus, is torn by his own dogs while wandering in the forest, for
having ordered the saint's death. The Vedic monster Çushnas, the
pestilential dog Sirius of the summer skies, and the dog Kerberos of the
nocturnal hell, vomit flames; they chastise the world, too, with
pestilential flames; and the pagan world tries all arts, praying and
conjuring, to rid itself of their baleful influences. But this dog is
immortal, or rather it generates children, and returns to fill men with
terror in a new, a more direct, and a more earthly form in the Christian
world. It is narrated, in fact, that before the birth of St Dominic, the
famous inventor of the tortures of the Holy Inquisition (a truly satanic
Lucifer), his mother, being pregnant of him, dreamed that she saw a dog
carrying a lighted brand about, setting the world on fire. St Dominic
truly realised his mother's dream; he was really this incendiary dog;
and, therefore, in the pictures that represent him, the dog is always
close to him with its lighted brand. Christ is the Prometheus enlarged,
purified, and idealised; and St Dominic, the monstrous Vulcan,
deteriorated, diminished, and fanaticised, of the Christian Olympus. The
dog, sacred in pagan antiquity to the infernal deities, was consecrated
to St Dominic the incendiary, and to Rocco, the saint who protects the
sick of the plague. The Roman feasts in honour of Vulcan (Volcanalia)
fell in the month of August; and the Roman Catholic Church fêtes in the
month of August the two saints of the dogs of the fire and the plague,
St Dominic and St Rocco.


[29] Leukophôs; a verse of Vilkelmus Brito defines it in a Latin
strophe given in Du Cange--

      "Tempore quo neque nox neque lux sed utrumque videtur;"

and further on--

      "Interque _canem distare lupumque_."

According to Pliny and Solinus, the shadow of the hyena makes the dog
dumb, _i.e._, the night disperses the twilight; the moon vanishes.

[30] The dog was sacred to the huntress Diana, whom we know to be the
moon, hence the Latin proverb, "Delia nota canibus."

[31] Indrasya dûtir ishitâ ćarâmi maha ićhantî paṇayo nidhîn vaḥ; str.

[32] Rasâyâ ataram payâṅsi; str. 2.--Ayaṁ nidhiḥ sarame adribudhno
gobhir açvebhir vasubhir nyṛishṭaḥ; str. 7.--Svasâraṁ tvâ kṛiṇavâi mâ
punar gâ apa te gavâṁ subhage bhaǵâma; str. 9.--Nâhaṁ veda bhrâtṛitvaṁ
no svasṛitvam indro vidur añgirasaç ćaghorâḥ; str. 10.

[33] Indrasyâñgirasâm ćeshṭâu vidat saramâ tanayâya dhâsim bṛihaspatir
bhinad adrim vidad gâḥ sam usriyâbhir vâvaçanta naraḥ; str. 3.

[34] Ṛitaṁ yatî saramâ gâ avindat.--Ṛitasya pathâ saramâ vidad gâh;
_Ṛigv._ v. 45, 7, 8.

[35] Apo yad adrim puruhûta dardar âvir bhuvat saramâ pûrvyaṁ te;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 16, 8.

[36] Vidad yadî saramâ rugṇam adrer mahi pâthaḥ pûrvyaṁ sadhryak kaḥ
agraṁ nayat supady aksharâṇâm aćhâ ravam prathamâ ǵânatî gât; _Ṛigv._
iii. 31, 6.

[37] vi. 9.

[38] v. 62.

[39] vi. 10.

[40] Cfr. the Vedic text above quoted.

[41] In the _Tuti-Name_, instead of the dog with the bone or piece of
meat, we have the fox. The dog who sees his shadow in the water; the
fearless hero who, in Tuscan stories, dies when he sees his own
shadow; the black monster (the shadow) who, in numerous stories,
presents himself instead of the real hero to espouse the beautiful
princess, carry our thoughts back to Indras, who, in the _Ṛigvedas_,
after having defeated the monster, flees away over the rivers, upon
seeing something which is probably the shadow of Vṛitras, killed by
him, or his own shadow. In the _Âitar. Brâhm._ iii. 2, 15, 16, 20,
this flight of Indras is also recorded, and it is added, that Indras
hides himself, and that the Pitaras (_i.e._, the souls of the
departed) find him again. Indras thinks that he has killed Vṛitras,
but really has not killed him; then the gods abandon him; the Marutas
alone (as dogs friendly to the bitch Saramâ) remain faithful to him.
The monster killed by Indras in the morning rises again at eve.
According to other Vedic accounts, Indras is obliged to flee, stung by
remorse, having committed a brâhmanicide.

[42] Ati drava sârameyâu çvânâu ćatarakshâu çabalâu sâdhunâ pathâ athâ
pitṛînt suvidatrâṇ upehi--Yâu te çvânâu yama rakshitârâu ćaturakshâu
pathirakshî nṛićakshasâu--Urûṇasâv asutṛipâ udumbalâu yamasya dûtâu
ćarato ǵanâṅ anu--Tâv asmabhyaṁ dṛiçaye sûryâya punar dâtâm asum
adyeha bhadram; _Ṛigv._ x. 14, 10-12.

[43] Ni shvâpaya mithûdṛiçâu; _Ṛigv._ i. 29, 3.--The Petropolitan
Dictionary explains the word _mith._ by "abwechselend sichtbar."

[44] Yad arǵuna sarameya dataḥ piçañga yaćhase vîva bhrâǵanta ṛishṭaya
upa srakveshu bapsato ni shu svapa; stenaṁ râya sârameya taskaraṁ vâ
punaḥsara stotrîn indrasya râyasi kim asmân dućhunâyase ni shu svapa;
_Ṛigv._ vii. 55, 2, 3.

[45] i. 657, 666.

[46] Canto 62.

[47] Thus Hecuba, the wife of Priam, after having suffered cruel
tribulation as a woman, in Ovid--

      "Perdidit infelix hominis post omnia formam
       Externasque novo latratu terruit auras."

In the _Breviarium Romanum_, too, in the offices of the dead, God is
besought not to consign to the beasts (ne tradas bestiis, &c.) the
souls of His servants.

[48] Eta u tye patayanti çvayâtava indram dipsanti dipsavo
'dâbhyam--Ulukayâtuṁ çuçulûkayâtuṁ ǵahi çvayâtum uta kokayâtum
suparṇayâtum gridhrayâtuṁ dṛishadeva pra mṛiṇa raksha indra; _Ṛigv._
vii. 104, 20, 22.

[49] Ǵambhayatam abhito râyataḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 182, 4.

[50] Apa çvânaṁ çnathishṭana sakhâyo dîrghaǵihvyam--Apa çvânam
arâdhasam hatâ makhaṁ na bhṛigavaḥ; _Ṛigv._ ix. 101, 1, 13.

[51] Avartyâ çuna ântrâṇi peće na deveshu vivide marḍitâram apaçyaṁ
ǵâyâm amaḥîyamânâm adhâ me çyeno madhv â ǵabhâra; _Ṛigv._ iv. 18, 13.
The bird who brings honey has evidently here a phallical meaning, as
also the intestine, the part that is inside of now the dog, now the
fish, and now the ass (all of which are phallical symbols), desired as
a delicacy by the women of fairy tales, must be equivalent to the
_madhu_ brought by the bird.

[52] In the fifth story of the fourth book of the _Pentamerone_, the
bird does the same that a dog does in the third story of the third
book; the bird brings a knife, the dog brings a bone, and the
imprisoned princess, by means of this knife and bone, is enabled to
make a hole in the prison, and to free herself.

[53] In the _Pentamerone_, i. 7, the enchanted bitch brings to the
princess news of the young hero.

[54] In the seventh Esthonian story, the man with the black horse
binds three dogs tightly; if they get loose, no one will be able to
keep them back.--In the _Edda_, Thrymer, the prince of the giants,
keeps the grey dogs bound with golden chains.

[55] Einen gelblichen Hund mit vier Augen oder einen weissen mit gelben
Ohren; _Vendidad_, viii. 41, _et seq._, Spiegel's version. And Anquetil,
describing the _Baraschnon no schabé_, represents the purifying dog as
follows:--"Le Mobed prend le bâton à neuf nœuds, entre dans les Keischs
et attache la cuillère de fer au neuvième nœud. L'impur entre aussi
dans les Keischs. On y amène un chien; et si c'est une femme que l'on
purifie, comme elle doit être nue, c'est aussi une femme qui tient le
chien. L'impur ayant la main droite sur sa tête et la gauche sur le
chien, passe successivement sur les six premières pierres et s'y lave
avec l'urine que lui donne le Mobed."--In the _Kâtyây. Sû._ the question
is seriously discussed whether a dog, who was seen to fast on the
fourteenth day of the month, did so on account of religious
penitence.--Cfr. Muir's _Sanskṛit Texts_, i. 365.

[56] Dog and horse, with bites and kicks, kill the monster doe and
free the two brother-heroes in the _Pentamerone_, i. 9.

[57] Cfr. also the sixth of the third book.--In the second story of
the third book of the _Pentamerone_, the sister herself cuts off her
own hands, of which her brother, who wishes to marry her, is
enamoured.--Cfr. the _Mediæval Legends of Santa Uliva_, annotated by
Professor Alessandro d'Ancona, Pisa, Nistri, 1863; and the _Figlia del
Re di Dacia_, illustrated by Professor Alessandro Wesselofski, Pisa,
Nistri, 1866, besides the thirty-first of the stories of the Brothers

[58] The thirty-third of the collection of Karadzik, quoted by
Professor Wesselofsky in his introduction to the story of the _Figlia
del Re di Dacia_.

[59] Cfr. my little essay on the _Albero di Natale_.

[60] _King Richard II._, act. i. scene 2.

[61] Çrutaṁ tać ćhâsur iva vadhrimat yâ hiraṇyahastam açvinâv adattam;
_Ṛigv._ i. 116, 13.--Hiraṇyahastam açvinâ rarâṇâ putraṁ narâ
vadhrimatyâ adattam; i. 117, 24.--The dog in connection with a man's
hand is mentioned in the Latin works of Petrarch, when speaking of
Vespasian, who considered as a good omen the incident of a dog
bringing a man's hand into the refectory.

[62] Sadyo ǵañghâm âyasîm viçpalâyai dhane hite sartave praty
adhattam; str. 15.

[63] It is perhaps for this reason that the Hungarians give to their
dogs names of rivers, as being runners; but it is also said that they
do so from their belief that a dog which bears the name of a river or
piece of water never goes mad, especially if he be a white dog,
inasmuch as the Hungarians consider the red dog and the black or
spotted one as diabolical shapes. In Tuscany, when a Christian's tooth
is taken out, it must be hidden carefully, that the dogs may not find
it and eat it; here dog and devil are assimilated.

[64] Scylla laves her groin in a fountain, the waters of which the
enchantress Circe has corrupted, upon which monstrous dogs appear in
her body, whence Ovid--

      "Scylla venit mediaque tenus descenderat alvo,
       Cum sua fœdari latrantibus inguina monstris
       Aspicit, ac primo non credens corporis illas
       Esse sui partes, refugitque, abiitque timetque
       Ora proterva canum."

[65] Hæc lucem accipiunt ab Joinville in Hist. S. Ludovici, dum fœdera
inter Imp. Joannem Vatatzem et Comanorum Principem inita recenset, eaque
firmata ebibito alterius invicem sanguine, hacque adhibita ceremonia,
quam sic enarrat: "Et ancore firent-ils autre chose. Car ils firent
passer un chien entre nos gens et eux, et découpèrent tout le chien à
leurs espées, disans que ainsy fussent-ils découpez s'ils failloient
l'un à l'autre."--Cfr. in Du Cange the expression "cerebrare canem."

[66] In a fable of Abstemius, a shepherd's dog eats one of the sheep
every day, instead of watching over the flock. The shepherd kills him,
saying, that he prefers the wolf, a declared enemy, to the dog, a
false friend. This uncertainty and confusion between the dog and the
wolf explains the double nature of the dog; to prove which I shall
refer to two unpublished Italian stories: the first, which I heard
from the mouth of a peasant-woman of Fucecchio, shows the bitch in the
capacity of the monster's spy; the second was narrated a few years ago
by a Piedmontese bandit to a peasant-woman who had shown hospitality
to him, at Capellanuova, near Cavour in Piedmont. The first story is
called _The King of the Assassins_, and is as follows:--

There was once a widow with three daughters who worked as seamstresses.
They sit upon a terrace; a handsome lord passes and marries the eldest;
he takes her to his castle in the middle of a wood, after having told
her that he is the chief of the assassins. He gives her a she-puppy and
says, "This will be your companion; if you treat her well, it is as if
you treated me well." Taking her into the palace, he shows her all the
rooms, and gives her all the keys; of four rooms, however, which he
indicates, there are two which she must not enter; if she does so, evil
will befall her. The chief of the assassins spends one day at home and
then three away. During his absence she maltreats the puppy, and gives
her scarcely anything to eat; then she lets herself be overcome by
curiosity, and goes to see what there is in the two rooms, followed by
the puppy. She sees in one room heads of dead people, and in the other
tongues, ears, &c., hung up. This sight fills her with terror. The chief
of the assassins returns and asks the bitch whether she has been well
treated; she makes signs to the contrary, and informs her master that
his wife has been in the forbidden rooms. He cuts off her head, and goes
to find the second sister, whom he induces to come to him by under
invitation to visit his wife; she undergoes the same miserable fate.
Then he goes to take the third sister, and tells her who he is; she
answers, "It is better thus, for I shall no longer be afraid of
thieves." She gives the bitch soup, caresses her, and makes herself
loved by her; the king of the assassins is contented, and the puppy
leads a happy life. After a month, while he is out and the puppy amusing
itself in the garden, she enters the two rooms, finds her two sisters,
and goes into the other rooms, where there are ointments to fasten on
limbs that have been cut off, and ointments to bring the dead to life.
Having resuscitated her sisters, and given them food, she hides them in
two great jars, furnished with breathing holes, and asks her husband to
take them as a present to her mother, warning him not to look into the
jars, as she will see him. He takes them, and when he tries to look in,
he hears, as he had been forewarned, not one voice, but two whispering
from within them, "My love, I see you." Terrified at this, he gives up
the two jars at once to the mother. Meanwhile his wife has killed the
bitch in boiling oil; she then brings all the dead men and women to
life, amongst whom there is Carlino, the son of a king of France, who
marries her. Upon the return of the king of the assassins he perceives
the treachery, and vows revenge; going to Paris, he has a golden pillar
constructed in which a man can be concealed without any aperture being
visible, and bribes an old woman of the palace to lay on the prince's
pillow a leaf of paper which will put him and all his servants to sleep
as soon as he reclines on it. Shutting himself up in the pillar, he has
it carried before the palace; the queen wishes to possess it, and
insists upon having it at the foot of her bed. Night comes; the prince
puts his head upon the leaf, and he and his servants are at once thrown
into a deep sleep. The assassin steps out of the pillar, threatens to
put the princess to death, and goes into the kitchen to fill a copper
with oil, in which to boil her. Meanwhile she calls her husband to help
her, but in vain; she rings the bell, but no one answers; the king of
the assassins returns and drags her out of bed; she catches hold of the
prince's head, and thus draws it off the paper; the prince and his
servants awake, and the enchanter is burnt alive.

The second story is called _The Magician of the Seven Heads_, and was
narrated to me by the peasant-woman in the following terms:--

An old man and woman have two children, Giacomo and Carolina. Giacomo
looks after three sheep. A hunter passes and asks for them; Giacomo
gives them, and receives in reward three dogs, Throttle-iron,
Run-like-the-wind, and Pass-everywhere, besides a whistle. The father
refuses to keep Giacomo at home; he goes away with his three dogs, of
which the first carries bread, the second viands, and the third wine.
He comes to a magician's palace and is well received. Bringing his
sister, the magician falls in love with her and wishes to marry her;
but to this end the brother must be weakened by the abstraction of his
dogs. His sister feigns illness and asks for flour; the miller demands
a dog for the flour, and Giacomo yields it for love of his sister; in
a similar manner the other two dogs are wheedled away from him. The
magician tries to strangle Giacomo, but the latter blows his whistle,
and the dogs appear and kill the magician and the sister. Giacomo goes
away with the three dogs, and comes to a city which is in mourning
because the king's daughter is to be devoured by the seven-headed
magician. Giacomo, by means of the three dogs, kills the monster; the
grateful princess puts the hem of her robe round Throttle-iron's neck
and promises to marry Giacomo. The latter, who is in mourning for his
sister, asks for a year and a day; but before going he cuts the seven
tongues of the magician off and takes them with him. The maiden
returns to the palace. The chimney-sweeper forces her to recognise him
as her deliverer; the king, her father, consents to his marrying her;
the princess, however, stipulates to be allowed to wait for a year and
a day, which is accorded. At the expiration of the appointed time,
Giacomo returns, and hears that the princess is going to be married.
He sends Throttle-iron to strike the chimney-sweeper (the black man,
the Saracen, the Turk, the gipsy, the monster) with his tail, in order
that his collar may be remarked; he then presents himself as the real
deliverer of the princess, and demands that the magician's heads be
brought; as the tongues are wanting, the trick is discovered. The
young couple are married, and the chimney-sweeper is burnt.

[67] Cfr. the _Biblioteca delle Tradizioni Popolari Siciliane_, edited
by Gius. Pitrè, ii. canto 811.

[68] In Richardus Dinothus, quoted by Aldrovandi.

[69] From a letter of my friend Pitrè.

[70] _De Quadrup. Dig. Viv._ ii.

[71] Cfr. Du Cange, _s. v._ "canem ferre." The ignominy connected with
this punishment has perhaps a phallic signification, the dog and the
phallos appear in connection with each other in an unpublished legend
maliciously narrated at Santo Stefano di Calcinaia, near Florence, and
which asserts that woman was not born of a man, but of a dog. Adam was
asleep; the dog carried off one of his ribs; Adam ran after the dog to
recover it, but brought back nothing save the dog's tail, which came
away in his hand. The tail of the ass, horse, or pig, which is left in
the peasant's hand in other burlesque traditions, besides serving as
an indication, as the most visible part, to find the lost or fallen
animal again, or to return into itself, may perhaps have a meaning
analogous to that of the tail of Adam's dog.--I hope the reader will
pardon me these frequent repugnant allusions to indecent images; but
being obliged to go back to an epoch in which idealism was still in
its cradle, while physical life was in all its plenitude of vigour,
images were taken in preference from the things of a more sensible
nature, and which made a deeper and more abiding impression. It is
well known that in the production of the Vedic fire by means of the
friction of two sticks, the male and the female are alluded to, so
that the grandiose and splendid poetical myth of Prometheus had its
origin in the lowest of similitudes.




    Mârǵâras, mârgaras, mṛigas, mṛigâris,
    mṛigarâǵas.--Nakulas.--Mûsh.--Vamras, vamrî, vaprî, valmîkam,
    _formica_.--The serpent and the ants.--Indras as an ant; the serpent
    eaten by the ants.--Vamras drinking, assisted by the Açvinâu.--The
    grateful ant; the hermit-dwarfs.--Ants' milk.--Ants' legs.--The ant
    dies when its wings grow; the ants and the treasure.--The ants
    separate the grains.--The locust and the ant; çarabhas as the
    moon.--Grasshopper and ant.--Avere il grillo, aver la luna;
    indovinala, grillo.--Wedding between ant and grasshopper.--Locusts
    destroyed by fire.--Hippomürmêkes.--The Indian locust that guards
    honey again.--The scorpion, and its poison absorbed.--The ichneumon,
    enemy of the serpent.--The weasel.--Galanthis.--The cat with ears of
    butter.--The cat as a judge.--The lynx.--The penitent cat.--The
    beneficent cat.--The cat with a golden tail.--Cat and dog as
    friends; the dog carries the cat; they find the lost ring
    again.--The new-born son changed for a cat.--The cat that sings and
    tells tales.--The cat created by the moon; Diana as a cat.--The
    sacred cat.--The funereal and diabolical cat.--Cat and fox.--The cat
    hangman.--_Le chat botté_.--_Chatte blanche;_ the cat that spins and
    weaves.--The cat becomes a girl.--The enchanted palace of the
    cats.--The cats of February; the black cat; the cat dreamed-of.--The
    cat becomes a witch at seven years of age.--The cat in the
    sack.--The mewing of the cat.--The cats dispute for souls.--Battle
    of cats.--The mice that bite their tails or that gnaw the threads of
    the net.--The mouse in the honey.--The mouse that becomes a maiden;
    the mouse and the mountain.--The mouse that becomes a tiger.--The
    souls of the dead pass into mice; funereal and diabolical mice;
    superstitions relating to this belief.--The mouse that releases the
    lion and the elephant from the trap.--Ganeças crushes the mouse;
    Apollo Smyntheus.--When the cat's away the mice can dance.--The
    mouse plays blind-man's-buff with the bear.--The grateful
    mouse.--The mouse that foresees the future.--Mouse and sparrow,
    first friends and then enemies.--The batrachomyomachia.--The mouse,
    the tooth, and the coin.--Hiraṇyakas; the squirrel.--The monster
    mole; the mole as a gravedigger; the blind mole.--The snail in the
    popular song; the snail and the serpent; the snail as a funereal

I unite in one series several mythical nocturnal animals, which,
although really of very different natures, enter into only one order
of myths.

They are thieving and hunting animals, and are therefore very aptly
placed in the darkness of night (_naktaćârin_ is an epithet applied in
Sanskṛit both to the cat and the thief), in the nocturnal forest, in
connection now with Diana the huntress, or the good fairy the moon,
and now with the ugly witch; now appearing as the helpers of the hero,
and now as his persecutors.

The etymologies of several Hindoo words may be of some interest to the
reader, and may with propriety be adduced here. _Mârǵâras_, the cat,
means the cleanser (as the animal that, in fact, cleans itself).
Referring to the myth, we know already that one of the principal
exactions of the witch is that her step-daughter should comb her hair,
or else clean the corn, during the night; and that the good fairy, the
Madonna, while she too has her hair combed, scatters gems about,
spins, and cleans the corn for the good maiden. The witch of night
forces the maiden aurora to separate the luminous wheat of evening
from the dark tares of night; the moon with its silvery splendour
disperses the shades of night. The _mârǵâras_, or cleanser of the
night, the white cat, is the moon. _Araṇyamârǵâras_, or cat of the
forest, is the name given to the wild cat, with which the lynx, too,
is identified. As a white cat, as the moon, it protects innocent
animals; as a black cat, as the dark night, it persecutes them. The
cat is a skilful hunter; moreover, it is easy to confound the word
_mârǵâras_ (the cleanser) with the word _mârgaras_, the proper meaning
of which is hunter, investigator, he who follows the track, the
_mârgas_, or else the enemy of the _mṛigas_ (as mṛigâris); the road is
the clean part of the land, as the margin is the white or clean part
of a book. The hunter may be he that goes on the margin or on the
track, or else he that hunts and kills the mṛigas or forest animal.
The moon (the huntress Diana) is also called in Sanskṛit _mṛigarâǵas_,
or king of the forest animals; and, as kings are wont, it sometimes
defends its subjects and sometimes eats them. The cat-moon eats the
grey mice of the night.

_Nakulas_ is the name given in Sanskṛit to the ichneumon, the enemy of
mice, scorpions, and snakes. The word seems to be derived from the
root _naç_, _nak = necare_, whence nakulas would appear to be the
destroyer (of nocturnal mice).

The mouse, _mûsh_, _mûshas_, _mûshakas_, is the thief, the ravisher,
whence also its name rat (_a rapiendo_).

The Hindoo names of the ant are _vamras_ and _vamrî_ (besides
_pipîlakas_). _Vamrî_ is connected with _vapâ_, _vapram_, _vaprî_,
ant-hole, and, by metathesis, _valmîkam_ (_i.e._, appertaining to
ants), which has the same meaning. The Latin _formica_ unites together
the two forms _vamrî_ and _valmîkam_. The roots are _vap_, in the
sense of to throw, and _vam_, to erupt or to throw out, as the ants do
when they erect little mounds of earth.

In the _Mahâbhâratam_, the hole of a serpent is also called by the name
of _valmîkam_; from this we can explain the fable of the third book of
the _Pańćatantram_, where we have a serpent fighting against ants. He
kills many of them, but their number is so interminable that he is at
last forced to succumb. Thus, in the mythical Vedic heavens, it is in
the shape of a vamras or ant that Indras fights victoriously against the
old monster that invades the sky.[72] Nay, more, in the _Pańćatantram_,
the ants sting and bite the serpent and kill it; thus Indras (who, as we
have just said, is an ant in the cloud or the night) gives to the ants
the avaricious serpent, the son of Agrus, dragging it out of its
hiding-place.[73] Indras is therefore a variety of the Captain Formicola
of the Tuscan fairy tale. Finally, the _Ṛigvedas_ offers us yet another
curious particular. The two Açvinâu come to assist Vamras (or Indras in
his form of an ant, _i.e._, they come to assist the ant) whilst it is
drinking (vamraṁ vipipânam). The ant throws or lifts up little hillocks
of earth by biting the ground. The root _vap_, which means to throw, to
scatter, has also the sense of to cut, and perhaps to make a hole in.
The convex presupposes the concave; and _vam_ is related to _vap_ (as
_somnus_ is related to _hüpnos_, to _svapnas_, and to _sopor_). Indras,
as an ant, is the wounder, the biter of the serpent. He makes it come
out of its den, or vomits it forth (eructat); the two etymological
senses are found again in the myth. The weapons with which Indras wounds
the serpent are doubtless now the solar rays, and now the thunderbolts.
Indras, in the cloud, drinks the somas. The ant drinks, and the Açvinâu,
whilst it drinks, come to its help, for no doubt the ant when drinking
is in danger of being drowned. And this brings us to the story of the
grateful animals, in which the young hero finds an ant about to be

In the twenty-fourth of the Tuscan fairy tales published by me, when the
shepherd's son, by a good advice which he has received, determines to do
good to every one he meets, he sees on the path an ant-hill, which is
about to be destroyed by water; he then makes a bank round it, and thus
saves the ants;[74] in their turn the ants pay back the debt. The king
of the land demands of the young man, as a condition of receiving his
daughter in marriage, that he should separate and sort the different
kinds of grain in a granary; up marches Captain Formicola with his army,
and accomplishes the stipulated task. In other varieties of the same
story, instead of the embankment, we have the leaf that the hero puts
under the ant to float it out of the water contained in the footprint of
a horse, which again recalls the lotus-leaf on which the Hindoo deity
navigates the ocean. This water in which the ant is drowning was
afterwards changed into the proverbial ants' milk,[75] which is now used
to express an impossibility, but which, when referred to Indras, to the
mythical ant, represents the ambrosial and pluvial moisture. In the
sixth Sicilian story of Signora Gonzenbach, the boy Giuseppe, having
given crumbs of bread to the hungry ants, receives from the king of the
ants the present of an ant's leg, in order that he may use it when
required. When he wishes to become an ant, in order to penetrate into
the giant's palace, he has only to let the ant's leg fall to the ground,
with the words, "I am a Christian, and am becoming an ant," which
immediately comes to pass. In the same story Giuseppe procures sheep, in
order to attract the serpent by their smell, and induce it to come out
of its lurking-place. Here we evidently return to the Vedic subject of
the ant Indras, who tempts the serpent to come out in order to give it
to the ants. In the eighth story of the fourth book of the
_Pentamerone_, the ant shows the third part of the way to the girl
Cianna, who is going to search for the mother of time; on the door of
her dwelling Cianna will find a serpent biting its tail (the well-known
symbol of the cyclical day or year, and of time, in antiquity), and she
is to ask the mother of time, on the ant's part, advice as to how the
ants can live a hundred years. The mother of time answers to Cianna that
the ants will live a hundred years when they can dispense with flying,
inasmuch as "quanno la formica vo morire, mette l'ascelle" (_i.e._, the
wings). The ant, grateful for this good advice, shows Cianna and her
brothers the place underground where the thieves have deposited their
treasure. We also remember the story of the ants who bring grains of
barley into the mouth of the royal child Midas, to announce his future
wealth. In _Herodotus_ (iii.), and in the twelfth book of the stories of
_Tzetza_,[76] I find the curious information that there are in India
ants as large as foxes, that keep golden treasures in their holes; the
grains of wheat are this gold. The morning and evening heavens are
sometimes compared to granaries of gold; the ants separate the grain
during the night, carrying it from west to east, and purifying it of all
that is unclean, or cleansing the sky of the nocturnal shadows. The work
assigned every night by the witch to the maiden aurora of evening is
done in one night by the black ants of the sky of night. Sometimes the
girl meets on the way the good fairy (the moon), who comes to her help;
the maiden, assisted by the ants, meets the madonna-moon. But the moon
is called also the leaper or hopper, a nocturnal locust; the darkness,
the cloud and the dark-coloured earth (in lunar eclipses) are at the
same time ant-hills and black ants, that pass over or before the moon;
and, therefore, in the race between the ant and the locust, it is said
in the fable that the ant won the race. The locust, or _çarabhas_, or
_çalabhas_, is presented to us as an improvident animal in two sentences
of the first and fourth books of the _Pańćatantram_. The green
grasshopper or locust leaps; the fair-haired moon leaps. (I have already
noticed in the chapter on the ass how the words _haris_ and _harit_ mean
both green and fair, or yellow; in the second canto of the sixth book of
the _Râmâyaṇam_, the monkey Çarabhas is said to inhabit the mountain
Ćandras or Mount Moon; Çarabhas, therefore, appears as the moon.) Locust
and grasshopper jump (cfr. the Chap. on the hare); hence the ant is not
only in connection with the locust, but also with the grasshopper: the
Hindoo expression _çarabhas_ means both grasshopper (in Sanskṛit, also
named _varshakarî_) and locust. In one of the popular songs of the
Monferrato collected by Signor Ferraro, we have the wedding of the
grasshopper and the ant; the magpie, the mouse, the ortolan, the crow,
and the goldfinch bring to the wedding a little cut straw, a cushion,
bread, cheese, and wine. In the popular Tuscan songs published by
Giuseppe Tigri, I find the word _grilli_ (grasshoppers) used in the
sense of lovers. In Italian, _grillo_ also means caprice, and especially
amorous caprice; and _medico grillo_ is applied to a foolish doctor.[77]
And yet the grasshopper ought to be the diviner _par excellence_. In
Italy, when we propose a riddle, we are accustomed to end it with the
words "indovinala, grillo" (guess it, grasshopper); this expression
perhaps refers to the supposed fool of the popular story, who almost
always ends by showing himself wise. The sun enclosed in the cloud and
in the gloom of night is generally the fool, but he is at the same time
the fool who, in the kingdom of the dead, sees, hears, and learns
everything; and the moon, too, personified as a grasshopper or locust,
is the supposed fool who, on the contrary, knows, sees, understands, and
teaches everything; from the moon are taken prognostics; hence riddles
may be proposed to the capricious moon, or the celestial cricket. In
Italian, the expressions "aver la luna" (to have the moon), and "avere
il grillo" (to have the grasshopper), are equivalent, and mean to suffer
from a nervous attack, or the spleen. I also find the wedding between
ant and grasshopper in a very popular, but as yet unpublished Tuscan
song. The ant asks the grasshopper whether he desires her for his wife,
and recommends him, if he does not, to look after his own affairs, that
is, to leave her alone. And then the narrative begins. The grasshopper
goes into a field of linen; the ant begs for a thread to make herself
aprons and shirts for the wedding; then the grasshopper says he wishes
to marry her. The grasshopper goes into a field of vetches; the ant asks
for ten vetches, to cook four in a stew, and to put six upon the spit
for the wedding-dinner. After the wedding, the grasshopper follows the
trade of a greengrocer, then that of an innkeeper; but his affairs
succeed so badly, that he first puts his own trousers in pawn, and then
becomes bankrupt, and beats his wife the ant; at last he dies in misery.
Then the ant faints away, throws herself upon the bed, and beats her
breast for sorrow with her heel (as ants do when they die).[78] The
nuptials of the black ant, the gloom of night, with the moon, locust,
or grasshopper, take place in the evening; the grasshopper dies, the
moon pales, and the black ant, the night, also disappears. In the
_Pańćatantram_, the locusts are destroyed by fire. In the so-called
letter of Alexander the Great to Olympias,[79] I find the ants scared
away by means of fire, whilst they are endeavouring to keep horses and
heroes at a distance. These extraordinary ants recall to us the
hippomürmêkes of the Greeks, or ants of horses. The ants, the insects of
the forest of night, molest the hero and solar horse that traverse it;
the black ants of night are dispersed by the solar fire of the morning:
this we can understand all the better when Tzetza, quoted before,
speaking of the Indian ants, calls them as large as foxes; when Pliny,
in the eleventh book of his History, says they are of the colour of a
cat, and the size of Egyptian wolves; and when Solinus tells us that
they have the shape of a large dog, with lion's feet, with which they
dig gold up. Ælianos calls them guardians of gold (tôn chrüsôn
phülattontes). Evidently the ants have already taken here a monstrous
and demoniacal aspect. Several other ancient authors have written
concerning these Indian ants, including Herodotus, Strabo, Philostratos,
and Lucian. I shall only mention here, as bearing on our subject, that,
according to Lucian, it is by night that they dig up the gold, and that,
according to Pliny, the ants dig up gold in winter (night and winter are
often equivalent in mythology). "The Indians, moreover, steal it during
summer, whilst the ants stay hidden in their subterranean lurking-places
on account of the vapours; however, tempted forth by the smell, they run
out, and often cut the Indians in pieces, although they flee away on
very swift camels, they are so rapid, ferocious, and desirous of
gold."[80] This monster ant, with lion's claws, which Pliny also
describes as horned, approaches very closely to the mythical black
scorpion of the clouds and the night, the Vedic _Vṛiçćikas_, which, now
a very little bird (iyattikâ çakuntikâ), now a very small ichneumon
(kushumbhakas, properly the little golden one, perhaps the young morning
sun), destroys with its tooth (açmanâ, properly with the biter),
absorbing or taking away the poison, as jars take off the water, _i.e._,
the sun's rays dissipate the vapours of the sun enclosed in the cloud or
the gloom.[81] Here the ichneumon (viverra ichneumon) appears as the
benefactor of the scorpion rather than as its enemy; it takes its poison
away, that is, it frees the sun from the sign of Scorpio, from the
vapours which envelope it. The ichneumon is in Sanskṛit called
_nakulas_. In the twelfth story of the first book of the _Pańćatantram_,
we see it, on the contrary, as the declared enemy of the black serpent,
which it kills in its den. But inasmuch as the weasel-ichneumon bites
venomous animals, it is itself obliged to deliver itself from the venom
it has in consequence imbibed. Therefore, in the _Atharvavedas_, mention
is already made of the salutary herb with which the nakulas (which is
also the name of one of the two sons of the Açvinâu, in the
_Mahâbhâratam_) cures himself of the bite of venomous animals, that is,
of serpents, scorpions, and monstrous mice, his enemies. The weasel
(mustela), which differs but little from the ichneumon, is almost the
same in the myths. The weasel, too, as we learn from the ninth book of
Aristotle's _History of Animals_, fights against serpents, after having
eaten the famous herb called rue, the smell of which is said to be
insupportable to serpents. But, as its Latin name tells us, it is no
less skilful as a hunter of mice.[82] The reader is doubtless familiar
with the Æsopian fable of the weasel which petitions the man for its
liberty for the service which it has rendered him by freeing his house
from rats; and with that of Phædrus, of the old weasel which catches
mice in the flour-trough by rolling itself in the flour, so that the
mice approach, under the impression that it is a solid mass. Plautus's
parasite reckons upon a good dinner for himself from having met with a
weasel carrying away the whole of a mouse except its feet (auspicio
hodie optumo exivi foras; mustela murem abstulit præter pedes); but the
expected dinner never appearing, he declares that the presage is false,
and pronounces the weasel a prophet only of evil, inasmuch as in one and
the same day it changes its place ten times. According to the ninth book
of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, the maid Galanthis was changed by the
goddess Lucina (the moon) into a weasel, for having told a lie,
announcing the birth of Hêraklês before it had taken place:--

      "Strenuitas antiqua manet, nec terga colorem
       Amisêre suum, forma est diversa priori;
       Quæ, quia mendaci parientem juverat ore,
       Ore parit."

The popular superstition which makes the weasel bring forth its young
by its mouth, probably had its origin in this fable. From the mouth
intemperate words are brought forth. Simonides, in Stobeus, quoted
already by Aldrovandi,[83] compares wicked women to weasels. The moon
that changes the chattering Galanthis into a weasel appears to be the
same as the white moon itself transformed into a white weasel, the
moon that explores the nocturnal heaven and discovers all its secrets.

Ants, mice, moles (like serpents), love, on the contrary, to stay
hidden, and to keep their secrets concealed. The ichneumon, the
weasel, and the cat generally come out of their hiding-places, and
chase away whoever is concealed, carrying away from the hiding-places
whatever they can. They are both themselves thieves, and hunt other

It is easy now to pass from the Latin _mustela_ to the Sanskṛit cat
_mûshakârâtis_, or _mûshikântakṛit_.

In the _Pańćatantram_, the cat Butter-ears (dadhikarṇas), or he of the
white ears, who feigns to repent of his crimes, is called upon to act
as judge in a dispute pending between the sparrow, kapińǵalas and the
hare Quick-walker (sîghragas), who had taken up his quarters in the
dwelling of the absent sparrow. Butter-ears solves the question by
feigning deafness, and requesting the two disputants to come nearer,
to confide their arguments in his ears; the hare and the sparrow rely
on his good faith, and approach, when the cat clutches and devours
them both. In the _Hitopadeças_,[84] we have, instead of the sparrow,
the vulture ćaradgavas, which meets with its death in consequence of
having shown hospitality to the cat, "of which it knew neither the
disposition nor the strength" (aǵńâtakulaçîlasya). In the
_Tuti-Name_,[85] we have, instead of the cat, the lynx,[86] that
wishes to possess itself of the lion's house, which is guarded by the
monkey; it terrifies the lion, and drives it to flight. In the
_Anvari-Suhaili_,[87] instead of the cat or lynx, we find represented
the leopard. In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[88] we find again the fable of the
penitent cat. The cat, by the austerity which it practises on the
banks of the Ganges, inspires confidence in the birds, which gather
round it to do it honour. After some time, the mice imitate the
example of the birds, and put themselves under the cat's protection,
that it may defend them. The cat makes its meals upon them every day,
by inducing one or two to accompany it to the river, and fattens
exceedingly fast, whilst the mice diminish every day. Then a wise
mouse determines to follow the cat one day when it goes to the river;
the cat eats both the mouse that accompanies it and the spy. Upon this
the mice discover the trick, and evacuate altogether the post of
danger. The penitent cat is already proverbial in the _Code of
Manus_.[89] In the _Reineke Fuchs_ of Goethe,[90] the cat goes to
steal in the priest's house, by the wicked advice of the fox, when
every one falls upon him--

                                  "Sprang er wüthend entschlossen
      Zwischen die Schenkel des Pfaffen und biss und kratzte gefährlich."

The _Roman du Renard_,[91] when the priest is mutilated by the cat,
makes his wife exclaim--

      "C'en est fait de nos amours!
       Je suis veuve sans recours!"

In the same _Roman_, when the cat Tibert, the ambassador of King Lion,
arrives at Mantpertuis, where the fox reigns, we read--

         "Tibert lui présenta la patte;
          Il fait le saint, il fait la chatte!
      Mais à bon chat, bon rat! Renard aussi le flatte!
      Il s'entend à dorer ses paroles de miel!
            Si l'un est saint, l'autre est hermite;
            Si l'un est chatte, l'autre est mite."

In the romance of the fox, the fox endeavours to destroy the cat by
inducing it to catch the mice that are in the priest's house. In an
unpublished Tuscan story,[92] we have, on the contrary, the fox that
invites the mouse to the shop of a butcher who has recently killed a
pig. The mouse promises to gnaw the wood till the hole is large enough
for the fox to pass through it; the fox eats till it is able to pass,
and then goes away; the mouse eats and fattens so much that it can no
longer pass; the cat then comes and eats it.

In the thirty-fourth story of the second book of _Afanassieff_, the
cat occurs again, as in India, in connection with the sparrow, but not
to eat it; on the contrary, they are friends, and twice deliver the
young hero from the witch. This is a form of the Açvinâu. In the
sixty-seventh story of the sixth book, the two Açvinâu return in the
shape respectively of a dog and a cat (now enemies one of the other,
as the two mythical brothers often show themselves, and now friends
for life and death). A young man buys for a hundred roubles a dog with
hanging ears, and for another hundred roubles a cat with a golden
tail,[93] both of which he nourishes well. With a hundred roubles
more, he acquires the ring of a dead princess, from which thirty boys
and a hundred and seventy heroes, who perform every kind of marvel,
can come forth at the possessor's will. By means of these wonders, the
young man is enabled to wed the king's daughter; but as the latter
wishes to ruin him, she makes him drunk, steals his ring, and departs
into a far distant kingdom. The Tzar then shuts the youth up in
prison; the dog and the cat go to recover the lost ring. When they
pass the river, the dog swims and carries the cat upon his back (the
blind and the lame, St Christopher and Christ). They come to the place
where the princess lives, and enter into her dwelling. They then
engage themselves in the service of the cook and the housemaid; the
cat, following its natural instinct, gives chase to a mouse, upon
which the mouse begs for its life, promising to bring the ring to the
cat. The princess sleeps with the ring in her mouth; the mouse puts
its tail into her mouth; she spits, the ring comes out, and is taken
by the dog and the cat, who deliver the young man, and force the
fugitive Tzar's daughter to return to her first abode.

In the following story of _Afanassieff_, when the youngest of the
three sisters bears three sons to Ivan Tzarević, her envious elder
sisters make the prince believe that she has brought forth a cat, a
dog, and a vulgar child. The three real sons are carried off; the
princess is blinded and enclosed with her supposed child in a cask,
which is thrown into the sea. The cask, however, comes to shore and
opens;[94] the supposititious son immediately bathes the princess's
eyes with hot water, and she recovers her sight, after which he finds
her three luminous sons again, who light up whatever is near them with
their splendour, and is again united to her husband. In a Russian
variation of the same story, the three sons are changed by the witch
into three doves; the princess, with her supposed son, is saved from
the sea, and takes refuge upon an island, where, perched upon a gold
pillar, a wise cat sings ballads and tells stories. The three doves
are transformed into handsome youths, whose legs are of silver up to
the knee, their chests of gold, their foreheads like the moon, and
their sides formed of stars, and recover their father and mother.

Thus far we have seen the cat with white ears, who hunts the hare (or
moon), the morning twilight, and the penitent cat who eats mice at the
river's side, and which is mythically the same. We have observed that,
of the two Açvinâu, one represents especially the sun, and the other
the moon; the thieving cat, who is the friend of some thieves and the
enemy of others (whence the Hungarian and Tuscan superstition, to the
effect that for a good cat to be a skilful thief, it must itself have
been stolen; then it is sure to catch mice well), is now the morning
twilight, now the moon who gives chase to the mice of the night.
According to the Hellenic cosmogony, the sun and the moon created the
animals; the sun creating the lion, and the moon the cat. In the fifth
book of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, when the gods fled from the giants,
Diana took the form of a cat.[95] In Sicily the cat is sacred to St
Martha, and is respected in order not to irritate her: he who kills a
cat will be unhappy for seven years. In the ancient German belief, the
goddess Freya was drawn by two cats. At present, the cat and the
mouse are sacred to the funereal St Gertrude. In the sixty-second
story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, we have the chattering cat,
which the hero Baldak must kill in the territory of the hostile Sultan
(that is, in the wintry night). In the eighth story of the fourth book
of the _Pentamerone_, we also find a she-cat that plays the part of
the ogre's spy; in the tenth story of the _Pentamerone_, and in the
first of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_, on the
contrary, the cat reveals the witch's treachery to the prince. In the
twenty-third story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the cat
Katofiei appears as the husband of the fox, who passes him off as a
burgomaster. United together, they terrify the wolf and the bear,[96]
the cat climbing up a tree. In the Æsopian fables, on the contrary,
the cat and the fox dispute as to which is the superior animal; the
cat makes the dog catch the fox, whilst it itself climbs up a tree. In
the third story of the second book of _Afanassieff_, the cat
associates with the cock in the search for the bark of trees; it
delivers its comrade three times from the fox that had run off with
it; the third time, the cat not only liberates the cock, but also eats
the four young foxes. In the thirtieth story of the fourth book, the
cat Catonaiević, the son of Cato (this name is derived from the
equivoque between the words _catus_ and _caton_; in French, besides
_chat_, we have _chaton_, _chatonique_, &c.), delivers the cock twice
from the fox, but the third time the fox eats the poor bird. In a
Russian variety of this story, the cat kills the five little foxes and
then the fox, after having sung as follows:--

      "The cat walks upon its feet
       In red boots;
       It wears a sword by its side,
       And a stick by its thigh;
       It wishes to kill the fox,
       And to make its soul perish."[97]

In another variety, the cat and the lamb go to deliver the cock from
the fox. The latter has seven daughters. The cat and the lamb allure
them by songs to come out, and they kill them one after the other,
wounding them in their foreheads; they then kill the fox itself, and
so deliver the cock. In the romance of the fox, the cat is the
hangman, and ties the fox to the gibbet.

In the third story of the first book, the witch's cat, grateful to the
good girl who has given her some ham to eat, teaches her how to
escape, and gives her the usual towel which, when thrown on the
ground, makes a river appear, and the usual comb which, in like
manner, causes an impenetrable forest to arise before the witch who
runs after the girl to devour her.

We have already seen the Vedic moon who sews the wedding-robe with a
thread that does not break. In the Russian story we have already
remarked how the little puppet, to oblige the good maiden, makes a shirt
destined for the Tzar, which is so fine that no one else can make the
like. In the celebrated tale of the witty Madame d'Aulnoy, _La Chatte
Blanche_, we have the white cat Blanchette, veiled in black, who
inhabits the enchanted palace, rides upon a monkey, speaks, and gives to
the young prince, who rides upon a wooden horse (the forest of night),
inside an acorn, the most beautiful little dog that ever existed in the
world, that he may take it to the king his father--a little dog, "plus
beau que la canicule" (evidently the sun itself, which comes out of the
golden egg or acorn), which can pass through a ring (the disc of the
sun), and then a marvellously painted cloth, which is so fine that it
can pass through the eye of a small needle, and is enclosed in a grain
of millet, although of the length of "quatre cents aunes" (the eye of
the needle, the acorn, the grain of millet, and the ring are equivalent
forms to represent the solar disc). This wonderful cat finally herself
becomes a beautiful maiden, "Parut comme le soleil qui a été quelque
temps enveloppé dans une nue; ses cheveux blonds étaient épars sur ses
épaules; ils tombaient par grosses boucles jusqu'à ses pieds. Sa tête
était ceinte de fleurs, sa robe, d'une légère gaze blanche, doublée de
taffetas couleur de rose." The white cat of night, the white moon,
resigns her place in the morning to the rosy aurora; the two phenomena
that succeed each other appear to be metamorphoses of the same being.
The white cat, with its attendant cats, before becoming a beautiful
maiden, invites the prince to assist in a battle which he engages in
with the mice. To this we can compare the Æsopian fable of the young man
who, in love with a cat, beseeches Venus to transform her into a woman.
Venus gratifies him; the youth marries her; but when the bride is in bed
(_i.e._, in the night, when the evening aurora again gives up its place
to the moon, or when it meets with the grey mice of night), a mouse
passes by, and the woman, who still retains her feline nature, runs
after it.

When the sun enters into the night, it finds in the starry heavens an
enchanted palace, where either there is not a living soul to be found,
or where only the cat-moon moves about. Hence, in my opinion, the
origin of the expression that we make use of in Italy to indicate an
empty house--"Non vi era neanche un gatto" (there was not even a cat
there). The cat is considered the familiar genie of the house. The
enchanted palace is always situated either at the summit of a
mountain, or in a gloomy forest (like the moon). This palace is the
dwelling either of a good fairy, or a good magician, or of a witch, or
a serpent-demon, or at least cats. The visit to the house of the cats
is the subject of a story which I have heard told, with few
variations, in Piedmont and in Tuscany.[98]

We have hitherto seen only the luminous or white cat, the cat-moon and
twilight, under a generally benignant aspect. But when the night is
without a moon, we have only the black cat in the dense gloom. This
black cat then assumes a demoniacal character.

In the Monferrato it is believed that all the cats that wander about
the roofs in the month of February are not really cats, but witches,
which one must shoot. For this reason, black cats are kept away from
the cradles of children. The same superstition exists in Germany.[99]
In Tuscany, it is believed that when a man desires death, the devil
passes before his bed in the form of any animal except the lamb, but
especially in that of a he-goat, a cock, a hen, or a cat. In the
German superstition,[100] the black cat that places itself upon the
bed of a sick man announces his approaching death; if it is seen upon
a grave, it signifies that the departed is in the devil's power. If
one dreams of a black cat at Christmas, it is an omen of some alarming
illness during the following year. Aldrovandi, speaking of Stefano
Cardano, narrates that, being old and seriously ill, or rather dying,
a cat appeared unexpectedly before him, emitted a loud cry, and
disappeared. The same Aldrovandi tells us of a cat which scratched the
breast of a woman, who, recognising in it a supernatural being, died
after the lapse of a few days. In Hungary it is believed that the cat
generally becomes a witch from the age of seven years to that of
twelve, and that witches ride upon tom-cats, especially black ones; it
is, moreover, believed that to deliver the cat from the witch, it is
necessary to make upon its skin an incision in the form of a cross.
The cat in the bag of proverbs has probably a diabolical allusion. In
the tenth story of the _Pentamerone_, when the King of Roccaforte,
thinking that he is marrying a beautiful maiden, finds that, on the
contrary, he has espoused a hideous veiled old hag (the night), he
says, "Questo è peo nce vole a chi accatta la gatta dinto lo sacco."
In Sicily, when the Rosary is recited for navigators, the mewing of
the cat presages a tedious voyage.[101] When the witches in _Macbeth_
prepare their evil enchantments against the king, the first witch
commences with the words--

      "Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed."

In a German belief noticed by Professor Rochholtz, two cats that fight
against each other are to a sick man an omen of approaching death. These
two cats are probably another form of the children's game in Piedmont
and Tuscany, called the game of souls, in which the devil and the angel
come to dispute for the soul. Of the two cats, one is probably benignant
and the other malignant; they represent perhaps night and twilight. An
Irish legend tells us of a combat between cats, in which all the
combatants perished, leaving only their tails upon the battlefield. (A
similar tradition also exists in Piedmont, but is there, if I am not
mistaken, referred to wolves.) Two cats that fight for a mouse, and
allow it to escape, are also mentioned in Hindoo tradition.[102]

In the 105th hymn of the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_, and in the
thirty-third of the tenth book, a poet says to Indras, "The thought
rends me, thy praiser, as mice tear their tails by gnawing at
them."[103] But according to another interpretation, instead of
"tails," we should read "threads;" in this case, the mice that rend
the threads would refer to the fable of the mouse that delivers from
the net now the elephant, and now the lion (of which fable I shall
endeavour to prove the Vedic antiquity in the next chapter).

The twelfth story of the third book of the _Pańćatantram_ is of great
mythological interest. From the beak of a hawk (in another Hindoo
legend, from two cats that are disputing for it) a mouse takes refuge
in the hands of a penitent, whilst he is bathing in the river. The
penitent transforms the mouse into a beautiful maiden, and wishes to
marry her to the sun; the maiden declines--he is too hot. The penitent
next wishes to marry her to the cloud which defeats the sun; the
maiden declares it is too dark and cold. He then proposes to give her
to the wind which defeats the cloud (in the white _Yaǵurvedas_, the
mouse is sacred to the god Rudras, the wind that howls and lightens in
the cloud); the maiden refuses--it is too changeful. The penitent now
proposes that she should wed the mountain, against which the wind
cannot prevail, but the girl says it is too hard; and finally the
penitent asks if she would be willing to part with her affections to
the mouse, who alone can make a hole in the mountain; the maiden is
satisfied with this last proposal, and is again transformed into a
female mouse, in order to be able to wed the male mouse. In this
beautiful myth (which is a variation of the other one which we have
already mentioned of the cat-maiden that, though transfigured, still
retains its instinct as a huntress of mice), the whole revolution of
the twenty-four hours of the day is described. The mouse of night
appears first; the twilight tries to make it its prey; the night
becomes the aurora; the sun presents itself for her husband; the sun
is covered by the cloud, and the cloud is scattered by the wind;
meanwhile the evening aurora, the girl, appears upon the mountain; the
mouse of night again appears, and with her the maiden is confounded.
The _Hîtopadeças_ contains an interesting variety of the same myth.
The mouse falls from the vulture's beak, and is received by a wise
man, who changes it into a cat, then, to save it from the dog, into a
dog, and finally into a tiger. When the mouse is become a tiger, it
thinks of killing the wise man, who, reading its thoughts, transforms
it again into a mouse. Here we find described the same circle of daily
celestial phenomena. The succession of these phenomena sometimes
causes transformations in the myths.

The well-known proverb of the mountain that gives birth to the mouse,
refers to the myth contained in the story of the _Pańćatantram_. We
already know that the solar hero enters in the evening with the solar
horse into the mountain and becomes stone, and that all the heavens
assume the colour of this mountain. From the mountain come forth the
mice of night, the shadows of night, to which the cat-moon and the
cat-twilight give chase; the thieving propensities of the mice
display themselves in the night. In German superstition the souls of
the dead assume the forms of mice, and when the head of a house dies,
it is said that even the mice of the house abandon it.[104] In
general, every apparition of mice is considered a funereal presage; it
is on this account that the funereal St Gertrude was represented
surrounded by mice. The first witch in _Macbeth_, when she wishes to
persecute the merchant who is sailing towards Aleppo, and shipwreck
him, that she may avenge herself upon his wife, who had refused to
give her some chestnuts, threatens to become like a rat without a
tail. In the _Historia Sarmatiæ_, quoted by Aldrovandi, the uncles of
King Popelus II., whom, with his wife for accomplice, he murders in
secret, and throws into the lake, become mice, and gnaw the king and
queen to death. The same death is said to have been the doom of
Miçćislaus, the son of the Duke Conrad of Poland, for having
wrongfully appropriated the property of widows and orphans; and of
Otto, Archbishop of Mainz, for having burned the granary during a
famine. Mice are said to have presaged at Rome the first civil war, by
gnawing the gold in the temple; and it was, moreover, alleged that a
female mouse had given birth in a trap to five male mice, of which she
had devoured two. Other prodigies, in which mice were implicated, are
mentioned as having taken place at Rome, even in the times of Cato,
who was accustomed to make them the butt of his indignant scorn. To a
person who told him, for instance, how the mice had gnawed the boots,
he answered that this was no miracle; it would have been a miracle if
the boots (_caligæ_) had eaten the mice.

The mouse in the fable is sometimes in connection with the elephant
and the lion, whom it sometimes insults and despises (as in the
_Tuti-Name_),[105] and sometimes comes to help and deliver from their
fetters. The meaning of the myth is evident: the elephant and the lion
represent here the sun in the darkness; in the evening the mouse of
night leaps upon the two heroic animals, which are then old or infirm;
in the morning the sun is delivered out of the fetters of the night,
and it is supposed that it was the mouse which gnawed the ropes and
set at liberty now the elephant, as in the _Pańćatantram_, now the
lion, as in the Æsopian fable.

The Hindoo god Gaṇeças, the god of poets, eloquence, and wisdom, is
represented with an elephant's head, and his foot crushing a mouse.
Thus, among the Greeks, Apollo Smintheus, so called because he had
shot the mice that stole the yearly provisions from Krinos, the priest
of Apollo himself, was represented with a mouse under him. As the
Christian Virgin crushes the serpent of night under her foot, so does
the pagan sun-god crush under his feet the mouse of night.

When the cat's away, the mice may play; the shadows of night dance
when the moon is absent.

In the fifteenth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the witch
step-mother desires her old husband to lead away his daughter to spin
in the forest[106] in a deserted hut. The girl finds a little mouse
there, and gives it something to eat. At night the bear comes, and
wishes to play with the girl at the game of blind-man's-buff (this
very popular game has evidently a mythical origin and meaning; every
evening in the sky the sun amuses itself by playing blind-man's-buff;
it blinds itself, and runs blind into the night, where it must find
again its predestined bride or lost wife, the aurora). The little
mouse approaches the maiden, and whispers in her ear, "Maiden, be not
afraid; say to him, 'Let us play;' then put out the fire and hide
under the stove; I will run and make the little bells ring." (Mice
seem to have an especial predilection for the sound of bells. It is
well-known how, in the Hellenic fable, the council of mice resolve, to
deliver themselves from the cat, to put a bell round its neck; no one,
however, undertakes to perform the arduous enterprise.) The bear
thinks he is running after the maiden, and runs, on the contrary,
after the mouse, which he cannot catch. The bear tires himself out,
and congratulating the maiden, says to her, "Thou art my mistress,
maiden, in playing at blind-man's-buff; to-morrow morning I will send
you a herd of horses and a chariot of goods." (The morning aurora
comes out of the forest, delivers herself from the clutches of the
bear, from the witch of the night, and appears drawn by horses upon a
chariot full of treasure. The myth is a lucid one.)

In other numerous legends we have the grateful mouse that helps the
hero or heroine. In the thirteenth Calmuc story, the mouse, the
monkey, and the bear, grateful for having been delivered, from the
rogues that tormented them, by the son of the Brahman, come to his
help by gnawing and breaking open the chest in which the young man had
been enclosed by order of the king; afterwards, with the assistance of
the fishes, they help him to recover a lost talisman.

In the fifty-eighth story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_,[107] the
mouse, the war-horse, and the fish silurus, out of gratitude assist
the honest workman who has fallen into a marsh, and cleanse him; upon
seeing which the princess, that has never laughed, laughs, and
thereafter marries the workman. (The young morning sun comes out of
the marsh or swamp of night; the aurora, who was at first a dark,
wicked, and ugly girl, marries the young sun whom the mouse has
delivered out of the mud, as it delivered the lion out of the toils.)

In the fifty-seventh story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, it is
the mouse that warns Ivan Tzarević to flee from the serpent-witch (the
black night) his sister, who is sharpening her teeth to eat him.

In the third story of the first book of _Afanassieff_, the mice help
the good maiden, who had given them something to eat, to do what the
witch, her step-mother, had commanded.

In the twenty-third story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the
mouse and the sparrow appear at first as friends and associates. But
one day the sparrow, having found a poppy-seed, thinks it so small
that he eats it up without offering a share to his partner. The mouse
hears of it, and is indignant; he breaks the alliance, and declares
war against the sparrow. The latter assembles all the birds of the
air, and the mouse all the animals of the earth, and a sanguinary
battle commences. In a Russian variety of the same story, instead of
the sparrow, it is the mouse that breaks the compact. They collect
together the provisions against winter, but when, towards the end of
the season, they are all but finished, the mouse expels the sparrow,
and the sparrow goes to complain to the king of the birds. The king of
the birds visits the king of the beasts, and sets forth the complaint
of the sparrow; the king of the beasts then calls the mouse to
account, who defends himself with such humility and cunning, that he
ends by convincing his monarch that the sparrow is in the wrong. Then
the two kings declare war against each other, and engage in a
formidable struggle, attended with terrible bloodshed on both sides,
and which ends in the king of the birds being wounded. (The nocturnal
or wintry mouse expels the solar bird of evening or of autumn.)

In the _Batrachomyomachia_, attributed to Homer, the royal mouse
Psicharpax (properly ravisher of crumbs), the third son of Troxartes
(eat-bread), boasts to Phüsignathos (he who inflates his cheeks), the
lord of the frogs, that he does not fear the man, the point of whose
finger (akron daktülôn) he has bitten while he was asleep; whilst, on
the other hand, he has for his enemies the falcon (which we have
already, in the Hindoo story, seen let the mouse fall from its beak)
and the cat. The frog, who wishes to entertain the mouse, invites it
to get upon his back, to be carried to his royal mansion; at first the
mouse is amused with its ride, but when the frog makes it feel the icy
water, the poor mouse's heart begins to fail; finally, at the sight
of a serpent, the frog forgets its rider and runs away, throwing the
mouse head-over-heels into the water to be the prey of the serpent.
Then, before expiring, remembering that the gods have an avenging eye,
it threatens the frogs with the vengeance of the army of the mice. War
is prepared. The mice make themselves good boots with the shells of
beans; they cover their cuirasses of bulrushes with the skin of a
flayed cat; their shield is the centre knob of the lamps (lüchnôn to
mesomphalon, _i.e._, if I am not mistaken, a fragment of a little lamp
of terra-cotta, and, properly speaking, the lower and central part);
for a lance they have a needle, and for a helmet a nutshell. The gods
are present at the battle as neutrals,--Pallas having declared her
unwillingness to help the mice, because they stole the oil from the
lamps burning in her honour, and because they had gnawed her peplum,
and being equally indifferent to the frogs, because they had once
wakened her when returning from war, and when, being tired and weary,
she wished to rest. The battle is fiercely fought, and is about to
have an unfavourable result for the frogs, when Zeus takes pity upon
them; he lightens and hurls his thunderbolts. At last, seeing that the
mice do not desist, the gods send a host of crabs, who, biting the
tails, the hands, and the feet of the mice, force them to flee. This
is undoubtedly the representation of a mythical battle. The frogs, as
we shall see, are the clouds; the night meets the cloud; the mouse
fights with the frog. Zeus, the thunder-god, to put an end to the
struggle, thunders and lightens; at last the retrograde crab makes its
appearance; the combatants, frogs and mice, naturally disappear.

The mouse is never conceived otherwise than in connection with the
nocturnal darkness, and hence, by extending the myth, in connection
also with the darkness of winter, from which light and riches
subsequently come forth. In Sicily it is believed that when a child's
tooth is taken out, if it be hidden in a hole, the mouse will take it
away and bring a coin for the child in compensation. The mouse is
dark-coloured, but its teeth and fore-parts are white and luminous.
The mouse Hiraṇyakas, or the golden one, in the _Pańćatantram_, is the
black or grey mouse of night. It is the red squirrel that, in an
Æsopian fable, answers to the query of the fox why it sharpens its
teeth when it has nothing to eat, that it does so to be always
prepared against its enemies. In the _Edda_, the squirrel runs upon
the tree Yggdrasil, and sets the eagle and Nidhögg at discord.

The mole and the snail are of the same nature as the grey mouse. The
Hindoo word _âkhus_, or the mole (already spoken of as a demon killed
by Indras, in the _Ṛigvedas_[108]), properly signifies the excavator.

In the _Reineke Fuchs_ the mole appears as a gravedigger, as the
animal that heaves the earth up, and makes ditches underground; it is,
in fact, the most skilful of gravediggers, and its black colour and
supposed blindness are in perfect accordance with the funereal
character assigned to it by mythology. In an apologue of Laurentius,
the ass complains to the mole of having no horns, and the monkey of
having a short tail; the mole answers them--

                      "Quid potestis hanc meam
      Miseram intuentes cœcitatem, hæc conqueri?"

According to the Hellenic myth, Phineus became a mole because he had,
following the advice of his second wife, Idaia, allowed his two sons
by his first wife, Cleopatra, to be blinded, and also because he had
revealed the secret thoughts of Zeus.[109]

In Du Cange I find that even in the Middle Ages it was the custom on
Christmas Eve for children to meet with poles, having straw wrapped
round the ends, which they set fire to, and to go round the gardens,
near the trees, shouting--

      "Taupes et mulots
       Sortez de nos clos
       Sinon je vous brulerai la barbe et les os."

We find a similar invocation in the seventh story of the second book
of the _Pentamerone_. The beautiful girl goes to find maruzze, and
threatens the snail to make her mother cut off its horns--

      "Iesce, iesce, corna
       Ca mammata te scorna,
       Te scorna 'ncoppa l'astreco
       Che fa lo figlio mascolo."

In Piedmont, to induce the snail to put its horns out, children are
accustomed to sing to it--

      "Lümassa, lümassora,
       Tira fora i to corn,
       Dass no,[110] i vad dal barbé
       E it tje fass taié!"

Sicilian children terrify the snail by informing it that their mother
is coming to burn its horns with a candle--

      "Nesci li corna ch 'a mamma veni
       E t' adduma lu cannileri."

In Tuscany they threaten the white snail (la marinella), telling it to
thrust out its little horns to save itself from kicks and blows--

      "Chióćciola marinella,
       Tira fuori le tue cornella,
       E se tu non le tirerai
       Calci e pugni tu buscherai."

In Tuscany it is believed, moreover, that in the month of April the
snail makes love with the serpents, and is therefore venomous; hence
they sing--

      "Chi vuol presto morire
       Mangi la chiocciola d' aprile."[111]

The snail of popular superstition is demoniacal; hence it is also
invoked by children in Germany by the name of the funereal St

      "Kuckuck, kuckuck Gerderut
       Stäk dîne vêr Horns herut."[112]


[72] Vṛiddhasya ćid vardhato dyâm inakshataḥ stavâno vamro vi ǵaghâna
saṁdihaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 51, 9.

[73] Vamrîbhiḥ putram agruvo adânaṁ niveçanâd dhariva â ǵabhartha;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 19, 9.--Another variation is the hedgehog, which, as we
have seen in Chapter V., forces the viper out of its den.

[74] The dwarf-hermits, who transport a leaf upon a car, and are about
to be drowned in the water contained in the foot-print of a cow, and
who curse Indras, who passes smiling without assisting them, in the
legend of the _Mahâbhâratam_, are a variety of these same ants.--Cfr.
the chapters on the Elephant and on the Fishes, where we have Indras
who fears to be submerged.

[75] Fa cunto ca no le mancava lo latto de la formica; _Pentamerone_,
i. 8.

[76] _Biblion Istorikon_, xii. 404.--In the _Epist. Presb. Johannis_,
we find also:--"In quadam provincia nostra sunt formicæ in magnitudine
catulorum, habentes vii. pedes et alas iv. Istæ formicæ ab occasu
solis ad ortum morantur sub terra et fodiunt purissimum aurum tota
nocte--quærunt victum suum tota die. In nocte autem veniunt homines de
cunctis civitatibus ad colligendum ipsum aurum et imponunt
elephantibus. Quando formicæ sunt supra terram, nullus ibi audet
accedere propter crudelitatem et ferocitatem ipsarum."--Cfr. _infra._

[77] Of this expression a historical origin is given, referring it to
a Bolognese doctor of the twelfth century, named Grillo.--Cfr.
Fanfani, _Vocabolario dell 'uso Toscano, s. v._ "grillo."

[78] Here are the words of the song of this curious wedding, which I
heard sung at Santo Stefano di Calcinaia, near Florence:--

      "Grillo, mio grillo,
       Se tu vuoi moglie, dillo;
       Se tu n' la vuoi,
       Abbada a' fatti tuoi.

      "Povero grillo, 'n un campo di lino,
       La formicuccia gne ne chiese un filo.
       D'un filo solo, cosa ne vuoi tu fare?
       Grembi e camicie; mi vuo' maritare.
       Disse lo grillo:--Ti piglierò io.
       La formicuccia:--Son contenta anch' io.
                      Tinfillul., &c.

      "Povero grillo, 'n un campo di ceci;
       La formicuccia gne ne chiese dieci
       Di dieci soli, cosa ne vuoi tu fare?
       Quattro di stufa, e sei li vuo' girare.
                      Tinfillul., &c.

      "Povero grillo facea l'ortolano
       L'andava a spasso col ravanello in mano;
       Povero grillo, andava a Pontedera,
       Con le vilancie pesava la miseria.
                      Tinfillul., &c.

      "Povero grillo, l'andiede a Monteboni,
       Dalla miseria l'impegnò i calzoni;
       Povero grillo facea l'oste a Colle,
       L'andò fallito e bastonò la moglie.
                      Tinfillul., &c.

      "La formicuccia andò alla festa a il Porto,
       Ebbe la nova che il suo grillo era morto
       La formicuccia, quando seppe la nova
       La cascò in terra, stette svenuta un 'ora.
       La formicuccia si buttò su il letto,
       Con le calcagna si batteva il petto.
                      Tinfillul.," &c.

[79] Cfr. Zacher, _Pseudo-Callisthenes_, Halle, 1867.

[80] Pliny, _Hist. Nat._ xi. 31.

[81] Iyattikâ çakuntikâ sakâ ǵaghâsa te visham; _Ṛigv._ i. 191, 11.

[82] iv. 1.

[83] _De Quad. Dig. Viv._ ii.

[84] i. 49.

[85] ii. 22.

[86] The forgetfulness of the lynx, as well as of the cat, is
proverbial. St Jerome, in the Ep. ad Chrisog.--"Verum tu quod natura
lynces insitum habent, ne post tergum respicientes meminerint priorum,
et mens perdat quod oculi videre desierint, ita nostræ es
necessitudinis penitus oblitus." Thus of the lynx it is said by
Ælianos that it covers its urine with sand (like the cat), so that men
may not find it, for in seven days the precious stone lyncurion is
formed of this urine. The cat that sees by night, the lynx that sees
through opaque bodies, the fable of Lynkeus, who, according to Pliny,
saw in one day the first and the last moon in the sign of Aries, and
the lynx that, according to Apollonios, saw through the earth what was
going on in hell, recall to us the moon, the wise and all-seeing fairy
of the sky, and the infernal moon.

[87] Quoted by Benfey in the Einleitung to the _Pańćatantram_.

[88] v. 5421-5448.

[89] "Let no man, apprised of this law, present even water to a priest
who acts like a cat;" iv. 192, version of Jones and Graves' _Chamney
Haughton_, edited by Percival, Madras, 1863.--In a Russian story
quoted by Afanassieff in his observations to the first volume of his
stories, the cat Eustachio feigns itself penitent or monk in order to
eat the mouse when it passes. It being observed that the cat is too
fat for a penitent, it answers that it eats from the duty of
preserving its health.

[90] iii. 147, Stuttgart, Cotta, 1857.

[91] Translation by Ch. Potvin, Paris and Brussels, 1861.

[92] From the peasant-woman Uliva Selvi, who told it to me at
Antignano, near Leghorn.

[93] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 32, where a cat is bought by a virtuous
workman for the price of a kapeika (a small coin), the only price that
he had consented to take as a reward for his work; the same cat is
bought by the king for three vessels. With another kapeika, earned by
other work, the workman delivers the king's daughter from the devil,
and subsequently marries her.

[94] Cfr. analogous subjects in Chapter I., _e.g._, Emilius the lazy
and stupid youth, and the blind woman who recovers her sight.


      Huc quoque terrigenam venisse Typhœa narrat,
      Et se mentitis superos celasse figuris;
      Duxque gregis, dixit, fit Jupiter; unde recurvis
      Nunc quoque formatus Lybis est cum cornibus Ammon
      Delius in corvo, proles Semeleia capro
      Fele soror Phœbi, nivea Saturnia vacca,
      Pisce Venus latuit, Cyllenius ibidis alis.
                                     --v. 325-332.

[96] In the eighteenth story of the third book of _Afanassieff_ it is
in company with the lamb (in the nineteenth, with the he-goat) that
the cat terrifies the wolf and the bear.


      "Idiot kot na nagáh,
       V krasnih sapagáh;
       Nessiot sabliu na plessié;
       A paloćku pri bedrié,
       Hoćiet lissu parubít,
       Ieià dushu zagubít."

Puss-in-boots (le chat botté), helps the third brother in the tale of

[98] In Tuscany the previously mentioned story-teller, Uliva Selvi, at
Antignano, near Leghorn, narrated it to me as follows:--A mother has a
number of children and no money; a fairy tells her to go to the summit
of the mountain, where she will find many enchanted cats in a
beautiful palace, who give alms. The woman goes, and a kitten lets her
in; she sweeps the rooms, lights the fire, washes the dishes, draws
water, makes the beds, and bakes bread for the cats; at last she comes
before the king of the cats, who is seated with a crown on his head,
and asks for alms. The great cat rings the golden bell with a golden
chain, and calls the cats. He learns that the woman has treated them
well, and orders them to fill her apron with gold coins (rusponi). The
wicked sister of the poor woman also goes to visit the cats, but she
maltreats them, and returns home all scratched, and more dead than
alive from pain and terror.

[99] Cfr. Rochholtz, _Deutscher Glaube und Brauche_, i. 161.

[100] _Ib._--I find the same belief referred to in the twenty-first
Esthonian story of Kreutzwald.

[101] It is almost universally believed that when the cat cleans
itself behind its ears with its wet paw, it presages rain. And yet the
Latin proverb says--

      "Catus amat pisces, sed aquas intrare recusat;"

and the Hungarian proverb, that the cat does not die in water. It is
for this reason, perhaps, that it is said, in a watery autumn the cat
is worth little--("The cat of autumn and the woman of spring are not
worth much;" _Hung. prov._)

[102] Polier, _Mythologie des Indes_, ii. 571.

[103] Mûsho na çiçnâ vy adanti mâdhyaḥ stotâraṁ te çatakrato; _Ṛigv._
i. 105, 8.--The commentator now interprets _çiçnâ_ by _sutrâni_,
threads, and now calls the reader's attention to the legend of the
mice that lick their tails after plunging them into a vase full of
butter, or some other savoury substance; but here _vy adanti_ can only
mean, they lacerate by biting, as in the preceding strophe we have the
thought that tears by biting, as the wolf tears the thirsty wild beast
(mâ vyanti âdhyo na tṛishṇaǵam mṛigam).--The mouse in the jar of
provisions also occurs in the fable of the mouse and the two penitents
in the _Pańćatantram_, in the Hellenic fable of the son of Minos and
of Pasiphäe, who, pursuing a mouse, falls into a jar of honey, in
which he is suffocated, until recalled to life by a salutary herb.

[104] Den Mäusen pfeifen, heisst den Seelen ein Zeichen geben, um von
ihnen abgeholt zu werden; ebenso wie der Rattenfänger zu Hameln die
Lockpfeife bläst, auf deren Ton alle Mäuse und Kinder der Stadt mit ihm
in den Berg hineinziehen, der sich hinter ihnen zuschliesst. Mäuse sind
Seelen. Die Seele des auf der Jagd entschlafenen Königs Guntram kommt
schlängleinartig aus seinem Munde hervor, um so in einen nächsten Berg
und wieder zurückzulaufen. Der goethe'sche Faust weigert sich dem Tanz
mit dem hübschen Hexenmädchen am Blocksberg fortzusetzen:--

      "Den mitten im Gesange sprang
       Ein rothes Mäuschen ihr aus dem Munde."
           --Rochholtz, _Deut. Glaube u. Brauch_, i. 156, 157.

[105] i. 268.

[106] The mouse that passes over the yarn occurs again in German
tradition:--"Gertrudenbuchlein ab: Zwei Mäuschen nagen an einer
flachsumwundenen Spindel; eine Spinnerinn sitzt am St Gertrudentag,
noch in der Zeit der Zwölften, wo die Geister in Gestalt von Mäusen
erscheinen, darf gesponnen werden;" Rochholtz, _ut supra_, i. 158.

[107] Cfr. _Pentamerone_, iii. 5.--In the story, iv. 1, the grateful
mice assist Mineć Aniello to find the lost ring by gnawing the finger
on which the magician wears it.

[108] Alâyyasya paraçur nanâça tam â pavasya (pavasva according to
Aufrecht's text, and according to the commentator--cfr. Bollensen, Zur
Herstellung des Veda, in the _Orient und Occident_ of Benfey, ii. 484)
deva soma; âkhuṁ ćid eva deva soma; _Ṛigv._ ix. 67, 30.

[109] Cfr. the _Antigonê_ of Sophocles, v. 973, _et seq._

[110] This _dass no_ of the Piedmontese means "if not," and is
evidently of Germanic origin. The Piedmontese dialect has also taken
from the Germanic languages the final negative.--In Germany, children
sing to the snails--

                 "Schneckhûs, peckhûs,
                  Stäk dîn vêr hörner rût,
                  Süst schmît ick dî in'n graven
                  Da frêten dî de raven."
      --Cfr. Kuhn und Schwartz, _N. d. S. M. u. G._, p. 453.

[111] In _Rabelais_, i. 38, when Gargantua has eaten five pilgrims in
his salad, another still remains hidden under a leaf of lettuce. His
father says to him--"Je crois que c'est là une corne de limasson, ne le
mangez point. Pourquoy? dist Gargantua, ilz sont bons tout se moys."

[112] Simrock, _Handbuch der Deutschen Mythologie_, 2te Aufl., p. 516.




    The hare is the moon; _çaças_ and _çaçin_.--The hares at the lake
    of the moon; the king of the hares in the moon.--The hare and the
    elephant.--The hare and the lion.--The hare devours the western
    monster; the hare devours his mother the mare.--_Mortuo leoni
    lepores insultant_.--The hare and the eagle.--The hare that guards
    the cavern of the beasts.--The hare comes out on the 15th of the
    month and terrifies the wolf.--The hare transformed into the moon
    by Indras.--Ermine and beaver.--Hare's-foot.--Hare and moon
    fruitful.--Hare and moon that guide the hero.--_Somnus
    leporinus_.--The hare and the bear.--The hare and the nuptial
    procession.--The hare that contains a duck.--The girl riding upon
    the hare.

The mythical hare is undoubtedly the moon. In Sanskṛit, the _çaças_
means properly the leaping one, as well as the hare, the rabbit, and the
spots on the moon (the _saltans_), which suggest the figure of a hare.
Hence the names of _çaçin_, or furnished with hares, and of
_çaçadharas_, _çaçabhṛit_, or he who carries the hare given to the moon.
In the first story of the third book of the _Pańćatantram_, the hares
dwell upon the shore of the Lake Ćandrasaras, or lake of the moon; and
their king, Viǵayadattas (the funereal god, the god of death), has for
his palace the lunar disc. When the hare speaks to the king of the
elephants who crushed the hares (in the same way as we have seen the cow
do in Chapter I.), he speaks in the moon's name. The hare makes the
elephant believe that the moon is in anger against the elephants because
they crush the hares under their feet; then the elephant demands to see
the moon, and the hare conducts him to the lake of the moon, where he
shows him the moon in the water. Wishing to approach the moon and ask
forgiveness, the elephant thrusts his proboscis into the water; the
water is agitated, and the reflection of the moon is disturbed, and
multiplied a thousand-fold. The hare makes the elephant believe that the
moon is still more angry because he has disturbed the water; then the
king of the elephants begs for pardon, and goes far away with his
subjects; from that day the hares live tranquilly on the shores of the
moon-lake, and are no longer crushed under the ponderous feet of their
huge companions. The moon rules the night (and the winter), the sun
rules the day (and the summer). The moon is cold, the sun is hot. The
solar elephant, lion, or bull, goes down at even to drink at the river,
at the lake of the nocturnal moon; the hare warns the elephant that if
he does not retire, if he continues to crush the hares on the shores of
the lake, the moon will take back her cold beams, and then the elephants
will die of thirst and excessive heat. The other story of the
_Pańćatantram_ is a variety of the myth, which we mentioned in the
chapter of the dog, of the hare who conducts to his ruin the hungry lion
who wishes to eat her, by making him throw himself into a fountain or
well. This myth, which is analogous to that of the mouse as the enemy of
now the elephant, now the lion, and now the hawk, is already very
clearly indicated in the Vedic hymns. In the twenty-eighth hymn of the
tenth book of the _Ṛigvedas_, in which the fox comes to visit the
western lion (the sick lion[113]), in which we have the lion who falls
into the trap[114] (and whom the mouse insults in the evening, and
delivers in the morning by gnawing at the ropes which bind it: in the
Hellenic proverb it is the hare that draws the lion into the golden
net--"elkei lagôs lionta chrüsinô brochô," in the same way as in the
_Pańćatantram_, it allures him into the well), and in which the hare
devours the western monster[115] (a variety of the Hellenic tradition of
the hare brought forth by a mare, and which immediately thereafter
devours its mother)--in this hymn we find the germ of several fables of
animals of the same cycle. The inferior animal vanquishes the superior
one, and upon this peculiarity the whole hymn turns; for this reason,
too, in the same hymn, the dog or jackal (canis aureus) assails the wild
boar,[116] and the calf defeats the bull.[117] The hare occurs again as
the proverbial enemy of the lion (whence the Latin proverb, "Mortuo
leoni lepores insultant," or _saltant_; the moon jumps up when the sun
dies), in the last book of the _Râmâyaṇam_, where the great king of the
monkeys, Bâlin, regards the king of the monsters, Râvaṇas, as a lion
does a hare, or as the bird Garuḍasa serpent.[118]

In _Æsop_ we find the hare that laughs at its enemy, the dying eagle,
because the hunter killed it with an arrow furnished with eagle's
feathers. In another Æsopian fable, the rabbit avenges itself upon the
eagle which has eaten its young ones, by rooting up and throwing down
the tree upon which the eagle has its nest, so that the eaglets are

In the seventeenth Mongol story, the hare is the guardian of the
cavern of the wild beasts (or the moon, the mrigarâǵas and guardian of
the forest of night); in the same story an old woman (the old fairy or
old Madonna) is substituted for the hare. In the twenty-first Mongol
story, the hare sets out on a journey with the lamb, on the fifteenth
day of the month, when the moon comes forth, and defends the lamb from
the wolf of night, terrifying the latter by telling it that it has
received a writing from the god Indras, in which the hare is ordered
to bring to Indras a thousand wolves' skins.

In a Buddhist legend, the hare is transfigured by Indras into the
moon, because it had freely given him its flesh to eat, when,
disguised as a pilgrim, he came up begging for bread. The hare, having
nothing else to offer him, threw itself upon the fire, that Indras
might appease his hunger.[119]

In the _Avesta_ we find the ermine as the king of the animals, and the
beaver as the sacred and inviolable animal, in whose skin the pure
Ardvîçûra is invested (white and silvery as the white dawn, rosy and
golden as the aurora; unless Ardvîçûra, whose diadem is made of a
hundred stars, should also be interpreted as denoting the moon, which
is now silvery, and now fair and golden). Moreover, for the beaver to
represent the moon (the chaste Diana) is in perfect accordance with
the reputation it has as a eunuch (castor _a castrando_) in popular
superstition; whence the words of Cicero concerning beavers,[120] and
the verses of Juvenal--

                           "Imitatus castora qui se
      Eunuchum ipse facit cupiens evadere damnum
      Testiculorum, adeo medicatum intelliget unguen."[121]

In the twenty-first Esthonian story, a silly husband is called by the
name of Hare's-foot. In _Aldrovandi_, on the other hand, Philostratos
narrates the case of a woman who had miscarried seven times in the act
of child-birth, but who the eighth time brought forth a child, when
her husband unexpectedly drew a hare out of his bosom. Although the
moon is herself the timid and chaste goddess (or eunuch), she is, as
pluvial, the _fæcundatrix_, and famous as presiding over and
protecting child-birth; this is why, when the hare-moon, or Lucina,
assisted at parturition, it was sure to issue happily. The mythical
hare and the moon are constantly identified. It is on this account
that in _Pausanias_, the moon-goddess instructs the exiles who are
searching for a propitious place to found a city, to build it in a
myrtle-grove into which they should see a hare flee for refuge. The
moon is the watcher of the sky, that is to say, she sleeps with her
eyes open; so also does the hare, whence the _somnus leporinus_ became
a proverb. In the ninth Esthonian story, the thunder-god is compared
to the hare that sleeps with its eyes open; Indras, who transforms the
hare into the moon, has already been mentioned; Indras becomes a
eunuch in the form of sahasrâkshas, or of the thousand-eyed god (the
starry sky in the night, or the sun in this starry sky); the thousand
eyes become one, the _milloculus_ becomes _monoculus_, when the moon
shines in the evening sky; hence we say now the hundred eyes of Argos,
and now simply the eye of Argos--the eye of God.

In a Slavonic tale,[122] the hare laughs at the bear's cubs, and spits
upon them; the bear runs after the hare, and in the hunt is decoyed
into an intricate jungle, where it is caught. As the lion is unknown
in Russia, the bear is substituted for it; the Russian hare allures
the bear into the trap, as the Hindoo and Greek one causes the lion to
fall into it. This hare which does harm to the solar hero or animal of
evening is the same as that which, in the fiftieth story of the fifth
book of _Afanassieff_, and in Russian popular tradition, meeting the
nuptial car, bodes evil to the wedding, and is of evil omen to the
bride and bridegroom. The hare-moon, the chaste protectress of
marriages and births, the benefactress of mankind, must not meet the
car; if she opposes the wedding (perhaps at evening and in the
autumn), or if the hare is crushed or overtaken by the car (as the
proverb says), it is a bad presage, not only for the wedded couple,
but for all mankind; solar as well as lunar eclipses were always
considered sinister omens in popular superstition. In the Russian
popular tales we frequently find mention of the hare under a tree, or
on a rock in the midst of the sea, where there is a duck, which
contains an egg; the yoke of this egg (the solar disc) is a precious
stone; when it falls into the hands of the young hero, the monster
dies, and he is able to espouse the young princess.[123] The girl of
seven years of age, who, to solve in action the riddle proposed by
the Tzar, who offers to marry her, rides upon a hare, is a variety of
this myth. By the help of the moon, the sun and evening aurora arrive
at the region of the morning, find each other, and are married; the
moon is the mediatrix of the mythical nuptials; the hare which
represents it must therefore not only not oppose them, but help them
materially; at evening the moon separates the sun from the aurora; at
morning she unites them again.


[113] Lopâçaḥ siṅham pratyańćam atsâḥ; _Ṛigv._ x. 28, 4.

[114] Avaruddhaḥ paripadaṁ na sinhaḥ; x. 28, 10.

[115] Çaçah kshuram pratyańćam ǵagâra; x. 28, 9.

[116] Kroshṭâ varâhaṁ nir atakta kakshât; x. 28, 4.

[117] Vatso vṛishabhaṁ çûçuvânaḥ; x. 28, 9.

[118] Sinhaḥ çaçamivâlakshya garuḍo vâ bhuǵañgamam; _Râmây._ xxiii.

[119] Cfr. _Mémoires sur les Contrées Occidentales_, traduits du
Sanscrit par Hiouen Thsang, et du Chinois par St Julien, i. 375.

[120] Redimunt ea parte corporis, propter quam maxime expetuntur; _Pro
Æmilio Scauro_. It is said that when the beaver is pursued by hunters,
it tears off its testicles, as the most precious part for which
beavers are hunted, popular medical belief attributing marvellous
virtues to beavers' testicles.

[121] xii. 35.

[122] Cited by Afanassieff in the observations on the first volume of
the Russian stories.

[123] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, i. 14, ii. 24, v. 42.




    Luminous stag and black stag.--The Marutas drawn by antelopes, and
    dressed in antelopes' skins.--The stag, the gazelle, and the
    antelope as forms assumed or created by the demon to ruin several
    heroes whilst they hunt.--Marîćas.--Indras kills the mṛigas.--The
    solar hero or heroine transformed into a stag, a gazelle, or an
    antelope.--Aktaion.--Artemis and the stag.--The stags of the
    Yggdrasill.--The stag Eikthyrner.--The hind as a nurse.--The hind
    and the old woman on the 1st of January.--The hind and the snow;
    the white hind.

The stag represents the luminous forms that appear in the cloudy or
the nocturnal forest; these, therefore, are now lightning and
thunderbolts, now the cloud itself from which the lightning and
thunderbolts are discharged, now the moon in the gloom of night. The
mythical stag is nearly always either entirely luminous or else
spotted; when it is black it is of a diabolical nature, and represents
the whole sky of night. Sometimes the luminous stag is a form assumed
by the demon of the forest to compass the ruin of the hero.

The _Ṛigvedas_ represents to us the Marutas, or winds that lighten and
thunder in the clouds, as drawn by antelopes. The Marutas "are born
shining of themselves, with antelopes, with lances, amid
thunder-peals and flashes of lightning."[124] "They have yoked, with
a red yoke, the antelopes.[125] The young battalion of the Marutas
goes of itself, and has an antelope for its horse."[126] The horses of
the Marutas, which we already know to be antelopes, are called
winged,[127] and are said to have golden fore-feet.[128] The antelopes
of the Marutas are splendid.[129] Nor are the Marutas only carried by
antelopes; they also wear upon their shoulders antelopes' skins.[130]

But the antelope, the gazelle, and the stag generally, instead of
helping the hero, involve him rather in perplexity and peril. This
mythical subject is amplified in numerous Hindoo legends.

In the first scene of Kâlidâsas' _Çakuntalâ_, a black-spotted
(kṛishṇasâras) gazelle misleads King Dushyantas.

In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[131] King Parîkshit pursues a gazelle and
wounds it (as the god Çivas one day wounded the gazelle of the
sacrifice); he then follows its track, but the gazelle flees at sight
of him, inasmuch as it has taken the path of heaven in its primitive
(_i.e._, celestial) form. The king loses the track of his prey, and in
trying to find it again, brings death upon his head.

In the same _Mahâbhâratam_,[132] King Pandus dies at the moment when
he is uniting himself with his wife Mâdrî, because he had one day in
the chase transfixed a male gazelle at the instant when it was about
to have fruit of its union with a female gazelle.

In the _Vishṇu P._,[133] King Bharatas, who has abandoned his throne
to give himself up entirely to penitence, loses the fruit of his
ascetic life, by becoming passionately enamoured of a fawn.

In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[134] Marîćas, who is possessed by a demon,
becomes, by order of Râvaṇas, the king of the monsters, a golden stag
spotted with silver, having four golden horns adorned with pearls, and
a tongue as red as the sun, and tempts Râmas to pursue him in order to
procure his silver-spotted skin, for which Sîtâ has expressed a
desire, that she might lie down upon it and rest herself. In this way
the stag (here an equivalent of the hare) succeeds in separating Râmas
from Sîtâ. It then emits a lamentable cry, imitating the voice of
Râmas, so as to induce Lakshmaṇas, his brother, to come to his
assistance, and leave Sîtâ alone, that Râvaṇas may then be able to
carry her off with impunity. Lakshmaṇas leaves her unwillingly,
because, perceiving that the stag shines like the constellation of the
head of the stag (or gazelle, Mṛigaçiras), he suspects it to be an
apparition of Marîćas, who, as a stag, has already caused the ruin of
many other princes who have hunted him. The moon, in Sanskṛit, besides
the name of Çaçadharas, or who carries the hare, has also that of
Mṛigadharas, or who carries the gazelle (or stag). The solar hero
loses himself in the forest of night while pursuing the gazelle-moon.
A demoniacal gazelle seems to appear even in the _Ṛigvedas_, where
Indras fights and kills a monster called Mṛigas. In Germanic
tradition there are numerous legends in which the hero who hunts the
stag meets with his death or is dragged into hell.[135]

As the moon is a stag or gazelle, and comes after the sun, so it was
also sometimes imagined that the solar hero or heroine was transformed
into a stag or hind.

In the _Tuti-Name_,[136] a king goes to the chase, kills an antelope,
doffs the human form, and disguises himself as an antelope. This
mythical disguise can be understood in two ways. The evening sun
reflects its rays in the ocean of night, the sun-stag sees its horns
reflected in the fountain or lake of night, and admires them. At this
fountain sits a beautiful and bewitching siren, the moon; this fountain
is the dwelling of the moon; she allures the hero-stag that admires
itself in the fountain, and ruins it, or else the stag attracts the hero
to the fountain, where it causes him to meet with his death.[137] The
stag of the fable, after admiring itself in the fountain, is torn to
pieces by the dogs who overtake it in the forest because its horns
become entangled in the branches; the solar rays are enveloped in the
branches of the nocturnal forest. Aktaion, who, for having seen Artemis
(the moon) naked in the bath, is changed into a stag and torn by dogs,
is a variety of the same fable. In _Stesichoros_, quoted by Pausanias,
Artemis puts a stag's skin round Aktaion and incites the dogs to devour
him in order that he may not be able to wed the moon. Sun and moon are
brother and sister; the brother, wishing to seduce his sister, meets
with his death. A Lithuanian song describes the moon Menas (the Hindoo
Manu-s) as the unfaithful husband of the sun (who is a female), being
enamoured of Aushrine (the Vedic Usrâ, the morning aurora). The god
Perkuns, to avenge the sun, kills the moon. In a Servian song, the moon
reproaches his mistress or wife, the morning aurora, on account of her
absence. The aurora answers that she travels upon the heights of
Belgrade, that is, of the white or the luminous city, in the sky, upon
the lofty mountains.

The king in the _Tuti-Name_ who assumes the guise of an antelope,
appears to be a variety of the solar hero at the moment of the
approach of night, or of the ass that invests itself in the lion's
skin. But inasmuch as the Indian moon is Mṛigarâǵas, or king of the
wild animals, no less than the lion, inasmuch as the moon succeeds the
sun, one mṛigas another, one lion another, or one stag another, when
the solar hero or heroine enters into the night, he or she appears in
the form of a luminous stag or hind, no longer as the sun, but as the
moon, which, although luminous, penetrates into hell, and is in
relation with demons and itself demoniacal.

Artemis (the moon) is represented as a hunting goddess in the act of
wounding, with her left hand, an antelope between the horns. To this
goddess is also attributed the merit of having overtaken the stags
without the help of dogs, perhaps because, sometimes, she is herself a
dog, surprising the solar stag of evening. The four stags of Artemis
connect themselves in my mind with the four stags that stay round the
tree Yggdrasill in the _Edda_, and which come out of the river
Häeffing. The stag Eikthyrner which, eating the leaves of the tree
Lerad, causes all its waters to flow out, seems, on the other hand, to
refer to the sun as it merges and loses its rays in the cloud (the
solar stag is also referred to in the _Edda_).

Artemis, who substitutes a hind for Iphigeneia, who was to have been
sacrificed, seems to point to the moon-hind as taking the place of the
evening aurora. We also recognise the moon in the hind which, according
to Ælianos and Diodoros, nourished Telephos, son of Hêraklês (Hêraklês
in his fourth labour overtakes the stag with golden horns), who had been
exposed in the forest by the order of his grandfather; as well as in
that which, according to Justinus, fed with its milk in the forest the
nephew of the king of the Tartessians, and afterwards, according to the
"Lives of the Saints," the blessed Ægidius, the hermit who lived in the
forest. There are numerous mediæval legends which reproduce this
circumstance of the young hero abandoned in the forest and nourished now
by a goat, now by a hind, the same which afterwards serves as a guide to
the royal father in recovering the prince his son, or to the
prince-husband in recovering the abandoned princess his bride. It was
probably by some such reminiscence of the mythical nourishing hind that,
as I read in Du Cange,[138] silver images of stags (cervi argentei) were
placed in ancient Christian baptistries.

Among the customs of the primitive Christians condemned by St
Augustine, St Maximus of Turin, and other sacred writers, was that of
disguising one's self on the 1st of January as a hind or an old woman.
The old woman and the hind here evidently represent the witch or ugly
woman of winter; and inasmuch as the winter is, like the night, under
the moon's influence, the disguise of a hind was another way of
representing the moon. When the moon or the sun shines, the hind is
luminous and generally propitious, the wild goat is beneficent (the
wild goat, the deer, and the stag are the same in the myths; the same
word, _mṛigas_, serves in India to express the constellation of the
gazelle and that of the capricorn or wild goat), and hunts the wolves
away from the sleeping hero in the forest.[139] When the sky is dark,
the hind, from being luminous, has become black, and, as such, is the
most sinister of omens; sometimes, in the midst of the night or of the
winter, the beautiful luminous hind, or moon, or sun, disappears, and
the black monster of night or of winter remains alone. In the ninth
story of the _Pentamerone_, the Huorco (the rakshas or monster)
transforms himself into a beautiful hind to allure the young
Canneloro, who pursues it in the hope of securing it. But it decoys
him into the midst of the forest (of winter), where it causes so much
snow to fall, "che pareva che lo cielo cadesse" (the white hind into
which the witch transforms the beautiful maiden, in the story of
Madame d'Aulnoy, would seem to have the same meaning); then the hind
becomes a monster again in order to devour the hero. The period in
which the moon is hidden or on the wane, in which the night is dark,
was considered ill-omend by the ancient Hindoos, who held, on the
other hand, that the time of full moon, or at least of the crescent
moon, was propitious. Our country-people have preserved several
superstitions relative to a similar belief. In a Rutenian legend,
published by Novosielski, the evening star (Lithuanian, _vakerinne_;
Slavonic, _većernitza_, the evening aurora) prays its friend Lunus
(the moon is masculine in Slavonic as in Sanskṛit) to wait a little
before rising, that they may rise together, and adds, "We shall
illumine together sky and earth: the animals will be glad in the
fields, and the traveller will bless us on his way."


[124] Ye pṛishatîbhir ṛishtibhiḥ sâkaṁ vâçîbhir ańǵibhiḥ--aǵâyanta
svabhânavaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 37, 2.

[125] Upo ratheshu pṛishatîr ayugdhvam prashṭir vahati rohitaḥ; i. 39,

[126] Sa hi svasṛit pṛishadaçvo yuvâ gaṇaḥ: i. 87, 4.

[127] Â vidyunmadbhir marutaḥ svarkâi rathebhir yâtha ṛishṭimadbhir
açvaparnâiḥ; i. 88, 1.

[128] Açvâir hiraṇyapâṇibhiḥ; viii. 7, 27.

[129] Çubhe sammiçlâḥ pṛishatîr ayukshata; iii. 26, 4.

[130] Aṅseshu etâḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 166, 10.--Concerning the use of similar
skins for dress in India, cfr. the long and instructive note of
Professor Max Müller, _Ṛigveda-Sanhita Translated and Explained_, i.

[131] i. 1665.

[132] i. 3811, _et seq._; i. 4585, _et seq._

[133] ii. 13, translated by Wilson.

[134] iii. 40, 48, 49.

[135] Cfr. Simrock, the work quoted before, p. 354.

[136] ii. 258, Rosen's version.

[137] Oft führt der Hirsch nur zu einer schönen Frau am Brunnen; sie
ist aber der Unterwelt verwandt und die Verbindung mit ihr an die
Bedingung geknüpft, dass die ungleiche Natur des Verbundenen nicht an
den Tag gezogen werde.

[138] Du Cange adds: "Quoad baptismam, quomodo cervus ad fontes
aquarum, summo desiderium perveniendum esse monstraretur."

[139] Cfr. Porchat, _Contes Merveilleux_, xiii.




    The myth of the elephant is entirely Indian.--The Marutas as
    elephants; Indras as an elephant.--The elephant ridden by Indras
    and Agnis.--The four elephants that support the world.--Âiravanas
    and Âiravatas.--The elephant becomes diabolical.--Nâgas and nagas;
    çṛiñgṁ.--The monkeys fight against the elephants.--The elephant in
    the marsh.--The elephant and the tortoise; war between them.--The
    eagle, the elephant, and the tortoise.--The bird, the fly, and the
    frog lure the elephant to his death.--Hermit dwarfs.--Indras and
    his elephant fall together.

The whole mythical history of the elephant is confined to India. The
strength of his proboscis and tusks, his extraordinary size, the ease
with which he carries heavy burdens, his great fecundity in the season
of loves, all contributed to his mythical importance, and to his fame
as a great ravager of the celestial gloomy or cloudy forest, as an
Atlas, a supporter of worlds, and the steed of the pluvial god.

The elephant has a place even in the Vedic heavens.

The Marutas, drawn by antelopes, are compared to wild elephants that
level forests;[140] the horns of the antelopes, the tusks of the wild
boar, the trunk and tusks of the elephant, are of equivalent
significance, and are seen in the solar rays, in lightnings and
thunderbolts. The pluvial and thundering god Indras is compared to a
wild elephant that expends his strength[141]--to a wild elephant that,
in the season of loves, is, on all hands, in a constant state of
feverish agitation.[142] The god Agnis is invoked to come forth like a
formidable king upon an elephant.[143]

The elephant generally represents the sun as it shuts itself up in the
cloud or the darkness, or comes out of it, shooting forth rays of
light or flashes of lightning (which were also supposed to be caused
by the friction on the axle of the wheel of the sun's chariot). The
sun, in the four seasons, visits the four quarters of the earth, east
and west, south and north; hence, perhaps, the Hindoo conception of
four elephants that support the four corners of the earth.[144]
Indras, the pluvial god, rides upon an enormous elephant, Âiravatas or
Âiravaṇas, the cloud or darkness itself, with its luminous eruptions;
âiravatam and âiravatî are also appellations of the lightning. The
elephant Âiravaṇas or Âiravatas is one of the first of the progeny of
the heavens, begotten of the agitation of the celestial ocean.

It plays a prominent part in the battles of Indras against the monsters;
hence Râvaṇas, the monster king of Lañkâ, still bears the scars of the
wounds given him by the elephant Airavatas, in the war between the gods
and the demons,[145] although this same Râvaṇas boasts of having one day
defeated Indras, who rode upon the elephant Âiravaṇas.[146]

But the mythical elephant did not always preserve the character of an
animal beloved of the gods; after other animals were admitted into
special favour, it too assumed, in time, a monstrous aspect. The sun
hides itself in the cloud, in the cloudy or nocturnal mountain, in the
ocean of night, in the autumn or the snowy winter. Hence we have the
white elephant (Dhavalas), the malignant killer of wise men (ṛishayas,
the solar rays); the wind, father of Hanumant, in the form of a
monkey, lacerates him with his claws, and tears out his tusks; the
elephant falls like a mountain[147] (the mountain of snow, or white
cloud, dissolve themselves; this white elephant and the white
mountain, or Dhavalagiris, are the same; the equivoque easily arose
between nâgas, elephant, and nagas, mountain and tree; the word
_cṛiñgin_, properly horned, means tree, mountain, and elephant; the
wind breaks through and disperses the cloud, and pushes forward the
avalanches of snow). Thus it is said that the monkey Sannâdanas was
one day victorious over the elephant Âiravatas.[148] (The northern
path of the moon is called âiravatapathâ.)

We have already seen the elephant that crushes the hares under his
feet on the shores of the moon-lake, and disturbs with his trunk the
waters of this lake. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[149] Bharatas considers it as
of a sinister omen his having dreamed of a great elephant fallen into
marshy ground. The sun plunges into the ocean of night, and of the
autumnal rains.

The elephant near or in the waters is mythically equivalent to the
lunar and solar tortoise that dwells on the shores of the lake and
sea, or at the bottom of the sea. In the Hindoo cosmogony, it is now
the elephant and now the tortoise that supports the weight of the
world. For this reason there is rivalry between these two mythical
animals. . Therefore the eagle, or king of birds, or the bird
Garuḍas, the solar bird, is represented as a mortal enemy now of the
serpent, now of the elephant (the word _nâgas_ means equally serpent
and elephant; Âiravatas is also the name of a monstrous serpent), and
now of the tortoise. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[150] the bird Garuḍas carries
into the air an elephant and a tortoise (the relative occidental
fables are evidently of Hindoo origin), in order to eat them. The same
legend is developed in the _Mahâbhâratam_,[151] where two brothers
dispute with each other about the division of their goods, each curses
the other, and they become, the one a colossal elephant, and the other
a colossal tortoise, and, as such, continue to fight fiercely against
each other in a lake, until the gigantic bird Garuḍas (the new sun),
takes them both and carries them to the summit of a mountain.

In the fifteenth story of the first book of the _Pańćatantram_, we
find birds represented as enemies of the elephant, on account of the
ravages it commits, where the bird, the fly, and the frog work the
ruin of the elephant; the fly enters into one of the elephant's ears;
the bird pecks at its eyes, and blinds it; the frog croaks on the
banks of a deep pool; the elephant, impelled by thirst, comes to the
pool and is drowned.

The Vedic elephant has a divine nature, being connected with the pluvial
Indras; but when Indras fell, to give place to Brahman, Vishṇus, and
Çivas, his elephant was also fated to become the prey of the bird of
Vishṇus, of the bird Garuḍas (or the sun). In the fable of the
_Pańćatantram_ quoted above, the elephant brings upon its head the
vengeance of the sparrow, because it had rooted up a tree upon which the
sparrow had made its nest and laid its eggs, which were broken in
consequence. The Vishṇuitic legend of the _Mahâbhâratam_ relating to the
bird Garuḍas, which carries the elephant into the air, offers several
other analogous and interesting particulars. The bird Garuḍas flies away
with the elephant and the tortoise; on the way, being tired, it rests
upon the huge bough of a tree; the bough breaks under the enormous
weight. From this bough are suspended, with their heads down, in
penitence, several dwarf hermits, born of the hairs of Brahman; then the
bird Garuḍas takes in its beak the whole bough, with the little hermits,
and carries them up in the air till they succeed in escaping. These
hermit dwarfs upon the branch (who remind us of the ants), had one day
cursed Indras. Kaçyapas Praǵâpatis, wishing one day to make a sacrifice
in order to obtain the favour of a son, orders the gods to provide him
with wood. Indras, like the four elephants who support the world, places
upon his shoulders a whole mountain of wood. Laden with this weight, he
meets on the way the hermit dwarfs, who were carrying a leaf in a car,
and were in danger of being drowned in a pool of water, the size of the
foot-print of a cow. Indras, instead of coming to their assistance,
smiles and passes by; the hermit dwarfs, in indignation, pray for the
birth of a new Indras; on this account the Indras of birds was born--the
bird of Garuḍas, the steed of Vishṇus, which naturally makes war against
the steed of Indras, the elephant.


[140] Mṛigâ iva hastinaḥ khâdathâ vanâ yad ârunîshu tavishîr
ayugdhvam; _Ṛigv._ i. 64, 7.

[141] Mṛigo na hastî tavishîm ushâṇaḥ; _Ṛigv._ iv. 16, 14.

[142] Dânâ mṛigo na vâraṇaḥ purutrâ ćarathaṁ dadhe; _Ṛigv._ viii. 33, 8.

[143] Yâhi râǵevâmavân ibhena; _Ṛigv._ iv. 4, 1.

[144] _Râmây._ i. 42.

[145] iii. 36.

[146] iii. 47.

[147] _Râmây._ v. 3

[148] vi. 3.

[149] ii. 71.

[150] iii. 39.

[151] i. 1353, _seq._




    Monkey and bear are already associated together in India; Ǵambavant
    is a great monkey and the king of the bears.--Haris, kapis, kapilâ,
    kapidhvaǵas; ṛikshas, arkas, ursus, arktos, rakshas; the Great Bear;
    ṛishayas, harayas.--The Marutas as rivals of Indras; Vishṇus as
    Indras' rival; the monkeys allied to Vishṇus; the Vedic monster
    monkey killed by Indras; Haris or Vishṇus.--Harî mother of monkeys
    and horses.--Bâlin, king of the monkeys, son of Indras, defeated by
    his brother Sugrîvas, son of the sun.--Hanumant in opposition to
    Indras; Hanumant son of the wind; Hanumant as the brother of
    Sugrîvas; Hanumant is the strong brother or companion.--Hanumant
    flies; he presses the mountain and makes the waters come out of it;
    he draws the clouds after himself.--The epic monkeys and the
    Marutas.--The monkey and the water.--The monkeys and the salutary
    herbs.--The sea-monster draws to itself the shadow of Hanumant and
    swallows him; Hanumant comes out of the monster's body safe and
    sound; the mountain Hiraṇyanabhas.--Hanumant makes himself as small
    as a cat in order to search for Sîtâ; Hanumant proves his power to
    Sîtâ by making himself as large as a cloud or a mountain; he
    massacres the monsters with a pillar; Dadhyańć, Hanumant, Samson;
    Hanumant bound; he sets fire to Lañkâ with his tail.--The monkey
    sacrificed to cure the burns of horses.--Sîtâ has a weakness for
    Hanumant.--Dvividas a monster monkey.--The monkey destroys the
    sparrow's nest.--The monkey draws a king into the jaws of an aquatic
    monster.--The demoniacal monkey; monkey and fox.--The monkey
    deceiver.--Sinister omens of the monkey.--The monkey envies the
    fox's tail.--The stupid monkey.--The bear of the Marutas.--Triçañkus
    with the skin of a bear; the seven ṛishayas.--Ṛiksharâǵas; the moon
    as a reputed father.--Bears and monkeys in the forest of honey;
    Balarâmas; medvjed; the bear and the honey; Italian proverbs; the
    bear and the peasant; the deceived bear; the vengeance of the bear;
    the bear in the sack; the demoniacal bear; the bear and the fox; the
    monkey and the woodcutter; the bear and the trunk of a tree; the
    peasant and the gentleman; the death of the athlete Milôn; the bear
    entangled in the waggon that had fallen into the cistern.--The king
    bear, monster of the fountain; sons sacrificed to the bear by their
    father; the young men flee from the bear; the sleep of the
    bear.--The bear's cub.--The bear and women.--The hero-bear; the
    heroine she-bear.--The virgin she-bears.--Ursula, ṛikshikâ.--Ivanko
    Medviedko.--Kalistos.--The bear as a musician.--The quartette of
    animals.--Bear and monkey.--Bear and ass.--The monkey as a
    messenger, an intermediate form.

I here unite under one heading two animals of very diverse nature and
race, but which, from some gross resemblances, probably helped by an
equivoque in the language, are closely affiliated in the Hindoo myth.
I say Hindoo in particular, because the monkey, which is so common in
India, was long unknown to many of the Indo-European nations in their
scattered abodes, so that if they had some dim reminiscence of it as
connected with that part of Asia where the Âryan mythology took its
rise, they soon forgot it when they no longer had under their eyes the
animal itself which had suggested the primitive mythical form. But as
they held tenaciously by the substance of the myth, they by and by
substituted for the original mythical animal, called monkey, in the
south the ass, and in the north often the bear. Even in India, where
the pre-eminent quality of the monkey was cunning, we already find
monkeys and bears associated together. A reddish colour of the skin,
want of symmetry and ungainliness of form, strength in hugging with
the fore paws or arms, the faculty of climbing, shortness of tail,
sensuality, capacity for instruction in dancing and in music, are all
characteristics which more or less distinguish and meet in bears as
well as in monkeys.

In the _Râmâyaṇam_, the wise Gâmbavant, the Odysseus of the expedition
of Lañkâ, is called now king of the bears (ṛikshapârthivaḥ),[152] now
great monkey (mahâkapiḥ).[153]

The word _haris_ means fair, golden, reddish, sun, and monkey; the word
_kapis_ (probably, the changeful one) means monkey and sun. In Sanskṛit,
the _vidyut_ or thunderbolt, the reddish thunderbolt, of the colour of a
monkey, is also called _kapilâ_. Arǵunas, the son of Indras, has for
insignia the sun or a monkey, whence his name of Kapidhvaǵas.

Professor Kuhn also supposes that the word _ṛikshas_, which means bear
and star, is derived from the root _arć_ in the sense of to shine
(_arkas_ is the sun), on account of the reddish colour of the bear's
skin.[154] But _ṛikshas_ (like ursus and arktos) may also be derived
from _rakshas_, the monster (perhaps as a keeper back, a constrictor,
arctor); so that the very word which names it supplies the point of
transition from the idea of the divine bear to that of the monster bear.

In the _Ṛigvedas_, the Marutas are represented as the most powerful
assistants of Indras; but a Vedic hymn already shows them in the light
of Indras' rivals. The god Vishṇus in the _Ṛigvedas_ is usually a
sympathetic form of Indras; but in some hymns he already appears as his
antagonist. In the preceding chapter we spoke of the Vishṇuitic bird, of
the wind, father of Hanumant, and of a monkey, as enemies of Indras'
elephant. In Hindoo epic tradition, Vishṇus, personified in Râmas, has
the monkeys for his allies. The most luminous and effulgent form of the
god is very distinct from his occult and mysterious appearances.
Vishṇus, the sun, the solar rays, the moon and the winds that lighten,
are an army of golden monkeys to fight the monster. For the same reason
the monkey, on the contrary, has in the _Ṛigvedas_ a monstrous form;
that which was diabolical becomes divine in the lapse of time, and
similarly that which was divine, diabolical. In the eighty-sixth hymn of
the tenth book of the _Ṛigvedas_, Vishṇus, personified in Kapis
(monkey), or Vṛishâkapis (monkey that pours out, pluvial monkey), comes
to destroy the sacrificial offerings loved by Indras. Indras, being
superior to all, cuts off his head, as he wishes not to be indulgent to
an evil-doer.[155] This monkey is probably the pluvial, reddish
lightning cloud carried by the wind, which Indras pierces through with
his thunderbolt, although these same lightning and thundering clouds,
carried by the winds or Marutas (_i.e._, the Marutas themselves), are
usually represented in the _Ṛigvedas_ as assisting the supreme deity. A
difference having arisen between Vishṇus and Indras, and between the
Marutas and Indras, the Marutas took Vishṇus' part, and became monkeys
like Vishṇus,--the word _haris_, which is a favourite name of Vishṇus
(now moon, now sun), meaning also monkey. Vishṇus surrounds himself with
fair, reddish, or golden monkeys, or with harayas (solar rays or
lightning, thunder-striking and thundering clouds), in the same way as
the Vedic Indras was drawn by harayas. Râmas _kapirathas_ is simply an
incarnation of Vishṇus, who usurps the rights of Indras, which last, as
we have seen, had lent his harayas to Vishṇus, in order that he might
take his three famous steps. Evidently Vishṇus forgot to return the
fair-haired ones to his friend; hence from this time the strength of
Indras passes almost entirely into Vishṇus, who, in the form of Râmas,
helped by the harayas or red-haired ones, _i.e._, by the monkeys, moves
across the Dekhan (a region densely inhabited by monkeys) to the
conquest of the isle of Lañkâ. The _Mahâbhâratam_ informs us that
monkeys and horses had Harî for their mother.[156] The splendid Marutas
form the army of Indras, the red-haired monkeys and bears that of Râmas;
and the mythical and solar nature of the monkeys and bears of the
_Râmâyaṇam_ manifests itself several times. The king of the monkeys is a
sun-god. The ancient king was named Bâlin, and was the son of Indras
(Çakrasûnus). His young brother, Sugrîvas, he who changes his shape at
pleasure (kâmarûpas), who, helped by Râmas, usurped his throne, is said
to be own child of the sun (bhâskarasyâurasaḥ putraḥsûryanandanah).[157]
Here it is evident that the Vedic antagonism between Indras and Vishṇus
is reproduced in a zoological and entirely apish form. The old Zeus must
give way to the new, the moon to the sun, the evening to the morning
sun, the sun of winter to that of spring; the young sun betrays and
overthrows the old one. We have already seen that the legend of the two
brothers, Bâlin and Sugrîvas, is one of the forms which the myth of the
Açvinâu assumes. Râmas, who treacherously kills the old king of the
monkeys, Bâlin, is the equivalent of Vishṇus, who hurls his predecessor,
Indras, from his throne; and Sugrîvas, the new king of the monkeys,
resembles Indras when he promises to find the ravished Sîtâ, in the same
way as Vishṇus, in one of his incarnations, finds again the lost Vedâs.
And there are other indications in the _Râmâyaṇam_[158] of opposition
between Indras and the monkeys who assist Râmas. The great monkey
Hanumant, of the reddish colour of gold (hemapiñgalah), has his jaw
broken, Indras having struck him with his thunderbolt, and caused him to
fall upon a mountain, because, while yet a child, he threw himself off a
mountain into the air in order to arrest the course of the sun, whose
rays had no effect upon him.[159] (The cloud rises from the mountain and
hides the sun, which is unable of itself to disperse it; the tempest
comes, and brings flashes of lightning and thunderbolts, which tear the
cloud in pieces.)

The whole legend of the monkey Hanumant represents the sun entering
into the cloud or darkness, and coming out of it. His father is said
to be now the wind, now the elephant of the monkeys[160]
(kapikuńǵaras), now keçarin, the long-haired sun, the sun with a mane,
the lion sun (whence his name of _keçariṇaḥ putraḥ_). From this point
of view, Hanumant would seem to be the brother of Sugrîvas, who is
also the offspring of the sun, the strong brother in the legend of the
two brothers connected with that of the three; that is to say, we
should have now Bâlin, Hanumant, and Sugrîvas brothers, now Râmas,
Hanumant, and Lakshamaṇas. The strong brother is between the other
two; the sun in the cloud, in the darkness or in the winter, is placed
between the evening sun and that of morning, or between the dying sun
of autumn and the new one of spring.

Hanumant flies (like the ass); his powers of flight are seated in his
sides and his hips, which serve him for wings. Hanumant ascends to the
summit of Mount Mahendras, in order to throw himself into the air;
whilst he presses the mountain (a real vrishâkapis), he makes the
waters gush out of it; when he moves, the trees of the mountain-forest
are torn up by their roots, and follow him in the current made by him
as he cuts his way through the air (here we meet once more with the
mythical forest, the mythical tree that moves of itself like a cloud).
The wind in his armpits roars like a cloud (ǵîmûta iva garǵati), and
the shadow that he leaves behind him in the air resembles a line of
clouds (megharâǵîva vâyuputrânugâminî);[161] he draws the clouds after
him.[162] Thus all the epic monkeys of the _Râmâyaṇam_ are described
in the twentieth canto of the first book by expressions which very
closely resemble those applied in the Vedic hymns to the Marutas, as
swift as the tempestuous wind (vâyuvegasamâs), changing their shape at
pleasure (kâmarûpiṇas), making a noise like clouds, sounding like
thunder, battling, hurling mountain-peaks, shaking great uprooted
trees, armed with claws and teeth, shaking the mountains, uprooting
trees, stirring up the deep waters, crushing the earth with their
arms, lifting themselves into the air, making the clouds fall. Thus
Bâlin, the king of the monkeys, comes out of the cavern, as the sun
out of the cloud (toyadâdiva bhâskaraḥ).[163]

In the same way as we have seen the harayas, or horses of Indras, the
gandharvâs, and the mythical ass in connection with the salutary waters,
with the herbs, and with the perfumes, so in the _Râmâyaṇam_ it is the
monkeys that carry the herbs and the salutary roots of the mountain,
that is, of the cloud-mountain or of the mountain of perfumes.

The cloud in which the sun Hanumant travels through the air throws a
shadow upon the sea; a sea-monster perceives this shadow, and by it
attracts Hanumant to himself. (We have already seen the fearless hero
who is misled by his own shadow and lost.) Hanumant is kâmarûpas, like
Sugrîvas, and like all the other monkeys, his companions. When he sees
that the monster is about to swallow him, he distends and expands his
figure out of all measure; the ogress assumes the same gigantic
proportions; when she does so, Hanumant (repeating the miracle of his
type Haris, or the dwarf Vishṇus), becomes as small as a man's thumb,
enters into the vast body of the monster, and comes out on the other
side. Hanumant continues to fly across the ocean, in order to arrive
at the island of Lañkâ. The ocean takes pity upon him, and, to help
him, raises up Mount Hiraṇyanabhas, _i.e._, of the golden navel, the
mountain whence the sun comes out; indeed, Hanumant says[164] that he
struck the mountain with his tail, and broke its summit, that shone
like the sun, in order to rest upon it. Hanumant then recommences his
flight, and finds a new obstacle in the marine monster Siṅhikâ (the
mother of Râhus, the eclipse with a serpent's tail, which devours now
the sun, now the moon). She also draws to herself the shadow of
Hanumant; Hanumant, resorting once more to his former stratagem,
becomes small, and enters into her body; but he is no sooner inside
than he increases in bulk, swells out, tears her, kills her, and
escapes, a feat for which he receives the homage of the birds, who
will thenceforth be able to cross the ocean with impunity.[165] When
he arrives in Lañkâ, Hanumant, that he may search for and find Sîtâ by
moonlight, becomes as small as a cat (vṛishadaṅçapramâṇas); when he
finds her, and offers to carry her away from Lañkâ, she cannot believe
that so small an animal is able to accomplish so great an enterprise;
then Hanumant makes himself as tall as a black cloud, as a high
mountain; he breaks down the whole forest of açokâs, mounts upon a
temple that stands on a thousand columns, claps his hands, and fills
all Lañkâ with the din; he tears from the temple a pillar adorned with
gold, and, swinging it around, devotes the monsters to wholesale
slaughter.[166] The mythical monkey and the mythical ass resemble each
other; hence the analogy between the legend of Dadhyańć (quoted in the
second chapter), that of Samson, and that of Hanumant. But the legend
of the monkey Hanumant presents another curious resemblance to that
of Samson. Hanumant is bound with cords by Indraǵit, son of
Ravaṇas;[167] he could easily free himself, but does not wish to do
so. Ravaṇas, to put him to shame, orders his tail to be burned,
because the tail is the part most prized by monkeys (kapînâṁ kila
lâñgulam ishṭam, whence the fable of the monkey who complains of
having no tail). Hanumant's tail is greased and set on fire, and
himself thereafter marched in this plight ignominiously through the
streets of Lañkâ. But Sîtâ having invoked the favour of the god Agnis,
the fire, though it plays round the tail of Hanumant, does not burn
it, and Hanumant by this means is able to avenge himself for the
insult, by setting fire to and burning to ashes the city of
Lañka.[168] (The tail of Hanumant, which sets fire to the city of the
monsters, is probably a personification of the rays of the morning or
spring sun, which sets fire to the eastern heavens, and destroys the
abode of the nocturnal or winter monsters.) The enterprise of the
Marutas in the _Ṛigvedas_, and that of the monkey Hanumant in the
_Râmâyaṇam_, assume such dimensions that they obscure the fame of both
Indras and Râmas; the former without the Marutas, the latter without
Hanumant, would be unable to defeat the monsters. Sîtâ perceives this
so clearly, that, at the end of the poem, she makes Hanumant such a
present that Râmas might well become jealous. Hanumant, however, is an
honest and pious cavalier; it suffices him to have defended justice
in the service of his master, nor does he ask to be recompensed for
the hard achievement that he has accomplished. For the rest, a popular
Hindoo sentence says that monkeys are not accustomed to weep for
themselves;[169] they weep (rodanti) for others. The same is true of
the Rudrâs, or winds, that weep in the cloud; they do not lament for
themselves; their tears fall upon the ground in beneficent rain that
fertilises our fields and tempers the heat of our summers;
nevertheless, they themselves afterwards feel, as solar rays, the
benefit of weeping, that is, of rain. In the _Râmâyaṇam_, monkeys who
die in battle are resuscitated by rain; when the cloud dissolves
itself in rain, the fair-haired, the golden ones, the harayas, the
sunbeams or monkeys, show themselves again in all their vigour.

We have seen thus far the cloud-monkey, from which the sun emerges, and
into which he re-enters. But we have already said more than once that
the sun often assumes a monstrous form, when enclosed in the cloud or
the darkness. It is thus we explain the divine hero Balarâmas, who, in
the _Vishṇu P._,[170] destroys the demon Dvividas, who had taken the
form of a monkey. In the eighteenth story of the first book of the
_Pańćatantram_, a monkey, whilst the wind blows and the rain falls,
shakes a tree upon which a sparrow has made its nest, and breaks the
eggs in pieces. In the tenth story of the fifth book, the king of the
monkeys, by means of a crown of pearls, attracts a king of men who had
killed monkeys to cure his horses (to which the fire had been
communicated by the wool of a ram which the cook had chased away from
the kitchen with a burning brand) to a fountain guarded by a monster
who devours the king and his suite. In the eleventh story of the same
book, a monkey upon a tree is the friend of one of the two crepuscular
monsters, and this monster invites it to eat the man; the man, however,
retaliates, and fiercely bites its long tail; the monkey then believes
this man to be stronger than the monster, and the latter believes the
man who holds the monkey by the tail with his teeth to be the monster of
the other twilight, _i.e._, the morning twilight. Here the monkey is
confounded with the fox, which is a mythical animal of a specially
crepuscular nature, and which also comes to ruin on account of its tail.
The reader has already observed how the incendiary monkey-tail of
Hanumant corresponds to the tails of the foxes in the legend of Samson.
The Hellenic and Latin proverbs generally regard the monkey as a very
cunning animal, so much so that Hercules and the monkey represented the
combination of strength and deceit. According to Cardano, a monkey seen
in dreams is a presage of deceit. According to Lucian, it was an augury
of an unlucky day to meet with a monkey in the early morning. The
Spartans considered it an omen of most sinister import that the monkey
of the king of the Molossians had upset their urn while they were going
to consult the oracle. According to Suetonius, when Nero thought he saw
his horse flee, having the shape of a monkey in his hind parts, he
believed it to prognosticate death. The monkey, accordingly, was usually
conceived of in Greece and at Rome as a cunning and demoniacal animal.
The hero in the cloud, in the dark, or in hell, on the other hand,
learns wisdom; and just as before this he is only a poor fool, so the
monkey, too, is also sometimes represented in the ancient fables of
Southern Europe as an animal full of simplicity. In Italy we have a
proverb which says that every monkey thinks her young ones beautiful;
this refers to the apologue of the monkey that believes her young ones
to be the most beautiful animals in the world, because Jove, seeing them
one day leaping about, could not refrain from laughing. The fox, in an
epigram, laughs at the monkey who craves from him the half of his tail,
on the plea that it would disencumber himself of just so much useless
appendage, and supply his suitor with the very covering required to
protect his all too naked buttocks:--

      "Malo verrat humum quam sit tibi causa decoris,
       Quam tegat immundas res bene munda nates."

In India the analogy between the monkey and the ass, as a stupid
animal, is of still more frequent occurrence. In the _Pańćatantram_ we
have the monkeys who try to warm themselves by the light of the
glowworm; a monkey presuming to correct the handiwork of a carpenter,
meets with its death by putting its hands into the cleft of a tree
trunk, and heedlessly withdrawing the wedge that caused it. In the
_Tuti-Name_,[171] we find a variety of the story of the ass and the
lyre, _i.e._, the wise Sâz-Perdâz, who learns from the monkey,
assisted by the wind, the way to form musical instruments. (The
thundering cloud is the mythical musical instrument _par excellence_;
it is the wind that moves it, it is the wind that makes it sound: the
hero in the cloud, gandharvas, ass or monkey, is a musician.)

The strong, powerful, and terrible bear of the Marutas,[172] or winds,
in the stormy, lightning and thundering cloud, is already mentioned in
the Vedic hymn. So the constellation of the she-bear[173] seems also
to be referred to in them. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[174] we find in
connection with it the legend of King Triçañkus, who, cursed by the
sons of Vasishṭhas, becomes a ćandalas, covered with the skin of a
bear (ṛikshaćarmanivâsî). Viçvâmitras, the rival of Vasishṭhas,
promises to introduce it into heaven, under cover of his own body; but
Indras scorns to admit it, and indignantly spurns it, hurling it down
heels over head. Viçvâmitras arrests it in its descent as it falls
with its head downmost, within the constellation of the seven ṛishayas
or wise men, that is to say, in the constellation of the Great Bear.
And as the bear is in relation with the polar constellation, with the
north, the frigid regions, the winter and the stars, so the moon, who
rules particularly over the cold night in the icy season, is called in
Sanskṛit _ṛiksharâǵas_ and _ṛiksheças_, or king of the luminous ones,
king of the stars, king of the bears. The king of the bears also takes
part in the expedition to Lañka. The king of the bears (here in
relation to the moon) is the eunuch, the reputed, father, the St
Joseph, of the king of the monkeys, Sugrîvas, who was, on the
contrary, really generated in the bosom of the wife of the bear-king,
by the magnanimous sun.[175] Led on by the bear or monkey Gâmbavant,
the king of the bears (ṛikshapârthivas), the monkeys enter into the
forest of the honey (madhuvanam), guarded by the monkey Dadhimukhas
(mouth of butter, generated by Somas, the ambrosial god Lunus),[176]
and devastate and ransack the forest in order to suck its honey.[177]
In the _Vishṇu P._,[178] even Balarâmas, brother of the god Kṛishnas,
makes himself drunk with the spirituous liquor contained in the
fissure of a tree.

The bear-eater of honey is an extremely popular subject of Russian
tradition; the very name of the bear, medv-jed, means in Russian, "he
who eats honey" (_miod_ is honey, and _iest_ to eat; but the form
_medv_ [medu] is more perfectly equivalent to the Hindoo _madhu_ = the
sweet honey ambrosia; the bear in the _madhuvanam_ corresponds
entirely to the medvjed or bear who eats honey of the Russians). In a
Slavonic story referred to by Afanassieff in the observations to the
first book of the Russian stories, the bear, deceived by the hare, is
left shut up in the trunk of a tree. A peasant passes by; the bear
begs him to deliver it from this trunk, promising to show him a
bee-hive, and beseeching him not to tell any one that a hare had
deceived it. The peasant frees the bear; the bear shows the bee-hive,
the peasant takes the honey and goes home.[179] The bear goes and
listens at the door to overhear the conversation. The peasant narrates
how he had procured the honey by means of a bear who, following a
hare, had been caught in a tree. The bear determines to have its
revenge. One day it finds the peasant in the field, and is about to
fall upon and rend him,[180] when the fox makes its appearance, shakes
its tail, and says to the peasant, "Man, thou hast ingenuity in thy
head, and a stick in thy hand." The peasant immediately understands
the stratagem. He begs the bear to let him perform his devotions
first; and offers, as a devotion, instead of doing penance, to carry
the bear, shut up in a sack, three times round the field, after which
the bear is to do with him whatever it likes. The bear, proud of
being carried by the man,[181] enters into the sack; the man binds it
strongly, and then beats it so with his stick that it dies.

The bear, representing usually the luminous one in the darkness, has
frequently in Slavonic tradition a demoniacal character,[182] or else
that of a fool, like the ass. In the first of the Russian stories, the
fox terrifies the bear, and then delivers the peasant from it. (The
peasant in popular rustic narratives is almost always a heroic
personage, who becomes a wiseacre and a prince.) The peasant cheats
his companion, the bear, twice: when they sow turnips together, the
peasant reserves for himself whatever grows underground, and leaves to
the bear whatever comes out of the earth and appears above; when they
sow wheat, the bear, thinking to be very knowing, takes for his own
part what grows under, and gives to the peasant what grows above the
ground. The peasant is about to be devoured by the bear, when the fox
comes to the rescue.[183] In the first story of the fourth book of
_Afanassieff_, the fox goes to pass the winter in the bear's den, and
devours all the provision of hens that the bear had laid up. The bear
asks what it is eating, and the fox makes him believe that it is
taking meat from its own forehead. The bear asks whether it is good,
upon which the fox gives him some to taste; the bear then tries also
to take meat from his forehead, and dies; thus the fox has enough to
eat for a year.

The romance of the fox also presents to us the fox in opposition to
the bear, whom he induces to put his paws into the cleft of the trunk
of a tree, as happened to the Hindoo monkey of the _Pańćatantram_. In
the Russian story,[184] instead of the fox, we have the peasant, and
instead of the monkey and the bear, we have the gentleman (who in the
poor man's eyes is often a personification of the demon) who is caught
by his hands in the fissure of a tree. The peasant revenges himself in
this way upon the gentleman who had, after having bought from others a
little canary for fifteen roubles, refused to buy from him a large
goose for a hundred roubles. The very strong athlete Milôn of Kroton,
who in one day used to eat an ox four years old, a legendary hero, is
torn to pieces by wild beasts, having been caught by the hands in the
crevice of a log which he was splitting. Animal and hero continually
alternate in myths. In the fourth story of the fifth book of
_Afanassieff_, the peasant meets with his death on account of the
funereal and demoniacal storks and the bear. The peasant binds himself
to his waggon in order not to fall off; the horse wishes to drink,
and drags the waggon into a well. The bear, being pursued, passes by,
falls unexpectedly into the well, becomes involved with the waggon,
and, in order to extricate himself, is constrained to drag out waggon,
peasant, and all. Soon afterwards the bear, in search of honey, climbs
up a tree; another peasant passes, sees the bear upon the tree, and
wishing to secure the animal, cuts down the tree; bear and waggon fall
down, and the peasant is killed, whilst the bear releases itself and
escapes. The bear which is looking for honey and the bear in the well
remind us of the _asinus in unguento_, and of the ass in the roses:
the ass who is the friend of the gardener or of the priest of Flora
and Pomona, in the fable of La Fontaine,[185] has the same
signification. In the twenty-eighth story of the fifth book of
_Afanassieff_, King Bear lies hidden in a fountain (we have already
seen the Hindoo monkey that draws a king into a fountain, into the
monster's jaws); a king goes to hunt; feeling thirsty, he wishes to
drink at this fountain; the bear clutches him by the beard, and only
releases him on condition that he will give up in his stead whatever
he has at home without knowing it (this is a variation of the story of
Hariçćandras). The king consents, and returning home, learns that
twins, named Ivan and Maria, are born to him. To save them from the
bear, their father has them lowered into a subterranean cavern, well
furnished and very deep, which he supplies with abundant provisions.
The twins grow up healthy and strong; the king and queen die, and the
bear comes to search for the twins. He finds in the royal palace a
pair of scissors, and asks them where the king's sons are; the
scissors answer, "Throw me upon the ground in the courtyard; where I
fall, there search." The scissors fall over the very place under which
Ivan and Maria are concealed. The bear opens the ground with his paws,
and is about to devour the young brother and sister; they beg for
their lives, and the bear spares them, at sight of the abundance of
hens and geese provided for them. The bear then resolves to take them
into his service; they twice attempt in vain to escape, the first time
with the help of a hawk, the second with that of an eagle: at last a
bull succeeds in releasing them. Pursued by the bear, they throw down
a comb, and an impenetrable forest springs up; the bear lacerates and
wounds himself all over in passing through. Ivan then spreads out a
towel which makes a lake of fire; at this sight the bear, who is
afraid of being burned, who does not like heat, but, on the contrary,
prefers cold, goes back.

In the twenty-seventh story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, a
demoniacal bear with iron hairs, devastates a whole kingdom, devouring
all the inhabitants; Ivan Tzarević and Helena Prekrasnaia alone remain;
but the king has them placed with provisions upon a high pillar (a new
form of Mount Hiraṇyanabhas, whence the sun issues forth, which comes up
from the bottom of the sea, and upon which the great monkey Hanumant
places himself. The bear is also found in connection with a gem in the
_Vishnu P._[186]) In the _Tuti-Name_,[187] the carpenter teaches two
bears to take their food upon a statue which is a perfect image of his
companion the miserly goldsmith, who had defrauded him of some money. By
means of the bears, whom he represents as the two sons of the goldsmith
who had run away from him, he terrifies him. The goldsmith, perceiving
the carpenter's craftiness, gives him back his money. The famished
bear approaches the pillar. Ivan throws him down some food; the bear,
after having eaten, goes to sleep.[188] While he sleeps, Ivan and Helena
flee away upon a horse; the bear awakes, overtakes them, brings them
back to the pillar, and makes them throw him down some food, after which
he again goes to sleep. The young brother and sister then try to escape
upon the backs of geese; the bear again wakens, overtakes them, burns
the geese, and takes Ivan and Helena back to the pillar. Having a third
time supplied the bear with food, it is again overcome by sleep; this
time the deliverer comes in the shape of a bull, who blinds the bear
with his horns, and throws him into a stream, where he is drowned. In
the same story, the demon, wishing to expose Ivan to certain death,
sends him to search for the milk of a she-bear.[189] The demon appears
again in the form of a bear in the fiftieth story of the fifth book of
_Afanassieff_, where the dog of a soldier rends him to pieces. But
although the bear is demoniacal, the bear's cub, on the other hand,
helps the hero.[190] In the eleventh story of the sixth book of
_Afanassieff_, a woman who is gathering mushrooms loses herself and
enters into the bear's den--the bear takes her to himself. We have
already seen the bear that plays at blind-man's-buff with the mouse,
thinking that he is playing with the beautiful maiden. The wind Rudras
and Æolus, king of the winds, we have already seen, in the first chapter
of this book, to be passionately fond of beautiful nymphs. In a
Norwegian story (a variation of that of the White Cat), in _Asbiörnsen_,
the hero is disguised as a bear, and becomes a beautiful young man by
night. His wife, by her indiscreet curiosity, _i.e._, because she had
wished to see him by lamplight, loses him, and her place is taken by the
long-nosed princess, until, with the help of a golden apple and a horse,
she is able to find her husband again. In the sixth story of the second
book of the _Pentamerone_, it is, on the other hand, the girl Pretiosa
who, to escape the embraces of her father, goes into the forest
disguised as a she-bear. A young prince, the son of the king of the
water, becomes enamoured of her, and takes her to the palace. The prince
becomes ill for love of the she-bear; she assists him and cures him.
While he is kissing her, she becomes a beautiful girl ("la chiù bella
cosa de lo Munno"). We learn from two mediæval writings quoted by Du
Cange (_s. v. Ursus_), that it was already the custom in the Middle Ages
to lead the bear round to make him play indecent games ("Nec turpia joca
cum urso vel tornatricibus ante se facere permittat"), and that hairs of
a bear stained in some ointment used to be sold, "Tamquam philacteria,
ad depellendos morbos, atque, adeo oculorum fascinos amoliendos." The
Athenians called she-bears the virgins sacred to the chaste Artemis, the
friend of closed places; and to this, it would appear, must also be
referred the interesting Christian legend of the virgin St Ursula,[191]
whom Karl Simrock identifies with the demoniacal, funereal, somniferous,
death-bringing Holda. Were this identification accepted, Ursula would
be, moreover, in close ideal and etymological relation with the Vedic
monster Ṛikshikâ.

But to return to the Russian story, the woman who enters into the bear's
den unites herself with him, and subsequently gives birth to a son, who
is a man down to the waist, and a bear from the waist downwards. His
mother, therefore, names him Ivanko-Medviedko (Little John, the son of
the bear). This half-man half-bear becomes a cunning animal, and cheats
the devil, making him fight with the bear, and persuading him to think
that the bear is his middle brother (that is, the strong brother). In a
Danish tradition we read of a girl violated by a bear, who gives birth
afterwards to a monster. According to the Hellenic myth, the nymph
Kalistos, daughter of King Lykaon, violated by Zeus, is changed by Juno
or by Artemis into a she-bear, gives birth to Arkas, and, being killed
with her son by shepherds, is converted into a star.

The cunning bear appears again as a musician (like the ass) in the
seventeenth story of the third book of _Afanassieff_, where he sings
so well that he deceives the old shepherdess, and succeeds in carrying
off her sheep. In a note to the ninth Esthonian story of Kreutzwald,
Herr Löwe observes, that in the Northern languages, the god of thunder
and the bear are synonymous. The bear, the monkey, the ass, and the
bull (all of which are personifications of the cloud), form a musical
quartette in a fine fable of Kriloff. The bear is made to dance like
the monkey,[192] the ass, and the gandharvas, his mythical equivalent.
In the same way as the ass's skin chases away fear, the eye of a bear
dried and hung upon a child's neck preserves from fear.[193] In the
legends of the saints, especially of the hermits, to whom the bear,
inspired by God, often gives up his den in obedience to their
commands, we read of St Maximin that he transformed a bear into an ass
because he had eaten an ass that carried a load.

In the nineteenth fable of the twelfth book of _La Fontaine_, the
monkey appears as a messenger of Jove, with the caduceus, to

      "Partager un brin d'herbe entre quelques fourmis;"

while two enormous animals, the elephant and the rhinoceros, are
contending for the superiority. The monkey, as Mercury, as an
intermediate and mediating form between two heroic similar animals,
comes near to the knowing fox, the reddish colour of which (as well as
of the bear) it partakes of. It is no longer the pure fair sun of day,
and it is not yet the black monster of night; it is too black to be
red, and too red to be black; it has all the cunning of the devils,
and is acquainted with all the habits of the saints. The monkey, the
imitator of man (a Darwinist would say his progenitor), partakes, like
man, of the nature of the brutish demon and of the intelligent god.


[152] _Râmây._ iv. 63.

[153] v. 55.

[154] For the connection between the seven ṛikshas (ṛishayas, wise men,
stars, or bears) of the Hindoos and the septemtriones, the seven stars
of the she-bear (Arktos, Arkturus), and the Arctic regions, cfr. the
interesting discussion of Professor Max Müller, in the second series of
his Lectures.--The seven ṛishayas are the same as the seven Añgirasas,
the seven harayas, and the Marutas, who are seven (multiplied by three,
that is, twenty-one). In the Marutas, as harayas, we have the monkeys.
Even the wife of the king of the monkeys is named Târâ, or, properly,
the star. Thus there seems to exist between the monkey and the star the
same relation as between the bear and the star, a new argument to
vindicate the identity of the two animals in mythology.

[155] Priyâ tashṭâni me kapir vyaktâ vy adûdushat çiro nv asya
râvishaṁ na sugaṁ dushkṛite bhuvaṁ viçvasmâd indra uttaraḥ; str. 5.

[156] i. 2628.

[157] iii. 75.

[158] iv. 5.

[159] v. 2, vii. 39.

[160] v. 3.

[161] _Râmây._ v. 4, v. 5.

[162] v. 55.

[163] _Râmây._ iv. 12, v. 6.--The monkey on the sea is also to be
found in a Greek apologue, but the subject is somewhat different. A
monkey, which during a tempest had been washed from a ship, and tossed
about upon the stormy waves under the promontory of Attica, is
mistaken by a dolphin for a man; the dolphin, having great affection
for the race to which he presumed he belonged, takes him up and
carries him towards the shore. But before letting him touch firm
ground, he asks him whether he is an Athenian; the monkey answers that
he is of illustrious birth; the dolphin asks if he knows the Piræus;
the monkey, thinking that it is a man's name, answers that he is a
great friend of his; upon which the dolphin, indignant at having been
deceived, lets the monkey fall again into the sea.

[164] _Râmây._ v. 56.

[165] v. 8.

[166] v. 37.

[167] _Râmây._ v. 56.

[168] v. 50.--In the _Pańćatantram_, v. 10, it is said, on the
contrary, that monkeys possess the virtue of healing the wounds of
horses that have been scalded or burned, as the sun of morning chases
the darkness away. According to a variety of this story contained in
the _Tuti-Name_, i. 130, the bite of a monkey can be cured only by the
blood of the very monkey who had inflicted it.

[169] Aǵńatakulaçîle 'pi prîtiṁ kurvanti vânarâḥ âtmârthe ća na
rodanti; Böhtlingk, _Indische Sprüche_, 107.

[170] v. 36.

[171] i. 266.

[172] Ṛiksho na vo mârutaḥ çimîvâṅ amo dadhro gâuriva bhîmayuḥ _Ṛigv._
v. 56, 3.

[173] Amî ya ṛikshâ nihitâsa uććâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 24, 10.

[174] _Râmây._ i. 60-62.

[175] vi. 46.

[176] vi. 6.

[177] v. 59.

[178] v. 25.

[179] This story, with some variations, was already known in the
sixteenth century: "Demetrius Moschovitarum legatus Romam missus, teste
Paulo Jovio (quoted by Aldrovandi), narravit proximis annis viciniæ suæ
agricolam quærendi mellis causa in prægrandem et cavam arborem superne
desiliisse, eumque profundo mellis gurgite collo tenus fuisse immersum
et biduo vitam solo melle sustinuisse, cum in illâ solitudine vox
agricolæ opem implorantis ad viatorum aures non perveniret. Tandem hic,
desperata salute, ursæ beneficio extractus evasit, nam hujus feræ ad
mella edenda more humano in arboris civitatem se demittentis, pellem
tergoris manibus comprehendit et inde ab ursa subito timore exterrita et
retrocedente extractus fuit."--The bear is also celebrated in Kriloff's
fables as an eater of honey.--In an apologue of Abstemius, the bear,
when searching for honey, is stung by a bee; he avenges himself by
destroying the honeycombs, but the swarms of bees fly upon him, and
sting and torment him on every side; the bear then complains that by not
having known how to support a small evil he had drawn upon himself a
very grave one.--The pears of the Italian proverb in connection with the
bear also refer to hydromel or to honey. The Italian proverbs are as
follows: "Dar le pere in guardia all' orso" (to give the pears to be
guarded by the bear); "Chi divide la pera (or il miele) all' orso ne ha
sempre men che parte" (he who divides the pear (or the honey) with the
bear, always has less than a part, that is, the bear eats it all), and
"L'orso sogna pere" (the bear dreams of pears). To catch the bear is the
same as to be inebriated; the bear, in fact, is, in the legends, often
inebriated himself with honey, as the Vedic Indras with the ambrosia,
and as Balarâmas in the spirituous liquor contained in the fissure of a
tree (_Vishṇu-P._ v. 25). The sun in the cloud or in the rainy or wintry
season drinks more than necessary. Cfr. also Ralston, _Songs of the
Russian People_, p. 182.

[180] In the fifteenth story of _Afanassieff_, the bear revenges
himself upon an old man who had cut off one of his paws with a
hatchet; the bear makes himself a paw from the wood of a linden-tree,
takes the old man and the old woman by surprise in their house and
devours them. In the nineteenth story of the fourth book, the bear
allies himself with the fox lamed by the peasant, and with the gadfly
that the peasant had placed behind the straw, in order to revenge
himself upon the peasant, who, promising to cover him with spots like
the horse, had struck him here and there on the body with a red-hot
axe, so that the bones were left bare. This fable is perhaps connected
with the Hindoo superstition that the burns of a horse are cured by
means of a monkey. As to the wooden paws, they are doubtless the
branches of the cloudy or nocturnal forest. In the _Edda_ of Sömund it
is said that the Alfes are accustomed to call the trees the beautiful
arms; we already know the meaning of the boy with the golden hand.

[181] In the tenth story of the third book of _Afanassieff_, Nadzei,
the son of a virgin who is the daughter of a priest, makes himself
formidable by cutting down the forest and drawing, without assistance,
out of the forest the bear that destroyed the cats.

[182] In a description of the last Sunday of the Roman carnival of the
thirteenth century, in Du Cange, _s. v. Carnelevarium_, we read:
"Occidunt ursum, occiditur diabolus, id est, temptator nostræ
carnis."--In Bohemia it is still the custom at the end of the carnival
to bring the bear,--that is, a man disguised as a bear, with straw,
who goes round to ask for beer (or hydromel, which takes the place of
the mythical honey or ambrosia). The women take the straws to put them
into the place where the hens lay their eggs, to make them lay better.
In Suabia the straw bear is accused of having killed a blind cat, and
therefore condemned, with all formality, to death, after having had,
before his death, two priests to console him; on Ash-Wednesday the
bear is solemnly buried.--Cfr. Reinsberg von Düringfeld, _Das
festliche Jahr_.--The poet Hans Sachs, quoted by Simrock, covers with
a bear's skin two old women who are to be presented to the devil.

[183] Cfr., moreover, _Afanassieff_, ii. 33.--In a popular Norwegian
story, the fox makes the bear catch fish with his tail, which is
frozen in the water.

[184] _Afanassieff_, v. 2.

[185] viii. 10.

[186] iv. 13.

[187] i. 6.

[188] Concerning the bear's sleep, it is interesting to read the
curious information furnished by Aldrovandi (_De Quadr. Dig. Viv._
i.): "Devorant etiam ursi ineunte hyeme radices nomine nobis adhuc
ignotas, quibus per longum temporis spatium cibi cupiditas expletur et
somnus conciliatur. Nam in Alpibus Helveticis aiunt, referente
Gesnero, vaccarum pastorem eminus vidisse ursum, qui radicem quemdam
manibus propriis effossam edebat, et post ursi discessum, illuc se
transtulisse; radicemque illam degustasse, qui postmodum tanto somni
desiderio affectus est, ut se continere non potuerit, quin in viâ
stratus somno frueretur." The bear, as a nocturnal and wintry animal,
must of necessity conciliate sleep.

[189] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, vi. 5.--According to Hellenic tradition,
Paris and Atalanta were nourished with the milk of a she-bear.

[190] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 27, v. 28.--According to Cardano, to meet
with a bear's cub just born indicated a change of fortune for the

[191] Cfr. the work of Schade, _Die Sage von der Heiligen Ursula_. She
is also to be found among the _Leggende del Secolo Decimoquarto_,
published at Florence by Signor Del Lungo (Barbera, publisher).


      "... il parle, on l'entend, il sait danser, baller
              Faire des tours de toute sorte
                 Passer en des cerceaux."
                            --_La Fontaine, Fables_, ix. 3.

In _La Fontaine_, the monkey is again identified with the ass, as a
judge on the tribunal between the wolf and the fox, and afterwards as
dressed in the skin of the dead lion. In the fourth fable of the
eleventh book, La Fontaine makes the monkey M.A. narrate the story of
the _asinus asinum fricat;_ in the second fable of the twelfth book
the monkey scatters the miser's treasure, as in Hindoo tradition it
spoils the sacrificial offerings.

[193] Cfr. Aldrovandi, _De Quadr. Dig. Viv._




    Lopâças, lopâçikâ.--The jackal takes in Hindoo tradition the place
    of the fox.--What the fox represents in mythology, and why the
    jackal is his mythical equivalent.--Double aspect of the mythical
    fox, in connection with the cock and in connection with the wolf,
    turned towards the day and towards the night, now friendly, now
    hostile to the hero.--The fox deceives all the other animals, in
    order to have all the prey to itself.--The fox is the monster's
    enemy.--The blue jackal.--The inquisitive jackal.--The avenging
    jackal.--The astute fox; the woman more cunning than the fox.--The
    fox's skin.--The buttered tail of the jackal.--The fox eats the
    honey, the butter, or the cake belonging to the wolf, and then
    accuses him.--The fox sends the wolf to fish.--The fox eats the
    woman whom he had promised to bring to life.--The fox as a
    mourner.--The peasant ungrateful to the fox.--"Cauda de vulpe
    testatur."--The fox eats the bear; the bird feeds the fox, and
    afterwards draws it in among the dogs.--Former hospitality is to be
    forgotten.--The fox as the cat's wife.--The round cheese of the myth
    is the moon.--The fox steals the fishes.--The fox is of every
    profession.--The grateful fox enriches the poor hero.--King Fire and
    Queen Loszna.--The house of the fox and that of the hare.--The fox
    deceives the cock; the cock deceives the fox.--The fox's tail in the
    beaks of the chickens.--The fox's malice; the ideal of a prince
    according to Macchiavelli; fox and serpent.--The fox cheats almost
    all the animals; it does not, however, succeed in cheating the other
    foxes, and sometimes not even the lion.--The Catholic Church
    furnishes new types for the legend of the fox.--Union of the fox
    with the wolf.--Diverse nature of the wolf.--The red wolf.--The
    thieving wolf.--The wolf (or the devil) and the fishes; the fish in
    shallow water.--The dog and the wolf.--The wolf as a
    shepherd.--Wolf's belly.--The good wolf and the good maiden.--The
    son of the wolf understands the language of birds.--The she-wolf as
    a nurse; she-wolves and strumpets.--Disguises in a wolf's
    skin.--Wolf-hunter.--The wolf's shadow.--Wolves that chastise in the
    name of God; sanctified wolves.--The dead wolf; the wolf's
    skin.--Diabolical wolves.--The white
    wolf.--Wulfesheofod.--Ysengrin.--The wolf sings psalms.--The cunning
    of the wolf.--The wolf's tail.--The dwarf in the wolf's body; the
    dwarf in the wolf's sack.--The she-wolf at Rome.--Dante's she-wolf.

The fox is scarcely spoken of once in the _Ṛigvedas_ by the name of
lopâças (alôpêx), as penetrating to the old Western lion; this word
(like _lopâkas_, which is interpreted in the Petropolitan Dictionary as
"a kind of jackal") seems to mean properly "the destroyer" (according to
Professor Weber, _Aasfresser_). The Sanskṛit language also gives us the
diminutive _lopâçikâ_, which is interpreted as the female of a jackal
and as the fox (vulpecula). The legendary fox, however, is generally
represented in Hindoo tradition by the jackal, or _canis aureus_
(sṛigâlas, kroshṭar, gomâyus, as a shouter). The fox is the reddish
mediatrix between the luminous day and the gloomy night: the crepuscular
phenomenon of the heavens taking an animal form, no form seemed more
adapted to the purpose than that of the fox or the jackal, on account of
their colour and some of their cunning habits: the hour of twilight is
the time of uncertainties and of deceits. Professor Weber[194] supposes
that all the cunning actions attributed to the jackal in Hindoo fables
were taken on loan from the fox of Hellenic fables. We must certainly
assign no undue importance to the expressions _vańćakas_ and
_mṛigadhûrtakas_ (the cheater of animals), given in Hindoo lexicons to
the jackal, inasmuch as these lexicons are not of very remote antiquity;
but at the same time we must confess, that the cunning of the fox has
been exaggerated by popular superstition as much as the stupidity of the
ass, for a mythical reason, and from tradition, far more than by the
observation of exceptional habits in these animals, which could easily
be identified in mythology, in which, as I have already observed, some
few gross and accidental similarities are enough to cause the same
phenomena to be represented by animals of a very different genus. Thus
the hairy reddish bodies of the bear and the monkey, and certain
postures which they assume in common, are enough to make us understand
how they are sometimes substituted for each other in legends; for the
same reason, to the monkey and to the bear are attributed some of the
enterprises for which the legendary fox is celebrated. How much greater,
therefore, must have been the confusion which arose between the _canis
vulpes_ (the reddish fox) and the _canis aureus_ (or jackal), animals
which agree in showing themselves towards night, in feeding upon little
animals, in having skins of the same colour, who have very bright eyes,
and several other zoological characteristics in common?

The legendary fox (or the jackal, which is its mythical equivalent)
has, like nearly all mythical figures, a double aspect. As it
represents the evening, and as the sun is represented as a bird (the
cock), the fox, the proverbial enemy of chickens, is, in the sky too,
the robber and devourer of the cock, and as such the natural enemy of
the man or hero, who ends by showing himself to be more cunning than
it is, and by effecting its ruin. The fox cheats the cock in the
evening, and is cheated by the cock in the morning. It is therefore an
animal of demoniacal nature, when considered as the devourer or
betrayer of the sun (cock, lion, or man), in the form of the red
western sky, or of the evening aurora, and as being killed or put to
flight by the sun itself (cock, lion, or man), in the form of the red
eastern sky, or the morning aurora.[195] We have already seen, in the
first chapter of this work, the aurora both as a wise girl and a
perverse one; in its animal metamorphosis, the fox reproduces this
aspect. But the aurora has not this mythical aspect alone. If, as she
is turned towards or against the sun, she is supposed to be the killer
of the luminous day in the evening, and to be chased away by the
luminous day in the morning, she also, when considered as turning
towards or against the night, assumes a heroic and sympathetic aspect,
and becomes the friend and assister of the solar hero or animal
against the wolf of the darkness of night. In these two mythical
aspects is contained and explained all the essential legendary story
of the fox, to narrate which, as far as it concerns Western tradition,
volumes have already been written. I shall limit myself to culling and
summarising from Oriental and Slavonic tradition their chief
characteristics, in order to compare them briefly with the most
generally known particulars of Western legendary lore; as it seems to
me that when I shall have shown the double nature of the fox in
mythology, as representing the two auroras, when I shall have proved
that the sun is personified now as a hero, now as a cock, and now as a
lion, and the night as a wolf, it will be easy to refer to this
interpretation the immense variety of legendary subjects to which, on
account of the smaller proportions to which I have been obliged to
reduce this work, I shall be unable to allude.

In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[196] a learned jackal, who has finished his
studies, associates with the ichneumon, the mouse, the wolf, and the
tiger, but only in order to cheat them all. He makes the tiger kill a
gazelle, and then sends all the animals to bathe before eating it.
Then, when the tiger returns, he makes him run after the mouse, by
representing it as having boasted that it had killed the tiger; he
makes the mouse flee, persuading it that the ichneumon has bitten the
gazelle, and that its flesh is therefore poisonous; he makes the wolf
take to its heels, by informing it that the tiger is coming to devour
it; he makes the ichneumon glad to escape, by boasting that he has
vanquished the other three animals; then the jackal eats the whole
gazelle himself. In the _Pańćatantram_,[197] the jackal cheats, in a
similar manner, the lion and the wolf out of their part of a camel; we
have already seen how it cheated the lion out of the ass. In the
twentieth Mongol story, the fox stirs up discord between the two
brothers, bull and lion, who kill each other in consequence.

In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[198] the jackal appears as the hero's friend,
inasmuch as by howling, and vomiting fire, he is of sinister omen to the
monster Kharas, who prepares to attack Râmas. In the _Khorda-Avesta_, a
hero devoured by Agra-Mainyu, the god of the monsters, is named
Takhmo-urupis, or Takhma-urupa, which means strong fox.

One of the most interesting fables, in a mythological point of view,
is that of the jackal who, falling among pigments, comes out blue, or
of opaline lustre, and passes himself off as a peacock of the sky. The
animals make him their king, but he betrays himself by his voice:
hearing other jackals howling, he howls also; upon which the lion, the
real king of the beasts, tears him to pieces.[199] This is a variety
of the ass dressed in the lion's skin, but yet more so of the crow
that takes up and decks itself in the peacock's feathers; the black
night shines as an azure sky, as sahasrâkshas (an appellation of
Indras and of the peacock, as having a thousand eyes or stars). The
evening aurora, the fox, transforms itself into the azure sky of
night, until at morn, the deceit being exposed, the lion (_i.e._, the
sun) rends the fox, and disperses the night and the aurora.

The _Pańćatantram_ contains two other narratives relating to the
legendary jackal--viz., the inquisitive and silly jackal, who, in an
attempt to break the skin of a drum to see what is inside, breaks one
of his teeth, and who, wishing to eat the string of a bow, has his
mouth lacerated and dies;[200] and the vile jackal who, brought up
among the lion's cubs, reveals his vulpine nature when he should have
thrown himself with the two lions, his adoptive brothers, upon the
elephant, but, instead of that, took to flight.[201] In the
_Tuti-Name_,[202] the jackal desires to revenge himself upon the
parrots, whom he judges indirectly implicated in the death of his
young ones; up comes the lynx, who is astounded that the jackal,
celebrated for its craftiness, is unable to devise a way of ruining
the parrots. At last the lynx advises him to pretend being lame, and
let himself be followed by a hunter as far as the abode of the
parrots, at which place he will be able to skulk away, and the hunter,
seeing the parrots, will set his nets and catch them.

In the _Tuti-Name_ we also find several other particulars relating to
the jackal, which will pass into the Russian stories of the fox.

The jackal makes the wolf come out of his den, which the latter had
taken possession of, by calling the shepherd.[203] In another place, the
cunning fox laughs at the stolid tiger, but the woman proves herself to
be more cunning than the fox.[204] It is also in the _Tuti-Name_[205]
that we read of a companion of the poor Abdul Meǵid, enamoured of the
king's daughter, who teaches him how to enrich himself, or rather to
appear rich, in order to wed her. In a much more scientific and
interesting variety of this legend, in the Russian stories, it is, on
the contrary, the fox who enriches the poor hero. The nineteenth Mongol
story, in which the false hero makes his fortune by means of the spoils
of a certain designated fox, is another intermediate form between the
two traditions, the Hindoo and the Russian.

The name of a jackal in the _Pańćatantram_ is Dadhi-puććhas, which
means tail of butter, buttered tail (the aurora is ambrosial).

In the first of the stories of _Afanassieff_, the fox eats the honey
belonging to the wolf (which reminds one of the sentence of Plautus,
"Sæpe condita luporum fiunt rapinæ vulpium"[206]), and then accuses
the wolf of having eaten it himself; the wolf proposes a sort of
judgment of God; they are to go together to the sun, and he who pours
out honey will be accounted guilty: they go and lie down; the wolf
falls asleep, and when the honey comes out of the fox, he pours it
upon the wolf, who, when he awakes, confesses his fault. In the first
story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the cock and the hen bring
ears of corn to the old man and poppies to the old woman; the old
couple make a cake of them and put it out to dry.[207] Up come the fox
and the wolf and take the cake, but finding that it is not yet dry,
the fox proposes going to sleep whilst it is drying. While the wolf
sleeps, the fox eats the honey that is in the cake, and puts dung in
its place. The wolf awakens, and after him the fox too pretends to
waken, and accuses the wolf of having touched the cake; the wolf
protests his innocence, and the fox proposes, as a judgment of God,
that they shall go to sleep in the sunshine; the wax will come out of
him who has eaten the honey.[208] The wolf really goes to sleep, and
the fox goes meanwhile to a neighbouring beehive, eats the honey, and
throws the honeycombs upon the wolf, who, wakening from his slumbers,
confesses his fault, and promises in reparation to give his share of
the prey to the fox as soon as he procures any. In the continuation of
the story, the fox sends the wolf to fish with his tail (the same as
the bone of the dog) in the lake, and, after having made his tail
freeze, feigns to be himself ill, and makes the wolf carry him,
murmuring on the way the proverb, "He who is beaten carries him who is
not beaten." In a variety of the same story, the fox eats the wolf's
butter and flour; in another, the fox pretends to be called during the
night to act as the rabbit's midwife, and eats the wolf's butter,
accusing him afterwards of having eaten it himself; in order to
discover the guilty one, they resolve upon trying the judgment by
fire, before which the two animals are to go to sleep, and the one
from whose skin the butter shall come out, is to be accounted guilty;
whilst the wolf is asleep and snoring, the fox upsets the rest of the
butter over him. In the seventh story of the fourth book of
_Afanassieff_, the fox promises to an old man to bring his wife to
life again; he requests him to warm a bath, to bring flour and honey,
and then to stand at the door without ever turning round to look at
the bath; the old man does so, and the fox washes the old woman and
then eats her, leaving nothing but the bones; he then makes a cake of
the flour and honey, and eats that too, after which he cries out to
the old man to throw the door wide open, and escapes. In the first
story of the first book, the old man whose wife is dead goes to look
for mourners; he finds the bear, who offers to do the weeping, but the
old man thinks that he has not a sufficiently good voice; going on, he
meets the fox, who also offers to perform the same service, and gives
a good proof of his skill in singing (this particular would appear to
be more applicable to the crying jackal than to the fox). The old man
declares himself perfectly satisfied, and places the cunning beast at
the foot of the corpse to sing a lament, whilst he himself goes to
make the grave; during the old man's absence, the fox eats everything
he finds in the house, and the old woman too. In the ninth story of
the fourth book the fable ends otherwise; the fox does his duty as a
weeper, and the old man rewards him by the gift of some chickens; the
fox, however, demanding more, the old man puts into a sack two dogs
and a chicken, and gives it to the fox, who goes out and opens the
sack. The dogs run out and pursue him; he takes refuge in his den, but
neglects to draw in his tail, which betrays him. "Cauda de vulpe
testatur," said also the Latin proverb. In a variety of the first
story of the first book, it is as a reward for having released the
peasant from the bear that the fox receives a sack containing two hens
and a dog. The dog pursues the fox, who takes to his hole, and then
asks his feet what they have done; they answer that they ran away; he
then asks his eyes and ears, which answer that they saw and heard;
finally he asks his tail (here identified with the phallos), which,
confused, answers that it put itself between his legs to make him
fall. Then the fox, wishing to chastise his tail, puts it out of the
hole; the dog, by means of it, drags out the whole fox, and tears him
to pieces. In the fourth story of the third book, the fox delivers the
peasant from, not the bear, but the wolf; the peasant then cheats him
in the same way, by putting dogs into the sack; the fox escapes, and
to punish his tail for impeding his flight, leaves it in the dog's
mouth, and runs off; afterwards the fox is drowned by falling into a
barrel which is being filled with water (the deed of the phallos; cfr.
the chapter on the Fishes), and the peasant takes his skin. In another
Russian story, recorded by _Afanassieff_ in the observations to the
first book of his stories, the fox, having delivered the peasant from
the bear, asks for his nose in way of recompense, but the peasant
terrifies him and puts him to flight. In a Slavonic story referred to
in the same observations, the bird makes its nest, of which the fox
covets the eggs; the bird informs the dog, who pursues the fox; the
latter, betrayed by his tail, holds his usual monologue with his feet,
eyes, ears, and tail. In the twenty-second story of the third book,
the fox falls with the bear, the wolf, and the hare, into a ditch
where there is no water. The four animals are oppressed by hunger, and
the fox proposes that each should raise his voice in succession and
shout his utmost; he who shouts feeblest will be eaten by the others.
The hare's turn comes first, then that of the wolf; bear and fox alone
remain. The fox advises the bear to put his paws upon his sides;
attempting to sing thus, he dies, and the fox eats him. Being again
hungry, and seeing a bird feeding its young, he threatens to kill the
young birds unless the parent brings him some food; the bird brings
him a hen from the village. The fox afterwards renews his threats,
desiring the bird to bring him something to drink; the bird
immediately brings him water from the village. Again the fox threatens
to kill the young ones if the old bird does not deliver him out of the
ditch; the bird throws in billets of wood, and thus succeeds in
helping him out. Then the fox desires the bird to make him laugh; the
bird invites him to run after it; it then goes towards the village,
where it cries out, "Woman, woman, bring me a piece of tallow" (babka,
babka, priniessi mnié sala kussók); the dogs hear the cry, come out,
and rend the fox. In the twenty-fourth story of the third book, the
fox again delivers the peasant from the wolf, whom he had shut up in a
sack to save him from the persecution of the hunters. The wolf is no
sooner out of danger than he wishes to eat the peasant, saying that
"old hospitality is forgotten."[209] The peasant beseeches him to
await the judgment of the first passer-by; the first whom they meet is
an old mare who has been expelled from the stables on account of her
age, after having long served her masters; she finds that the wolf's
sentence is just. The peasant begs the wolf to wait for a second
passer-by; this is an old black dog who has been expelled from the
house after long services, because he can no longer bark; he also
approves the wolf's decision. The peasant again begs them to wait for
a third and decisive judgment; they meet the fox, who resorts to a
well-known stratagem; he affects to doubt that so large an animal as
the wolf could get into so small a sack. The wolf, mortified at so
unjust a suspicion, wishes to prove that he has told the truth,
re-enters into the sack, and is beaten by the peasant till he dies.
But the peasant himself then proves ungrateful to the fox, saying,
too, that old hospitality is to be forgotten (properly the hospitality
of bread and salt, _hlieb-sol_). In the eighth story of the fourth
book, the fox brings upon his back to her father and mother a girl
who, having lost herself in the forest, was weeping upon a tree. The
old man and woman, however, are not grateful to the fox; for on the
latter asking for a hen in reward, they put him into a sack with a
dog; the rest of the story is already known to the reader. In the
twenty-third story of the fourth book, the fox marries the cat and
puts the bear and the wolf to flight. We have already mentioned the
fox of the Russian story who sends the wolf to catch fish in the river
with his tail, by which means the tail is frozen off. In a popular
Norwegian story, instead of the wolf, it is the bear who is thus
cheated by the fox. In a Servian story, we hear of a fox who steals
three cheeses off a waggon, and afterwards meets the wolf, who asks
where he had found them. The fox answers, in the water (the sky of
night). The wolf wishing to fish for cheeses, the fox conducts him to
a fountain where the moon is reflected in the water, and points to it
as a cheese; he must lap up the water in order to get at it. The wolf
laps and laps till the water comes out of his mouth, nose, and ears
(probably because he was drowned in the fountain. The wolf, the black
monster of night, takes the place of the crow in connection with the
cheese (the moon) and the fox; the Servian story itself tells us what
the cheese represents[210]). In a Russian story, published in the year
1860, by the Podsniesznik, and quoted in the observations to the first
book of the stories of _Afanassieff_, the fox is killed by a peasant
whose fish he had stolen; the peasant takes his skin and goes off. Up
comes the wolf, and seeing his god-father without a skin, weeps over
him according to the prescribed ceremony, and then eats him. We have
already seen the fox as a mourner and as a midwife. In the twentieth
story of the third book of _Afanassieff_, the fox wishes to work as a
blacksmith. In other Russian stories we have the fox-confessor and the
fox-physician; finally, the fox as a god-mother is a very popular
subject of Russian stories. In a Russian story, published in the
fourth number of the Russian _Historical and Juridical Archives of
Kalassoff_, the fox appears as a go-between for the marriage of two
young men with two princesses. But, above all, the fox is famous for
having brought about the wedding of the poor Buhtan Buhtanović and of
his _alter ego_, Koszma Skorobagatoi (Cosimo the swiftly-enriched)
with the daughter of the Tzar. Buhtan had only five kapeika (twopence
in all). The fox has them changed, and asks the Tzar to lend him some
bushels to measure the money with. These bushels are each time found
too small, and larger ones are demanded, using which, the cunning fox
always takes care to leave some small coin at the bottom. The Tzar
marvels at the riches of Buhtan, and the fox then asks for Buhtan the
Tzar's daughter to wife. The Tzar wishes first to see the bridegroom.
How dress him? The fox then makes Buhtan fall into the mud near the
king's palace whilst they are passing over a little bridge. He then
goes to the Tzar, relates the misfortune, and begs him to lend him a
dress for Buhtan. Buhtan puts it on, and never ceases regarding his
changed appearance. The Tzar being astonished at this, the fox hastens
to say that Buhtan was never so badly dressed before, and takes the
first opportunity of warning him in private against conduct so
suspicious. Then, withdrawn from himself, he does nothing but stare at
the golden table, which again astonishes the Tzar; this is accounted
for by the fox, who explains that in Buhtan's palace similar tables
are to be found in the bath-room; meanwhile the fox hints to Buhtan to
look more about him. The wedding ceremony is performed and the bride
led away. The fox runs on before; but instead of leading them into
Buhtan's miserable hut, he takes them to an enchanted palace, after
having, by a trick, chased out of it the serpent, the crow, and the
cock that inhabited it.[211]--Poor Kuszinka has only one cock and five
hens remaining. He takes the fox by surprise whilst he is attempting
to eat his hens, but moved by the fox's prayers, releases him. Then
the grateful fox promises to transform him into Cosimo the
swiftly-enriched. The fox goes into the Tzar's park and meets the
wolf, who asks him how he is become so fat; he answers that he has
been banqueting at the Tzar's palace. The wolf expresses a desire to
go there too, and the fox advises him to invite forty times forty more
wolves (that is 1600 wolves). The wolf follows his advice, and brings
them all to the Tzar's palace, upon which the fox tells the Tzar that
Cosimo the swiftly-enriched sends them to him as a gift. The Tzar
marvels at the great riches of Cosimo; the fox uses the same stratagem
twice again with the bears and the martens. After this, he asks the
Tzar to lend him a silver bushel, pretending that all Cosimo's golden
bushels are full of money. The Tzar gives it, and when the fox sends
it back, he leaves a few small coins at the bottom, returning it with
the request that the Tzar would give his daughter to Cosimo in
marriage. The Tzar answers that he must first see the pretender to her
hand. The fox then makes Cosimo fall into the water, and arrays him in
robes lent by the Tzar, who receives him with every honour. After
some time, the Tzar signifies his desire of visiting Cosimo's
dwelling. The fox goes on before, and finds on the way flocks of
sheep, and herds of hogs, cows, horses, and camels. He asks of all the
shepherds to whom they belong, and is uniformly answered, "To the
serpent-uhlan." The fox orders them to say that they belong to Cosimo
the swiftly-enriched, or else they will see King Fire and Queen
Loszna,[212] who will burn everything to ashes. He comes to the palace
of white stone, where the king serpent-uhlan lives. He terrifies him
in the same way, and compels him to take refuge in the trunk of an
oak-tree, where he is burnt to death. Cosimo, the swiftly-enriched,
becomes Tzar of all the possessions of the uhlan-serpent and enjoys
them with his bride.[213] (I need not dwell upon the mythological
importance of this story; the serpent consumed by fire is found in the
most primitive myths; here the canis-vulpes, the red bitch, the fox
seems to play part of the _rôle_ of the Vedic messenger-bitch.)

In the first story of _Afanassieff_, the fox chases the hare, instead
of the serpent, out of its home. The fox has a house of ice and the
hare one of wood. At the arrival of spring, the fox's house melts;
then the fox, under the pretext of warming itself, enters the hare's
house and sends its occupant away. The hare weeps, and the dogs come
to chase the fox away, but it cries out from its seat by the stove,
that when it leaps out, whoever is caught will be torn into a thousand
pieces; hearing which, the dogs run away in terror. The bear comes,
and then the bull, but the fox terrifies them too. At last the cock
comes up with a scythe, and loudly summons it to come out or be cut to
pieces. The terrified fox jumps out and the cock cuts it to pieces
with the scythe. In another story of Little Russia, mentioned by
_Afanassieff_ in the observations to the first book of his stories,
the fox, on the contrary, is the victim which the hairy goat wishes to
expel from its home. Several animals, wolf, lion, and bear, present
themselves to help it, but the cock alone succeeds in expelling the
intruder. Here the cock appears as the friend of the fox and the enemy
of the goat. In the twenty-third story of the third book of
_Afanassieff_, the fox defends the sheep against the wolf, who accuses
it of having dressed itself in his skin, and brings about the ruin of
the wolf by its craftiness. In the third story of the fourth book, the
cat and the lamb release the cock from the fox; these contradictions
are explained by the double mythical significance which we have
attributed above to the fox, and by its double appearance as aurora in
the evening and in the morning. In the evening, it generally cheats
the hero; in the morning it cheats the monster. In the second story of
the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the fox requests the cock to come
down from a tree to confess itself to him. The cock does so, and is
about to be eaten by the fox, but it flatters him so much that he lets
it escape again. (The solar cock, supposed to be in the fox's power at
night, escapes from it and comes forth again in the morning.) The
third story of the fourth book gives us the interesting text of the
words sung by the fox to deceive the cock:

      "Little cock, little cock,
       With the golden crest,
       With the buttered head,
       With the forehead of curdled milk!
       Show yourself at the window;
       I will give you some gruel
       In a red spoon."[214]

The cock, when caught by the fox, invokes the cat's assistance,
crying, "Me the fox has carried away; he carried away me, the cock,
into the gloomy forest, into distant lands, into foreign lands, into
the three times ninth (twenty-seventh) earth, into the thirtieth
kingdom; cat Catonaiević, deliver me!"

The knavish actions of the fox, however, are far more celebrated in
the West than in the East. A proverb says that, to write all the
perfidious knaveries of the fox, all the cloth manufactured at Ghent,
turned into parchment, would not be sufficient. This proverb justifies
me in saying but little of it, as I am unable to say as much as I
should wish. Greeks and Latins are unanimous in celebrating the
sagacity and perfidy of the fox. The cynic Macchiavelli, in the
eighteenth chapter of the _Principe_, asserts that a good prince must
imitate two animals, the fox and the lion, (must, that is to say, have
deceit and strength), but especially the fox; and this answers to the
sentence attributed by Plutarch (in the _Memorable Sayings of the
Greeks_) to Lysander, "Where the lion's skin does not suffice, put on
that of the fox." Aristotle, in the ninth book of the _History of
Animals_, also considers the fox as the serpent's friend, probably
because of the analogy existing between them in respect of
perfidiousness, according to another Greek saying, viz., "He who hopes
to triumph, must arm himself with the strength of the lion and the
prudence of the serpent." A proverbial Latin verse says--

      "Vulpes amat fraudem, lupus agnam, fæmina laudem."

There is scarcely an animal which is not deceived by the fox in Greek
and Latin fable; the fox alone does not succeed in deceiving the fox.
In Æsop, the fox who has lost his tail in a trap endeavours to
persuade the other foxes of the uselessness of that appendage; but the
latter answer that he would not have given them such advice were he
not aware that a tail is a useful member. The fox deceives the ass,
giving it up as prey to the lion (as in the _Pańćatantram_); it
deceives the hare by offering it as a prey to the dog, who, pursuing
the hare, loses both hare and fox;[215] it deceives the goat, by
cozening it into the well that it may escape out of it, and then
leaving it there to its fate; it cheats in several ways now the cock,
now the wolf; and it imposes upon even the powerful king of beasts,
whom, however, he sometimes cannot deceive. A graceful apologue of
Thomas Morus shows us the counterpart of the Hellenic fable of the fox
and the sick lion, that is to say, the sick fox visited by the lion:--

      "Dum jacet angusta vulpes ægrota caverna
         Ante fores blando constitit ore leo.
       Etquid, amica, vale. Cito, me lambente, valebis,
         Nescis in lingua vis mihi quanta mea.
       Lingua tibi medica est, vulpes ait, at nocet illud
         Vicinos, quod habet, tam bona lingua, malos."

But when we come down to the Middle Ages, the fable of the fox
develops into such manifoldness, that the study of all the phases in
which it unfolds itself ought to be the subject of a special
work.[216] Suffice it to notice here that, to popularise in Flanders,
and subsequently in France and Germany, the idea of the fox as the
type of every species of malice and imposture, it is the priest who,
for the most part, is the human impersonation of the masculine
Reinart. The _Procession du Renart_ is famous; it was a farce
conceived in 1313 by Philippe le Bel, on account of his quarrel with
Pope Boniface VIII., and acted by the scholars of Paris. The principal
personage was a man disguised in the skin of a fox, and wearing over
all a priest's surplice, whose chief industry it was to give chase to
chickens. This form of satire, however, directed against the Church,
is certainly much older than those times, and goes back to the epoch
of the first differences between the Church and the Empire in the
eleventh century, at which time two mediæval Latin poems appeared,
_Reinardus Vulpes_ and _Ysengrimus_; with the schism of England and
the Reformation of the sixteenth century, however, _Reinardus Vulpes_
decisively became a Romish fox. The finesse and perfection of the
satirical poem which S. Naylor, its English translator, calls "the
unholy bible of the world," also increased the fox's popularity, and
made it yet more proverbial. The principal subjects of the poem
existed previously, not only in oral, but also in literary tradition;
they were grouped together and put in order, and a more human, more
malicious nature was given to the fox, a nature more hypocritical even
than before, and more priestly, whence it now more than ever--

      "Urbibus et castris regnat et ecclesiis."

Macchiavelli, St Ignazio di Loyola, and St Vincenzo de' Paoli took upon
themselves the charge of propagating its type over the whole world.

The wolf is better, when he is a wolf, for then we know at least what he
wants; we know that he is our enemy, and are accordingly on our guard;
but he, too, sometimes disguises himself, by imposture or magic, as a
sheep, a shepherd, a monk, or a penitent, like Ysengrin; and from this
point of view resembles not a little his perfidious god-mother the fox;
it is well known that amongst the exploits of Reinart there is that of
his extra-matrimonial union with the she-wolf.

In the _Ṛigvedas_ we already find several interesting mythical data
concerning the wolf; he is in it entirely demoniacal, as the exhausted
Vṛikas, to which, in a hymn, the Açvinâu give back its strength,[217]
seems, as it appears to me, not to be the wolf, but the messenger crow
which, during the night, must carry the solar hero.

As in the Zendic _Vendidad_,[218] the souls of good men, when on the
way to heaven, are afraid of meeting the wolf, so in the _Ṛigvedas_,
the devotee says that once the reddish wolf (which seems to be
confounded here with the jackal or the fox) saw him coming on the way,
and fled in terror;[219] he invokes the (luminous) night to send the
wolf, the robber far away,[220] and the god Pûshan (the sun) to remove
the evil wolf, the malignant spirit, from the path of the devotees,
the wolf that besieges the roads, thieving, fraudulent,
double-dealing.[221] The poet, after having called the enemy Vṛikas,
prays, with imprecations, that he may lacerate his own body;[222] and
the wild beast, full of witchcraft,[223] which Indras kills, is
probably a wolf. But, besides this, I think I can find in the
_Ṛigvedas_ the _lupus piscator_ of Russian and Western tradition;
(according to Ælianos there were wolves friendly to fishermen near the
Palus Mœotis.) In the fifty-sixth hymn of the eighth book, Matsyas
(the fish) invokes the Âdityas (that is, the luminous gods) to free
him and his from the jaws of the wolf. So in another strophe of the
same hymn, we must in reason suppose that it is a fish that speaks
when she who has a terrible son (_i.e._, the mother of the sun) is
invoked as protectress from him who in the shallow waters endeavours
to kill him.[224] We also find a fish lying in shallow water
explicitly mentioned in another hymn;[225] which proves to us the
image of the fish without water, which was widely developed in later
Hindoo tradition, to have been in the Vedic age already a familiar
one. We find the dog as the enemy of the wolf in the Hindoo words
_vṛikâris vṛikârâtis_, and _vṛikadanças_. (In the thirteenth story of
the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the wolf wishes to eat the dog; the
latter, who feels himself too weak to resist, begs the wolf to bring
him something to eat, in order that he may become larger, and be more
tender for the wolf's teeth; but when he is in good condition, he
acquires strength and makes the wolf run. The enmity of the dog and
the wolf was also made popular in the Æsopian fables.)

In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[226] we already meet with the proverbial
expression of the sheep who do not increase when guarded by the wolf
or jackal (rakshayamâṇâ na vardhante meshâ gomâyunâ).

In the _Mahâbhâratam_, the second of the three sons of Kuntî, the
strong, terrible, and voracious Bhîmas, is called Wolf's-belly
(Vṛikodaras, the solar hero enclosed in the nocturnal or winter
darkness). Here the wolf has a heroic and sympathetic form, as in the
_Tuti-Name_[227] he, although famished, shows compassion upon a maiden
who travels to fulfil a promise; as in the same _Tuti-Name_[228] he
helps the lion against the mice, and in the story of Ardschi Bordschi,
the boy, son of a wolf, understands the language of wolves, and
teaches it to the merchants with whom he lives; like the Russian
she-wolf that gives her milk to Ivan Karoliević, in order that he may
take it to the witch, his wife, who induced him to fetch it in the
hope that he would thereby meet with his death;[229] and like the
she-wolf of the fifteenth Esthonian story, who comes up on hearing the
cry of a child, and gives its milk to nourish it. The story tells us
that the shape of a wolf was assumed by the mother of the child
herself, and that when she was alone, she placed her wolf-disguise
upon a rock, and appeared as a naked woman to give milk to her child.
The husband, informed of this, orders that the rock be heated, so that
when the wolf's skin is again placed upon it, it may be burnt, and he
may thus be able to recognise and take back to himself his wife. The
she-wolf that gives her milk to the twin-brothers, Romulus and Remus,
in Latin epic tradition, was no less a woman than the nurse-wolf of
the Esthonian story.[230] The German hero Wolfdieterich, the wolves
who hunt for the hero in Russian stories, sacred to Mars and to Thor
as their hunting dogs, have the same benignant nature. (The evening
aurora disguises herself in the night with a wolf's skin, nourishes as
a she-wolf the new-born solar hero, and in the morning puts down her
wolf's skin upon the fiery rock of the East, and finds her husband
again.) What Solinus tells us of the Neuri, viz., that they
transformed themselves into wolves at stated periods; and what used to
be narrated of the Arcadians, to the effect that when they crossed a
certain marsh, they became wolves for eight years,--suggests us a new
idea of the zoological transformations of the solar hero.[231] In La
Fontaine,[232] the shadow of the wolf makes the sheep flee in the
evening. As a hero transformed, the wolf has a benignant aspect in
legends. According to Baronius, in the year 617, a number of wolves
presented themselves at a monastery, and tore in pieces several
friars who entertained heretical opinions. The wolves sent by God tore
the sacrilegious thieves of the army of Francesco Maria, Duke of
Urbino, who had come to sack the treasure of the holy house of Loreto.
A wolf guarded and defended from the wild beasts the head of St Edmund
the Martyr, King of England. St Oddo, Abbot of Cluny, assailed in a
pilgrimage by foxes, was delivered and escorted by a wolf; thus a wolf
showed the way to the beatified Adam, in the same way as, in
_Herodotos_, the wolves served as guides to the priests of Ceres. A
wolf, having devoured two mares which drew a cart, was forced by St
Eustorgius to draw the cart in their stead, and obeyed his orders. St
Norbert compelled a wolf, first to let a sheep go after having
clutched it, and then to guard the sheep all day without touching
them. We read of the youth of the ancient Syracusan hero Hielon that,
being at school, a wolf carried off his tablets in order to make him
pursue it; no sooner was Hielon out, than the wolf re-entered the
school, and massacred the master and the other scholars.

And even after his death the wolf is useful. The ancients believed
that a wolf's hide, when put on by one who had been bitten by a mad
dog, was a charm against hydrophobia. According to Pliny, wolf's teeth
rubbed on the gums of children during teething relieves the pain
(which is quite credible, but any other sharp tooth would serve the
same purpose, by making the teeth cut sooner). In Sicily it is
believed that a wolf's head increases the courage of whoever puts it
on. In the province of Girgenti shoes are made of wolf's skin for
children whom their parents wish to grow up strong, brave, and
pugnacious. The animals themselves that are ridden by persons who wear
these shoes are cured of their pain. The animal _allupatu_ (that is,
which has once been bitten by a wolf) becomes invulnerable, and never
feels any other kind of pain. It is also believed in Sicily that when
a wolf's skin is exposed in the open air, it causes drums to break
when they are beaten. This superstition reminds us of the fable of the
fox that kills itself by breaking the drum or biting the string of a
bow; the mythical drum (that is, the cloud) is destroyed when the
wolf's skin is taken off. In Æsop's fable, the wolf's skin is
recommended by the fox as a cure for the sick lion.

But the wolf of tradition usually has a perverse or diabolical
signification; and as the demon is represented now as a master of
every species of perfidy and wickedness, and now as a fool, so is the
wolf. In the Hellenic myth, Lycaon, King of Arcadia, became a wolf
because he had fed upon human flesh. According to Servius, the wolves
among the people, called for this reason Hirpini (the Sabine word
_hirpus_ meaning a wolf), carried off the entrails of the victim
sacrificed to Pluto, and therefore brought down a pestilence upon the
land. Wolves tore the hero Milôn to pieces in the forest. Wolves are
an omen of death; the loup garou of popular French tradition is a
diabolical form.[233] In the _Edda_, the two wolves Sköll and Hati
wish to take, one the sun and the other the moon; the wolf devours the
sun, father of the world, and gives birth to a daughter. He is then
killed by Vidarr. Hati precedes the luminous betrothed of the sky; the
wolf Fenris, son of the demoniacal Lokis, chained by the Ases, bites
off the hand that the hero Tyr, as an earnest of the good faith of the
Ases, had put into his mouth,[234] when chained to the western gate.
Nanna, of the _Pentamerone_, after having travelled over the world, is
disguised in the shape of a wolf, and changes in character and in
colour, becoming malicious; the three sons of the Finns go to inhabit
the Valley of the Wolf, near the Wolf's Lake, and find there three
women spinning, who can transform themselves into swans. On Christmas
Eve, the King Helgi meets a witch who rides upon a wolf, having eagles
for bridles.[235] Wolves eat each other; the wolf Sinfiölti becomes a
eunuch; the wolf who flees before the hero is an omen of victory, as
well as the wolf who howls under the branches of an ash-tree. (The
howling of the wolf, the braying of the ass, the hissing of the
serpent, announce the death of the demoniacal monster; this howling
must necessarily take place in the morning, or the spring, when the
hero has recovered his strength, as the _Edda_ says that "a hero must
never fight towards sunset)." If Gunnar (the solar hero) loses his
life, the wolf becomes the master of the treasure, and of the heritage
of Nifl; the heroes roast the wolf. All these legendary particulars
relating to the wolf in the _Edda_ concur in showing us the wolf as a
gloomy and diabolical monster. The night and the winter is the time of
the wolf spoken of in the _Voluspa_; the gods who enter, according to
the German tradition, into wolves' skins, represent the sun as hiding
himself in the night, or the snowy season of winter (whence the
demoniacal white wolf of a Russian story,[236] in the midst of seven
black wolves). Inasmuch as the solar hero becomes a wolf, he has a
divine nature; inasmuch, on the contrary, as the wolf is the proper
form of the devil, his nature is entirely malignant. The condemned
man, the proscribed criminal, the bandit, the _utlagatus_ or outlaw,
were said in the Middle Ages to wear a _caput lupinum_ (in England,
_wulfesheofod_; in France, _teste lœue_). The wolf Ysengrin,
descended partly from the Æsopian wolf, and partly from Scandinavian
myths, which were propagated in Germany, Flanders, and France,
possesses much of the diabolical craftiness of the fox; he usually
adopts against sheep the same stratagems which the fox makes use of to
entrap chickens. The French proverb makes the fox preach to the fowls;
the Italian proverb makes the wolf sing psalms when he wishes to
ensnare the sheep. As we have seen the jackal and the fox confounded
in the East, so Reinart and Ysengrin are sometimes identified by their
cunning in Western tradition. A recent French writer, who had observed
the habits of the wolf, says that he is "effrayant de sagacité et de
calcul."[237] In the second story of the second book of
_Afanassieff_, the same wizard-wolf who knew how to imitate the goat's
voice to deceive the kids, goes to the house of an old man and an old
woman, who have five sheep, a horse, and a calf. The wolf comes and
begins to sing. The old woman admires the song, and gives him one
sheep, then the others, then the horse, next the calf, and finally
herself. The old man, left alone, at last succeeds in hunting the wolf
away. In the preceding story, where the animals accuse each other, the
demoniacal wolf, when his turn comes, accuses God. We have already
spoken of the wolf who, by the order of St Eustorgius, draws the cart
instead of the mares which he had eaten. In the twenty-fifth story of
the third book of _Afanassieff_, the wolf comes up to the sleeping
workman, and smells him; the workman awakes, takes the wolf by the
tail,[238] and kills him. Another time the same workman, when he goes
with his father to the chase, after having enriched himself with money
which he had taken from three brigands who had hidden it in a deserted
mill, meets again with two wolves who eat the horses, but, entangling
themselves in the reins, they are compelled to draw the car home again
themselves; here, therefore, we have the miracle of St Eustorgius
reduced to its natural mythical proportions. Here, evidently, the wolf
begins to show himself as a stupid animal; the demon teaches his art
to the little solar hero in the evening, and is betrayed by the hero
himself in the morning; the fox cheats the solar cock in the evening,
and is deceived by it in the morning; the wolf succeeds by his
wickedness in the evening, and is ruined in the morning. We have
already mentioned the Norwegian story of the little Schmierbock, who,
put into a sack by the witch, twice makes a hole in the sack and
escapes, and the third time makes the witch eat her own daughter.
Schmierbock is the ram; the witch or night puts him into the sack. In
the Piedmontese story,[239] and in the Russian one, instead of
Schmierbock, we have Piccolino (the very little one), and the Small
Little Finger (malćik-s palćik, that is, the little finger, which is
the wise one, according to popular superstition). The Russian story is
as follows: An old woman, while baking a cake (the moon), cuts off her
little finger and throws it into the fire. From the little finger in
the fire, a dwarf, but very strong son, is born, who afterwards does
many wonderful things. One day he was eating the tripe of an ox in the
forest; the wolf passes by, and eats dwarf and tripe together. After
this, the wolf approaches a flock of sheep, but the dwarf cries out
from within the wolf, "Shepherd, shepherd, thou sleepest and the wolf
carries off a sheep." The shepherd then chases the wolf away, who
endeavours to get rid of his troublesome guest; the dwarf requests the
wolf to carry him home to his parents; no sooner have they arrived
there than the dwarf comes out behind and catches hold of the wolf's
tail, shouting, "Kill the wolf, kill the grey one." The old people
come out and kill it.[240] The mythical wolf dies now after only one
night, now after only one winter of life. To the mythical wolf,
however, bastard sons were born, who, changing only their skin,
succeeded in living for a long period among mortals in the midst of
civil society, preserving, nevertheless, their wolf-like habits. The
French proverb says, "Le loup alla à Rome; il y laissa de son poil et
rien de ses coutumes." The pagan she-wolf gave milk to the Roman
heroes; the Catholic wolf, thunderstruck by Dante,[241] on the
contrary, feeds upon them--

      "Ed ha natura sì malvagia e ria,
         Che mai non empie la bramosa voglia,
         E dopo il pasto ha più fame che pria.
       Molti son gli animali a cui s'ammoglia."


[194] Cfr. _Ueber den Zusammenhang indischer Fabeln mit griechischen_,
Berlin, Dümmler, 1855.

[195] In a German tradition referred to by Schmidt, _Forschungen_, s.
105, we have the deity who presents himself as a fox to the hunter
voluntarily to be sacrificed; the hunter flays him, and the flies and
ants eat his flesh. In a Russian story of which I shall give an
abridgment, the wolf eats the fox when he sees it without its hairy

[196] i. 5566, _et seq._

[197] i. 16, iv. 2; cfr. also iv. 10, and the chapter on the Hare.--In
the story, iii. 14, of the _Pańćatantram_, the jackal cheats the lion
who has occupied his cave, by making him roar; and thus assuring
himself that the lion is in the cave, he is able to escape.

[198] iii. 29.

[199] Cfr. _Pańćatantram_, i. 10; _Tuti-Name_, ii. 146.

[200] i. 2, ii. 3.--In the nineteenth Mongol story, the young man who
passes himself off as a hero is ordered to bring to the queen the skin
of a certain fox which is indicated to him; on the way the youth loses
his bow; returning to look for it, he finds the fox dead close to the
bow, which it had tried to bite, and which had struck and killed it.

[201] iv. 4.

[202] i. 134, 135.

[203] _Tuti-Name_, ii. 125.--In the stories of the same night (the
twenty-second) of the _Tuti-Name_, we have the lynx (lupus cervarius)
who wishes to take the house of the monkey who occupies the lion's
house, and the jackal who runs after the camel's testicles, as in the
_Pańćatantram_ he runs after those of the bull. In the story, ii. 7,
the fox lets his bone fall into the water in order to catch a fish (a
variety of the well-known fable of the dog and of the wolf or devil as

[204] _Tuti-Name_, ii. 142, 143.

[205] i. 168, _et seq._

[206] _Querolus_, i. 2.

[207] In the eighteenth story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, an
extraordinary cake escapes from the house of an old man and woman, and
wanders about; it finds the hare, the wolf, and the bear, who all wish
to eat it; it sings its story to them all, and is allowed to go; it
sings it to the fox, too, but the latter praises the song, and eats
the cake, after having made it get upon his back.

[208] In _Afanassieff_, i. 14, the hero, Theodore, finds some wolves
fighting among themselves for a bone, some bees fighting for the
honey, and some shrimps fighting for caviare; he makes a just
division, and the grateful wolves, bees, and shrimps help him in need.

[209] Cfr. _Lou loup penjat_ in the _Contes de l'Armagnac_, collected
by Bladé, Paris, 1867, p. 9.

[210] Cfr. the English expression applied to the moon, "made of green
cheese;" this is the connection between green and yellow previously

[211] _Afanassieff_, iv. 10.

[212] It is here, perhaps, to be remarked that in the Piedmontese
dialect lightning is called _loszna_.

[213] _Afanassieff_, iv. 11. In the fourth story of the second book of
the _Pentamerone_, instead of a fox, it is the cat that enriches Pippo
Gagliufo and runs before him. In the same way as in the Russian stories
the man shows himself ungrateful towards the fox, so in the
_Pentamerone_ the cat ends by cursing the ungrateful Pippo Gagliufo whom
she had done good to. In the following story the fox offers herself as
companion to the young bride who is looking for her lost husband.


      "Pietushók, pietushók,
       Zalatói grebeshók,
       Másliannaja galovka,
       Smiatanij lobók!
       Vighliani v oshko;
       Dam tebie kashki,
       Na krasnoi loszkie."

In an unpublished Tuscan story which I heard related at Antignano near
Leghorn, a chicken wishes to go with its father (the cock) into the
Maremma to search for food. Its father advises it not to do so for
fear of the fox, but the chicken insists upon going; on the way it
meets the fox, who is about to eat it, when the chicken beseeches him
to let it go into the Maremma, where it will fatten, lay eggs, bring
up young chickens, and be able to provide the fox with a much more
substantial meal than it now could. The fox consents. The chicken
brings up a hundred young ones; when they are grown up, they set out
to return home; every fowl carries in its mouth an ear of millet,
except the youngest. On the way they meet the fox waiting for them; on
seeing all these animals each with a straw in its beak, the astonished
fox asks the mother-hen what it is they carry. "All fox's tails," she
answers, upon which the fox takes to its heels.--We find the fox's
tail in connection with ears of corn in the legend of Samson; the
incendiary fox is also found in Ovid's _Fasti_, iv. 705; (from the
malice with which the story-teller (a woman) relates the fable, it is
probable that the fox's tail has here also a phallic meaning).--In
_Sextus Empiricus_ we read that a fox's tail hung on the arm of a weak
husband is of great use to him.

[215] Thus, in the myth of Kephalos, his dog cannot, by a decree of
fate, overtake the fox; but inasmuch as, on the other hand, no one
also, by decree of fate, can escape from the dog of Kephalos, dog and
fox are both, by the command of Zeus, changed into stone (the two
auroras, or dying sun and dying moon).

[216] This work has, on the other hand, been already almost
accomplished, as regards the Franco-Germanic part, in the erudite and
interesting introduction (pp. 5-163) which Ch. Potvin has prefixed to
his translation into verse of the _Roman du Renard_, Paris, Bohné;
Bruxelles, Lacroix, 1861. I am told that Professor Schiefner read a
discourse two years since at St Petersburg upon the story of the fox,
but I do not know whether it has been published.

[217] Vṛikâya ćiǵ ǵasamânâya çaktam; _Ṛigv._ vii. 68, 8.--The grateful
wolf and crow are found united to assist Ivan Tzarević in the
twenty-fourth story of the second book of _Afanassieff_.

[218] xix. 108, 109.

[219] Aruṇo mâ sakṛid vṛikaḥ pathâ yantam dadarça hi uǵ ǵihîte
nićâyya; _Ṛigv._ i. 105, 18.

[220] Yâvayâ vṛikyaṁ vṛikaṁ yavaya stenam ûrmya; _Ṛigv._ x. 127, 6.--A
wolf seen in a dream, according to Cardano, announces a robber.

[221] Yo naḥ pûshann agho vṛiko duḥçeva âdideçati apa sma tvam patho
ǵahi--Paripanthinam mashîvâṇaṁ huraçćitam--Dvayâvinaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 42,

[222] Svayaṁ ripus tanvaṁ rîrishîshṭa; _Ṛigv._ vi. 51, 6, 7.

[223] Mâyinam mṛigaṁ; _Ṛigv._ i. 80, 7.

[224] Te na âsno vṛikâṇâm âdityâso mumoćata; _Ṛigv._ viii. 56,
14.--Parshi dîne gabhîra âṅ ugraputre ǵighâṅsataḥ; _Ṛigv._ viii. 56, 11.

[225] Matsyaṁ na dîna udani kshiyantam; _Ṛigv._ x. 68, 8.

[226] iii. 45.--In the twenty-second night of the _Tuti-Name_, the
wolf enters, on the contrary, into the house of the jackal; here wolf
and jackal are already distinguished in it from one another,--that is,
as red wolf and black wolf.

[227] i. 253.

[228] i. 271.

[229] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, vi. 51, v. 27, and v. 28.

[230] It is also said that the nurse of the Latin twins was a
strumpet, because _lupæ_ or _lupanæ fœœminæ_ were names given to such
women, whence also the name of _lupanaria_ given to the houses to
which they resorted: "Abscondunt spurcas hæc monumenta lupas." Olaus
Magnus wrote, that wolves, attracted by smell, attack pregnant women,
whence the custom that no pregnant woman should go out unless
accompanied by an armed man. The ancients believed that the phallos of
the wolf roasted and eaten weakened the Venus.

[231] In the _Legendes et Croyances Superstitieuses de la Creuse_,
collected by Bonnafoux, Guéret, 1867, p. 27, we read concerning the loup
garou, that the wolf thanks whoever wounds him. It is said that they who
are disguised in the skin of the loup garou are condemned souls: "Chaque
nuit, ils sont forcés d'aller chercher la maudite peau à un endroit
convenu et ils courent ainsi jusqu'à ce qu'ils rencontrent une âme
charitable et courageuse qui les délivre en les blessant."


      "... devant qu'il fût nuit
       Il arriva nouvel encombre;
       Un loup parut, tout le troupeau s'enfuit
       Ce n'était pas un loup, ce n'en était que l'ombre."

The sheep were right, however, to flee. In the _Edda_, the fourth
swallow says, "When I see the wolf's ears, I think that the wolf is
not far off." The twilight is the shadow or ear of the wolf.

[233] Lous loups-garous soun gens coumo nous autes; mès an heyt un
countrat dab lou diable, e cado sé soun fourçatz de se cambia en
bestios per ana au sabbat e courre touto la neyt. Y a per aco un
mouyén de lous goari. Lous can tira sang pendent qu' an perdut la
forme de l'home, e asta leu la reprengon per toutjour; Bladé, _Contes
et Proverbes Populaires recueillis en Armagnac_, Paris, 1867, p. 51.

[234] We ought perhaps to add here the tradition cited by Cæsarius
Heisterbacensis of a wolf who, biting the arm of a girl, drags her to
a place where there is another wolf; the more she cries the more
fiercely the wolf bites her. The other wolf has a bone in his throat,
which the girl extracts; here the girl takes the place of the crane or
stork of the fable; the bone may be now the moon, now the sun.

[235] In another passage in the _Edda_, the eagle sits upon the wolf.
According to the Latin legend of the foundation of Lavinium, the Trojans
saw a singular prodigy. A fire arises in the woods; the wolf brings dry
twigs in his mouth to make it burn better, and the eagle helps him by
fanning the flames with his wings. The fox, on the other hand, dips its
brush in the river to put out the fire with it, but does not succeed.

[236] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, iii. 19.

[237] Les loups, qui ont très peu d'amis en France, et qui sont
obligés d'apporter dans toutes leurs démarches une excessive prudence,
chassent presque toujours à la muette. J'ai été plusieurs fois en
position d'admirer la profondeur de leurs combinaisons stratégiques;
c'est effrayant de sagacité et de calcul; Toussenel, _L'Esprit des
Bêtes_, ch. i.--And Aldrovandi, _De Quadrup. Dig. Viv._ ii. "Lupi
omnem vim ingenii naturalem in ovibus insidiando exercent; noctu enim
ovili appropinquantes, pedes lambunt, ne strepitum in gradiendo edant,
et foliis obstrepentibus pedes quasi reos mordent."

[238] In Piedmont it is also said in jest, that a man once met a wolf
and thrust his hand down its throat, so far down that it reached its
tail on the other side; he then pulled the tail inside the wolf's body
and out through its throat, so that the wolf, turned inside out,

[239] In an unpublished, though very popular Piedmontese story,
Piccolino is upon a tree eating figs; the wolf passes by and asks him
for some, threatening him thus: "Piculin, dame ün fig, dass no, i t
mangiu." Piccolino throws him down two, which are crushed upon the
wolf's nose. Then the wolf threatens to eat him if he does not bring
him a fig down; Piccolino comes down, and the wolf puts him in a sack
and carries him towards his house, where the mother-wolf is waiting
for him. But on the way the wolf is pressed by a corporeal necessity,
and is obliged to go on the roadside; meanwhile, Piccolino makes a
hole in the sack, comes out and puts a stone in his place. The wolf
returns, shoulders the sack, but thinks that Piccolino has become much
heavier. He goes home and tells the she-wolf to be glad, and prepare
the cauldron full of hot water; he then empties the sack into the
cauldron; the stone makes the boiling water spurt out upon the wolf's
head, and he is scalded to death.

[240] Cfr. the well-known English fairy-tales of _Tom Thumb_ and

[241] _Inferno_, c. i.




    Lion and tiger symbols of royal majesty.--Tvashṭar as a lion.--The
    hair of Tvashṭar in the fire.--Winds that roar like lions.--The
    lion-seducer.--The lion and the honey; the lion and
    riches.--Nobility of the lion.--The lion's part.--The monster
    lioness.--The old and sick lion; the lion with a thorn in its
    foot.--Monster and demoniacal lions.--The lion is afraid of the
    cock.--Sterility of the lion.--The story of Atalanta.--The sun in
    the sign Leo.--The virgin and the lion.--Çivas, Dionysos, and the
    tiger.--A hair from the tiger's tail; the Mantikora.--The
    chameleon; the god chameleon.

The tiger and the lion have in India the same dignity, and are both
supreme symbols of royal strength and majesty.[242] The tiger of men
and the lion of men are two expressions equivalent to prince, as the
prince is supposed to be the best man. It is strength that gives
victory and superiority in natural relations; therefore the tiger and
the lion, called kings of beasts, represent the king in the civic
social relations among men. The narasinhas of India was called, in the
Middle Ages, the king _par excellence_; thus in Greece the king was
also called leôn.

The myth of the lion and the tiger is essentially an Asiatic one;
notwithstanding this, a great part of it was developed in Greece, where
lion and tiger were at one time not unknown, and must have, as in India,
inspired something like that religious terror caused by oriental kings.

We have already mentioned the Vedic monster lion of the West, in which
we recognise the expiring sun. The strong Indras, killer of the
monster, Vṛitras, is also represented as a lion. In the same way as
the Jewish Samson is found in connection with the lion, and this lion
with honey, and as the strength of the lion and that of Samson is said
to be centred in the hair (the sun, when he loses his rays or mane,
loses all his strength), so in the parallel myth of Indras we find
analogous circumstances. Tvasḥṭar, the Hindoo celestial blacksmith,
who makes weapons now for the gods and now for the demons (the reddish
sky of morning and of evening is likened to a burning forge; the solar
hero or the sun in this forge, is a blacksmith), is also represented
in a Vedic hymn[243] as a lion, turned towards which, towards the
west, heaven and earth rejoice, although (on account of the din made
by him when coming into the world) they are, before all, terrified.
The form of a lion is one of the favourite shapes created by the
mythical and legendary blacksmith.

In the _Mârkaṇdeya-P._,[244] this same Tvashṭar (which the _Ṛigvedas_
represents as a lion), wishing to avenge himself upon the god Indras,
who had (perhaps at morn) killed one of his sons, creates another,
son, Vṛitras (the coverer), by tearing a lock of hair off his head and
throwing it into the fire (the sun burns every evening in the western
forge, his rays or mane, and the gloomy monster of night is born).
Indras makes a truce with Vṛitras (in Russian stories, heroes and
monsters nearly always challenge each other to say before fighting
whether they will have peace or war), and subsequently violates the
treaty; for this perfidy he loses his strength, which passes into
Mârutas, the son of the wind (the Hanumant of the _Râmâyaṇam_. In a
Vedic hymn, the voice of the Mârutas is compared to the roar of
lions),[245] and into the three brothers Pâṇḍavas, sons of Kunti (the
passage of the legend from the Vedas to the two principal Hindoo epic
poems is thus indicated). Thus, in the same _Mârkaṇdeya-P._, Indras,
having violated Ahalyâ, the wife of Gâutamas, loses his beauty (in
other Puranic legends he becomes a eunuch or has a thousand wombs.
Indras is powerful as the sun; he is powerful, too, in the cloud, by
means of the thunderbolt; but when he hides himself in the serene and
starry sky, he is powerless), which passes to the two Açvinâu, who
afterwards renew themselves in the two Pâṇḍavâu sons of Mâdrî, as the
sons of the demons were personified in the sons of Dhṛitarâshṭras.

Tvashṭar, the creator, now of divine, now of monstrous forms, Tvashṭar
the lion, must necessarily create leonine forms. In a Tuscan story,
the blacksmith makes a lion by means of which Argentofo penetrates by
night into the room of a young princess, with whom he unites himself.
In the third story of the fourth book of the _Pentamerone_, the three
prince brothers, when the fairy's curse is over, return home with
their brides, drawn by six lions. This lion-seducer reminds us of
Indras, who was also a lion and a seducer of women. A hymn tells us
that Indras fights like a terrible lion;[246] in another hymn, the
same lion is considered, as in the legend of Samson, in connection
with honey.[247] In the twenty-second night of the _Tuti-Name_, the
lion presents himself in connection with riches; flattered by a man
who calls him a king, he lets him collect the riches scattered on the
ground by a caravan which the lion had destroyed.[248] His royal
nature is also shown in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[249] in which King Daçarathas
says that his son Râmas, the lion of men, after his exile, will
disdain to occupy the kingdom previously enjoyed by Bharatas, in the
same way as the lion disdains to feed upon flesh which has been licked
by other animals. It is perhaps for this reason that, in the fable,
the lion's part means all the prey. The proud one becomes the violent
one, the tyrant, and hence the monster. In the _Âitareya Br._,[250]
the earth, full of gifts made by the right hand--that is, by the
eastern part--presented by the Âdityâs (or luminous gods) to the
Añgirasas (the seven solar rays, the seven wise men, and hence the
priests), attacks, in the evening, the nations with its mouth wide
open, having become a lioness (sinhîbhûtvâ). In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[251]
the car that carries the monster Indraǵit is impetuously drawn by four
lions. In the _Tuti-Name_,[252] we have the fable of the lion, instead
of the wolf, that accuses the lamb, and the lion who is afraid of the
ass, of the bull (as in the introduction to the _Pańćatantram_), and
of the lynx. The Western lion-sun is now monstrous, now aged, now ill,
now has a thorn in his foot,[253] is now blind, and now foolish. The
monstrous lion who guards the monster's dwelling, the infernal abode,
is found in a great number of popular stories. In Hellenic tradition
the monstrous lion occurs more than once; such is the lion that
ravages the country of the King of Megara, who promises his daughter
to wife to the hero that will kill it; such is the lioness who, with
her bloody jaws (the purple in the dog's mouth and the meat in the
dog's mouth of the myths are of equivalent import) makes Thysbe's veil
bloody, so that when Pyramos sees it he believes Thysbe to be dead,
and kills himself; when Thysbe sees this, she too kills herself in
despair (an ancient form of the death of Romeo and Juliet); such is
the Nemæan lion strangled by Hêraklês; such the lion of Mount Olympos
which the young Polydamos kills without weapons; such were the leonine
monsters with human faces which, according to Solinus, inhabited the
Caspian; such was the Chimæra, part lion, part goat, and part dragon,
and several other mythical figures of the passage of the evening sun
into the gloom of night.

And it is under the conception of the lion as monstrous that the
ancients were unanimous in believing that he fears above all animals the
cock, and especially its fiery comb. The solar cock of morning entirely
destroys the monsters. In a fable of Achilles Statius, the lion
complains that Prometheus had allowed a cock to frighten him, but soon
after consoles himself, upon learning that the elephant is tormented by
the little mosquito that buzzes in its ears. Lucretius, too, in the
fourth book _De Rerum Naturâ_ represents the cock as throwing seeds:--

      "Nimirum quia sunt Gallorum in corpore quædam
       Semina, quæ cum sint oculis immissa Leonum
       Pupillas interfodiunt acremque dolorem[254]
       Præbent, ut nequeant contra durare feroces."

Sometimes the hero or god passes into the form of a lion to vanquish the
monsters, like Dionysos, Apollon, Hêraklês, in Greece, and Indras and
Visḥnus in India. In the legend of St Marcellus, a lion having appeared
to the saint in a vision as killing a serpent, this appearance was
considered as a presage of good fortune to the enterprise of the Emperor
Leo in Africa. Sometimes, on the other hand, hero and heroine become
lion and lioness by the vengeance of deities or monsters. Atalanta
defies the pretenders to her hand to outstrip her in running, and kills
those who lose. Hippomenes, by the favour of the goddess of love, having
received three apples from the garden of the Hesperides, provokes
Atalanta to the race; on the way, he throws the apples down; Atalanta
cannot resist the impulse to gather them up, and Hippomenes overtakes
her, and unites himself with her in the wood sacred to the mother of the
gods; the offended goddess transforms the young couple into a lion and a
lioness. In the _Gesta Romanorum_, a girl, daughter of the Emperor
Vespasian, kills the claimant of her hand in a garden, in the form of a
ferocious lion. Empedokles, however, considered the transformation into
a lion as the best of all human metamorphoses. When the sun enters into
the sign of the lion, he arrives at his greatest height of power; and
the golden crown which the Florentines placed upon their lion in the
public square, on the day of St John, was a symbol of the approach of
the season which they call by one word alone, _sollione_. This lion is
enraged, and makes, as it is said, plants and animals rage. The pagan
legend says of Prometheus--

                         "Insani leonis
      Vim stomacho apposuisse nostro."[255]

But the mythical lion, the sun, does not inspire the man with rage
alone, but strength also.[256]

The tiger, the panther, and the leopard possess several of the
mythical characteristics of the lion as a hidden sun, with which they
are, moreover, sometimes confounded in their character of omniform
animals. The leopard was sacred to the god Pan, whose nature we
already know, and the panther to Protheus and Dionysos, because it is
said to have a liking for wine (we have seen the Vedic lion Indras in
connection with honey, and Indras himself in connection with the
somas), and because the nurses of Dionysos were transformed into
panthers. Dionysos appears now surrounded by panthers, by means of
which he terrifies pirates and puts them to flight, and now drawn by
tigers. Dionysos is at the same time a phallical and an ambrosial god,
and hence the god of wine; thus in India, Çivas, the phallical god,
_par excellence_, and who is omniform like Tvashṭar and Yamas, his
almost equivalent forms, has the tiger for his ensign, and is covered
with a tiger's skin. It is a singular fact that in Hindoo tradition a
murderous strength is attributed to the tiger's tail. A Hindoo proverb
says that a hair of the tiger's tail may be the cause of losing one's
life,[257] which naturally suggests to our minds the tiger
Mantikora,[258] which has in its tail hairs which are darts thrown by
it to defend itself, and are spoken of by Ktesias, in _Pausanias_.

Finally, having considered the tiger, the panther, and the leopard,
variegated and omniform animals, and compared them with the lion,
whose combat with the serpent we have also mentioned, it is natural to
add a few more words concerning the chameleon, of whose enmity to the
serpent and medicinal virtues Greek and Latin authors have written at
such length. The _kṛikalâças_ or _kṛikalâsas_, or chameleon, is
already spoken of in a Vedic _Brâhmaṇam_. In the fifty-fifth canto of
the last book of the _Râmâyaṇam_, we read that King Nṛigas was
condemned to remain invisible to all creatures in the form of a
chameleon during many hundreds and thousands of years, until the god
Vishṇus, humanised in the form of Vasudevas, will come to release him
from this curse, incurred for having delayed to judge a controversy
pending between two Brâhmans concerning the ownership of a cow and a
calf. In the stories of grateful animals, as is well-known, the hero
often earns their gratitude by intervening to divide their prey into
just portions, while they are disputing over it themselves. From the
last book of the _Râmâyaṇam_, we learn also that the form of the
chameleon is that assumed by Kuveras, the god of riches, when the gods
flee terrified from the sight of the monster Râvaṇas. As Yamas and
Çivas are almost equivalent forms, so between Yamas and Kuveras there
is the same relation as between Pluto and Plutus. To the tiger Çivas
corresponds the chameleon Kuveras; and the chameleon god of wealth,
enemy of the serpent, is closely connected in mythology with the lion
Indras, with the lion that kills the monster serpent, and with the
lion that covets the treasure.


[242] Hêraklês, Hektor, Achilles, among the Greek heroes;
Wolfdieterich, and several other heroes of Germanic tradition, have
these animals for their ensigns; the lion is the steed of the hero
Hildebrand. Cfr. _Die Deutsche Heldensage_ von Wilhelm Grimm, Berlin,
Dümmler, 1867.--When Agarista and Philip dreamed of a lion, it was
considered an augury, the one of the birth of Pericles, and the other
of that of Alexander the Great.

[243] Ubhe tvashṭur bibhyatur ǵâyamânât pratîćî sinham prati
ǵoshayete; _Ṛigv._ i. 95, 5.

[244] v.

[245] Te svânino rudriyâ varshanirṇiǵah siṅhâ na heshakratavaḥ
sudânavaḥ; _Ṛigv._ iii. 26, 5.--In the Bohemian story of grandfather
_Vsievedas_, the young hero is sent by the prince who wishes to ruin
him to take the three golden hairs of this grandfather (the sun).

[246] Siṅho na bhîma âyudhâni bibhrat; _Ṛigv._ iv. 16, 14. Cfr. i.
174, 3.

[247] Siṅhaṁ nasanta madhvo ayâsaṁ harim aru haṁ divo asya patim;
_Ṛigv._ ix. 89, 3.

[248] In the Greek apologue, Ptolemy, king of Egypt, wishes to send
some money to Alexander in homage to him; the mule, the horse, the
ass, and the camel offer themselves of their own accord to carry the
sacks. On the way, they meet the lion, who wishes to join the party,
saying that he too carries money; but not being accustomed to such
work, he modestly begs the other four to divide his load among
themselves. They consent; soon afterwards, passing through a country
rich in herds, the lion feels inclined to stay, and demands his
portion of the money, but as his money resembles that of the others,
not to mistake, he takes by force both his own and theirs.

[249] ii. 62.

[250] vi. 5, 35.

[251] v. 43.

[252] i. 229.

[253] The anecdote of Androkles and the lion grateful for having a
thorn extracted from his foot, is also related in almost the same
words of Mentor the Syracusan, Helpis of Samos, the Abbot Gerasimos,
St Jerome and (as to the blinded lion whose sight is given back to
him) of Macharios, the confessor. The thorn in the lion's foot is a
zoological form of the hero who is vulnerable in his feet. In the
sixth of the Sicilian stories published by Signora Gonzenbach, the boy
Giuseppe takes a thorn out of a lion's foot; the grateful lion gives
him one of his hairs; by means of this hair, the young man can, in
case of necessity, become a terrible lion, and as such, he bites off
the head of the king of the dragons.

[254] Thus, the ancients attributed to the lion a particular antipathy
to strong smells, such as garlic, and the pudenda of a woman. But this
superstition must be classed with that which ascribes sterility to the
lioness. The women of antiquity, when they met a lioness, considered
it as an omen of sterility. In the Æsopian fable, the foxes boast of
their fruitfulness before the lioness, whom they laugh at because she
gives birth to only one cub. "Yes," she answers, "but it is a lion;"
under the sign of the lion, the earth also becomes arid, and
consequently unfruitful.

[255] Horace, _Carm._ i. 16.

[256] Sculpebant Ethnici auro vel argento leonis imaginem, et ferentes
hujusmodi simulacra generosiores et audaciores evadere dicebantur;
idcirco non est mirum si Aristoteles (in lib. de Secr. Secr.)
scripserit annulum ex auro vel argento, in quo cœœlata sit icon puellæ
equitantis leonem die et hora solis vagantis in domicilio leonis
gestantes, ab omnibus honorari; Aldrovandi, _De Quadrup. Dig. Viv._
i.--In the signs of the Zodiac, Virgo comes after upon Leo; Christians
also celebrate the assumption of the Virgin into heaven towards the
middle of August, when the sun passes from the sign of the lion into
that of the virgin.

[257] Cfr. Böhtlingk, _Indische Sprüche_, 2te Auflage, i. 1.

[258] Ktesias explains this word as "devourer of men," but by means of
Sanskṛit it can only be explained by substituting to the initial _m_
one of the words that signify man, such as _nara_, _ǵana_, _manava_,
_mânusha_, &c. _Antikora_ would seem to be derived from the Sanskṛit
_antakara_ = destroyer, who puts an end to, killer.




    Tuscan superstition relating to the spider; the red sky of
    evening.--The night, the moon, and the aurora as
    weavers.--Arachnê.--Âurṇavabhas.--Dhatâ and Vidhatâ.--Golden
    cloths.--The spider and his prey.--The golden veil.--The lake of
    fire and the witch burnt.--The eagle and the spider.--The sack
    made of a spider's web.

There is in Tuscany a very interesting superstition relating to the
spider: it is believed that if a spider be seen in the evening it must
not be burnt, as it is destined to bring good fortune; but when seen in
the morning, it must be burnt without being touched. The evening and
morning aurora are compared to the spider and the spider's web; the
evening aurora must prepare the morning aurora during the night. We have
quoted on a previous occasion the Piedmontese proverb, "Rosso di sera,
buon tempo si spera" (red at night, we hope for fine weather). If the
sun dies in the west without clouds, if the luminous spider shows itself
in the western sky, it augurs for the morrow a fine morning and a fine
day. In the _Ṛigvedas_ we have on this subject several interesting data;
the aurora weaved during the night (and is therefore called
vayantî;[259] sometimes she is helped by Râkâ, the full moon[260]) the
robe for her husband. But, in another hymn, she is entreated to shine
soon, and not to stretch out or weave her work too long, in order that
the sun with his rays may not fall upon it and burn it like a
thief.[261] In the legend of Odysseus, Penelopê undoes in the night the
work of the day; this is another aspect of the same myth: Penelopê, as
aurora, undoes her web at even, to weave it again at morn. The myth of
Arachnê (the name of the spider, and of the celebrated Lydian virgin
whom Athenê, the aurora, according to Professor Max Müller, taught to
spin, and whose father was Idmon, a colourer in purple), whom Athenê,
jealous of the skill she had acquired in weaving in purple colours,
strikes on the forehead and transforms into a spider, is a variety of
the same myth of the weaving aurora. When the spider becomes dark, and
when its web is gloomy, then the spider, or son of the spider, or
Âurṇavabhas, assumes a monstrous form. Âurṇavabhas (ûrṇavâbhis,
ûrṇanâbhis, ûrṇanabhas, as spider, are already spoken of in the Vedic
writings) is the name of the gloomy monster Vṛitras, killed by the god
Indras, the terrible monster which Indras, immediately after his birth,
is obliged to kill[262] at the instigation of his mother. In the
_Mahâbhâratam_[263] we find two women that spin and weave, Dhatâ and
Vidhatâ; they weave upon the loom of the year with black and white
threads, _i.e._, they spin the days and the nights. We, therefore, have
a beneficent spider and a malignant one.

In the fourth story of the fifth book of the _Pentamerone_, the young
Parmetella marries a black slave, who gives her as servants swans,
"Vestute de tela d'oro, che, subeto 'ncignannola da capo a pede, la
mesero 'n forma de ragno, che pareva propio na Regina." (The black man
becomes a handsome youth during the night, perhaps as the moon; she
wishes to see his features, and he disappears; this is a variety of the
popular story of the wife's indiscretion.) In the fifth story of the
second book of _Afanassieff_, the spider sets its web to catch flies,
mosquitoes, and wasps; a wasp, being caught in the web, begs to be
released in consideration of the many children that she will leave
behind her (the same stratagem that is used by the hen against the fox
in the Tuscan story previously mentioned.) The credulous spider lets her
go; she then warns wasps, flies, and mosquitoes to keep hidden. The
spider then asks help from the grasshopper, the moth, and the bug
(nocturnal animals), who announce that the spider is dead, having given
up the ghost upon the gibbet, which gibbet was afterwards destroyed (the
evening aurora has disappeared into the night). The flies, mosquitoes,
and wasps again come out, and fell into the spider's web (into the
morning aurora). In the eighteenth story of the sixth book of
_Afanassieff_, the beautiful girl who flees from the house of the witch
that persecutes her, stretches out a veil, which, by the help of a
beautiful young maiden (the moon), she has embroidered with gold;
immediately a great sea of fire springs up, into which the old witch
falls and is burned; and here we come back to the popular Italian
superstition that the spider must be burned in the morning.

The spider is an animal of the earth, but it weaves its web in the air;
and as such--as intermediary between the animals of the earth and those
of the air--supplies us with a bridge by which we may pass naturally
from the first to the second part of the present work.[264] I hope that
this bridge will prove as sufficient as the sack in which the young
Esthonian hero carries the treasure away from hell, a sack composed of
the threads of a spider, so strong that it is impossible to tear them. I
wish I had, in the first book, some of the skill of the spider, and that
I could weave with a few threads from the labyrinth of Âryan legendary
tradition concerning animals a web which, if it be not as luminous as
that of Arachnê, may be more durable than that of Penelopê.


[259] _Ṛigv._ ii. 38, 4.--In the fifty-fourth story of the fourth book
of _Afanassieff_, the king who has no children makes the maiden seven
years old manufacture a fisherman's net in the space of only one night.

[260] In the German legend we have the spinner in the moon. "Die
Altmärkische Sage bei Temme 49, 'die Spinnerin im Monde,' wo ein
Mädchen von seiner Mutter verwünscht wird, im Monde zu sitzen und zu
spinnen, scheint entstellt, da jener Fluch sie nicht wegen Spinnens,
sondern Tanzens im Mondschein trifft;" Simrock, _Deutsche Mythologie_,
2te Aufl. p. 23.--Cfr. also the first chapter of this work, and that
on the bear, where we read of a girl dancing with the bear in the
night.--Perhaps there is also some correspondence between the Vedic
word _râkâ_ and _a-rachnê_.

[261] Vy ućhâ duhitar divo mâ ćiraṁ tanutha apaḥ net tvâ stenaṁ yathâ
ripuṁ tapâti sûro arćishâ; _Ṛigv._ v. 79, 9.

[262] Vritram avâbhinad dânum âurṇavâbham; _Ṛigv._ ii. 11,
18.--Ǵaǵńâno nu çatakratur vi pṛićhad iti mâtaram ka ugrâḥ ke ha
çṛiṇvire âd îm çavasy abravîd âurṇavâbham ahîçuvam te putra santu
nishṭuraḥ; _Ṛigv._ viii. 66, 1, 2.

[263] i. 802, 825.

[264] I observe, moreover, how in the Russian fables of Kriloff the
same part is attributed to the spider as in the West to the wren (the
regulus) and to the beetle. The eagle carries, without knowing it, a
spider in its tail upon a tree; the spider then makes its web over it.
Bird and spider therefore exchange places.

Second Part.





    The sky-atmosphere and the sky-tree.--The sun, the Açvinâu, Indras,
    the Marutas, and Agnis as birds.--Indras cuts off the wings of the
    mountains.--Indras and Somas as two birds hovering round the same
    tree of honey.--The wisdom of birds.--The birds requested to
    sacrifice themselves to fulfil the duties of hospitality,
    refuse.--The dviǵas bird and brâhman.--Penitent birds.--Consolatory
    birds.--Presages of birds in India.--Verethraghna as a bird.--The
    bird's feather.--The red bird.--Grateful and prophetic birds.--The
    hero that understands the language of birds.--The bird and the two
    cypresses.--The hero becomes a bird by acquiring Solomon's
    ring.--The blue bird.--The bird caught by putting salt upon its
    tail.--The excrement of birds is propitious.--The demoniacal
    bird.--The bird that feeds the heroes.--Birds and poets; singers and
    prophets.--Auguries and auspices.--The auguries were laughed at in
    Greece.--Flight to right and to left.

The sky, especially by night, is conceived now as a road on which one
can walk, and where sometimes the traveller may be lost, or make
others lose their way; now as the air itself, in which one flies or is
carried in flight, with the risk sometimes of falling; now as a tree,
in which one speaks or builds nests, with the risk of the words being
sometimes sinister, or the nests falling; and now as a sea in which
one navigates in peril of shipwreck.

The sky-atmosphere and the sky-tree are the world of the mythical
flying birds and insects. The god, the demon, the hero, and the
monster, when traversing this field, either take the forms of winged
animals, or make use of them to ascend to the celestial paths, or else
are conducted by them to their ruin.

The sun and the moon, the sunbeams, the thunderbolts, flashes of
lightning, auroras, clouds that move and thunder, and the very shadows
that move, often take in myths the forms of flying animals.

In the _Ṛigvedas_, the sun is called a bird (viḥ);[265] the Açvinâu
come with the wheels of the car like a bird with feathers;[266] Indras
is the well-winged red one;[267] the Marutas perch like birds upon the
culm of buttered grass;[268] Agnis accomplishes the wish of the
bird;[269] the well-winged ones of Agnis (_i.e._, the thunderbolts)
appear as destroyers when the black bull has bellowed (that is, when
the black cloud has thundered);[270] Savitar must not destroy the
woods of the birds;[271] from the house of the aurora the birds come
forth;[272] the goddesses and the brides of the heroes are requested
to come to the assistance of men with unclipt wings.[273] Finally, an
interesting Vedic hymn shows us the sun and the moon, Indras and
Somas, as two well-winged birds united in friendship, that continually
fly round the same tree (_i.e._, the sky); of these, one eats the
sweet pippalas, the other shines without eating. Both, well-winged,
sing as they safely guard the treasure of ambrosia. The honey of this
tree is called pippalas: of this tree all the birds eat the honey, and
on it they build their nests.[274]

The wisdom of birds is much celebrated in popular Aryan tradition. On
this subject the _Mârkaṇdeya-P._[275] narrates a long and instructive

The wise Gâiminis wishes some episodes of the great legend of the
_Mahâbhâratam_, which seem obscure, to be explained to him. He has
recourse to the learned Mârkaṇḍeyas; but the latter says he does not
know how to enlighten him, and advises him to interrogate the birds, the
best of the birds, sons of Droṇas, who know the essence of things, who
meditate upon the sacred treatises, the birds Piñgâkshas, Vibodhas,
Supattras, and Sumukhas, who will disperse his doubts. They live in a
cave in the middle of the Vindhyâs; let him go to them and ask them.
Gâiminis wonders how simple birds can possess so much wisdom.
Mârkaṇḍeyas then relates to him their genealogy. A nymph, who had
seduced by her song the penitent Durvâsas, was condemned to be born
again in the family of the bird Garuḍas, and to spend sixteen years in
the form of a bird, until, after giving birth to four sons, she should
be wounded by an arrow and regain once more her primitive form in
heaven. As a bird she is named Târkshî, and is married to the bird
Droṇas, who is wise and instructed in the Vedâs and Vedâñgâs. Târkshî is
present at the battle between the Kâuravâs and the Pâṇḍavâs; a dart
strikes her in the belly, from which four eggs that shine like the moon
fall to the ground. After the battle, the ascetic Çamîkas approaches the
place where the four eggs lie, and hears the young birds chirping
ćićíkućí. The wise man marvels at seeing that they have escaped such
carnage, concludes they must be Brâhmans, and thinks this a circumstance
of most favourable augury and a presage of great fortune
(mahâbhâgyapradarçinî). He carries the birds to his house, and places
them where they run no risk of being harmed by cats, mice, hawks, or
weasels. The birds are taken care of and nourished by the wise man, and
grow up strong and learned, listening to the lessons that the wise man
gives in school, and, being grateful to him as their deliverer,
expressing their gratitude by means of words which, by exercise, they
articulate clearly. Interrogated as to their previous existence, they
remember that there was once a sage named Vipulâçvan, father of two
children, Sukṛishas and Tumburus; these four were sons of Tumburus.
Whilst they lived in the woods with their father, Indras, the king of
the gods, comes to them in the form of a gigantic old bird, and demands
human flesh from the hospitable sage. The wise man wonders that a bird,
so old, that is, at an age in which every desire should be extinguished,
should be so cruel as to wish for human flesh. Nevertheless he requests
(like Viçvâmitras in the legend of Çunaḥcepas previously mentioned) his
own sons to sacrifice themselves in fulfilment of this duty. They do not
at first refuse this act of hospitality, but when they hear that they
are to be eaten by the bird, they decisively refuse, pleading, among
other arguments, the physiological, or rather, materialistic one, that
if they are virtuous, their virtue too will perish with their bodies,
whilst, on the other hand, in order to preserve their virtue long, they
think themselves bound to prolong their existence as much as possible
(we have already seen the cat adopting a similar argument to justify his
fatness). Their father, indignant at this refusal after giving their
promise, curses them, condemning them to be born again as animals, and
then magnanimously offers himself to the famished bird. Upon which
Indras reveals himself in his proper divine form, and then disappears
after blessing the sage. The sons beseech their father to release them
from the malediction; he takes pity upon them, but is unable to revoke
his words; it is only in his power to temper the severity of the
punishment. They are condemned to retain the animal form; but in that
form they are to be recompensed with the gift of insight into the
mysteries of being. It is for this reason that, when Çamîkas finds them,
he salutes them by the name of Brâhmans. For the rest, the equivoque is
easily comprehensible, when we reflect that the word _dviǵas_, or twice
born, means bird (that is, born first as an egg, and afterwards as an
animal), as well as Brâhman (who, by taking the sacred cord, the
prætexta, and the sacrament of the holy oil, is born again). Etymology
here assists our comprehension of the legend. In the same way as the
Brâhman is the wisest of men, so are the dviǵâs or birds the wisest of
animals. The birds, cursed by the hermit their father, go therefore to
Mount Vindhyas, which is watered by many blessed streams, where they
live as austere penitents. Gâiminis goes to consult them; when he
approaches their abode, he hears them speaking distinctly to each other.
He then comes up and sees them perched on the top of a rock. Gâiminis
addresses them with amiable words; the birds answer him that, since so
great a sage is come to visit them, their wish is accomplished and their
curse come to an end. Then follow the questions of Gâiminis relating to
Ǵanârdanas, Drâupadî, Baladevas, and the five sons of Drâupadî. The
birds, before answering, sing a kind of hymn to Vishṇus, and expound his
principal incarnations. In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[276] the ascetic Brâhmans
go in the forms of birds to console the ṛishis Mândavyas, impaled by
order of the king, for having given hospitality to the robbers of the
royal booty.

Birds know everything, and hence presages are taken especially from
them, whence the name _auspicium_ or _augurium_, applied specifically
to a presage. In the last book of the _Râmâyaṇam_,[277] the monsters
are terrified by such omens as the following:--"Thousands of vultures
and ducks with mouths that throw flames, which form a circle like that
of the god of death upon the battalions of the monsters; the doves,
the red-feet, the sârikâs (turdus salicæ) were dispersed."

In the _Avesta_, Verethraghna often appears as a bird, and as
understanding the language of birds. A bird's feather, in the
_Avesta_, assists Verethraghna, as in Firdusi, a feather of the bird
Simurg, burnt by Zal, calls up to his assistance the bird Simurg in
person.[278] According to a legend of the _Khorda-Avesta_, the
splendour of the old Yima, who had become proud and false-tongued
(thus, in India, the celestial Yamas and the happy Çivas become
infernal destroying deities), fled away in the form of a bird.
According to the popular superstition of White Russia, the little bird
diedka (the little one), is the guardian of treasures and has eyes of
fire and a fiery beard (this is doubtless a representation of the
demoniacal sun of evening, of Kuveras or of Plutos.[279]) In the
_Contes Merveilleux_ of Porchat, the red bird appears as a messenger.

In the legend of Sal, in Firdusi, there is a riddle about two
cypresses, one withered and the other verdant, upon first the one and
then the other of which a bird regularly builds his nest. The hero
Sal, who solves the riddle, says that the two cypresses are the two
opposite seasons of the year or the two sides of the sky, and that
the bird is the sun.[280]

In the eighteenth Esthonian story, two birds, speaking to each other,
signify where the famous enchanted ring of Solomon is to be found,
which the young hero is looking for. When the hero finds the ring, he
is able to transform himself at will into a bird; but the daughter of
hell, in the shape of an eagle, carries it off from him. In the fourth
Esthonian story, the girl of seven years of age becomes, by beneficent
magic, a bird, when she is obliged to travel far. In the thirty-fifth
of the stories of Santo Stefano di Calcinaia, the wife of the
bird-catcher terrifies the devil in the form of an enormous and
monstrous bird. In the fifth story of the fourth book of the
_Pentamerone_, a fairy in the form of a bird arrests the arm of the
king of Alta-Marina whilst he is about to kill his own wife Portiella.
The fairy was grateful to the young woman, because, when she was
asleep in a wood, Portiella had awakened her to deliver her from a
satyr who was attempting to violate her.[281] The king shuts Portiella
up in a tower without light; the bird makes a hole in it and brings
food to her, stealing the fowls from the kitchen during the cook's
absence. Portiella gives birth to a son, who is also nourished by the
bird. The _oiseau bleu_, _couleur du temps_, of the story of Madame
d'Aulnoy, who flies at night from the cypress to the window of the
beautiful imprisoned Florine, is a beautiful variety of this same
story. Several Russian stories end with the following refrain of an
azure bird (sinićka, little azure one): "little azure one flies and
says, Azure, but beautiful."[282] Inasmuch as the sun of morning, or
spring, comes out of the dark-blue bird of night, or of winter, we can
understand the popular Italian and German superstition, that when the
excrement of a bird falls upon a man it is an omen of good luck. The
excrement of the mythical bird of night, or of winter, is the sun.
Considered in connection with morning or spring, the dark-coloured
bird of night, or winter, is propitious; considered by itself, or in
relation to the evening sun or the dying summer, it is a funereal and
diabolical animal. Such is the bird Kâmek of the _Avesta_, which
stretches its wings over all mankind, which carries off and hides the
sun, creates darkness, keeps back the waters and devours all
creatures, until after seven years and seven nights, the hero
Kereçâçpa strikes it and makes it fall.

Moreover, the bird that brings food is a subject which is very popular
in almost all the traditions of the Indo-European nations. Every one
has heard of the bird which nourished Semiramis, abandoned by her
mother in a desert and stony place, with curdled milk and cheese (the
moonlight), stolen from the neighbouring flocks of sheep, according to
the narrative of Diodorus Siculus; and the same Persian bird
nourishes, according to the legend, several other children, future
heroes of Iran, who had been similarly exposed; in the legend of
Romulus and Remus, the woodpecker assumes the same place and office as
the nurse she-wolf. In the watery night and the watery winter, the
solar child-hero, abandoned to himself, is nourished by birds. The
nightingale or singer of the night sends forth his melodious notes
from the nocturnal tree, predicting thus the renewal of daylight; in
the tree-cloud, the thunder rumbles, the oracle speaks, and the bird
prophesies. Theokritos calls poets the birds of the Muses (mousôn
ornithas). The kokilas is the bird of the Hindoo poets and teaches
them melody; to this bird corresponds the Hindoo Kyknos of the
_Tuti-Name_, of which it is said that it has innumerable holes in its
beak, from each of which a melodious sound comes forth.

The Hindoo _kavis_, the Latin _vates_, and the Hellenic _mantis_
represent at once both the singer and the sage; thus the singers of
the woods are at the same time omniscient prophets. They began with
prophecies about the weather, as the thunder announces the storm, and
finished by prophesying everything. The peasantry of Tuscany endeavour
to this day to guess what weather it will be on the morrow from the
songs of the birds.[283] The augures, the auguremens, the aucelli, and
the aruspices were preserved even in the Middle Ages, according to
the testimony of Du Cange.[284] As to the auguries and auspices of the
ancient Greeks and Romans, I refer the reader to the numerous erudite
works which treat of them in a particular manner. I must observe,
however, that whilst among the Latins augury was deemed such a solemn
thing that Publius Claudius and Lucius Junius were judged worthy of
death for having set out on a voyage against the will of the auguries,
and that whilst _ave_, that is to say, good augury, was still the
solemn formula of Roman salutation, the Greeks had already turned
auguries and auspices into derision. The reader remembers, no doubt,
how in the _Iliad_ the hero Hektor declares that he cares not whether
the birds go to the right, towards the aurora and the sun, or to the
left, towards the sunset. In Eusebius[285] we read that a bird was
presented to Alexander, the Macedonian, when on the point of setting
out for the Red Sea, in order that he might read the auguries by it
according to custom; Alexander, in answer, killed the bird with an
arrow; the bystanders being offended by this breach of the rules, the
Macedonian hero added, "What folly is this? In what way could this
bird, which could not foresee its death by this arrow, predict the
fortunes of our journey?" Auguries and auspices were also taken in
India. According to the _Râmâyaṇam_,[286] birds seen at a wedding to
go to the left, are a sinister omen;[287] birds that fly, crying, to
the left of Râmas, announce to him a serious disaster, viz., the
carrying off of Sîtâ.[288]


[265] _Ṛigv._ i. 72, 9.

[266] Vir na parṇâiḥ; _Ib._ i. 183, 1.

[267] Aruṇaḥ suparṇaḥ; _Ib._ x. 55, 6.

[268] Vayo na sîdann adhi barhishi priye; _Ib._ i. 85, 7.

[269] Manmasâdhano veḥ; _Ib._ i. 96, 6.

[270] Â te suparṇâ aminantaṅ evâiḥ kṛishṇo nonâva vṛishabho yadîdam;
_Ib._ i. 79, 2.

[271] Vanâni vibhyo nakir asya tâni vratâ devasya savitar minanti;
_Ib._ ii. 38, 7.

[272] Ut te vayaçćid vasater apaptan; _Ib._ i. 124, 12.--In the
twenty-third story of the second book of _Afanassieff_, when the
beautiful girl Helen, another form of the aurora, is at the king's
ball, she throws bones with one hand, when birds spring up, and water
with the other, when gardens and fountains spring up.

[273] Abhi no devîr avasâ mahaḥ çarmaṇâ nṛipatnîḥ aćhinnapatrâḥ
saćantâm; _Ṛigv._ i. 22, 11.--If the goddesses are here the same as
the nymphs, they may be the same as the clouds, and I should refer to
this passage, the legend of the _Râmâyaṇam_ (v. 56), according to
which the lofty mountains were once winged (the clouds) and wandered
about the earth at pleasure; Indras, with his thunderbolt, cut their
wings, and they fell down.

[274] Dvâ suparṇâ sayuǵâ sakhâyâ samânaṁ vṛiksham pari shasvaǵâte
tayor anyaḥ pippalaṁ svâdv atty anaçnann anyo abhi ćâkaçîtî--Yatrâ
suparṇâ amṛitasya bhâgam animeshaṁ vidathâbhisvaranti; _Ṛigv._ i. 164,
20.--Perhaps we should compare to this legend the two birds Amru and
Ćamru of the _Khorda-Avesta_, of which one makes the seeds of the
three mythical trees fall, and the other scatters them about.

[275] Calcutta, 1851.

[276] i. 4305.

[277] Sixth canto.

[278] Professor Spiegel says in a note, _Khorda-Avesta_, p. 147: "Die
Beschwörung vormittelst einer Feder ist gewiss eine alteranische
Vorstellung."--In a story, hitherto unpublished, of the Monferrato,
communicated to me by Signor Ferraro, a woman, who had gone to eat
parsley in the garden of a sorceress, was obliged to give her daughter
up to her as a penalty for the offence. The girl was afterwards
subjected to three difficult trials; to sunder in one day a mountain of
wheat and millet into the grains composing it, to eat in one day a
mountain of apples, and to wash, dry, and iron in one hour all the linen
of a year. In the first trial, by means of two bird's feathers, she
calls up a thousand birds, who separate the grain from the millet.--In
the fourth story of the fifth book of the _Pentamerone_, the birds strip
themselves of their feathers to fill a mattress which the witch has
ordered the young Permetella to make. In a Tuscan story, for the
possession of a peacock's feather, the young brother is killed.

[279] In _Afanassieff_, v. 38, a similar little bird ravages during
the night the field of a lord; the youngest of the three brothers, who
is believed to be foolish, catches it and sells it to the king, who
shuts it in a room under lock and key. The king's son releases the
little bird, which in gratitude gives him a horse that wins battles,
and a golden apple, by means of which he is able to wed a
princess.--In the story v. 22, the young man who has been instructed
by the devil transforms himself into a bird and tells his father to
sell him, but not to give up the cage. The devil buys the bird, but
does not obtain the cage; he puts the bird into a handkerchief to take
it to his daughter, but when he comes home the bird has
disappeared.--In the story v. 42, the king of birds releases Ivan from
the witch who wishes to eat him, and takes him to his betrothed. The
witch tears a few feathers off the king of birds, but does not succeed
in stopping him.--In the story v. 46, the devil teaches the language
of birds to the young hero.--In the story vi. 69, the wise maiden goes
to take into the kingdom of darkness the bird that speaks, the tree
that sings, and the water of life, with which she brings to life her
two brothers, born before her, whom a witch had thrown into a fountain
(the aurora delivers the Açvinâu).--In the fifth Sicilian story of
Signora Gonzenbach, brother and sister go into the witch's castle to
take the water that dances and the bird that speaks. The bird tells
the water, in the king's presence, the story of the two young
people.--In the fifth story of the second book of the _Pentamerone_,
the fox teaches the young Grannonia what birds say.--In the seventh
story of the fifth book of the _Pentamerone_, it is the youngest of
the five brothers that acquires the faculty of understanding the
language of birds.--In Pietro de Crescenzi (x. 1), we find a "rex
Daucus (Dacus?) qui divino intellectu novit naturam accipitrum et
falconum et eos domesticare ad prædam instruere, et ab ægritudinibus
liberare."--In the legend of St Francis of Assisi, the great saint was
able to make himself understood to birds, and to make the swallows be
silent; the same saint made a wolf mild and tame; the miracle of
Orpheus is repeated in numerous other legends.--In the sixteenth
Mongol story of Siddhikür, a wise dwarf, who understands the language
of birds, hears two birds, father and son, speak to each other on the
summit of a tree about the king's son, who had been assassinated by
the son of the minister.--In the _Edda_, Atli has a long dialogue with
a bird whose language he understands.--Finally, the whole of the
comedy of Aristophanes entitled _The Birds_ (Ornithes) shows the
wisdom and divining power of birds, and, as animals of presage, their
intimate relation with the thunderbolts of Zeus.--According to the
German belief, the fat of a serpent teaches how to understand the
language of birds. Cfr. Simrock, the work previously quoted, p. 457.


      "Die zwei Cypressen sind die Himmelsseiten,
       Die beiden, die uns Glück und Leid bereiten;
       Der Vogel, der drin nistet, ist die Sonne,
       Sie giebt beim Schneiden Schmerz, beim Kommen Wonne."
                       --Schack, _Heldensagen von Firdusi_, p. 122.

[281] A variety of the myth of Priapos, mentioned in the chapter on
the Ass.

[282] Sinićka letat i gavarít: Sin da charosh.--The dark-blue bird is a
symbol of the azure sky of night or winter, whilst, on the other hand,
the wooden bird, at which the maidens of Westphalia throw sticks on St
John's Day, seems to be a phallical symbol; she who hits the bird is
queen. The bird is a well-known phallical symbol; and a phallical origin
must be ascribed to the popular superstition that a bird may be rendered
helpless by putting salt upon its tail. The salacitas of an animal, when
given way to, takes every energy from it; the ûrdhvaretas alone is
strong. It was perhaps for a similar reason that in the Middle Ages,
when a city was destroyed to its foundations, it was the custom to throw
salt upon it, in order that it might never rise again. Salt thrown away
is like seed sown in the desert, where it is fruitless.

[283] It is a mountaineer of the province of Siena that speaks: "I
perceived by the song of the birds that the weather was about to
change; their voice told me, it was so merry;" Giuliani, _Moralità e
Poesia del Vivente Linguaggio della Toscana_, p. 149.

[284] Cfr. among others, the words _albanellus_ (haubereau) _avis
auguralis species_, and _aucellus_.

[285] _De Prœœparat. Evang._ lib. ix.

[286] i. 76.

[287] Amongst the Romans, on the contrary, the flight to the left was
an excellent omen; thus Plautus in the _Epidicus_: "Tacete, habete
animum bonum, liquido exeo foras auspicio, ave sinistra." (But this
change from right to left may depend upon the various positions taken
by the observer in placing himself.) In the mediæval legend of
Alexander, a bird with a human face (a harpy) meets Alexander and
advises him to turn to the right, when he will see marvellous
things.--Cfr. Zacher, _Pseudo-Callisthenes_, Halle, 1867, p. 142.

[288] _Râmây._ iii. 64.




    The bird of prey the most heroic of birds.--Indras as a hawk.--The
    hawk and the ambrosia; the ambrosia as sperm.--The bird of prey and
    the serpent.--Agnis, the Açvinâu, and the Marutas as hawks.--The
    place of sacrifice has the form of an eagle.--The two sons of
    Vinaṭâ.--Garuḍas, the bird of Vishṇus; he fights against the
    monsters.--Genealogy of the vultures.--Ǵâtâyus and Sampatis.--The
    king or the young hero who offers himself up to be devoured by the
    hawk or the eagle.--The grateful hawk or eagle.--Çyena and Çaena;
    Simurg; the feather of the bird of prey.--The birds as clouds.--The
    eagles as winds; Aquila and Aquilo.--The hawks as luminous birds;
    the eagles as demoniacal ones.--Accipiter.--The hawk as an emblem of
    nobility.--The hawk as the ensign of Attila.--The hawk in Hellenic
    antiquity.--The kite among the stars; it discharges its body upon
    the image of the god.--The beetle, the eagle, and Zeus.--The eagle
    as the thunderbolt or sceptre of Zeus.--The eagle presages supreme
    power and fertility; the eagle and the laurel.--The eagle carries
    off the robes of Aphroditê.--The eagle takes away the slippers of
    Rhodopê.--The eagle kills Æschilos.--Nisos and Scylla.--The vulture
    in ancient classical authors.--The vultures in hell.--The learned
    vulture.--Voracity of the vulture.--Imaginary birds.--The sun as a
    phoenix.--The demoniacal harpies or Furiæ, canes Jovis.--Strix and
    striges; they suck blood.--Proca and Crane.--Bats and vampires.--The
    Stymphalian birds.--The birds of Seleucia.--The Gryphes and the
    Arimaspi.--The griffons sacred to Nemesis; the hypogriff, gryphos,
    logogriph, griffonage.--The Siren now as a bird, now as a
    fish.--Circe; a lunar myth.

The most heroic of birds is the bird of prey; the strength of its
beak, wings, and claws, its size and swiftness, caused it to be
regarded as a swift celestial messenger, carrier, and warrior.

The hawk, the eagle, and the vulture, three powerful birds of prey,
generally play the same part in myths and legends; the creators of
myths having from the first observed their general resemblance,
without paying any regard to their specific differences.

The bird of prey, in mythology, is the sun, which now shines in its
splendour, and now shows itself in the cloud or darkness by sending
forth flashes of lightning, thunderbolts, and sunbeams. The flash, the
thunderbolt, and the sunbeam are now the beak, now the claw of the
bird of prey, and now, the part being sometimes taken for the whole,
even the entire bird.

In the _Ṛigvedas_, the god Indras often appears in the form of a hawk
or çyenas. Indras is like a hawk that flies swiftly over the other
hawks, and, being well-winged, carries to men the food tasted by the
gods.[289] He is enclosed in a hundred iron fortresses; nevertheless,
with swiftness, he succeeds in coming out of them;[290] while flying
away, he carries in his claw the beautiful, virgin, luminous ambrosia,
by means of which life is prolonged and the dead brought to life
again[291] (the rain, which is also confounded with the ambrosial
humour of the moon. In the first strophe of the same hymn, Indus is
also called ambrosia).[292] The hawk with iron claws kills the hostile
demons,[293] has great power of breathing, and draws from afar the
chariot with a hundred wheels.[294] However, while the hawk carries
the ambrosia through the air, he trembles for fear of the archer
Kṛiçânus,[295] who, in fact, shot off one of his claws (of which the
hedgehog was born, according to the _Âiṭareya Br._,[296] and according
to the Vedic hymn,[297] one of his feathers which, falling on the
earth, afterwards became a tree). After the victory gained over Ahis,
the serpent-demon, Indras flees like a terrified hawk.[298] This is
the first trace of the legendary and proverbial enmity between the
bird of prey and the serpent. In the third book of the _Râmâyaṇam_,
Râvaṇas says that he will carry off Sîtâ as the well-winged one
(carries off) the serpent (suparṇaḥ pannaǵamiva).

Nor is Indras alone a hawk in the _Ṛigvedas_, but Agnis too. Mâtariçvân
and the hawk agitate, the one the heavenly fire, the other the ambrosia
of the mountain.[299] The chariot of the Açvinâu is also sometimes drawn
by hawks, as swift as heavenly vultures.[300] They are themselves
compared to two vultures that hover round the tree where the treasure
is[301] (we have seen in the preceding chapter that the tree is the
sky). The Marutas are also called Gṛidhrâs or vultures (falcons
according to Max Müller.[302]) In the _Ṛigvedas_, again, when the sun
goes to the sea, he looks with a vulture's eye.[303] On account of this
form of a bird of prey, often assumed by the solar god in the Vedic
myths, we read in the _Âitareya Br._, that the place destined for the
sacrifice had the same shape. In the _Râmâyaṇam_ we find, in the
sacrifice of a horse, that the place of sacrifice has the form of the
bird Garuḍas, the powerful mythical eagle of the Hindoos. In the 149th
hymn of the tenth book of the _Ṛigvedas_, the ancient well-winged son of
the sun Savitar is already named Garutman. The mythical bird is the
equivalent of the winged solar horse, or hippogriff; indeed, the 118th
hymn of the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_, soon after celebrating the
hawks that draw the chariot of the Açvinâu, calls them beautiful flying
horses (açvâ vapushaḥ pataṁgâḥ). We have observed that of the two twins,
or the two brothers, one prevails over the other. Thus of the two
mythical vultures, of the two sons of Vinatâ, in the legend of the
_Mahâbhâratam_,[304] their mother having broken the egg before the
proper time, one, Aruṇas, is born imperfect, and curses his mother,
condemning her to be the slave of her rival Kadrû for five thousand
years, until her other son, the luminous, perfect, and powerful solar
bird Garuḍas, comes to release her. Aruṇas becomes the charioteer of the
sun; Garuḍas is, instead, the steed of the god Vishṇus, the solar horse,
the sun itself, victorious in all its splendour. No sooner are the two
birds born, than the horse Uććâiḥçravas also appears, which again
signifies that solar bird and solar horse are identical. Like the hawk
Indras, or the hawk of Indras, Garuḍas, the bird of Vishṇus, or Vishṇus
himself, is thirsty, drinks many rivers,[305] carries off from the
serpents the ambrosia, protected (as in the _Ṛigvedas_) by a circle of
iron. Like Vishṇus, Garuḍas, from being very tall, makes himself very
little, penetrates among the serpents, covers them with dust and blinds
them; it is, indeed, on account of this feat that Vishṇus adopts him for
his celestial steed.[306] The god Vishṇus goes on the back of the
well-winged one to fight against the monsters;[307] indignant with them,
he throws them to the ground with the flapping of his wings; the
monsters aim their darts at him as another form of the hero, and he
fights on his own account and for the hero.[308] When the bird Garuḍas
appears, the fetters of the monsters, which compress like serpents the
two brothers Râmas and Lakshmaṇas, are loosed, and the two young heroes
rise more handsome and stronger than before.[309] The Nishâdâs come from
their damp abodes, enter into the gaping jaws of Garuḍas in thousands,
enveloped by the wind and the dust.[310] (The sun of morning and that of
spring devour the black monsters of night and of winter.)

Hitherto we have seen the hawk, the eagle (as Garuḍas), and the
vulture exchanged for each other; even the Hindoo mythical genealogy
confirms this exchange. According to the _Râmâyaṇam_,[311] of Tâmrâ
(properly the reddish one; she also gave birth to Krâuńći, the mother
of the herons) was born Çyenî (that is, the female hawk); of Çyenî was
born Vinaṭâ. Vinaṭâ (properly the bent one) laid the egg whence Aruṇas
and Garuḍas came forth (the two Dioskuroi also came, as is well known,
out of the egg of Léda, united with the swan); Garuḍas was in his turn
father of two immense vultures, Gâtâyus and Sampatis. In this
genealogy the ascending movement of the sun appears to be described to
us, like the myth of the sun Vishṇus, who, from a dwarf, becomes a
giant. The vulture Gâtâyus knows everything that has happened in the
past, and everything that will come to pass in the future, inasmuch
as, like the Vedic sun, he is viçvavedas, all-seeing, omniscient, and
has traversed the whole earth. In the _Râmâyaṇam_ we read of the last
fierce battle of the aged vulture Gâtâyus with the terrible monster
Râvaṇas, who carries off the beautiful Sîtâ during the absence of her
husband Râmas. Gâtâyus, although old in years, rises into the air to
prevent the carrying off of Sîtâ by Râvaṇas in a chariot drawn by
asses; the vulture breaks with his strong claws the bow and arrow of
Râvaṇas, strikes and kills the asses, splits the chariot in two,
throws the charioteer down, forces Râvaṇas to leap to the ground, and
wounds him in a thousand ways; but at last the king of the monsters
succeeds with his sword in cutting off the wings, feet, and sides of
the faithful bird, who expires in pain and grief, whilst the demon
carries the ravished woman into Lañkâ.

Thus far, therefore, we always find in the bird of prey a friend of the
hero and the god. Such is also, in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[312] the immense
vulture that comes to place itself, and to vomit blood upon the standard
of the monster Kharas, to predict his misfortunes to him; and such is
the elder brother of Gâtâyus, the vulture Sampatis, who, coming out of a
cavern, informs the great monkey Hanumant where Sîtâ may be found.
Sampatis, after having seen Hanumant, recovers his own wings, which had
been burnt by the sun's rays, once when he had wished to defend his
younger brother from them whilst they were flying together too high up
in the regions of the sun[313] (a variety of the Hellenic legend of
Dedalus and Icarus, of that of Hanumant who wished to fly after the sun
in order to catch it, and of that of the two Açvinâu).

When, in the very popular Hindoo legend of the Buddhist king who
sacrifices himself instead of the dove that had looked for hospitality
from him, the hawk appears as the persecutor of the dove, this
apparent persecution is only a trial that Indras, the hawk, and Agnis,
the dove, wish to make of the king's virtue. No sooner does the hawk
see that the king offers himself up to be devoured by the hawk, who
complains that the king has taken his prey, the dove, from him, than
both hawk and dove reassume their divine form, and cover the holy king
with benedictions.[314] Indras and Agnis, united together, are also
themselves a form of the two Açvinâu, like the two faithful doves that
sacrifice themselves in the third book of _Pańćatantram_.

The wise çaena of the _Avesta_ has a character nearly resembling the
Vedic bird çyenas. According to the _Bundehesh_, two çaenas stay at the
gates of hell, which correspond to the two crepuscular hawks or vultures
of the Vedâs. The bird with wings that strike, into which the hero
Thraetaona is transformed in the _Khorda Avesta_, whilst it reminds us
of the Hindoo warrior vulture, can serve as a link to join together the
Zendic çaena and the Persian Simurg. The bird Simurg has its marvellous
nest upon Mount Alburs, upon a peak that touches the sky, and which no
man has ever yet seen. The child Sal is exposed upon this mountain; he
is hungry and cold, and cries out; the bird Simurg passes by, hears his
cry, takes pity upon him, and carries the child to its solitary peak. A
mysterious voice blesses the glorious bird, who nourishes the boy,
instructs, protects, and strengthens him, and, when he lets him go,
gives him one of his own feathers, saying that when he is in danger he
must throw this feather into the fire, and he will come at once to
assist him,[315] and take him back into the kingdom. He only asks him
never to forget his faithful and loving preserver. He then carries the
young hero to his father's palace. The king praises the divine bird in
the following words:--"O king of birds! Heaven has given thee strength
and wisdom; thou art the assister of the needy, propitious to the good
and the consoler of the afflicted; may evil be dispersed before thee,
and may thy greatness last for ever." In the fifth adventure of
Isfendiar, in _Firdusi_, the gigantic bird Simurg appears, on the
contrary, as demoniacal as he that dims the sunbeams with his wings (in
the _Birds_ of Aristophanes, when a great number of birds appear, the
spectators cry out, "O Apollo, the clouds!") Isfendiar fights with him,
and cuts him to pieces.

In Scandinavian and German mythology, while the hawk is generally a
luminous shape, preferred by the heroes, and by Freya, the eagle is a
gloomy form preferred by demons, or at least by the hero or god (like
Odin)[316] hidden in the gloomy night or in the windy cloud. The
_Edda_ tells us that the winds are produced by the shaking of the
wings of a giant, who sits in the form of an eagle at the extremity of
the sky; the aquila and the wind called aquilo by the Latins, as they
correspond etymologically, seem also to be mythically identical. I
have observed on a previous occasion that in the _Edda_ the witch
rides upon a wolf, using eagles as reins. In the _Nibelungen_,
Krimhilt sees in a dream his beloved hawk strangled by two eagles.

On the other hand, the swallows sing to Sigurd in the _Edda_,
predicting to him his meeting with the beautiful warrior maiden who,
coming forth from the battles, rides upon an eagle. But this warlike
girl was, however, destined to cause the death of Sigurd.

In the chapter on the elephant, we saw how the bird Garuḍas
transported into the air an elephant, a tortoise, a bough of a tree,
and hermits. In the Greek variety of the same myth, we have the eagle
instead of Garuḍas. In the _Edda_, three Ases (Odin, Loki, and Hönir)
are cooking an ox under a tree; but from the summit of the tree, an
eagle interrupts the cooking of the meat, because it wishes to have a
share. The Ases consent; the eagle carries off nearly every thing,
upon which Loki, indignant, wounds the eagle with a stake; but whilst
one end of the stake remains attached to the eagle, the other is
fastened to Loki's hand, and the eagle carries him up into the air.
Loki feels his arms break, and implores the eagle to have compassion
upon him; the gigantic bird lets him go, on condition of obtaining,
instead of him, Iduna and her apples.[317] In the twenty-third story
of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the eagle, after having been
benefited by a peasant, eats up his sheep. The name of eagles was
given during the Middle Ages to certain demons which were said to
appear in the form of an eagle, especially on account of their
rapacious expression, and aquiline nose.[318]

The hawk, on the other hand, I repeat, usually appears as divine, in
opposition to all that is diabolical. In the twenty-second story of
the fifth and the forty-sixth of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the
hero transforms himself into a hawk, in order to strangle the cock
into which the devil has metamorphosed himself (a Russian proverb,
however, says of the devil that he is more pleasing than the luminous
hawk).[319] When they wished, in popular Russian phraseology, to
express something that it is impossible to overtake, it was said,
"Like the hurricane in the field, and the luminous hawk in the sky."
We know that the Latin _accipiter_ and the Greek _ôküpteros_ mean the
swift-winged. In the seventh story of the first book of _Afanassieff_,
the hawk appears in opposition to the black crow. When the young girl,
disguised as a man, succeeds in deceiving the Tzar three times, she
says to him, "Ah! thou crow, crow; thou hast not known, O crow, how to
catch the hawk in a cage."

The hawk was one of the distinctive badges of the mediæval cavalier;
even ladies kept them. Krimhilt brings up a wild hawk; Brunhilt, when
she throws herself upon the funeral pyre, that she may not survive
Sigurd, has two dogs and two hawks immolated along with her. On the
sepulchres of mediæval cavaliers and ladies, a hawk was not
unfrequently found, as an emblem of their nobility. According to a law
of the year 818, the sword and hawk belonging to the losing cavalier
were to be respected by his conqueror, and left unappropriated; the
hawk to hunt, and the sword to fight with. In _Du Cange_, we read that
in 1642 Monsieur De Sassay claimed as his feudal right, "ut nimirum
accipitrem suum ponere possit super altare majus ecclesiæ Ebraicensis
(of Evreux), dum sacra in eo peragit ocreatus, calcaribusque
instructus presbyter parochus d'Ezy, pulsantibus tympanis, organorum
loco." According to the law of the Burgundians, he who attempted to
steal another man's hawk was, before all, obliged to conciliate the
hawk itself by giving it to eat (sex uncias carnis acceptor ipse super
testones comedat); or if the hawk refused to eat, the robber had to
pay an indemnity to the proprietor, besides a fine (sex solidos illi
cujus acceptor est, cogatur exsolvere; mulctæ autem nomine solidos
duos). According to information supplied me by my learned friend Count
Geza Kuun, the hawk (turul) was the military ensign of Attila.
According to a tradition preserved in the chronicle of Keza and of
Buda, Emesu, mother of Attila, saw in a dream a hawk which predicted a
happy future to her, after which dream she became pregnant.

Nor was the hawk less honoured in Hellenic antiquity; according to
Homer, it was the rapid messenger of Apollo; the spy of Apollo, sacred
to Zeus, according to Ælianos; having after death the faculty of
vaticination, according to Porphyrios (who even recommends the heart
of a hawk, a stag, or a mole to any one about to practise divination).
In the _Iliad_, Apollo coming down from Mount Ida, is compared to the
swift hawk, the killer of doves, the swiftest of all birds. Many are
the superstitious beliefs concerning the hawk collected by Ælianos;
such as, for instance, that it does not eat the hearts of animals;
that it weeps over a dead man; that it buries unburied bodies, or at
least puts earth upon their eyes, in which it thinks it sees the sun
again, upon which, as its most beloved star, it always fixes its gaze;
that it loves gold; that it lives for seven hundred years; not to
mention the extraordinary medical virtues which are always attributed
to every sacred animal, and which are particularly considered as
essential to the sacred hawk. Several of the qualities of the sacred
hawk passed also into other falcons of inferior quality, the kite
(milvius),[320] for instance, of which it is said that it was placed
among the stars for having carried to Zeus the entrails of the monster
bull-serpent, and, according to the third book of Ovid's _Fasti_, for
having brought back to Zeus the lost ring (an ancient form of the
mediæval ring of Solomon, _i.e._, the solar disc):--

      "Jupiter alitibus rapere imperat, attulit illi,
       Milvius, et meritis venit in astra suis."

With regard to the kite, we find an apologue,[321] according to which
the kite, at the point of death, asks its mother to beg grace from the
neighbouring statue of the god, and especially forgiveness, for the
sacrilege which it had frequently committed, discharging its body upon
the image of the god (the sun upon the sky).

A richer variety of this story is found in another apologue, which
illustrates a Greek proverb ("æton kantaros maieusomai"); but instead
of the hawk, we have the beetle, and instead of the statue, the god
himself, Zeus, with eagle's eggs in his lap. The beetle (the
hostess-moon), wishing to punish the eagle, which had violated the
laws of hospitality with regard to the hare (also the moon), attempts
to destroy its eggs; the eagle goes and places them in the lap of
Zeus; the beetle, who knows that Zeus hates everything that is
unclean, lets some dung fall upon him; Zeus forgets the eggs, shakes
himself, and breaks them. Here the eagle is identified with Zeus, as
in the Vedic hymns the hawk with Indras. In the first of Pindar's
Pythic odes, the poet speaks of the eagle as sleeping on the sceptre
of Zeus (as a thunderbolt, which is the real sceptre of Zeus). The
eagle of Zeus is also represented as holding the thunderbolt in its
claws, which is in accordance with the sentence, "Fulmina sub Jove
sunt." When Zeus is equipping himself to fight against the Titans, the
eagle brings his dart to him, for which reason Zeus adopted the eagle
as his ensign of war. In _Dion Cassius_, the eagles let the golden
thunderbolts drop out of their talons into the camp of the Pompeians,
and fly towards the camp of Cæsar to announce his victory. We find
very numerous examples in the ancient classics of eagles that presage
now victory, now supreme power to the heroes, that now nourish, now
save them, and now sacrifice themselves for them.[322] The eagle of
Zeus, the royal eagle, does not feed upon flesh, but upon herbs,
properly upon the moisture of these herbs, by means of which we can
comprehend the rape of Ganymede, the cup-bearer of Zeus, carried off
by the eagle in the same way as the hawk of Indras carries off the
somas in the _Ṛigvedas_. The Hellenic eagle is generally, like Zeus, a
bringer of light, fertility, and happiness. Pliny narrates of an
eagle, that immediately after the wedding of Augustus it let fall, as
an omen of fecundity in the family of Augustus, into the lap of Livia
Drusilla a white hen, having a branch of laurel in its beak; this
branch was planted, and grew into a dense laurel-grove; the hen had so
many descendants, that afterwards the villa where this happened was
called the Villa of the Hens. Suetonius adds that in the last year of
the life of Nero all the hens died, and all the laurel plants were
dried up. We also find the eagle in connection with the laurel in the
myth of Amphiaraos, whose spear, carried off by the eagle and plunged
into the ground, grew into a laurel plant.

In the first chapter of the first book, when speaking of the myth of
the aurora, we mentioned the young hero who disrobes the beautiful
princess on the bank of the river and carries her apparel away. In the
Hellenic myth we find a zoological variety of this myth. Aphroditê
(here the evening aurora) bathes in the Acheloos (the river of night);
Hermês (the extreme western light, and perhaps even the moon) becomes
enamoured of her, and makes the eagle (the bird of night) carry off
her garments, to obtain which, Aphroditê satisfies the desire of
Hermês. In _Strabo_ we find a variation of the same story which
reminds us of the fairy-tale of Cinderella. Whilst Rhodopê is bathing,
the eagle snatches one of her slippers out of her maid's hands and
carries it off to the king of Memphis, who, seeing the slipper, falls
in love with the foot that wore it, gives orders to search everywhere
for the girl to whom the slipper belongs, and, when Rhodopê is found,
marries her. Ælianos says that this king was Psammetichos. But the
Hellenic eagle is divine as long as the god Zeus, whom it represents,
is propitious; when Zeus becomes the tyrant of heaven, and condemns
Prometheus to be bound upon a rock, the eagle goes to gnaw at his
heart. And because the poet Æschilos glorified Prometheus, making him
curse the tyranny of Zeus, hence, doubtless, arose the legend that
Æschilos was, when old and bald, killed by a tortoise, which the
eagle, mistaking the head of Æschilos for a white rock, had let fall
from the sky in order to break it and feed upon it. The eagle which,
according to Theophrastos, announced death to the cutters of black
hellebore, was also a funereal and demoniacal bird. In the eighth book
of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, King Nisos, the golden-haired (the sun of
evening), is transformed into a marine eagle (the night or winter),
when his daughter Scylla (the night, or winter), in order to give him
up to his enemies, destroys his strength by cutting his hair (an
evident variation of the solar legend of Delilah and Samson).

The vulture, too, is a sacred bird in the legends of ancient classical
authors; Herodotos says that it is very dear to Hêraklês (the killer of
the eagle that gnaws at the heart of Prometheus, who had made for the
hero the cup in which he had been enabled to cross the sea); it
announces sovereign dominion to Romulus, Cæsar, and Augustus. Pliny
writes that burnt vulture's feathers make serpents flee; the same
feathers, according to Pliny, have the property of facilitating
parturition, inasmuch as, as St Jerome writes (adversus Jovinianum ii.),
"Si medicorum volumina legeris, videbis tot curationes esse in vulture,
quot sunt membra."[323] Two vultures (a form of the Açvinâu) eat every
day, in hell, the liver that continually grows again (the _immortale
jecur_ of Virgil) of the giant Tityo, the offender of Latona (the moon),
dear to Jupiter. (The monster of night is killed every day and rises
again every night). The two youths Ægipios and Nephrôn are another form
of the Açvinâu, who, hating each other on account of the love which each
has for the other's mother, are changed by Zeus into two vultures, after
that Ægipios, by a stratagem of Nephrôn, united himself with his own
mother. Iphiklos consults the birds to have children, from the vulture
downwards, who alone knew how to assign the reason why Iphiklos had no
children and indicate the means of obtaining them. Philakos had tried to
kill Iphiklos; not having succeeded, he fastened his sword on a wild
pear-tree; around the sword a covering of bark grew, which hid it from
the sight of men. The vulture shows the place where this tree grows, and
advises Iphiklos to take the bark off, to clean the rust off the sword,
and after ten days to drink the rust in a toast; Iphiklos thus obtains

The vulture, therefore, generally preserves in Græco-Latin tradition
the heroic and divine character which it has in Indian tradition,
although its voracity became proverbial in ancient popular
phraseology. Lucian calls a great eater the greatest of all the
vultures. Moreover, the special faculty of distinguishing the smell of
a dead body, even before death, is attributed to him; whence Seneca,
in an epistle against the man who covets the inheritance of a living
person, says "Vultur es, cadaver expecta," and Plautus in the
_Truculentus_ says of certain parasitical servants: "Jam quasi
vulturii triduo prius prædivinabant, quo die esituri sient."

Besides these royal birds of prey that become mythical, there are
several mythical birds of prey that never existed, still to be
noticed, such as the phœœnix, the harpy, the griffon, the strix, the
Seleucide birds, the Stymphalian birds, and the sirens. Popular
imagination believed in their terrestrial existence for a long time,
but it can be said of them all as of the Arabian Phœœnix:--

      "All affirm that it exists;
       Where it is no one can tell."[324]

In point of fact, no man has ever seen them; a few deities or heroes
alone approached them; their seat is in the sky, where, according to
their several natures and the different places occupied by the sun or
the moon in the sky, they attract, ravish, seduce, enchant, or destroy.

The phœœnix is, beyond all doubt, the eastern and western sun; hence
Petrarch was able to say with reason,

      "Nè 'n ciel nè 'n terra è più d'una Fenice,"

as there is not more than one sun; and we, like the ancient Greeks,
say of a rare man or object, that he or it is a phœœnix. Tacitus, who
narrates, in the fourteenth book, the fable of the phœœnix, calls it
_animal sacrum soli_; Lactantius says that it alone knows the secrets
of the sun--

      "Et sola arcanis conscia Phœœbe tuis,"

and represents it as rendering funereal honours to its father in the
temple of the sun; Claudian calls it _solis avem_ and describes its
whole life in a beautiful little poem.

It is born in the East, in the wood of the sun, and until it has
assumed its whole splendid shape it feeds upon dew and perfumes,
whence Lactantius--

      "Ambrosios libat cœœlesti nectare rores
         Stellifero teneri qui cecidere polo.
       Hos legit, his mediis alitur in odoribus ales,
         Donec maturam proferat effigiem."

It then feeds upon all that it sees. When it is about to die it thinks
only of its new birth--

      "Componit bustumque sibi, partumque futurum" (_Claudian_);

inasmuch as it is said to deposit a little worm, the colour of milk,
in its nest, which becomes a funeral pyre,

      "Fertur vermis lacteus esse color" (_Lactantius_).

Before dying, it invokes the sun:

      "Hic sedet, et solem blando clangore salutat
       Debilior, miscetque preces, et supplice cantu
       Præstatura novas vires incendia poscit;
       Quem procul abductis vidit cum Phœœbus habenis,
       Stat subito, dictisque pium solatur alumnum" (_Claudian_).

The sun extinguishes the conflagration, which consumes the phœœnix,
and out of which it has to arise once more. At last the phœœnix is
born again with the dawn--

      "Atque ubi sol pepulit fulgentis lumina portæ,
         Et primi emicuit luminis aura levis,
       Incipit illa sacri modulamina fundere cantus,
         Et mira lucem voce ciere novam" (_Lactantius_).

In my opinion, no more proofs are required to demonstrate the identity
of the phœœnix with the sun of morning and of evening, and, by
extension, with that of autumn and of spring. That which was fabled
concerning it in antiquity, and by reflection, in the Middle Ages,
agrees perfectly with the twofold luminous phenomenon of the sun that
dies and is born again every day and every year out of its ashes, and of
the hero or heroine who traverses the flames of the burning pyre intact.

The nature of the phœœnix is the same as that of the burning bird
(szar-ptitza) of Russian fairy tales, which swallows the dwarf who
goes to steal its eggs (the evening aurora swallows the sun).[325]

The solar bird of evening is a bird of prey; it draws to itself with
its damp claw; it draws into the darkness of night; it has night
behind it; its appearance is charming and its countenance alluring,
but the rest of its body is as horrid as its nature.

Virgil and Dante ascribe women's faces to the Harpies--

      "Ali hanno late e colli e visi umani
       Piè con artigli e pennuto il gran ventre."

Rutilius[326] says that their claws are glutinous--

      "Quæ pede glutineo, quod tetigere trahunt."

Others give them vultures' bodies, bears' ears, arms and feet of men,
and the white breasts of women. Servius, speaking of the name they bear
of _canes Jovis_, notes that this epithet was given them because they
are the Furies in person, "Unde etiam epulas apud Virgilium abripiunt,
quod Furiarum est." Ministers of the vengeance of Zeus, they contaminate
the harvests of the king-seer Phineus, inspired by Apollo, whom some
consider to be a form of Prometheus, the revealer of the secret of Zeus
to mankind, and others, the blinder of his own sons.

The bird of prey, the evening solar bird, becomes a strix, or witch,
during the night. We have already noticed the popular belief that the
cat, at seven years of age, becomes a witch. An ancient superstition
given by Aldrovandi also recognises witches in cats, and adds that, in
this form, they suck the blood of children. The same is done by the
witches of popular stories,[327] and by the striges. During the night
they suck the blood of children; that is to say, the night takes away
the colour, the red, the blood of the sun. Ovid, in the sixth book of
the _Fasti_, represents the maleficent striges as follows:

      "Nocte volant, puerosque petunt nutricis egentes,
         Et vitiant cunis corpora rapta suis.
       Carpere dicuntur lactentia viscera rostris,
         Et plenum poto sanguine guttur habent."

Festus derives the word strix _à stringendo_, from the received opinion
that they strangle children. The striges, in the book of the _Fasti_,
previously quoted, attack the child Proca, who is only five days old--

      "Pectoraque exhorbent avidis infantia linguis."

The nurse invokes the help of Crane, the friend of Janus, who has the
faculty of hunting good and evil away from the doorsteps of houses.
Crane hunts the witches away with a magical rod, and cures the child

      "Protinus arbutea postes ter in ordine tangit
         Fronde ter arbutea limina fronde notat.
       Spargit aquis aditus, et aquæ medicamen habebant,
         Extaque de porca cruda bimestre tenet."

The usual conjurings are added, and the incident ends thus--

      "Post illud, nec aves cunas violasse feruntur,
         Et rediit puero qui fuit ante color."

Quintus Serenus, when the _strix atra_ presses the child, recommends
as an amulet, garlic, of which we have seen that the strong odour puts
the monstrous lion to flight.

The same maleficent and demoniacal nature is shared in by the bats and
the vampires, which I recognise in the "two winged ones entreated not
to suck" of a Vedic hymn.[328]

Of analogous nature were the Stymphalian birds, which obscure the
sun's rays with their wings, use their feathers as darts, devour men
and lions, and are formidable on account of their claws--

      "Unguibus Arcadiæ volucres Stymphala colentes" (_Lucretius_);

which Hêraklês, and afterwards the Argonauts, by the advice of the
wise Phineos, put to flight with the noise of a musical instrument,
and by striking their shields and spears against each other. The bird
of Seleucia which Galenus describes as "of an insatiable appetite,
malignant, astute, a devourer of locusts," also has the same
diabolical nature. If our identification of the locust with the moon
be accepted, to kill the locust, its shadow alone sufficed. But
inasmuch as the locusts are considered destroyers of corn, the birds
of Seleucia, which come to devour them, are held to be beneficent, and
the ministers of Zeus.

The gryphes are represented as of double nature, now propitious, now
malignant. Solinus calls them, "Alites ferocissimæ et ultra rabiem
sævientes." Ktesias declares that India possesses gold in mountains
inhabited by griffins, quadrupeds, as large as wolves, which have the
legs and claws of a lion, red feathers on their breasts and in their
other parts, eyes of fire and golden nests. For the sake of the gold,
the Arimaspi, one-eyed men, fight with the griffins. As the latter
have long ears, they easily hear the robbers of the gold; and if they
capture them, they invariably kill them. In Hellenic antiquity, the
griffins were sacred to Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance, and were
represented in sepulchres in the act of pressing down a bull's head;
but they were far more celebrated as sacred to the golden sun, Apollo,
whose chariot they drew (the hippogriff, which, in mediæval
chevaleresque poems, carries the hero, is their exact equivalent).
And as Apollo is the prophetical and divining deity, whose oracle,
when consulted, delivers itself in enigmas, the word _griffin_, too,
meant enigma, logogriph being an enigmatical speech, and griffonnage
an entangled, confused, and embarrassing handwriting.

Finally, the siren, or mermaid, who had a woman's face, and ended now
as a bird, now as a fish; and who, according to Greek grammarians, had
the form of a sparrow in its upper parts and of a woman in the lower,
seems to be a lunar rather than a solar animal. The sirens allure
navigators in particular, and fly after the ship of the cunning
Odysseus, who stuffs his ears; for which reason they throw themselves
in despair into the sea. The sirens are fairies like Circe; hence
Horace[329] names them together--

      "Sirenum voces et Circes pocula nosti."

Pliny, who believed that they existed in India, attributed to them the
faculty of lulling men to sleep by their songs, in order to tear them
to pieces afterwards; they calmed the winds of the sea by their
voices, they knew and could reveal every secret (like the fairy or
Madonna moon). Some say that the sirens were born of the blood of
Acheloos, defeated by Hêraklês; others, of Acheloos and one of the
Muses; others, again, narrate that they were once girls, and that
Aphroditê transformed them into sirens because they wished to remain
virgins. In the sixteenth Esthonian story, the beautiful maiden of
the waters, daughter of the mother of the waters, falls in love with a
young hero with whom she stays six days of the week; the seventh day,
Thursday, she leaves him, to go and plunge into the water, forbidding
the youth to come and see her: the young man is unable to repress his
curiosity, surprises the maiden when bathing, and discovers that she
is a woman in her upper and a fish in her lower parts--

      "Desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne;"

the maiden of the waters is conscious of being looked at, and
disappears sorrowfully from the young man's sight.[330]


[289] Pra çyenaḥ çyenebhya âçupâtvâ--Aćakrayâ yat svadhayâ suparṇo
havyam bharan manave devaǵushṭam; _Ṛigv._ iv. 26, 4.--The somaḥ
çyenâbhṛitaḥ is also mentioned in the _Ṛigv._ i. 80, 2, iv. 27, ix.
77, and other passages.

[290] Çatam mâ pura âyasîr arakshann adha çyeno ǵavasâ nir adîyam;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 27, 1.

[291] Yam te çyenaç ćârum avṛikaṁ padâbharad aruṇam mânam andhasaḥ--enâ
vayo vi târy âyur ǵivasa enâ ǵagâra bandhutâ; _Ṛigv._ x. 144, 5.

[292] In the _Mahâbhâratam_ (i. 2383), the ambrosia takes the shape of
sperm. A king, far from his wife Girikâ, thinks of her; the sperm
comes from him and falls upon a leaf. A hawk carries the leaf away;
another hawk sees it and disputes with it for the possession of the
leaf; they fight with one another and the leaf falls into the waters
of the Yamunâ, where the nymph Adrikâ (equivalent to Girikâ), changed
by a curse into a fish, sees the leaf, feeds upon the sperm, becomes
fruitful, and is delivered; cfr. the chapter on the Fishes.

[293] Çyeno 'yopâshṭir hanti dasyûn; _Ṛigv._ x. 99, 8.--In the Russian
stories the hawk and the dog are sometimes the most powerful helpers
of the hero.

[294] Ghṛishuḥ çyenâya kṛitvana âsuḥ; _Ṛigv._ x. 144, 3.--Yam suparṇaḥ
parâvataḥ çyenasya putra âbharat çataćakram; _Ṛigv._ x. 144, 1.

[295] Sa pûrvyaḥ pavate yaṁ divas pari çyeno mathâyad ishitas tiro
raǵaḥ sa madhva â yuvate yeviǵâna it kṛiçânor astur manasâha
bibhyushâ; _Ṛigv._ ix. 77, 2.

[296] iii. 3, 26.

[297] Antaḥ patat patatry asya parṇam; _Ṛigv._ iv. 27, 4.--Cfr. for
this mythical episode the texts given by Prof. Kuhn and the relative
discussions, _Die Herabkunft d. F. u. d. S._, pp. 138 _seq._ and 180

[298] Çyeno na bhîtaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 32, 14.

[299] Anyaṁ divo mâtariçvâ ǵabhârâmathnâd anyam pari çyeno adreḥ;
_Ṛigv._ i. 93, 6.

[300] Â vâṁ çyenâso açvinâ vahantu--ye apturo divyâso na gṛidhrâh;
_Ṛigv._ i. 118, 4.

[301] Gṛidhreva vṛikshaṁ nidhimantam aćha; _Ṛigv._ ii. 39, 1.

[302] _Ṛigv._ i. 88, 4.--In fact, in the hymn i. 165, 2, the Marutas
are explicitly compared to hawks that fly through the air (çyenâṅ iva
dhraǵato antarikshe).

[303] Drapsaḥ samudram abhi yaǵ ǵigâti paçyan gṛidhrasya ćakshasâ;
_Ṛigv._ x. 123, 8.

[304] i. 1078, _seq._

[305] _Mbh._ i. 1495.

[306] _Ib._ i. 1496, _seq._

[307] _Râmây._ vii. 6.

[308] _Ib._ vii. 7.

[309] _Ib._ vi. 26.

[310] _Mbh._ i. 1337, _seq._

[311] iii. 20.

[312] iii. 29.

[313] _Râmây._ iv. 58, 59.

[314] For the numerous Eastern varieties of this legend, cfr. the
Einleitung to the _Pańćatantram_, of Prof. Benfey, p. 388, _seq._--In
the fifth story of the first book of _Afanassieff_ (cfr. the sixth of
the same book), Little John is carried back from the bottom of the
earth into Russia upon the wings of an eagle. When the eagle is hungry
it turns its head, and Johnny gives it food; when the provisions come
to an end, Johnny feeds it with his own flesh.--In the twenty-seventh
story of the second book, the two young people are carried from the
world of darkness into that of light on the wings of the bird
Kolpalitza; when the provisions come to an end, it is the girl that
gives flesh, cut off her thigh, to the bird. But the youth, who has
with him the water of life, heals the amorous maiden; cfr. also
_Afanassieff_, v. 23, and v. 28, where, instead of the eagle, we find
the hawk.--The same sacrifice of himself is made in a Piedmontese
story, recorded by me in first number of the _Rivista Orientale_, by a
young prince, who wishes to cross the sea in order to see the princess
that he loves; the same is done by the young hero of the following
unpublished Tuscan story, which I heard from a certain Martino Nardini
of Prato:--"A three-headed dragon steals during the night the golden
apples in the garden of the king of Portugal; the three sons of the
king watch during the night: the first two fall asleep, but the third
discovers the thief and wounds him. The day after, the three brothers
follow the track caused by the robber's blood: they come to a
beautiful palace, in which there is a cistern, into which the third
brother is lowered down, taking a trumpet with him to sound when he
wishes to be taken up. Following a dark path he comes to a fine
meadow, where there are three splendid palaces, one of bronze, one of
silver, and one of gold; following the trace of blood, he goes to the
palace of bronze; a beautiful maiden opens the gate to him, and
wonders why he has come down to the world underground; the young
couple are pleased with each other, and promise to marry one another;
the maiden has a crown of brilliants, of which she gives him half as a
pledge. The dragon comes back home, and says:--

      "Ucci, ucci
       O che puzzo di Cristianucci,
       O ce n' è, o ce n' è stati,
       O ce n' è di rimpiattati."

The maiden, who has concealed the young hero, caresses the dragon and
makes him fall asleep. When he is asleep, she brings the young man out
of his concealment, gives him a sword and tells him to cut the three
heads off at one blow. Helped by a second maiden, the young hero
prepares to accomplish a second undertaking in the silver palace of the
five-headed dragon. He must cut the five heads off at a blow, for if one
remains, it is as if he had cut none off. After having killed the
dragon, he promises to marry the second maiden too. Finally, he knocks
at the gate of the golden palace, which is opened by a third maiden; she
too asks, "What ever induced you to come to lose your life in the lower
world? The seven-headed dragon lives here." He promises to marry her;
the dragon does not wish to go to rest this night; but the maiden
persuades him to do so, upon which the youth cuts off the seven heads in
two strokes. The three girls, who were three princesses carried off by
the dragons, are released, and take all the riches that they can find in
order to carry them into the upper world. They come to the cistern, the
hero sounds the trumpet, and the two brothers draw up all the riches,
the three maidens, shutting up the entrance with a stone, and leaving
their young brother alone in the subterranean world. The two elder
brothers force the three princesses to declare that they had delivered
them; they then go to the King of Portugal and boast of this feat,
saying, that the third brother is lost. The three princesses are sad, at
which the King of Portugal wonders. The elder brothers wish to marry the
maiden who was in the bronze palace; but she declares that she will only
marry him who brings to her the other half of the crown of brilliants.
They send to all the goldsmiths and jewellers to find one who can make
it. Meanwhile, the third brother, abandoned underground, cries out for
aid; an eagle approaches the tomb, and promises to carry him into the
world above, if he will allay its hunger. The young hero, by the eagle's
advice, puts lizards and serpents into a sack, and calls the eagle after
having made a plentiful provision of food. He fastens the sack round his
neck in order to give an animal to the eagle each time that it asks for
food. When they are a few arms' length distant from the upper world, the
sack is empty; the youth cuts his flesh off with a knife and gives it to
the eagle, which carries him into the world, when the young man asks him
how he can return home. The bird directs him to follow the high road. A
charcoal-seller passes by; the young man proposes himself as his
assistant, on condition that he give him some food. The charcoal-seller
takes him with himself for some time, and then recommends him to an old
man, his friend, who is a silversmith. Meanwhile, the king's servants
have been six months wandering towards the sunset, searching for a
silversmith capable of making the other half of the crown, but in vain;
they then wander for six months towards the sunrise till they come to
the dwelling of the poor silversmith where the third brother serves as
an assistant. The old man says he is not able to make the half crown;
but the young man asks to see the other half, recognises it, and
promises to give it back entire in eight days. At the expiration of this
time, the king sends for the crown and the manufacturer, but the youth
sends his master instead of himself. The princess, however, insists upon
seeing the young assistant too; he is sent for and brought to the
palace; the king does not recognise him, and asks what reward he wants;
he answers that he wishes for what the crown cost to the princess. The
latter recognises him, after which his father does so too. The young
hero weds the princess to whom he had promised himself; and the two
brothers are covered with inflammable gums, and used as lamps to light
up the wedding.

[315] In a hitherto unpublished story of the Monferrato, communicated to
me by Signor Ferraro, a king with three sons is blind; he would be cured
if he could bathe his eyes in oil with a feather of the griffon-bird,
which lives upon a high mountain. The third brother succeeds in catching
one, having been kind to an old woman; he brings the griffon-bird to his
father, who recovers his sight and his youth.--Cfr. the third story of
the fourth book of the _Pentamerone_, in which a hawk that is a princess
transformed, also gives to the brother of his wife one of his feathers,
which he is to throw to the ground in case of necessity; indeed, when
young Tittone requires it, a battalion of hawks appear in order to free
the imprisoned maiden loved by Tittone.--In the fifth story of the fifth
book of the _Pentamerone_, the hawk serves as a guide to a young king to
find a beautiful princess whom a witch has put to sleep, and who is
believed to be dead. This princess becomes the mother of two sons, who
are called Sun and Moon.--In the sixth Sicilian story of Signora
Gonzenbach, a young man releases an eagle that was entangled in the
branches of a tree; the grateful eagle gives him one of its feathers;
letting it fall to the ground, the youth can become an eagle at

[316] In the ninth Esthonian story it is the eagle that takes the
message to the thunder-god to enable him to recover his weapon, which
the devil had carried off.--In the first Esthonian story, the eagle
also appears as the propitious messenger of the young prince.

[317] In the story of Santo Stefano, _La Principessa che non ride_,
the eaglets have the same faculty of drawing after themselves
everything that they touch; and, as forms of the winds (or the
clouds), in which character they sometimes appear, we can understand
this property of theirs; the wind, too, draws after itself everything
that comes in its way, and especially the violent north wind
(aquilo).--In Russian stories we have, instead, now the funereal
storks, now the marvellous goose taking the place of the eagle that
drags things behind it.

[318] In the tenth Sicilian story of Signora Gonzenbach, it is in the
shape of a silver eagle that the king of the assassins penetrates into
the room where the young wife of the king sleeps, upon whom he wishes
to avenge himself.--Stephanus Stephanius, the interpreter of _Saxo
Grammaticus_, writes, that among the English, the Danes, and other
Northern nations, it was the custom when an enemy was defeated, to
thrust a sword, as a greater mark of ignominy, into his back, in such
a manner as to separate the backbone on both sides by a longitudinal
wound; thence stripes of flesh having been cut off, they were fastened
to the sides, so as to represent eagle's wings. (In Russian popular
stories, when heroes and monsters fight, we find frequent reference to
a similar custom.)

[319] Panravílas sataná lućshe yasnavo sakalá, _Afanassieff_, vi.
16.--The proverb, however, may have another sense, viz., better the
devil in person than a beautiful but diabolical shape. The devil
sometimes assumed the form of a hawk, as we learn from the legend of
Endo, an English man-at-arms, who became enamoured of one into which
the devil had transformed himself, in Guillelmus Neubrigensis, _Hist.
Angl._ i. 19.

[320] In Plato's _Phædon_, rapacious men are transformed into wolves
and kites.

[321] Cfr. Aldrovandi, _Ornith._ v.--And, moreover, in the same
Aldrovandi:--"Narrant qui res Africanas literis mandarunt Aquilam
marem aliquando cum Lupa coire ... producique ac edi Draconem, qui
rostro et alis avis speciem referat, cauda serpentem, pede Lupum, cute
esse versicolorem, nec supercilia posse attollere."

[322] I recommend, to whoever wishes to find all these circumstances
united, the perusal of the first volume of the _Ornithologia_ of
Aldrovandi, who dedicated in it to birds of prey a long and detailed
study.--Cfr. also Bachofen. _Die Sage von Tanaquil_, Heidelberg, 1870.

[323] Comparative popular medicine might be the subject of a special
work which could not fail to be instructive and interesting.


      "Come l'Araba Fenice;
       Che ci sia, ciascun lo dice;
       Dove sia, nessun lo sa."

[325] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 27.

[326] _Itin._ i.

[327] In the first chapter of the first book we saw how the witch
sucked the breasts of the beautiful maiden.--In _Du Cange_, s. v.
_Amma_, we read as follows: "Isidorus, lib. xii. cap. vii. bubo strix
nocturna: 'Hæc avis, inquit ille, vulgo Amma dicitur ab amando
parvulos, unde et lac præbere dicitur nascentibus.' Anilem hanc
fabulam non habet Papias MS. Ecclesiæ Bituricensis. Sic enim ille:
Amma avis nocturna ab amando dicta, hæc et strix dicitur a stridore."

[328] Mâ mâm ime patatriṇî vi dugdhâm; _Ṛigv._ i. 158, 4.--In Sicily,
the bat called _taddarita_ is considered as a form of the demon; to
take and kill it, one sings to it--

      "Taddarita, 'ncanna, 'ncanna,
       Lu dimonio ti 'ncanna
       E ti 'ncanna pri li peni
       Taddarita, veni, veni."

When it is caught, it is conjured, because, when it shrieks, it
blasphemes. Hence it is killed at the flame of a candle or at the
fire, or else is crucified.

[329] According to a Sicilian story, as yet unpublished, communicated
to me by Dr Ferraro, a siren once carried off a girl, and bore her out
to sea with her; and, though she occasionally allowed her to come to
the shore, she secured her against running away by means of a chain
which was fastened to her own tail. The brother released his sister by
throwing bread and meat to the siren to satiate her hunger, employing
seven blacksmiths the while to cut the chain.

[330] Cfr. the _Pentamerone_, iv. 7; and the legend of Lohengrin, in
the chapter on the Swan.




    _Rex and regulus_.--Iyattikâ çakuntikâ.--The wren's
    testament.--Vasiliskos; kunigli.--The wren and the eagle.--The wren
    and the beetle.--The death of Cæsar predicted by a wren.--_Equus
    lunæ._--Indragopas.--The red-mantled beetle.--The little cow of God
    in Russia.--The chicken of St Michael in Piedmont.--The
    cow-lady.--The Lucía and St Lucia.--The little pig of St Anthony;
    the butterfly as a phallical symbol.--The cockchafer.--St
    Nicholas.--Other popular names of the coccinella
    septempunctata.--The ladycow tells children how many years they have
    to live.--The firefly and the refulgent glowworm.--The firefly
    flogged; it gives light to the wheat; the shepherd's candle.

From the largest of birds we now pass to the smallest, from the _rex_
to the _regulus_ (in Italian, _capo d'oro_, golden head), and to the
red, golden, and green beetles (yellow and green are confounded with
one another, as we showed on a previous occasion, in the equivocal
words, _haris_ and _harit_), which are equivalent to it, and which are
substituted for it in mythology. I recognise the wren in the very
little bird (iyattikâ çakuntikâ) of the _Ṛigvedas_, which devours the
poison of the sun.[331] In a popular German song, the wren bewails the
evils of winter, which, for the rest, it represents (in its character
of the moon, it absorbs the solar vapours). A popular song of Scotch
children celebrates the wren's testament--

      "The wren, she lies in care's nest,
       Wi' meikle dole and pyne."

The wren (Greek, _basiliskos_; old German, _kunigli_), like the
beetle, appears as the rival of the eagle. It flies higher than the
latter. In a story of the Monferrato,[332] the wren and the eagle
challenge each other to a trial of their powers of flight. All the
birds are present. While the proud eagle rises in the air, despising
the wren, and flies so high that it is soon wearied, the wren has
placed itself under one of the eagle's wings, and when it sees the
latter exhausted, comes out, and, singing victory, rises higher still.
Pliny says that the eagle is the enemy of the wren: "Quoniam rex
appellatur avium." Aristotle, too, relates that the eagle and the wren
fight against each other. The fable of the challenge between the eagle
and the wren was already known in antiquity; the challenge was said to
have been given when the birds wished to procure for themselves a
king. The eagle, which had flown higher than all the other birds, was
about to be proclaimed king, when the wren, hidden under one of the
eagle's wings, flew upon the latter's head, and proclaimed itself
victorious. The wren and the beetle seem generally to represent the
moon, known to be the protectress of weddings; for this reason,
according to Aratos, weddings were not to take place whilst the wren
was hidden in the earth. We know how the full moon (a phallical
symbol) was considered the most propitious season for weddings).
According to Suetonius, the death of Cæsar was predicted to happen on
the Ides of March by a wren, which was torn in pieces by several other
birds in the Pompeian temple, as it was carrying a laurel branch away
(as the eagle does; out of the wintry darkness, ruled over by the moon
in particular, spring comes forth; the dark eagle represents sometimes
the darkness, as the wren the moon, which wanders in the darkness).

We saw the beetle that flies upon the eagle in the preceding chapter.
Pliny says of the Persian Magi that they charmed away hail, locusts,
and every similar evil from the country, when "aquilæ scalperentur aut
scarabei," with an emerald. According to Telesius, the Calabrians, in
the Cosentino, call the gold-green beetle by the name of the horse of
the moon (equus lunæ). This is the sacred beetle, which is so often
represented in ancient cameos and obelisks, and in the Isiac peplums
of the mummies. But there is another beetle which is yet more familiar
to Indo-European tradition--viz., the little and nearly round one,
with a red mantle and black spots (ladybird or cow-lady). It was
already known in India, where the name of _indragopas_ (protected by
Indras) is given to a red beetle. In a Hindoo verse we read that the
mantled red beetle falls down because it has flown too high[333] (in
this myth the rising and setting both of the moon and of the sun are
represented; cfr. the legends of Icaros, Hanumant, and Sampatis). In
Germany the red beetle is advised to flee because its house is on
fire.[334] In Russia the same red beetle with black spots is called
the little cow of God (we have already seen the cow-moon), and
children say to it--

      "Little cow of God,
       Fly to the sky,
       God will give you bread."[335]

In Piedmont the same beetle is called the chicken of St Michael, and
children say to it--

      "Chicken of St Michael,
       Put on your wings and fly to heaven."[336]

In Tuscany it is called lucía,[337] and children cry out to it--

      "Lucía, lucía
       Metti l'ali e vola via."

(Put out your wings and fly away.) The red beetle with black spots is
also called St Nicholas (Santu Nicola), or even little dove
(palumedda). When one of their teeth falls, children expect a gift
from the beetle; they hide the tooth in a hole, and then invoke the
little animal;[338] returning to the place, they usually find a coin
there, deposited by their father or mother. The red beetle, the
ladycow of the English (coccinella septempunctata), has several names
in Germany, which have been collected by Mannhardt in his German
Mythology; among others, we find those of little bird of God, little
horse of God, little cock of Mary, little cock of gold, little animal
of heaven, little bird of the sun, little cock of the sun, little calf
of the sun, little sun, little cow of women (it is therefore also
invoked for milk and butter), and little cock of women. German
maidens, in fact, in Upland, send it to their lovers as a messenger of
love, with the following verses:--

      "Jungfrau Marias,
       Flieg nach Osten,
       Flieg nach Westen,
       Flieg dahin wo mein Liebster wohnt."[339]

The ladycow shows the Swedish maidens their bridal gloves; Swiss
children interrogate it (in the same way as the cuckoo is
interrogated) to know how many years they will live.[340]

The worship which is given to the red beetle is analogous to that
reserved for the firefly (cicindela); the firefly, however, like the
German Feuerkäfer, which German children, in spring, strike in a hole
and carry home[341] the luminous glowworm that hides in hedges, like
the wren, called also in Italian _forasiepe_, pierce-hedge, round
which glowworm the stupid monkeys of the _Pańćatantram_ sit in winter
to warm themselves), is not treated so well. In Tuscany the poor
firefly, which appears in late spring (in Germany it appears somewhat
later, whence its name of Johanniswürmchen), is menaced with a
flogging, and children sing to it after catching it:--

      "Lucciola, lucciola, vien da me,
       Ti darò un pan del re,[342]
       Con dell' ova affritellate,
       Carne secca e bastonate."

(Firefly, firefly, come to me; I will give you a king's loaf of bread,
with fried eggs, bacon, and a flogging.) It is said in Tuscany that
the firefly gives light to the wheat when the corn begins to grow in
the ear; when it has grown, the firefly disappears.[343] Children are
accustomed to catch the firefly and put it under a glass, hoping in
the morning they will find a coin instead of the firefly. In Sicily,
the firefly is called the little candle of the shepherd (_cannilicchia
di picuraru_; the shepherd, or celestial pastor, the sun; the moon
gives light to the sun and shows him the way to traverse from autumn
to spring, from evening to day), and is sought for and carried home to
secure good luck. And inasmuch as the firefly shines by night, it is
more probable that it represented the moon than the sun in popular
mythical beliefs. The firefly disappears as soon as the ears are ripe,
_i.e._, with the summer; we have already seen that the winter, or cold
season of the year (like the night or cold season of the day) is under
the especial influence of the moon. The red beetle must flee when
summer comes, in order not to be burnt; the firefly, the glowworm, or
worm of fire, is flogged, and the summer sun triumphs.

I suppose that the same mythical nature belongs to the butterfly
(perhaps the black little butterfly with red spots), which is called in
Sicily the little bird of good news (occidduzzu bona nova), or little
pig of St Anthony (purcidduzzu di S. Antoni), and which is believed to
bring good luck when it enters a house. It is entreated to come into the
house, which is then immediately shut, so that the good luck may not go
out. When the insect is in the house, they sing to it:--

      "In your mouth, milk and honey;
       In my house, health and wealth."[344]

The butterfly was in antiquity both a phallical symbol (and therefore
Eros held it in his hand) and a funereal one, with promises of
resurrection and transformation; the souls of the departed were
represented in the forms of butterflies carried towards Elysium by a
dolphin. The butterfly was also often represented upon the seven
strings of the lyre, and upon a burning torch. It dies to be born
again. The phases of the moon seem to correspond in the sky to the
zoological transformations of the butterfly.

Other beetles--the green beetle and the cockchafer--have also
extraordinary virtues in fairy tales. In the fifth story of the third
book of the _Pentamerone_, the cockchafer (scarafone; in Toscana, it
is called also indovirello) can play on the guitar, saves the hero,
Nardiello, and makes the princess laugh that had never laughed before.
In the fifty-eighth story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the
green beetle cleans the hero who had fallen into the marsh, and makes
the princess laugh who had never laughed before (the beetle, which
appears in spring, like the phallical cuckoo, releases the sun from
the marsh of winter).


[331] Ǵaghâsa te visham; _Ṛigv._ i. 191, 11.

[332] Communicated to me by Dr Ferraro.--A similar story is still told
in Pomerania, Brandenburg, and Ireland, with the variation of the
stork as the eagle's rival in flying: when the stork falls down tired
out, the wren, which was hidden under one of its wings, comes forth to
measure itself with the eagle, and not being tired, is victorious.--In
a popular story of Hesse, the wren puts all the animals, guided by the
bear, to flight by means of a stratagem.

[333] Atyunnatiṁ prâpya naraḥ prâvâraḥ kîtako yatha sa
vinaçyatyasaṁdeham; Böhtlingk, _Indische Sprüche_, 2te Aufl. Spr. 181.

[334] The same superstition exists in some parts of England, where the
children address it thus:--

      "Cow-lady, cow-lady, fly away home;
       Your house is all burnt, and your children are gone."

The English names for this beetle are ladybird, ladycow, ladybug, and
ladyfly (cfr. Webster's English Dictionary). The country-people also
call it golden knop or knob (Cfr. Trench _On the Study of Words_).


      "Boszia Karóvka
       Paletí na niebo.
       Bog dat tibié hleba."


      "La galiña d' San Michel
       Büta j ale e vola al ciel."

[337] Sacred, no doubt, to St Lucia. In the Tyrol, according to the
_Festliche Jahr_ of Baron Reinsberg, St Lucia gives presents to girls,
and St Nicholas to boys. The feast of St Lucia is celebrated on the
15th of September; that evening no one need stay up late, for whoever
works that night finds all the work undone in the morning. The night
of St Lucia is greatly feared (the saint loses her sight; the summer,
the warm sunny season, comes to an end; the Madonna moon disappears,
and then becomes queen of the sky, the guardian of light, as St
Lucia), and conjurings are made against nightmare, devils, and
witches. A cross is put into the bed that no witch may enter into it.
That night, those who are under the influence of fate see, after
eleven o'clock, upon the roofs of houses a light moving slowly and
assuming different aspects; prognostications of good or evil are taken
from this light, which is called _Luzieschein_.


      "Santu Nicola, Santu Nicola
       Facitimi asciari ossa e chiova."
       (St Nicholas, St Nicholas,
       Make me find bone and coin.)

[339] Cfr. Menzel, _Die Vorchristliche Unsterblichkeits-Lehre_.

[340] Cfr. Rochholtz, _Deutscher Glaube und Brauch_.

[341] Kuhn und Schwartz, _N. d. S. M. u. G._, p. 377.

[342] In another Tuscan variety, the song begins--

      "Lucciola, Lucciola, bassa, bassa,
       Ti darò una materassa," &c.

(Firefly, firefly, down so low, I will give you a mattrass.)

[343] Pliny, too, wrote in the eighteenth book of his _Natural
History_: "Lucentes vespere cicindelas signum esse maturitatis panici
et milii." G. Telesius of the Cosentino wrote an elegant Latin poem
upon the firefly or cicindela, in the seventeenth century.


      "'Ntr' à to vucca latti e meli,
       'Ntr' à mè casa saluti e beni."




    The bees and the Açvinâu.--Madhumakshas.--Indras, Kṛishṇas, and
    Vishṇus as Mâdhavas.--The bees and Madhuhan.--Beowulf.--The god of
    thunder and the bees.--Vishṇus as a bee.--The _ocymum nigrum_.--The
    bees as nurses.--Melissai.--Selênê as Melissa.--Souls as bees.--The
    bees born in the bull's dead body.--The bee according to Finnish
    mythology.--The bees descended from paradise as part of the mind of
    God.--Bee's-wax causes light.--The Bienenstock.--The madhumati
    kaçâ.--The bees as winds.--Apis and avis.--The mother of the
    bees.--The young hero as a bee.--The fairy moon as a gnat.--The
    fly's palace.--The flies bartered for good cattle.--Intelligence of
    the bee.--The wasp as a judge.--The fly, the gnat, and the
    mosquito.--The louse and the flea.--The ant and the fly.--The ant
    and the cicada.--The cicadæ and the muses.--Tithon as a cicada.--The
    sparrow and the cicada.--The cicada and the cuckoo.

I find the bee in the Vedic mythology, where the Açvinâu "carry to the
bees the sweet honey,"[345] where the horses of the Açvinâu, compared to
"ambrosial swans, innocent, with golden wings, which waken with the
dawn, swim in the water, and enjoy themselves, cheerful," are invoked to
come, "like the fly of honey," _i.e._, the bee, "to the juices."[346]
The gods Indras, Kṛishṇas, and Vishṇus, on account of their name
Mâdhavas (that is, born of madhus, belonging to or in connection with
it), were also compared in India to bees; the bee, as making and
carrying honey (madhukaras), is especially the moon; as sucking it, it
is especially the sun. The name of bhramaras or wanderer given in India
to the bee, is as applicable to the sun as to the moon. In the
_Mahâbhâratam_[347] it is said that the bees kill the destroyer of honey
(madhuhan). In the chapter on the bear, we saw how the bear was killed
by the bees (cfr. the name Beowulf, explained as the wolf of bees), and
how in India it personified Vishṇus. Now it is not uninteresting to
learn how Madhuhan, originally the destroyer of the madhu, became a name
of Kṛishṇas or Vishṇus in the _Mahâbhâratam_ and in the _Bhâgavata P._;
of madhu (honey) was made a demon, killed by the god (sun and moon, sun
and cloud, are rivals; the solar bear destroys the beehive of the moon
and the clouds).[348] Vishṇus (as Haris, the sun and the moon) is
sometimes represented as a bee upon a lotus-leaf, and Kṛishṇas with an
azure bee on his forehead. When the Hindoos take honey out of a hive
with a rod, they always hold in one hand the plant toolsy (ocymum
nigrum), sacred to Kṛishṇas (properly the black one), because one of the
girls beloved of Kṛishṇas was transformed into it.[349]

In the legend of Ibrâhîm Ibn Edhem, in the _Tuti-Name_[350] we read of
a bee that carries crumbs of bread away from the king's table to take
them to a blind sparrow. Melíai and Mélissai, or bees, were the names
of the nymphs who nursed Zeus; the priestesses of the nurse-goddess
Dêmêtêr were also called Mélissai.

According to Porphyrios[351] the moon (Selênê) was also called a bee
(Melissa). Selênê was represented drawn by two white horses or two
cows; the horn of these cows seems to correspond to the sting of the
bee. The souls of the dead were supposed to come down from the moon
upon the earth in the forms of bees. Porphyrios adds that, as the moon
is the culminating point of the constellation of the bull (as a bull
herself), it is believed that bees are born in the bull's carcase.
Hence the name of _bougeneis_ given by the ancients to bees. Dionysos
(the moon), after having been torn to pieces in the form of a bull,
was born again, according to those who were initiated in the Dionysian
mysteries, in the form of a bee; hence the name of Bougenês also given
to Dionysos, according to Plutarch. Three hundred golden bees were
represented, in conjunction with a bull's head, in the tomb of
Childeric, the king of the Franks. Sometimes, instead of the lunar
bull we find the solar lion; and the lion in connection with bees
occurred in the mysteries of Mithras (and in the legend of Samson).

According to the Finnish mythology of Tomasson, quoted by Menzel,[352]
the bee is implored to fly far away over the moon, over the sun, near
to the axis of the constellation of the waggon, into the dwelling of
the Creator god, and carry upon its wings and in its mouth health and
honey to the good, and wounds of fire and iron to the wicked.

According to a popular belief (which is in accordance with the legend
of the Ćerkessians), the bees alone of all animals descended from
paradise.[353] Virgil, too, in the fourth book of the _Georgics_,
celebrates the divine nature of the bee, which is a part of the mind
of God, never dies, and alone among animals ascends alive into heaven
(in popular Hellenic, Latin, and German tradition, the bee personifies
the soul, and this being considered immortal, the bee, too, is
supposed to escape death):--

      "Esse apibus partem divinæ mentis et haustus
       Æthereos dixere: Deumque namque ire per omnes
       Terrasque, tractusque maris cœœlumque profundum.
       Hinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum,
       Quemque sibi tenues nascentem arcessere vitas;
       Scilicet huc reddi deinde ac resoluta referri
       Omnia; nec morti esse locum; sed viva volare
       Sideris in numerum atque alto succedere cœœlo."

The wax of bees, because it produces light, and is, moreover, used in
churches,[354] must also have had its part in increasing the divine
prestige of bees, and the belief in their immortality, as being those
that feed the fire. According to a writing of 1482, cited by Du Cange,
the sacred disease or _ignis sacer_ (pestilential erysipelas) was
cured by wax dissolved in water.

In Germany the death of their master is announced to the bees in the
little stick round which the honey is made in the hive. The hive or the
Bienenstock, participates in the divine nature of the bees, and calls my
attention to the madhumatî kaçâ or madhoh kaçâ of the _Ṛigvedas_, and of
the _Atharvavedas_, attributed to the Açvinâu, and destined to soften
the sacrificial butter, which is of a nature similar to the _caduceus_
of Mercury, and to the magical rod, born of all the various elements and
of none in particular, daughter of the wind, and sometimes perhaps
itself the wind; the _anima_, the soul (the bee), is a breath, a breeze,
a wind (anemos, anilas), which changes its place, but never dies; it
collects and scatters honey and perfumes, and passes away, changeful as
the American flybird that sucks honey, the continual beating of whose
wings resembles the buzzing of a bee; the _apis_ and _avis_ are
assimilated. In Du Cange,[355] I find an oration to the mother of the
bees, to call back the dispersed ones of her family, conceived
thus:--"Adjuro te, Mater aviorum per Deum regem cœœlorum et per ilium
Redemptorem Filium Dei te adjuro, ut non te altum levare, nec longe
volare, sed quam plus cito potest ad arborem venire; ibi te allocas cum
omni tua genera, vel cum socia tua, ibi habeo bono vaso parato, ut vos
ibi, in Dei nomine, laboretis," &c.

In the twenty-second story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, a bee
transforms itself into a young hero, in order to prove to the old man
that he is able to fetch back his son, who has remained three years
under the instruction of the devil (the moon enables the old sun to find
the young one; it helps the sun to cheat the devil of night). In the
same story it is in the form of a gnat that the guardian-fairy perches
herself upon the young hero, whom his father has to recognise amongst
twelve heroes that bear the greatest resemblance to one another. In the
forty-eighth story of the fifth book, the gnat distinguishes, among the
twelve maidens that resemble each other extremely, the one whom the
young hero loves, that is, the daughter of the priest, whom the devil
had taken possession of, because her father had once said to her, "The
devil take you." This indicatory gnat occurs in numerous fairy tales,
and discharges the office of the fairy moon; this is the guide and
messenger of the hero. We have already seen the moon as a hostess. In
the thirty-first story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, we have the
fly that entertains in its palace (according to the sixteenth story of
the third book, a horse's head) the louse, the flea, the mosquito, the
little mouse, the lizard, the fox, the hare, and the wolf, until the
bear comes up and crushes with one paw the whole palace of the fly, and
all the mythical nocturnal animals that it contains. We have also seen
the hero who barters his bull for a vegetable which brings him fortune,
and we have seen above the bee that is born of the dead bull. In the
seventh story of the third book of _Afanassieff_, the third brother,
supposed to be foolish, collects, on the contrary, flies and mosquitoes
in two sacks, which he suspends upon a lofty oak-tree, where he barters
them for good cattle (the moon is the pea of good fortune, the giver of
abundance). We know that the moon was represented as the judge of the
departed in the kingdom of the dead, and as an omniscient fairy. The
industrious bees have a singular reputation for superior
intelligence.[356] In the thirteenth fable of the third book of
_Phædrus_, proof of the same wisdom is given by the wasp, who sits in
the tribunal as a conscientious judge between the drones and the working
bees in regard to the honey which the bees had collected and stored up
on a lofty oak-tree, and to which the drones had pretensions.

The fly, the gnat, and the mosquito, though small, annoy, and
sometimes cause the death of, the most terrible animals; the beetle
gets upon the eagle to escape the hare; the hare allures the elephant
and the lion into the water;[357] the moon allures the sun into the
night and the winter; the moon overcomes the sun, devoid of rays; the
sun is deprived of its rays, the hero loses his strength with his
hair; the fly alights upon the bald head of the old man, and annoys
him in every way; the old man, wishing to strike the fly, only slaps
himself. In _Phædrus_, again, we find the fly quarrelling with the
rustic ant; the fly boasts of partaking of the offerings given to the
gods, of dwelling amidst the altars, of flying through every temple,
of sitting upon the heads of kings, of the kisses of beautiful women,
and that without the necessity of submitting to any labour. The ant
answers the fly by referring to the certain approach of winter, during
which the ant, who had worked hard, has abundant provisions, and
lives, whilst the fly dies of cold and starvation. Moreover, the ant
says to it in one expressive verse--

      "Æstate me lacessis; cum bruma est, siles."

This same discussion is reported, with more semblance of truth, by
other fabulists, as having happened between the shrill and inert
cicada and the silent and laborious ant.

In the preceding chapter we saw the musical beetle. We are tempted to
figure the bee as a musician, from the form of the bee being sometimes
attributed to the Hellenic Muses and Apollo, and the name "bee of
Delphi" being given to the Pythoness (as a cloud). But according to
Plato, the Muses transformed into cicadæ the men who amused themselves
by singing, and were so absorbed in that occupation they forgot to eat
and to drink. If this myth be not a satirical invention of Plato's
against poets, the bees as Muses, and those who became cicadæ on
account of the Muses, should enter into the same mythical family.
According to Isidorus, the cicadæ are born of the saliva of the
cuckoo; this belief figuratively expresses the passage from spring to
the summer season, to the season of the harvest, to the season of
abundance, in which, according to a Tuscan proverb among thieves, he
is a fool who cannot make his own fortune.[358] According to
Hesüchios, the ass was called at Cyprus by the name of a mature cicada
(tettix prôinos); the cicada (as the sun) dies, and the ass (as the
night or winter) appears. According to Philê,[359] the cicadæ feed
upon the eastern dew, perhaps in reminiscence of the Hellenic myth
which makes the sun Tithon the lover of the aurora. The sun feeds upon
the ambrosia, and is therefore immortal; but he has not the gift of
eternal youth; his members dry up; after having sung all through the
laborious noisy day, through the laborious noisy summer, he expires;
for this reason the Hellenic myth represented the aged Tithon as
transformed into a cicada.[360] The cicada is born again in spring of
the cuckoo's saliva, and in the morning of the dew of the aurora; the
two accounts correspond with one another. The cicada of summer
appears, and the cuckoo of spring disappears; hence the popular belief
that the cicadæ wage war to the death with the cuckoo, attacking it
under its wings; hence it is supposed that the cuckoo devours its own
nurse; the aurora devours the night, the spring devours the winter.


[345] Madhu priyam bharatho yat saradbhyaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 112, 21.

[346] Haṅsâso ye vâm madhumanto asridho hiraṇyaparṇâ uhuva
ushar-budhaḥ udapruto mandino mandinispṛiço madhvo na makshaḥ savanâni
gaćhathah; _Ṛigv._ iv. 45, 4. Here _makshas_, in conjunction with
_madhvas_, gives us the sense of _madhumakshas_ and _madhumakshika_,
which means bee, and not fly, as it was interpreted by other
translators, and by the Petropolitan Dictionary, whose learned editors
will be all the more induced to make this slight correction in the new
_Verbesserungen_, as in this hymn, as well as in the hymn i. 112, the
bees are considered in connection with the Açvinâu.

[347] iii. 1333.

[348] The god of thunder (or Indras), in opposition to the bees, is
also found in a legend of the Ćerkessians quoted by Menzel. The god
destroys them; but one of them hides under the shirt of the mother of
God, and of this one all the other bees are born.--According to the
popular superstition of Normandy, in _De Nore_, quoted by Menzel, the
bees (the same is said of the wasps and the horseflies) are revengeful
when maltreated, and carry happiness into a house when treated well.
In Russia it is considered sacrilege to kill a bee.

[349] Cfr. Addison, _Indian Reminiscences_.

[350] ii. 112.

[351] Perì ton en Odüsseia tôn Nümphôn antron.

[352] Die Bienen gebeten werden: "Biene, du Weltvöglein, flieg in die
Weite, über neun Seen, über den Mond, über die Sonne, hinter des
Himmelssterne, neben der Achse des Wagengestirns; flieg in den Keller
des Schöpfers, in des Allmächtigen Vorrathskammer, bring Arznei mit
deinen Flügeln, Honig in deinem Schnabel, für böse Eisenwunden und
Feuerwunden;" _Die Vorchristliche Unsterblichkeits-Lehre_. In this
work, to which I refer the reader, Menzel treats at length of the
worship of bees, and of honey.

[353] In the Engadine in Switzerland, too, it is believed that the
souls of men emigrate from the world and return into it in the forms
of bees. The bees are there considered messengers of death; cfr.
Rochholtz, _Deutscher Glaube und Brauch_, i. 147, 148.--When some one
dies, the bee is invoked as follows, almost as if requesting the soul
of the departed to watch for ever over the living:--

      "Bienchen, unser Herr ist todt,
       Verlass mich nicht in meiner Noth."

In Germany, people are unwilling to buy the bees of a dead man, it
being believed that they will die or disappear immediately after
him:--"Stirbt der Hausherr, so muss sein Tod nicht bloss dem Vieh im
Stall und den Bienen im Stocke angesagt werden;" Simrock, the work
quoted before, p. 601.--In the East, as is well-known, it was the
custom to bury great men in a tomb sprinkled over with honey or
beeswax as a symbol of immortality.

[354] Der Adel der Bienen ist vom Paradies entsprossen und wegen der
Sünde des Menschen kamen sie von da heraus und Gott schenkte ihnen
seinen Segen, und deshalb ist die Messe nicht zu singen ohne Wachs;
Leo, _Malberg. Glossæ_, 1842.

[355] _Baluz. Capitulor._ tom. ii. p. 663, in oratione ad revocandum
examen apum dispersum ex Cod. MS. S. Gallï.

[356] In _Du Cange_: "Apis significat formam virginitatis, sive
sapientiam, in malo, invasorem."--_Papias M. S. Bitur_; ex illo
forsitan officii Ecclesiast. in festo S. Ceciliæ: "Cecilia famula tua,
Domine, quasi Apis tibi argumentosa deservit," &c.

[357] Cfr. the chapters on the Hare, the Lion, and the Elephant. The
louse and the flea have the same mythical nature as the mosquito and the
fly.--In the ninth Esthonian story, the son of the thunder, by means of
a louse, obliges the thunder-god to scratch his head for a moment, and
thus to let fall the weapon of thunder, which is instantly carried off
to hell. The lice that fall down from the head of the witch combed by
the good maiden, or from that of the Madonna combed by the wicked
maiden, have already been mentioned. The Madonna that combs the child
is, moreover, a subject of traditional Christian painting.--In the fifth
story of the first book of the _Pentamerone_, we read of a monstrous
louse. The king of Altamonte fattens a louse so much that it grows to
the size of a wether. He then has it flayed, orders the skin to be
dirtied, and promises to give his daughter to wife to whoever guesses
what skin this is. The ogre alone guesses, and carries the maiden off,
whom seven heroes afterwards go to deliver towards the aurora "subito
che l'Aucielle (the birds) gridaro: Viva lo Sole."


      "Quando la cicala il c. batte
       L'ha del m. chi non si fa la parte."

[359] _Peri Zôôn idiotêtos_, xxiv., with the additions of Joachim

[360] Plutarch, in the _Life of Sylla_, cites among the prognostics of
the civil war between Marius and Sylla, the incident of a sparrow
lacerating a cicada, of which it left part in the temple of Bellona,
and carried part away.




    The kokilas, the nightingale of the Hindoo poets.--The
    heron.--Kokas.--Kapińǵalas.--The partridges.--The Vedas instead of
    the enchanted ring.--The partridge as a devil.--The heathcock.--The
    partridge and the peasant.--The pigmies ride on partridges.--Talaus
    becomes a partridge.--The kapińǵalas as a cuckoo; Indras as a
    kapińǵalas; Indras as a cuckoo.--Rambhâ becomes a stone.--Zeus as a
    cuckoo.--The laughing nightingale instead of the cuckoo.--The myth
    of Tereus.--The whoop, or hoopoe, announces, it divines secrets; the
    blind whoop and its young ones.--It buries its parents.--The cuckoo
    and the hawk.--The cuckoo anyapushṭas.--The phallical cuckoo.--The
    cuckoo as a good omen for matrimony.--The cuckoo is deceitful and a
    derider.--The cuckoo as the messenger of spring, and as the bringer
    of summer.--The death of the cuckoo.--_Cocu, coucoul, couquiol,
    cucuault, kokküges._--The cuckoo announces rain; the cuckoo as a
    funereal bird.--The years of the cuckoo.--The cuckoo, the
    nightingale, and the ass.--The learned nightingales.--The
    nightingales predict the future.--The monster as a nightingale.--The
    wind as a whistler.--The nightingale as the messenger of
    Zeus.--Paidoletôr.--The phallical nightingale.--The nightingale as
    the singer of the night.--The nightingale as the messenger of
    lovers; he now helps them, and now compels them to separate.--The
    sun dries the nightingale up; a wedding custom.--The swallow; the
    chicken of the Lord.--The seven swallows of the _Edda_.--The swallow
    blinds the witch.--The birds of the Madonna; San Francesco and the
    swallows.--It is a mortal sin to kill them.--The swallows as guests;
    sacred birds.--The swallow beautiful only in spring.--The swans and
    the swallows sing.--The swallows as babblers.--It is a bad omen to
    dream of swallows.--Chelidôn, the _pudendum muliebre_.--The sparrow
    as a phallical bird.--The swallow as a diabolical form.

The kokilas or Indian cuckoo is for the Hindoo poets what the
nightingale is for ours. The choicest epithets are employed to describe
its singing, and the one most frequently applied to it in this reference
is that of ravisher of the heart (hṛidayagrahin). While I write, I have
not under my eyes, nor can I have, Schlegel's edition of the
_Râmâyaṇam_; but if my memory does not deceive me, in the introduction,
the poet Vâlmîkis makes the first çlokas, when he hears the lamentation
of a kokilas whose beloved companion has been killed. In the edition of
Gorresio, instead of the kokilas, we have the krâuńćas, which is the
heron according to Gorresio, and the bustard (Brachvogel) according to
the Petropolitan Dictionary. Kokas, a synonym of kokilas, is also
mentioned in a Vedic hymn.[361] The Hindoo commentator explains it as
ćakravâkas, which must be the equivalent of heron, although the
dictionaries interpret it particularly as the _anas casarca_. In the
forty-second and forty-third hymns of the _Ṛigvedas_, a bird occurs
which partakes of the nature of both the cuckoo and the heron, or
bustard. Here the bird "proclaims the future, predicts, launches its
voice as the boatman his boat:" it is invoked "that it be of good
augury," that "the hawk may not strike it," nor "the vulture," nor "the
archer armed with darts;" in order that, "having called towards the
funereal western region, it may speak propitiously with good-omened
words," that it may "shout to the eastern side of the houses,
propitious, with good-omened words."[362] In this prophetic bird,
explained by the _Bṛihaddevatâ_ as kapińǵalas, the Petropolitan
Dictionary recognises the heathcock (Haselhuhn), of which tittiris or
partridge is also a rendering. A Hindoo brahmanic tradition transforms
into partridges the scholars of Vâiçampayanas to peck at the Vedas of
Yâǵnavalkyas. The scholars of Vâiçampayanas are the compilers of the
_Tâittiriya-Veda_, or Veda of the partridges, or else black Veda. The
Vedas sometimes occupies in Eastern tradition the place of the enchanted
ring. In Western tradition, the devil, or black monster, becomes a cock
in order to peck at the pearl or ring of the young hero who has become
wise. In St Jerome's and St Augustine's writings, we also read that the
devil often assumes the form of a partridge.[363] The Indian tittiris
occurs again in the Russian tieteriev (the heathcock). In a story of the
second book of _Afanassieff_, the Tzar gives to a peasant a golden
heathcock for a dish of kissél, made of a grain of oats found in a
dunghill (a variety of the well-known fable of the chicken and the
pearl). The heathcock finds the grain. In another story of the fifth
book of _Afanassieff_, a heathcock sits upon the oak-tree that is to
carry the peasant-hero into heaven; it falls down, struck by the bullet
of a gun that goes off of itself, because a spark, coming out of the
tree, fell upon the powder of the gun and made the charge explode. The
partridge and the peasant often occur in connection with each other in
popular traditions. The shoes that the peasant took for partridges are
proverbial. Odoricus Forojuliensis speaks in his _Itinerarium_ of a man
at Trebizonde who conducted four thousand partridges; as he walked on
the ground, the partridges flew through the air; when he stopped to
sleep, the partridges also came down. According to the _Ornithologus_,
the pigmies, in the war against the cranes, rode upon partridges. An
extraordinary degree of intelligence and prophetic virtue is ascribed to
these birds. Aldrovandi asserts, in his Ornithology, that tame
partridges cry out loudly when poison is being prepared in the house.
The partridge was also called _dædala_ in antiquity, both because of its
intelligence, and because of the fable in which Talaus, the nephew of
Dædalus, the inventor of rhyme, thrown from the citadel of Athênê, by
the envoy of Dædalus, was changed into a partridge by the pitying gods.

But to return to the point we started from, that is, to the Hindoo
kapińǵalas, we must notice that Professor Kuhn,[364] has recognised in
it the cuckoo rather than the heathcock. A legend of the _Bṛihaddevatâ_
informs us that Indras, desirous of being sung to, and having become
kapińǵalas, placed himself at the right hand of the wise man that
desired (by the merit of his praises) to rise into heaven; then the wise
man having, with the eye of a sage, recognised the god in the bird, sang
for psalms those two Vedic hymns of which one begins with the word
_kanikradat_."[365] The god Indras is found again in the form of a
cuckoo (kokilas) in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[366] where Indras sends the nymph
Rambhâ to seduce the ascetic Viçvâmitras, and in order to increase her
attractions, he places himself near her in the form of a cuckoo that
sings sweetly. But Viçvâmitras, with the eye of asceticism, perceives
that this is a seduction of Indras, and curses the nymph, condemning her
to become a stone in the forest for ten thousand years.

In the first chapter of the first book we already saw the cuckoo in
connection with the thundering Zeus, and as the indiscreet observer of
and agent in celestial loves. In the _Tuti-Name_,[367] instead of the
cuckoo, we have the nightingale. The nightingale holds the betrayed king
up to ridicule, laughing at him. The king wishes to know what this laugh
of the nightingale means, and Gûlfishân explains the enigma to him, not
so much because he is able, as is supposed, to understand the language
of birds, but because from the tower where he was imprisoned he had been
the spectator of the amours of the queen with her secret lover.

In the Greek myth of Tereus we find united several of the birds
hitherto named, and the swallow besides; the pheasant takes the place
of the partridge, and the whoop or hoopoe that of the cuckoo. Itüs
eaten by his father Tereus, without the latter's knowledge, becomes a
pheasant; Tereus, who follows Prognê, becomes a whoop; Prognê, who
flees from him, is transformed into a swallow; Philomela, the sister
of Prognê, whose tongue had been cut out by Zeus to prevent her from
speaking, took the form of a nightingale, whence Martial--

      "Flet Philomela nefas incesti Tereos, et quæ
       Muta puella fuit, garrula fertur avis."

With regard to the hoopoe, several beliefs are current analogous to
those known concerning the cuckoo and the swallow. In several parts of
Italy it is called (on account of its crest and appearance in these
months) the little cock of March or the little cock of May. It announces
the spring. By the ancients, its song before the vines ripened was
looked upon as a prediction of a plentiful vintage and good wine. It has
the virtue of divining secrets; when it cackles, it announces that foxes
are hidden in the grass; when it groans, it is a prognostication of
rain; by means of a certain herb, it opens secret places.[368] According
to Cardanus, if a man anoints his temples with the blood of a whoop he
sees marvellous things in his dreams. Albertus Magnus tells us that when
an old whoop becomes blind, its young ones anoint its eyes with the herb
that opens shut places, and they recover their sight. This is in perfect
conformity with a Hindoo story (a variation of the legend of Lear)
narrated by Ælianos, according to which a king of India had several
sons; the youngest was maltreated by his brothers, who ended by
maltreating and expelling their father. The youngest brother alone
remained faithful to his parents, and followed them; but while they were
travelling, they died of weariness; the son opened his own head with his
sword and buried his parents in it; the sun, moved to pity by this
sight, changed the youth into a beautiful bird with a crest. But this
crested bird, instead of the whoop, may also be the lark, concerning
which the Greeks had also a similar legend.

The cuckoo is the bird of spring; when it appears, the first claps of
thunder are heard in the sky, announcing the season of heat. According
to Isidorus it is the kite that brings the lazy cuckoo from distant
regions. In the time of Pliny, the cuckoo was supposed to be born of
the sparrow-hawk, and Albertus Magnus, in the Middle Ages, asserted,
"Cuculus quidam componitur ex Columba et Niso sive Sparverio; alius,
ex Columba et Asture, mores etiam habet ex utroque compositos." There
is nothing falser, zoologically speaking; but inasmuch as the
lightning carries the thunder, the mythical hawk may well carry or
produce the mythical cuckoo. Moreover, the habits of the cuckoo are
very singular, and have not anything in common with those of the
falcon and the dove, or indeed any other animal. It is well-known
that, among the Hindoo names of the cuckoo we find anyapushṭas and
anyabhṛitas, which mean nourished by another (the crow is called
anyabhṛit, or nourisher of others, because it nurses the eggs of the
cuckoo, which, for the rest, deposits them even in the nests of much
smaller animals[369]). From this singular habit of the cuckoo, it was
natural to conclude that the male cuckoo united itself in adultery
with the strange female bird to which it afterwards confided the eggs,
which would thus be bastard eggs of the female itself that sits on
them. We have just seen Indras as a cuckoo and as a seducer of Rambhâ;
Indras as an adulterer is also very popular in the legend of Ahalyâ,
in which the cock (the morning sun) appears, instead, as the
indiscreet betrayer of the secret amours of Indras (the hidden sun).
In a popular song of Bretagne, the perfidious mother-in-law insinuates
to her son the suspicion that his young wife betrays him, saying,
"préservez votre nid du coucou."[370]

The cuckoo is the sun or solar ray in the darkness, or still oftener the
thunderbolt hidden in the cloud. Dâtyuhas is one of the Indian names of
the cuckoo, and also of the cloud, out of which alone the cuckoo is said
to drink. As a hidden sun, the cuckoo is now an absent husband, a
travelling husband, a husband in the forests, and now an adulterer in
secret amorous intercourse with the wife of another. In any case, it is
often a phallical symbol, and therefore delights in mysteries.
Meanwhile, it sits on the sceptre of Hêrê, the protectress of marriages
and childbirths, whilst Zeus himself, the thunder-striker, the
thunderer, her adulterous brother, is called kokkük or cuckoo, because
he had hidden himself in Hêrê's lap in the shape of a cuckoo, in order
not to be recognised. Hence the song of the cuckoo was considered a good
omen to whoever intended to marry. In the popular song of the Monferrato
sung for the Easter eggs, the landlord is cunningly advised that it is
time to marry his daughters. In Swedish and Danish songs, the cuckoo
carries the wedding-nut to the nuptials. Nor was this because of its
reputation as an adulterer, but because it has a phallical meaning,
because it loves mysteries, and because it appears only in spring, in
the season of loves. For the rest, as an adulterer, it would have been a
bad omen for marriages; in the _Asinaria_ of Plautus, indeed, a woman
calls her husband cuculus, because he sleeps with other women. The
cuckoo is therefore, properly, the deceitful husband, the adulterer, the
hidden lover. The cuckoo is the derider; when children play at hide and
seek, they are accustomed in Germany and in Italy, as well as in
England, to cry out _cuckoo_ to him who is to seek them in vain, as is
hoped. The Latin word _cucu_, with which the pruners of vines who came
late were held up to derision, the corresponding Piedmontese motto and
gesture, mentioned in the first chapter of this work, and the Italian
expression _cuculiare_ for to ridicule, show the cuckoo as a cunning
animal. It is the first, as is said, of the migratory birds to appear,
and the first to disappear. In Germany it is believed that the grapes
ripen with difficulty if the cuckoo continues to sing after St John's
Day. It is the welcome messenger of spring[371] in the country, where it
calls the peasants to their work. Hesiod says that when the cuckoo sings
among the oak-trees, it is time to plough.

But inasmuch as the cuckoo seldom shows itself, inasmuch as it
represents essentially the sun hidden in the clouds, and as we know that
the sun hidden in the clouds has several contradictory aspects, as a
wise hero that penetrates everything, as an intrepid hero that defies
every danger, as a betrayed hero, as a deceived husband, a traitor, a
monster or a demon, so the cuckoo also has an ungrateful and sinister
aspect. The adulterer who visits in secret the wife of another, becomes
the absent husband that is travelling, the husband in the forest, whilst
his wife entertains guests at home; or else the husband that sleeps
whilst his wife is only too watchful; whence the verse of Plautus--

      "At etiam cubat cuculus, surge, Amator, i domum,"

and the French word _cocu_, and those registered by Du Cange,[372]
_coucoul_, _couquiol_, _cucuault_, to express the husband of an
adulterous woman. In Aristophanes, inept and inexperienced men are
called kokküges. According to Pliny, a cuckoo bound with a hare's skin
induces sleep (that is to say, the sun hides itself, the moon appears,
and the world falls asleep). When the cuckoo approaches a city, and
especially if it enters it, it bodes rain (that is, the sun hidden in
clouds brings rain). In _Plutarch_ (Life of Aratos), the cuckoo asks the
other birds why they flee from his sight, inasmuch as he is not
ferocious; the birds answer that they fear in him the future
sparrow-hawk. The cuckoo that placed itself upon the spear of Luitprand,
king of the Longobards, was considered by them as a sinister omen, as if
the cuckoo were a funereal bird. In Italy we say "the years of the
cuckoo," and in Piedmont "as old as a cuckoo," to indicate great age. A
mediæval eclogue ascribes to the cuckoo the years of the sun, "Phœœbo
comes annus in ævum." As no one sees how the cuckoo disappears (the
belief that it is killed by the cicadæ not being generally received), it
is supposed that it never dies, that it is always the same cuckoo that
sings year after year in the same wood. And, inasmuch as it is immortal,
it must have seen everything and must know everything. The subalpine
people, the Germans and the Slaves, ask the cuckoo how many years they
still have to live. The asker judges how many years of life he may count
upon from the number of times that the cuckoo sings; in Sanskrit the
varsha or pluvial season determines the new year.

We said at the commencement of this chapter that the kokilas is the
nightingale of Hindoo poets and its equivalent; and we have just noticed
that the cuckoo also represents the phallos. In the chapter on the ass,
we saw that the same rôle is sometimes taken by it. These three animals
are found in conjunction in the well-known apologue of the cuckoo that
disputes for superiority in singing with the nightingale; the ass,
supposed to be the best judge in music on account of his long ears,
being called to decide the question, declares for the cuckoo. (In the
wonderful fable of Kriloff, instead of the cuckoo, the bird preferred by
the ass is the cock; the nightingale is said in it to be the lover and
singer of the aurora.) Then the nightingale appeals from the unjust
sentence to man, singing melodiously.[373]

A German song of the sixteenth century[374] places the nightingale in
opposition to the cuckoo: "it sings, it leaps, it is always gay when
the other little birds are silent."

According to Pliny, the nightingales of the young Cæsars, sons of
Claudius, spoke Greek and Latin, and meditated every day to learn
something new. Thus, the _Ornithologus_ speaks of two nightingales
which, in 1546, at Ratisbon, disputed as to which spoke German best;
in one of these discussions of the nightingale, the war between
Charles V. and the Protestants was predicted. In the forty-sixth story
of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, a nightingale in a cage sings
dolorously; the old man who possesses it says to his son Basil, that
he would give half his substance to know what the nightingale is
predicting by this woful song. The boy, who understands the language
of the bird, announces to his parents a prophecy of the nightingale
that they will one day serve him. The father is indignant; one day
when the boy is asleep, he carries him to a boat and launches it on
the sea. The nightingale immediately leaves the house, and flying
away, perches upon the boy's shoulder. A shipmaster finds the boy and
the nightingale, and takes them; the nightingale predicts tempests and
the approach of pirates. At last they arrive in a city where the
royal palace is assailed by three crows, which no one who attempts it
succeeds in chasing away; the king promises half the kingdom and his
youngest daughter to whoever can expel them, threatening death to
whoever essays the enterprise in vain. The boy, advised by the
nightingale, presents himself, and tells the king that the crow, his
mate, and his young one are there to be judged by him (we have seen a
similar legend in the chapter on the dog); they wish to have it
determined whether the young crow belongs to his father or to his
mother. The king says, "To his father;" then the young crow flies away
with his father, while the female crow moves off in another direction.
The boy marries the princess, becomes a great lord, obtains half the
kingdom, travels, and is one night the guest, without their knowledge,
of his own parents, who bring him water to wash himself. Thus the
prediction of the nightingale is accomplished. In the popular Russian
legend of Ilia Muromietz (Elias of Murom), the monster brigand killed
by the hero's dart is called Nightingale (Salavéi). He has placed his
nest upon twelve oak-trees, and kills as many as come in his way by
simply whistling.[375] In the _Edda_ of Sömund, the dwarf Alwis says
of the wind, that it is called wind by men, vagabond by the gods, the
noisy one by the powerful, the weeper by the giants, the bellowing
traveller by the Alfes, and the whistler in the abode of Hel, that is,
in the infernal regions; the Russian demoniacal monster-nightingale
would therefore appear to be the wind in the darkness.

The nightingale, like the cuckoo, is called by Sappho, in _Suidas_, by
the name of messenger of Zeus (now the moon, now the wind, now the
thunder which announces rain). It also assumes a sinister aspect, under
the name of killer of sons (paidoletôr), given it by Euripides. In a
popular song of Bretagne,[376] the nightingale laments that the month of
May has passed by with its flowers. In another song of Bretagne, the
nightingale seems to have the same phallical signification which it has
in the _Tuti-Name_. During the night, a wife is agitated on account of
the nightingale (the moon); her husband has it caught with a net, and
laughs when he has it.[377] The nightingale, as its name shows in the
Germanic tongues, is the singer of the night, and a nocturnal bird.
Hence Shakspeare, in _Romeo and Juliet_,[378] names it, in contrast to
the lark, the announcer of morning:--

      "_Jul._ Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day;
              It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
              That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
              Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree:
              Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

      _Rom_. It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
              No nightingale."

And it is as a nocturnal animal, and as a bird that sings concealed,
that the nightingale (as the moon does) pleases lovers, who make it
their mysterious and secret messenger in popular superstition and
popular songs in Germany, as in France. In the third story of the
fifth book of the _Pentamerone_, the girl Betta makes a cake which has
the form of a handsome youth with golden hair; by the grace of the
goddess of love, the cake-youth speaks and walks, and Betta marries
him; but a queen robs her of him. Betta goes to seek him; an old woman
gives to her three marvellous things, by means of which Betta obtains
from the queen the permission of sleeping during the night with her
youth, who has become the queen's husband; one of these three marvels
is a golden cage containing a bird made of precious stones and gold,
which sings like a nightingale. In popular German songs, lovers seek
to propitiate the nightingale by means of gold, but it answers that it
knows not what to do with it; the nightingale (like the cuckoo, which
is propitious to weddings, although an adulterer) now helps lovers,
and now compels them to separate. In a popular English song,[379] two
lovers go together into the shadowy forest, where the nightingale
sings; the maiden is terrified by the nightingale; but when she has
married her young lover, she no longer fears either the gloomy wood or
the nightingale's warbling. However much poetic imagination may have
adorned similar legends, their phallical origin can always be traced.
A popular German song says that the sun dries the nightingale up.
According to popular wedding customs, it is a great shame if the young
pair let themselves be surprised in bed by the sun after the first
night of their union; hence the practical joke often played upon the
husband by his friends, who shut the outer shutters of the windows, in
order that the rays of the morning sun may not enter the nuptial
chamber. But our subject presses; let us continue.

The swallow has the same mythical meaning as the cuckoo; it is the
joyful herald of spring, emerging from the tenebrific winter. In the
winter season, the swallow is of sinister omen; in the spring-time, on
the contrary, it is propitious.

In Piedmont, the swallow is called the chicken of the Lord. In the
_Edda_, the seven swallows, one after another, advise Sigurd, who is
still undecided, to kill the monster that guards the treasures. Sigurd
follows the advice of the swallows, finds and obtains the hidden gold,
and recovers his wife (the sun marries the spring, the flowery and
verdant earth, when the swallows arrive and begin to sing). In the
fifth story of the fourth book of the _Pentamerone_, the swallow
blinds the witch who had expelled it from its nest (the wintry season
obliges the swallows to depart; the hot and luminous season disperses
the wintry darkness). In Germany the swallows are called the birds of
the Madonna; San Francesco called the swallows his sisters; and in the
Oberinnthal it is believed that they helped the Lord God in building
the sky. In Germany, as well as in Italy, the swallows are considered
to be birds of the best augury; it is a mortal sin to kill them, or to
destroy their nests. In Germany and in Hungary, if a man destroys a
swallow's nest, his cow no longer gives milk, or else gives it mixed
with blood. Hence it is advisable always to have a window open,
because if a swallow enters the house it brings every kind of
happiness with it; in the same way, it is believed that guests bring
luck into a house, and this is a beautiful belief, which is honourable
to mankind, and one of the most signal evidences of man's sociable
nature. In the _Ornithes_ of Aristophanes, the swallows are intrusted
with the building of the city of the birds. Solinus writes that even
birds of prey dare not touch the swallow, which is a sacred bird.
According to Arrianos, a swallow which chirped round the head of
Alexander the Great, whilst he was asleep, wakened him to warn him of
the machinations in his family that were being plotted against him. In
an apologue the swallow warns the hen not to sit upon the eggs of the
serpent. Swallows were anciently used in time of war as messengers.
According to Pliny, again, the head of a swallow that fed in the
morning, was, when cut off at full moon, and tied in linen and hung
up, an excellent remedy for headache.

But in an apologue where the swallow boasts to the crow of its beauty,
the crow answers that he is always equally beautiful, whilst the swallow
is only beautiful in spring. In another apologue, which is found in the
Epistle of St Gregory of Nazianzen to Prince Seleusius, the swallows
boast to the swans of their twittering for the benefit of the public,
whilst the swans sing only for themselves, and that little, and in
solitary places. The swans answer that it is better to sing little and
well to a chosen few than much and badly to all. The Greeks, in a
proverb, advise men not to keep swallows under their roofs, by which
they meant to put them on their guard against babblers. The swallow here
evidently begins to assume, as in the mythical tragedy of Tereus, a
sinister aspect, for which, reason Horace calls it--

      "Infelix avis et Cecropiæ domus
       Æternum opprobrium."

The swallow, beautiful and propitious in spring, becomes ugly and almost
diabolical in the other seasons. Hence the ancients believed that it was
a bad omen to dream of swallows. According to Xenophon, the appearance
of the swallows preceded the expedition of Cyrus against the Scythians,
and announced it to be unlucky. The same presage is made by the swallows
to Darius when he moves against the Scythians, and to Antiochus, who is
at war with the Parthians. It is also said that Pythagoras would have no
swallows in his house, because they were insectivorous. In _Suidas_, the
_pudendum muliebre_ is called _chelidôn_; and it is perhaps as such that
the swallow is represented in opposition to the sparrow, which is a
well-known phallical symbol, sacred (like the doves) to Venus, whom it
accompanied, according to Apuleius,[380] and to Asklepios. The sparrow
destroys the swallow's nest, as it is said in a popular German song of

      "Als ich auszog, auszog,
       Hatt' ich Kisten und Kasten voll,
       Als ich wiederkam, wiederkam,
       Hatt' der Sperling,
       Der Dickkopf, der Dickkopf
       Alles verzehrt."

The swallow, moreover, is a diabolical, dark form which, by the witch's
enchantment, the beautiful maiden assumes when she finds herself near
the fountain (_i.e._, near the ocean of night, or of winter).[381]


[361] _Ṛigv._ vii. 104, 22.

[362] Kanikradaǵ ǵanusham prabruvâṇa iyarti vâćam ariteva nâvam
sumañgalaç ća çakune bhavâsi mâ tvâ kâ ćid abhibhâ viçvyâvidat. Ma tvâ
çyena ud vadhîn ma suparṇo mâ tvâ vidad ishumân vîro astâ; pitryâmanu
pradiçaṁ kanikradat sumañgalo bhadrâvâdî vadeha. Ava kranda dakshiṇato
gṛihâṇâm sumañgalo bhadravâdî çakunte; _Ṛigv._ ii. 42.

[363] St Anthony of Padua said of the partridge: "Avis est dolosa et
immunda et hypocritas habentes, ut dicit Petrus, oculos plenos
adulterii et incessabilis delicti signa."--Partridge's foot (perdikos
pous) meant, in the Greek proverb, a deceitful foot.

[364] _Indische Studien_, i. 117, 118.


      Stutiṁ tu punar evéćhanam indro bhûtvâ kapińǵalaḥ
      Risher ǵigamishor âçâm vavâçe prati dakshiṇâm
      Sa tam ârsheṇa saṁprekshya ćakshushâ pakshirûpiṇam
      Parâbhyâm api tushṭâva sûktâbhyâṁ tu kanikradat.

[366] i. 66.

[367] ii. 79.

[368] Cfr. the chapter on the Woodpecker. A whoop, kept by me for some
time with its young ones, had been taken with its nest from the trunk
of a tree which had been cut down, and which it had scooped out in its
higher part in order to build its nest in the lowest and deepest part
of the trunk.

[369] I, for instance, kept for some time a young cuckoo which had
been found in the nest of a little granivorous singing bird, which is
very common in Tuscany, and is called scoperina or scopina.

[370] Villemarqué, _Barzaz Breiz_, sixième éd. p. 493.

[371] The old English popular song celebrates it as the bringer of

      "Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu."

The old Anglo-Saxon song of St Guthlak makes the cuckoo the announcer
of the year (geacas gear budon). The ancient song of May in Germany
welcomes it with the words--

      "The cuckoo with its song makes every one gay."

The popular Scotch song caresses it thus--

      "The cuckoo's a fine bird, he sings as he flies;
       He brings us good tidings, he tells us no lies.
       He sucks little bird's eggs to make his voice clear,
       And when he sings 'cuckoo,' the summer is near."

In Shakspeare (_Love's Labour Lost_, v. 2), the owl represents winter,
and the cuckoo spring--"This side is Hiems, winter, this Ver, the
spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo."

In a mediæval Latin eclogue recorded in the third volume of Uhland's
_Schriften_ (Abhandlung über die deutschen Volkslieder), the death of
the cuckoo is wept over--

      "Heu cuculus nobis fuerat cantare suetus,
         Quæ te nunc rapuit hora nefanda tuis?
       Omne genus hominum Cuculum complangat ubique!
         Perditus est cuculus, heu perit ecce meus.

       Non pereat Cuculus, veniet sub tempore veris
         Et nobis veniens carmina læta ciet.
       Quis scit, si veniat? timeo est submersus in undis,
         Vorticibus raptus atque necatus aquis."

A popular German song shows us the cuckoo first wet, and then dried by
the sun--

      "Der Kuckuck auf dem Zaune sass,
         Kuckuck, kuckuck!
         Es regnet sehr und ward nass.
       Darnach da kam der Sonnenschein,
         Kuckuck, kuckuck!
         Der kuckuck der ward hübsch und fein."

--Cfr. also the "Entstehung des Kukuks" in Hahn's _Albanesische
Märchen_, ii. 144, 316.

[372] _s. v. cucullus._

[373] Cfr. the chapter on the Peacock.

[374] Cfr. Uhland's _Schriften_, iii. 25.

[375] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, i. 12.

[376] Villemarqué, _Barzaz Breiz_, sixième éd. p. 392.

[377] "Quand il le tint, se mit à rire de tout son cœœur. E il
l'étouffa, et le jeta dans le blanc giron de la pauvre dame. Tenez,
tenez, ma jeune épouse, voici votre joli rossignol; c'est pour vous
que je l'ai attrapé; je suppose, ma belle, qu'il vous fera plaisir;"
Villemarqué, _Barzaz Breiz_, p. 154.

[378] iii. 5.

[379] Dixon, _Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of
England_; cfr. also on the traditions relating to the cuckoo and the
nightingale in Russia, Ralston, _The Songs of the Russian People_.

[380] Currum Deæ prosequentes, gannitu constrepenti lasciviunt
Passeres; _De Asino Aureo_, vi.

[381] A woman of Antignano, near Leghorn, once told me the story of a
beautiful princess who stayed upon a tree till her husband returned,
who had gone in quest of robes for her. Whilst she is waiting, up
comes a negress to wash clothes, and sees in the water the reflection
of the beautiful princess. She induces her to come down by offering to
comb her hair for her, and puts a pin into her head, so that she
becomes a swallow. The negress then takes the maiden's place by her
husband. The swallow, however, finds means of letting herself be
caught by her husband, who, stroking her head, finds the pin, and
draws it out; then the swallow becomes again a beautiful princess. The
same story is narrated more at length in Piedmont, in other parts of
Tuscany, in Calabria, and in other places; but instead of the swallow
we have the dove, as in the _Tuti-Name_.




    The funereal owl.--The owl and the vulture.--The owl and the
    crow.--The owls as friends of the swans and enemies of the
    crows.--The wise owl.--The Eulenspiegel.--The owl as the daughter of
    Nükteos.--The enemy of Nükteos.--An ill-omened bird.--Prophetic
    virtue of the owl.--The horned owl.--The owl as a weaver.--The owl
    and the coins.--The crow and the peacock.--The crow and the
    nightingale.--The crow and the swan.--_Gracculus ad fides_.--The
    prophetic crow.--The crow and the cheese.--The crow as the son of
    Indras; the Athenians swore by the crow and by Zeus.--The crow and
    Sîtâ.--The cunning crow.--The crow, the parrot, and the bird of
    prey.--The crow as the shadow of a dead man.--Yamas as a crow.--The
    white crow.--Go to the crows.--The rooks.--The crow as a devil.--It
    helps an old man to pick grains of corn up.--The crow and the
    cuckoo.--The crow and the waters.--The crow and the figs.--The crow
    and the hydromel.--The crow and the water of life and death.--The
    crow as the bird of light.--The crow on a mountain covered with
    diamonds.--The crows as brothers and sisters of the heroine and of
    the hero.--The crow as the messenger of St Oswald.--The crow, the
    maiden, and the crab.--The _corvus pica_.--The blue magpie.--The two
    magpies.--Huginn and Muninn.--The magpie as the bringer of the
    balsam herb.--The magpie sacred to Bacchus.--The magpie and the
    nightingale.--The daughters of Euippes as magpies.--The rook and the
    magpie as friends of gold.--The magpie as an infernal bird.--The
    malice of the magpie.--The white and black magpie.--The magpie and
    the guests.--The stork.--The stork and the heron.--The stork as the
    bringer of children.--Funereal presage of the stork.--The stork and
    the old man.--Paternal and filial affection of the stork.--The
    presents of the stork.--The stork brother of the woodcock.--The
    inebriated storks.--The storks in the other world.

The owl, the crow, the magpie, and the stork are in intimate mythical
relation with each other. To give an idea of the monster that wanders in
the night, the _Ṛigvedas_ compares him to a khargalâ[382], which is
probably an owl (also called naktaćaras); it also directs the devotee to
curse death and the god of the dead (to conjure them away), when the owl
emits her painful cry, and when the kapotas or dark dove touches the
fire[383] (thus we read in the fragments of Menander, "if the owl should
cry, we have reason to be afraid"); in the _Pańćatantram_,[384] the king
of the crows also compares the hostile owl that arrives towards night to
the god of the dead (the god Yamas). In Hungary the owl is called the
bird of death. In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[385] the mind of the wicked which
sees clearly, fishes in turbid waters, and is dexterous in foul actions,
is compared to the owl, who (probably as moon) distinguishes every shape
in the night. In the _Mahâbhâratam_, again,[386] the owl kills the crows
by night whilst they are sleeping. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[387] the owl (as
the moon) contends with the vulture (the sun), who had usurped its nest;
the two disputants appeal to Râmas, who asks each how long the nest had
belonged to it; the vulture answers, "Since the earth was peopled with
men," and the owl, "Since the earth was covered with trees." Râmas,
with justice, decides in favour of the owl, observing that his claim is
the more ancient, since there were trees before there were men, and is
for punishing the vulture, but desists upon learning that the latter was
once King Brahmadattas, condemned to become a vulture by the wise
Gâutamas, because he had once offered meat and fish to that penitent to
eat. Râmas touches the vulture, which, the malediction having come to an
end, immediately resumes its human form. The third book of the
_Pańćatantram_ treats of the war between the owls and the crows. The
birds are weary of having a useless king like Garuḍas, who thinks of no
one but the god Vishṇus, and does not trouble himself to protect the
nests of the little birds his subjects; they meditate electing a king,
and are about to choose the owl,[388] when the crow (the dark night)
comes to give its veto, of which the _Pańćatantram_ says, that it is the
most cunning amongst birds, as the barber among men, the fox among
animals, and the mendicant friars among religious orders. The war
between the owl and the crow (the moon and the dark night) is popular in
Hindoo tradition; kâkâris, or enemy of the crow, is one of the Sanskṛit
names of the owl, and the kâkolûkikâ or owl-like crow, as has already
several times been observed by the learned men who have studied Hindoo
literary chronology, is already mentioned in the Grammar of Pâṇinis.

In the thirtieth story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the crow
eats the eggs of the geese and the swans. The owl, out of hatred to
the crow, accuses him to the eagle; the lying crow denies, but is
nevertheless condemned to be imprisoned.

In the ninth book of Aristotle's _History of Animals_, I also find
that the crow fights with the owl, whose eggs it destroys at midday,
whilst the owl, on the other hand, eats the crow's eggs during the
night. In Italian, the expression "the owl amongst the crows," is used
to indicate a serious danger. In John Tzetza, we also find an
apologue, according to which the crow was about to be elected king of
the birds, having arrayed itself in the feathers that had fallen from
the other birds, when the owl comes up (in Babrios, instead of the
owl, it is the swallow that does the same), recognises one of its own
feathers, and plucks it out, setting thus an example to the other
birds, who in a short time despoil the crow entirely. (This is a
variety of the well-known fable of the crow in the peacock's feathers,
and of the same fable, in an opposite sense, contained in the
_Pańćatantram_, where the crow is the wise bird, and the owl the
simple one.) There are other instances of cunning ascribed to the owl
in fables; for instance, it predicted to the birds that an archer
would kill them with their own feathers, and advised them not to let
the oak-trees grow, because on them the mistletoe grows, and birds are
caught by means of it. The German Eulenspiegel, the legendary
malicious buffoon, who wears a great hat, is probably of the same
mythical family. The Greeks considered the owl to be a form of the
daughter of Nükteus of Lesbio (according to others, of the king of the
Ethiopians. Nükteus and the black Ethiopian, both being the night,
correspond to each other), who, having become enamoured of her father,
lay with him without his knowledge; her father wished to kill her,
but Athênê took pity upon her, and transformed her into an owl, which,
remembering its crime, always flees from the light (it is far from the
day, like the moon). The owl was sacred to Athênê, the goddess of
wisdom, inasmuch as she sees in darkness; the flight of the bird of
night was, therefore, for the Athenians a sign that the goddess who
protected their city was propitious; hence the owls of Athens passed
into a proverb. The owl, otherwise (according to the superstition of
the ancient Greeks, recorded by Pliny among the Latin writers), was
the enemy of Dionysos (who loves the mysteries, which the moon and the
aurora disperse); hence the prescription of ancient medicine, that the
eggs of the owl, drunk for three days in wine, make drunkards
abstemious. Philostratos, in the Life of Apollonius, goes so far as to
say that when one eats an owl's egg, one takes a dislike to wine
before having tasted it. But, even in antiquity, the owl was generally
looked upon as the ignoble and ill-omened bird that it really is. It
is said of Demosthenes, that before going into exile, he declared that
Athênê delighted in three fear-inspiring beasts--the owl, the dragon,
and the Athenian people. In _Ælianos_ and _Apuleius_, the owls are
spoken of as birds of ill omen. But the male owl was and is still
especially considered as a bird of the worst and most funereal
character in Italy, Russia, Germany, and Hungary.[389] In the fourth
book of Virgil's _Æneid_, the song of the male owl is fatal--

      "Seraque culminibus ferali carmine Bubo
       Visa queri et longas in fletum ducere voces."

The Romans purified the city with water and sulphur when a male owl or
a wolf happened to enter into the temple of Jupiter, or into the
Capitol. According to Silius Italicus, the defeat of Cannes was also
prognosticated by the male owl--

      "Obseditque frequens castrorum limina Bubo."

And Ovid, in the tenth book of the _Metamorphoses_--

      "Ignavus Bubo dirum mortalibus omen;
       Nam diræ mortis nuntius esse solet."

According to the fifth book of the same _Metamorphoses_, Ascalaphos
was transformed by Ceres into a male owl, and condemned to predict
evil, because he had accused her to Jove of having eaten a pomegranate
in secret, against the prohibition.

The prophetic faculty of the owl, according to popular belief, is so
great, that Albertus Magnus could seriously write in his times--"Si
cor ejus cum dextro pede super dormientem ponatur, statim tibi dicit
quidquid fecerit, et quidquid ab eo interrogaveris. Et hoc a fratribus
nostris expertum est moderno tempore." When the witches in _Macbeth_
make the horrid mixture in the great caldron, in order to obtain from
it the virtue of sinister presages, they put into it, amongst other
maleficent ingredients--

      "Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
       Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
       Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
       Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing."

In Sicily, the owl that moans, the crow that caws, and the dog that
howls by night near the house of a sick man, announce approaching death
to him; but among owls, the horned owl (the horned moon), jacobu, or
chiovu, or chiò, is especially feared. The horned owl sings near the
house of a sick man three days before his death; if there are no sick
people in the house, it announces to one at least of its inhabitants
that he or she will be struck with squinancy of the tonsil. The peasants
in Sicily, when in spring they hear the lamentation of the horned owl
for the first time, go to their master to give notice of their intention
of leaving his service; whence the Sicilian proverb--

      "Quannu canta lu chiò
       Cu 'avi patruni, tinta canciar lu pò."

The Sicilian poet Giovani Meli, in the little poem, _Pianto di
Palemone_, refers to the sinister presage of the horned owl in the
following verses--

      "Ah! miu patri lu predissi,
       E trimava 'ntra li robbi,
       Ch'eu nascivi 'ntra l'ecclissi
       E chiancìanu li jacobbi."

In the popular Sicilian legend, entitled _La Principessa di Carini_,
when the friar goes to act as a spy, the moon envelops itself in
clouds, the horned owl flies round, screeching--

      "Lu jacobbu chiancennu svulazzau."

In several German popular songs, the horned owl and the common owl
complain that they are alone and deserted in the forest. The owl (as
the moon) is also represented in German tradition as a nocturnal
weaver.[390] In the same tradition, the funereal owl is found
mentioned in connection with the funereal crow.[391]

I have already mentioned, in the chapter on the Wolf, that _vṛikas_,
in the Vedic hymns, may mean both wolf and crow. The crow, like the
wolf, represents the dark night. The owl with yellow eyes (whence in
Athens certain coins bearing the effigies of an owl were called owls,
and in Italy golden coins are vulgarly called owls'-eyes) seems to
represent the crepuscular bird in particular (from which we can
understand why it was especially sacred to Athênê), and much oftener
still the night with the yellow eye of the moon. The crow, on the
other hand, seems to be the representative of the gloomy night or
cloud. The owl which destroys the crow's nest, and discovers the
deceit of the crow when disguised in the feathers of other birds,
seems to be the same as the moon that disperses the darkness, or the
sahasrâkshas (the heavenly peacock), that shuts the thousand eyes of
the starry sky, and makes the thousand stars of the heaven grow pale.
The owl, as the king of birds (we know also the Indras-moon as
Mṛigarâǵas, or king of beasts) seems generally to be the same as the
moon, the mistress of the night. Indras is often the peacock-god, the
azure starry sky of night; but blue and black, as we have said, are
two equivalent colours (the azure god Indras becomes the azure or dark
Kṛishṇas, and, on the contrary, the crow becomes a peacock), and are
expressed by one and the same word; hence the black bird and the blue
one are substituted for one another. According to Festus, the crow
was, before the peacock, sacred to Juno. The crow-peacock has already
become proverbial in the _Pańćatantram_,[392] where we read that the
hasty fool takes a crow for a peacock. The voice of the peacock is as
shrill as that of the crow; in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[393] the water-cock
(ǵalakukkubhas, the heron, the halcyon, the duck, the swan) laughs at
the peacock when striving to answer the cuckoo. Thus, the Greek
proverb laughs at the crows which are more honoured than the
nightingales (korakes aêdonôn aîdesimôteroi). Martial places them in
contrast with the swans--

      "Inter Lædæos ridetur corvus Olores;"

and the Greek proverb turns into ridicule the rook amongst the Muses
(koloios en tais mousais), and the Latin one, the "Gracculus ad
fides." In a variety of the forty-sixth story of the sixth book of
_Afanassieff_, the crow occupies the place of the prophetic
nightingale. The fox (the spring aurora) takes the cheese (the moon)
from the crow (the winter night), by making it sing. In the
_Mahâbhâratam_,[394] the monster Râhus disguises himself as a god,
that he may go and drink the ambrosia of the gods; the sun and the
moon denounce the imposture; Râhus is recognised, and Vishṇus cuts off
his head with his disc; this is an ancient variety of the fable of the
crow among the peacocks. This disguise of the crow, however, will
appear quite natural when we reflect that Indras is a peacock, and
that in the _Râmâyaṇam_[395] a certain learned crow (pâṇḍitas) is
called by Hanumant the son of Indras (putraḥ kila sa çakrasya; in the
_Ornithes_ of Aristophanes, I read that at Athens men swore by the
crow and by Zeus). I have observed, on a previous occasion, that the
Vedic Indras assumes in the Hindoo poems a sinister, and sometimes
even a diabolical aspect. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[396] a crow attacks Sîtâ
with wings, beak, and claws; Râmas hurls an enchanted dart at it; the
bird, by divine grace, does not die, but as it flies rapidly, between
drop and drop, whilst it rains from the cloud, it sees nothing but
darts and shadows of darts in the air. Then it returns to Râmas to
beseech him to deliver it from this enchantment; Râmas says that the
enchantment must run its full course, but that he can make it take
effect in one part of the body alone; let the crow choose the part
that Râmas must aim at. The cunning bird, hoping that Râmas will miss
his aim, says one of its eyes; Râmas aims at it and strikes it, to the
great wonder of Sîtâ, against whom the crow had begun to make war,
after that Râmas had marked her forehead in red (probably after the
evening aurora; the legendary husband and wife exchange the ring of
recognition, now the sun and now the moon, in the evening or the
autumn, in order to find themselves together again, by its means, in
the morning or the spring). I have cited in the preceding chapter,
from the _Pańćatantram_, the popular Hindoo belief that the crow is
the most cunning of birds, as the fox is the most cunning of animals.
Aristotle says that the crow is the fox's friend; in the _Râmâyaṇam_,
the stratagem adopted by the fox in the Western fable to make the
cheese fall out of the crow's beak, obliging it to open its beak and
let the booty fall, is advised by the rook or crow (sârikâ or _gracula
religiosa_). A bird of prey holds a parrot in its claws, and a sârikâ
in its beak; the rook says, "Parrot, bite the foot of the enemy whilst
he is alone and in the air, and whilst his beak presses me; and as his
beak is occupied and cannot bite thee, bite thou him, in order that he
may let you go;" the rook thus hoped that, by opening its beak, which
it did with pain, the bird of prey would let it too go. In Plautus a
crafty servant is compared to a crow. The crow also personifies in
Hindoo tradition the shadow of a dead man; to give food to the crows
is for the Hindoos the same as to give food to the souls of the dead;
hence part of their meals was always, and is still, according to all
travellers in India, left for the crows. Even in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[397]
Râmas orders Sîtâ to preserve the rest of the food for the crows. In
the flight of the gods before the demons, described in the last book
of the _Râmâyaṇam_, the god Indras hides himself in the form of a
peacock, and Yamas, the god of the dead, in that of a crow (in
Hellenic mythology, during the war against the giants, it is Apollo
that transforms himself into a crow, but probably into a white one,
as white crows were, according to the Greek belief, dedicated to the
sun. It is said that the crow was once white, but that Apollo made it
black, indignant at that animal for bringing to him the unwelcome news
of having surprised in adultery his mistress, the Princess Korônis;
here the crow occupies the place of the mythical cuckoo. In another
Hellenic myth, the crow loses the favour of Pallas for having brought
the intelligence that Erichtonios, born to Pallas by the seed of the
celestial blacksmith, which had fallen upon the earth, had been found
by the three daughters of Kekrops. In reward for the services of the
crow, Yamas conceded to it the right of eating the funereal food, for
which reason the shades of the dead, when this food is given to the
crow, are enabled to pass into a better world. In the _Clouds_ of
Aristophanes, the Greek proverb, "Go to the crows" (ball' es korakas),
means "die." Hence in India as in Persia, in Russia as in Germany, in
Greece as in Italy, the crow is pre-eminently a funereal bird of
sinister omen. According to Ælianos, the Venetians of ancient Hadria
were accustomed to appease the rooks, in order that they should not
devastate the fields, by solemnly sending to meet them two
ambassadors, who presented to them a mixture of oil and flour. If the
rooks accepted the offering, it was a good sign. In Lambert of
Aschaffenburg, a pilgrim sees in a dream a horrid crow which caws and
flies round Cologne, and which is hunted away by a splendid horseman;
the pilgrim explains that the crow is the devil, and the horseman St
George. In the Chronicles of the Beatified Anthony, we find described
fetid and black pools "in regione Puteolorum in Apulia," whence the
souls arise in the forms of monstrous birds in the evening hours of
the Sabbath, which neither eat nor let themselves be caught, but
wander till in the morning an enormous crow compels them to submerge
themselves in the waters. In Germany, according to Rochholtz, when a
crow places itself upon the roof of a house where there is a dead
body, it means that the dead man's soul is damned. At Brusasco, in
Piedmont, children sing to the crow this funereal verse,
counterfeiting in the chorus the crow's cry--

       Porta 'l sćiass (the colander);
       Me mari l'è morta
       Sut la porta.

In a popular Swedish song, in the collection translated into German by
Warrens, I read this verse, where the crow assumes an entirely
monstrous form; men spit at it, as they do at the devil--

      "Es flog ein Rabe über das Dach,
       Hatt' Menschenfleisch in den Krallen,
       Drei Tropfen Blutes träuften herab,
       Ich spülte, wo sie gefallen."

In the thirty-ninth story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, an old
man, having let some grain fall to the ground, says that if the sun
warmed him, the moon gave him light, and the crow helped him to pick
the corn up, he would give each one of his three daughters. Sun, moon,
and crow listen to him, and marry the three maidens. Some time after,
the old man goes to visit his son-in-law the crow, who makes him mount
a never-ending ladder, carrying him in his beak; but when they are
high up, the crow lets the old man drop, and he dies.

Inasmuch as Indras, or Zeus, that is, the pluvial god, takes now the
shape of a cuckoo, now that of a crow, the crow, in the fifteenth
story of _Siddhikür_, announces the proximity of water to the thirsty
prince. Tommaso Badino of Piacenza[398] narrates an apologue which
reminds us of the biblical legend of the Deluge. Phœœbos sends the
crow to find the lustral water for the sacrifice of Zeus;[399] but the
crow, when it arrives at the fountain, sees some figs near it; instead
of doing its errand, it waits till the (phallical) figs ripen. Hence
the crow passed into a proverb as a procrastinator (the legend of St
Athanasius, moreover, recognises the procrastinator in the crow,
because it says "cras" with its voice). Nor can we accept the biblical
derivation of the belief of the procrastinating crow, when we find it
explicitly mentioned and illustrated in Ovid by the story of the figs
and that of the corn, whose maturity the crow waits for before
carrying the water. The meaning of the myth appears to me evident; the
thundering and rainy clouds yield water towards the end of June, when
the first figs and the grain are ripe (in Plutarch's Life of Nicias,
instead of these we have the golden dates); the crow represents the
pluvial god; as the cuckoo brings the rains of spring, the crow brings
those of summer, and afterwards, when the later figs ripen, those of
autumn, which announce the winter, dear to the crows.[400]

      "Imbrium divina vis imminentum."[401]

In a popular Swedish song, hydromel is offered to the messenger crow;
instead of this, it solicits small grains for its young. In the
fifty-second story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the crow is
sent to seek for the water of life and death, and to make experiments
with it upon itself before bringing it.

But out of darkness comes forth light, the sun; from the black night,
the clear day; from the black crow, the white one; hence, in the first
of the Esthonian stories, we find the crow represented as the bird of
light, in the same way as in the Hellenic myth it was sacred to
Apollo. In the sixth of the Sicilian stories of Signora Gonzenbach,
crows carry the boy Giuseppe, shut up in a sack made of a horse's skin
dried in the sun, to a mountain covered with diamonds, and the egg of
a crow thrown on the head of the monster giant kills him. In the ninth
story of the fourth book of the _Pentamerone_, a king sees the blood
of a crow, which had been killed, upon some white marble, and wishes
for a bride who shall be white like the marble and red like the blood,
and have hair as black as the crow's feathers. The foolish hero Ivan,
in _Afanassieff's_ story (vi. 9), calls the crows his little sisters,
and pours out for them the food contained in the small pipkins which
he was carrying to sell. In popular German and Scandinavian songs,
where the crow often appears as the succourer of the beautiful maiden
(the sun; _die Sonne_ is feminine in German, as is well known), it is
said to be the heroine's brother. The crow is the well-known messenger
of Saint Oswald, king in Engelland (the land of the Angles). The crow
often brings good luck to the heroes, even by sacrificing itself; the
death of night and of winter brings round again day and spring; hence
the two celebrated verses of Horace--

      "Oscinem corvum prece suscitabo
                      Solis ab ortu."[402]

Several of the mythical characteristics of the crow, indeed, the
principal ones, are also ascribed to the magpie (_corvus pica_). The
blue magpie seems to be spoken of as a bird of evil omen, even in a
Vedic hymn, in connection with the disease of consumption.[403] In the
forty-sixth story of _Afanassieff_, the magpies are in relation with the
mythical water; one magpie is sent for the water of life, and another
for the water of speech, to resuscitate the two sons of a prince and
princess, whom a witch had touched with the hand of death as they slept.
These two magpies seem to correspond to the two crows, Huginn and
Muninn, which the Scandinavian god Odin sent every day into the world to
learn all the news there current, which they afterwards brought back and
whispered in one of his ears. In a German legend given by Grimm, the
magpie appears as the bringer of the balsam herb (Springwurzel). The
Greeks and the Latins considered the magpie to be sacred to Bacchus,
because it is in connection with the ambrosial drink; and, as drunkards
are garrulous, so the magpie is famous for its garrulity. We have seen
the rook amongst the Muses; in Theocritus the magpie defies the
nightingale in singing; in Galenus it is proverbially emulous of the
Siren; the nine daughters of Euippes were changed into magpies, because
they had presumed to emulate the nine Muses in singing, whence Dante,
invoking Calliope, wishes to continue his song--

                   "Con quel suono
      Di cui le Piche misere sentiro,
      Lo colpo tal che disperâr perdono."

The reader knows, no doubt, the fable of Arnê, as given in Ovid, who,
in her thirst for gold, betrayed her country to the enemy, and was
changed into a rook (monedula), the friend of gold. In the tenth book
of his History, Livy narrates the fable of a crow that ate the gold in
the Capitol. In a popular Danish ballad, gold is offered to the
messenger crow, who (like the cuckoo) answers that it knows not what
to do with it, and desires rather nourishment fit for crows. The
magpie, too, became proverbial as a robber of gold and silver, which
it goes to hide, not so much because it likes shining metals, as
because it hates too great light. The crow and the magpie hide the sun
and the golden ears of corn in the rainy and wintry season. In German
mythology, the magpie is an infernal bird, into which witches often
transform themselves, or which is ridden by them. Hence it is also
believed in Germany that the magpie must be killed during the twelve
days between Christmas and Epiphany (when the days begin to lengthen
again). But, inasmuch as every species of malice is learned in hell,
the malice of the magpie became even more proverbial than that of the
crow. The magpie makes use of this knowledge now to do evil, as a
malignant fairy, now to do good to men, as a benignant fairy: the
colour of the blue magpie appears now luminous, now tenebrific; the
colours of white and black in the magpie (as in the swallow) represent
its two mythical contradictory characters. In German superstition the
magpie tells of the approach of the wolf; hence it is still believed
that it is unlucky to kill a magpie. In the Russian popular song, the
magpie is the punisher of the lazy little finger which would not go to
the well to find water:--

      "The magpie, the magpie,
       Had cooked the gruel,
       It leaped upon the threshold,
       It invited the guests."[404]

It invites all the guests, except the little finger, which is the
smallest of the fingers on account of its laziness;--we have already
mentioned the lazy little brother who refuses to go to take water, in
the first chapter of the first book. In Russia, it is believed that
when a magpie comes to perch upon the threshold of a house, it
announces the arrival of guests; this belief reminds me of the magpie
of Petronius: "Super limen autem cavea pendebat aurea, in quâ pica
varia intrantes salutabat."[405]

As the crow and the magpie are thought of, in mythology, in connection
with the water, and with the funereal and infernal winter, so the
stork represents especially the rainy and wintry season. The heron,
already mentioned in the chapter on the Cuckoo, presents several of
the mythical characteristics of the stork. In the twenty-ninth story
of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the stork, tired of living alone,
goes to the heron and proposes marriage to her. The heron sends him
away in contempt. No sooner is the stork gone, than the heron repents,
and goes in her turn to propose to the stork, who refuses out of
sulkiness. He then repents of his refusal, and returns to the heron,
who, sulky in her turn, rejects him. The story ends by saying that the
heron and the stork continue to visit one another, but that they are
not married yet. This fable, although it has a satirical meaning, also
implies the intimate mythical relationship between the heron and the
stork. The heron and the stork are two birds which equally love the
water, and therefore serve to represent the cloudy, rainy, wintry, or
gloomy sky, which, as we have already said, is often represented as a
black sea. From the night, the cloud, or the winter, comes forth the
young sun, the new sun, the little child-hero who had been exposed in
the waters; hence the popular German belief of children that the
storks carry children from the fountain.[406] However, properly
speaking, as long as the stork holds the child-hero in its beak, the
latter is not considered born; it is only born at the moment in which,
opening its beak, it puts the child down in its mother's lap. The
stork personifies the funereal sky, the sky when the celestial hero,
the sun, is dead. Hence it is believed in Germany that when storks fly
round, or over a group of persons, some one of them is about to die;
the clouds and the shadows that collect together presage the
disappearance or death of the sun.

In Russian stories we have a double aspect of the stork (besides the
fable, probably imported, of the stork and the fox as cousins, who
invite each other to supper). In the seventeenth story of the second
book of _Afanassieff_, an old man begs the stork to be as his son (the
reputation of the storks for their paternal and filial affection is of
ancient date[407]). The stork gives to the old man a sack out of which
come two young men, who cover the table with a silk tablecloth,
furnished with every good thing. A godmother who has three daughters
changes the old man's sack whilst he is returning home. The old man,
laughed at and beaten by his wife, returns to the stork, who gives him
another sack, out of which also come two young men, who flog people
vigorously. By means of this sack the old man recovers the former one,
and reduces his wife to obedience. In a variety of the same story, the
stork makes to the foolish hero three presents--a horse which, when it
is told to stop, is transformed into a heap of money, and, when it is
told to go on, resumes its former shape; a tablecloth which both
spreads itself and takes itself off; and a horn out of which come the
two young floggers. In the thirty-seventh story of the fourth book of
_Afanassieff_, the stork is said to be the brother of the woodcock,
and they cut hay together, but do nothing else. We mentioned, in the
chapter on the Bear, the storks that eat the harvests of a peasant who
threatens to cut off their feet. They upset a barrel of wine in order
to drink its contents; the indignant peasant takes and binds them to
his waggon, but the inebriated storks are so strong, that they carry
peasant, waggon, and horse up into the air. Here the stork assumes a
diabolical aspect, as the representative of the wintry season; the
chariot of the peasant is that of the sun. In the fifth story of the
sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the soldier-impostor tells an old woman
that he is going back to the other world, where he found her son
leading storks to the pasturage. Here the storks have the funereal and
infernal nature of the crows, which we have observed to be, in Âryan
beliefs, one of the forms assumed by the souls of the dead.


[382] Pra yâ ǵigâti khargaleva naktam apa druhâ tanvaṁ gûhamânâ;
_Ṛigv._ vii. 104, 17.

[383] Yad ulûko vadati mogham etad yat kapotaḥ padam agnâu kṛiṇoti,
yasya dûtaḥ prahita esha etat tasmâi yamâya namo astu mṛityave;
_Ṛigv._ i. 165, 4.

[384] iii. 73.

[385] iii. 15, 128, and _Hitopadeças_, iv. 47.

[386] iii. 308, x. 38.

[387] vi. 64.

[388] In the articles against Bernard Saget in the year 1300, recorded
by Du Cange, I read--"Aves elegerunt Regem quemdam avem vocatam Duc, et
est avis pulchrior et major inter omnes aves, et accidit semel quod Pica
conquesta fuerat de Accipitre dicto Domino Regi, et congregatis avibus,
dictus Rex nihil dixit nisi quod flavit (flevit?). Vel (veluti) idem de
rege nostro dicebat ipse Episcopus, qui ipse est pulchrior homo de
mundo, et tamen nihil scit facere, nisi respicere homines."

[389] Among the Tartars, according to Aldrovandi, the feathers of the
male owl are worn as an amulet, probably to conjure the owl himself
away, in the same way as, in the Vedic hymns, Death is invoked in order
that it may remain far off. In the _Khorda Avesta_ (p. 147), translated
by Spiegel, the hero Verethraghna derives his strength from the owl's
feathers.--We are acquainted with the funereal moon in the form of
Proserpine; the Hindoos considered Manus in relation with the moon, with
which, moreover, it was also identified. Manus, as the first and the
father of men, is also the first of the dead. Manus gives the somas to
Indras. The dying sun is exchanged in the funereal kingdom for the moon;
but of the moon's kingdom the souls come down, and to the moon's kingdom
they return. With Manus the word _Menerva_ is joined, a Latin form, as a
goddess, of the Greek Athênê. The owl, the symbol of Minerva, may be
equivalent to Manus as the moon. The intimate connection which exists in
myths and legends between the maiden aurora and the maiden moon is
well-known; they reciprocally do services to each other. Athênê may very
well have represented equally the two wise maidens--the moon, who sees
everything in the dark night; the aurora, who, coming out of the gloomy
night, illumines everything. The head of Zeus, out of which Athênê
comes, appears to be a form of the eastern sky.

[390] "Selbst in sternloser Nacht ist keine Verborgenheit, es lauert
eine grämliche Alte, die Eule; sie sitzt in ihrem finstern Kämmerlein,
spinnt mit silbernen Spindelchen und sieht übel dazu, was in der
Dunkelheit vorgeht. Der Holzschnitt des alten Flugblattes zeigt die
Eule auf einem Stühlchen am Spinnrocken sitzend."


      "Wenn durch die dünne Luft ein schwarzer Rabe fleucht
      Und krähet sein Geschrei, und wenn des Eulen Fraue
      Ihr Wiggen-gwige heult: sind Losungen sehr rauhe."
                  --Rochholtz, the work quoted before, i. p. 155.

[392] i. 175.

[393] ii. 5.

[394] i. 1152.

[395] ii. 105, v. 3.

[396] _Ib._

[397] ii. 105; cfr. also _Du Cange_, s. v. _corbitor_.--In the German
legend of the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, the emperor, buried under a
mountain, wakens and asks, "Are the crows still flying round the
mountain?" he is answered that they are still flying. The emperor
sighs and lies down again, concluding that the hour of his
resurrection has not yet arrived.

[398] In the _Ornithologia_ of Aldrovandi. The messenger crow is of
frequent occurrence in legends.

[399] In Plutarch, two crows guide Alexander the Great, when he goes
to consult the oracle of Zeus Ammôn.

[400] Hence the name of Avis S. Martini also given to the crow,
because it often comes about St Martin's day. In Du Cange and in the
_Roman du Renard_ we also find indicated the auspices to be taken from
the crow's flight; for the same custom in Germany, cfr. Simrock, the
work quoted before, p. 546.

[401] Horace, _Carm._ iii. 27.--In _Afanassief_, again (iv. 36), the
rook is asked where it has flown to. It answers, "Into the meadows to
write letters and sigh after the maiden;" and the maiden is advised to
hurry towards the water. The maiden declares that she fears the crab.
In this maiden, that is afraid of the crab, I think I can recognise
the zodiacal sign of Virgo (attracted by the crab of the summer),--the
virgin who approaches the water, the autumn and the autumnal rains;
the virgin loved by the crow, who is the friend of the rains.

[402] Horace, _Carm._ iii. 27.

[403] Sâkaṁ yakshma pra pata ćâsheṇa kīkidîvinâ; _Ṛigv._ x. 97, 13.


      Saróvka, saróvka,
      Kasha varlla
      Na parók skakála,
      Gastiei saszivála.

[405] The magpie is proverbial as a babbler; hence, from its Italian
name _gazza_, the name _gazzetta_ given to newspapers, as divulging
secrets.--In the _Dialogus Creaturarum_, dial. 80, it is written of
the magpie, called _Agazia_: "Pica est avis callidissima.... Hæc apud
quemdam venatorem et humane et latine loquebatur, propter quod venator
ipsam plenaria fulciebat. Pica autem non immemor beneficii, volens
remunerare eum, volavit ad Agazias, et cum eis familiariter sedebat et
humane sermocinabatur. Agaziæ quoque in hoc plurimum lætabantur
cupientes et ipsæ garrire humaneque loqui."

[406] Hence the request made in the popular song to the stork, to
bring a little sister; cfr. the songs of the stork in Kuhn and
Schwarz, _N. S. M. u. G._ p. 452. As the bringer of children, the
stork is represented as the serpent's enemy; cfr. _Tzetza_, i. 945.

[407] Cfr. _Phile_, vi. 2; and Aristophanes in the _Ornithes_--

      "Deî tous neotous t' patéra palin trephein."




    The _picus_ in the work of Professor Kuhn.--_Picus_, _corvus
    pica_, and _picumnus_; the Vedic word _vṛikas_.--The she-wolf and
    the woodpecker as the nurses of the Latin twin heroes.--_Picus_ as
    the phallos; _picus_, _picumnus_, _pilumnus_, _pilum_, _pistor_;
    _piciu_, _pinco_, _pincio_, _pinson_, _pincone_.--The sacred herb
    of Indras which cleaves the mountains.--Jupiter as a _picus_; the
    _picus_ presages rain; the herb of the woodpecker has the virtue
    of opening every shut place.--The woodpecker and the
    honey.--Beowulf and the woodpecker.--The woodpecker and the
    gold.--The green woodpecker.--The woodpecker as the devil.--The
    woodpecker in opposition to the fox.--The vengeance of the
    woodpecker.--The halcyon.--The martin or bird of St
    Martin.--_Martin piciu_.--The _yünx_ in love with Zeus; it
    attracts lovers.--_Alküoneioi hêmerai_; the halcyon.--Robin
    Redbreast and its "charitable bill."--The bird of St Gertrude; the
    _incendiaria avis_; _Jean rouge-gorge_.--Sea-birds with white and
    black plumage and a little spot of blood on their heads.

The woodpecker has already had the honour of being studied with great
learning by Professor Adalbert Kuhn, in his excellent work upon the
celestial fire and water, to which I refer the cultivated reader for
the principal myths relating to the subject; that is to say, for the
comparison of the Vedic hawk and the Vedic fire-bhuraṇyus with the
Hellenic Phoroneus, the Latin _picus Feronius_, the _incendiaria
avis_, the _picus_ that carries thunder, and that which carries food
to the twins Romulus and Remus,[408] and which itself enjoys wine,
with King Picus, progenitor of a race, and with the corresponding
German traditions. I shall only observe here the mythological
relationship between _picus_ and the _corvus pica_ (_picumnus_ was
applied both to the woodpecker and the magpie), in order to return to
the equivocal Vedic word _vṛikas_, which means wolf and crow, whence
also arose and fostered itself the confusion between the she-wolf that
nurses the Latin twin heroes, and the woodpecker which, in the same
legend, offers itself as their nourisher. The woodpecker, the magpie,
and the wolf, personify equally the god in the darkness, the devil,
the cloud, the sky of night, the rainy season, the wintry season; from
the night, and from the winter, the new sun, fed by the she-wolf, or
by the funereal bird, arises; the penetrating beak of the woodpecker
in the cloud is the thunderbolt; in the night, and in the wintry
season, it is now the moon that disperses the darkness, now the
sunbeam that comes out of the darkness. The thunderbolt, the moon, and
the sun's ray, moreover, sometimes assume in myths the form of the
phallos; the woodpecker as a phallos and the King Picus, progenitor of
a race, seem to me to be the same. The Latin legend puts _picus_ in
connection with _picumnus_, _pilumnus_, the _pilum_, and the _pistor_,
in the same way as a Norwegian story puts in relation with flour the
cuckoo, which we already know to be a phallical symbol, properly the
presser down. In the Piedmontese dialect, the common name of the
phallos is _piciu_; in Italian, _pinco_ and _pincio_ have the same
meaning; _pincione_ is the chaffinch (in French _pinson_); and
_pincone_ means a fool, for the same reason that the ass, as a
phallical symbol, personified folly. We already know Indras as a
cuckoo, as a peacock, and as a hawk. To find Indras again in the
woodpecker, the _Tâittiriya-Brahmaṇam_ offers us a notable analogy. In
it Indras kills the wild boar, hidden in the seven mountains (the
shadows of the night, or the clouds), cleaving them by the touch of
the stem of a sacred luminous and golden herb (sa darbhapińǵûlam
uddhṛitya sapta girîn bhittvâ[409]), which may be the moon in the
night, or else the thunderbolt in the cloud; the thunderbolt is also
not seldom represented in Âryan traditions as a magic rod. It is with
a golden rod that, in the seventh book of the _Æneid_, the enchantress
Circe transforms the wise King Picus, son of Saturn (as
Jupiter-Indras; Suidas also speaks of a Pêkos Zeus, buried in Crete)
into a bird, into the _picus_, sacred to the god of warriors
(Mars-Indras), whence his name of _picus martius_, the woodpecker,
which is supposed to presage rain (like Zeus and Indras)--

      "Picus equûm domitor, quem capta cupidine conjux,
       Aurea percussum virga, versumque venenis,
       Fecit avem Circe, sparsitque coloribus alas."

Pliny relates that the woodpecker has the virtue of opening every shut
place, touching it with a certain herb, which increases and decreases
with the moon;[410] this herb may be the moon itself, which opens the
hiding-places of the night, or the thunderbolt which opens the
hiding-places of the cloud. It is well known that in the Vedic hymns,
Indras, who is generally the pluvial and thundering god, is frequently
associated with the soma (ambrosia and moon), and even identified with
it. Pliny adds, moreover, that whoever takes honey out of the hive
with the beak of a woodpecker is not liable to be stung by the bees;
this honey may be the rain in the cloud as well as the lunar ambrosia
or the dew of the morning aurora; hence the woodpecker's beak may be
the thunderbolt as well as the moonbeam, or the sunbeam. Beowulf (the
wolf of the bees) is spoken of in connection with the woodpecker as
well as with the bear: the _Bienenfresser_ of German legends, or the
_pica merops_, explains the Latin superstition and the Beowulf. Like
the crow, the woodpecker, too, stays in darkness, but brings water,
seeks for honey, and finds the light. In the _Aulularia_, Plautus
makes woodpeckers live upon golden mountains (picos, qui aureos monies
incolunt). Inasmuch as the woodpeckers announced the approach of
winter, or were seen on the left, according to the well-known verse of

      "Teque nec lævus vetet ire picus,

they were considered birds of evil omen. In the _Ornithologus_, it is
said that the green woodpecker (the moon, by the previously mentioned
equivocalness of _haris_) presages winter (the moon, as we have said,
rules over the winter). For this reason, St Ephiphanios could compare
the woodpecker with the devil. According to Pliny, the woodpecker that
perched upon the head of the prætor Lucius Tubero, whilst he was
administering justice, announced approaching ruin to the empire if it
were allowed to go free, and approaching death to the prætor if
killed; Lucius Tubero, moved by love of his country, seized the
woodpecker, killed it, and died soon afterwards. Hence Pliny could say
with reason that woodpeckers were "in auspiciis magni."

In the twentieth story of the third book of _Afanassieff_, the
woodpecker, which usually appears as a very knowing bird, lets itself
be deceived by the fox, who eats its young ones, under the pretext of
teaching them an art. In the twenty-fifth story of the fourth book, on
the other hand, the woodpecker assumes a heroic and formidable aspect.
It makes friends with an old dog, which has been expelled from its
kennel, and offers its services as purveyor. A woman, is carrying some
dinner to her husband, who is working in the fields. The woodpecker
flies before her and feigns to let itself be taken; the woman, to run
after it, puts the dinner down, and the dog feeds upon it (in a
variety of the same story, the woodpecker also offers to the dog a
means of getting something to drink). Afterwards the dog meets the
fox; then, in order to please the woodpecker (who, perhaps, remembered
the treachery of the fox who ate its little ones), it runs upon the
fox and maltreats it. A peasant passes by and thrashes the poor dog,
who dies. Then the woodpecker becomes furious in its desire of
vengeance, and begins to peck now at the peasant, and now at his
horses; the peasant tries to flog the woodpecker, instead of which he
flogs the horses to death. Nor does the woodpecker's vengeance stop
here; it goes to the peasant's wife and pecks at her; she endeavours
to beat it, but instead of doing so, she beats her own sons (these are
two varieties of the story of the mother who beats her son, thinking
to beat the ass, which, as a phallical symbol, we have already said
corresponds to the woodpecker. The myth of Seilenos, which we saw in
connection with the ass, has also been quoted by Professor Kuhn in
relation with the woodpecker. In the third book of the _Pańćatantram_,
we have a bird that throws gold from behind, a characteristic of the
mythical ass in fairy tales). Here the woodpecker has the same office
which in another Russian story, already recorded, is attributed to the
wintry, funereal, and ill-omened stork, the sun hidden in the
darkness, or the cloud.

The halcyon, which announces tempests, and the bird of St Martin, the
fisher martin, are of the same wintry and phallical nature as the
woodpecker. In Piedmont, a fool is insultingly called by the name of
Martin-Piciu (the podex and the phallos, and also the phallos martin,
which reminds us of the _picus pistor_, and the _picus martius_), and
the above-quoted Italian expression _pincone_ is equivalent to it. The
sun that hides itself in darkness or clouds loses its power. The
phallical symbol is evident. Here remark the Hellenic fable of the
bird Yünx tetraknamon, of the four rays, of the long tongue, always
changeful (the Trench call it _paille en cul_). Pan is said to have
been the father of a girl called Yünx, who, having attempted to seduce
Zeus, was changed by the vengeance of Hêrê into a bird of the same
name. In Pindar, Jason made use of this bird, the gift of Aphroditê,
to gain the favour of Medea. In Theocritos, this bird is invoked by
girls in love to attract their lovers into the house; women made use
of this bird in their mischief-working love-mysteries.

According to the fifth book of Aristotle's _History of Animals_, the
halcyon sits on its eggs in the serene days of winter, called
therefore alküoneiai hêmerai; and the author cites a sentence of
Simonides concerning this bird: "When Zeus, in the wintry season,
creates twice seven warm days, mortals say, 'This tepid weather is
nourishing the variously-painted halcyons.'" Ovid relates that Alcyon
was transformed into the bird of this name while weeping for her
husband, who had been drowned in the sea, whence Ariosto wrote--

      "E s'udîr le Alcione alla marina
       Dell' antico infortunio lamentarse."

This bird, the kingfisher, several kinds of woodpeckers, the wren, the
crow, and the redbreast, the Scotch Robin Redbreast, also called in
English ruddock and Robin-ruddock, which, "with charitable bill,"
according to the expression of Shakspeare in _Cymbeline_,[412] throws
funereal flowers upon unburied bodies,[413] are all birds sacred to
St Martin, the holy gravedigger, the bringer of winter, who,
according to the Celtic and German traditions, divides his own cloak
with poor men, and covers them. German legends are full of incidents
relating to this funereal and wintry bird, with which now the funereal
Norwegian bird of St Gertrude, now the cuckoo, now the _incendiaria
avis_, are assimilated. Hence the same redbreast which in German
tradition is sacred to St Martin is called _Jean rouge-gorge_ in the
popular songs of Brittany, published by Villemarqué, and is sacred to
St John; but this John may be the St John of winter, whose festival is
celebrated on the 27th of December, that is, two days after the
Nativity of Christ, or in the days in which the sun, the Saviour, is
born again, and the light increases. Birds of the same funereal nature
as that of St Martin appear in the Breton song _Bran_ (or the prisoner
of war):--"At Kerloan, upon the battlefield, there is an oak-tree
which spreads its branches over the shore; there is an oak-tree at the
place where the Saxons took to flight before the face of Evan the
Great. On this oak, when the moon shines at night, birds come to meet
one another, sea-birds with white and black plumage, and a little spot
of blood on their heads; with them there comes an old grey crow, and
with it a young crow. Both are very weary, and their wings are wet;
they come from beyond the seas, they come from afar; and the birds
sing such a beautiful song that the great sea is hushed and listens;
this song they sing with one voice, except the old crow and the young
one; now the crow has said--'Sing, little birds; sing, sing, little
birds of the land; you do not die far away from Bretagne.'" The same
funereal birds which have pity for the dead, like the stork, also take
care of new-born infants, and bring the light forth. The cloudy
nocturnal or wintry monster discovers his treasures; the funereal bird
buries the dead, and brings them to life again; its beak pierces
through the mountain, finds the water and the fire, and tears the veil
of death; its luminous head disperses the gloomy shadows.



      "Lacte quis infantes nescit crevisse ferino?
       Et picum expositis sæpe tulisse cibos?"
                                  --Ovid, _Fasti_, iii.

[409] Compare _pińǵûlas_ with _pińǵalas_ and _pińǵaras_.--In the hymn,
x. 28, 9, of the _Ṛigvedas_, we also have the mountain cleft from afar
by a clod of earth: Adriṁ logena vy abhedam ârât. This analogy is so
much the more remarkable, as in the same hymn, 4th strophe, the wild
boar is also spoken of.

[410] The same virtue of opening the mountain by means of an herb I
find attributed to the little martin, in connection with Venus, in
Simrock, the work quoted before, p. 415: "Schon in einem Gedichte
Meister Altschwerts, ed. Holland, s. 70, wird der Zugang zu dem Berge
durch ein Kraut gefunden, das der Springwurzel oder blauen
Schlüsselblume unserer Ortssagen gleicht. Kaum hat es der Dichter
gebrochen, so kommt ein Martinsvögelchen geflogen, das guter
Vorbedeutung zu sein pflegt; diesem folgt er und begegnet einem
Zwerge, der ihn in den Berg zu Frau Venus führt."

[411] _Carm._ iii. 27.


                           "Thou shalt not lack
      The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose; nor
      The azured hare-bell, like thy veins; no, nor
      The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
      Out-sweetened not thy breath; the ruddock would,
      With charitable bill (O bill, sore-shaming
      Those rich-left heirs, that let their fathers lie
      Without a monument!), bring thee all this."
                                            --iv. 2.

[413] Cfr. what is said on the whoop, the stork, and the
lark.--Concerning the bird _gaulus_, I find in Du Cange as follows:
"Gaulus Merops avis apibus infensa, unde et Apiastra vocitatur. Papias:
'Meropes, Genus avium, idem et Gauli, qui parentes suos recondere, et
alere dicuntur, sunt autem virides et vocantur Apiastræ.'"




    The lark the first of animals.--It existed before the earth.--It
    buries its father in its own head.--The lark sings the praises of
    God.--Praǵâpatis creates the stomas first.--The crested
    sun.--Christos and crista; the crested lark and St
    Christophoros.--Alauda the lauder.--The lark upon the father's
    tomb.--The mother-lark.--The lark announces morning and
    summer.--Bharadvâǵas, the bringer of food, the bringer of good
    things and of sound.--Bharadvâǵas as a mythical singer or poet,
    nourished by a lark; the son of Bṛihaspatis.--The old Bharadvâǵas
    ascends into heaven in union with the sun.--The quail.--Vartikâ,
    vartakas, wachtel, perepiolka.--The quail and the wolf in the
    _Ṛigvedas_.--The wise girl upon a hare, with a quail tied to her
    hand.--Jove as a quail.--The quail sacred to Hercules.--The moon
    and the quail.--The quail becomes a stone.--The quail believed to
    eat poisonous hellebore.--The quail as a sacred bird.--The game of
    the quail.--The quail and the cock.--The quail as a prophetic
    bird.--The quail puts a price upon corn.

To the crested lark, in the _Ornithes_ of Aristophanes, the name of
king is given, and the same virtue of funereal charity is attributed
to it which we have already seen in the redbreast of winter, in the
stork, and in the crested whoop. According to Aristophanes the lark
was not only the first of animals, but it existed before the earth and
before the gods Zeus and Kronos and the Titans. Hence, when the
lark's father died, there was no earth to bury him in; then the lark
buried its father in its own head (or in its pyramidal crest).
Goropius explains the belief that the lark existed before the earth,
by observing that the lark sings seven times a day the praises of God
in the high air, and that prayer was the first thing which existed in
the world. In Hindoo cosmogony, when Praǵâpatis, the creator, wishes
to multiply himself, he begins by creating the stomas or hymn.[414]
The father of the lark is therefore the god himself. The crested lark
is the same as the crested sun, the sun with his rays. In the legend
of St Christopher, I see an equivoque between the word _Christos_ and
the word _crista_, and, either way, I see the sun personified. St
Christopher, in the legend, carries Christ, and is associated with the
lark. Goropius, when a child, on seeing a picture representing St
Christopher, marvelled that the lark did not flee from the tree-staff
of St Christopher, whilst the sparrows, instead, fled before him as
soon as he approached; he was answered that the lark is not afraid of
St Christopher, because it sees on the saint's shoulders its own
creator, God. Christ, the father of the lark, dies, and the lark
buries him in its crista. In the same way an equivoque in speech made
of the lark (alauda) the lauder (laudatrix) of God; thus it seems to
me that the equivoque between _crista_ and _Christos_ passed into the
legend of St Christopher. In the nineteenth Mongol story, the poor
young man makes his fortune when he hears a lark upon his father's
tomb, which has come and placed itself upon the loom. The lark is a
form of the young man himself, the young sun who from poor becomes
rich; the loom upon which the lark perches is the sky. The Greek name
of the crested lark (korüdalos) corresponds to the Latin _galerita_.
The lark with the crest or with the tuft explains the custom of the
Gauls, recorded by Suetonius in the Life of Julius Cæsar, of
representing a crested lark upon their helmets. The Æsopian fables of
the mother-lark with its young ones, and of the lark with the
birdcatcher, show us this bird full of cunning and wisdom. As the
larks sing the praises of God only when the sky is serene, and as they
announce the morning[415] and the summer, they represent the crested
sun which illumines all, which is all-luminous, all-seeing, (the Vedic
_viçvavedas_), the golden sun. In the thirteenth Esthonian story, the
maiden that sleeps will waken when she hears again the summer song of
the larks. (Here the maiden is the earth, which wakens in the spring.)

The Hindoo name of the lark is no less interesting than the Latin
_alauda_. Bharadvâǵas, or the lark, may mean the bringer of food or of
goods (as the sun), as well as the bringer of sound (the singer of
hymns) and the sacrificer. In this triple interpretation which can be
given to the word _bharadvâǵas_, nearly all the myth of the lark seems
to be contained. Bharadvâǵas, afterwards, also becomes the name of a
celebrated poet, and of one of the seven mythical sages, who, according
to the legend, was nourished by a lark, and who is said to be the son of
Bṛihaspatis, the god of sacrifice, Fire, identified with Divodâsas, one
of the favourites of the god Indras, who destroys for him the strong
celestial cities of Çambaras. The _Tâittiriya-brâhmaṇam_ also shows us
the wise Bharadvâǵas in connection with Indras. Bharadvâǵas has become
old whilst travelling three degrees of the life of a studious penitent;
Indras approaches the aged sage, and asks him, how, if he still had many
years to live, he would employ his lifetime? The sage answers that he
would continue to live in penitence and in study. In the three first
degrees of his life, Bharadvâǵas has studied the three Vedâs (the
_Atharva-veda_ having come afterwards, or not being as yet recognised as
a sacred book). In the fourth period, Bharadvâǵas learns universal
science (çarvavidyâ), becomes immortal, and ascends into heaven in union
with the sun (âdityasya sâyuǵyam).

The quail is also in intimate relation with the summer sun, but
especially with the moon.

Vartikâ and vartakas are its Indian names, which may mean both she who
is turned towards, the animated one, the ready, the swift, the
watchful (cfr. the German _Wachtel_), and the pilgrim (cfr. the
Russian _perepiolka_). In the _Ṛigvedas_, the Açvinâu deliver the
quail from torments; they release the quail from the rage of the wolf;
they liberate it from the jaws of the wolf that is devouring it.[416]
In the forty-first story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the wise
girl comes upon a hare with a quail tied to her hand, and presents
herself before the Tzar, whose riddle she must solve in order to marry
him. This quail is the symbol of the Tzar himself, or the sun; the
wise girl is the aurora (or the spring), who arrives near the sun upon
the hare, that is, upon the moon, traversing the shadows of night (or
winter). The Greeks and Latins, observing, perhaps, that the moon
takes sleep away from the quail, believed that the quail was sacred
to Latona, and relate that Jove became a quail to lie with Latona, of
which union Diana and Apollo (moon and sun) were born.[417] Others
also affirm that the quail was sacred to Hercules, who, by the scent
of a quail, recovered his life, which had been taken from him by
Tüphon. It is believed that when the moon rises, the quail cries out
and is excited to agitation against it, and that the quail's head
increases or diminishes according to the moon's influence. As the
quail seems to represent the sun, and loves heat, it fears the cold
moon. From these mythical relations of the quail was doubtless derived
the fear which the ancients had for the quail, which they believed to
eat poisonous hellebore during the night, and to be therefore
poisonous and subject to epilepsy. Plutarch, in the _Apophtegmata_,
relates that Augustus punished with death a president of Egypt who had
eaten a quail which had carried off the prize in the fight; for it was
long the custom to make quails fight with one another, in the same way
as at Athens the game of the quail was a favourite diversion, in which
several quails were placed in a circle, and he who hit one carried off
all the others. According to Artemidoros, quails announced to their
feeders the evils by which they would be visited from the side of the
sea. The quail which agitates itself against the moon (thus Ælianos
writes that the cock excites himself and exults when the moon
rises[418]) presages the bad season, the pluvial or wintry season, and
makes use of its own presage to migrate to warmer regions. The quail
watches, travels, and cries out during the night; from the number of
times that it cries out in succession in the fields, the peasants of
Tuscany infer the price of corn; as the quail generally renews its cry
three, four or more times, when it cries three times they say that
corn will be cheap, and that, when it cries out four or more times, it
will be dear; and so they say that the quail puts a price upon
corn.[419] The quail arrives with the sun in our fields in spring, and
goes away with the sun in September. In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[420] when
the hero Bhîmas is squeezed by an enormous serpent, a quail appears
near the sun, dark (pratyâdityamabhâsvarâ), with only one wing, one
eye, and one foot, horrible to the sight, vomiting blood (raktaṁ
vamantî). This quail may represent either the red sky of evening, in
the west, or the red heavens at the conclusion of summer.


[414] _Tâittiriya Yaǵurv._ vii. 1, 4.

[415] Hence Gregory of Tours relates, in _Du Cange_: "In Ecclesia
Arverna, dum matutinæ celebrarentur Vigiliæ, in quadam civitate avis
Corydalus, quam Alaudam vocamus, ingressa est."

[416] Vartikâṁ grasitâm amuńćatam; _Ṛigv._ i. 112, 8.--Amuńćataṁ
vartikâm aṅhasaḥ; i. 118, 8.--Âsno vṛikasya vartikâm abhîke yuvaṁ narâ
nâsatyâmumuktam; i. 116, 14.--Vṛikasya ćid vartikâm antar âsyâd yuvaṁ
çaçîbhir grasitâm amuńćatam; x. 39, 13.

[417] The same fable is also related in a different way: Jove cohabits
with Latona, and subsequently forces her sister, Asterien, who is, in
pity, changed by the gods into a quail. Jove becomes an eagle to catch
her; the gods change the quail into a stone--(cfr. the stories of
Indras as a cuckoo and Rambhâ, of Indras as a cock and Ahalyâ. It is a
popular superstition that quails, like the crane, when they travel,
let little stones fall in order to recognise on their return the
places by which they passed the first time)--which lies for a long
time under water, till by the prayer of Latona it is taken out.

[418] Ælianos says that the cock is in the moon's favour, either
because it assisted Latona in parturition, or because it is generally
believed (as a symbol of fecundation) to be the facilitator of
childbirth. As a watchful animal it was natural to consider it
especially dear to the moon, the nocturnal watcher.--The cock, as an
announcer of news, was sacred to Mercury; as the curer of many
diseases, to Æsculapius; as a warrior, to Mars, Hercules, and Pallas,
who, according to Pausanias, wore a hen upon her helmet; as an
increaser of the family, to the Lares, &c. Even Roman Catholic priests
will deign to receive with especial favour, ad majorem Dei gloriam,
the homage of cocks, capons, and chickens.

[419] This year, my quails cried out six times; and the corn in Italy
is very dear, the spring having been a very rainy one.

[420] iii. 12,437.




    Alektrüon, a satellite of Mars, the lover of Venus, becomes a
    cock.--Indras, the lover of Ahalyâ as a cock; Ahalyâ turned to
    stone.--Indras as a eunuch or as a ram.--Praǵâpatis loves his
    daughter the aurora, and becomes a goat.--Ahalyâ in the ashes, like
    Cinderella.--The thunder and the eggs; the iron nail and the laurel
    in the nest.--To be made of stucco, to be turned to stone by the
    thunder which astonishes.--It is a sacrilege to kill cocks and
    hens.--The cock Parodars in the _Avesta_.--The cock chases the
    demons away.--The cock wakens the aurora and arouses
    mankind.--Christus and the cock as _cristiger_, _cristatus_,
    _cristeus_.--The cock sacred to St James, to St Christopher and
    Donar.--St James as a cock.--The hen crows like a cock.--Men turned
    to stone, and the cock who calls them to life again.--The cock as a
    devil.--The enchanted hut stands upon a hen's little feet.--Cocks
    killed as a form of witches.--The _lapillus alectorius_; the same
    enclosed in a ring.--To dream of brood-hens with chickens.--The egg
    is more cunning than the hen.--The golden cock on the rock; marvels
    come out of the rock.--The egg which becomes a girl.--The cock on
    the top of high buildings, to indicate the winds, and also the
    hours.--The black cock and the red one.--The black hen.--The cock
    sacrificed.--The cock, son of Mars.--Cockfights.--Auguries taken
    from cocks and hens; these auguries held up to derision.--The hen's
    egg; "Gallus in sterquilinio suo plurimum potest."--The pearl is an
    egg; the hen's egg in the sky is the sun.--The white hen.--Easter
    eggs.--The golden egg.--The cosmic egg.--It is an excellent augury
    to begin with the egg; "Ab ovo ad malum."--To begin _ab ovo_.

Alektrüon (the Greek name of the cock) was the companion and satellite
of Mars. When Mars wished to spend the night with Venus during the
absence of Vulcan, he placed Alektrüon to watch at the door.
Alektrüon, however, fell asleep; and Mars, surprised by the returning
husband, and full of indignation, transformed Alektrüon into a cock,
in order that it might learn to be watchful; whence Ausonius--

                  "Ter clara instantis Eoi
      Signa canit serus, deprenso Marte, satelles."

According to a Pâuranic legend, Indras, the Indian Mars, enamoured of
Ahalyâ, the wife of Gâutamas, and accompanied by Ćandras (the moon),
assumed the form of a kṛikavâkas (cock or peacock), and went to sing at
midnight near the dwelling of Ahalyâ, whilst her husband was absent.
Then, divesting himself of the form of a cock (or peacock), he left
Ćandras at the door to watch, and united himself with Ahalyâ (the hen).
Meanwhile Gâutamas returns; Ćandras not having warned the lovers of his
approach, the saint turns Ahalyâ to stone, and scatters over the body of
Indras a thousand wombs; which, being submerged in the waters, the
pitying gods subsequently changed into a thousand eyes (sahasrâkshas is
one of the Hindoo names of Indras and of the peacock). According to a
variety of this legend,--which is analogous to the fable of the Zeus as
a quail, the seducer of the sister of Latona, or of Latona herself,
changed into a stone and submerged in the waters,--Indras becomes a
eunuch, and obtains, as we have already seen, in compensation, two ram's
testicles. In the _Âitareya Br._, the god Brahman Praǵâpatis becomes a
goat or a roebuck (ṛiçyas), in order to lie with his own daughter
Aurora. In the thirty-second and thirty-third hymn of the eighth book of
the _Ṛigvedas_, the god Indras and the god Brahman change places.
Indras is at first beautiful (çiprin); he afterwards becomes a woman
(strî hi brahmâ babhûvitha). In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[421] Gâutamas condemns
Indras to become powerless, and Ahalyâ to remain hidden in the forest,
lying in the ashes (bhasmaçâyinî), until Ramas comes to deliver her. The
ashy sky, the stony sky, the watery sky, are identical; Ahalyâ (the
evening aurora) in the ashes is the germ of the story of Cinderella, and
of the daughter of the King of Dacia, persecuted by her lover, her
father himself.

A popular Italian belief, which has been mentioned by Pliny and
Columella, says that when it thunders while the hen is sitting on her
eggs, they are spoiled. To remedy this evil, Pliny advises to put
under the fodder of the eggs an iron nail, or else some earth taken up
by a ploughshare. Columella says that many put little branches of
laurel and roots of garlic, with iron nails. These are all symbols of
the sulphureous thunderbolts (because of their strong smell), and of
the thunderbolt conceived of as an iron weapon; the remedy recommended
is according to the principle of _similia similibus_, for the same
reason as the devil is prayed to in order to keep him away. In Sicily,
when a hen is setting on her eggs, they put at the bottom of the nest
a nail, which has the property of attracting and absorbing every kind
of noise that may be noxious to the chickens. Now it seems interesting
to me to find an analogous belief in Vedic antiquity. A strophe, where
the word _aṇdâ_ may be rendered eggs as well as testicles, which
therefore leads us to think of oviparous birds and chickens no less
than men, invokes Indras, the thunder-god, as follows:--"Do not harm
us, Indras; do not destroy us; do not take from us our beloved
enjoyments; do not break, O great one, O strong one, our eggs (or
testicles); do not ruin the fruits of our bowels."[422] Indras can not
only become a eunuch himself, but he can make others become eunuchs;
thunder makes us astonished, and as we also say, by an analogous
expression, in Italy, makes us of stucco or turn to stone.

The cock and the oviparous hen, as birds which are as egg-yielding
symbols of abundance, and which personify the sun, were and are sacred
in India and in Persia, where it is considered a sacrilege to kill
them. Cicero, in his _Oratio pro Murena_, writes that among the
ancients he who ultroneously killed a cock did not sin less than he
who suffocated his own father. In Du Cange we read that Geoffrey I.,
Duke of Brittany, whilst he was on a journey to Rome, was slain with a
stone by a woman, one of whose hens had been killed by the Duke's
sparrowhawk. The same superstition about hens is still observed in
Italy by a great number of housewives.

In the _Avesta_ the crow of the cock accompanies the flight of the
demons, wakens the aurora, and arouses mankind.[423] Even the
Christian poet Prudentius, who still sees a solar symbol in the
_Christus_, compares him to the cock, also called _cristiger_,
_cristatus_, _cristeus_,[424] prays to Christ to chase away sleep, to
break the fetters of night, to undo the old sin, and to bring the new
light, after having said of the cock--

      "Ferunt vagantes dæmones,
       Lætos tenebris noctium
       Gallo canente exterritos
       Sparsim timere et cedere.
       ... omnes credimus
       Illo quietis tempore
       Quo gallus exsultans canit
       Christum redisse ex inferis."

We have seen in the preceding chapter, the crested lark in connection
with St Christopher. In Germany, on the 25th of July, sacred to St
James[425] (the saint who empties the bottle, as they say in Piedmont),
to St Christopher, and the ancient god of thunder, Donar, cocks were
made to dance, and then sacrificed. Donar carries Oerwandil on his
shoulders across rivers, as the giant Christopher carries Christ.

There is a superstition which is widely diffused in Italy, Germany, and
Russia, according to which a hen that begins to crow like a cock is of
the worst omen; and it is the universal persuasion that it ought to be
killed immediately, in order not to die before it. As the same belief
exists in Persia, the discussion of Sadder with regard to it is
interesting, to prove that the hen which crows like a cock must not be
killed, because, if it become a cock, that means that it will be able to
kill the demon, (therefore at Persian tombs they were accustomed to set
a cock free). Having regard to the superstitious Eastern and European
beliefs, the worthy Professor Spiegel will now find, I hope, the
following passage, which appeared rather obscure to him, a little
clearer:--"Qui religione sinceri sunt ludificationes expertes, quando
percipiunt ex gallina vociferationem galli non debent illam gallinam
interficere ominis causa, quia eam interficiendi jus nullum habent....
Nam in Persia si gallina fit gallus, ipsa infaustum diabolum franget. Si
autem alium gallum adhibueris in auxilium, ut cum gallina consortium
habeat, non erit incommodum ut tunc ille diabolus sit interfectus."
According to a Sicilian proverb, the hen that crows like a cock must
neither be sold nor given away, but eaten by its mistress.[426]

In the forty-fifth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the cocks
crow, and the devil's smoke disappears. In the fortieth story of the
same book, the cock crows, and the devil disappears from the kingdom in
which he made every man and every thing turn to stone. The son of a
peasant, staying to pray all through the night with lighted candles,
alone escapes from the devil's evil works; after three nights of similar
penitence, all the men who were turned to stone come to life again, and
the young and pious peasant espouses the king's beautiful daughter.

In the thirtieth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, when the
cock begins to crow, the old man becomes of a sudden at once rigid and
silent. Here, perhaps, there is an allusion to the old sun of evening,
and to the cock's crowing in the evening. The cock of night,
therefore, assumes sometimes a diabolical form. In the twenty-second
story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the devil becomes a cock in
order to eat the corn into which the young man who was first turned
into a gold ring, has been at length transformed. But this cock of
night, being demoniacal, although his crest (the sun) is always red,
is of a black colour. The cock is red in the morning and in the
evening; in the night it is black, with its red crest turned now to
the east, now to the west; it is upon the little feet of a hen,[427]
that the little movable enchanted Russian hut stands, which the young
heroes and young heroines on a journey meet with in the forest, and
cause to turn in the direction they came from.

In the ninth story of the second book of the _Pentamerone_, a queen
gives orders to kill the cocks in the town, so that the crowing may
cease, because as long as the cocks crow, she will, by a witch's
enchantment, be unable to recognise and embrace her son. The witch
herself evidently assumes here the form of the diabolical cock that
crows in the night.[428]

In the first story of the fourth book of the _Pentamerone_, the old
Minec' Aniello feeds a cock well, but being afterwards in want of
money, sells it to two magicians, who, when walking back, say to each
other that the cock is precious for the stone that it contains, which,
enclosed in a ring, will enable one to obtain all that he wishes (the
_lapillus alectorius_, which is said to be as large as a bean, to be
like crystal, to be good for pregnant women, and for inspiring
courage; it is alleged that the hero Milon owed all his strength to
it). Minec' Aniello hears this, steals the cock, kills it, takes the
stone, and by its means becomes young again, in a beautiful palace of
gold and silver. When the magicians defraud him of this stone,
enclosed in a ring, the young man becomes old again, and goes to seek
his lost ring in the kingdom of the deep hole (de Pertuso cupo)
inhabited by the rat; the rats gnaw the finger of the magician who has
the ring; Minec' Aniello recovers his ring, and changes the two
magicians into asses; he rides upon one ass, and then throws it down
the mountains; the other ass is loaded with lard, and sent in
gratitude to the rats. Here the cock appears as a nocturnal animal;
the stone which, when enclosed in a ring, performs miracles, is the
sun which comes out when invoked by the cock of night. According to
the Sicilian belief, when one dreams of brood-hens with chickens in
uninhabited and deserted houses, it is a sign that there are treasures
hidden in these houses, and one must go to dig them up.

In the first of the Esthonian stories, the cock that crows is a spy
over the old woman.[429] In the third Esthonian story, a woman gives
her husband three eggs of a black hen to eat in order to obtain three
dwarf heroes. In the twenty-second Esthonian story, the shepherds that
watch over the son of the persecuted king, seeing the knowingness of
the boy, recognise the truth of the proverb that "the egg is more
cunning than the hen." In the ninth Esthonian story, a young man,
after having made a compact with the devil, cheats him, giving him the
blood of a cock instead of his own. In the fourth Esthonian story,
when three strokes are given with a golden rod upon a rock, a large
golden cock comes out and perches upon the top of it; it beats its
wings and crows; at each crowing a marvel comes out of the stone, a
tablecloth that spreads itself and a porringer that fills itself. In
the twenty-fourth Esthonian story, an old fairy gives to the queen a
little basket with a bird's egg inside; the queen must hatch it for
three months, like a pearl, in her bosom; first a little living doll
will be born, which, when warmed in a basket covered with wool, will
become a real girl; at the same time that the doll becomes a real
girl, the queen will give birth to a beautiful male child. Linda, the
wife of Kalew, in Finnish mythology, is also born of the egg of a
woodcock or a heathcock.

In Hungry (where a dyed tin cock is placed upon the top of high
buildings to indicate the direction of the wind--this is the English
and Italian weathercock; we have all heard of the cock of the tower of
St Mark at Venice which makes the hours strike), it is believed that,
to appease the devil, one must sacrifice a black cock to him. The red
cock, on the contrary, signifies fire.[430]

In the Monferrato it is believed that a black hen split open alive in
the middle, and placed where one feels the pain of the _mal di punta_,
will take away the disease and the pain, on condition that when this
strange plaster is taken off, the feathers be burned in the house.

The cock or fowl which, in the festive customs of Essex and of Norfolk
(of which traces are preserved in the striking of the porringer by a man
blindfolded at the feast of Mid-Lent in several parts of France and in
Piedmont), a man blind-folded wins, if he succeeds in striking it upon
the shoulders of another man (or else sometimes shut up in a porringer
at the height of twelve or fourteen feet from the ground, at which
projectiles are thrown[431]) is a personification of the funereal cock
out of which, when struck, the daily fire is made to come. The sacrifice
of a cock was a custom in India, Greece, and Germany.

In the same way as the ancients used to make quails fight against each
other, so they made cocks; hence the cock was called son of Mars
(Areôs neottos). We already know that the cock's crest terrifies the
maned lion; the crest and the mane are equivalent; and we have also
seen what heroic virtue was attributed to the _lapillus alectorius_.
Plutarch writes that the Lacedæmonians sacrificed the cock to Mars to
obtain victory in the battles which they fought in the open air.
Pallas wore the cock upon her helmet, Idomeneus upon his shield.
Plutarch says, moreover, that the inhabitants of Caria used to carry a
cock on the end of their lances, and refers the origin of this custom
to Artaxerxes; but it appears to be much more ancient, for the Carians
wore crested helmets as far back as the time of Herodotus, for which
reason the Persians gave the Carians the name of cocks. Cockfights,
which became so popular in England, are also common in India. Philon,
the Hebrew, relates of Miltiades, that before the battle of Marathon
he inflamed the ardour of his soldiers by exhibiting cockfights; the
same, according to Ælianos, was done by Themistocles. John Goropius
(who gives the extravagant etymologies of _danen_ and _alanen_ from
_de hahnen_ and _all hahnen_) relates that the Danes were accustomed
to carry two cocks to war, one to tell the hours and the other to
excite the soldiers to battle. Du Cange informs us that duels between
cocks were also the custom in France in the seventeenth century, and
gives some fragments of mediæval writings in which these are
prohibited as a superstitious custom and one which was objectionable.

It is well known that the ancient Romans, before engaging in battle,
took auguries from cocks and fowls, although this custom sometimes
gave occasion to derision. Of Publius Claudius, for instance, it is
said that, being about to engage in a naval battle in the first Punic
war, he consulted the auguries in order not to offend against the
customs of his country; but that when the augurs announced that the
fowls would not eat, he ordered them to be taken and thrown into the
sea, saying, "If they will not eat, then let them drink."

Part of the worship which was offered to the cock and to the hen was
also rendered to the egg: the Latin proverb, "Gallus in sterquilinio
suo plurimum potest," shows the great value of the egg. The pearl
which the fowl searches for in the dunghill is nought else but its own
egg; and the egg of the hen in the sky is the sun itself. During the
night the celestial hen is black, but it becomes white in the morning;
and being white, on account of the snow, it is the hen of winter. The
white hen is propitious on account of the golden chickens hatched by
it. In the Monferrato it is believed that the eggs of a white hen laid
on Ascension Day, in a new nest, are a good remedy for pains in the
stomach, head, and ears, and that, when taken into a cornfield, they
prevent the blight, or black evil, from entering amongst the crops, or
when taken into a vineyard, they save it from hail. The eggs which are
eaten at Easter and concerning which, accompanied sometimes by songs
and proverbs, so many popular customs, mythologically in accordance,
are current in the various countries of Europe, celebrate the
resurrection of the celestial egg, a symbol of abundance,[432] the sun
of spring. The hen of the fable and the fairy tales, which lays golden
eggs, is the mythical hen (the earth or the sky) which gives birth
every day to the sun. The golden egg is the beginning of life in
Orphic and Hindoo cosmogony; by the golden egg the world begins to
move, and movement is the principle of good. The golden egg brings
forth the luminous, laborious, and beneficent day. Hence it is an
excellent augury to begin with the egg, which represents the principle
of good, whence the equivocal Latin proverb, "Ab ovo ad malum," which
signified "from good to evil," but which properly meant, "from the egg
to the apple," the Latins being accustomed to begin their dinners with
hard-boiled eggs and to end them with apples (a custom which is still
preserved among numerous Italian families).[433]

But to begin _ab ovo_ also means to begin at the beginning. Horace
says that he does not begin from the twin eggs the description of the
Trojan war--

      "Nec gemino bellum Trojanum orditur _ab ovo_,"

alluding to the egg of Lêda, to which the Greek proverb, "Come out of
the egg" (ex ôou exêlthen), also alludes, said of a very handsome man,
and referring to fair Helen and her two luminous brothers the
Dioskuroi. But here the white cock has became a white swan, of which
we shall speak in the following chapter.


[421] i. 49.

[422] Mâ no vadhîr indra mâ parâ dâ mâ naḥ priyâ bhoǵanâni pra moshîḥ
âṇḍâ mâ no maghavań ćhakra nir bhen mâ naḥ pâtrâ bhet sahaǵânushâṇi;
_Ṛigv._ i. 104, 8.

[423] Der Vogel der den Namen Parodars führt, o heiliger Zarathustra,
den die übelredenden Menschen mit den Namen Kahrkatâç belegen, dieser
Vogel erhebt seine Stimme bei jeder göttlichen Morgenröthe: Stehet auf,
ihr Menschen, preiset die beste Reinheit, vertreibet die Dâeva;
_Vendidad_, xviii. 34-38, Spiegel's version.--The cock Parodars chases
away with his cry especially the demon Bûshyaṅçta, who oppresses men
with sleep, and he returns again in a fragment of the _Khorda-Avesta_
(xxxix.): "'Da, vor dem Kommen der Morgenröthe, spricht dieser Vogel
Parodars, der Vogel der mit Messern verwundet, Worte gegen das Feuers
aus. Bei seinem Sprechen läuft Bushyaṅçta mit langen Händen herzu von
der nördlichen Gegend, von den nördlichen Gegenden, also sprechen, also
sagend: "Schlafet o Menschen, schlafet, sündlich Lebende, schlafet, die
ihr ein sündiges Leben führt." As in the song of Prudentius, the idea of
sleep and that of sin are associated together; the song of Prudentius
suggests the idea that it was written by some one who was initiated in
the solar mysteries of the worship of Mithras.

[424] Cfr. Du Cange, _s. v._--And the same Du Cange, in the article
_gallina_, quotes an old mediæval glossary in which _gallina_ is said
to mean Christ, wisdom, and soul.--The cock of the Gospel announces,
reveals, betrays Christ three times, in the three watches of the
night, to which sometimes correspond the three sons of the legends.

[425] According to a legend of St James, an old father and mother go
with their young son on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in
Spain. On the way, in an inn at San Domingo de la Calzada, the
innkeeper's daughter offers her favours to the young man, who rejects
them; the girl avenges herself upon him by putting a silver plate in
his sack, for which he is arrested and impaled as a thief. The old
parents continue their journey to Santiago; St James has pity upon
them, and works a miracle which is only known to be his afterwards.
The old couple return to their country, passing by San Domingo; here
they find their son alive, whom they had seen impaled, for which they
there and then offer solemn thanks to St James. All are astonished.
The prefect of the place is at dinner when the news is brought to him;
he refuses to believe it, and says that the young man is no more alive
than the roasted fowl which is being set upon the table; no sooner has
he uttered the words, than the cock begins to crow, resumes its
feathers, jumps out of the plate and flies away. The innkeeper's
daughter is condemned; and in honour of the miracle, the cock is
revered as a sacred animal, and at San Domingo the houses are
ornamented with cock's feathers. A similar wonder is said, by Sigonio,
to have taken place in the eleventh century in the Bolognese; but
instead of St James, Christ and St Peter appear to perform
miracles.--Cfr. also the relationship of St Elias (and of the Russian
hero Ilya) feasted on the 21st of July, when the sun enters the sign
of the lion, with Helios, the hellenic sun.


      La gallina cantatura
      Nun si vinni, nè si duna,
      Si la mancia la patruna.

[427] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, i. 3, ii. 30; sometimes, instead of the
hen's feet we have the dog's paws; cfr. v. 28.

[428] Concerning this subject I can add an unpublished story which
Signor S. M. Greco sends me from Cosenza in Calabria:--A poor girl is
alone in the fields; she plucks a rampion, sees a stair, goes down,
and comes to the palace of the fairies, who at sight of her are
smitten with love. She asks to be allowed to go back to her mother,
and obtains permission; she tells her mother that she hears a noise
every night, without seeing anything, and is advised to light a candle
and she will see. Next evening the girl does so, and sees a youth of
great beauty with a looking-glass on his breast. The third evening she
does the same, but a drop of wax falls upon the looking-glass and
wakens the youth, who cries out lamentably, "Thou shalt go hence." The
girl wishes to go away; the fairies give her a full clew of thread,
with the advice that she must go to the top of the highest mountain
and leave the clew to itself; where it goes, thither must she follow.
She obeys, and arrives at a town which is in mourning on account of
the absence of the prince; the queen sees the girl from the window and
makes her come in. After some time she gives birth to a handsome son,
and a shoemaker, who works by night, begins to sing--

      "Sleep, sleep, my son;
       If your mother knew some day
       That you are my son,
       In a golden cradle she would put you to sleep,
       And in golden swaddling-clothes.
       Sleep, sleep, my son."

The queen then learns from the girl, that he who sings thus is the
prince, who is destined to stay far from the palace until the sun
rises without him perceiving it. Orders are then given to kill all the
fowls in the town, and to cover all the windows with a black veil
scattered over with diamonds, in order that the prince may believe it
is still night and may not perceive the rising of the sun. The prince
is deceived, and marries the maiden who is the fairies' favourite, and
they lived happy and contented,

      Whilst I, if you will believe me,
      Found myself with a thorn in my foot.

[429] Die schlaue Alte brachte bald heraus, was der Dorfhahn hinter
ihrem Rücken der jungsten Tochter ins Ohr gekräht hatte; Kreutzwald u.
Löwe, _Ehstnische Märchen_.

[430] In the annals of the city of Debreczen, in the year 1564, we read
as follows: "Æterna et exitialis memoria de incendio trium ordinum in
anno præsenti: feria secunda proxima ante fest. nat. Mariæ gloriosæ
exorta est flamma et incendium periculosum in platea Burgondia; eadem
similiter ebdomade exortum est incendium altera vice, de platea Csapo de
domo inquilinari Stephani literati, multas domos ... in cinerem redegit,
et quod majus inter cætera est, nobilissimi quoque templi divi Andreæ et
turris tecturæ combustæ sunt, ex qua turri et ejus pinnaculo, gallus
etiam æreus, a multis annis insomniter dies ac noctes jejuno stomacho
stans et in omnes partes advigilans, flammam ignis sufferre non valens,
invitus devolare, descendere et illam suam solitam stationem deserere
coactus est, qui gallus tantæ cladis commiserescens ac nimio dolore
obmutescens de pinnaculo desiliendio, collo confracto in terram
coincidens et suæ vitæ propriæ quoque non parcens, fidele suum servitium
invitus derelinquendo, misere expiravit et vitam suam finivit sic."

[431] Reinsberg von Düringsfeld observes (_Das festliche Jahr_), that
sometimes, for jest, in North Walsham, instead of the cock an owl is
put,--another funereal symbol with which we are already acquainted.

[432] Not only the egg of the hen is a symbol of abundance, but even
the bones of fowls served in popular tradition to represent
matrimonial faith and coition. In Russia, when two (probably husband
and wife) eat a fowl together, they divide the bone of the neck, the
English merrythought, between them; then each of them takes and keeps
a part, promising to remember this rupture. When either of the two
subsequently presents something to the other, the one who receives
must immediately say, "I remember;" if not, the giver says to him,
"Take and remember." The forgetful one loses the game. A similar game,
called the verde or green, is played in Tuscany during Lent between
lovers with a little twig of the box-tree.

[433] The sun is an egg at the beginning of day; he becomes, or finds,
an apple-tree in the evening, in the western garden of the Hesperides.




    White, red, and dark-coloured doves, ducks, geese, and swans.--The
    funereal dove; it is united with the owl; kapotas.--The doves flee
    from unhappy persons.--The dove and the hawk.--Two doves sacrifice
    themselves, one for the other; a form of the Açviṇâu.--The dove and
    the ant.--Transformation of the hero and heroine into doves.--The
    two prophetic doves upon the cross-trees of the mast.--Among
    funereal games, that of shooting arrows at a dove which hangs from
    the mast of a ship.--The doves of Dodona.--The dove and the
    water.--St Radegonda as a dove preserves sailors from shipwreck.--A
    dove guides the Argonauts.--The soul of Semiramis becomes a
    dove.--It is sacrilege to eat a dove.--Hero and heroine become
    doves, in order to escape.--The dove as the bringer of joy, of
    light, of good; it is a symbol of the winter that ends, and of the
    spring which is beginning.--The daughters of Anius become white
    doves.--Two doves separate the barley for the girl.--The fireworks,
    the stove, and the car of Indras, perform the same miracles, _i.e._,
    they make beautiful the girl with the ugly skin.--Zezolla benefited
    by the dove of the fairies.--The doves on the rosebush.--The nymph
    Peristera helps Aphroditê to pluck flowers.--The phallical
    dove.--The word _haṅsas_; the guç-lebedi of Russian tales.--Agnis as
    a haṅsas.--The Marutas as haṅsâs.--The horses of the two Açvinâu as
    haṅsâs.--The duck makes its nest upon the thief's head.--Bṛibus on
    the thieves' head; Bṛibus as Indras, and as a bird.--Brahman upon
    the haṅsâs.--The sun as a golden duck.--The betrothed wife as a
    duck.--The arrows of Râmas as haṅsâs.--Kabandhas drawn by
    haṅsâs.--The haṅsâs as love messengers.--The geese-swans and the
    young hero in Russian tales.--The serpent-witch and the princess as
    a white duck.--The golden and silver eggs of the duck.--The golden
    egg of the duck causes the death of the horse.--The geese of the
    Capitol.--The goose which, after having been cooked, rises again
    alive.--Geese as discoverers of deceits.--The Valkiries as
    swans.--Berta the Reine pédauque.--The wild goose on the bush.--The
    goose eaten on St Michael's Day.--The hero and the swan.--The
    kingdom of the San Graal.--The legend of Lohengrin; a variety of the
    myth of the Açvinâu; Lohengrin and Elsa's brother, the sun and the
    moon.--The legend of the Dioskuroi; Zeus as a swan; the Dioskuroi
    deliver Helen, as Lohengrin delivers Elsa.

Inasmuch as there is the white dove and the dove-coloured one,[434]
the white duck and goose, the duck and the dark-coloured or
fire-coloured goose, the white swan and the flamingo, the red swan and
the black, these birds, dove, goose, duck, and swan, from the
diversity of colour which they assume upon the earth, also assumed
mythical aspects which are sometimes contradictory when translated to
the sky to represent celestial phenomena. While the white ones served
for the more poetical images of mythology, the red and the dark ones
offered aspects now benignant, now malignant, alluring the hero now to
his ruin, and now, instead, to good fortune. The red hues, for
example, of the western sky appear as flames into which the witch
wishes to precipitate the young hero; the roseate tints of the eastern
heavens, on the contrary, are generally the pyre or furnace in which
the hero burns the ill-favoured witch who endeavours to ruin him; from
the dawn of morning, from the white sky, from the snow of winter, from
the white earth or white swan, the golden egg (the sun) comes forth;
now the beautiful maiden, now the young hero emerges from it--the
aurora and the sun, or else the spring and the sun. The evening sun
and aurora in the night, the sun and the verdant earth, which divests
itself of its varicoloured attire in autumn, veil, cover, and lose
themselves; their most vivid hues become obscure in the gloom of
night, or are covered by the snow of winter; the hero becomes a
dark-coloured dove, or a gloomy swan which crosses the waters. I have
noted more than once how the night of the year corresponds to those of
the day; the sun which hides itself in the night of evening, and the
sun which veils itself in the night of winter, are often represented
by the same mythical images.

Let us now see under what mythical aspects the dove, the duck, and the
swan appear in the East, in order to compare them with Western

The _Ṛigvedas_ presents us with the funereal dove, the grey or
dark-coloured dove, the messenger of the nocturnal or wintry darkness.
Seeing it is joined in the Vedic hymn with the owl, it was supposed
that it represented some other bird than the dove, and interpreters
were fain to recognise in the Vedic kapotas the _turdus macrourus_
rather than the dove; but this interpretation seems to me
inadmissible, since the Vedic kapotas appears as a domestic bird, and
one which approaches the dwellings of men, habits which thrushes have
not, and which doves have. In the 165th hymn of the tenth book of the
_Ṛigvedas_, the kapotas is exorcised as a messenger of the funereal
Nirṛitis, of death, and of Yamas the god of the dead, in order that it
may do no evil: "Be propitious to us," cries the poet, "be propitious
to us, rapid (or messenger) kapotas; inoffensive may the bird be unto
us, O gods, in the houses. When the owl emits that painful cry, when
the kapotas touches the fire, honour be to Mṛityus, to Yamas, whose
messenger it is."[435] As birds of evil omen also must the doves be
recognised, which flee from the unhappy in the _Pańćatantram_.[436] In
the dove pursued by the hawk (the hawk has also in Sanskṛit the name
of kapotâris, or enemy of doves) of the Buddhist legend concerning the
king who sacrifices himself to keep his word, which has been recorded
in the chapter on the hawk, the hawk is the form taken by Indras, and
the dove the form of Agnis, the fire. The same legend is found again
in the _Tuti-Name_, with this variation that the vulture takes the
place of the falcon, and Moses that of the Buddhist king. In order to
fulfil the duties of hospitality, he cuts off as much of his own flesh
as the dove weighs, to give it to the vulture, who takes in jest the
same part of the hero which the hatred of races and religious
fanaticism make the Jew of Venice, immortalised by the genius of
Shakspeare, demand with seriousness. In other Hindoo varieties of the
same legend of the hero who sacrifices himself, we find two doves (in
the _Pańćatantram_) which sacrifice themselves one for the other; two
doves that love one another (in the _Tuti-Name_,[437] they are two
turtle-doves). Here we have a form of the two Açvinâu, of the two
brothers of whom one sacrifices himself for the other; the well-known
fable of La Fontaine, _Les Deux Pigeons_, is a reminiscence of this
Eastern legend. In the same way, a variety of the legend of the two
brothers is contained in the fable of Æsop, and of La Fontaine, of the
dove that throws a blade of grass into the water to the ant that is
about to drown, and thus saves it, for which reason the grateful ant
soon after bites the foot of the hunter who has caught the dove, so
that he is compelled to let it go. In the chapter which treats of the
swallow, we saw the beautiful maiden upon the tree at the fountain
changed into a swallow by the witch's enchantment; numerous other
legends, instead of the transformation into a swallow, give us that
into a dove.[438] The stories of the maiden Filadoro and of the Island
of the Ogres, in the _Pentamerone_;[439] a Piedmontese story
communicated by me in 1866 to my friend Professor Alexander
Wesselofski, who published it in his essay upon the poet Pucci; the
thirteenth Sicilian story of Signora Gonzenbach (of which the twelfth
story is a variation); the forty-ninth story of the sixth book of
_Afanassieff_ (a variety of which occurs at the end of the fifth of
the stories of Santo Stefano di Calcinaia), and a great number of
analogous European stories, reproduce this subject of the maiden
transformed into a dove by the witch's enchantment: as the swallow is
white and black, so does the dove into which the beautiful maiden is
transformed appear now white and now black. No less numerous are the
stories in which, instead of the young princess, we read of young
princes transformed into doves; I publish here two unpublished Tuscan
stories which refer to this subject, and which (particularly the
second) are of great interest.[440]

Hitherto the dove has appeared as a mournful and diabolical form
assumed by the hero or heroine, on compulsion of external magic. Of
funereal character, too, are the two doves which place themselves upon
the cross-trees of the ship in which Gennariello is carrying a hawk, a
horse, and a white and red bride with black hair to his brother
Milluccio (a variation of the legend of the Açvinâu, and of that of
the youth who sacrifices himself for his brother). The two doves
speak to each other; one says that Gennariello is taking to his
brother Milluccio a hawk which immediately after its arrival will tear
out his eyes, and that he who should warn Milluccio of it, or not take
the hawk to him, would turn to marble; then that Gennariello is taking
to his brother Milluccio a horse which, as soon as it is ridden, will
break his neck, and that he who should warn Milluccio of this, or not
take the horse to him, would turn, to marble; and finally, it says
that Gennariello is taking to his brother a wife on whose account a
dragon will devour the bride and bridegroom during the first night of
their union, and that he who should warn Milluccio of this, or not
take the bride to him, would turn to marble. The cunning Gennariello
takes hawk, horse, and bride to Milluccio; but before he takes the
hawk in his hand, Gennariello cuts off its head; before he rides the
horse, Gennariello cuts its legs off; and before the dragon comes up
to devour the bride and bridegroom, Gennariello shears off its head.
Milluccio, who has not seen the dragon, sees his brother with a knife
in his hand, and thinks that he has come to kill him; he has him bound
and condemned to death. In order not to escape this fate, Gennariello
reveals everything and turns to marble. Milluccio learns that by
anointing the marble with the blood of his two little sons, his
brother can be recalled to life; he slaughters his children; the
mother, in despair, goes to the window to kill herself by throwing
herself down, but she sees her father coming towards her, and
shouting, "Drinto na nugola." He resuscitates her children, saying
that it was to avenge himself, he had caused such bitter pain to all;
on Gennariello, because he had carried off his daughter; on Milluccio,
who was the cause of her being carried off; on his daughter, because
she had eloped from her home. The two doves that perched upon the
crosstrees of the mast were therefore messengers of death to the hero
and to the heroine, as sometimes, on the other hand, they are their
own funereal form. The reader will doubtless remember how, in the
funeral of Patroclus in the _Iliad_, amongst the funereal games, there
is that of shooting arrows at a dove hung upon the mast of a ship.
(He will also remember the two prophetic doves which gave responses
upon two oak-trees or beeches at Dodona, and which cried, "Zeus was,
Zeus is, Zeus will be, O Zeus, the greatest of the gods!") The dove
here appears in connection with funereal waters; the fable is well
known of the dove that meets with its death by beating its head
against a wall upon which water is painted.[441] In the legend of
Queen Radegonda, the holy queen, in the form of a dove, delivers
sailors from shipwreck. According to Apollonios, a dove was the guide
of the Argonauts. It is said that Semiramis was transformed into one
after her death. The dove also appears as a funereal symbol in
Christian monuments; hence, and from its use as the symbol of the St
Esprit, the superstition cherished by a great portion of the people in
Italy, Germany, Holland, and Russia, to the effect that it is a sin to
eat a dove. It is well-known what reverence was shown to it in
antiquity, particularly in Syria and in Palestine.

Sometimes the form of a dove is voluntarily assumed by the two young
lovers, to flee from the persecution of the monster; as, for instance,
in the sixth of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano_. Sometimes the
funereal dove (like the funereal crow) is the bringer of joy and good
things to men and gods. The popular custom of the artificial dove,
commonly called the dove of the Pazzi (from the name of the noble
Florentine family which possessed the privilege), which, at Florence,
on Holy Saturday, that is to say, Easter Eve, starts from the altar of
the Cathedral, and flies at midday to light the fireworks upon the
little square between Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery of St
John, to announce that Christ has risen to a crowd of peasants, who
have flocked in from the country to augur from the dove's flight
whether they will have a good harvest in the following year,--is a
symbol of the end of winter, and of the commencement of spring. In the
_Metamorphoses_ of Ovid, the daughters of Anius, by the grace of
Bacchus, change into corn, wine, and oil, whatever they touch,
according to the words of the same Anius--

                        "Tactu natarum cuncta mearum
      In segetem, laticemque meri, baccamque Minervæ

Agamemnon wishes to have them with him to provision the army; the
daughters of Anius refuse; Agamemnon then purposes compelling them by
main force; but Bacchus takes pity upon them, and transforms them into
white doves. In the thirtieth story of the sixth book of
_Afanassieff_, two doves (a form of the Açvinâu) come to separate the
barley for Masha or Little Mary, the black (ćornushka) or ugly or
dirty little girl, the persecuted Cinderella, and then making her
mount upon the stove, transform her into an exceedingly beautiful
maiden, renewing thus the miracle of Indras (and of the Açvinâu), who
restores to beauty the maiden of the ugly skin. The fireworks of the
popular Tuscan custom, the stove, and the car of Indras perform the
same miracle. In the sixth story of the first book of the
_Pentamerone_, the maiden Zezolla, called at home "a cat, a
cinder-girl," because she was always watching the fire, ill-treated at
home by her step-mother, is benefited by the dove of the fairies of
the island of Sardinia, which sends her a plant that yields golden
dates, a golden spade, a little golden bucket, and a silk tablecloth.
The girl must cultivate the plant, and simply remember, when she
wishes for some favour, to say--

      "Dattolo mio 'naurato,
       Co la zappatella d'oro t'haggio zappato,
       Co lo secchietello d'oro t'haggio adacquato,
       Co la tovaglia de seta t'haggio asciuttato;
       Spoglia a te, e vieste a me."

The date-tree yields some of its riches to adorn the maiden. Thus,
when the young king proclaims a festival, she goes disguised in regal
attire, and dances with an effect that outdazzles like a sun. When she
is followed by the prince the first time, she throws gold behind her;
the second time, pearls; the third, her slipper; and by means of it
she is recognised and espoused. In the twenty-second Esthonian story,
when the young prince-lover arrives, two doves perch upon the
rose-bush, in which the beautiful daughter of the gardener is enclosed
by enchantment; the beautiful maiden comes out of the rose-bush, and,
showing the half of her ring, weds the prince who has preserved the
other half. In the Hellenic myth, Aphroditê and Love play at seeing
who will pluck most flowers; winged Love is winning, but the nymph
Peristera helps Aphroditê; Love indignant, changes her into the
peristera or dove, which Aphroditê, to console her, takes under her
protection. The doves now draw the chariot of Venus, and now (like the
sparrows) accompany it. In the _Odyssey_ the doves bring the ambrosia
to Zeus,[442] and it is in the form of a dove that Zeus (well known
to be an _alter ego_ of Indras) visits the virgin Phthia. Catullus,
speaking of Cæsar's _salacitas_, makes mention of the _columbulum
albulum_, or little dove of Venus.[443] In this passage the dove
becomes a phallical symbol; and we are reminded of the well-known
mythical episode of the animal, bird, or fish which laughs, by the
equivocal Italian proverb, "The dove that laughs wants the bean" (said
of a woman when she smiles upon her lover[444]). It is narrated of
Aphroditê, that she cured Aspasia of a tumour by the help of a dove;
here the dove does to Aspasia the same service as the rudder of
Indras's chariot to Apalâ in the Vedic legend.

But in mythical tradition the place of the doves is sometimes taken by
ducks, which are exchanged for swans.

The Hindoo word _haṅsas_ means now swan, now duck (anas, anser), now
goose, now phænicopterus. No wonder then that the myths exchanged,
one for another, animals which were confounded together under one and
the same appellation. Russian stories call the birds goose-swans
(guçlebedi) which now carry off, and now save the young hero.

In the Vedic hymns, the haṅsas (duck-swan or goose-swan) is
represented more than once. Agnis, the fire, when entreated to arouse
himself in houses with the aurora, is compared to a swan in the waters
(or to the light in the darkness, to white upon black, or the sun in
the azure sky[445]). The god Agnis is himself called haṅsas, the
companion (as a thunderbolt) of the movable (waves or clouds), going
in company with the celestial waters.[446] The song of the companions
of Bṛihaspatis, singing hymns to the cows or auroræ of the morn,
resembles the song of the haṅsâs.[447] The Marutas, with the splendid
bodies (the winds that lighten, howl, and thunder) are compared to
haṅsâs with black backs[448] (which reminds us of the swallows with
black backs and with white ones, of black crows and white crows, black
swans and white ones). The horses of the two Açvinâu are compared to
haṅsâs, ambrosial, innocent, with golden wings, which waken with the
aurora (being sunbeams), which swim in the waters, joyful and
merry.[449] In the Russian stories of _Afanassieff_,[450] a duck comes
to make its nest upon the head of the thief who has fallen into the
waters out of the sky. The duck lays a golden egg (the sun) in its
nest at morn, and a silver egg (the moon) at even. In the _Ṛigvedas_,
I read that upon the head of the thieves (Paṇayas), similar to the
vast forest of the Ganges, at its higher part, Bṛibuḥ went to place
himself, scattering thousands of gifts.[451] I think I can recognise
in Bṛibus a bird and a personification of Indras. Bṛibus is, in
Çâñkhâyanas, represented as a takshan, which is explained as a
constructor, an artificer, a carpenter; hence Bṛibus is supposed to be
the carpenter of the Paṇayas. But this seems improbable, besides being
in contradiction to the Vedic strophe. The proper primitive sense of
the word _takshan_ is the cutter, he who breaks in pieces; in Bṛibus,
therefore, I recognise not the carpenter of the Paṇayas, but their
destroyer. As we also find, in another Vedic hymn,[452] Bṛibus in
connection with two other birds, viz., the bharadvaǵas (the lark) and
the stokas (the cuckoo), I am induced to suppose that Bṛibus too is a
bird. Finally, as I find Bṛibus in connection with Indras, I see in
this bird that perches upon the head of the Paṇayas, a form of the god
Indras himself. The duck, in Russian stories, deposits its egg upon
the robber's head; thus Indras takes their treasures off the head of
the Paṇayas. We already know of the pearls which fall from the head of
the good fairy, combed by the virtuous maiden; we also know that the
mythical waters are in relation with the treasures. We must record
here the legend of the _Râmâyaṇam_ concerning the origin of the
Ganges, which, before pouring its waters upon the earth, let them
wander for a long time upon the hairy head of the god Çivas, who is a
more elevated form of Kuveras, the god of riches.[453] We know also
that the pearl and the egg are the same in the myths.

The god Brahman is represented in Hindoo mythology riding upon a white

In the _Râmâyaṇam_, the sky is compared to a lake of which the
resplendent sun is the golden duck.[454] Râmas (a form of the sun
Vishṇus), whose speech has the accent of the haṅsas drunk with
love,[455] hurls with his divine bow an arrow which penetrates through
seven palm-trees, the mountain, and the earth, out of which it
afterwards comes, and returns to Râmas in the form of a haṅsas.[456]
Kabandhas, who, when traversing the fire, is released by his monstrous
form, is drawn by haṅsâs whilst ascending into heaven.[457] Finally,
the haṅsâs are well known which served as love-messengers between the
prince Nalas and the Princess Damayantî in the celebrated episode of
the _Mahâbhâratam_.

In the fourth story of the first book of _Afanassieff_, little Johnny
(Ivasco) is upon an oak-tree, which the witch is gnawing, to possess
herself of him; three flights of geese-swans pass one after the other;
Johnny begs for their assistance; the first flight refuse; as also
the second; those of the third take Johnny upon their wings and carry
him home.[458] In the nineteenth story of the sixth book, the
geese-swans assume, on the contrary, a malignant aspect, carrying the
little brother on their wings away from his negligent sister. The
story says that these animals have had for a long time the evil
reputation of carrying little children off. The geese-swans carry the
boy into a fairy's house, where he plays with golden apples. The
sister follows upon his track; she inquires at a stove, an apple-tree,
and a brook of milk, where the goose-swans have carried the boy to,
but learns nothing; at last the malicious little iosz (the sea-urchin)
reveals to her the secret. The sister takes her brother and carries
him home, having been followed by the geese-swans and having had to
hide herself during her flight by the brook, by the apple-tree and
then by the stove.

But if geese, ducks, and swans sometimes do evil, or are sometimes
diabolical forms assumed by the witch's deceit, they generally produce
good and conduct to good. In a variation of the forty-sixth story of
the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the geese predict the future to Ivan
the merchant's son, who, having been to school under the devil, learns
there, amongst other things, the language of birds. In the sixtieth
story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, the swan, a beautiful
maiden, helps the unhappy Danilo, whom the prince has ordered to sew a
pelisse which must have golden lions for buttons and birds from beyond
the seas for button-holes; the same swan performs other miracles for
the youth whom she loves. In the forty-sixth story of the fourth book
of _Afanassieff_, the old serpent-witch makes the princess become a
white duck during the prince's absence. The duck lays three eggs, out
of which she has three sons, two handsome, and one ill-favoured, but
cunning. The witch kills, during their sleep, the two handsome sons
and turns them to ducks; the third escapes by means of his cunning;
the white duck, anxious about her sons, flies to the prince's palace
and begins to sing--

      "Krià, krià, my little sons!
       Krià, krià, little pigeons!
       The old witch has extinguished you;
       The old witch, the malignant serpent,
       The deceitful malignant serpent!
       Your own father has carried you off,
       Your own father, my husband!
       She drowned us in the rapid stream,
       She transformed us into little white ducks,
       And she herself lives in regal pomp!"

The prince has the duck caught by the wings, and says, "White
birch-tree, put thyself behind; beautiful maiden, before." At this
magical formula, the tree rises behind him and he finds his beautiful
princess before him. He then compels the witch to bring the little
children to life again.

The death of the duck sometimes makes the fortune of the hero or the
heroine, on account of the egg which it produces (the sun in the
morning and the moon in the evening). In the fifty-third story of the
fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the young hero, by the advice of an
unknown young man, goes to seek under the roots of a birch-tree a duck
which lays one day (in the morning) a golden egg, and next day (in the
evening) a silver one; upon its breast, the following words are
written in golden letters:--"He who eats its head will become king; he
who eats the heart will spit gold." He carries it to his mother when
his father is absent and his mother has an intrigue with another
gentleman. The gentleman reads the golden letters and advises the
woman to have the duck cooked; but the two sons are before him; and
whilst their mother is at mass, one eats the head and the other the
heart of the duck, and meet with the adventures which are related in
the chapter on the Horse.[459] The golden egg of the duck causes the
death of the witch and the monster in numerous Slavonic stories. In
the thirty-third story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, a
marvellous goose, of the same nature as those that in the Capitol
warned the Romans of the ambuscade of the Gauls, discovers the
traitors. The wife of a rich merchant asks her husband to procure for
her the marvel of marvels. Her husband buys, in the twenty-seventh
world and in the thirtieth kingdom (which is the kingdom of the other
night-world), from an old man,[460] a goose which, after having been
cooked and eaten, all except the bones, rises again alive. The goose
performs the same miracle in the merchant's house; on the morrow, when
the husband is absent, his wife invites a lover of hers into the house
and wishes to cook the goose to welcome him. She says to it, "Come
here;" the goose obeys; she commands it to get into the frying-pan,
but it refuses. The woman puts it in by force, but remains fastened to
the frying-pan;[461] the lover tries to release her, but sticks fast
also; the servants come to the rescue, and stick one to the other and
all to the frying-pan, until the husband appears, hears his wife's
confession, thrashes the lover and releases the woman from the goose.

In the _Pentamerone_, too, geese appear as discoverers of deceits.
Marziella, when she combs her hair, scatters pearls and flower-buds
about her; when she walks, lilies and violets grow up under her
feet;[462] her brother Ciommo is to conduct her to the king as his
wife; but the old aunt changes the bride, putting her own ugly
daughter in the place of her beautiful niece. The indignant king sends
Ciommo to pasture the geese; he neglects them, but Marziella, who had
been carried off by a siren, comes from the bottom of the sea to feed
them, "de pasta riale," and to give them "rose-water" to drink. The
geese grow fat, and begin to sing near the king's palace--

                          "Pire, pire, pire;
      Assai bello è lo sole co la luna;
      Assai chiù bella è chi coverna a nuie."

The king sends a servant after the geese, and thus discovers
everything; he wishes to marry the beautiful maiden, but the siren
keeps her tied with a golden chain; the king, with a noiseless file,
files with his own hands the chain which keeps the maiden's foot fast,
and thereafter marries her.[463] It is a gooseherd who, in the
twentieth Esthonian story, releases the beautiful girl from the
monster husband, the killer of his wives (a form of Barbebleu).

In the Russian story, the fairy maidens (in German traditions, the
Virgin Mary too) sometimes take, in order to cross the waters, the
form of geese-swans; thus in the _Eddas_, three Valkyries spin on the
shores of the lake, with their swan forms close behind them. "The
maidens," sings the poem of Völund, "flew from the south across
Mörkved, in order that the young Allhvit might be able to accomplish
his destiny. The daughters of the South sat down upon the shore to
spin the precious cloth. One of them, the most beautiful maiden of the
world, was clasped to the white bosom of Egil; Svanhvit, the second,
wore swan's feathers; the third embraced the white neck of
Völund."[464] To the Bertha of popular German tradition, only the foot
of the white goose or of the swan of the Valkyries has remained; hence
her name of Foot-of-goose and of _Reine pédauque_, in the same way as
the swan's foot alone has remained to the goddess Freya.

When the form of a duck, a goose, or a swan is destroyed, the young hero
or the young heroine alone remain. In a German tradition, quoted by
Simrock in his _German Mythology_, we find an enchanted hunter who
strikes a wild goose on the flight, and which falls into a bush; he
comes up to take it, and instead of it (in the same way as we saw above,
the rosebush on which the doves perch) a naked woman rises before him.
The custom of eating a goose in England on St Michael's Day, is referred
by tradition to the times of Queen Elizabeth, who, on St Michael's Day,
received the news of the defeat of the Invincible Armada, when she had
just eaten a goose. But inasmuch as, according to Baron von
Reinsberg-Düringsfield, the custom of eating a goose on St Michael's Day
dates from the times of Edward IV., we must admit that Queen Elizabeth
conformed to a popular custom which already existed in England.[465] St
Michael's goose announces the winter like the halcyon. It is eaten as an
augury of the termination of the rainy and wintry season, inasmuch as
when the aquatic bird, the halcyon, the goose, the duck, or the swan,
finds no more water, when the sea of night, or the snow of winter dries
up, when the aquatic bird is wounded, or is eaten, or dies, the golden
egg is found, the sun comes out, the aurora returns, the winter appears
again, the young hero and the beautiful maiden come forth. When the hero
or heroine becomes an aquatic bird,[466] when he becomes a swan, is
drawn by a swan, or rides upon it, it means that he is traversing the
sea of death, and that he is returning to the kingdom of the San Graal.
When he comes on the swan to meet the beautiful maiden, no one must ask
him whence he came. The swan awaits him and will draw him once more
under its magic power, and into its gloomy kingdom, as soon as this
kingdom is remembered by the living. The imagination of the Celtic and
Germanic nations has, in a cycle of numerous and fascinating legends,
invested with solemn mystery this myth, to which the inspired and
classical music of Richard Wagner has, in Lohengrin, imparted a new
attractive magic. Lohengrin, the _recens natus_, the hero born of
himself, arrives in a boat drawn by a swan, into which a sorceress has
transformed Elsa's young brother: he comes to deliver the Princess Elsa,
and is about to marry her, but he does not forget that as long as he
remains with her, so much the longer will the torment of her brother
endure, so much the longer will he suffer in the shape of a swan; woe to
him if any one asks who he is, whence he came, or what that swan is, for
he would then be obliged to remember that the swan waits for him to
deliver it. Lohengrin must either renounce his love for Elsa, or betray
his cavalier's faith to the swan, of whose mysterious nature he is
cognisant; he bids a funereal farewell to Elsa, reunites her with her
young brother, and mournfully disappears on the gloomy waters, over
whose moonlit depths he had come. This is the legend of the two
brothers, raised to its utmost poetic and ideal power by Northern
genius. The sun and the moon appear in turns before the dawn and the
spring. They are separated, and one delivers the other in the legends
inspired by the good genie of man, as in others inspired by his evil
genie, one persecutes and deceives the other. We have, even in the Vedic
hymns, the Açvinâu, the divine twins, identified now with the twilights,
now with the sun and the moon, drawn by swans; Lohengrin is the sun;
Elsa's brother is the moon. When the evening aurora, when the autumnal
earth, loses the sun, it finds the moon; when the morning aurora or the
vernal earth loses the moon, the sun takes its place; the lovers change
places. One swan causes the birth of the other, carries the other, dies
for the other, like one dove for the other, and as the Dioskuroi lay
down their lives for each other. And, in truth, the legend of the
Dioskuroi is, in some points, in marvellous accordance with the Northern
legends of the rider of the swan. Zeus becomes a swan and unites himself
with Leda, wife of Tyndareos, and generates by her the sun and the moon,
Polüdeukes and Helen; according to Homer Helen alone is Zeus's daughter,
and Polüdeukes and Kastor are sons of Tyndareos; according to Herodotos,
Helen, on the contrary, is the daughter of Tyndareos, and this is in
accordance with Euripides, who tells us that the Dioskuroi are sons of
Zeus. In the _Heroides_ of Ovid, where the primitive tradition has
already been altered, Leda, after having united herself to the swan
Zeus, gives birth to two eggs; Helen comes out of one, Kastor and
Polüdeukes out of the other. Evidently _tot capita tot sententiæ_; but
these contradictions, far from excluding the myth of the sun, the moon,
and the aurora (or of the spring) confirm it. It is always difficult to
determine the paternity of a child who is born in an irregular manner,
and the birth of Helen and her two brothers was certainly extraordinary.
What is important here is that we have the swan which generates sons in
Leda; these sons, who are partly of the nature of the bird, and partly
of that of the woman, must assume a double form, and now become swans
like their father, now shine in their mother's beauty; when, moreover,
we think that only one of the brothers was, with Helen, born of the
swan, it becomes natural to think of the other brother who may love
Helen without being guilty of incest.[467] Before becoming famous by the
varied fortunes of Troy, Helen, as a girl, had her adventures; Theseus
seduced her and carried her off. The Dioskuroi come to deliver her in
the same way as Lohengrin comes upon the swan to deliver Elsa, whilst
her seducer is about to effect her ruin. Finally, the adventures of the
two Dioskuroi, of whom one sacrifices himself for the other, correspond
to the legend of the Schwanritter, the brother, or brother-in-law, who,
on account of the swan offers up his own life. Thus India, Greece, and
Germany united, in various forms, the figure of the swan with the story
of the two brothers, or of the two companions; India created the myth,
Greece coloured it, Germany has imbued it with passionate energy and


[434] The Indian word _kapotas_, which means a dove, also indicates
the grey colour of antimony, the colour of the commonest species of
doves, and of those which are fed on St Mark's Place at Venice.

[435] Çivaḥ kapota ishito no astu anâgâ devâḥ çakuno gṛiheshu; str.
2.--For the fourth strophe, cfr. the chapter which treats of the Owl.

[436] ii. 9.

[437] ii. 239.--Cfr. the chapter on the Eagle.

[438] It appears to me that the same confusion arose between _coluber_
and _columba_ as between _chelüdros_, a kind of serpent, and
_chelidôn_, a swallow. The beautiful maiden upon a tree occurs even in
the _Tuti-Name_, i. 178, _seq._

[439] ii. 7, and v. 9

[440] They were related to me at Antignano near Leghorn by the peasant
woman Uliva Selvi:--

A gentleman had twelve sons and one daughter, who had, by enchantment,
been metamorphosed into an eagle, and was kept in a cage. The father
takes the twelve sons to mass every day; every day he meets an old
beggar-woman and gives alms to her; one day, however, he has no money
with him, and therefore gives her nothing; the old woman curses him,
wishing that he may never see his sons again. No sooner said than
done; the twelve sons become twelve doves and fly away. The despairing
father and mother begin to weep; in their despair they forget to feed
the eagle. Opposite the gentleman's house the king lived, who becomes
enamoured of the eagle as though of a beautiful maiden; he has her
stolen and replaced by another eagle. Not far thence there lived a
washerwoman who had such a beautiful daughter that she never let her
go out except at night. They wash at the fountain surrounded by
poplar-trees; at midnight, as they wash, they hear a noise among the
poplar-trees, and the maiden is afraid. One night they listen and hear
the doves speaking and telling one another the incidents of the day,
where they had been and what they had been doing. They then fly into a
beautiful garden; the girl follows them; they enter into a beautiful
palace, and the washerwoman relates what she has seen to the
gentleman, who rejoices, and promises a great reward to the
washerwoman if she will show him where his sons go to sleep. Both
father and mother go to see; the pigeons speak, and say, "Were our
mother to see us ..."; they then fly away. The gentleman then consults
an astrologer, who advises him to allure the old witch into his house
by the promise of alms, to shut her up in a room, and to compel her by
main force to indicate the means of turning the pigeons into youths
once more, or else to kill her. The old woman gives a powder which,
when scattered on the highest mountain, will make the pigeons return
home. The father goes to the mountain, scatters the powder and returns
home, where he finds his sons, who are inquiring after the eagle. They
go to see it and do not recognise it; they complain to their mother of
this. Meanwhile, the young king is always near his eagle as if making
love to it; and his mother is displeased at it. The twelve brothers
meet a fairy who, for some alms, tells who has their eagle, and that
it will soon return home a beautiful maiden. And the eagle becomes a
beautiful girl and is married by the king.

There was once a king who had a handsome son, enamoured of a beautiful
princess. He is carried off with two servants by the magicians and
transformed into a pigeon; the servants undergo the same
metamorphosis; one becomes green, one red, and the other greyish
violet (pavonazzo). They take him into a beautiful palace where he
must stay for seven years. Each has a large basin,--one is of gold,
another of silver, and the third of bronze. When they plunge into
them, they become three handsome youths. The princess, meanwhile, is
dying to know where her lover is gone; she goes to have her hair
combed on a terrace; the three pigeons carry away her looking-glass,
then the ribbon of her hair, and then her comb. A great festival
occurs in this town, to which the girls of the land go by night; on
the way, one of them, near the break of day, turns aside for a few
minutes; she sees a golden gate, finds a little gold key on the earth,
opens the door and enters into a fine garden. At the end of the path
there is a beautiful palace, into which she goes; she finds the three
basins of gold, silver, and bronze, and sees the pigeons become young
men. Meanwhile the king's daughter falls ill of grief, and is to all
appearance dying; the king resolves to have her cured at any cost. The
girl who had been in the place relates to the king's daughter all that
she has seen; the latter is cured and goes with the girl to the
palace; they find it, enter, and see a table laid for three persons;
the two girls hide themselves. The prince and the princess meet with
one another; but the prince, upon seeing her, is full of despair,
saying that her impatience has prolonged the enchantment for seven
years more, whilst it had at the time only three more days to run. He
becomes a pigeon again; she must stay for seven years upon a tower
exposed to all the inclemency of the seasons. Seven years pass by; the
princess has become so ugly that she looks like a beast, with long
hair all over her burned skin. The enchantment comes to an end for him
after seven years; he goes to look for her; she says, "How much have I
suffered for you!" The prince does not recognise her, and leaves her;
she is left naked in a dense forest, and goes to seek her father.
Night comes on, and the princess and her servant-maid do not know
where to take refuge; they climb up a tree, whence they perceive a
light. They walk towards it and find a beautiful little palace; a
beautiful lady, a fairy, shows herself, and asks, "Is this you,
Caroline?" This was the princess's name. But the fairy can give no
news of the prince, and sends her on to another fairy, her sister,
with the same result; she then goes to a third fairy, walking a double
distance each time. The three fairies were three queens who had been
betrayed by the same young prince. The third fairy gives to the
princess a magical rod; she must go to the prince and do to him what
he did to her--spit in his face, to wit. She is brought in a boat
before the young king's palace, and there, following the fairy's
instructions, she raises, by means of the rod, a beautiful palace, a
palace more beautiful than that of the king, with a beautiful
fountain. The young king wishes to go and see it; he sees a beautiful
princess and kisses his hand to her, but she shuts the window in his
face. He then invites her to dinner, but she refuses. He sends her a
magnificent diamond, which she gives to her majordomo, saying that she
has many more beautiful. He then sends her a splendid dress, which can
be taken in the palm of the hand; she tears it into pieces and gives
it to the cook to be used for kitchen purposes. The young king becomes
passionately enamoured of her, and sends to her his best watch, which
she gives also to her majordomo. He falls ill of a dreadful fever and
wishes to marry her; he sends his mother. The princess laughs at the
prince and refuses to come, saying, "Why does he not come himself?"
His mother begs again that she will come. "Let him come," she answers;
and at last she consents to come if they will make from her palace to
that of the king a covered way so well and thickly made that not a ray
of light can enter, and which she may be able to pass through with her
equipage. Half way, the covering opens, and the sunbeams enter, upon
which she disappears. (Cfr. the Indian myth of Urvaçî). The king being
about to die, his mother returns to the princess, who demands that
they bring him to her as if dead, in a bier. The king confesses that
he has betrayed four maidens, and that it is on account of the fourth
that he is coming to such a miserable end. The princess laughs at him
and spits twice in his face; the third time he rises again, they are
reconciled and married. (The spitting of the princess, which makes the
dead prince rise again, is the dew of the ambrosia, or of spring,
which brings the sun to life again.)--Cfr. the stories ii. 5, iv. 8,
of the _Pentamerone_, and v. 22 of _Afanassieff_.

[441] It is said of the widowed turtle-dove that it will never drink
again in any fountain of limpid water for fear of reviving the image
of its lost companion by seeing its own in the water. The Christians
pretend that the voice of the turtle-dove represents the cry, the
sighing, and afterwards, for the resurrection of Christ, the joy of
Mary Magdalen. Ælianos says that the turtle-dove is sacred not only to
the goddess of love, and to the goddess of harvests, but also to the
funereal Parcæ.

[442] In the legend of St Remy it is a dove that carries to the saint
the flagon of water with which he must baptize King Clodoveus.


      "Et ille nunc superbus et superfluens
       Perambulabit omnium cubilia,
       Ut albulus columbus, aut Adoneus?
       Cinæde Romule, hæc videbis et feres?"

The chastity and the proverbial conjugal fidelity attributed to doves is
here denied. Catullus had evidently closely observed the habits of these
animals, which are sometimes, on the contrary, of a shameless
infidelity. I have seen a white dove, who, in the presence of his wife,
intent upon hatching her eggs, violated the nuptial bed of a gray dove,
at a moment when the jealous husband was eating; the wife accepted the
caresses of the husband and of the lover in the same passive attitude.

[444] We may also record here another Italian proverb, "To take two
doves with one bean." In Italian anatomy a part of the phallos is
called a bean (fava). The birds, and especially the thrushes and the
doves, according to the popular belief, not only have the faculty of
making other birds, but even plants fruitful. The words of Pliny,
_Hist. Nat._ xvi. 44, have already been quoted by Prof. Kuhn: "Omnino
autem satum nullo modo nascitur, nec nisi per alvum avium redditum,
maxime palumbis ac turdis."

[445] Çvasity apsu haṅso na sîdan kratvâ ćetishṭho viçâm usharbhut;
_Ṛigv._ i. 65, 9.

[446] Bîbhatsûnâṁ sayuǵam haṅsam âhur apâṁ divyânâṁ sakhye ćarantam;
x. 124, 9.

[447] Haṅsâir iva sakhibhir vâvadadbhir açmanmayâni nahanâ vyasyan
bṛihaspatir abhi kanikradad gâ; x. 67, 3.

[448] Sasvaç cid dhi tanvaḥ çumbhamânâ â haṅsâso nîlapṛishṭhâ apaptan;
vii. 59, 7.

[449] Cfr. the chapter which treats of the Bee.

[450] vi. 2.

[451] Adhi bṛibuḥ paṇînâṁ varshishṭhe mûrdhann asthât uruḥ kaksho na
gâñgyaḥ; _Ṛigv._ vi. 45, 31.--Bṛibuṁ sahasradâtamaṁ sûriṁ
sahasrasâtamam; vi. 45, 33.--Cfr. also the 32d strophe.

[452] _Ṛigv._ vi. 46.

[453] The goose is found in connection with robbers in the
twenty-third story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_. Two servants
stole a precious pearl from the king; being about to be found out,
they give the pearl, by the advice of an old woman, to the grey goose
in a piece of bread; the goose is then accused of having stolen the
pearl. It is killed, the pearl is found, and the two robbers escape.

[454] v. 55.--In the forty-ninth story of the fifth book of
_Afanassieff_, a riddle occurs where the betrothed wife is represented
as a duck. A father sends his son to find the wife who is predestined
for him, with the following enigmatical order: "Go to Moscow; there
there is a lake; in the lake there is a net; if the duck has fallen
into the net, take the duck; if not, withdraw the net." The son
returns home with the duck--that is to say, with his betrothed wife.

[455] ii. 46.

[456] iv. 11.

[457] iii. 75.

[458] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, vi. 17, and a variety of the vi. 19.

[459] Cfr. an interesting variety of this story in the _Griechische
und Albanische Märchen_ of Hahn.

[460] Thus, in a Norwegian story, the dirty cinder-girl carries silver
ducks away from the magicians.--In the eighth Esthonian story, the third
brother is sent to hell for the ducks and geese with golden feathers.

[461] In a Scandinavian and Italian variety of this story, instead of
the goose we have the eagle and eaglets; the goose returns, in the first
story of the fifth book of the _Pentamerone_, to do the same duty as in
the Russian story, but with some more vulgar and less decent incidents.

[462] The image of the legs which, when they move, make flowers grow
up, is very ancient; students of Hindoo literature will remember the
pushpiṇyâu ćarato ǵanghe of the _Âitareya Br._, in the story of

[463] The ninth of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_ is an
interesting variety of this; the beautiful maiden who feeds the geese
is disguised in an old woman's skin; the geese, who see her naked, cry
out: "Cocò, la bella padrona ch 'i' ho," until the prince, by means of
a noiseless file, makes the cook enter the room and carry the old
woman's skin away while she sleeps, and then weds her.--The following
unpublished story, communicated to me by Signor Greco from Cosenza in
Calabria, is a variation of that of the _Pentamerone_:--

Seven princes have a very beautiful sister. An emperor decides upon
marrying her, but upon the condition that if he does not find her to
his taste, he will decapitate her seven brothers. They set out
altogether, and the mother-in-law with her daughter follow them. On
the way, the sun is hot, and the elder brother cries out, "Solabella,
defend me from the heat, for you must please the king." The
step-mother advises her to take off her necklaces and to put them on
her half-sister. The second brother next complains of the heat, and
the step-mother advises her to take off her gold apparel and to put it
on her half-sister. By such means the step-mother at last succeeds in
making her naked; they come to the sea, and the step-mother pushes her
in; she is taken by a siren, who holds her by her foot with a golden
chain. The princes arrive with the ugly sister; the king weds the ugly
wife and cuts off the heads of the seven brothers. When the maiden is
wandering about in the sea, she asks the king's ducks for news of her
brothers; the ducks answer that they have been executed. She weeps;
the tears become pearls and the ducks feed upon them. This marvel
comes to the ears of the king, who follows the ducks and asks the girl
why she shuns the society of men; to which she answers: "Alas! how can
I, who am fastened by a golden chain?" and then relates everything.
Having recognised his bride, the king gives her this advice: she must
ask how, after the siren's death, she would be able to free herself;
and then he departs. Next day, Solabella tells the king that the siren
will not die, because she lives in a little bird, enclosed in a silver
cage which is shut up in a marble case, and seven iron ones, of which
she has the keys, and that if the siren died, a horseman, a white
horse, and a long sword would be necessary to cut the chain. The king
brings her a certain water, which he advises her to give the siren to
drink; she will then fall asleep, and the girl will be able to take
the keys and kill the little bird. When it is killed, the white horse
plunges into the sea, and the sword cuts the chain. Then the king
takes his beautiful bride to his palace, and the old step-mother is
burned in a shirt of pitch; the seven brothers are rubbed with an
ointment which brings them to life again, each exclaiming, "Oh! what a
beautiful dream I have had!"

[464] The old ogress of the ninth story of the fifth book of the
_Pentamerone_, who keeps three beautiful maidens shut up in three
citron-trees, and who feeds the asses which kick the swans upon the
banks of the river, is a variety of the same myth.

[465] Instead of geese, swans were also solemnly eaten; a popular
mediæval German song in Latin offers the lamentation of the roasted
swan; cfr. Uhland's _Schriften_, iii. 71, 158.--In the _Pańćatantram_,
we have the swan sacrificed by the owl. In order to allure the swan,
the funereal owl, who wishes to kill it, invites it into a grove of
lotus-flowers, only, however, to decoy it subsequently into a dark
cavern, where the swan is killed by some travelling merchants, who
believe it to be an owl.

[466] In the _Eddas_, when the hero Sigurd expires, the geese bewail
his death.

[467] Cfr. also, with regard to this subject, the twenty-fourth
Esthonian story of the princess born in the egg, of whom her brother,
born in a more normal manner of the queen, becomes enamoured.




    Haris and harit; harayas and harî; green and yellow called by a
    common name.--The moon as a green tree and as a green parrot; the
    parrot and the tree assimilated.--The wise moon and the wise
    parrot; the phallical moon and the phallical parrot, in numerous
    love stories.--The god of love mounted on the parrot--The parrot
    and the wolf pasture together.

The myth of the parrot originated in the East, and developed itself
almost exclusively among the Oriental nations.

I mentioned in the chapter on the Ass, that the words _haris_ and
_harit_ signify green no less than fair-haired, and hence gave rise to
the epic myth of the monsters with parrot's faces, or drawn by parrots.
The solar horses are called harayas; harî are the two horses of Indras;
Haris is a name of Indras himself, but especially of the god Vishṇus;
but there are more fair-haired figures in the sky then these; the golden
thunderbolt which shoots through the cloud, and the golden moon, the
traveller of the night, are such. Moreover, because green and yellow are
called by this common name, all these fair ones, and the moon in
particular, assumed the form, now of a green tree, now of a green
parrot. A very interesting Vedic strophe offers us an evident proof of
this. The solar horses (or the sun himself, Haris) say that they have
imparted the colour haris to the parrots, to the pheasants (or
peacocks.[468] Benfey and the Petropolitan Dictionary, however, explain
_ropaṇâkâ_ by drossel or thrush), and to the trees, which are therefore
called hârayas. As the trees are green, so are the parrots generally
green (sometimes also yellow and red, whence the appellation haris is
always applicable to them).[469] The moon, on account of its colour, is
now a tree (a green one), now an apple-tree with golden branches and
apples, now a parrot (golden or green, and luminous). The moon in the
night is the wise fairy who knows all, and can teach all. In the
introduction to the _Mahâbhâratam_, the name Çukas or parrot is given to
the son of Kṛishṇas, _i.e._, of the black one, who reads (as moon) the
_Mahâbhâratam_ to the monsters. In the chapter on the Ass, we saw the
ass and the monster of the _Râmâyaṇam_ with parrots' faces. But inasmuch
as the ass is a phallical symbol, the parrot is also ridden by the
Hindoo god Kâmas, or the god of love (hence also called Çukavâhas). The
moon (masculine in India) has already been mentioned, in the first
chapter of the first book, as a symbol of the phallos; in the same way
as the thunderbolt pierces the cloud, the moon pierces the gloom of the
night, penetrates and reveals the secrets of the night. Therefore, the
parrot being identified with the night in the _Çukasaptatî_, and in
other books of Hindoo stories, we see the parrot often appearing in
love-stories, and revealing amorous secrets.

Some of the stories concerning the parrot passed into the West; no
doubt, by means of literary transmission, that is to say, of the
mediæval Arabic and Latin versions of the Hindoo stories.[470]

Some of the Hindoo beliefs concerning the parrot had already passed into
ancient Greece, and Ælianos shows himself to be very well acquainted
with the sacred worship which the Brâhmans of India professed for it.
Oppianos, moreover, tells us of a superstition which confirms what we
have said concerning the essentially lunar character of the mythical
parrot; he says that the parrot and the wolf pasture together, because
the wolves love this green bird; this is the same as saying that the
gloomy night loves the moon. One of the Hindoo epithets applied to the
moon, moreover, is raǵanîkaras, or he who makes the night.


[468] The parrot is sung of by Statius in connection with the same
birds in the second book of the _Sylvæ_--

      "Lux volucrum plagæ, regnator Eoæ
       Quam non gemmata volucri Junonia cauda
       Vinceret, aspectu gelidi non phasidis ales."

[469] A pathetic elegy in Sanskṛit distiches, of a Buddhist character,
of which I do not now remember the source, presents us the çukas, or
parrot, who wishes to die when the tree açokas, which has always been
his refuge, is dried up.

[470] Such as, for instance, the following unpublished story,
communicated to me by Dr Ferraro, which is related in the Monferrato,
and of which I have also heard, in my childhood, a variation at
Turin:--A king, going to the wars, and fearing that another king, who
is his rival, will profit by his absence to seduce his wife, places by
her side one of his friends transformed into a parrot; this friend
warns her to remain faithful every time that the rival king sends to
tempt the queen by means of a cunning old woman. The queen pays
attention to the parrot's advice, and remains faithful till the
husband's return. This is, in a few words, the contents of the seventy
Hindoo tales of the parrot, of which the _Tuti-Name_ is a Persian
version.--In the story which I heard at Turin, the wife is, on the
contrary, unfaithful and covers the parrot's cage that it may not see;
she then fries some fishes in the guest's honour; the parrot thinks
that it is raining. The fish and the rain remind us of the myth of the
phallical and pluvial cuckoo.




    The starry sky and the rayed sun.--The peacock becomes a crow; the
    crow becomes a peacock.--Peacock and swan; the dove and the
    peacock.--The kokilas and the peacock.--Indras now a peacock, now
    a cuckoo.--The peacock's feather.--Indras's horses have peacock's
    feathers and peacock's tails.--Skandas rides upon the
    peacock.--Argus becomes a peacock.--The peacock as the _avis
    Junonia_; Jove is the bird of Juno.

We end our mythical journey in the kingdom of winged animals with the
bird of all the colours.

The serene and starry sky and the shining sun are peacocks. The calm,
azure heavens, bespangled with a thousand stars, a thousand brilliant
eyes, and the sun rich with the colours of the rainbow, offer the
appearance of a peacock in all the splendour of its eye-besprinkled
feathers. When the sky or the thousand-rayed sun (sahasrânçus) is
hidden in the clouds, or veiled by the autumnal waters, it again
resembles the peacock, which, in the dark part of the year, like a
great number of vividly-coloured birds, sheds its beautiful plumage,
and becomes dark and unadorned; the crow which had put the peacock's
feathers on then returns to caw amongst the funereal crows. In winter
the peacock-crow has nothing remaining to it except its disagreeable
and shrill cry, not dissimilar to that of the crows. It is commonly
said of the peacock that it has an angel's feathers, a devil's voice,
and a thief's walk. The crow-peacock is proverbial.[471]

The peacock hides itself when it becomes ugly; so does the sky, and so
does the sun when the autumnal clouds cover it; but in the summer
clouds the thunder rumbles, and thunder made upon the primeval races
of men the impression of an irresistible, much-loved, and wished-for
music, resembling the song of the melodious kokilas (the cuckoo), or
of the watercock (the heron, the halcyon, the duck, or the swan).[472]
In the _Râmâyaṇam_, as we observed in the chapter on the Cuckoo, the
peacock and the kokilas appear as rivals in singing; although the
watercock laughs at the peacock for its pretentiousness, this rivalry
is no slender proof upon which to admit the mythical identity of two
rival birds.[473] The Hindoo myth, in fact, shows us the god Indras
(now sky, now sun) as a peacock and as a cuckoo (like Zeus). When the
sky is blue, serene, and starry, or when the sun shines with its
thousand rays, and in the colours of the rainbow, the sahasrâkshas, or
thousand-eyed Indras, is found as a peacock; when the sky or the sun
in the cloud thunders and lightens, Indras becomes a kokilas that
sings. In the twentieth of the stories of Santo Stefano di Calcinaia,
two brothers steal a peacock's feather from their younger brother, and
kill him (that is, they kill the peacock, in the same way as in the
Russian story the red little boots are stolen from the little brother,
and he is killed). Where the little brother of the peacock's feather
is killed and buried, a sapling grows up; a stick is made out of the
sapling, and out of the stick a pipe, which, when played upon, sings
the dirge of the little brother who was killed for a peacock's
feather. When the luminous sky or the sun is hidden in the clouds,
when the luminous feathers of the peacock are torn off,[474] when the
peacock is buried, the tree which is its tomb (the cloud) speaks, at
the return of spring, like the cornel-tree of Polidorus in _Virgil_,
and the trunk of Pier delle Vigne in Dante's _Inferno_; the tree
becomes a cane, a magic flute, a melodious kokilas. Indras-kokilas
remembers Indras-peacock, Indras whose horses, even in the Vedic
hymns, have "peacocks' feathers,"[475] and "tail (or phallos) of
peacocks."[476] We have already seen that the body of Indras was,
after intercourse (as sun) with Ahalyâ in adultery, covered with a
thousand wombs (waves or clouds; cfr. the equivoque _sahasradhâras_,
given to the solar disc, properly because it has a thousand darts that
wound), which were already a thousand eyes (stars or sunbeams), whence
his names of Sahasradṛiç, Sahasranayanas, Sahasranetras, and
Sahasrâkshas, which are equivalent. The long refulgent tail of the
peacock took a phallical form. According to the Petropolitan
Dictionary, mayûreçvaras (or Çivas-peacock), is the proper name of a
liñgam or phallos, the well-known emblem of Çivas, which also calls
our attention to Mayûrarathas, Mayûraketus, Cikhivâhanas, and
Çikidhvaǵas, names of Skandas, the god of war, who is also a phallical
god, like Mars, the lover of Venus, and like the Hindoo Kâmadevas, or
god of love, who rides upon the parrot, and which therefore brings us
back to the lunar phallical symbol.[477] The sky with the sun, as well
as with the moon, is superseded by the sterile sky with the stars of
the night or the clouds of autumn; the phallos falls; the impotent sky
remains--Indras the eunuch, Indras with a thousand wombs, Indras
plunged into the waves of the spotted clouds, Indras a ram, the
pluvial or autumnal Indras, Indras lost in the sea of winter, Indras
the fish, Indras without rays, without lightning, and without
thunder, Indras cursed, he who had been beautiful and resplendent like
a crested peacock (çikhin), Indras as the peacock enemy of the serpent
(ahidvish, ahiripus), into which form he returns by the pity of the
gods. According to the _Tuti-Name_, when a woman dreams of a peacock,
it presages the birth of a handsome son.

The Greeks were also acquainted with the myth of the peacock, and
amplified it. In the first book of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, Argus, with
the hundred eyes, who sees everything (Panoptês and son of Zeus), by
the order of the goddess Juno, the splendid and proud wife of Jove, to
whom the peacock is sacred (and therefore called _avis Junonia, ales
Junonia_; the peacock of Juno is Jove himself, as we have already seen
that Jove's cuckoo is himself; Argos the son of Zeus is Zeus himself),
whilst two eyes rest (perhaps the sun and the moon), watches with the
others (the stars) Io (the daughter of Argus himself, priestess of
Juno, identified with Isis the moon, loved by Jove). Mercury, by means
of music, puts Argus to sleep, and kills him as he slumbers. The eyes
of the dead Argus pass into the tail of the peacock (that is, the dead
peacock rises again). The peacock, which annually loses and renews its
various colours and splendours, and is fruitful in progeny, served,
like the phœœnix, as a symbol of immortality, and a personification of
the fact that the sky is obscured and becomes serene again, that the
sun dies and is born again, that the moon rises, is obscured, goes
down, is concealed, and rises once more. It is said of Pythagoras that
he believed himself to have once been a peacock, that the peacock's
soul passed into Euphorbos, that of Euphorbos into Homer, and that of
Homer into him. It was also alleged that out of him the soul of the
ancient peacock passed into the poet Ennius, whence Persius--

                  "Postquam destituit esse
      Mæonides quintus pavone ex Pythagoræo."

If the peacock be Zeus, if Zeus be Dyâus, if Dyâus be the luminous and
splendid sky, the divine light, which of my readers would disclaim the
Pythagorean belief? The dream of being the sons of the divine light, and
destined to return to the heavenly fatherland, certainly is much more
consoling than the dreary conclusion of modern science, which reduces
us, in our origin and final lapse, into unconscious vegetables upon the
surface of the earth. The only drawback is, that this same heretical
mythology, which often, even in its grossest forms, such as the animal
ones, opens up to our incredulous reason a ray of hope in the
immortality of the soul, that this mythology which resuscitates and
transfigures into new living forms all its dead, does not permit us to
believe in an eternity of joy in heaven; heaven, like earth, is in
perpetual revolution, and the gods of Olympus are no more secure on
their divine throne than our royal automata that sit upon their earthly
ones. The metempsychosis does not end when the soul goes to heaven; on
the contrary, it is in heaven that it is fated to undergo the strangest
and most diverse transformations; from the heroic form we have seen it
pass into that of a quadruped and a biped. Nor is its curse yet come to
an end; the deity or the hero must humble himself yet more, and assume
in the zoological scale the most imperfect of organisms; the animal god
will lose his speech in the form of a stupid fish; he will creep like a
serpent or hop grotesquely like a filthy toad.


[471] Cfr. the chapter on the Crow.

[472] "Wie wir den Hugschapler sogar auf den Pfauen schwören sehen,
legten sie die Angelsachsen auf den Schwan ab (R. A. 900), den wir wohl
nach den obigen Gesange Ngördhs, S. 343 als den ihm geheiligten Vogel
(ales gratissima nautis, Myth. 1074) zu fassen haben, &c." Simrock, the
work quoted before, p. 347.--A Hindoo proverb considers the dove in
connection with the peacock; it says, "Better a pigeon to-day than a
peacock to-morrow" (Varamadya kapoto na çvo mayûraḥ). According to the
_Ornithologia_ of Aldrovandi, the peacocks are the doves' friends,
because they keep serpents and all venomous animals at a distance.

[473] The Russian fable of Kriloff presents to us the ass as a judge
between the nightingale (the kokilas of Western poets) and the cock in
a trial of singing; in Sanskṛit _çikhin_, or crested, means cock and
peacock; besides mayûras, peacock, we have mayûraćaṭakas, the domestic
cock. Mayûras is also the name of a Hindoo poet.--In the chapter on
the Cuckoo we saw the cuckoo and the nightingale as rivals in singing;
the kokilas and the peacock are the equivalents of the nightingale and
the cuckoo; we have also identified the cuckoo with the swallow, and
seen the swallows as rivals of the swans in singing; cfr. the chapter
on the Crow.

[474] Hence Aldrovandi writes with reason, that the smoke of the burnt
feathers of a peacock (that is, of the celestial peacock), when taken
into the eyes, cures them of their redness.

[475] Â mandrâir indra haribhir yâhi mayûraromabhiḥ; _Ṛigv._ iii. 45,

[476] Â tvâ rathe hiraṇyaye harî mayûraçepyâ; viii. 1, 25.--Klearchos
relates in Athênaios, that a peacock in Leucas loved a maiden so much,
that when she died it also immediately expired.

[477] According to the _Pańćatantram_ (i. 175), in the very house of
Çivas (the phallical god), the animals make war against each other;
the serpent (the night) wishes to eat the mouse (which seems here to
be the grey twilight); the peacock (here, perhaps, the moon), wishes
to eat the serpent (cfr. the preceding notes; according to Ælianos, a
certain man who wished to steal from the King of Egypt a peacock,
supposed to be sacred, found an asp in its stead); the lion (the sun)
wishes to eat the peacock. (The Hindoo name of mayûrâris, or enemy of
the peacock, given to the chameleon, is remarkable; the animal which
changes its colour is the rival of the bird which is of every colour;
gods and demons are equally viçvarûpâs and kâmarûpas.)

Third Part.





    Why Indras, the fearless hero, flees after having defeated the
    serpent; the fish causes the death of the fearless
    hero.--Çakrâvatâras and the fisher.--The stone and the
    fish.--Adrikâ, Girikâ, the mother of fishes.--The matsyâs as a
    nation.--Çaradvat.--Pradyumnas.--Guhas.--The fishes laugh.--The
    fish guards the white haoma.--The water of the fish drunk by the
    cook.--The devil steals the fishes.--The dwarf Andvarri and the
    pike as the guardian of gold and of a ring.--The goldfish and the
    pike.--The dwarf Vishṇus as a little goldfish.--The legend of the
    Deluge.--Vishṇus as a horned fish draws the ship of Manus; the
    sea-urchin or hedgehog of the Ganges, the little destroyer.--The
    dolphin with the horned bull draws the chariot or vessel of the
    Açvinâu.--The little turbulent perch.--The thorns of the
    sea-urchin compared to a hundred oars.--The whale as a bridge or
    island; the whale devours a fleet.--The pike.--The bream.--The
    phallical fishes; the phallos and the simpleton.--Why fishes are
    eaten in Lent, that is, spring; and on Friday, the day of Freya or
    Venus.--The _poisson d'avril_.--The herring.--The eel.--The bream
    cleans the workman.--The phallical and demoniacal eel; _anguilla_
    and _anguis_.--The eel and the cane; _ikshus_ and
    _Iskshvâkus_.--Diabolical fishes.--The red mullet.--The bream and
    the ring.--Cimedia.--The whale vomits out the vessels; the whale
    as an island.--The little perch finds the ring and draws the
    casket by the help of the dolphins.--The war of the little perch
    with the other fishes.--The eel pout.--The perch.--The
    sturgeon.--The little perch is the fox of fishes.--The words
    _matsyas_, _matto_, _mad_, _matt_, _mattas_, _madidus_.--The
    drunken pike.--The three fishes.--Çakuntalâ, the pearl and the
    fish.--The genera _cyprinus_ and _perca_; _lucius_, _lucioperca
    sandra_; the lunar horn.--The dolphin.--The carp.--The fish _Zeus
    Chalkeus_, the fish _faber_, the fish of St Peter; the fish of St
    Christopher; the equivoque of _crista_ and _christus_ again in
    conjunction with the legend of St Christopher.

The god Indras, in the _Ṛigvedas_, after having killed the monster,
flees in terror across the ninety-nine navigable rivers; the pluvial
god, after having lightened, thunder-stricken and thundered, is
terrified by his own work; the Vedic poet asks him what he has seen,
but the god passes on and answers not; killing the monster, he has
unchained the waters; the pluvial god has wounded himself while
wounding his enemy; the monster's shadow or his own shadow pursues
him; the waters increase and threaten to drown him. The god Indras
fears the very waters he has caused to flow. The god Indras was
condemned to remain hidden in the waters (of night and winter) during
the period of his malediction, for defiling in adultery the nuptial
bed of Ahalyâ. The god shut up in the waters, the wet god, is his most
infamous and accursed form.[478] The celestial metamorphosis into a
fish is perhaps the vilest transmutations of animal, and therefore the
most feared; the fish lives especially in order to reproduce itself;
to represent, therefore, the decadence of the god after a phallical
crime of his, he is condemned to lie down in the waters. We know that
the fisher, in the _Çakuntalâ_, lives at Çakrâvatâras (that is, the
fall of Indras). We have seen the sister of Latona, and Rambhâ and
Ahalyâ, after having transgressed, the one with Jupiter and the others
with Indras, become stones in the waters. The fish, rendered powerless
and stupid, becomes inert and motionless like a stone (sun and moon
pass into sky or cloud). We already find the image of the stone with
the honey brought, in the _Ṛigvedas_,[479] into close affinity to that
of the fish which lies in shallow water, or of the fish made powerless
and deprived of its vital qualities.

The legend of the nymph Adrikâ (from the word _adris_, which means a
stone, a rock, a mountain, or a cloud) presents the same analogy between
the stone-cloud, that is, the stone in the waters, and the fish. By a
divine malediction, Adrikâ is transformed into a fish, and lives in the
Yamunâ. Being in these waters, she picks up a leaf upon which had fallen
the sperm of King Uparićaras, enamoured of Girikâ (or of Adrikâ herself,
the two words _adrikâ_ and _girikâ_ being equivalent); this leaf had
been let fall into the waves of the Yamunâ by the bird çyenas, that is,
by the hawk. Having fed upon this sperm, the nymph fish is caught by
fishermen, and taken to King Uparićaras; the fish is opened, and the
nymph resumes her heavenly form; of her a son and a daughter are born,
Matsyas the male fish, and Matsyâ the female one.[480] The male
afterwards becomes king of the matsyâs or fishes, which some authorities
have, in vain, as I think, endeavoured to identify with a historical
nation; for it is not enough to find them named as a people in the
_Mahâbhâratam_, to prove their real historical existence, when we know
that the whole basis of the _Mahâbhâratam_ is mythological. Moreover,
when we find the Matsyâs in the Vedic hymns, it is one more argument
from which to infer the mythical nature of the peoples named in the
_Ṛigvedas_ in connection with the waters. In another legend of the
_Mahâbhâratam_, the semen of the penitent Çaradvat (properly the
autumnal or the pluvial one), provoked by the sight of a beautiful
nymph, falls upon the wood of an arrow; the wood of the arrow splits in
two, and two sons are born of it, who are given to the king; a variety
of this legend will be found further on in the Western traditions
connected with the story of the fish.[481]

To the ninety-nine or hundred cities of Çambaras (the clouds)
destroyed by Indras, correspond the ninety-nine rivers which Indras
crosses. In the _Vishṇu P._,[482] a fish receives the hero Pradyumnas
(an appellation of the god of love), thrown into the sea by Çambaras,
and enables him to recover and wed Mâyâdevî.

King Guhas (the hidden one? the dark one?) the king of the black
Nishâdâs, the king of Çriñgaveras (in which we have already recognised
the moon), who, during the night, receives Râmas on the banks of the
Ganges, hospitably entertains him, offering him beverages, meat, and

In the _Çukasaptatî_, and in the _Tuti-Name_, the fishes laugh at the
prudery of an adulterous servant-girl; we have already shown, in the
first chapter of the first book, the phallical signification of the
fish that laughs.

In the _Khorda Avesta_, we find a fish with acute eyesight
(Karo-maçyo, the posterior Khar-mâhî), which guards the white haoma,
that is, the ambrosia (with which sperm was also identified).

In the _Pseudo-Callisthenes_, Alexander, having arrived at the
luminous fountain which scatters perfumes, asks his cook for something
to eat; the cook prepares to wash the fish in the refulgent water; the
fish returns to life, and disappears from his sight; but the cook
drinks some of the water of the fish, and gives some to Alexander's
daughter Une, who becomes, by the curse of Alexander himself, a nereïd
or marine nymph, whilst he fastens a stone to the cook's neck, and
orders him to be thrown to the bottom of the sea. It is unnecessary
for me to demonstrate the analogy between this legend and the myth of
Indras, or to insist upon the phallical meaning of the myth.

We already know that phallical images and demoniacal ones sometimes
correspond; hence, in the ninth Esthonian story, the devil steals the
fishes from the fishermen; hence, in the _Eddas_, the brigand Loki now
assumes the form of a salmon, and now catches the pike, into which
the dwarf Andvarri has transformed himself. The pike is the guardian
of gold and of a ring which is taken from him; the fish enters into
the stone, and predicts that gold will be the cause of the death of
the two brothers. The ambrosial rain which comes out of the cloud, and
the ambrosial dew, are the water in which the fish is washed, and the
ambrosial dew is the water or seed of the fish; the fair-haired and
silvery moon in the ocean of night is the little gold fish, and the
little silver fish which announces the rainy season, the autumn, the
deluge. Out of the cloudy, nocturnal, or wintry ocean, comes forth the
sun, the pearl lost in the sea, which the gold or silver fish brings

The little goldfish of our aquariums, the _cyprinus chrysoparius_, the
_cyprinus auratus_, the _cyprinus sophore_ (the Hindoo _çapharas_, in
the feminine _çapharî_), and the luminous pike, like the moon, can
expand and contract. We are already acquainted with the sea-monster
which, in the _Râmâyaṇam_ (like the siren fish), allures from the sea
the shadow of Hanumant, and can make itself now small, now large; we
have seen the dwarf Andvarri of the _Eddas_, who hides himself in the
form of a pike; we are familiar with the god Vishṇus or Haris, who,
from being a dwarf, becomes a giant (Haris means fair-haired or
golden, and refers now to the sun, now to the moon); Vishṇus, in his
incarnation as a fish, first takes the form of the little golden fish,
the çapharî; and, in this form, the god Vishṇus is especially
identified with the moon, the ruler of the rainy season. As the moon
(which we have already seen as a little learned puppet) grows by
quarters, and from being exceedingly small, becomes large, so, in the
Hindoo legend of the Deluge, narrated in the Vedic commentaries, in
the _Mahâbhâratam_, and in the Pâuranic legends, the god Vishṇus or
Haris begins by being an exceedingly small fish, a çapharî, which
beseeches the penitent Manus to be taken out of the great river, the
Ganges, where it is afraid of being devoured by the aquatic monsters.
Manus receives the little fish in the vase of water in which he
performs his ablutions (a Hindoo proverb says that the çapharî is
agitated from petulance in water an inch deep, whilst the rohitas, a
kind of carp, does not become proud even in bottomless depths[484]);
in one night (evidently in its character as the moon) the fish grows
so much that it can no longer remain in the vase; Manus carries it
into a pool, afterwards into the Ganges; finally, the fish increases
so much in size that Manus, recognising Vishṇus in it, is obliged to
give it entire liberty in the sea. Then the grateful fish announces
that in seven days the waters will inundate the world, and all the
wicked will perish; he orders him (as the biblical God does Noah) to
build a ship: "Thou shalt enter into it," says Vishṇus to him, "with
seven sages, a couple of every kind of animal, and the seeds of every
plant. Thou shalt wait in it the end of the night of Brahman; and when
the vessel is agitated by the waves, thou shalt attach it by a long
serpent to the horn of an enormous fish, which will come near thee,
and will guide thee over the waves of the abyss." On the appointed
day, the waters of the sea came up over the surface of the earth; the
fish made its appearance to draw the ship in order to save Manus. The
ship stopped upon the horn, that is, upon the peak of a mountain. Now
this little goldfish, in which Vishṇus is incarnate, when it becomes
horned to draw the ship of Manus, assimilates itself to another
interesting sea animal, the sea-urchin or hedgehog of the Ganges,
(çiṅçumâras, which is also one of the names of the dwarf Vishṇus (we
have already seen Vishṇus as a wild-boar), and which means properly
the little destroyer. The eighteenth strophe of the precious 116th
hymn of the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_, shows us the çiṅçumâras or
sea-urchin, which, together with another horned animal, the bull (we
have already seen the moon as a horned bull) draws the chariot of the
Açvinâu, full of riches;[485] we know that the chariot of the Açvinâu
is often a vessel. Çiṅçumâras also means in Sanskṛit the dolphin;[486]
and the dolphins and the fish called jorsh (the little perch), with
its little horns, thorns, and thin shape, sharpened at one end like a
pole ending in a point, called in Russian stories the turbulent one
(kropaćishko), are in relation with each other, as they draw the
casket away; the jorsh takes the place of the "little destroyer," of
the çiṅçumâras, of the sea-urchin, concerning which there is a very
interesting Sicilian verse, which compares the stings of the
sea-urchin to a hundred oars, with which it must row, carrying its
little invokers; after having caught it, Sicilian children scatter a
little salt over it, and sing--

      "Vócami, vócami, centu rimi,
       Vócami, vócami, centu rimi."

(Row for me, row for me, hundred oars). Then it moves, and the
children are delighted. In the Russian little poem, _Kaniok Garbunok_,
of Jershoff, already mentioned by us in the chapter on the Horse, Ivan
must seek, for the sultan, a ring shut up in a casket which has fallen
into the sea (the evening or the autumnal sun). Ivan upon his
crook-backed horse arrives in the middle of the sea, where there is a
whale which cannot move because it has swallowed a fleet, that is to
say, the solar vessel. The part played here by the whale is the same
as that of the sea-monster who swallows Hanumant in the _Râmâyaṇam_,
to vomit him out again, as in the case of the biblical Jonah (the
night devours the sun, or carries it into its body). Hanumant enters
into the fish by its mouth, and comes out at its tail; however, in the
narrative given of it in the fifty-sixth canto of the fifth book by
Hanumant himself, he says that the sea-monster having shut its mouth,
he came out of it by the right ear. When the night is with the moon,
instead of swallowing the hero, the bull-moon or fish-moon carries him
or serves as a bridge for him. In Russian fairy tales the brown pike
(which, on account of its colour, is called the chaste widow)[487] is
now a form assumed by the devil in order to eat the young hero, who
has become a little perch,[488] and now an enormous fish with great
teeth, which slaughters the little fishes.[489] Now, instead, it
serves as a bridge for Ivan Tzarević, who is seeking for the egg of
the duck which is inside the hare under the oak-tree in the midst of
the sea;[490] now it is caught in the fountain (as the moon, soma, in
the well) by the foolish and lazy Emilius, and because Emilius saves
its life, it makes him rich by performing several miracles for him,
such as that of the barrels full of water, of the trees of the forest,
of the waggons or the stoves which move off by themselves, and finally
that of the cask thrown into the sea, into which Emilius is shut with
the beautiful daughter of the Tzar, and which comes to shore and
breaks open.[491] Now the phallical pike with the golden fins[492] is
caught, washed, quartered, and roasted; the dirty water is thrown away
and drunk by the cow (in _Afanassieff_) or by the mare (in
_Erlenwein_); a portion of the fish is eaten by the black slave,
whilst she is carrying it to table, the rest by the queen; hence three
young heroes, considered as brothers, are born at the same time to the
cow (or mare), to the black maiden, and to the queen. Now the pike (as
in the satirical fable of Kriloff) draws the car in company with the
crab and the heron; and here, it would appear, these two animals are
rather stupid than intelligent, inasmuch as, whilst the pike draws the
car into the water, the crab draws it back on the earth and the heron
essays to mount with it into the air. Here we have the usual
correspondence between the phallical figure and that of the simpleton.
Thus, in the Piedmontese dialect, the phallos and the stupid man is
called _merlu_ (blackbird). From the word _merlo_ (Lat. _merula_) was
derived the name of the fish called _merluccio_ or _merluzzo_ (_gadus
merlucius_, the melwel or haddock), called _asellus_ by the Latins and
_onos_ by the Greeks. The ass is a well-known phallical symbol, and
Bacchus being also a phallical god, we read in Pliny, "Asellorum duo
genera, Callariæ minores, et Bacchi, qui non nisi in alto (in the
deep) capiuntur." The Italian name _baccalà_, given to the cod-fish,
seems to me to be derived from the union of the two names Bacchus and
Callaria. In the Piedmontese dialect, a stupid man is also called by
the name of _baccalà_. There is also a fish called _merula_, of which
the ancients describe the extraordinary salacity, by indulging which
it literally consumes itself away and perishes.[493] In Italy we find
the following phallical proverbs: "The blackbird has passed the Po,"
and "The blackbird has passed the river;" to denote a woman or a man
exhausted, to impotence. The ancients wrote of the fish called
_chrüsofrüs_ by the Greeks, and _aurata_ by the Latins, that it would
let itself be taken in children's and women's hands, and (according to
Athenaios) it was sacred to Aphroditê. Aphroditê, Venus, goddess of
love, especially, represented in myths the aurora and the spring
(hence in Lent and on Friday, the day of Freya, _dies Veneris_, we eat
fishes); therefore the _gemini pisces_, the two fishes joined in one,
were sacred to her, and the joke of the _poisson d'Avril_, as I have
already mentioned in the first chapter of the first book, is a jest of
phallical origin, which should be abandoned.[494] Aphroditê and Eros,
pursued by Typhon, transformed themselves into fishes and plunged into
the Euphrates. The Hellenic Eros was also represented riding (instead
of the phallical butterfly) on a dolphin; according to other accounts,
he rides upon a swan with dolphins before him. In an epigram of the
_Anthologia Græca_, the dolphin, moreover, carries a weary
nightingale. In several parts of Alsace, on the evening of St Andrew's
Day, girls eat herrings to dream during the night of the husband who
is to quench their thirst.[495] The fish _julis_ of Pliny, or Julia,
is called _donzella_ (damsel) in Italian, and _menchia di re_ (king's
phallos) at Naples and in Venetia, and other fishes also take their
name from the organs of generation.[496] The phallos is called _u
pesce_ at Naples, and, in Italian, _nuovo pesce_ (a new fish)
signifies a stupid man. An essentially phallical character, moreover,
is possessed by the eel, which, according to Agatharchides, quoted by
Hippolitus Salvianus, the Bœœotians crowned as a victim and sacrificed
solemnly to the gods, which, according to Herodotos, the Egyptians
venerated as a divine fish, and which Athenaios pompously calls the
Helen of dinners. The eel became proverbial; the Italian proverbial
expressions, "To take the eel," "To hold the eel by its tail," "When
the eel has taken the hook it must go where it is drawn," are all
equivocal. The Germans also have a proverb concerning the eel, which
reminds us of the story of the cook who steals the fish from
Alexander, and, together with Alexander's daughter, drinks its
water.[497] The phallos discovers secrets, and therefore, in a German
legend,[498] the faculty of seeing everything which is under the water
is ascribed to a woman who had eaten an eel (a variety of the story of
the fish that laughs, which, in the ninth story of the third book of
_Afanassieff_, enriches whoever possesses it, and the fish _silurus_
(the bream), so called from the Greek words _sillô_ and _oura_,
because it shakes its tail, which, in the fifty-eighth story of the
sixth book of _Afanassieff_, cleans the workman who had fallen into
the mud, and makes the princess laugh who had never laughed before).
In the eighteenth story of Santo Stefano di Calcinaia, a fisherman
catches an eel with two tails and two heads, which is so large that he
has to be assisted in carrying it. The eel speaks, and commands that
its two tails be planted in the garden, that its intestines be given
to the bitch, and its two heads to the fisherman's wife. Two swords
are born of the tails in the garden (in the Hindoo legend we saw two
sons born of the wood of Çaradvat's arrow), two dogs are born of the
intestines to the bitch, and two beautiful young men of the heads to
the wife (the two Açvinâu, drawn, as we have seen in the Vedic hymn,
by the sea-urchin). In the chapter on the Dove, we saw the two young
lovers, when pursued, take the form of doves. In the fourteenth
Sicilian story of Signora Gonzenbach, the young man and the maiden
pursued by the witch transform themselves first into church and
sacristan, then into garden and gardener, then into rose and
rosebush, and finally into fountain and eel. In the first volume of
the _Cabinet des Fées_, the fairy Aiguillette is taken in the form of
an eel. In the fourth of the stories of Santo Stefano di Calcinaia,
the beautiful maiden is asked by the servant-maid of the priest (that
is, by the servant-maid of the black man, by the black woman or the
night), who went to wash clothes at the fountain, to come down from
the tree. The maiden descends, is thrown into the fountain and
devoured by an enormous eel. The fishermen catch the eel and take it
to the prince; the witch has it killed and thrown into a cane-brake.
The eel is then transformed into a large and beautiful cane, which is
also carried to the prince, who, cutting it gently with a penknife,
makes his beautiful girl come out (this legend is a variety of that of
the wooden girl).[499] This form of a diabolical eel has a close
relationship with the monster-serpent; the _anguilla_ reminds one of
the _anguis_; hence, in the ninth story of the first book of the
_Pentamerone_, instead of the eel as a fœœcundator, as in the
eighteenth Tuscan story, we find the fish called _draco marinus_ (in
Italian, _trascina_), of which it is curious to read, what
Volaterranus writes, that--"Si manu dextra adripias eum contumacem
renitentemque experieris, si læva subsequentem,"--as if he meant to
imply that the left hand is the hand of the devil. Thus Oppianos
describes the wedding of the muraina eel (the _murana_) with the
serpent (the viper according to Ælianos and Pliny). Other fishes have
assumed an essentially diabolical character, such as the fish called
_alôpêx_ (Lat. _vulpes_, _vulpecula_), of which Ælianos relates that
it swallows the hook and then vomits it out with its own intestines;
the _rana piscatrix_, also called the marine devil; the _trügôn_ (Lat.
_pastinaca_, It. _bruco_), which, according to Oppianos, kills men
with its dart (fame reports that Ulysses was killed with the bone of a
_trügôn_) and dries up trees (although it is strange that to cure
one's self from such a fatal wound, as it was supposed by the ancients
to be venomous, Dioscoris only recommends a decoction of sage). The
sea-scorpion (whose wounds, according to the ancients, were cured by
means of the _trigla_, the red mullet--Lat. _mullus_--sacred according
to Athenaios and Apollodorus to Artemis, or to Diana Trivia, the moon;
Plutarch writes that it was sacred to Diana as a hunting fish, because
it kills the marine hare, noxious to man; but we have seen that the
mythical hare is the moon itself), the bream, or _silurus_, _glanis_,
or _piscis barbatus_, which, in Hungary, according to Mannhardt
(Manardus, quoted in the sixteenth century by Ippolito Salviano), had
the reputation of attacking men, so much so, that it is said that one
of these fishes, which are, in fact, very voracious, was once found
with a man's hand, covered with rings, in its intestines. But these
rings in the fish's body (like the gem called cimedia,[500] which,
according to the popular belief, is found in the brain of a great
number of fishes) recall us to the interrupted poem of Jershoff, to
the little perch, the dolphins, the whale, and the ring fallen into
the water and found again by the fish, which is perhaps the most
interesting subject of legends in the mythical cycle of the fishes,
and, if I may say so, their epic exploit.

Ivan, therefore, has come with his hump-backed little horse into the
midst of the sea near the whale which has swallowed a fleet;[501] upon
the whale a forest has grown; women go to seek for mushrooms in its
moustaches. Ivan communicates his wish, and the whale calls all the
fishes together, but no one can give information except one little fish,
the little jorsh, or little perch, which, however, is at the time
engaged in chasing one of its adversaries. The whale sends ambassadors
to the jorsh, which unwillingly desists for an instant from the fight,
in order to search for the casket; it finds it, but is not strong enough
to lift it up. The numerous army of the herrings come and try, but in
vain; at last two dolphins come and raise the casket. Ivan receives the
wished-for ring; the whale's malediction comes to an end; it vomits the
fleet forth again, and is once more able to move about, whilst the
little perch returns to pursue its enemies. This war of the little perch
with its adversaries has had in popular Russian tradition its
Herodotuses and its Homers, who have celebrated its praises both in
prose and verse. Afanassieff gives in the third book of his stories,
from a manuscript of the last century, the description of the judgment
of the little perch (jorsh) before the tribunal of the fishes. The bream
(leçć) accuses the little jorsh, the wicked warrior (as the sea-urchin
is the little destroyer; the confounding of the sea-urchin with the
little perch is all the easier in Russian legends, inasmuch as the
former is called josz, and the latter jorsh), who has wounded all the
other fishes with its rough bristles, and compelled them to forsake the
Lake of Rastoff. The jorsh defends itself by saying that it is strong in
virtue of its inherent vigour; that it is not a brigand, but a good
subject, who is known everywhere, highly prized and cooked by great
lords, who eat it with satisfaction. The bream appeals to the testimony
of other fishes, who give witness against the little perch, who
thereupon complains that the other fishes, in their overweening
importance, wish, by means of the tribunals, to ruin him and his
companions, taking advantage of their smallness. The judges call the
perch, the eel-pout, and the herring to give witness. The perch sends
the eel-pout, and the eel-pout excuses itself for not appearing,
pleading that its belly is fat, and it cannot move; that its eyes are
small, and its vision imperfect; that its lips are thick, and it does
not know how to speak before persons of distinction. The herring gives
witness in favour of the bream, and against the little perch. Among the
witnesses against the jorsh, the sturgeon also appears; it maligns the
jorsh, alleging that when he attempts to eat it he must spit more out
than he can swallow, and complains that when it was one day going by the
Volga to Lake Rastoff, the little perch called him his brother and
deceived him, saying, in order to induce him to retire from the lake,
that he had once also been a fish of such size that his tail resembled
the sail of a ship, and that he had become so small after having entered
Lake Rastoff. The sturgeon goes on to say that he was afraid, but
remained in the river, where his sons and companions died of hunger, and
he himself was reduced to the last extremities. He adduces, moreover,
another grave accusation against the jorsh, who had made him go in
front, in order that he might fall into the fishermen's hands, cunningly
hinting that the elder brothers should go before the younger ones. The
sturgeon confesses that he gave way to this graceful flattery, and
entered into a weir made to catch fish, which he found to be similar to
the gates of great lords' houses--large when one goes in, and small when
one goes out; he fell into the net, in which the jorsh saw him, and
cried out, deriding him, "Suffer for the love of Christ." The deposition
of the sturgeon makes a great impression upon the minds of the judges,
who give orders to inflict the knout upon the little jorsh, to impale it
in the great heat, as a punishment for its cheating; the sentence is
sealed by the crayfish with one of his claws. But the jorsh, who has
heard the sentence, declares it to be unjust, spits in the eyes of the
judges, jumps into the briar brake, and disappears from the sight of the
fishes, who remain lost in shame and mortification.

In the thirty-second story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, we
find two varieties of this zoological legend.

The turbulent jorsh enters into Lake Rastoff, and possesses himself of
it. Called to judgment by the bream, it answers that from the day of
St Peter to that of St Elias, the whole lake was on fire; and cites in
proof of this assertion that the roach's eyes are still red from its
effects, that the perch's fins are also still red, that the pike
became dark coloured, and that the eel-pout is black in consequence.
These fishes, called to give witness, either do not appear, or else
deny the truth of these assertions. The jorsh is arrested and bound,
but it begins to rain, and the place of judgment becomes muddy; the
jorsh escapes, and, from one rivulet to another, arrives at the river
Kama, where the pike and the sturgeon find him, and take him back to
be executed.

The jorsh, arrested and brought to judgment, demands permission to
take a walk for only one hour in Lake Rastoff; but after the
expiration of the appointed time, it neglects to come out of the lake,
and annoys the other fishes in every way, stinging and provoking them.
The fishes have recourse for justice to the sturgeon, who sends the
pike to look for the jorsh; the little perch is found amongst the
stones; it excuses itself by saying that it is Saturday, and that
there is a festival in his father's house, and advises him to take a
constitutional in the meanwhile, and enjoy himself; on the morrow,
although it be Sunday, he promises to present himself before the
judges (the analogy between the actions of the jorsh and those of
Reineke Fuchs is very remarkable). Meanwhile, the jorsh makes his
companion drunk. The Sanskṛit name of the fish, _matsyas_, from the
root _mad_, we know to mean drunk and joyous, properly damp (Lat.,
_madidus_); in Italian, _briaco_ and _folle_ are sometimes equivalent;
in the Piedmontese dialect, _bagnà_ (wet) and _imbecil_ (idiot) are
expressions of the same meaning. Drunkenness is of two forms: there is
a drunkenness which makes impotent and stupid; it is a question of
quantity and of quality of beverages, as well as constitution. Thus,
there are two kinds of madness; that which makes a man infuriated, to
cope with whom the strait-waistcoat is necessary, and that which ends
by exhausting all a man's strength in prostration and debility.
Indras, when drunk, becomes a hero; the pike when drunk is a fool
(cfr. the Italian _matto_, English _mad_, which means insane, crazy,
with the German _matt_, which means cast down, exhausted[502]). When
the jorsh has made the pike drunk, it shuts it in a rick of straw,
where the inebriated fish is to die. Then the bream comes to take the
little perch from among the stones, and to bring him before the judge.
The jorsh demands a judgment of God. He tells his judges to put him in
a net; if he stays in the net, he is wrong; if he comes out, he is
right; the jorsh jerks about in the net so much that he gets out. The
judge acquits him, and gives him entire liberty in the lake; then the
jorsh begins his numerous revenges upon the little fishes, proving his
astuteness in continual efforts to ruin them.

As the drunkard and the fool now intensify their strength and now lose
it, so they now double and now lose their intelligence. Hence, among
mythical fishes we find very wise ones and very stupid ones. The story
is very popular of the three fishes of different intelligence, of
which the lazy and improvident one allows himself to be caught by the
fishermen, whilst his two companions escape; it is found in the first
book of the _Pańćatantram_. In the fifth book of the _Pańćatantram_, a
variety occurs: we read of a fish which has the intelligence of a
hundred (Çatabuddhis), of one which has the intelligence of a thousand
(Sahasrabuddhis), and of the frog which has the intelligence of one
(Ekabuddhis); but that of the two fishes is not intelligence, but
presumption; the one intelligence of the frog is better than the
hundred and the thousand of the fishes. The frog escapes, but the two
fishes fall into the hands of the fishermen.

The little sea-urchin (and the dwarf Vishṇus and the dolphin are
equivalent to it, the word _çiṅçumâras_ being equivocal in Sanskṛit) in
the _Ṛigvedas_ draws the chariot of riches; in the _Eddas_, a dwarf in
the form of a pike (in Greek _lükios_, in Latin _lucius_) watches over
gold, and guards the ring; in Russian legends, the little jorsh
(formidable, like the josz, by its sharp quills), united with the
dolphins, draws out of the sea the casket containing the sultan's ring.
The horn of the moon, which appears in the sea of night, belongs now to
the bull which carries the fugitive hero, now to the fish çapharî,
which, having become large, takes in tow the ship of Manus, and saves it
from the waters, that it may not be wrecked. Now it is the solar hero or
heroine that takes the form of a fish to save himself or herself; now
the fish helps the solar hero or heroine in their escape; now the little
golden or luminous fish plunges into the sea, or into the river, to seek
the pearl or ring for the hero or heroine who had let it fall, the ring
without which King Dushyantas cannot recognise his bride Çakuntalâ; now
it vomits out from its mouth or its tail that which it has
swallowed--the hero, the pearl, the ring (the solar disc).

In the sixth act of _Çakuntalâ_, the fisherman finds in the stomach of a
fish (the _cyprinus dentatus_), the pearl enchased in the ring which
King Dushyantas had given to Çakuntalâ, in order to be able to recognise
her when they should come together again. The genera _cyprinus_ and
_perca_, as the thorny or wounding ones in the order of fishes, have
supplied the greatest number of heroes to mythology; the sea-urchin is
identified to them on account of its darts; the names _hecht_,
_brochet_, _pike_, given to the _lucius_ in Germany, France, and
England, express its faculty of stinging, or cleaving with its flat and
cutting mouth (the fish _lucioperca sandra_ is an intermediate form
between the perch and the pike). The lunar horn, the thunderbolt, the
sunbeam, have the same prerogative as these fishes; the dolphin, on
account of the two scythe-shaped fins which it has on its anterior
extremity, or of its fat and curved dorsal fin, as well as on account of
its black and silvery colour, might well serve to represent the two
lunar horns and the moon's phases. Thus the pike and the bream, dark or
bluish on their backs, are white underneath. The dolphin also has a flat
mouth and sharp teeth, like the pike.[503] The lunar horn announces
rain; thus the scythe-shaped fin of the dolphin, appearing on the waves
of the sea, announces a tempest to navigators, warns them, and saves
them from shipwreck; hence, as a çiṅçumaras, it may, like the
sea-urchin, have saved or drawn the chariot, that is, the vessel of the
Açvinâu, laden with riches. The dolphin which watches over Amphitritê,
by order of Poseidon, in the Hellenic myth, is the same as the dolphin,
the spy of the sea, or the moon, the spy of the nocturnal and wintry
sky. Inasmuch as the sky of night or winter was compared to the kingdom
of the dead, both the dolphin and the moon, according to the Hellenic
belief, carried the souls of the dead.

The _cyprinus_, _par excellence_, the carp (Lat. _carpus_), is
celebrated, in connection with gold, in an elegant little Latin poem
of Hieronimus Fracastorus. Carpus was the name of a ferryman of the
Lake of Garda, who, seeing Saturn fleeing, took him for a robber who
was carrying gold away, and endeavoured to despoil him of this gold;
then Saturn cursed him and his companions in the following manner:--

      "Gens inimica Deum dabitur quod poscitis aurum:
       Hoc imo sub fonte aurum pascetis avari.
       Dixerat: ast illis veniam poscentibus et vox
       Deficit, et jam se cernunt mutescere et ora
       In rictum late patulum producta dehiscunt,
       In pinnas abiere manus; vestisque rigescit
       In squamas, caudamque pedes sinuantur in imam;
       Qui fuerat subita obductus formidine mansit
       Pallidus ore color, quamquam livoris iniqui
       Indicium suffusa nigris sunt corpora guttis;
       Carpus aquas, primus numen qui læsit, in amplas
       Se primus dedit et fundo se condidit imo."

From the comparisons which we have made hitherto, it is impossible not
to admit that the enterprise of the fish who seeks the gold or the
pearl, who finds it, or who contains it in himself, is a very ancient
Âryan tradition. In the Vedic hymns we see now Indras, now the
Açvinâu, saving the heroes from shipwreck, and bringing riches to
mankind; we have also seen the çiṅçumâras (sea-urchin, dolphin, or
Vishṇus) draw the chariot of the Açvinâu, who are bringing riches. The
Greeks called a fish of a strange shape by the name now of Zeus, now
of chalkeüs (the name given to Hêphaistos, or Mulciber, or Vulcanus,
the worker in metals), or blacksmith, whence the name of _Zeus faber_,
by which it was known to the Latins. This fish is of a really
monstrous shape. Its back is brownish, with yellow stripes; the rest
of its body is of a silvery-grey colour; on its sides it has two spots
of the deepest black. Its dorsal fin opens like a fan, with rays
going out on all sides, and furnished with strong quills, which make
this prominence resemble a crest. We remember that the cock and the
lark were compared to Christ and to Christophoros, on account of their
crest; the same happened in the case of the Zeus faber.[504] The
Italian legend says that those two black spots (which make the fish's
body resemble a forge, whence its name of blacksmith) were caused by
the marks left upon it one day by St Christopher, while carrying
Christ upon his shoulders across the river. The fish which wears the
crest and Christopher are here identified with each other. But this is
not all; at Rome, at Genoa, and at Naples, this same fish is called
the fish of St Peter, because it is said to be the same fish which was
caught by St Peter in the Gospels, in the mouth of which (as a
blacksmith or chalkeüs, it must have known well how to coin money), by
a miracle of Christ's, St Peter found the coin which was to serve for
the tribute. Is it probable that the legend of the fish with gold in
its mouth, so common in Âryan legends, was current in Judea? I do not
think so; inasmuch as _petrus_ and the _petra_, upon which Christ
makes a bad Græco-Latin pun, in connection with the fish, is another
mythical incident which calls me back to the Âryan world, and tears me
away from the Semitic world, and from childish faith in the Judaic
authenticity of the evangelical story, though without prejudice to my
belief in the holiness of the doctrine.


[478] Indras, as a warlike god, does not know fear, or rather, he
kills fear (the hymn says, "Aher yâtâraṁ kam apaçya indra hṛidi yat te
ǵaghnuso bhîr agaććhat"; _Ṛigv._ i. 32, 14), and lets himself be
terrified by a trifle, which may be either a nightly shadow (the dark
man of fairy tales), or the terror caused to him by some fish (the
moon) which leaps upon him in the waters which he himself has set
free.--In the twenty-second of the Tuscan stories published by me, the
young hero who passed through all the dangers of hell without being
afraid, dies at the sight of his own shadow. (We have also referred to
this when treating of the dog and the lion who meet with their death,
allured by their own shadow.)--In the forty-sixth story of the fifth
book of _Afanassieff_, the merchant's son, who did not know fear, who
feared neither darkness nor brigands nor death, is terrified and dies
when he falls into the water, because the little perch entered into
his bosom whilst he was sleeping in his fishing-boat.--It is also easy
to pass from the idea of Indras, who inebriates himself in the _soma_
to that of the fish, when we consider that the Hindoo word _matsyas_,
the fish, properly means the inebriated, from the root _mad_, to
inebriate and to make cheerful.

[479] Açnâpinaddham madhu pary apaçyam matsyaṁ na dîna udani
kshiyantam; _Ṛigv._ x. 68, 8.

[480] _Mbh._ 2371-2392.

[481] _Mbh._ i. 5078-5086.--In another variety of the same myth, the
semen of the wise Bharadvâǵas comes out at the sight of a nymph; the
sage receives it in a cup, out of which comes Droṇas, the armourer and
archer _par excellence_; i. 5103-5106.

[482] v. 27.

[483] _Râmây._ ii. 92.

[484] Cfr. Böhtlingk, _Indische Sprüche_, i. 59.

[485] Revad uvâha saćano ratho vâṁ vṛishabhaç ça çiṅçumâraç ća yuktâ.

[486] Our readers will not be astonished at seeing the dolphin, the
whale, and the sea-urchin classed here with fishes. We are not
treating of natural history according to the classifications of
science, but of the gross classifications made by impressionable
popular imaginations. Thus, amongst the animals of the water we shall
find the serpent described, although it be amphibious, because popular
belief makes the dragon watch over the waters.

[487] The pike becomes in spring of an azure or bluish or
greenish-blue colour; hence the name of _golubbi_--_però_ (that is, of
the azure or bluish fins; in German, the bluish colour is called
_echt-grau_--that is, grey of pike; in the nineteenth of the Russian
stories of _Erlenwein_, golden fins are ascribed to the pike), which
is also given to it in Russia. _Golub_, or brown, violet and azure, is
a name given in Russia to the dove; so in Italy we say, that the dove
is _pavonazzo_ (properly the colour of the peacock, which is generally
blue and green). But in Sanskṛit, amongst the names of the peacock
there is that of _haris_, a word which represents both the moon and
the sun. By the same analogy, the bluish or greenish pike may
represent the moon. But another analogy, caused by a similar
conception, is found again in the word _çyâmas_, which means black,
azure, and also silvery; whence it serves to represent the
_convolvolus argenteus_ (we must remember that the Latin name of the
pike is _lucius_; the Greek, _lükios_--that is, the luminous one). The
pike takes the colour of the water in which it lives, and the waters
are dark, black, azure, greenish, silvery; as being azure, or
greenish, or silvery, the pike represents the moon; as being dark, the
tenebrific night, the cloud, the wintry season.--In the thirty-second
story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the little perch relates
that the pike was once luminous (that is, in spring), and that it
became black after the conflagration which took place in the Lake of
Rastoff from the day of St Peter (June 29) to the day of St Elias
(July 20), or in the beginning of summer. As we learn in the
_Pseudo-Callisthenes_, near the black stone, which makes black whoever
touches it, there are fishes which are cooked in cold water, and not
at the fire, I recollect here also that the _Hecht-könig_, or king of
pikes, is described as yellow and black-spotted.

[488] _Afanassieff_, v. 22.

[489] _Afanassieff_, i. 2.--Cfr. the eleventh of the _Novelline di Santo
Stefano di Calcinaia_; a monstrous fish devours the princess; the fish
is said to be a shark (pesce cane); and v. 8 of the _Pentamerone_.

[490] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, ii. 24.

[491] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 55, vi. 32.--It is the same fish which,
saved by the girl who is persecuted by her step-mother, comes to her
assistance, separates the wheat from the barley for her (like the
Madonna, the purifying moon-fairy, the nightly cleanser of the sky),
and gives splendid robes to her, in vi. 29.--In the story v. 54,
instead of the pike as a fœœcundator we find the bream, which is also
called "of the golden fins" (szlatopioravo), of which the colours are
the same as those of the pike.

[492] In the nineteenth Russian story of _Erlenwein_, and in a variety
of the same in the last book of Afanassieff's stories.--In an
unpublished story of the Monferrato, communicated to me by Dr Ferraro,
a fisherman catches a large fish which says to him, "Let me go, and
you will always be fortunate." The wife of the fisherman opposes this,
roasts and eats the fish, from whose bones are born to the fisherman
three sons, three horses, and three dogs. Evidently the story has been

[493] Cfr. Salvianus, _Aquatilium Animalium Historiæ_, Romæ, 1554.

[494] At Berlin, children sing on the first of April--

      "April! April! April!
       Man kann den Narren schicken wohin man will."

[495] Another custom concerning herrings is described by Baron von
Reinsberg, relating to Ash-Wednesday, when people return from church
in Limburg: "Begiebt man sich zuerst nach Hause, um nach gewohnter
Weise den Häring abzubeissen. Sobald man nämlich aus der Kirche kommt,
wird ein Häring, nun muss jeder mit geschlossenen Beinen, die Arme
fest an den Leib gedrückt, in die Höhe springen und dabei suchen, ein
Stück abzubeissen." And Karl Simrock, the work quoted before, p. 561,
writes: "In der Mark muss man zu Neujahr Hirse oder Häringe essen, im
Wittenbergischen Heringssalat, so hat man das ganze Jahr über Geld."

[496] Cfr. Salvianus, _ut supra_. The habit certain fishes have of
ejecting froth from the mouth may have suggested a phallical image.

[497] Bei Hans Sachs, Nürnberger, Ausgabe von 1560, ii. 14, 96, Eine
Frau und Magd essen den für den Herrn bestimmten Aal; eine Elster
schwatzt es aus; ran sich zu rächen, rupfen die Weiber ihr den Kopf
kahl. Daher man sprichwörtlich von einem kahlen Mönche sagt: der hat
gewiss vom Aale ausgeschwatzt; Menzel, _Die Vorchristliche

[498] In the same: "So erzählt Gilbert bei Leibnitz Script. rer.
Brunsw. i. 987. Ein Frauenzimmer, welches Aal gegessen, habe plötzlich
Alles sehen können was unter Wasser war."

[499] It is well known that the word _ikshvâkus_ has been referred to
the word _ikshus_, the sugar-cane. In the fortieth canto of the first
book of the _Râmâyaṇam_, one of the two wives of Sagaras gives birth
to a son who continues his race; the other wife gives birth to an
ikshvâkus (gourd or cane) containing 60,000 sons.

[500] Cfr, Du Cange, _s. v._, and Salvianus, the work quoted before.

[501] In the thirteenth story of the first book of _Afanassieff_ (of
which the Bohemian story of _Grandfather Vsievedas_ is a well-known
variety), the whale complains that all the footmen and horsemen pass
over it and consume it to the bones. It begs the hero Basilius to ask
the serpent how long it has still to undergo this fate; the serpent
answers, when it has vomited forth the ten vessels of the rich
Mark.--In the eighth story of the fourth book of the _Pentamerone_,
the whale teaches Cianna the way to find the mother of time, requiring
her, in recompense, to be informed of the way in which the whale may
be able to swim freely to and fro in the sea without encountering
rocks and sandbanks. Cianna brings back for answer, that it must make
friends with the sea-mouse (_lo sorece marino_, perhaps the same as
the sea-urchin), which will serve as its guide.--In the eighth story
of the fifth book of the _Pentamerone_, the little girl is received in
the sea by a large enchanted fish, in whose belly she finds beautiful
companions, gardens, and a beautiful palace furnished with everything.
The fish carries the girl to the shore.

[502] If I am not mistaken, the German words _Narr_, fool, and _nass_,
wet, are in connection with each other by the same analogy which gives
us the Sanskṛit _mattas_, drunk, and the Latin _madidus_, damp, from
the root _mad_.

[503] A superstitious belief quoted by Pliny concerning the cramp-fish
merits being recorded here: "Mirum quod de Torpedine invenio, si capta
cum Luna in Libra fuerit, triduoque asservetur sub dio, faciles partus
facere postea quoties inferatur."

[504] _s. v. citula_, Du Cange writes concerning the fish faber or
Zeus: "Idem forte piscis, quem Galli doream vocant ab aureo laterum
colore, nostri et Hispani Galli Baionenses jau, id est gallum, a dorsi
pinnis surrectis veluti gallorum gallinaceorum cristis." The fish Zeus
lives in solitude; hence it appears to me to be the same sacred fish,
called anthias, of which Aristotle, in the ninth book of the _History
of Animals_, says that it lives where no other animal is found.




    The riddle, how it is a fish, and not a fish.--The crab appears
    and the sun goes back; the crab-moon draws the solar hero
    back.--The crane and the crab.--The crab kills the serpent and
    releases the solar hero.--The crab draws the
    chariot.--Palinurus.--The crabs prick and waken the hero.--The
    race between the crab and the fox.--The prince becomes a crab to
    release his beloved from the waters.--The nightingale, the stag,
    and the crab as awakeners.--The crab as an antidote for the venom
    of the toad, and as a remedy for the stone.

In the eighth Esthonian story, a husband beats his wife because she is
unable to solve the riddle which he proposes, to provide him a fish to
eat, which is not a fish, and which has eyes, but not in its head. The
third brother, the cunning one, recommends his mother to cook the
crab, which lives in the water like a fish, and which has eyes, but
not in its head.

When the sun seems to enter, in the month of June, into the tropic
which bears the sign of the crab (Lat. _cancer_; Gr. _karkinos_;
Sanskṛit, _karkaṭas_, _karkas_, _karkaṭakas_; the Hindoo constellation
of the crab is called _karkin_, or furnished with the crab, in the
same way as the leaping moon, furnished with the hare, is called
_çaçin_), it is said to come back again; on the first day of summer
the days begin to shorten, as on the first of winter they begin to
lengthen; the sun in the month of June was therefore compared to a
crab, which retraces its steps, or was represented as drawn by a crab,
which, in this case, is particularly the moon. We all know the myth of
Hêraklês, who, when combatting the hydra of Lerne, was caught and
drawn back by the crab, which Hêra, therefore, transformed into the
celestial constellation of the crab. In the _Pseudo-Callisthenes_,
Alexander returns in terror from his journey to the fountain of
immortality, when he sees that the crabs draw his ships back into the
sea. In the same work, we find a crab caught which contains seven
precious pearls; Alexander has it shut up in a vase, which is enclosed
in a large cage, fastened by an iron chain; a fish draws the cage a
mile out to sea; Alexander, half dead with terror, thanks the gods for
the warning, and so saving his life, persuading himself that it is not
fit to attempt impossible undertakings. In the seventh story of the
first book of the _Pańćatantram_, the old crane, on the other hand,
terrifies the crab and the fishes by threatening them with a
visitation of the gods in the chariot of Rohinî, the red wife of the
Lunus, that is, in the constellation of the Wain or the Bulls (the
fourth lunation of the moon), in consequence of which the rain will
cease to fall, the pond will be dried up, and the crabs and fishes
will die; the fishes allow themselves to be deceived by the crane, who
eats them on the way; but the crab, on the contrary, when it has got
half way, perceives the deceit of the crane, kills it, and returns
back again. Professor Benfey has found a variation of this story in
the Buddhist sacred and historical books of Ceylon. In the Æsopian
fables, the crab kills the serpent. In the twentieth story of the
first book of the _Pańćatantram_, the crab causes, at the same time,
the death of the serpent and the crane, by means of the ichneumon;
the crab, which walks a little backwards and a little forwards, when
transported into the sky, causes now the death of the solar hero and
now that of the monster, now delivers the solar hero from the monster
and now drags it into the waters. In the fifteenth and last story of
the fifth book of the _Pańćatantram_, the young hero Brahmadattas
takes, for his companion in his journey, the crab, who, whilst he
sleeps in the shade of a tree, kills the serpent which comes to kill
him. This mythical crab, this red animal which kills the serpent, is
sometimes the sun, but, perhaps, oftener it may be compared to the
horned moon, which increases and diminishes, and releases the solar
hero, asleep in the shadow of the night and of the winter, from the
black serpent who endeavours to turn his sleep into death;
Brahmadattas, when he wakens, recognises the crab as his deliverer.
Thus we have already seen the moon considered more than once, in
several forms, as the saviour of the solar hero and heroine. When the
sun falls in the evening, in the west, it must necessarily go back
like the crab, to reappear in the morning on the same eastern side
from whence it came; when the sun goes back and the days grow shorter,
after the summer solstice, the crab, in the Zodiacal cycle, retraces
its steps. When the sun goes back, the moon either rules the darkness
of the frigid night, or in autumn brings on the autumnal rains; the
horns of the moon, and those of the crab, serve now to draw the hero
into the waters (in the evening, and after solstice of June), now to
draw him out of the waters (towards dawn and towards spring). The sun
is now represented as having transformed himself into the moon, and
now as having been deceived or saved by the moon. The sun which
retraces its steps is a crab; the moon which draws back, or draws out,
is also a crab, and, in this respect, seems to hold the same place as
the sea-urchin with the hundred oars, or of the dolphin with the
scythe-shaped fin, which draws the chariot of the solar hero, or the
solar hero himself. In the fable of Kriloff, the crab draws the
chariot with the pike and the heron (the latter taking the place here
of the crane, which we have seen above in connection with the crab,
and which is also called in Sanskṛit by the same name as the crab,
that is, karkaṭas). It is well known that the sea-crab, _Palinurus
vulgaris_, took its name from the pilot Palinurus, who fell into the
sea. In the fourteenth story of the first book of _Afanassieff_, the
crabs prick and waken the young hero Theodore (gift of God, an
equivalent of Brahmadattas, given by the god Brahman), put to sleep by
the witch; they are grateful to the hero, because he divided the
caviare into equal parts among the crabs who were disputing for it.

We have seen the challenge to a race with the hare and the locust, the
hare and locust both seem to lose the race. Afterwards we saw the
challenge to a trial of flight of the beetle and the wren with the
eagle, in which the animal that symbolises the moon, on the other
hand, wins the race. Thus, in the same way, as to spring succeeds June
or the month of the crab, we find represented in the fifth story of
the fourth book of _Afanassieff_ a race between the fox (which, as it
symbolises the twilights of the day, represents also the equinoxes in
the year) and the crab (it is well known that the crab, _Palinurus
vulgaris_, was called by the Latins by the name of _locusta_). The
crab fastens itself to the fox's tail; the latter arrives at the
winning-post without knowing of the crab's presence; the fox then
turns round to see whether his opponent is far off, upon which the
crab, letting go the fox's brush and dropping quietly on the ground,
looks up and placidly remarks that it has been waiting for some time.

In the first of the Esthonian stories, the young prince, in order to
release from the waters his beloved, who had become a water-rose, by
the eagle's advice takes off his clothes, covers himself with mud, and
holding his nose between his fingers, snivels out, "From a man, a
crab;" then he instantly becomes a crab, and goes to draw the
water-rose out of the water, to bring it to shore near a stone, at
which, when arrived, he says, "From the water-rose, the maiden; from
the crab, the man." (This myth appears to represent the amours of the
sun as a female, with the moon as a male.) I observe that among the
Sanskṛit meanings of the word _karkaṭas_, which means a crab, there is
that of a heap of water-roses, or a heap of lotuses.

We have already seen the nightingale and the stag as images
representing the moon; here we also find a crab as a lunar figure. The
moon is the watcher of night; either it sleeps with its eyes open like
the hare, or it is watchful like the stag, or, as a nightingale, it
justifies the Greek proverb of the watchers who sleep less than the
nightingales (oud' hoson Aêdones üpnôousin), or, as crab, it wakens up
with its claws those who are asleep and menaced by any danger.[505] In
Pliny we find the nightingale, the stag, and the crab in concord; he
informs us that crab's eyes, with the nightingale's flesh, tied up in
a stag's skin, are useful to keep a man awake. The moon, in fact, not
only herself watches, but makes men watch, or prolong their vigils; we
know, moreover, of the excitement with which her presence agitates the
quail, which cannot sleep when the moon shines in the sky. Pliny also
recommends the river-crab, cut in pieces and drunk, as a remedy
against any poison, but especially against the venom projected by the
toad. In the _Heisterbac. Hist. Miracul._, we read of a man named
Theodoric, and surnamed Cancer, that the devil persecuted him in the
form of a toad; he kills the diabolical toad more than once, but it
always rises again; then Cancer, recognising the devil in this form,
forms a heroic resolution, uncovers one of his thighs, and lets
himself be bitten; the thigh inflames, but he is cured at last, and
from that day forward he is and continues a holy man. German
superstition, therefore, combines with Græco-Latin to consider the
crab as an enemy of the monster; but as in Græco-Latin beliefs,
besides the crab which awakens, there is also, as we have seen, the
crab which seeks to ruin the solar hero, so in Germanic mythical
tradition, the death of the solar and diurnal hero Baldur takes place,
when the sun enters the Zodiacal sign of Cancer.


[505] We know that lynx's eyes, or lynx-like eyes, mean very
sharp-sighted ones; ancient physicians recommended against the stone
or the disease of the gravel, now the lyncurium, the stone which was
supposed to be made of the urine of the lynxes, given by India to
Bacchus, according to Ovid's expression, and now crab's eyes. The moon
destroys with its light the stone-sky, the sky of night; hence crab's
eyes are recommended against the disease of the stone. When the moon
is not in the sky of night, the stone is there.




    Equivoque between the words _kaććhapas_ and _kaçyapas_ (by the
    intermediate form, _kaçapas_).--Explanation of the myth of the
    production of the ambrosia, by means of the mandaras.--Mantharas
    as a tortoise.--Kûrmas.--Kaććhapas the lord of the shores.--The
    tortoise and the elephant.--Kaçyapas as Praǵâpatis.--Somas and
    Savitar.--Kaçyapas and the thirteen daughters of Dakshas;
    Dakshaǵâ.--The funereal tortoise and the frog.--The tortoise and
    the lyre; the Schild-kröte; the shields of the Kureti; kaććhâs,
    kaććhapî; kûrmas as a poet and as a wind.--The tortoise and the
    warriors.--The shields fallen from the sky.--The demoniacal
    tortoise.--The tortoise as an island.--The hare and the
    tortoise.--The tortoise defeats the eagle.

Of the three principal Hindoo names of the tortoise, _kûrmas_,
_kaććhapas_, and _kaçyapas_, the third alone, in connection with the
second, seems to have any importance in the history of myths. The
expression _kûrmas_ is the word usually employed to designate the real
tortoise, whilst the expression _kaçyapas_ gave rise to mythical
equivoques, which deserve to be observed.

We know of the famous incarnation of Vishṇus as a tortoise, treated of
in the _Kûrma P._ The problem was to stir up the ocean of milk to make
ambrosia; the sea had no bottom, inasmuch as the earth had as yet no
existence; to stir up the waters of the ocean, something of colossal
size was needed; the gods had recourse to the mandaras, which was made
to serve for the purpose, as the king of the rods, _kaçapas_; the gods
and the demons shook the rod, and the ambrosia came forth; no sooner
was the ambrosia produced, than the world of animated beings began to
be created. The character of this cosmogony is preternaturally
phallical; the white froth of the sea (born of the genital organs of
Ouranos, castrated by his son Kronos), whence Aphroditê rises, and the
cosmic ambrosia, being nothing else than the genital sperm. At a later
period a mountain was seen in the mandaras, and the words _kaçapas_
and _kaććhapas_ (subsequently changed into _kaçyapas_) being confused,
the king of the rods or phallos, _par excellence_, was converted into
a tortoise. The mandaras (from the root _mand-mad_, to inebriate, to
make joyful), however, might mean the agitator, that which makes
joyful; but as from _mad_ is derived the word _matsyas_, the fish now
drunken, now stupid, so the word _mandaras_ also has, for its proper
meanings, slow and large, and is closely connected with mandas, which,
besides slow, lazy, soft, also means drunken; with mandakas, foolish;
and with mandanas, merry; and, as such, we can understand how there
was in the celestial Paradise, in the mandanas or making joyful, the
tree mandaras, the inebriating. Finally, it is connected with
manthanas, the agitator, and identified with mantharas, which also
means the agitator, the slow, and the lazy. But there is also another
analogy which offers us the means of understanding how the equivoque
of kaçapas, confused with kaććhapas, and which afterwards became
kaçyapas or tortoise, became popular, just through the word _kûrmas_,
which, as we have said, means a tortoise. When the mandaras or
mantharas was conceived of as a producer of ambrosia, they soon
identified the mantharas itself (the slow, the late, the curved) with
the tortoise; in fact, _mantharas_ is the name given to a tortoise in
the _Hitopadeças_, and the name _mantharakas_ is applied to another in
_Somadevas_ and in the _Pańćatantram_. Considered simply as the slow
and the curved, the thought of the tortoise, which answers this
description, naturally arose in connection with the name; the
primitive myth became complicated, and the mandaras and the kaçapas,
which were originally one and same, were at length distinguished from
each other, the kaçapas, at first a kaçyapas or kaććhapas or tortoise,
and, _vice versa_, the mandaras or mantharas also; the words in course
of time lost their primitive meaning, the mandaras (as the slow one)
became a mountain (which does not move), and the kaçapas a tortoise,
supporting the mountain, at once vast, ponderous, and inert. As it
often happens in mythology that two distinct personalities spring out
of two names at first applied to the same mythical object or being,
and both being names which indicate something heavy, it was surmised
that the one heavy thing carried the other, and that the heavy
tortoise, into which the god Vishṇus transformed himself, sustained
the weight of the heavy mountain placed upon it by his _alter ego_
Indras. The ideas of weighty and curved being united in both the
mandaras and the kaçapas, the tortoise, as kûrmas, serves well for
this office of a carrier, an assertion I venture to make, inasmuch as
in _kûr-mas_ I think I can recognise the same root which appears in
the Sanskṛit _gur-u-s_, fem. _gur-v-î_, superlat. _gar-ishṭh-a-s_
(Lat. _gra-v-is_, from _garvis_), and in the Latin _curvus_.[506]

As for the name of kaććhapas, to which the equivocal Hindoo epithet
of kaçyapas, applied to the tortoise, should be referred, it properly
means the lord, the guardian of the shores, he who occupies the
shores, and is a perfectly apt designation for the tortoise, and an
expression _à propos_ to what is related of it in the legend quoted by
us in the chapter on the elephant. Both animals (sun and moon)
frequent the banks of the same lake, and have conceived a mortal
dislike one for the other, continuing in their brutal forms the
quarrel which existed between them when they were not only two men but
two brothers. As the elephant and the tortoise both frequent the
shores of the same lake, they mutually annoy each other, renewing and
maintaining in mythical zoology the strife which subsists between the
two mythical brothers, who fight with each other for the kingdom of
heaven, either in the form of twilights, or of equinoxes, or of sun
and moon, or of twilight and sun, or of twilight and moon, in any of
the various interpretations which can, all with same basis of truth,
be given to the myth of the Açvinâu, according to their appearance
among celestial phenomena, which, although distinct, have nevertheless
a great resemblance. In this particular mythical struggle between the
tortoise and the elephant, terminated by the bird garuḍas, who carries
them both up into the air in order to devour them, the tortoise and
the elephant seem, however, especially to personify the two twilights
of the day and the two twilights of the year--that is, the equinoxes,
or the sun and the moon in the crepuscular hour, the sun and the moon
in the equinoctial day, upon the banks of the great heavenly lake.

But, in the legend contained in the _Mahâbhâratam_[507] of the
tortoise and the elephant carried into the air by the Vishṇuitic
bird, there is still another interesting circumstance or variation,
which corroborates the cosmic interpretation of the myth of the
tortoise now proposed by me. The divine Kaçyapas is mentioned in it;
he desires to have a son, and therefore has himself served by the gods
(since it is the gods who make the mandaras, the producer of ambrosia,
turn round) in the sacrifice adapted to produce children. The
phallical Indras carries on his shoulders a mountain of wood, which
evidently corresponds to the mandaras or kaça-pas, and, on the way,
offends the dwarf hermits born of the hairs of the body of Brahman,
that is, the hairs themselves; to this Kaçyapas, the name of
Praǵâpatis or lord of generation is given. We here again meet with the
monstrous phallos which produces the ambrosia (or the Somas to which
corresponds Savitar, the generator and the lord of the creatures[508])
and generates living beings in the world. Kaçyapas being considered as
the generator, he was therefore placed in relation with the movements
of the moon and the sun, who are also generators (as Somas and
Savitar); and it is in this respect that Kaçyapas also appears as the
fœœcundator of the thirteen daughters of Dakshas, who correspond to
the thirteen months of the lunar year (Dakshaǵâ is the name of a lunar
asterism and of the wife of a phallical Çivas, and dakshaǵâpatis one
of the Hindoo names given to the moon; Dakshas is also identified with
Praǵâpatis; whence Kaçyapas must have united himself, probably as the
phallical moon, with his own daughters, or with his thirteen
lunations). Of the thirteen wives made fruitful by Kaçyapas,
everything that lives was born,--gods, demons, men, and beasts,--so
that in the cosmogony of the mandaras, of the Kaçapas, and hence of
the tortoise, the mandaras, when shaken, produced the phallical
ambrosia, of which all animated things were spontaneously generated.

But the tortoise, taken in connection with the moon, sometimes also
had a funereal signification. The souls of the dead go into the world
of the moon, into the sky of night, and the souls of the living
descend from the world of the moon, that is, from the night; Çivas,
the god of Paradise, becomes the destroying god; Plutus and Pluto are
identified. Thus, in a note of Professor Haugh to the _Âitareya Br._,
I think I can recognise the tortoise, as representing in particular
the dying moon, the burnt-up moon, which has the fire of spring for
its tomb, round whose corpse the moon also moves in the here
equivalent form of a frog (being _haris_, which means both yellow and
green), and who is herself afterwards turned out. We know how Haris or
Vishṇus now represents the sun and now the moon (the sun and the moon,
as Indras and Somas, were called together rakshohanâu or
monster-killers), is identified now with the tortoise, now with the
bird garuḍas, the enemy of the tortoise. Here is, however, the note of
Professor Haugh: "At each Atirâtra of the Gavâm ayanam the so-called
Chayana ceremony takes place. This consists in the construction of the
Uttarâ Vedi (the northern altar) in the shape of an eagle. About 1440
bricks are required for this structure, each being consecrated with a
separate Yaǵusmantra. This altar represents the universe. A tortoise
is buried alive in it, and a living frog carried round it and
afterwards turned out." According to Pliny, the blood of a tortoise is
an antidote to the venom of a toad (in the same way as the hare and a
stag's horn is also recommended as of similar efficacy on the old
principle of _similia_ _similibus_; the hare is the moon, the stag's
horn the moon's horn; the blood of the killed tortoise would appear to
represent the moon itself as in a manner chasing the gloom of night
away). The tortoise is also found in connection with frogs in a fable
of Abstemius; the tortoise envies the frogs, who can move rapidly, but
ceases to complain when it sees them become the prey of the eel.

One of the ten stars of the constellation of the tortoise, situated in
the northern heavens--that is, in the cloudy and gloomy autumnal sky,
and therefore especially ruled by the moon--was called the lyre by the
Greeks, and it was fabled that the tortoise of which Hermês had made
the lyre, had been transfigured into it. I may remark here that the
German name for the tortoise is Schild-kröte (toad with shields), that
the Koribantes[509] produced their noisy music, and accompanied their
Pyrrhic dances with kettledrums and the sound of arms, and that the
Kureti, in order to conceal from Kronos the birth of Zeus, struck
their shields with their lances. It is interesting to observe, that in
Sanskṛit also, kaććhâs is the name given to the little shields of the
tortoise or kaććhapas; that kaććhapî is the term applied to the noise
of the thundering Sarasvatî, or the thunder; that several Vedic poets
are called Kaçyapas; that Kûrmas (another designation of the tortoise)
is also the name of the Vedic poet, the son of Gṛitsamadas, and also
an epithet applied to the _flatus ventris_, which is compared to a
clap of thunder (Cfr. the roots _kar_, _kur_, _gar_, _gur_). In the
chapter on the ass, we saw this _flatus_ compared to the noise of a
trumpet or a kettle-drum; here we have the thunderbolts that strike
upon the shields, the spots of the celestial tortoise, of the rainy
moon, upon the clouds, attracted by or formed from the moon's spots,
that is, which produce the thunder. According to the Hellenic myth,
the tortoise obtained from Zeus himself--that is, from the pluvial
god, from the god of the clouds, the god in connection with the
shield-clouds which concealed his birth, and we may add, from the god
tortoise,--the power of concealing itself under shields, and of
carrying its house along with it. The Romans were accustomed to bathe
new-born babes in the concavity of a tortoise, as if in a shield. It
was predicted that Clodius Albinus would one day attain to sovereign
power, because, when he was born, an enormous tortoise was brought to
his father by some fishermen. The tortoise protects Zeus, the new-born
warrior-god; the tortoise, on account of its shields, makes the
new-born child a warrior, and predicts dominion to him; my
well-informed readers will remember how a shield, fallen from the sky,
presaged to the Romans the glories they should achieve as a warlike
people, according to Ovid's verses--

           "... Totum jam sol emerserat orbem:
        Et gravis ætherio venit ab axe fragor.
      Ter tonuit sine nube Deus, tria fulgura misit.
        Credite dicenti: mira sed acta loquor.
      A media cœœlum regione dehiscere cœœpit:
        Submisere oculos cum duce turba suo.
      Ecce levi scutum versatum leniter aura
        Decidit: a populo clamor ad astra venit."

Under this aspect the tortoise becomes the dark moon, in opposition to
the luminous one, the slow moon, in opposition to the jumping one. Being
slow or tardigrade, in the myths the tortoise is the moon, but the
winter one; and sometimes it becomes also now the cloud, now the earth,
now even the darkness (as such it appears demoniacal in a German legend,
where two devils who have assumed the forms of monstrous tortoises,
prevent the foundations of the cathedral church of Merseburg from being
laid; the tortoises are exorcised, and their bodies slain, in memory of
which circumstance it is said that the cups of these tortoises are
preserved, hung up in the church; in the fourteenth fargard of the
_Vendidad_, too, the tortoises are, as demoniacal, to be killed). We
have seen in the first chapter of the first book, the hare-moon passed
over and crushed by the cow's waggon, suggesting to us the cloud (as the
moon, now a bridge, now an island of the sky, as sea), which passes over
the moon, but he perhaps, again, of the eclipse of the moon by the means
of the earth, which is also called a cow in Sanskṛit. In Sanskṛit, the
earth, which comes out of waters--an island[510] (as the moon and the
cloud)--is also called by the name of kûrmas, _i.e._, a tortoise
(properly the curved, the humped, the eminent, the prominent; mantharas
is a name given to the tortoise, and Mantharâ is the name of the
humpbacked woman who causes the ruin of Râmas in the _Râmâyaṇam_). Hence
we also have in the West, besides the fables of the leaping hare (the
moon) and the cow, of the leaping locust (the moon) and the ant, the
apologue of the hare and the tortoise who run together; the hare,
relying on its swiftness, falls asleep and loses, while the tortoise by
steady perseverance wins the race.

We have already seen the tortoise in the Hindoo legends as the rival
of the eagle or the Vishṇuitic bird Garuḍas. The two are now
identified and now fight against each other (we must remember that it
was by the advice of Kaçyapas that the bird Garuḍas ravished the
ambrosia from the serpents). In Greece, the proverb of the tortoise
which vanquishes the eagle, was already diffused; now it is the eagle
which carries the tortoise into the air, or rather makes it fly, now
it is, on the other hand, the tortoise which defies the eagle to
arrive first. It is interesting to compare with this the Siamese
apologue published by A. Bastian in the _Orient und Occident_, of
evidently Hindoo origin. The bird Khruth, no doubt a limited and
particular form of Garuḍas, wishes to eat a tortoise (here perhaps the
moon) which lies upon the shore of a lake. The tortoise consents to be
eaten, under the condition that the Khruth accepts a challenge to a
trial of speed, and arrives soonest on the other side of the lake, the
bird to go through the air, and the tortoise through the water. The
bird Khruth accepts the wager; then the tortoise calls together
millions and millions of tortoises, and places them all in such a way
that they surround the lake, each distant a few steps from the water.
Then it gives the signal to the bird to commence the race. The Khruth
rises into the air, and flees to the opposite bank; wherever he essays
to alight, he finds the tortoise has been there before him. (This myth
represents, perhaps, the relation of the sun to the lunations).


[506] Cfr. the Sanskṛit roots, _kar_, _kur_, _gur_, _gûr_.

[507] i. 1353-1456.

[508] Savitâ vâi prasavânâmiço.--_Âit. Br._ The story of Cunaḥçepas;
he appears evidently as a form of Praǵâpatis.

[509] The Koribantes remind us of the Salii of the Latins, to whom
Numa gives the arms and the words, to be sung leaping. According to
Ovid's distich--

      "Jam dederat Salii (a saltu nomina ducunt)
        Armaque et ad certos verba canenda modos."
                                          --_Fasti_, iii. 389.

[510] It is interesting in this connection to find in the translation of
Lane a passage from the _Aǵáïb-el-Makhlooḳát_ (_Marvels of Creation_), a
work of the thirteenth century: "The tortoise is a sea and land animal.
As to the sea tortoise it is very enormous, so that the people of the
ship imagine it to be an island. One of the merchants relates as follows
regarding it: 'We found in the sea an island elevated above the water,
having upon it green plants, and we went forth to it, and dug [holes for
fire] to cook; whereupon the island moved, and the sailors said, "Come
ye to your place, for it is a tortoise, and the heat of the fire hath
hurt it, lest it carry you away." By reason of the enormity of its
body,' said he [_i.e._, the narrator above mentioned], 'it was as though
it were an island, and earth collected upon its back in the length of
time, so that it became like land, and produced plants.'" Evidently here
the tortoise occupies the same place as, in popular tradition, the lunar
whale recorded by us in the chapter on the Fishes. Cfr. Lane, _The
Thousand and One Nights_, London, 1841, vol. iii. chap. xx. n. 1 and 8,
p. 80 _seq._--Grein, _Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Poesie_,
Göttingen, 1857, 1, 235, the Celtic legend of St Brandan and the




    The mâṇḍukâs or frogs as clouds in the _Ṛigvedas_.--Bhekas.--The
    frog announces the summer; the _canta-rana_ announces Christ.--The
    serpent, the hero, and the frog.--The frog and the ox.--Dionysos
    and the frogs.--Indras and the frogs.--The dumb frogs.--Proserpina
    and the frog.--Rana cum gryllo.--The frog finds the sultan's
    ring.--The frog and the rook.--The frog as the serpent's
    daughter.--The demoniacal frog.--The yellow and the green
    frog.--The beautiful maiden as a frog.--The demoniacal toad.--The
    sacred toad.--The beautiful maiden as a toad.--The toad in
    Tuscany, in Sicily, and in Germany.--The handsome youth as a
    toad.--Women who gave birth to toads.--The venomous and the
    alexipharmic toad.--Kröte and Schildkröte.--The toad swallows the
    dew.--The stone of the frog.--The horned lizard.--Eidechse,
    hagedisse.--Apollo as sauroktanos.--The lizard on St Agnes's
    Day.--The little lizards must not be killed in Sicily, being
    intercessors before the Lord.--The amphisbhæna.--The _lacerta
    viridis_.--The _couleuvre_ as a good fairy.

I am sorry to be unable to concur entirely in the opinion of the
illustrious Professor Max Müller, when, in translating a hymn of the
_Ṛigvedas_, in his _History of Ancient Sanskṛit Literature_, he remarks,
"The 103d hymn, in the seventh Maṇḍalam, which is called a panegyric of
the frogs, is clearly a satire on the priests." It is possible that at a
later period, in deriding a brâhmanic school similar to that of the
mâṇḍûkâs, a satirical sense would have been ascribed to this hymn, but
it does not seem to me that the intention of the author of the Vedic
hymn was such. Professor Max Müller has shown well in his History how
the Vedic hymns have suffered in the hands of the Brâhmans, by means of
their arbitrary interpretations; the interesting story of the
hypothetical god Kas is a very convincing proof of it; it is, therefore,
possible, and even probable, that attempts were made to use this Vedic
hymn as an arrow for satire; but if I am not mistaken, no trace of a
satirical meaning can be found in the hymn itself. Above all, I must
observe that the Anukramaṇikâ of the _Ṛigvedas_ properly calls the hymn
only parǵanyastutis, or hymn in honour of Parǵanyas, the hymn of the
tempest; secondly, it scarcely seems possible that a satirical hymn,
intended to caricature the priests, should be inserted in the seventh
book, which is attributed to Vasishṭas, the most religious of all the
legendary Brâhmans, and he who, for the glory of Brâhmanism and the
rights of the sacerdotal caste, maintained such a protracted and
disastrous war against Viçvâmitras, the champion of the warrior race;
hence, if a satirical hymn against priests had been found in the third
book of the _Ṛigvedas_, ascribed to the wise Viçvâmitras, I should not
have thought it so strange, whilst it would be misplaced in the hymns
said to be written by Vasishṭas. To me it seems rather that, when
speaking of frogs, the hymn does not allude to the frogs of the earth,
but to the clouds, the cloud-frogs, attracted by the pluvial moon,
whilst the tempest is at its height. We know that in the _Ṛigvedas_, the
wives of the gods weave hymns in honour of the lightning and thundering
god Indras, who has killed the monster serpent which kept back the
waters of the heavenly cloud; we have also, in the first chapter of the
first book, heard the cows lowing and exulting joyfully before their
deliverer Indras, who lets his seed drop in the midst of them as soon as
they are released from the cave where they were imprisoned. In the
seventh book, the hymns 101 and 102 are sung in honour of Indras as
Parǵanyas; the hymn 103 is also sung in his honour, but by the clouds of
the sky themselves, by the celestial frogs, inasmuch as the frog which
croaks, when transported into the sky, is nought else then the
thundering cloud; in fact, in Sanskṛit the word _bhekas_, which means
frog, has also the meaning of cloud. We have seen that the cuckoo who
sings in spring, and admonishes the tillers of the soil to begin their
work, personifies the thunder in the sky: the frog has the same office;
it, like the thunder, announces the approaching tempest. And because,
when the first claps of thunder are heard, it is the summer which
announces its coming, so the frog that croaks and the frog that sings
served specially to announce the summer. I remember that, a few years
ago, there still existed at Turin, among children, the custom of
sounding in the Holy Week (in order to greet the approaching festival of
the resurrection of Christ, who died amongst flashes of lightning and
peals of thunder) a wooden instrument, which emitted a sharp squeak
resembling the croaking of a frog, and which was therefore called
_canta-rana_ (the frog sings). It was also the custom on Easter Eve to
strike all the doors violently with sticks, as if to reproduce under
another form the sound of the _canta-rana_. According to Pliny, the
frogs die in winter, and are born again in spring; when the frogs ask
for a king, and obtain, in the Greek fable[511] a serpent, and in the
Russian fable of Kriloff a heron, the serpent and the heron symbolise
the autumnal and wintry seasons. Indras, Zeus, and Christ are born and
born again amid the noise of musical instruments, shields, arms, winds
and thunder, among the lowing of cows, the bleating of goats, the
braying of asses, and the croaking of frogs, called by Aristophanes
_philôdon genos_. In the 103d hymn of the seventh book of the
_Ṛigvedas_, one maṇḍûkas (frog or cloud) lows like a cow (gomâyus);
another like a goat (aǵamâyus); one is pṛiçnis, or variegated; another
haritas, or fair-haired, golden, red (the cloud born by the lightning
and the violence of the wind), and, as a frog, green or grey; the
maṇḍûkas or frog being transported into the sky, or identified, as a
ǵomâyus, with the cow, it is no wonder that, in the fable, the frog has
the presumption of thinking it can inflate itself to the size of an ox;
but when the little cloud has become a large one, it ends by bursting,
and so does the frog in his attempt to distend himself and become as
large as the ox. (In the eighteenth Esthonian story, we find a monster
who has a body like that of an ox, and feet like those of a frog.) When
Indras and Zeus have accomplished their work in the celestial cloud,
when the cloud has passed away and dispersed, when the frogs are drunk
with water, they cease their croaking; thus, in the _Frogs_ of
Aristophanes, when Dionüsos (nüseios Dios) has passed the Stygian marsh,
they stop croaking; whilst Zeus, on the other hand, floods the earth
with water, they (Dios pheugontes ombron) retire into the depths of the
waters to dance in chorus (as the ap-sarâs). On the other hand, before
the pluvial god satisfies their desires, before it rains, they croak
incessantly; the thunder always makes itself heard before the rain, and
at the outbreak of the tempest; hence, in the _Ṛigvedas_ itself, Indus
(the moon), as a bringer of rain (or the rain itself), is implored to
run and plead with Indras, the pluvial god, to satisfy the desire of the
frog.[512] Here, therefore, it is especially Indus who satisfies the
frogs' desire for rain. Indus, as the moon, brings or announces the
somas, or the rain; the frog, croaking, announces or brings the rain;
and at this point the frog, which we have seen identified at first with
the cloud, is also identified with the pluvial moon. Another
characteristic of the frog made this identification all the more
natural, and that was, its green colour (harit). By the word _harit_
(which, as we, several times, have remarked, means yellow and green in
Sanskṛit) not only the moon, but the green parrot was designated, and
also the frog. The identification having been effected, the Greeks could
then relate fables concerning the frog of the Island of Seriphos
(batrachos ek Seriphou), which was dumb; so in the Lives of St Regulus
and St Benno, we read that when these two saints, as they preached the
Christian faith, were annoyed by the croaking of the frogs, they ordered
the frogs to be silent, and they became dumb for ever. In truth, the
frogs are silent (and even die, according to Pliny) in winter, which is
under the especial dominion of the silent moon; the frog and the moon
are exchanged one for the other. In _Ovid_, the metamorphosis of the
frog is made to enter into the lunar myth, that is, into the myth of
Proserpina; it was the form of the frog which certain peasants of Lycia
assumed who dirtied the water of which Ceres and Proserpina wished to
drink; their croaking (coax) is the punishment to which the goddesses
condemned them, because in those waters they had emitted a vile sound
from their mouths.[513] Another proof of the identity of the frog with
the moon is the Latin proverb, "Rana cum gryllo," which afterwards
served to represent two opposite things, but which, in fact, are the
same, on account of their shrill voice, their way of hopping, and their
common mythical connection with the leaping moon. We are reminded of the
moon and the cloud in the war waged between the frogs and the mice, who
are mutually destroying each other until the falcon comes with
impartiality to annihilate both. We are, moreover, reminded of the
little goldfish, the fair-haired moon, and the pike, in the frog which,
in the _Tuti-Name_, finds the sultan's ring, which had fallen into the
river, for the young hero, in gratitude to him for having saved it from
the serpent who was about to devour it; it is said that both the frog
and the serpent were two fairies who, freed from their curse, united
themselves to protect the young hero (the new sun). In the twenty-third
Mongol story, the golden frog (the moon) is dancing; the rook (the
night) carries it off to eat it; the frog recommends it to wash it in
water; the rook is taken in, and the frog, like the jorsh of Russian
stories, succeeds in escaping; this frog is said to be the daughter of
the prince of the dragons, who watches over the pearl. As the daughter
of a serpent, the golden frog (the moon), when it is darkened, itself
appears as a diabolical serpent or pythoness, and is more like a toad
than a frog; then it becomes, according to Sadder, a meritorious service
to kill the frogs: "Ranas si interfecerit aliquis quicunque fortis eorum
adversarius, ejus quidem merita propterea erunt mille et ducenta. Aquam
eximat eamque removeat et locum siccum faciat et tum eas necabit a
capite ad calcem. Hinc Diaboli damnum percipientes maximum flebunt et
ploratum edent copiosissimum."

In the second Calmuc story of Siddhikür, two dragons who keep back the
river which irrigates the earth and makes it fruitful, and who eat a
man every year, assume the form of frogs (one yellow and the other
green), and speak to one another of the way in which they can be
killed. The king's son understands their language, and kills them,
helped by a poor friend of his, with whom he enriches himself, but
only to encounter (like the two mythical brothers) the most dangerous
adventures afterwards.

But the diabolical form of a frog is sometimes assumed by the
beautiful maiden (or else by the handsome youth) as the effect of a
malediction or an enchantment. Thus it is in the interesting
twenty-third story of the second book of _Afanassieff_. There is a
Tzar who has three sons; each son must shoot an arrow; where the arrow
falls, each brother will find his predestined wife. The two eldest
brothers marry in this way two beautiful women; the arrow of the
youngest brother Ivan, however, is taken up by a frog, whom he is
obliged to marry. The Tzar wishes to see which of the three brides
makes the handsomest present to her husband. All three give their
husbands a shirt, but that of the frog is the most beautiful; for
whilst Ivan sleeps (that is, in the night), she casts her skin,
becomes the beautiful Helen (generally the aurora, but here, it would
seem, the same transformed into the good fairy moon), and orders her
attendants to prepare the finest shirt possible; she then again
becomes a frog. The Tzar (a truly patriarchal Tzar) then wishes to see
which of his three daughters-in-law bakes bread best; the first two
brides know not what to do, and send secretly to see what the frog
does; the frog, who sees all, understands the trick, and bakes the
bread badly on purpose; afterwards, when she is alone and Ivan asleep,
she again becomes the beautiful Helen, and orders her attendants to
bake a loaf such as those which her father ate only on feast-days. The
loaf of the frog is pronounced the best. Lastly, the Tzar wishes to
see which of his daughters-in-law dances best. Ivan is sorrowful,
thinking that his bride is a frog; but Helen consoles him, sending him
to the ball, where she will join him; Ivan rejoices to think that his
wife has the gift of speech, and goes to the ball; the frog takes her
robes off, becomes the beautiful Helen once more, dresses herself
splendidly, comes to the ball, and all exclaim as they pass by her (as
to the Homeric Helen), "How beautiful!" They first sit down to table
to eat; Helen takes bones in one hand, and water in the other; her
sisters-in-law do the same. Then the ball begins. Helen throws water
from one hand, and groves and fountains spring up; and bones (we
remember a similar virtue in the bones of the cow) from the other,
from which birds flutter upward (the same is narrated in a story I
heard in Piedmont when a child). Meanwhile, Ivan runs home to burn the
frog's skin. Helen returns home, can no longer become a frog, and is
sorrowful; she goes with Ivan to bed, and awakening at morn, says to
him, "Ivan Tzarević, thou hast not been patient enough; I would have
been thine; now, as God wills it, Farewell! Seek me in the
twenty-seventh earth, in the thirtieth kingdom" (_i.e._, in my
opinion, in hell, in the night into which the moon and the aurora
descend, and whence the moon comes out again and renews itself after
twenty-seven days; the Russian story is evidently a variety of the
fable of Cupid and Psyche).[514] She then disappears. Ivan goes to
seek his bride at the dwelling of the frog's mother, who is a witch;
he takes from her the spindle which spins gold, throws part of it
before him, and the rest behind. Helen appears once more, and the pair
flee away upon the carpet which flies by itself. Here the helped
aurora and the helping moon are assimilated.

But in popular stories the hero and heroine assume by witchcraft,
instead of the form of a dark frog, that of a toad, and sometimes that
of a horned lizard,[515] whence the verse of Mehun--

      "Boteraulx et couleuvres, visions de deables."

Inasmuch as the toad is a form proper to the demon, it is feared and
hunted; inasmuch as, on the contrary, it is considered as a diabolical
form imposed by force upon a divine or princely being, it is respected
and venerated as a sacred animal. In Tuscany it is considered by the
peasants a sacrilege to kill a toad. A low Tuscan song heard by me at
Santo Stefano di Calcinaia records the transformation of the beautiful
maiden into a toad; the mother toad speaks to her daughter to console
her, inspiring her with the hope of being soon married to the king's

      "Botta, gragna,[516]
       Il figlio del re che poco ti ama
       Se non t'ama, t'amerà,
       Quando per isposa lui t'avrà."

(Wretched toad! the king's son, who little loves thee, if he love thee
not, will love thee when he has thee for his wife.) The prince weds
the toad, which is immediately transformed into a beautiful maiden.
With regard to the superstitions concerning the toad current in
Sicily, it is interesting to note what my friend Giuseppe Pitrè writes
to me--"The toad brings fortune; he who is not fortunate must provide
himself with a toad and feed it in his house[517] upon bread and wine,
a consecrated nourishment, inasmuch as it is alleged toads are either
'lords' or 'women from without,' or 'uncomprehended genii,' or
'powerful fairies,' who have fallen under some malediction. Hence they
are not killed, nor even molested, lest when offended they should come
at night to spit water upon the offender's eyes which never heal, not
even if he recommend himself to the regard of Santa Lucia." Hence the
poet Meli, in his _Fata Galanti_, writes that he prevented a peasant
from killing a toad--

      "Jeu ch'avia 'ntisu da li miei maggiuri
       Che li buffi 'un si divinu ammazzari,
       Fici in modu chi l'ira e lu rancuri
       A ddu viddanu cci fici passari."

As a recompense for having saved its life, the toad soon afterwards
appears to him in the shape of a very beautiful woman, and promises to
assist him all the days of his life--

                "Oh picciotti furtunatu!
      Eu ti prutiggirò d'ora nn' avanti,
      Jeu su' dda buffa, chi tu, gratu e umanu
      Sarvasti antura da l'impiu viddanu."

In Piedmont, I have heard a popular story[518] related in which the
toad is, on the other hand, the diabolical form assumed by a handsome
youth; in Aldrovandi, several things are narrated of women who gave
birth to toads.[519]

From the double and contradictory aspect in which the toad was
regarded, popular medicine, although believing that the humour which
the toad, when provoked, ejects from behind, is fatal, and that the
toad not only poisoned men, but even all the plants over which it
passed, still recommends the wearing of dried toads under the armpits
as amulets against plague and poison. The same alexipharmic virtue was
also ascribed to the stone called and believed to be toad's-stone (or
bufonite), which was said to change colour when its wearer was
poisoned. The bufonite was supposed to be taken out of a toad's head,
but science has demonstrated that the bufonite, sold by quacks is made
of the tooth of a fossil fish.[520] Out of the toad, the dark animal
of the night, the gloom or winter, the solar pearl comes; thus popular
German stories regard the _Schild-kröte_ (or toad with the shield) as
sacred, on account of the pearl supposed to be contained in its head.
In Hungary it is said that the toad swallows the dew in the dry
season; it is believed, moreover, that the frog, like the serpent,
vomits forth, in spring, a precious stone called the stone of the
serpent or the stone of the frog. According to what Count Geza Kuun
writes to me, in the testament of a citizen of Kaisa three golden
rings are mentioned, one of which contained a "frog's stone."

I have observed above that the toad's place is sometimes taken in
popular tales by the horned lizard; the lizard also represents the
demoniacal shape, the shape of a witch. On this subject there was an
interesting discussion by Karl Simrock upon the word _Eidechse_ (the
lizard in German), derived from the ancient form _Hagedisse_ which is
the same as _Hexe_ or witch. It is as a witch that the lizard is killed,
in the Greek myth, by Apollines, whence its name of _sauroktanos_.[521]
But, inasmuch as the lizards appear in spring and announce the fine
season, they are considered (according to Porphyrios) sacred to the sun,
and therefore of good augury. A Bolognese proverb says, "Sant' Agnes, la
luserta cor pr' al paes," to indicate that the season is beginning to
improve, inasmuch as with the appearance of the lizards on the Day of St
Agnes, which is in the beginning of March, spring begins to make itself
felt. In Sicily it is believed that the little lizards called San
Giuvanni must not be killed, because they are in the presence of the
Lord in heaven, and light the little lamp to the Lord (as we have
already seen the firefly give light to the grain). And when they are
killed, in order that they may not curse one, one must say to the tail
which is shaking, that it was not the real killer, but the dog of St
Matthew who committed the crime,

      "Nun fu' ieu, nun fu' ieu:
       Fu lu cani di San Matteu."

They are believed to be powerful intercessors before the Lord, for
which reason Sicilian children warm them in their bosoms, and feed
them on crumbs of bread soaked in water.

But an especially sacred character is ascribed to the _lacerta
viridis_ (It. _ramarro_; Sicilian, _vanuzzu_, a diminutive of
Giovanni) and to the _amphisbhœœna_, of which the ancients believed
that it had two heads (like the Hindoo ahîraṇis), its tail being taken
for one. The _amphisbhœœna_ is still held sacred and revered in
India.[522] The green lizard of popular superstition is partly solar
and partly lunar; the firefly and the quail, as summer animals, are
sacred to the sun; as watchers by night, to the moon. Thus the green
lizard, as a summer animal which hunts away the serpent of winter,
appears particularly in relation with the sun; but inasmuch as there
is also the serpent of night, the green lizard or green _ramarro_
takes the place of the crab-moon, that is, it wakens the young solar
hero who sleeps in the night, and wakens the sleeping man lest the
serpent should bite him. The moon of winter wakens the sun of spring,
the moon of night wakens the sun of day; the moon-lizard, like the
moon crab, hunts the serpent or black monster away. In Piedmont,
Tuscany, and Sicily, the green lizard is believed to be the friend of
mankind; indeed, it is called _guarda omu_ in Sicily, where it is
believed to cure from incantations, perhaps on account of the yellow
cross which the people think they can see upon its head. At Santo
Stefano of Calcinaia it is said that the green lizard hisses in the
ears of Christians like a Christian when the serpent approaches a man;
they even relate several cases of shepherds or peasants who, being
asleep, were saved by the green lizard passing over them (Aldrovandi
speaks of a similar superstition). It is, moreover, believed that the
green lizard, if caught and put in a vase full of oil, will produce
the oil of a _ramarro_, which is said to be good against wounds and
poisons. In the _Contes Merveilleux de Porchat_, a fairy protects the
poor Laric and brings fortune to him in the shape of a grateful
_couleuvre_, which he, in winter, found frozen and warmed in his
bosom. The _couleuvre_ makes radiant coins fall to Laric from the
beaks of certain partridges, enables him to find whatever he is in
need of, and puts a golden chain round the neck of his wife. Thus the
myths of the golden (or green) fish, the golden (or green) frog and
the golden (or green) lizard, correspond to each other in the
beautiful myth of the good moon-fairy, who protects the solar hero or
heroine in the nights both of the day and the year.


[511] Cfr. the first story of the fourth book of the _Pańćatantram_,
where the king of the frogs invokes the help of a black serpent to
avenge himself upon certain frogs who are his enemies, and, instead of
this, draws down death upon all the frogs and upon his own son.

[512] Vâr in maṇḍûka ićhatîndrayendo pari srava; _Ṛigv._ ix. 112.

[513] A similar tradition was current concerning the tarantula
(stellio). Ceres, being thirsty, wished to drink; the boy Stelles
prevented her, and the goddess transformed him into a _stellio_.
According to Ulpianus, from the _stellio_ was derived the _crimen

[514] Cfr. also _Afanassieff_, vi. 55; Masha (Mary), the wife of Ivan,
at first appears as a goose, afterwards as a frog, a lizard, and a

[515] In the eighth story of the first book of the _Pentamerone_ it is
a lacerta cornuta (horned lizard, the moon) which watches over the
destiny of the girl Renzolle (the aurora).

[516] It was thus that I heard it recited, but it should, as it
appears to me, be corrected both in rhyme and sense, and _gragna_
changed into _grama_, unless _gragna_ is a verb and stands for
_grandina_ (hail); in Italy, there is a superstitious belief that the
toads are generated of the first large drops of rain which fall into
the dust at the beginning of a tempest.

[517] A similar superstition is current in Germany, as I find in
Rochholtz, the work quoted before, i. 147: "Auch die Hauskröte, Unke,
Muhme genannt, wohnt im Hauskeller und hält durch ihren Einfluss die
hier verwahrten Lebensmittel in einem gedeihlichen Zustand. Dadurch
kommt Wohlstand ins Haus, und das Thier heisst daher Schatzkröte. In
Verwechslung mit dem braunschwarzen Kellermolch wird sie auch Gmöhl
genannt und soll eben so oft ihre Farbe verändern, als der Familie
eine Veränderung bevorsteht."--The various popular superstitions
concerning the salamander are well known,--viz., that it resists the
power of fire, that it lives in fire, that it becomes like fire: "immo
ad ignem usque elementarem orbi lunari finitimum ascendere" (according
to Aldrovandi), and that, devoid of hairs itself, it causes the hairs
of others to fall out by means of its saliva, whence Martial, cursing
the baldness of a woman's head--

      "Hoc salamandra caput, aut sæva novacula nudet."

Pliny therefore recommends against the poisonous venom which is
ascribed to the salamander, the seeds of the hairy and stinging
nettle, with broth of a tortoise (which it resembles by its yellow
spots). The salamander of popular superstition seems to me to
represent the moon which lights itself, which lives by its own fire,
which has no rays or hairs of its own, and which makes the rays or
hairs of the sun fall.

[518] It was narrated to me by a peasant woman who heard it at Cavour
in Piedmont:--

A man who is paralytic has three daughters, Catherine, Clorinda, and
Margaret; he sets out on a journey to consult a great doctor, and asks
his daughters what they wish him to bring them when he returns; Margaret
will be content if he bring her a flower. He arrives at his destination,
a castle; everything is prepared to receive him, but the doctor is not
to be found; he sets out to return home, but on the way he recollects
the flower, which he had forgotten; he goes back to the garden of the
castle and is about to pluck a daisy (margherita), when a toad warns him
that he will die in three days if he does not give it one of his
daughters to wife. The father informs his daughters of this, upon which
the two eldest refuse; but the youngest, in order to save her father's
life, consents. Her father is cured, and the wedding takes place; during
the night the toad becomes a beautiful youth, but warns his bride never
to tell any one, for if she does, he will always remain a toad, and he
gives her a ring by means of which she will obtain whatever she wishes
for. The sisters have an inkling of some mystery, and make her confess;
the toad falls ill and disappears; she calls him with the ring, but in
vain; seeing this, she throws the ring, as useless, into a pond, upon
which the beautiful youth steps out, and never becomes a toad again;
their happiness together thereafter is unbroken.

In an unpublished Tuscan story, related to me by Uliva Selvi at
Antignano near Leghorn, instead of the toad we have a magician of
frightful aspect. The father of the three daughters is a sailor; he
promises to fetch a shawl to the first, a hat to the second, and a
rose to the third. When the voyage is over, he is about to return,
but, having forgotten the rose, the ship refuses to move; he is
compelled to go back to look for the rose in a garden; a magician
hands the rose with a little box to the father to give it to one of
his daughters, whom the magician is to marry. At midnight, the father,
having returned home, relates to his third daughter all that happened.
The little box is opened; it carries off the third daughter to the
magician, who happens to be king of Pietraverde, and is now a handsome
young man. He shows her, in the palace, three rooms, of which one is
red, one white, and another black. They live together happily.
Meanwhile, the eldest sister is to be married; the magician conducts
his wife into the red room; she wishes to go to the wedding, and the
magician consents, but warns her not to say either who he is, or aught
she knows of him, if she does not wish to lose him, as to recover him
again she would have to wait till she should wear out as many shoes as
there are in the world. He gives her a dress which, as she goes, is
heard rustling a long way off; and he tells her, if her pin should
drop, to let the bride pick it up and keep it; warning her, moreover,
not to drink or to eat of anything they may offer her. All this she
observes to the letter. The second sister is about to be married; the
magician leads his wife into the white room and repeats the same
instructions, only, instead of the pin, she is to let her ring of
brilliants drop. The father dies; the magician then takes his wife
into the black room, the chamber of melancholy. She wishes to go to
the funeral, and is permitted, after the usual warnings; the magician,
moreover, gives her a ring; if it become black, she will lose him; she
forgets the warning and loses him. She wanders about for seven years,
and no one can give her any news of the king of Pietraverde; she then
disguises herself as a man, and arrives at a city where the king's
hostler takes her into his service; no sooner does she touch the
carriages than they become clean. The queen passes by and wonders at
the personal appearance of the youth; she engages him to work in her
kitchen, then to serve at table, and finally to be her _valet de
chambre_. The queen falls in love with him, and wishes to have him at
any cost; in vain; she then accuses him of designing to take her life.
The king, although unwillingly, has him put in prison; soon he has
pity upon him and lets him free. The fictitious youth continues to
wander about; he arrives at the city, and asks for news of the king of
Pietraverde; they tell her that he has long been dead, and point her
to a room where his bier is supported by columns of wax, or candles;
he will not awake until the candles are consumed. She goes up and
weeps; the king takes three hairs from his beard and recommends her to
preserve them carefully. She continues her wanderings, still dressed
as a man, and is engaged by other hostlers of a king as assistant. The
news of her bravery reach the king, who takes her into his kitchen.
The queen sees him and falls in love with him; in vain; she accuses
him to the king, who puts her in prison; she is condemned to death,
and the guillotine is prepared. While going to execution, she
remembers the three hairs, and burns one; an army of warriors appear,
sent by the king of Pietraverde; they terrify all the king's people,
whom they compel to postpone the execution till next day. The next day
she does the same with the same result. The third day she brings out
the third hair; the cavalry appear again, commanded this time by the
king of Pietraverde in person, dressed so that he shone like a
brilliant, that he appeared like a sun; he releases the youth from the
execution; the king of Pietraverde has the young girl dressed as a
princess; she is tried in a court of justice; her innocence is
established; the queen's head is cut off.

[519] "Suessanus tradit, quod bufonem quempiam obviam fieri
felicissimum augurium fuisse antiquitas existimavit.--Anno 1553, in
villa quadam Thuringia ad Unstrum, a muliere bufo caudatus natus est,
quemadmodum in libro de prodigiis et ostentis habetur. Nec mirum, quia
Cœœlius Aurelianus et Platearius scribunt mulieres aliquando cum fœœto
humano bufones et alia animalia hujus generis eniti. Sed hujus
monstrosæ conceptionis causam non assignant. Tradit quidem Platearius
illa præsidia, quæ ad provocandos menses commendantur, ducere; etiam
bufonem fratrem Salernitanorum quemadmodum aliqui lacertum fratrem
Longobardorum nominant. Quoniam mulieres Salernitanæ potissimum in
principio conceptionis succum apii et porrorum potant, ut hoc animal
interimant, antequam fœœtus viviscat. Insuper mulier quædam ex
Gesnero, recens nupta cum omnium opinione prægnans diceretur, quatuor
animalia bufonibus similia peperit et optime valuit."--Aldrovandi also
reads: "apud Heisterbacensem in historia miraculorum," that some monks
found a living toad inside a hen in place of intestines. In the same
author, a priest finds an immense toad at the bottom of a jar of wine;
whilst he is wondering how such a large toad should have been able to
enter by such a small orifice, the toad disappears.

[520] Cfr. Targioni Tozzetti, _Lezioni di Materia Medica_, Florence,

[521] Some extraordinary lizards of which Aldrovandi speaks are of a
half sacred and half monstrous nature: "Præter illud memorabile, quod
Mizaldus recitat accidisse anno Domini 1551, mense Julii in Hungaria
prope pagum Zichsum juxta Theisum fluvium nimirum in multorum hominum
alvo lacertas naturalibus similes ortas fuisse. Interdum contingit, ut
animadvertit Schenchius, lacertam viridem in cæti magnitudinem
excrescere, qualis aliquando Lutetiæ visa est. Sæpe etiam lacertæ
duobus et tribus caudis refertæ nascuntur, quas vulgus ludentibus
favorabiles esse nugatur."

[522] In the _Mahâbhâratam_, i. 981-1003, it is said that the serpents
amphisbhænæ (duṇḍubhâs, duṇḍavas, nâgabhṛitas, the same, I think, as
the mannuni of Malabar,) being good, must not be killed; an
amphisbhæna relates that it had once been the wise Sahasrapâd
(properly of the hundred feet; the amphisbhæna appears to be a lizard
without feet, and with a tail the same size as its head, for which
reason the belief arose that it had two heads; it seems to be another
personification of the circular year, like the serpent), and that it
became a serpent by a curse, because it had once frightened a Brâhman
with a fictitious serpent made of grass; at the sight of the wise
Kurus, the amphisbhæna is released from its malediction.




    The feet and the tail; the serpent is the favourite form of the
    demon; the devil is betrayed by his tail.--The serpent and the
    waters; the dragon as the keeper back of the waters, and as the
    guardian of the treasures; the devil evoked from the waters.--The
    otter.--The chief enterprise of Indras is the killing of the
    serpent.--The names of the Vedic serpent; _arbuda_ and
    _reptilis_.--Description of the Vedic serpent.--The wives of the
    demons and the wives of the gods; Indras wounds the wife of the
    demon in the _yonis_, and the demon himself in the eggs; the
    serpent's death consists in the broken egg; broken eggs, skins,
    vases, boxes, and testicles.--The god as a serpent; the
    python.--Gods and demons, birds and serpents dispute the possession
    of the ambrosia.--The phallical Anantas of cosmogony; the two
    _phalloi_.--Nâgalatâ; the game of the serpents, nâgas, nâgapadas,
    nâgapaças.--The caduceus.--Kaçyapas Praǵâpatis, father of the birds
    and of the serpents.--Kumbhakarnas.--The hero dies as soon as he
    touches the serpent.--The funereal rope of Yamas is a serpent; the
    collar of Hêphaistos.--The serpents carry Sîtâ on their heads.--The
    city of Bhogavatî.--The hero becomes an aquatic monster in
    consequence of a curse.--The serpent released from the fire.--The
    wisdom of the serpent passes into the hero.--The three-headed
    serpent.--The serpent sacred in India and in Germany.--The stone of
    the serpent.--The serpent and the tree.--The tree and the
    phallos.--The cypress.--The tree, the maiden, and the serpent at the
    fountain.--The tree of the cross.--The serpent is wholly diabolical
    in Persian tradition.--The serpent is a mythical animal, both
    physically and morally amphibious.--The hero, the frog, and the
    serpent.--The grateful serpent.--Dialogue between two little
    serpents in a variety of the legend of Lear.--The serpent
    burnt.--Serpents and worms.--The serpent as the beautiful maiden's
    husband.--The heads of the serpent.--The serpent of the Black
    Sea.--The serpent-fairy gives eyes back to the blind woman.--The
    avenging serpent.--When the serpent is asleep.--The serpent in the
    garden of the Hesperides.--The serpent-wizard.--The serpent's
    kiss.--The serpent that whistles.--The wings of the serpent wet; the
    Vedic myth once more.

The mythical animal with which I conclude the study of traditional
zoology is perhaps the most popular of the whole series. The omniform
demon makes the god or hero who falls under his power assume the most
diverse zoological forms, the power of transforming into which he
holds in possession, of which he holds the secret; but he almost
always reserves for himself as his most favourite and privileged form
that of the serpent. The devil, says the popular proverb, is known by
his tail; and to show that women know more than the devil, it adds
that they also know where the devil secretes his tail, or where he
keeps his poison, for his poison and power to harm are in his tail. A
devil without a tail would not be a real devil; it is his tail which
betrays him; and this tail is the serpent's tail.[523] In the
forty-fifth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the
devil-serpent comes every night to visit the young widow in the form
of her deceased husband, eats with her and sleeps with her till
morning; she grows thinner every night, like a candle before the fire;
but her mother counsels her to let a spoon drop when she is sitting at
table, that, in lifting it, she may scrutinise the guest's feet;
instead of his feet, she only sees his tail. Then the widow goes to
the church to be purified.[524] In the _Eddas_, too, the serpent
Lokis, who has taken the form of a horse, betrays himself by his feet.

The serpent-devil appears in special connection with the infernal
waters (darkness of night and of winter, and cloudy sky), which
conceal treasures, the pearl, the solar hero or heroine with the
waters of youth and life. The serpent-devil draws to himself every
beautiful thing, now to swallow them, now to preserve and guard them
like a miser. The dragon became the symbol of the keeper back of the
waters, of the guardian of the treasures, who devours or attracts to
himself everything that shines. In Du Cange, the name of _dracus_ is
given to "species dæmonum qui circa Rhodanum fluvium in Provincia
visuntur forma hominis, et in cavernis mansionem habent." In ancient
Latin manuscript comments given by the same Du Cange, the devil is
called by the name of _hydros_ or aquatic serpent. Hincmarus Remensis
believes that the devil is evoked from the waters,[525] and according
to St Augustine, it was from the waters and from the illusions created
in the water by demons that Numa derived his inspirations.[526] Hence
the custom, so frequent in German and Slavonic countries,[527] of
blessing the water to chase the monsters away from it; hence, also,
the custom which I have observed in several parts of Russia, where the
children, before they bathe in the rivers, and as soon as they put
their feet in the water, make profound inclinations and the sign of
the cross; hence, according to Du Cange, the god of the waters,
Neptunus, in the Middle Ages, becomes under the name of _Aquatiquus_,
a personification of the devil;[528] hence, also, the otter (enüdris)
assumes a diabolical character in the _Edda_, where the Ases take its
skin off and fill it with the gold taken from the dwarf-pike Andvarri,
and in the sixth story of the first book of _Afanassieff_, where it
destroys the beasts of the menagerie of a Tzar, and finally drags the
third son of the Tzar Ivan under an enormous white stone (the snowy
winter) in the lower world, where there are palaces of gold and silver
and three beautiful girls, sisters of the monster otter, who sleeps in
the sea, and snores so that he pushes the waves to a distance of seven
versts, until Ivan, after having drunk the water of strength, cuts the
monster's head off at a blow, after which it falls into the sea.

But to proceed in the order which we have hitherto generally followed,
let us examine before all the tradition of the aquatic monster, the
dragon or serpent, in Hindoo mythology.

The most important of the heroic undertakings accomplished by the
Vedic god Indras is, as already remarked, that of killing the monster;
and the enterprise of Indras against the monster is the theme of all
the great popular Indo-Persian, Græco-Latin, Turko-Slavonic,
Franco-Germanic, and Franco-Celtic epic poems, as also of the greatest
number of the popular stories which are the real epic material of the
new epopees. Indras, Vishṇus, Ahura-Mazda, Feridun, Apollo, Hêraklês,
Kadmos, Jason, Odin, Sigurd, and several other gods and heroes, are
celebrated for the undertaking of killing the serpent. Now, in the
Vedic hymns the black monster (kṛishṇas), the growing monster
(râuhin),[529] the full-grown monster (piprus), the monster coverer
(vṛitras), the monster that dries up (çushṇas), the monster that keeps
back (namućis), generally appears with the name and shape of a
serpent, or if it has not always the form of a serpent, it is
assimilated to it, and certainly inclines to become so from its office
of a constrictor, its black colour, and other characteristics which it
possesses in common with the serpent (Ahis).[530]

The monster killed by Indras, the monster with the horrid voice which
Indras strikes upon the head with a thunderbolt, is, like the serpent,
deprived of feet, deprived both of hands and shoulders.[531] But the
serpent is also often explicitly named in the _Ṛigvedas_ as a monster
which keeps back the waters, and which is killed by Indras. The
serpent, the first-born of the serpents, was lying in the
mountain;[532] he was lying under his mother,[533] he was keeping the
waters, his wives, shut up, as a miser his treasure, or a robber the
stolen cows;[534] a miser or rich robber[535] resembling a magician,
he staid enclosed in a cavern, and kept the waters in it;[536] he lay
down and perhaps slept;[537] he lay near the seven torrents;[538]
Indras arouses him;[539] in another hymn, however, the serpent, making
a loud noise, provokes Indras, and comes against him.[540] When Indras
kills the serpent with the thunderbolt, or else crushes it under his
foot, or burns it, he opens the torrent of the waters and causes it to
flow out towards the sea; he makes the sun be born, and finds the
cows;[541] he destroys the machinations of the sorcerer, generates the
sun, the day, and the dawn, removes every enemy to a distance,[542]
makes the serpent's trunk fall to the earth, like a tree cut down by
axes, or torn up by the roots,[543] and (as in Russian stories the
hero, after having cut the monster's head off, throws his trunk into
the sea) over the killed monster, now fallen, the waters which make
joyful pass;[544] the gods, who have given Indras three hundred oxen
to eat (according to another hymn, only one hundred), and three lakes
of ambrosia to drink, that he might be able to vanquish Ahis, are
joyful at the victory gained by Indras over the serpent, with their
wives and with the birds; not only this, but the women, the wives of
the gods, compose on this occasion a hymn to Indras.[545]

We have already seen several times in the course of this work how, by
killing his monstrous form, the hero or heroine enclosed in this is set
at liberty; the waters, or rainy clouds, which are the monster wives of
the demons, as long as the monster keeps them in the darkness, become
the radiant wives of the gods when they are released; the same may be
said of the aurora, kept in ward by the gloomy or watery monster of
night, or of the spring detained in the dreary realm of winter; as long
as they are in the power of the black demon, they are black and
monstrous, and live with him in the infernal kingdom; when delivered
from this kingdom, however, they become beautiful maidens, or princesses
of dazzling splendour. When the monster fights with the god or solar
hero of the thunderbolt, he arms his women too, and makes use of them as
powerful helpers;[546] hence Indras also aims at them and lacerates the
black-wombed witches,[547] being afterwards himself condemned to become
Sahasrayonis. In popular Âryan tradition, however, it is often the
daughter, wife, or sister of the monster that reveals to the hero the
way of killing the monster. In Russian stories, one of the ways oftenest
recommended to ensure the death of the monster, is to take the egg
contained in the duck which is under the tree in the midst of the sea,
and crush it upon the monster's forehead, who immediately dies; with the
monster's death the two young lovers,--the daughter, wife, or sister of
the monster, and the young hero,--marry each other. We have just seen
that when Indras has killed the monster serpent, the waters pour out,
and the sun appears. In another Vedic hymn we also find the interesting
accompaniment of the egg, which reminds us, on the one hand, of the
subject of Russian popular stories, and on the other of the belief
described by us in the chapter on the Hen, to the effect that the
thunderbolt breaks its eggs: Indras, with his strength, breaks the eggs
of the monster that dries up the waters, and wins the luminous
waters;[548] crushing the eggs, or wounding the testicles of the gloomy
monster, he makes the sun come out of them, and thereupon the monster
dies.[549] The symbolical representation of the solar year in the form
of a serpent biting his tail is equivalent to the myth of the
monster-serpent who dies when his eggs are broken, that is, when the
light comes out of its tenebrous envelope.

Inasmuch, moreover, as from the monster serpent, the cloud and the
darkness, come forth flashes of lightning, thunder-bolts, sunbeams,
tongues of fire, even serpents sometimes assume a divine nature in the
Vedic hymns. The Vedic god of fire, Agnis, the born of the waters
(napâtam apâm), called Ahir-budhnyas, has already been compared to the
Greek _püthôn ophis_, the python. Agnis is also compared to a serpent
with a golden mane,[550] which reminds us of the horned monster that
dries up, spoken of in another hymn as killed by Indras.[551] Indras
himself is called he who has the strength of the serpent.[552] The
Marutas have the serpent's anger;[553] and as the Marutas are
resplendent with golden attire and ornaments, so the monsters appear
adorned with gold and pearls.[554] In the _Âitareya Br._,[555] the
serpent Arbudas has even become a ṛishis, a wise poet, as the python
becomes the oracle of wisdom in Greece; and the serpents oppose a Vedas
of their own (the Sarpavedas) to the Vedâs of the gods. In the same
_Âitareya Br._,[556] we have the description of a struggle between the
gods and a venomous serpent, whose greedy eye gazes at the somas, of
which he desires to be possessed. The gods bandage his eyes; the serpent
sings a verse in praise of the somas; the gods, as an antidote, sing
several verses, and counteract the effect of the serpent's verse. And
the witch (âsurî) of the long tongue (Dîrghaǵihvî) is no doubt a
serpent, who in the _Âitareya Br._,[557] again, licks the morning
libation of the gods, and makes it inebriating. In the _Râmâyaṇam_ it is
recorded that the long-tongued witch (Dîrghaǵihvâ), the devourer, is
killed by Indras. The struggle between the gods and the serpents for the
possession of the ambrosia is the subject of a long episode of the first
book of the _Mahâbhâratam_.[558] The serpent loves dampness, water,
ambrosia, and rain. When Bhîmas, the son of the wind, is thrown into the
waters of the Ganges, he falls into the kingdom of the serpents, who
give him the water of strength to drink.[559] In the _Mahâbhâratam_, the
mother of the serpents, who have been burned by the sun, invokes the
rain to bring them to life again; Indras, to please her, veils the sky
with clouds.[560] In the _Râmâyaṇam_, instead of the serpents, the
monkeys are resuscitated by means of the rain. The rains of spring also
waken the earth, which is in the _Âitareya Br._[561] called by the name
of Sarparaǵnî, and was at first, like the serpents, bald, that is,
devoid of vegetation; invoking the heavenly cow, it became covered with
trees. In the Hindoo cosmogony, which we described in the chapter on the
Tortoise, a very interesting account is given of the way the great stick
or phallos, the generator of the world, is made to turn round. The
serpent Anantas (the infinite) or Vasukis,[562] who makes the mountain
revolve, is twined round it; the mountain and the serpent are
synonymous;[563] they are two phalloi, which rub each other, and produce
the seed (nâgalatâ or climbing serpent, serpent-creeper, is one of the
Hindoo names of the phallos; in Piedmont it is said of a man in the
venereal act, that he "climbs upon the woman;" and in Sanskṛit nâgas,
nâgapadas, nâgapaças, nâgapâçakas, denotes union in the manner of
serpents, who apply their bodies to each other in their entire
length,[564] in the same way as fire is produced by the friction of two
pieces of wood--the araṇî. Anantas, or Vâsukis, and Mandaras, or
Kaçapas, and hence Kaçyapas, are identified with one another;) and this
is all the more probable as Kaçyapas is also called by the name of
Vasukas, and as Kaçyapas himself, in another cosmogonic legend of the
_Mahâbhâratam_, appears as having made fruitful two wives, Kadrû,
properly the dark one, and Vinatâ,[565] properly the concave, the curved
or swollen one (two appellatives by which the _yonis_ appears to be
equally represented), from one of which is produced the egg from which
serpents are hatched, and especially the nâgâs serpents, with human
faces, like the devils, and from the other, that which generates Aruṇas
and Garuḍas (a form of the Açvinâu). Whilst, in the _Mahâbhâratam_, the
serpent Vasukis rubs itself against the Mandaras and makes it turn
round, it keeps blowing wind, smoke, and flames out of its mouth, which
form clouds, with the water of which the creator gods are afterwards
refreshed. Although this last particular shows the serpents intent upon
the welfare of the gods, they hold in Hindoo tradition the same place as
Anhṛomainyu, or Ahrimanes, in Persian; whilst one phallos gives birth to
luminous phenomena and good beings, the other produces gloomy phenomena
and wicked beings.

Among the productions of the phallical and serpentine genie of darkness
are the clouds. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[566] the monster Kumbhakarṇas sleeps
for sixth months; no number of drums, trumpets, nor any noise is able to
awaken him; he is struck with hammers, but feels nothing; elephants pass
over him, but he does not move: at last the tinkling of the golden
ornaments of beautiful women suffice to rouse him. He rises; his arms
resemble two great serpents, and his mouth the mouth of hell. He yawns,
and that yawn alone sends forth a wind which resembles a rushing wind
that shall usher in the end of the world. The aspect of Kumbhakarṇas
when he rises is like that of an immense cloud swelled out with rain
towards the end of summer; he is horned like a mountain, and bellows
like a thunder-cloud. No sooner is he born, than, inasmuch as by the
curse of Brahman he can waken but one day in the year (that is in the
autumn), he asks for food, and devours buffaloes, wild boars, men and
women; he once swallowed even the ten nymphs, or Apsarasas (the clouds
that blow over the waters), of the god Indras; he finds that the world
is not provided with animals enough to satiate his hunger. When
Kumbhakarṇas moves to battle against the monkeys of Râmas, he draws his
enemies to himself to devour them, he draws and receives the shock of
whole mountains, but is not shaken. Râmas cuts one of his arms off, and
the arm cut off (or the serpent, or the cloud cut off, like the stick of
fairy tales which beats of itself) continues to massacre the monkeys.
Râmas cuts Kumbhakarṇas's other arm off, which supports with its hand
the whole trunk of a robust shorea; but arm and trunk continue to
slaughter the enemies on their own account.[567] At last Râmas shoots
him in the mouth and heart; the monster falls, and crushes as he falls
two thousand monkeys under his immense body. Here, therefore, we again
see the monster and the serpent in relation with the clouds and waters.
To touch the serpent, that is, the rainy season or the night, is for the
solar hero or heroine the same as to die. In the _Mahâbhâratam_[568] the
girl Pramadvarâ falls dead to the ground, having inadvertently pressed a
serpent with her foot on the way; Rurus brings her to life again by
renouncing half of his own life. In this legend the year or the day
personifies life; summer sacrifices itself to winter, winter to summer,
day to night, night to day, the sun to the moon, and the moon to the
sun. In the beautiful legend of Savitrî, the wife sacrifices herself and
offers herself to Yamas, the god of the dead, in order to be faithful to
her husband. In the same _Mahâbhâratam_,[569] the King Parîkshit falls
into the power of Takshakas, the king of the serpents, a form of Yamas
the god of the dead (also called Anantas), because he had thrown a dead
serpent on the shoulders of a Brâhman. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[570] it is
said that a man who has, when asleep, fallen into the hands of the god
of the dead, Yamas, is bitten by a venomous serpent. The very rope with
which Yamas the god of the dead binds men is a serpent. To the
rope-serpent of Yamas we must refer the fatal collar with seven serpents
and seven pearls (a symbol of the year, half luminous, half gloomy)
which Hephaistos gave to Harmonia and Kadmos on the occasion of their
wedding. Kadmos and Harmonia become serpents, and are taken into heaven
by the gods. The daughters of Kadmos all come to an unhappy end. The
collar is afterwards possessed by Erüphilê, for which reason evils
befalls Amphiaraos, and subsequently also Alkmeôn. When Sîtâ,[571] in
order to escape from the unjust suspicions of her husband and the
perverse evil-speakings of the vulgar, wishes to disappear from the
sight of men and to descend under ground, the serpents (pannagâs, who go
not with feet) carry her upon their heads (as in Christian tradition the
Virgin crushes the head of the serpent-seducer), and from the depths of
the earth a voice is heard saying: "Difficult to be acquired is the
sight of this woman, who resides in the three worlds; staying down here,
she is honoured by the serpents (pûǵyate nâgâiḥ), and, in the world of
the mortals, by mankind; nectar of the higher blessed ones, she is the
satiator of the immortals." The kingdom of the nâgâs, or the city of
Bhogavatî (an equivocal word, which means both furnished with serpents
and furnished with riches), is full of treasures, like the hell of
Western tradition. This infernal world went definitively under ground
when the gods, having fallen, took humbler forms upon the earth and upon
the waters of the earth; the lower world became the kingdom of the
serpents and of the devils of the Vedic cloudy and gloomy heavens
(devils and serpents, which Jewish tradition therefore represents with
great justice as fallen angels). The riches of heaven, concealed by the
cloudy or gloomy monster of night or winter, passed into the earth; the
observation of heavenly phenomena helped this conception. The true
mythical treasures are the sun and the moon in their splendour; when
they go down they seem to hide themselves underground; the solar hero
goes underground, he goes to hell, after having lost all his treasures
and all his riches; he undertakes in poverty his infernal journey; when
the sun rises from the mountain, it seems to come out from underground;
the solar hero returns from his journey through hell, he returns
resplendent and wealthy; the infernal demon gives back to him part of
the treasures which he possesses, having carried them off from him, or
else the young hero recovers them by his valour. But this hell was once
the watery, wintry, nocturnal heaven itself, from which now the sun, now
the moon emerges; the hero or the god was obscured or eclipsed, and
assumed a gloomy form in the sky itself, and, as we have already
said,[572] he who destroys, lacerates, or kills this form, does a
service to the poor and cursed wandering Jew who wears it. We are
reminded of the aquatic monster, in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[573] by the
gandharvas[574] Tumburus, who assumed, under a curse, the form of the
monster Virâdhas who carries Sîtâ off from Râmas, with the sole design
that Râmas may kill him and deliver him from the malediction, so that he
may be able to reascend in happiness to heaven. In a similar manner,
Hanumant delivers from her curse the ogress of the lake, the seizer
(grâhî) and devourer, who was once a nymph.[575] The body of the old
ṛishis Çarabhañgas also gives us the idea of a serpent's body.
Çarabhañgas desires to deliver himself from it, as a serpent casts off
its old skin. He then enters the fire; the fire burns him; Çarabhañgas,
arising from the conflagration, comes forth young, splendid, and as
brilliant as fire.[576] In the celebrated episode of Nalas in the
_Mahâbhâratam_,[577] the serpent Karkoṭakas, surrounded by the flames,
asks Nalas, on the other hand, to deliver him from the flames; the
serpent makes himself small in order that Nalas may be able to carry him
away; Nalas does so, and the serpent bites him; he then loses his
shape, which passes into that of the serpent. In this new diabolical
form Nalas becomes invulnerable and invisible. The diverse action taken
by fire in legends can be comprehended by reference to the solar hero,
now in the morning, now in the evening, now in spring, now in autumn: in
the morning and in the spring the serpent of night enters the flames and
becomes a handsome youth again; in the evening and in the autumn the
serpent comes out of the flames of the evening aurora, or of the summer,
and becomes the moon, after having made the sun disappear, or rendered
it invisible or invulnerable. In the forty-seventh story of the sixth
book _Afanassieff_, a hunter (the hunting solar hero) is about to heat
the stove; a serpent is lying in it, and promises, if he will draw it
out of the fire, to render him happy, and teach him the language of all
animals. He tells the hunter to put the end of his stick into the fire,
by which means it will be enabled to make its escape; the hunter
complies, but is warned that he will die himself should he reveal that
secret to any one.

The serpent, therefore, is not only monstrous and maleficent in Hindoo
tradition, but also at once the learned one, and he who imparts
learning; it sacrifices itself to let the hero carry away the water of
life, the water of strength, the health-giving herb or the treasure;
it not only often spares, but it favours the predestined hero; it
destroys individuals, but preserves the species; it devours nations,
but preserves the regenerative kings; it poisons plants, and throws
men into deep sleep, but it gives new strength in its occult domain to
the sun, who gives new life to the world every morning and every
spring. In the Vedic heavens the serpent is a magician expert in every
kind of magic; in the kingdom of the serpents the young lost hero
recovers his splendour, wisdom, and victorious power. Hence the
worship in India of the serpent, who is revered as a symbol of every
species of learning. We have, on a previous occasion, found the horned
or crested serpent who personifies, in the _Ṛigvedas_, fire or the god
Agnis, and by this we must understand the crest or mane of the sun,
which comes out of the darkness; thus the god Haris or Vishṇus lies
upon a crested serpent or a many-headed serpent. Three-headed serpents
or dragons, such as are famous in fairy tales, occur in the
_Harivaṅças_,[578] and correspond to the Vedic monster Triçiras, that
is, three-headed. The crest of the serpent is the god Vishṇus himself,
as a solar deity who comes out of the serpent's body. Hence the
hooded-serpent, called Nalla Pâmba in the Malabar,[579] is especially
revered in India. "The sudden appearance of one of these serpents,"
wrote Lazzaro Papi from India, "is considered to presage some future
good or evil. It is the divinity himself in this form, or at least his
messenger, and the bringer of rewards or chastisement. Although it is
exceedingly venomous, it is neither killed, molested, nor crushed in
the house which it enters, but respected, and even caressed and adored
by the more superstitious. They give it milk to drink, and the
accommodation to which it is accustomed; they construct little huts
for it, and prepare receptacles and nests for it under large trees.
This reminds me of the ancient inhabitants of Prussia, who nourished
several serpents with milk in honour of Patriumpho or Patrimpos, their
deity. The family in which one of these serpents takes up its abode
esteems itself fortunate and secure from poverty and other
misfortunes; and if some one, as it not seldom happens, is bitten by
them and dies, the victim of his own credulity, it is, they say, a
punishment of God that has overtaken him for some crime." It is nearly
the same belief as that which we found in the preceding chapter
concerning the toad and the amphisbhæna. In Hungary, as Count Geza
Kunn informs me, some fairies are said to be born with a serpent's
skin, and to resume their form after this serpent's skin has been
shed. It is said that a precious stone can be found under a serpent's
tongue. When the serpents warm themselves in the sun of spring, they
blow out the stone (or the sun itself), and subsequently conceal it
under the tongue of a still larger serpent, the king of the serpents.

The serpent is supposed to protect and preserve the lost riches, and to
guard the soul of the dead hero; hence serpents, like crows amongst
birds, are revered in India as embodied souls of the dead. In
Germany,[580] the white serpent (that is, the snowy winter), according
to the popular legend, gives to whoever eats of it (or who is licked by
it in the ears) the gift of understanding the language of birds, and of
universal knowledge (it is in the night of Christmas, that is, in the
midst of the snow, that those who are predestined to see marvels can
comprehend, in the stables, the language of the cattle, and, in the
woods, the language of the birds; according to the legend, Charles le
Gros, in the night of Christmas, saw heaven and hell open, and was able
to recognise his forefathers). Thus in Greece, Melampos, Cassandra, and
Tiresias became seers by their contact with the serpent, symbolised at
a later period in the python and the pythoness, as the depositaries of
all the oracles of wisdom. In Scandinavian mythology, Odin also assumes
the form of a serpent (ormr), and the name of Ofnir, in the same way as
Zeus becomes a serpent in Greek mythology when he wishes to create
Zagreus, the bull-headed, another Zeus or another Dionüsos. In Rochholtz
and Simrock, we find indications of the same worship as that given to
the serpent in India, where it is regarded as a good domestic genie.
Milk is given to certain domestic little snakes to drink; they are put
to watch over little children in their cradles, with whom they divide
their food; they bring good luck to the children near which they stay;
it is therefore considered a fatal sacrilege to kill them. It is fabled,
moreover, that a serpent is sometimes born with a child entwined round
its neck, and that it and the child are thenceforth inseparable (an
image of the year and of the day, half luminous and half tenebrous,
inseparable the one from the other). It guards the cattle in the
stables, and procures for good and beautiful maidens husbands worthy of
them. According to a popular legend, two serpents are found in every
house (a male and a female), which only appear when they announce the
death of the master and mistress of the house; when these die, the
snakes also cease to live. To kill one of these serpents is to kill the
head of the family. Under this aspect, as a protector of children, as a
giver of husbands to girls, and identified with the head or progenitor
of the family, the serpent is again a phallical form. From the gloomy
serpent of night, the tenebrous serpent of winter, even the nocturnal
and wintry heavens illumined by the moon, and from the white moon,
emerges the diurnal sun, the sun of spring, the day and the warm and
luminous season. The ogre, dragon, or serpent keeps back the waters in
the cloud and the waters in the rivers, occupies the fountains, lies at
the roots of the tree which yields honey, of the ambrosial tree, of the
tree in the midst of the lake of milk; the tree and the phallos are
again identified. The Phrygian Attis, loved by Cybele, is deprived of
his phallos, and expires; Cybele transforms him into a pine tree (which
is cone-bearing and evergreen, which resists, like the moon, even the
rigours of winter), in which the funereal and regeneratory phallos is
personified; the cypress (cone-bearing and evergreen), which the three
brothers of the fairy tales must watch during the night, and which only
the youngest brother succeeds in delivering from the dragon or serpent
which carries it away, is also represented in Persian tradition as in
the middle of a lake of ambrosia. The serpent steals this tree, as in
the Hindoo myth it steals the ambrosia from the gods; it knows well that
in it consists the regeneratory strength of the hero, whom the serpent
has bitten; sometimes it steals the tree from him, and sometimes guards
over it. Out of the golden apple, or out of the orange of the tree
guarded by the dragon, in popular tales, the beautiful maiden comes; the
dragon keeps her back a second time on the way, making her mount upon a
tree, or throwing her into the fountain, near which the beautiful maiden
becomes a dark fish or a dark bird (a swallow or a dove), in order to
come out again from the fish or the bird in the form of a beautiful
girl. The love of the young princess for the young hero, in Russian
stories, comes out of the duck's egg taken under the tree, and the death
of the serpent-dragon is caused by it. Here the gloomy monster of the
night and winter, the monster serpent, appears, in guardianship of the
moon, the protectress of marriages, as an ambrosial and evergreen tree,
and, like the cypress, a funereal tree, which is at the same time
symbolical of immortality. From the moon of winter and of night, the
solar hero of spring and the day, the maiden spring and the maiden
aurora come forth. The serpent, like the toad, the frog, the fish, and
the bird, now desires the moon of winter and of night for itself, and
now presents it to the young hero, whom it protects. The moon appears
when the diurnal sun goes down in the west; hence the garden of the
Hesperides, as the word denotes, was supposed to be situated in the
west; the moon rules the northern heavenly region, the cold season of
the year; for this reason Apollodorus placed this same garden of the
Hesperides in the north, amongst the Hyperboreans, where the tree of
oblivion also grew according to Ælianos. In India, the ambrosial tree,
the tree of immortality, the tree of Brahman's paradise, like the moon
and Çivas (the god of paradise and of hell, the phallical and destroying
god), was also placed in the north, on Mount Merus, the phallical and
primeval mountain, near the sea of oblivion, guarded by a dragon; but
because the dragon or serpent represents evil oftener than good, because
Çivas, the moon, and the cypress, have a double aspect, phallical and
funereal, paradisiacal and infernal, because Kaçyapas, the great
primitive phallos, created opposite things in the form of a bird and in
that of a serpent, two trees are also represented upon Mount Merus, one
of good and one of evil, one of life and one of death, which reminds us
of the Jewish and Mahometan traditions. The legends concerning the tree
of the golden apples or figs, which yields honey or ambrosia, guarded by
dragons, in which the life, the fortune, the glory, the strength, and
the riches of the hero have their beginning, are numerous among every
people of Âryan origin; in India and in Persia, in Russia and in
Poland, in Sweden and in Germany, in Greece and in Italy, popular
myths, poems, songs, and fairy tales amplify with a great variety of
incidents, partly unconscious of their primitive signification, this
strange subject of phallical cosmogony.[581]

The Persian cosmogony is of a less material character than the
Hindoo, but its principle is the same. Ahuramazda and Anhromainyu, who
occupy the first place as the creators of the world, are also two
males in opposition to one another. From Ahuramazda descends Thrætaona
or Feridun, the killer of the serpent (azhi) Dahâka, or Dahak, or
Zohak, the three-headed dragon which Anhromainyu created to destroy
the beautiful in the world, as the strongest of monsters.[582] In
Hindoo tradition we find the bird Garuḍas on the side of the gods, and
the Nâgas or serpent on that of the demons; so, in Persian tradition,
the bird Simurg is on the side of the gods, and the serpent or
sea-monster on that of the demons. It is in the midst of the waters
that the hero Kereçâçpa finds the great serpent Çruvara, who devours
men and horses, and who ejects a venom as large as a man's thumb.
Taking him probably for an island,[583] he has food cooked upon it;
the serpent feels the heat, and begins to move; it then throws
Kereçâçpa, the courageous Kereçâçpa, over backwards. There seems to be
some analogy between this myth of the Yaçna of the _Avesta_ and the
story of the fearless hero of the Russian story, who, being asleep in
a boat, falls into the river when terrified by the little fish which
had jumped upon him. (The serpent appears also as the enemy of fire in
the _Khorda-Avesta_.)[584] The serpent causes the diseases which
Thrætaona is requested to cure; it poisons whatever it sees and
touches; and, according to the _Khorda-Avesta_,[585] the wicked are
condemned to feed upon poison after death. In the _Shah-Name_ the sun
disappears, devoured by a sea-monster or crocodile. In the third
adventure of Isfendiar, the hero is almost inebriated by the venomous
smoke and the pestilential breath of the dragon which he has
victoriously combated; and, after having won, he falls to the ground
as if dead; thus Indras, after having defeated the monstrous serpent,
flees in terror over the rivers, like a madman attacked by
hydrophobia, terrified by the shadow, the smoke, or the water of the
dead serpent, because this shadow, which is perhaps his own, and not
his enemy's, menaces to submerge him in those poisoned waves, and to
transform him into a sea-monster, assimilating him thus to his enemy;
inasmuch as the god sends to make man like himself, so also does the
demon. In Persia, therefore, the serpent is generally considered as a
demoniacal and monstrous animal, the personification of evil. If it is
prayed to, it is to conjure it away, to induce it to go far distant,
as the Arabs and the Tatars particularly do to expel the devil. The
Persian genius has not the mobility, the plasticity, and elasticity
of the Hindoo; its mythical images are more severe and less multiform;
hence the serpent remained in Persian tradition the demoniacal animal
_par excellence_. In the _Tuti-Name_, on the contrary, which is of
Hindoo origin, the serpent has a double aspect. The serpent wishes to
eat the frog. (In the fifteenth story of the third book of the
_Pańćatantram_, the frogs ride upon the serpent, and leap upon it in
delight, like Phædrus's frogs upon King Log, which was sent to them in
derision by Jove; the serpent and the rod are assimilated.) The hero
saves the frog, upon which the serpent reproves him, because he thus
takes its food from it; the hero then cuts off some of his own flesh
to give it to the serpent;[586] the serpent protects the hero ever
afterwards, and cures with an ointment the king's daughter, who had
been bitten by another serpent; the king gives his daughter, on her
recovery, to the hero who had satisfied the serpent's hunger. In the
tenth story of the third book of the _Pańćatantram_, two little
serpents, who talk to each other, both work their own ruin and make
the fortune of the hero and of the heroine. A king's son has a serpent
in his body without knowing it, and becomes ill; he abandons in
despair his father's palace, and goes begging; he is given, in
contempt, the second daughter of another king to wife, who had never
said amiable things to her father, like her eldest sister (a variation
of the legend of Cordelia and Lear); whilst one day the young prince
has fallen asleep with his head upon an ant-hill, the little serpent
which is in his body puts out its head to breathe a little fresh air,
and sees another serpent coming out of the ant-hill;[587] the two
little serpents begin to dispute and call each other names; one
accuses the other of tormenting the young prince by inhabiting his
body, and the accused responds by charging it with hiding two jars
full of gold under the ant-hill.[588] Continuing their quarrel, one
says how easy it would be to kill the other; a little mustard would
suffice to settle the first, and a little hot oil the second (the
serpent is killed by being burned; the rich uhlan-serpent of the
Russian story is burned in the trunk of an oak-tree, in which it had
taken refuge out of fear for the fire and the lightning); the hidden
wife listens to everything, delivers her husband from the little
serpent in his body, and kills the other serpent to take out the
treasure which it keeps hidden.[589] In the fourteenth of the stories
of Santo Stefano di Calcinaia, the third of the young daughters, in
order to save her father from certain death, consents to marry the
serpent, who carries her upon his tail to his palace, where he becomes
a handsome man called Sor Fiorante, of the red and white stockings.
But she must reveal the secret to no one. The maiden (as in the fable
of Cupid and Psyche) does not resist the temptation of speaking of it
to her sisters, on which her husband disappears; she finds him again
after having filled seven flasks with her tears; breaking first a
walnut, then a hazel-nut, and finally an almond, of which each
contains a magnificent robe, she recovers her husband, and is
recognised by him.[590] In a variety of the same story in my little
collection, a good serpent fairy advises the blind princess, and gives
her the hazel-nut, the almond, and the walnut; each of the three gifts
contains a marvel; by means of the first marvel the young princess
regains one eye from the false wife; by means of the second marvel,
the other eye, which the serpent puts in its place;[591] and by means
of the third, which is a golden hen with forty-four golden chickens
(perhaps forty-four stands for forty times four, or a hundred and
sixty, which might represent the luminous and warm days of the year,
from the first of April to the end of August), she finds her lost
husband again. In an unpublished Sicilian story communicated to me by
Dr Ferraro, a serpent presses the neck of King Moharta to avenge a
beautiful girl whom the king had forsaken, after having violated her;
in order to release himself from the serpent, the king is compelled to
marry the beautiful girl whom he had betrayed. In the sixteenth of the
Tuscan stories published by me, the three sons of the king go to get
the water which jumps and dances, and which is guarded by a dragon who
devours as many as approach it; the dragon sleeps from twelve to two
o'clock, and sleeps with its eyes open, which signifies, if we
interpret twelve o'clock as twelve o'clock of the day, that the dragon
is asleep when the sun watches, and if, on the contrary, as twelve
o'clock at night, that it sleeps when the moon, compared to the hare
which sleeps with its eyes open, shines in the sky.[592] In an ancient
Neapolitan vase explained by Gerhard and Panofka, we find a tree and
a fountain, a serpent (the same as that which gnaws at the roots of
the tree Yggdrasill in the _Eddas_), three Hesperides, and Hêraklês.
One Hesperis is giving the wounded serpent some beverage in a cup, the
second is plucking an apple, the third is about to pluck one, and
Hêraklês has also an apple in his hand. The myth and the story of the
ogre and the three oranges correspond perfectly to one another.[593]
The maiden was at first identified with the serpent, as the daughter
of the dragon, and as a female serpent; she lays aside her disguise on
the approach of the young hero, and recovers all her splendour. In an
unpublished story of the Monferrato, communicated to me by Dr Ferraro,
a beautiful girl, when plucking up a cabbage (a lunar image), sees
under its roots a large room, goes down into it, and finds a serpent
there, who promises to make her fortune if she will kiss him and sleep
with him; the girl consents. After three months, the serpent begins to
assume the legs of a man, then a man's body, and finally the face of a
handsome youth, the son of a king, and marries his young deliverer. In
popular tradition, we also have the contrary form of the same myth,
that is, the beautiful maiden who becomes a serpent again. In a German
legend,[594] the young hero hopes to deliver the beautiful maiden by
three kisses:[595] the first time he kisses her as a beautiful girl;
the second time as a monster, half woman half serpent; the third time
he refuses to kiss her, because she has become entirely a serpent.

When the day or the summer dies, the mythical serpent shows himself
(in absolute contradiction to what we are taught by Natural History,
one would almost say that when the serpent ceases to creep along the
ground and to devour the animals of the earth, it goes to creep and to
devour the animals of the sky); then the north winds begin to
whistle,--and the serpent, particularly the mythical serpent, is a
famous whistler. Isidorus[596] even identifies the basilisk and the
serpent, called a _regulus_ with the whistle itself: "Sibilus idem est
qui et Regulus: sibilo enim occidit antequam mordeat vel exurat." In
the twenty-fifth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the gipsy
and the serpent challenge one another to see who will whistle loudest.
When the serpent whistles or hisses (that is, in autumn) all the trees
lose their leaves. The gipsy defeats the serpent by a cheat; he makes
it believe that it will be unable to resist the effects of his whistle
if it does not cover its head, and then beats it without pity, so that
the serpent is convinced of the gipsy's superiority, and says that it
reveres him as its elder brother.[597] I cited in the first chapter of
the first book the Russian story of Alexin the son of the priest, or
the divine Alexin, who fights against Tugarin, the son of the serpent,
or the demon-serpent, and begs the Virgin to bathe the monster's wings
with the rain of the black cloud: the monster's wings being heavy with
water, force it to fall to the ground. Here we return again to the
simple yet grandiose Vedic myth, the most remote of all, from which we
started; we return to lyrical poetry, inspired, spontaneous,
ingenuous, full of agreeable or fearful surprises, of naïve
enthusiasms, of creative impulses, the unconscious originator of a new
civilisation and a new faith, as yet undefiled with phallical
cosmogonies, as yet unruptured and unimpoverished by the sterile
dreams of eunuch-like metaphysics.


[523] St Augustine, _Hom._ 36, says of the devil: "Leo et draco est;
Leo propter impetum, Draco propter insidias;" in Albania, the devil is
called _dreikj_, and in Romania, _dracu_.

[524] A proverb of the _Râmâyaṇam_ says, that "only a female serpent
can distinguish the feet of a male serpent" (v. 38): Ahireva hyaheḥ
pâdâu viǵâniyânna saṁçayaḥ). The feet of the serpent, like those of
the devil, which is the tail (or the phallos of the male) can be
perceived by a female alone; women know where the devil has his tail.

[525] Tom. i., "Sunt qui in aquæ inspectione umbras dæmonum evocant,
et imagiones vel ludificationes ibi videre et ab iis aliqua audire se

[526] In the seventh book _De Civitate Dei_, the saint writes: "Ipse
Numas ad quem nullus Dei propheta, nullus Sanctus Angelus mittebatur,
Hydromantiam facere compulsus est, ut in aqua videret imagines deorum
vel potius ludificationes dæmonum, a quibus audiret, quid in sacris
constituere atque observare deberet quod genus divinationis idem Varro
a Persis dicit allatum."

[527] It also exists in Roumania, where the new solar year is
celebrated by the benediction of the waters, as if to exorcise the
demons that inhabit them.

[528] _Codex Reg._, 5600 ann. circ. 800, fol. 101, in Du Cange: "Sunt
aliqui rustici homines, qui credunt aliquas mulieres, quod vulgum
dicitur strias, esse debeant, et ad infantes vel pecora nocere
possint, vel dusiolus, vel Aquatiquus, vel geniscus esse debeat."
Neptunus, vel aliquis genius, quia quis præest designari videtur.

[529] The monsters which mount into heaven by magical deceits, killed
by Indras, are said to creep like serpents: Mâyâbhir utsisṛipsata
indra dyâm; _Ṛigv._ viii. 14, 14.

[530] The name of _Arbudas_, given to the monster which Indras, the
ram (meshas), crushes (for _ni-kram_ seems to me to have this meaning)
under his foot while it is lying, is nothing else than a serpent;
moreover, he, whose people is the _sarpâs_ or serpents, is the king of
the serpents. To _arbud-as_ I would refer the Latin words _rep-ere_,
_rept-are_, _reptil-is_.

[531] Apâd ahasto apṛitanyad indram âsya vaǵram adhi sânâu ǵaghana;
_Ṛigv._ i. 32, 7.--Yo vyaṅsaṁ ǵahṛishâṇena manyunâ yaḥ çambaraṁ yo
ahan piprum avratam; i. 101, 2.--Apâdam atram mahatâ vadhena ni
duryoṇa âvṛiṇañ mṛidhravâćam; v. 32, 8.

[532] Ahann ahim parvate çiçṛiyâṅam; i. 32, 2.--Ahann enam prathamaǵâm
ahînâm; i. 32, 3.

[533] Nîćâvayâ abhavad vṛitraputrendro asyâ ava vadhar ǵabhâra--uttarâ
sûr adharaḥ putra âsîd dânuḥ çaye sahavatsâ na dhenuḥ; i. 32, 9.
Properly speaking, the verse speaks here of Vṛitras, and not of Ahis;
but the coverer and the constrictor being equivalent, it seems to me
that there are not here two beings distinguished, in the same hymn, by
two analogous appellations.

[534] Dâsapatnîr ahigopâ atishṭhan niruddhâ âpaḥ paṇineva gâvaḥ; i.
32, 11.--The reader will remember the discussion concerning the
proverb of shutting the stable after the oxen are stolen, in the first
chapter of the first book.

[535] Avâdaho diva â dasyum uććâ; i. 33, 7.

[536] Guhâhitam guhyaṁ gûḷham apsu apîvṛitam mâyinaṁ kshiyantam uto
apo dyâm tastabhvâṅsam ahann ahiṁ çura vîryeṇa; ii. 11, 5.

[537] Âçayânam ahim vaǵreṇa maghavan vi vṛiçćaḥ; iv. 17, 7.

[538] Sapta prati pravata âçayânam ahiṁ vaǵreṇa vi rîṇâ aparvan; iv.
19, 3.

[539] Sasantaṁ vaǵreṇâbodhayo 'him; i. 103, 7.

[540] Navantam ahiṁ saṁ piṇag ṛiǵîshin; vi. 17, 10.

[541] Sa mâhina indro arṇo apâm prâirayad ahihâćhâ samudram aǵanayat
sûryaṁ vidad gâh; ii. 19, 3.--Sṛiǵaḥ sindhûṅr ahinâ ǵagrasânân;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 17, 1.--Ahann ahim anv apas tatarda pra vakshaṇâ abhinat
parvatânâm; i. 32, 2.

[542] Yad indrâhan prathamaǵâm ahînâm ân mâyinâm aminâh prota mâyâḥ--ât
sûryaṁ ǵanayan dyâm ushâsaṁ tâdîtnâ çatruṁ na kilâ vivitse; i. 32, 4.

[543] Ahan vṛitraṁ vṛitrataraṁ vyaṅsam indro vaǵrena mahatâ vadhena
skandḥaṇsîva kuliçenâ vivṛiknâhiḥ çayata upapṛik pṛithivyâḥ; i. 32,
5.--Ud vṛiha rakshaḥ sahamûlam indra vriçća madhyam praty agraṁ
çṛinîhi; iii. 30, 17.

[544] Çayânam mano ruhânâ ati yanty âpaḥ; i. 32, 8.

[545] Anu tvâ patnîr hṛishitaṁ vayaç ća viçve devâso amadann anu tvâ;
i. 103, 7.--Asmâ id u gnâç ćid devapatnîr indrâyârkam ahihatya ûvuḥ;
i. 61, 8.

[546] Striyo hi dâsa âyudhâni ćakre; _Ṛigv._ v. 30, 9.

[547] Sa vṛitrahendraḥ kṛishṇayonîḥ puraṃdaro dâsîr âirayad vi; ii.
20, 7.--Vṛitras the killer of Piprus, Indras _puraṁ-daras_, properly,
who wounds the full one, who cleaves the full or the swollen one, and
hence who wounds, the city, and Indras the lacerator of the witches
with the black wombs are equivalent; cfr. what was said concerning the
thunderbolt as a phallos, in the first chapter of the first book,
where the cuckoo is spoken of, and in the chapter on the Cuckoo in the
second book.--In the hymn, i. 32, 9, Indras also wounds underneath the
mother of the monster: Indro asyâ ava vadhar ǵabhâra.

[548] Uto nu ćid ya oǵasâ çushṇasyâṇḍâni bhedati ǵeshat svarvatîr
apaḥ; _Ṛigv._ viii. 40, 10.--In the hymn i. 54, 10, it is said that
the cloud-mountain is found amongst the intestines of the coverer; one
might say that the serpent binds the cloud in the form of bowels. The
reader will recollect what we observed concerning the intestines, the
heart, and the liver, of the sacrificed victim in the first chapter of
the first book.

[549] In the twentieth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_ we
find a singular variety, which is of some importance in the history of
mythology and language. A princess asks the serpent, her husband, by
what his death can be caused. The serpent answers that his death can
be brought about by the hero Nikita Kaszemiaka, who, in fact, comes up
and kills the serpent by submerging him in the sea. Nikita is called,
it is said, Kaszemiaka, because his occupation was that of tearing
skins. The torn skins (cfr. here also the _Jupiter Aegiocus_) take
here the place of the duck's egg broken upon the serpent, and of the
eggs of the monster broken by Indras. In Italian, _coccio_, means a
piece of a broken vase, and also, in botany, the skin of a seed;
_incocciarsi_ signifies to be angry. In Piedmont, it is said of one
who annoys people, that he breaks the boxes, and, more vulgarly, that
he breaks the testicles.

[550] Hiraṇyakeço 'hiḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 79, 1.

[551] Vi çṛiñgiṇam abhinać ćhushṇam indraḥ; i. 33, 12.

[552] Ahiçushmasattvâ; v. 33, 5.

[553] Ahimanyavaḥ; i. 64, 9.

[554] Ćakrâṇâsaḥ parîṇaham pṛithivyâ hiraṇyena maṇinâ çumbhamânâḥ; i.
33, 8.

[555] vi. 1, 1.

[556] The passage cited before.

[557] i. 3, 22.--In Russian stories, we frequently find the incident
of a serpent, or witch, who endeavours to file, or pierce through,
with her tongue the iron doors which enclose the forge in which the
pursued hero has taken refuge; he, from within, helped by divine
blacksmiths, draws the witch's tongue in with red-hot pincers and
causes her death; he then opens the gates of the forge, which
represents now the red sky of evening, now the red sky of morning.

[558] i. 792, _et seq._--Cfr. also the second Esthonian tale, where
the young hero, in the kingdom of the serpents, drinks milk in the cup
of the king of the serpents himself.

[559] _Mbh._ i. 5008, _et seq._

[560] i. 1283-1295.

[561] v. 4, 23.

[562] Cfr. _Râmâyaṇam_, i. 46, and _Mahâbhâratam_, i. 1053, 1150.--In
the _Râmâyaṇam_ (vi. 26), the arrows of the monsters are said to bind
like serpents; the bird Garuḍas appears and the serpents untie
themselves, the fetters are loosed; Râmas and Lakshmaṇas, supposed to
be dead, rise again stronger than before.

[563] As we have seen that _mandaras_ is equivalent to _mantharas_, a
name of the tortoise which, according to the cosmogonic legend,
sustains the weight of the mountain, or enormous stick which produces
the mountain, so Anantas, in another Hindoo legend (cfr. _Mbh._ i.
1587-1588) sustains the weight of the world.--The rod of pearls which
when placed in fat enables the young prince to obtain whatever he
wishes for, seems to have the same originally phallical meaning as the
mandaras; it is the king of the serpents who presents it to the young
prince. The fat may, in the mythical sky, be the milk of the morning
dawn, or the rain of the cloud, or the snee, or the dew; as soon as
the thunderbolt touches the fat of the clouds, or of the snee, or as
soon as the sunbeam touches the milk of the dawn, the sun, riches, and
fortune come forth.

[564] The _coitus_ is also called a game of serpents in the
_Tuti-Name_. Preller and Kuhn have already proved the phallical
signification of the caduceus (_tripetêlon_) of Hermês, represented
now with two wings, now with two serpents. The phallical serpent is
the cause of the fall of the first man.

[565] _Vinatâ_ is also the name of a disease of women; and, as far as
we can judge from the passage of the _Mahâbhâratam_ (iii. 14,480),
which refers to it, it is the malignant genius who destroys the fœœtus
in the womb of the pregnant mother. He is defined as _çakunigrâhî_,
properly the seizer of the bird. Kaçyapas, the universal phallos, the
Praǵâpatis, certainly unites himself to Vinatâ in the form of a
phallos-bird, as to Kadrû in that of a phallos-serpent.

[566] vi. 37-38, 46.

[567] Cfr. for this subject the first and second chapters of the first

[568] i. 949, 974.

[569] i. 1671, 1980, _et seq._

[570] iv. 16.

[571] _Râmây._ vii. 104, 105.

[572] Cfr. concerning this subject in particular, the first chapter of
the first book, the chapter on the Wolf and that on the Frog.

[573] iii. 8.

[574] Cfr. the discussion concerning the gandharvâs in the chapter on
the Ass.

[575] _Râmây._ vi. 82.--This nymph becomes grâhî, because she had once
struck a holy Brâhman with her chariot. The same reason is assigned for
the malediction which falls upon King Nahushas, who became an enormous
serpent; this serpent squeezed the hero Bhîmas in its mortal coils; his
brother, Yudhishṭhiras, runs up, and answers in a highly satisfactory
manner to the abstruse philosophical questions addressed to him by the
serpent, which then releases Bhîmas, casts off its skin, and ascends in
the form of Nahushas to heaven; _Mbh._ iii. 12, 356, _et seq._

[576] _Râmây._ iii. 8.

[577] iii. 2609, _et seq._

[578] Triçîrshâ iva nâgapotâs; 12, 744.

[579] Cfr. Papi, _Lettere sulle Indie Orientali_, Lucca, 1829; it is
the _cobra de capello_ of the Portuguese.

[580] Cfr. Simrock _Deutsche Mythologie_, pp. 478, 513, 514, and
Rochholtz _Deutscher Glaube und Brauch_, i. 146.

[581] Cfr. again the legend of Adam and Eve, of the tree and the
serpent, and the original sin. In the mediæval comedy _La Sibila del
Oriente_, Adam when dying says to his son, "Mira en cima de mi
sepulcro, que un arbol nace." In Russian stories the young hero will
be fortunate, now because he watched at his father's tomb, now because
he defended the paternal cypress from the demon who wished to carry it
off. In the legend of the wood of the cross, according to a sermon of
Hermann von Fristlar (cfr. Mussafia, _Sulla Leggenda del legno della
Croce_), the tree upon the wood of which, made into a cross, Christ
died, is said to have been a cypress. The same mediæval legend
describes the terrestrial paradise whence Adam was expelled, and where
Seth repairs to obtain for Adam the oil of pity. The tree rises up to
heaven, and its root goes down to hell, where Seth sees the soul of
his brother Abel. On the summit there is a child, the Son of God, the
promised oil. The angel gives to Seth three grains which he is to put
into Adam's mouth; three sprouts spring up which remain an
arm's-length in height till the time of Moses, who converts them into
miraculous rods, and replants them before his death; David finds them
again, and performs miracles with them. The three sprouts become one
plant which grows proudly into a tree. Solomon wishes to build the
temple with this wood; the workmen cannot make use of it; he then has
it carried into the temple; a sybil tries to sit upon it, and her
clothes take fire; she cries out, "Jesus, God and my Lord," and
prophesies that the Son of God will be hanged upon that wood. She is
condemned to death, and the wood thrown into a fish-pond, which
acquires thaumaturgic virtue; the wood comes out and they wish to make
a bridge of it; the Queen of the East, Saba, refuses to pass over it,
having a presentiment that Jesus will die upon that wood. Abia has the
wood buried, and a fish-pond appears over it.--Now, this is what an
author, unsuspected of heresy, writes concerning the symbol of the
serpent (Martigny, _Dictionnaire des Antiquités Chrétiennes_): "Les
ophites, suivant en cela les nicolaites et les premiers gnostiques,
rendirent au serpent lui-même un culte direct d'adoration, et les
manichéens le mirent aussi à la place de Jésus Christ (S. Augustin.
_De Hœœres._ cap. xvii. et xlvi.) Et nous devons regarder comme
extrêmement probable que les talismans et les amulettes avec la figure
du serpent qui sont arrivés jusqu' à nous, proviennent des hérétiques
de la race de Basilide, et non pas des païens, comme on le suppose
communément." To the continuers of the admirable studies of Strauss
and Renan will be reserved the office of seeking the sense hidden in
this myth, made poetical by the evangelical morals. When we shall be
able to bring into Semitic studies the same liberty of scientific
criticism which is conceded to Âryan studies, we shall have a Semitic
mythology; for the present, faith, a natural sense of repugnance to
abandon the beloved superstitions of our credulous childhood, and more
than all, a less honourable sentiment of terror for the opinion of the
world, have restrained men of study from examining Jewish history and
tradition with entire impartiality and severity of judgment. We do not
wish to appear Voltairians, and we prefer to shut our eyes not to see,
and our ears not to hear what history, studied critically and
positively, presents to us less agreeable to our pride as men, and to
our vanity as Christians.

[582] Cfr. _Yaçna_, ix. 25-27; cfr. also Prof. Spiegel's introduction
to the _Khorda Avesta_, pp. 59, 60.

[583] Cfr. the chapter concerning the Fishes and that on the Tortoise.

[584] Cfr. Prof. Spiegel's introduction to the _Khorda-Avesta_, p. 60.

[585] xxxviii. 36.

[586] A variety of the Hindoo legend of the hawk (Indras), of the dove
(Agnis), and of King Çivis, who, to save the dove from the hawk, his
guest, gives some of his own flesh to the hawk to eat. Here the
serpent is identified with the hawk or eagle; in the Mongol story,
however, the dragon is grateful to the man who delivered him from the
bird Garuḍas; the king of the dragons keeps guard over the white
pearls, arrives upon a white horse, dressed in white (probably the
snow of winter, or the moon); the king of the dragons rewards the hero
by giving him a red bitch, some fat, and a string of pearls.--In the
sixth story of the _Pańćatantram_, we have the serpent and the crow,
one at the foot of a tree, the other on the summit; the serpent eats
the crow's eggs, and the crow avenges itself by stealing a golden
necklace from the queen and throwing it into the snake's hole; the men
go to seek the necklace, find the serpent and kill it.

[587] We have seen in the chapter on the Ant how the ants make
serpents come out of their holes; in Bavaria, according to Baron
Reinsberg von Düringsfeld, the work quoted before, p. 259, an asp
(_natter_) taken in August must be shut well up in a vase in order
that it may die of heat and of hunger; then it is placed upon an ants'
nest, that the ants may eat all its flesh; of what remains, a sort of
paternoster is made, which is supposed to be very useful against all
kinds of eruptions upon the head.

[588] Cfr. the interminable riches of the uhlan-serpent in the story
vi. 11, of _Afanassieff_.

[589] Here we have a serpent which expels and ruins another. In a
similar manner, before the times of San Carlo Borromeo, a bronze
serpent, which had been carried from Constantinople by the Archbishop
Arnolfo in the year 1001, was revered in the basilica of St Ambrose at
Milan; some said that it was the serpent of Æsculapius, others that of
Moses, others that it was an image of Christ; for us it is enough to
remark here that it was a mythical serpent, before which Milanese
mothers brought their children when they suffered from worms, in order
to relieve them, as we learn from the depositions of the visit of San
Carlo to this basilica: "Est quædam superstitio de ibi mulierum pro
infantibus morbo verminum laborantibus." San Carlo put down this

[590] These marvels are always three, as the apples are three, the
beautiful girls three, the enchanted palaces in the kingdom of the
serpents which they inhabit three (cfr. _Afanassieff_, i. 5). The
heads of the dragon are in this story and generally three, but
sometimes also five, six (cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 28), seven (cfr.
_Pentamerone_, i. 7, and _Afanassieff_, ii. 27; the serpent of the
seven heads emits foul exhalations), nine (iii. 2, v. 24), or twelve
(cfr. _Afanassieff_, ii. 30).--In the twenty-first story of the second
book of _Afanassieff_, first the serpent with three heads appears,
then that with six, then that with nine heads which throw out water
and threaten to inundate the kingdom. Ivan Tzarević exterminates them.
In the twenty-second story of the same book the serpent of the Black
Sea, with wings of fire, flies into the Tzar's garden and carries off
the three daughters; the first is obtained and shut up by the
five-headed serpent, the second by the seven-headed one, and the third
by the serpent with twelve heads; the young hero Frolka Sidien kills
the three serpents and liberates the three daughters.

[591] Cfr. also, for the legend of the blind woman, the first chapter
of the first book.

[592] When the mythical serpent refers to the year, the hours
correspond to the months, and the months during which the mythical
serpent sleeps seem to be those of summer, in contradiction to what is
observed in nature.

[593] In the fifth story of the second book of the _Pentamerone_, a
serpent has itself adopted, as their son, by a man and woman who have
no children, and then asks for the king's daughter to wife; the king,
who thinks to turn the serpent into ridicule, answers that he will
consent when the serpent has made all the fruit-trees of the royal
garden become golden, the soil of the same garden turn into precious
stones, and his whole palace into a pile of gold. The serpent sows
kernels of fruits and egg-shells in the garden; from the first, the
required trees spring up; from the second, the pavement of precious
stones; he then anoints the palace with a certain herb, and it turns
to gold. The serpent comes to take his wife in a golden chariot, drawn
by four golden elephants, lays aside his serpent's disguise, and
becomes a handsome youth.

[594] Cfr. Mone, _Anzeig._ iii. 88.

[595] Cfr. on this subject the stories recorded in the first and
second chapters of the first book.

[596] _Origines_, xiv. 4.

[597] Cfr. the same, _Afanassieff_, vi. 10, where the cunning workman,
in reward for having vanquished the little devil in whistling, and for
having made it believe that he could throw a stick upon the clouds,
obtains the money which can remain in a hat which never fills.


      "E come quei che con lena affannata
         Uscito fuor del pelago a la riva
         Si volge all 'onda perigliosa e guata,
       Cosi l'animo mio che ancor fuggiva
         Si volse indietro a rimirar ..."

and the shadows of the mythological monsters rise again before me, and
occupy my fearful thoughts. During these months of my solitary sojourn
on Olympus, have I only been the victim of a horrible nightmare, or have
I apprehended aright the reality of the changeful figures of the sky in
their animal forms? The ancient mythology, which used to be taught to us
at school, was filled with the incests of Jove, of Mars, and of Venus;
but they were classical myths, and the adulterers were called gods; and
our good fathers, in the vain search for symbolical meanings, tortured
their ingenious brains to extract from each scandal of Olympus a moral
lesson for the instruction of youth. Hence it was permitted to art to
represent Jove as a bull, an eagle, a swan, a seducer in an animal form,
without offending decency or violating the sanctity of the schools; and
the young scholars were encouraged to write their rhetorical exercises
in Italian or Latin verse upon the favourite themes of classical
mythology, inasmuch as with symbols and moral allegories the vile matter
could all be made divine. Platonic or metaphysical love not requiring
the vehicles of sense to communicate itself, the animal forms of the god
were for our old masters nothing else than symbols and allegories,
conceived and intended to veil an elevated educational wisdom. But we
have rocked ourselves long enough in the cradle of this infantile
fantasy, and must now discard from this and kindred themes all such idle
dreams. It is at last necessary to summon up the courage to front the
problems of history with the same frankness and ardour with which
naturalists approach the mysteries of Nature, and pierce the veil; nor
is this attempt so hazardous, since, in order to demonstrate entirely
our historical theses, we have certain and positive data provided for us
in speech and in legend by comparative oral and written tradition. We do
not invent; we simply accumulate, and then put in order the facts
relating to the common history of popular thought and sentiment in our
privileged race. The difficulty consists only in classifying the facts;
the facts themselves are many and evident. It is very possible to be
deceived in their arrangement, and hence also in their minute
interpretation; and I am, for my part, not without apprehension that I
may have here and there made an unlucky venture in interpreting some
particular myths; but if this may, in some degree, reflect discredit on
my intelligence, which is perhaps imperfectly armed, and without
sufficient penetration, this can in nowise prejudice the fundamental
truths which permit comparative mythology to constitute and install
itself as a positive science, that may henceforth, like every science,
instruct and edify with profit. The principal error into which the
students of the new science are apt to fall, and into which I may myself
have sometimes been betrayed in the course of this work, is that of
confining their observations to one special favourite mythical point or
moment, and referring almost every myth to it, and not taking sufficient
account of their mobility and their separate history, that is, of the
various periods of their manifestation. One sees in the myth only the
sun, another only the moon in its several revolutions, and their amours
with the verdant and resplendent earth; one sees the darkness of night
in opposition to the light of day, another the same light in opposition
to the gloomy cloud; one the loves of the sun with the moon, another
those of the sun with the aurora. These diverse, special, and too
exclusive points of view, from which the myths have hitherto been
generally studied by learned men, have afforded ill-disposed adversaries
an opportunity of ridiculing the science of Comparative Mythology as a
science which is little serious, and which changes its nature according
to the student who occupies himself with it. But this opposition is
disarmed by its own weapons. For what does the concord of all learned
men and scholars in this department prove? It proves, in my opinion, but
one thing, and that is, the reproduction and confirmation of the same
natural myths under multiplex forms, the representation by analogous
myths of analogous phenomena, and that the variations met with in fairy
tales are also found in myths. The sun chases away the darkness in the
day, the moon the darkness in the night; both are called haris, or
fairhaired, golden, luminous. Indras is haris; as haris, he is now in
relation with the sun that thunders in the cloud (Jupiter Tonans), now
with the ambrosial moon which attracts rain (Jupiter Pluvius); Zeus
gives up the field to his son Dionüsos, and, be it as the sun, be it as
the moon, he is always Zeus the refulgent one, Diespiter or the father
of light; in the first case, he pierces through the cloud, and in the
second through the darkness. Even when the moon or the sun is hidden,
when Zeus or Dionüsos lives in his august mystery, they prepare new
luminous phenomena. Thus Vishṇus is haris, and as haris he is identified
now with the sun, now with the moon; or, to speak with more precision,
the sun haris and the moon haris are confounded in one sole mythical
personage, in one god, who represents them both in various moments, that
is to say, in Vishṇus. It is desirable that the entirety of the myths
should be studied with full comprehension of the whole field which the
myth may have enriched, and of the whole period in which the myth may
have been developed; but this does not prevent, in special studies, a
learned man from addressing himself (as Professors Kuhn, Müller, and
Bréal have done) to one special point to prove one special mythological
thesis. To this point he applies his lever; he might, perhaps, use it
somewhere else; but this causes no prejudice to the essential truth, by
bringing his demonstrations to the highest degree of clearness in one
point alone. The excess of demonstration can easily be corrected, and
meanwhile from these special studies, in which investigation becomes
every day more profound, the myths come out in brighter colours. It
would be an exaggeration to ascribe to all the myths one unvaried manner
of formation, as also to think absolutely that all myths began by a
simple confusion of words. Equivocalness, no doubt, played a principal
part in the formation of myths; but this same equivocalness would not
always have been possible without the pre-existence, so to speak, of
pictorial analogies. The child who even now, gazing on the sky, takes a
white cloud for a mountain of snow, certainly does not yet know that
_parvatas_ meant both cloud and mountain in the Vedic language; he
continues, however, to elaborate his elementary myth by means of simple
analogies of images. The equivoque of words usually succeeded to the
analogy of external figures as they appeared to primitive man. He had
not yet named the cloud as a mountain, and yet he already saw it. When
the confusion of images took place, that of words became almost
inevitable, and only served to determine it, to give it in the external
sound a more consistent form, to manifest it more artistically, and to
constitute it into a sort of trunk upon which, with the help of new
particular observations, of new images, and of new equivoques, an entire
tree of mythical genealogies was to sprout out.

It has fallen to me to study the least elevated department of
mythology. In the primitive man, who created the myths, the same
twofold tendency shows itself which we observe in ourselves--the
instinct by which we are allied to the brutes, and the instinct which
lifts us to the comprehension and sentiment of the divine or the
ideal. The ideal was the portion of few; material instinct that of
many: the ideal was the promise of human progress; material instinct
represented that inert resisting matter which still acts in opposition
to progress. Hence images full of elevated poesy by the side of
others, vulgar and gross, which remind us of the relation of man to
that petulant and lascivious brute from which it is supposed that he
descends. The god who becomes a brute cannot preserve always intact
his divinity; the animal form is that of his _avatâras_ or of his
decadence, of his fall; it is usually the form assumed by the god or
the hero in consequence of a curse or a crime. The Hindoo and the
Pythagorean beliefs considered the disguise of the animal as the
purgatory of a guilty man. And the god-beast, the hero-beast, the
man-beast cannot restrain themselves from brutish acts. The proud and
ferocious King Viçvâmitras, the Indian Nebuchadnezzar, when he
wanders through the forest in the form of a monster, takes the nature
of the forest-rakshasas, the devourer; the beautiful celestial nymphs
become sea-monsters, devour the heroes who approach their fountain.
Only when the animal form is killed, when the matter is shaken off,
does the god or hero assume his divine goodness, beauty, and
excellence. Here mythology is not in contradiction to physiology; the
character of the mythical personages is the result of their corporeal
forms, of their organism, until the natural destiny changes, and a new
physical transformation taking place in the species, even its moral
characteristics are modified; light is good, darkness is evil, or good
only inasmuch as it is supposed to enclose light in its body. From the
dark wood rubbed and shaken, from the dark stone struck and dilated,
comes forth the spark which causes conflagrations; from the body when
exercised and made agile comes forth the splendour of look, of speech,
of affection, of thought; the god breaks forth. Substance is dark, but
when it is agitated it produces light; as long as it is inert, it is
evil, and it is still evil as long as it attracts to itself, as if to
a centre of gravity, everything that lives. In as far as the monster
swallows beautiful things, it is evil; in as far as it lets them
radiate and go forth, it is good. Disperse the cloud, disperse the
darkness, dilate and expand the matter which tends to grow narrow and
to become inert, to absorb life, and the divine light will come out of
it, the splendid intelligent life will appear; the fallen hero, the
hero turned to stone, who has become inert substance, will ascend
again, agile and refulgent, into the divine heavens.

Certainly, I am far from believing that this was the intention of the
myth. Morals have often been an appendix of fables, but they never enter
into the primitive fable itself. The elementary myth is a spontaneous
production of imagination, and not of reflection. When the myth exists,
art and religion may make use of it as an allegory for their æsthetic
and moral ends; but the myth itself is devoid of moral conscience; the
myth shows, as I have said, only more or less elevated instincts. And if
I have sought to compare several physiological laws with the myths, it
is not because I attribute to the myth a wisdom greater than that which
it contains in reality, but only to indicate that, much better than
metaphysics, the science of nature, with the criteria of positive
philosophy, can help us to study the original production of myths and
their successive development in tradition. I have had to prove in
mythology its most humble aspect, that is to say, the god enclosed in
the animal; and inasmuch as amongst the various mythical animals which I
have endeavoured to describe, several preserve the propitious character
and resplendent form of the god, they are generally considered as the
form which the deity assumes either to feed secretly upon the forbidden
fruit or to fulfil a term of punishment for some former fault of his; in
any case, these forms never serve to give us a superlative idea of the
divine excellence and perfection. Instead of ascribing to the god all
the attributes of beauty, goodness, and strength at once, instead of
associating in one all the gods, or all the sympathic forces and figures
of Nature, a new divine form was created for each attribute. And because
the primitive man was not so much inclined to make abstractions as
comparisons (to represent strength, for instance, he had recourse to the
image of the bull, the lion, or the tiger; to represent goodness, he
figured it in the lamb, the dog, or the dove; to represent beauty, he
chose the gazelle, the stag, the peacock, and so on), in the primitive
speech of mankind no conjunctions existed by means of which to unite the
two terms of a comparison: hence a strong king became the lion, a
faithful friend the dog, an agile girl the gazelle, and so on. We
sometimes hear our women, in their moments of tenderness for a distant
person, or in their impatience to go where their heart calls them, or in
their curiosity to know what is going on at such a moment in such a
place, say, "I wish I could become a bird to go there." In reality they
envy only the bird's wings, in order to fly, to arrive there sooner, and
for this desire alone they would renounce all the precious privileges
which distinguish them as women. The same sacrifice of their own
luminous forms to obtain some determinate end happens in the mythical
sky. The god humbles himself in order to make use of some quality which
he needs to manifest especially. Thus Indras, to put the generosity of
King Çivis to the proof, finds it necessary to follow, in the shape of a
hawk, the god Agnis, who had become a dove, and taken refuge with the
king. Primitive man does not ascribe to the god any other form than
those which he sees round him, and which he knows: the god cannot have
wings of his own, divine wings; he must become a bird in order to be
winged. Thus, to draw a chariot, or to carry a hero through the air, he
must become a hippogriff, that is, horse and bird; and when he falls
into the sea, he must enter a fish's body to escape drowning.

The god can therefore exercise his divine power only on the condition
of entering into the forms of those animals which are supposed to have
the privilege of the qualities which the god is in need of in a
special mythical occurrence. But in this animal form in which the god
displays in a transcendent manner some particular quality, he dims at
the same time a great part of his divine splendour. Having, therefore,
surprised the deity in this strange and unlucky moment, the reader
will not, I hope, impute to me the poor figure which the deity has had
to make in many pages of this work; nor will he think evil of me if I
have deprived him, perchance, of some illusion in compensation for
some imperfect, but perhaps not useless revelation.


(_This Index is compiled at the instance of the Publisher, and is not
by the Author._)

  Absalom and his hair, i. 334.

  Achilleus, horses of, i. 351.

  Acheloos, horn of, i. 266.

  Açvinâu, the, i. 18, 19;
    friendship for Tritas, 25;
    awakening of, 27;
    and the aurora, 30;
    eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, 32, 36;
    and Kabandhas, 63;
    the sons of, 78;
    as the two ears of Vishnus, 81, 285-287, 300-302, 304, 306-308,
          310, 315, 319, 321, 327, 370;
    ass of, 371.

  Adam and Eve, legend of, ii. 411.

  Aditis and the cow, in Vedic literature, i. 5, 6, 23, 70, 74.

  Adonis, ii. 14-16.

  Adrikâ, the nymph-fish, ii. 331;
    son and daughter of, 332.

  Æschylos, fabled death of, ii. 197.

  Æsculapius, i. 353.

  Afrasiab, i. 114, 116, 117.

  Agas and synonyms, i. 402.

  Agnis, as the fire-god, i. 10;
    adjutant to Indras, 13, 299, 301.

  Agnus Dei, sacrifice of the, i. 423.

  Ahalyâ, legend of, i. 414.

  Ahura Mazda, i. 97, 109.

  Aiêtas, bulls of, i. 267.

  Ai-Kan, story of, i. 146.

  Alexander the Great, i. 119;
    and augury, ii. 178;
    and the fish, 333;
    and the crab, 355.

  Allwis, the dwarf, i. 207, 225, 260, 261.

  Amalthea, i. 430.

  Amazons, the, i. 211, 212.

  Ambrosia, i. 5;
    giver of, 18;
    the milk which forms, 52, 54;
    contest for, 53;
    the demons and, 53;
    Gandharvas, guardians of, 53, 81;
    of the cow, 275, 276;
    the origin of, ii. 361;
    the phallical reference of, 361, 365.

  Ampelos, i. 267.

  Amphisbhæna, the, ii. 386.

  Anantas, the serpent, ii. 398, 399.

  Angadas, i. 337.

  Animals, gradation of, for sacrifice, i. 44;
    substitutes for, in sacrifice, 44;
    battles of tame and savage, 186;
    inviolability of the mysteries of, 246;
    mythical identification of, ii. 123;
    colours of, in mythology, 295, 296.

  Ansumant, i. 332.

  Antony, St, the Vedic, i. 47;
    and the hog, ii. 6.

  Antelopes and the Marutas, ii. 83, 84;
    king disguised as an, 86.

  Ants, the, and the serpent, ii. 44;
    and the shepherd's son, 45;
    and the grain, 47;
    and the horses, 50;
    Indian, 50, 51;
    that dig up gold, 51;
    the monster, 51.

  Apâlâ, Indras, and the somas, ii. 3;
    and her ugly skin, 5.

  Aphroditê, i. 394;
    and Hermes, ii. 197.

  Apollo, and Laomedon, i. 279;
    Smintheus, ii. 68;
    and the crow, 254.

  Apple-tree, the legend of, i. 251;
    the mythical, 405;
    and the goat, 405.

  Aquila and Aquilo, ii. 191, 192.

  Arabs, the, saying of, ii. 11.

  Arachnê, ii. 163.

  Arcadia, i. 387, 390.

  Ardshi-Bordshi Khan, the history of, i. 120;
    stories from, 134, 139.

  Ardvî Çûra Anâhita, the Persian, i. 99, 100.

  Argos panoptes, i. 418.

  Argus, ii. 327.

  Arǵunas, i. 79, 104.

  Ariadne, i. 212.

  Arkas, ii. 118.

  Arnê, ii. 259.

  Artemis and Aktaion, ii. 86;
    the huntress, 87;
    and hind, 88.

  Arunas, i. 292.

  Ases, the three, and the eagle, ii. 191.

  Ashis Vaguhi, i. 108, 109.

  Ass, the, among the Greeks and Romans, i. 259, 260;
    in the East, 360;
    in the West, 360;
    mistakes about, 361;
    Christianity powerless to redeem, 361, 362;
    hymn in honour of, 361, 362;
    treatment of, by the Church, 363;
    downtrodden condition of, 363;
    in the Rigvedas, 364;
    names of, 364, 365;
    of Apuleius, 366;
    which carries mysteries, 367;
    and flight into Egypt, 367;
    of the Açvinâu, 371;
    of Indras, 371;
    phallic nature of, 372, 373;
    chastisement of, for phallic offences, 372, 373;
    fall of, in the Rigvedas, 372, 374;
    the demoniacal, 374, 376;
    slowness, 374;
    the golden, 375, 376;
    the Hindoo, 377;
    and the jackal, 377, 378;
    -lion, 378, 379;
    -musician, 378, 379;
    three-legged, braying, 379;
    and lion, 380;
    braying of, and the merchants, 380;
    and Vesta, 384;
    and the Trojans, 386;
    ears of, 386;
    skin of, 388;
    that throws gold from its tail, 388;
    and the waters of Styx, 390;
    horned, of India, 390, 391;
    horn of the Scythian, 390, 391;
    and Silenos, 391, 392, 394;
    and Bacchus, 392;
    and the talisman, 393;
    skin of, 394;
    proverbs about, 394;
    the combed, 395;
    shadow and nose, 395;
    golden, of Apuleius, 395;
    uncontainedness, 396;
    that brays, 397, 398;
    in hell, 398;
    knowledge of, 398.

  Assassins, story of the king of the, ii. 35.

  Atavism in mythology, i. 199.

  Atli, i. 226.

  Attis, the Phrygian, ii. 409.

  Audhumla, the cow, i. 224.

  Aulad, the warrior, i. 112, 113.

  Aurora, the cow, process of re-creating, i. 20;
    cow of abundance, 26;
    relations to Indras, 27;
    the milk of, 27;
    and her cows, 25, 29;
    the girl, the swift one without feet, 30, 31;
    the evening, perfidy of, 32;
    as a sorceress, 33;
    persecutions of, 34;
    the saviour, 35;
    once blind, now seeing and sight-giving, 36;
    and the night, 36-38;
    the sisters, 38;
    the younger, 38, 39;
    nuptials of, and its conditions, 39;
    fruit of the nuptials of, 39, 40;
    and Rakâ, 50;
    characteristic form of, 50;
    as a cow, 51;
    mother of the sun, 51;
    rich in pearls, 56;
    and the moon, 56, 65;
    the Persian, 100-102, 121-125, 146;
    awakener of, 163, 170;
    amours of, 324;
    the two, and the fox, ii. 124.

  Avesta, the, i. 109, 110.

  Bacchus and the asses, i. 392.

  Bâlin and Sugrîvas, i. 312, 313; ii. 100, 101.

  Barrel, the mythical, i. 197.

  Basiliça, story of, i. 298, 299.

  Batrachomyomachia, the, ii. 71.

  Battos the shepherd, i. 279.

  Bear, at blind-man's-buff with the maiden, ii. 69;
    and Vicvâmitras, 109;
    king of the bears, 109;
    in the forest of honey, 109;
    eater of honey, 110;
    and peasant, 110-112;
    duped by the peasant, 112;
    and the fox, 113;
    king and the twins, 114, 115;
    the demoniacal, and the two children, 115, 116;
    disguises of, 117;
    woman in the den of, 117, 118;
    half bear half man, 118;
    as musician, 118, 119.

  Beaver, the, ii. 79, 80.

  Bees and the Açvinâu, ii. 215;
    Vedic gods as, 216;
    as moon, 217;
    from the bull's carcase, 217;
    in Finnish mythology, 218;
    spiritual and immortal, 218-220;
    wax of, 219;
    and young hero, 220;
    as musician, 223.

  Beetle, the, and eagle, ii. 209;
    the sacred, 209;
    red, 209, 210;
    names of the red, 210, 211;
    and first teeth of children, 211;
    worship of the red, 211, 212;
    green, 214.

  Bellerophontes, i. 305, 338.

  Berta, i. 85;
    the Russian Queen, 218;
    Queen, legend of, 251-257;
    large-footed, 253.

  Betta and the cake-youth, ii. 238, 239.

  Bharatas, King, ii. 85.

  Bharadvâǵas, ii. 275, 276.

  Bhîmas the terrible, i. 77-79, 104.

  Bhogavatî, city of, ii. 403.

  Bhrigus and Cyavanas, ii. 10.

  Binding, vanquishing by, i. 106, 107.

  Birds, language of, i. 151, 152;
    the mythical impersonations of, ii. 168, 169;
    the wise, story of, 169-172;
    virtue of feathers of, 172;
    the language of, 174;
    story of, and the queen, 175;
    excrement of, 176;
    the blue, 176;
    Semiramis and, 176;
    as diviners, 177;
    auguries from, 178;
    the, of Bretagne, 271, 272.

  Bitch, the mythical, ii. 19-25;
    as spy, 35.

  Blind lame one, the, i. 31, 32.

  Blue Beard, the Esthonian, i. 168.

  Boar, the, of Erymanthus, ii. 9;
    of Meleagros, 9;
    the monster wild, in the Rigvedas, 9, 10;
    Indo-European tradition of, 13;
    tusks of, 15.

  Brahmadattas and the crab, ii. 356.

  Brahmanâs, the, i. 414.

  Bréal, M., i. 263.

  Bribus, ii. 308.

  Bridge, the mythical, i. 228.

  Brian, the Celtic hero, i. 239, 240.

  Brother, the third, i. 79, 83;
    the Turanian, and his dream, 139-142;
    the riddle-solving eldest Turanian, 142;
    the third, in quest of the lost cow, 155, 156;
    journey to hell, 157;
    as counsellor, 156, 159;
    royal, as peasant, 162;
    awakener of the princess of the seven years' slumber, 162, 163;
    who mounts to heaven, 176;
    and the tree-purchaser, 176;
    endeavour of, to milk the bull, 177;
    who snaps his fingers, 184;
    ascent into and descent from heaven of, 189, 190;
    who steals from the other two, 194;
    and the flying-ship, 205;
    in bronze, silver, and gold, 291.

  Brothers, the three, i. 77, 80, 82, 104;
    the Persian, 105;
    the two, 107, 108, 120;
    the three, 109, 111, 125, 128;
    the four, and the pearls, 127;
    the six, Calmuc story of, 128, 129;
    the two, Calmuc story of, 130;
    the two Calmuc, rich and poor, 131, 132;
    the two (lion and bull), and the fox, 134;
    the three, 148, 153, 156, 161;
    the three dwarf, story of, 161, 162;
    the two rich and poor, and magic stone, 177;
    the three, of the purse, whistle, and mantle, 288, 289;
    the two, who go one to the right and the other to the left, 317,
          319, 327.

  Brünhilt, i. 212.

  Brutus, the first, i. 199.

  Bufonite, ii. 384.

  Buhtan and the fox, ii. 134, 135.

  Bull, the sun a, i. 4;
    the, fecundator of the cow, 5;
    the great bellowing, 7-10;
    the horns of, 9;
    a symbol of royalty, 44;
    of the Persians, 95;
    the excrement of, 80, 95;
    disembodied soul of, 97;
    ambrosial, 99;
    capacity of, for drinking, 175;
    in the council of animals, 185;
    which comes out of the sea, 222, 223;
    which carries the maiden, 223;
    about to be sacrificed, 270;
    without entrails, 270, 271.

  Buri, i. 224.

  Butterfly, the mythical, ii. 213, 214.

  Butter-ears, the cat, ii. 53, 54.

  Bucephalus, i. 338.

  Cabala, i. 73.

  Cacus, i. 280, 281.

  Caduceus of Mercury, ii. 219, 220.

  Çakuntalâ, i. 219.

  Calf, the, as marriage-priest, i. 257.

  Çambaras, cities of, i. 13.

  Çantanus, myth of, i. 67, 68.

  Canicula, the, ii. 33.

  Çaoka, i. 98.

  Çaradvat, ii. 332.

  Çarmishthâ, the witch, i. 83, 84.

  Carp, the, ii. 351, 352.

  Carpus, ii. 352.

  Cat, the white, ii. 42;
    penitent, 54;
    fox, and fattened mouse, 56;
    and sparrow, 56;
    dog, and ring, 56, 57;
    and dog and supposititious child, 57;
    and moon, 58;
    and Diana, 58;
    and St Martha, 58;
    and Freya, 59;
    and St Gertrude, 59;
    the chattering, 59;
    and fox, 59;
    and cock, 59;
    and lamb, 60;
    the grateful, 60;
    the white, Blanchette, 61;
    and the house, 62.

  Cats, the enchanted, ii. 62;
    the black, 62, 63;
    ill-omened apparitions of, 63;
    and witches, 63, 64;
    the two, 64.

  Çavarî, i. 64, 66, 69.

  Cerberi, the, i. 49.

  Cerire, i. 117.

  Chameleon, the, ii. 161.

  Charlemagne, tradition of, i. 161;
    and Orlando, 256.

  Children, king of, story of, i. 135, 136.

  Chimæra, the, ii. 158.

  Chinese, the, and Little Tom, i. 336.

  Christ and Prometheus, ii. 40.

  Christopher, St, and Christ, ii. 57;
    and lark, 274;
    and the cocks, 284.

  Chrysaor, i. 305.

  Cianna and the grateful ant, ii. 46.

  Cicada, the, ii. 223, 224.

  Cienzo and Meo, story of, i. 329, 330.

  Cinderella, origin of the legend of, i. 31, 101, 126, 161;
    the Russian, 196, 197; ii. 5, 197, 281, 304.

  Circe and the ass's head, i. 366;
    and the companions of Odysseus, ii. 6.

  Çivas, the _deus phallicus_, i. 44, 59; ii. 160.

  Claudius, Publius, and the auguries, ii. 291.

  Clodoveus and St Martin, i. 356.

  Clouds, the, i. 6-9;
    mythical conceptions of, 11, 12;
    sky with, as a forest, 14;
    as mountains, 61;
    battles in, 62;
    as barrels, 63.

  Cock, the mythical functions of, ii. 278;
    and Mars, 280;
    Indras, the paramour of Ahalyâ, as a, 280;
    and hen in India and Persia, and sacredness of the, 282, 284;
    crowing of, 282, 285, 286;
    Christus invoked as a, 283;
    in the Gospels, 283;
    the miraculous, 284;
    of night, 285;
    and Minec' Aniello, 287;
    Esthonian legends of, 288;
    hitting the, 289;
    as a symbol, 290;
    -fights, 290;
    the Danes and, 290;
    auguries from, 291.

  Coition, mythical, i. 348.

  Cornucopia, Scandinavian, i. 225.

  Cosmogony, the Persian, ii. 412.

  Cosimo and the fox, ii. 135, 136.

  Cow and the Bull, the, origin and meaning of the myth, i. 3, 4;
    respect paid to, in the family, 46.

  Cow, the infinite, celestial, i. 5, 6;
    son of the, 5;
    -child, the spotted, 6, 14;
    as monster, 15;
    -moon, 19;
    -aurora, 19, 20;
    of abundance, 26, 95;
    hide of, as symbol of fecundity, 46, 47;
    sour milk of, as favourable to generation, 47;
    milk-yielding, of night, 48;
    invocation of the spotted, 50;
    the sacred, of the Persians, 97;
    purification by the excrement, 99;
    pearl excrement of, 129;
    the black, 167;
    and the weather, 174;
    Vedic, double aspect, 175;
    filled with straw and sparrows, 187;
    of abundance, Scandinavian, 224;
    red, 228;
    German proverbs relating to, 229;
    and dwarf Allwis, 260;
    testicles of, and the jackal, 233;
    the, that spins, 250;
    the Sabine, 268;
    the sacrificed, 269;
    the ashes of, 276.

  Cow-cloud, the, i. 14, 15, 74.

  Cow-moon, the, i. 274, 275.

  Cows, the, of night, i. 17;
    the two, 27;
    that do not cover themselves with dust, 28, 31;
    seen in dreams, 47, 48;
    coming forth of, 50.

  Cowherd, the hero disguised as, i. 168, 169.

  Cox, Mr, i. 262, 263.

  Crab, the, in the riddle, ii. 354;
    celestial, in June, 354;
    in the myth of Herakles, 355;
    and Alexander, 355;
    and the deceiving crane, 355;
    and the serpent, 356;
    sun and moon as, 356;
    and fox, 357;
    "from a man, a," 358;
    as a charm, 359;
    Cancer, the, 359.

  Crescentia, the Persian, i. 121.

  Cross, the, ii. 411;
    of paradise, 411.

  Crow, the, in borrowed feathers, ii. 246;
    mythical significance, 250, 251;
    and cheese, 251;
    disguised, 251, 252;
    the enchanted, and Râmas, 252;
    cunning of, 253;
    Râmas and Apollo as, 253;
    and Pallas and Yamas, 254;
    of evil omen, 254;
    the giant, 255;
    and the dead, 255;
    and the old man, 255;
    the procrastinating, and Phœœbus, 256;
    as messenger, 257;
    the egg, 257;
    brood, 257.

  Cuckoo, the, and Zeus, i. 248;
    its mythical congeners, ii. 226;
    Indras as a, 228, 229, 231;
    birth of the, 231;
    a phallical symbol, 232;
    and Hêra and Zeus, 232;
    and marriage, 232;
    as mocker, 233;
    harbinger of spring, 233;
    sinister aspect of, 234;
    as cuckold, 234;
    as a bird of omen, 234, 235;
    immortal and omniscient, 235;
    and nightingale, 235.

  Çunahçepas, i. 35;
    story of, 69-72, 74.

  Cupid and Psyche, i. 368, 369; ii. 378.

  Cypresses, riddle of the two, ii. 174.

  Cyrus, legend of, i. 110, 118

  Cyzicene, the, i. 275.

  Dædalus and Icarus, ii. 186.

  Dadhyanć, the head of, i. 303, 304.

  Dadhikrâ, the solar horse, i. 337.

  Dakshas, ii. 364.

  Danaidæ, the, i. 265.

  Daphnê, i. 170, 273.

  Darius Hystaspes, myth of, i. 346.

  Daughter, the third, and the toad, i. 381;
    and the magician, 382, 383.

  Dawns, the two, i. 27.

  Dejanira, i. 212.

  Delilah, counter-types of, i. 212.

  Deluge, the Vedic, ii. 335.

  Demons, mountain of, i. 96.

  Demosthenes on Athênê, ii. 247.

  Devayânî, the nymph, i. 83, 84.

  Devil, the, as a bull, i. 184;
    and the waters, ii. 390, 391.

  Dhâumyas, three disciples of, i. 79.

  Diana (Hindoo), ii. 43.

  Dead, the, good luck brought by, i. 198.

  Dionysos, ii. 217;
    and the panther, 160.

  Dioskuroi, i. 304, 305;
    the legend of, 318.

  Dîrghatamas, i. 84, 85.

  Dog, the, and cat, ii. 56, 57.

  Dolphin, the, ii. 351.

  Dominic, St, and the dog, ii. 40.

  Domitian and the astrologer, ii. 39.

  Dove, in the Rigvedas, ii. 297;
    Agnis as, 297;
    Moses and the flesh of, 297;
    self-sacrificing, 297;
    and the ant, 298;
    stories of the maiden (and prince) transformed into, 298;
    story of the twelve sons changed into, 298, 299;
    of the prince and servants changed into, 299-301;
    the two, and Gennariello, 300-302;
    the funereal, 303;
    as announcer of the resurrection, 304;
    the daughters of Anius changed into, 304;
    the two, and Little Mary, 304;
    and Zezolla, 305;
    doves and the rosebush-maiden, 305;
    Peristera changed into, 305;
    and Venus, 305;
    the laughing, 306;
    and Aspasia, 306;
    infidelity of, 306.

  Drinking, trial of, i. 206.

  Drusilla, Livia, and the white hen, ii. 196.

  Duck, swan, or goose, the, Agnis as, ii. 307;
    the Marutas, and the horses of the Açvinâu as, 307;
    and golden egg, 308;
    the sun as, 309;
    in the lake, 309;
    the white, and her three sons, 311;
    death of, 311;
    that lays a golden and a silver egg, 311, 312.

  Drunkenness, and madness, ii. 348, 349.

  Dundus, i. 75, 76.

  Dundubhis, the cloud-monster, i. 75.

  Eagle, the, and Zeus, ii. 195-197;
    and the classic heroes, 196;
    the Hellenic, 196;
    and Aphroditê, 197.

  Earrings, theft and recovery of the, of Karnas, i. 80, 81.

  Eel, the, as phallical, sacrificial, and divine, ii. 341;
    proverbs about, 341;
    eating, 342;
    with two heads and two tails, 342;
    transformation into a fountain and an, 343;
    the maiden changed into an, 343;
    and monster-serpent, 343;
    diabolical, 344;
    the epic exploit, 344.

  Eggs, hatching of, and thunder, ii. 281;
    worship of, 291;
    the golden, 292;
    beginning with, 292, 293.

  Elephant and the hare, ii. 77;
    mythical qualities of, 91;
    general mythical significance, 92;
    Airavanas, 92;
    the white, overcome by the monkey, 93;
    in the lake, 93;
    that supports the world, 92, 93, 95;
    and the tortoise, 93-95;
    the Vedic, 94.

  Emilius, the lazy, and the grateful pike, i. 195-198.

  Empusa, i. 367.

  Endymion, i. 429.

  Epics, the, killing of the serpent the theme of all, ii. 392.

  Eros as a fish, ii. 340.

  Esmeralda and Quasimodo, loves of, i. 421.

  Eulenspiegel, ii. 246.

  Eurôpê, i. 264, 265, 272.

  Exchanges, tales of unfortunate, i. 176.

  Farquhar II., death of, ii. 14.

  Fecundity, symbols of, i. 49.

  Feridun, episode of old age of, i. 111.

  Finger, the knowing little, i. 166;
    Small Little, story of, ii. 151, 152.

  Finns, the, the epopee of, i. 150.

  Firefly, the, ii. 212, 213.

  Firud, i. 117.

  Fish, the laughing, i. 249;
    symbolic meaning of, 249;
    the April, 250;
    and the man's seed, 250;
    celestial metamorphosis into, ii. 331;
    become a stone, 331;
    laughing, 333;
    Alexander and the, 333;
    the little gold, 334;
    Vishnus as a, 334, 335;
    and Aphroditê, 340;
    phallical, 341;
    wise and stupid, 349;
    and the ring, 350;
    the heroic, 350, 351;
    and pearl, 352;
    sacred, 353.

  Fly, the, and bear, ii. 221;
    and ant, 222.

  Flies, ii. 221.

  Fleece, the golden, i. 146, 429.

  Flute, the magic, i. 161, 195.

  Fool, the fortunate, i. 195;
    the would-be, fortune-making, i. 240.

  Fox, the, and the bear, ii. 113;
    mythical significance, 122;
    and jackal, 123;
    double aspect of legendary, 123, 124;
    the wolf and honey, 128, 129;
    and the old man whose wife is dead, 129, 130;
    as weeper, 130;
    and tail, 131;
    and four hungry animals, 131;
    the hungry, and bird, 131;
    and wolf, 132, 133;
    and lost girl, 133;
    and the cheese, 133;
    as go-between, 134;
    and Buhtan, 134, 135;
    and Cosimo, 135;
    and hare, 136, 137;
    and cock, 137, 138;
    knaveries and cunning, 139;
    and other animals, 139, 140;
    the sick, and lion, 140;
    human antitype, 140;
    Lycaon, 147.

  Formicola, Captain, and the shepherd's son, ii. 45.

  Freya, i. 212;
    the foot of, 253.

  Frog, the, and mouse, ii. 71, 72.

  Frogs, the, in the sky, ii. 373;
    imitating the sounds of, 373;
    and the serpent or heron, 374;
    in the 103d hymn of the Rigvedas, 374;
    and Indras and Zeus, 374;
    and the moon, 375-377;
    the dumb, 375;
    and Proserpina, 375;
    and serpent, 376;
    and rook, 376;
    the diabolical, 376, 377;
    two dragons in the form of, 377;
    the maiden changed into, 377-379.

  Gahs, the, i. 98.

  Galanthis, ii. 53.

  Galathea, i. 421, 422.

  Gandhamâdanas mountains, i. 52, 55.

  Gandharvas, the, i. 52, 53, 149, 160, 311;
    appetites of, 365, 367, 369, 370, 379.

  Ganeças, ii. 68.

  Gangâ, the nymph, i. 68.

  Ganges, the, ii. 308.

  Ganymede, rape of, ii. 196.

  Garatkarus, the wise, i. 68, 69.

  Gardabhas, i. 365, 369.

  Gargantua, at birth, i. 259.

  Garudas, the bird, and elephant, ii. 94, 95;
    and the monsters, 184;
    and the birds, 245, 363.

  Gâtâyus, the omniscient vulture, ii. 185.

  Gazelle, the misleading, ii. 84.

  Gefion, voyage of, i. 222.

  Gemshid, legend of, i. 95.

  Geneviève, the Persian, i. 121, 219.

  Gennariello and Milluccio, ii. 300-302.

  Geusurva, the, i. 98, 99.

  Gerion, the oxen of, i. 273, 277.

  Ghoshâ, the leprous, ii. 3, 5.

  Giant-monster, the, and dwarf, i. 148, 149.

  Giovannino, the fearless, i. 202, 388.

  Girl, the, persecuted, i. 121;
    affianced to three, 123;
    in the chest, Calmuc story of, 131;
    seven years old, Esthonian story of, 153;
    wise, of the wood, 154;
    the poor, and the lady of the waters (Esth.), 154;
    the beautiful, and the witch, 218.

  Giuseppe, the boy, and the ant's leg, ii. 45, 46.

  Gnat, the, ii. 221.

  Goat, the, triple aspect of, i. 401;
    the cloud as, 402;
    the he-, 402, 403;
    Açvinâu as, 403;
    and apple-tree, 405;
    and walnut-tree, 405;
    kids of, and wolf, 406, 407;
    revenge of the goat, 406, 407;
    mythical meaning, 407;
    he-, and merchant's daughter, 410;
    the sacrificed he-, 415, 416;
    as all-seeing, 418;
    with seven eyes, 419;
    with twelve eyes, 419;
    constellation of the, 421;
    as rain-bringing, 421;
    milk of the, 421, 424;
    blood of the he-, 422;
    stones, 422;
    sacrifice of he-, 423;
    cunning of the she-, 424;
    the witch and the boy goatherds, 425;
    and the peasants of Sicily, 426;
    and the goatherd of Val di Formazza, 426;
    and the god Thor, 426;
    in the Scandinavian mythology, 427;
    the horned, 427, 428;
    lust of, 427, 428;
    in Greek mythology, 428.

  Gods, the cheating of, i. 44, 45.

  Gold, hand of, ii. 32.

  Goose, the, and pearl, ii. 309;
    the miraculous, 312;
    foot of, 315;
    the disenchanted, 315;
    eating of, on St Michael's Day, 316.

  Gorgons, the, ii. 9.

  Godiva, the Mongol, i. 138.

  Grasshopper, the, the wedding of, with the ant, ii. 48, 49;
    as diviner, 48;
    song of the wedding, 49.

  Griffins, the, ii. 204, 205.

  Gudrun, i. 226.

  Guhas, i. 58.

  Guhas, King, ii. 333.

  Halcyon, the, phallical nature of, ii. 269;
    the Greek, 270.

  Hansas, the, ii. 306, 307, 309.

  Hanumant in quest of the herb of health, i. 52, 57-59, 61, 64, 78, 89;
    the monkey, ii. 101, 106.

  Haoma, the ambrosial god, i. 97, 104.

  Harayas and Haritas, i. 376.

  Hare, the mythical, ii. 76;
    habitat and king, 76;
    and the elephant, 77;
    and hungry lion, 77;
    and the lion, 78;
    and dying eagle, 78;
    and cave of the wild beasts, 79;
    and lamb, 79;
    transfigured by Indras, 79;
    and parturition, 80;
    that sleeps with eyes open, 80;
    and bear, 81;
    and a wedding procession, 81;
    and the girl that rides on it, 82.

  Hariçcandras, i. 69-72.

  Haris and hari, meanings of, i. 376; ii. 99, 320.

  Harpies, the, ii. 201, 202.

  Hawk, mythical meaning of, ii. 192, 193;
    as a badge of knighthood, 193;
    sacredness of, 193;
    and Attila, 194;
    and the Greek gods, 194;
    superstitious beliefs about, 194.

  Heads, exchange of, i. 303, 304.

  Health, herb of, i. 52-54;
    Gandharvas, guardians of, 53.

  Heaven, cup of, i. 8;
    battle in, 10, 11.

  Hedgehog and wolf, ii. 11, 12.

  Helen, the Argive, i. 170, 212; ii. 318.

  Hen, the crowing, ii. 284, 285;
    dreaming of the brood of the, 288.

  Herakles and Augeias, i. 143;
    and Cacus, 232, 235, 266, 267;
    and the golden cup, 273;
    and the oxen of Gerion, 277;
    competes with the he-goat, 428;
    and the boar, ii. 9.

  Hermes and Admetos, i. 279;
    and Sârameyas, ii. 22.

  Hermits, the dwarf, ii. 364.

  Hero, the solar, riddle of, as a wonderful cowherd, i. 29;
    maiden helper, 209;
    concealed, 237;
    in the night, 326;
    saved by a tree, 334, 335.

  Heroes, the, hunger and thirst of, i. 8;
    chief arena of, 15;
    weapons of, 62;
    mountain of, 97;
    biblical, 118;
    disguise of, ii. 2;
    noises at the birth of, 373.

  Heroines, perverted, i. 211, 212.

  Hesperides, garden of the, i. 274; ii. 410, 418.

  Hippolytos, the legend of, i. 345.

  Hippomenes and Atalanta, ii. 159.

  Hog, as guise of the hero, ii. 2;
    the skin of, 5;
    bristles of, 5;
    dedicated to St Anthony, 6;
    lust of, 6;
    as Vishnus, 7, 8;
    and wolf, 11.

  Holda, the dark, i. 251, 252.

  Hoopoe, the, ii. 230.

  Horse, the, of the sun, i. 290, 291;
    black, 291, 292, 295;
    the three, 291, 296;
    tail and mane, 295;
    and the cat, 317;
    the myth of, 330, 331;
    fat of, 332;
    the strength of Indras, 336;
    the symbolic meaning of head of, 339;
    the hero's, 340;
    binding of, 341;
    the neighing of, 346, 347;
    tears of, 349, 350;
    mythical, 349;
    the foam of, 352;
    the hoofs of, 353, 354;
    and the gods, 355.

  Husband, the wicked, i. 124.

  Husbands, exchange of, i. 317.

  Idol, the wooden, Æsop's fable of, i. 177.

  Ichneumon, the, ii. 51-53.

  Iliad, the, most solemn moment of, i. 16.

  Ilvalas and Vâtâpis, legend of, i. 414.

  Indras, the rôle of, i. 7, 15;
    appetite and food, 8;
    horns of the bull, 9;
    as the fire-god Agnis, 10;
    his fields of battle, 12, 15;
    great exploits of, 12;
    threefold victory, 13, 14;
    weapons of, 14;
    companion of Somas, 18, 19;
    the triple, 20;
    moments of, 20, 23;
    special function, 27;
    relations to the aurora, 27;
    and the blind lame one, 32;
    destroyer of the witch Aurora, 33;
    lover of the aurora, 35;
    personified in Râmas, 59-61;
    slays Viçvarûpas, 76;
    fall of, 76;
    protector of Utankas, 80, 81;
    transformation, 89;
    quarrel of, with the Marutas, 106;
    horses of, 351;
    as a ram, 403;
    with the thousand eyes, 418;
    the rudder of, ii. 7;
    as a wild boar, 8;
    and the dwarf hermits, 95;
    and Vishnus, 99, 100;
    and the monkeys, 101;
    and Vritras, 154, 155;
    deprived of strength and beauty, 155;
    as a hawk, 181;
    and Ahalyâ, 280, 281, 330;
    impotent, 326;
    unchaining the waters, 330;
    drunk, 349;
    and the monster, 393, 394;
    killing the monster, 394, 395.

  Indus, i. 18.

  Io, i. 264, 265, 271, 272.

  Iphiklos, ii. 198, 199.

  Isfendiar, seven adventures of, i. 118.

  Iskander, legend of, i. 119.

  Ivan, three essays of, i. 301, 302;
    (and Mary), with horse, dog, and apple-tree, ii. 28;
    resuscitated, 29;
    the three, sons respectively of the bitch, the cook, and the queen, 29;
    and the ring, 345;
    and his frog-bride, story of, 377-379.

  Ivan Tzarević and the serpent, i. 177;
    and Helen and the bear, 178;
    and Princess Mary, 179-182;
    and the demoniacal cow, 181;
    and the magic apples, 182;
    and the witch in the balance, 183;
    and the hero Nikanore, 184;
    and the theft of the black bull, 186;
    son of the black girl, 188;
    and his brothers, killing the serpents, 191;
    and the rescue of the three sisters, 194;
    of the dog, 194;
    the drinker, 194;
    and the dead body of his mother, 198, 199;
    courage of, 201;
    variations of, 202-204;
    horse of, 340.

  Ivan Durak and the humpbacked horse, i. 293, 294;
    and the fire-breathing grey horse, 296;
    who, mounted, three times kisses the princess through twelve
          glasses, 297.

  Ivanushka and little Helen, i. 409.

  Jack and the beanstalk, i. 244.

  Jackal and the ass, i. 378;
    the perfidious, ii. 125;
    friend of the hero, 125;
    in borrowed feathers, 126;
    the, inquisitive and vile, 126;
    and the parrots, 127.

  Joan lou Pec, i. 397.

  John, little, and his red shoes, i. 195, 196.

  Johnny and the goose-swans, ii. 309, 310.

  Jonah (the Hindoo), ii. 337.

  Jorsh, the, ii. 336-345;
    trial by the fishes of, 346-349;
    and Reinecke Fuchs, 348.

  Julius Cæsar, horse of, i. 338, 350.

  Jupiter Ammon, i. 429.

  Kabandhas, the monster, i. 62-64.

  Kaçapas, the, ii. 362.

  Kaçyapas, the fecundator, ii. 364.

  Kadmos, i. 265, 272.

  Kai Khosru, the hero, i. 117, 118.

  Kan Pudai, Altaic story of, i. 144, 145.

  Kapilas, ravisher of the sacrificial horse, i. 331.

  Kapis, ii. 98, 99.

  Katoma and the hero's horse, i. 340, 341.

  Kâuçalyâ, i. 332.

  Kawus, King, i. 112, 113, 115, 116.

  Kentaurs, the, i. 367-369.

  Ker Iupta and the third brother, i. 290.

  Kereçâçpa, the Persian hero, i. 106, 108;
    myth of, 313, 314, 335.

  King's son, the, and the peasant girl, i. 163-166.

  Kishmar, cypress of, i. 96.

  Krimhilt, i. 212.

  Krishnas, celebration of birth of, i. 51;
    father of, 75.

  Kruth, the bird, and tortoise, ii. 369, 370.

  Kuhn, A., i. 263.

  Kumbhakarnas, the monster, ii. 400, 401.

  Lakshmanas, i. 55;
    and Râmas, 62, 63, 66, 77; ii. 85.

  Lame, the, and the blind, i. 217.

  Lapillus Alectorius, ii. 287.

  Lanka, three brothers of, i. 77.

  Lark, the, in cosmogony, ii. 273, 274;
    and St Christopher, 274;
    the crested, 275;
    Bharadvâǵas, 275.

  Leaf, the magic, i. 155, 156.

  Lear, King, in embryo, i. 85; ii. 230.

  Lêda, ii. 185.

  Lion, the, and the bull, i. 278;
    (and tiger) symbol of strength and majesty, ii. 153;
    Indras as a, 154;
    virtue of hair of, 155;
    lion's share, 156;
    -sun, the western, 157;
    sign of, 159;
    Androcles and, 157;
    the Nemæan, 158;
    afraid of the cock, 159.

  Lizard, the, as witch, ii. 385;
    as omen, 385;
    the little, 385;
    the green, 386, 387;
    and poor Laric, 387.

  Locust, the nocturnal, ii. 47.

  Lohengrin and Elsa, the legend of, ii. 317-319.

  Loki, i. 226, 227;
    and the pike, ii. 333, 334.

  Louse, the, stories of, ii. 222.

  Lucìa, St, the Vedic, i. 36, 254;
    feast of, ii. 210.

  Lucius, of Apuleius, i. 366.

  Lunus, i. 58;
    the god, 139, 324.

  Lynx, the, ii. 54.

  Madonna the old, and the maiden who combs her head, i. 180.

  Magician, the, of the seven heads, ii. 36.

  Magpie, the, in mythology, ii. 258, 259;
    as a robber, 259;
    knowledge and malice of, 259;
    bird of omen, 260.

  Mahâbhâratam, the, most solemn moments of, i. 16.

  Mahrusa, i. 125.

  Maiden, the enchanted, and her hair, i. 146;
    Esthonian story of the prince and persecuted, 151-153;
    and the golden slipper, 208;
    that by a puppet weaves a shirt for a prince, 208;
    the, and the apple-tree, 251;
    the fairies' favourite, and the enchanted prince, ii. 286, 287.

  Man and woman, the old, with the nine cows, i. 132, 133;
    the old, who essays heaven in vain with his wife, 190;
    and the cabbage, beanstalk, &c., 190, 191;
    the old, and the beanstalk, 243.

  Man-bull, Calmuc tale of, i. 129.

  Mandaras, the, ii. 361, 362.

  Manus, ii. 248;
    and Vishnus as a fish, 335.

  Mansûr, i. 315.

  Marcellus, St, the legend of, ii. 159.

  Mare's head and the two girls, i. 298.

  Mârǵâras, ii. 42, 43.

  Marîças, the stag, i. 64; ii. 85.

  Mars and the wild boar, ii. 14.

  Martin, St, and birds of, ii. 270.

  Marutas, or winds, i. 5-7, 10, 12;
    kindred of, 17, 59; ii. 7;
    horses of, 83, 84;
    as monkeys, 99.

  Marziella and the geese, ii. 313.

  Mary and the cow's ear, and the step-mother with three daughters, i.
    little, and the slipper, 196, 197.

  Matsyâs, the, ii. 332.

  Mâyâvin, the monster, i. 313.

  Max Müller, i. 262, 263;
    and the panegyric of the frogs, ii. 371, 372.

  Medea, of the Vedas, i. 33, 35.

  Medea, i. 212.

  Medusa, i. 305.

  Menas, ii. 87.

  Merchant, synonymous with miser, i. 184;
    son of the, who transforms himself into a horse, 342;
    the, and his three daughters, 410.

  Mercury, i. 335;
    legend of, ii. 23.

  Merdi Gânbâz, the faithful, i. 120.

  Merhuma, the story of, i. 120, 121, 315.

  Merula, the fish, ii. 340.

  Metempsychosis, ii. 328.

  Mice and the dead, ii. 67;
    apparitions of, 67;
    men transformed into, 67;
    presages from, 67, 68;
    and lion and elephant, 68;
    war of, with the frogs, 72.

  Michael, St, i. 183.

  Midas, myth of (the Mongolian), i. 381;
    (the Phrygian), 382, 383;
    as musical critic, 385;
    ears of, 386;
    as a miser, 389;
    the progenitor and judge, 390.

  Milky-sea, the, i. 52;
    -way, the, 228.

  Millstone, the devil under the, i. 114.

  Milôn of Kroton, ii. 113, 147.

  Minotaurus, the Calmuc, i. 129, 265.

  Minućehr, the hero, i. 112.

  Mithra, the solar god, i. 95, 102, 103;
    bow of, 107.

  Mitras, the sun, a witch at a riddle, i. 30, 31, 52.

  Mole, the, ii. 73, 74.

  Monkey, original home of myth of, ii. 97;
    equivalents, 97, 98;
    and Vishnus, 99;
    mythical significations, 99;
    king of, 100, 101;
    Hanumant, 101-106;
    mistaken for a man, 103;
    tail of, 107;
    divination from, 107;
    and Jove, 108;
    as stupid, 108;
    musician, 119.

  Monster, the celestial, i. 10, 12;
    subdued by Indras, 12-14;
    that keeps back the waters, ii. 393;
    killing of, 394, 395;
    and the egg of the duck, 395;
    the eggs of, 396;
    the aquatic, 404.

  Moon, the mythical nature and office of, i. 18;
    as a pearl, 54;
    as a good fairy, 56, 57;
    as a bull, 58;
    Indian, ii. 87.

  Mother of gold and her three dwarf sons, i. 153;
    story of the, who recovers her hands and son by throwing her arms
          into a fountain, ii. 31;
    and the hands of gold, 31.

  Mouse, transformed by the penitent into a beautiful maiden, ii. 65, 66;
    and the mountain, 66;
    and maiden, 69;
    the grateful, 70;
    and sparrow, 70, 71;
    the, Psicharpax, 71.

  Muses, the, and the bee, ii. 223.

  Mûsh (mûshas, &c.), ii. 43.

  Music in the heavens, sorrow-inspired, i. 149.

  Mythology, the Greek, i. 262;
    mobile nature of the objects of, 319, 320;
    allegorical treatment of, 421;
    a Semitic, ii. 412;
    the science of, 422;
    principal error in the scientific study of, 422, 423;
    concord of the learned in, 423;
    way to study, 424;
    animal, 425;
    product of imagination, 427.

  Myths, the central interest and most splendid moments of, i. 15, 16;
    development of objects in the, into personalities with
          relationships, 320, 321;
    the negative as a factor in the formation of, 322;
    the uncertain subjective in, 323;
    entrance of variety into, 324;
    interpretation of, 323-326.

  Nakulas, i. 311; ii. 43, 51, 52.

  Nalas, ii. 404.

  Neptune, i. 430.

  Netherworld, the, ii. 403.

  Nibelungen, the, most solemn moments of, i. 16, 257.

  Night and the aurora, i. 36, 37.

  Nightingale, as prognosticator, ii. 236;
    whistling of, 237;
    propitious to lovers, 239.

  Nisos and Scylla, ii. 197.

  Noah, the Vedic, ii. 335.

  Nose, the bleeding, Calmuc story of, i. 131.

  Nükteus, ii. 246, 247.

  Numbers, sacred, i. 6, 76, 77; ii. 416.

  Odin, i. 224, 226, 227.

  Odysseus, i. 266.

  Oidin-oidon, i. 398, 399.

  Okeanos, the bull-headed, i. 267.

  Onokentaurs, i. 367-369.

  Orpheus, i. 149, 160.

  Otter, the monster, ii. 391.

  Owl, the, as the bird of death, ii. 244;
    as an evil genius, 244;
    and vulture, 244, 245;
    and the crows, 245, 246;
    cunning, 246;
    and Athênê, 247;
    eggs of, 247;
    the male, 247, 248;
    prophetic faculty of, 249;
    horned, 249, 250.

  Ox, the speaking, i. 247;
    and Zeus, 248;
    as priest, 258.

  Pallas and the war of the frogs and mice, ii. 72;
    and the crow, 254.

  Pan and Midas, i. 385;
    and the ass, 387, 391;
    god of shepherds, 387;
    at Marathon, 389, 428, 429.

  Panayas, the, ii. 19, 20.

  Pândavas, the five brothers, i. 77-79.

  Pandora, i. 34.

  Pandus, ii. 84.

  Paravriǵ, the blind-lame, i. 32.

  Parîkshit, King, ii. 84.

  Parrot, the, myth of, ii. 320;
    and the colour haris, 321;
    as çukas, 321;
    lunar character of, 322;
    as counsellor, 322.

  Partridge, the devil as, ii. 227;
    Talaus changed into, 228;
    and peasant, 228.

  Pasiphaë, myth of, i. 237, 266.

  Peacock, the mythical equivalents of, ii. 323;
    the hiding of, 324;
    as rival of the cuckoo, 324;
    and dove, 324;
    Indras as, 325, 326;
    feather of, and the younger brother, 325;
    tail of, 326, 327;
    as a symbol of immortality, 327.

  Pearl, the ambrosial, i. 54.

  Peasant, riddle-solving, i. 142.

  Pêgasos, and Hippocrene, i. 176, 291, 305, 338.

  Penelope, i. 428;
    and he-goat, ii. 163.

  Pepin, the times of, i. 252;
    King, 255, 256.

  Peirithoos and Trikerberos, ii. 39.

  Perrault, story of, i. 367.

  Perrette, the Calmuc, i. 134, 135.

  Peter, St, and the dog, ii. 27.

  Phaethôn, i. 277;
    the bull, 277, 343, 344.

  Phalaris, the bull, i. 239.

  Phineus, ii. 74.

  Phrixos and Helle, the Russian, i. 409, 429.

  Phœœnix, the, mythical significance of, ii. 200, 201;
    death of, 200.

  Piçâcâs, the ass, i. 375, 376.

  Piccolino, ii. 151.

  Picus, King, ii. 265, 266.

  Pike, the luminous, ii. 334;
    the brown, 337, 338;
    and Emilius, 338;
    the phallical, 339;
    and crab and heron, 339;
    drunk, 349.

  Pimpi, the stupid, and the hog, ii. 10.

  Pipetta and the sackful of souls, i. 388.

  Pipkin, the miraculous, i. 126;
    the stories of, 243-245.

  Piran and Pilsem, i. 314.

  Poem, an epic, i. 141.

  Polyphêmos, i. 266.

  Porcupine, the, ashes and quills of, ii. 12, 13.

  Pork, virtues of, ii. 10, 11.

  Porringer, the enchanted, i. 126.

  Portugal, third son of the King of, and the dragons, ii. 187-189.

  Poseidôn, i. 266.

  Praǵâpatis, i. 47.

  Pretiosa, disguised as a bear, ii. 117.

  Priapos, i. 394, 396;
    and Silenos, 384.

  Priçnayas, the, i. 6, 16, 17.

  Prince, the, and princess of the bird's egg, i. 170;
    who three times wins the race, 291;
    and enchanted mantle, 411.

  Princess, three-breasted, i. 86, 122;
    in the chest, Celtic story of, 241;
    and the pups, 412.

  Proserpina, the Teutonic, i. 252, 260.

  Proverb, the, of shutting the stable after the cow is stolen, i. 231;
    of shutting Peppergate, 231;
    recovering the cow's tail, 232;
    of the cow's tail wagging but never falling, 234;
    of the egg-hatching cow, 238;
    of the cow and the hare, of the cow and the moon, 241, 242;
    of hunting by blowing a horn, 242;
    of the blind cow finding the pea, 243;
    of the laughing cow, 245;
    of the spinning cow, 250, 251;
    of the cow-maid that spins, 250.

  Proverbs, German, relating to the cow, i. 229;
    mythical, 230, 231.

  Puppets, the three, i. 207.

  Purse, the enchanted, i. 126.

  Purûravas, myth of, i. 67.

  Pûrus, i. 84.

  Pûshan, i. 409.

  Pyramos and Thysbe, ii. 157.

  Pythagoras once a peacock, ii. 327;
    the belief of, 328.

  Quail, the, in Rigvedas, ii. 276;
    as symbol of the Tzar, 276;
    and Hercules and Latona, 277;
    and moon, 277;
    the game of, 277;
    as a bird of omen, 277, 278.

  Queen, the blinded, and her servant, i. 218, 219.

  Queen-mother, the, and her wicked sister, i. 412.

  Rahus, ii. 252.

  Râkâ, i. 50, 56.

  Ram, the rain-cloud as a, i. 402;
    Indras, 403;
    Indras and testicles of, 414;
    devourer of, 415.

  Râmas, the sun, i. 55, 57-59;
    _alter ego_ of Indras, 59-62;
    and Lakshmanas, 63, 77, 311, 312, 315;
    ii. 24, 85;
    and Kabandhas, i. 64-66, 81, 86;
    and Bharatas, 374.

  Râmâyanam, the, most solemn moments of, i. 16.

  Râvanas, the monster, i. 76, 77;
    asses of, 375.

  Rebhas, i. 299.

  Reinardus Vulpes, ii. 141.

  Renart, Procession du, ii. 140, 141.

  Resurrection, offerings symbolic, of, i. 48, 49;
    faith in, 339.

  Rhodopê and her slipper, ii. 197.

  Ribhavas, the brothers, work and workmanship of, i. 20, 21, 46;
    names and relationships, 21, 22;
    identification with Indras as Agohyas, 22;
    the third of, 20-26;
    in Hindoo tradition, 25;
    protectors of the cow, 27;
    and the evening aurora, 33;
    the three, in search of the earrings, 79, 81, 125.

  Riddles, propounding, i. 82, 102, 112;
    solving of, 143;
    identification by solving, 206, 207.

  Riǵrâçvas, the red horse, i. 415, 417.

  Rigvedas, the, i. 4, 40;
    28th hymn of 10th book, ii. 77, 78;
    the 103d hymn of, 371-373.

  Rikshas, ii. 98.

  Ring of recognition, i. 55;
    of Dushyantas, ii. 350.

  Rocco, San, and dog, ii. 27.

  Rohitas, i. 69-72.

  Romeo and Juliet, i. 125.

  Romulus, i. 118; and Remus, ii. 177.

  Round table, the, poems of, i. 257.

  Rudras, i. 5, 47, 89; ii. 7.

  Rustem, the myth of, i. 112-116;
    and the ass, 379;
    horse of, and the lion, 380.

  Sack, the, the hero in, i. 237, 239, 240;
    the dwarf in, 238;
    and the hero cut in pieces, 295.

  Sailors, the, saved in the buffalo's hide, i. 239.

  Saints, i. 355, 356.

  Sal, the hero, i. 112.

  Salamander, the, ii. 380.

  Sampo, the Finnish cup of abundance, i. 150.

  Samson, i. 236;
    the Hindoo, ii. 104-107;
    and the lion, 154-156.

  Samvaranas, i. 86, 87.

  Saramâ, i. 57, 58, 97;
    and the Panayas, ii. 19-22;
    and the cows in the rock, 19;
    impersonation of the moon, 21;
    sons of, 22;
    and Sarameyas, 24.

  Sarameyas, ii. 22-24.

  Savitar, i. 54, 65.

  Saranyû, i. 347.

  Schmierbock, the cunning, i. 413, 416;
    ii. 151.

  Schwanritter, the, ii. 319.

  Scylla, ii. 34.

  Sea-urchin, the, ii. 336, 350.

  Sefid, the demon, i. 113.

  Selênê, ii. 217.

  Serpent, as the privileged demoniac form, ii. 389;
    tail of, as betraying the devil, 389;
    the devil, and the young widow, 389;
    -devil, and the waters, 390;
    the killing of, the theme of all epics, 392;
    in the Rigvedas, 393-396;
    that bites its tail, 396;
    Agnis as, 397;
    Indras, the Marutas, 397;
    the wisdom of, 397;
    and the Somas, 397, 398;
    the phallical, 399;
    Anantas, 399;
    Vasukis, 400;
    and the cloud-monster, 400, 401;
    the funereal, 401, 402;
    -rope, of Yamas, 402;
    collar of, 402;
    and Sîtâ, 402;
    and riches, 403;
    and the lower world, 403;
    Karkotakas, and Nalas, 405;
    and hunter, 405;
    as a wise magician, 405;
    the crested, 406;
    three-headed, 406;
    skin and tongue of, 407;
    and lost riches and the dead, 407;
    the white, 407;
    worship of, 408;
    and children, 408;
    and the heads of the family, 408;
    and the tree, 409;
    and moon, 410;
    tree guarded by a, 410;
    symbol of, 411;
    the, in the Persian mythology, 412, 417;
    the Çruvara, 412, 413;
    the breath of, 413;
    and frog, 414;
    the two talking, 415, 416;
    the three headed, 416;
    fairy, and three gifts, 417;
    and king who has betrayed the maiden, 417;
    the sleeping, with eyes open, 417;
    and the king's daughter, 418;
    as whistler, 419.

  Sheep, the, triple aspect of, i. 401.

  Shepherd's son, ii. 45;
    and Giuseppe, 45.

  Shepherdess, the, who proves herself a queen, i. 209-211.

  Siddhi-Kûr, stories of, i. 120;
    Mongol and Calmuc stories of, 128-135.

  Sîfrit, i. 213, 214;
    and Brünhilt, 329, 330;
    horse of, 339.

  Sijavush, i. 116.

  Simurg, the bird, and the child Sal, ii. 188, 189.

  Sirens, the, i. 149, 205, 206.

  Sister, triple, i. 85.

  Sisters, the three, i. 105;
    Calmuc story of, 130.

  Sîtâ, the dawn, i. 26, 55-60, 62, 65, 66;
    fire sacrifice of, 67, 69;
    and Saramâ, ii. 21;
    and the serpents, 403.

  Sky, the glowing, a fire, i. 69;
    stone of, 96;
    by night, ii. 167;
    winged animals of, 168.

  Slipper, the lost, i. 31;
    enchanted, 126;
    origin of throwing the, 196.

  Snail, the, ii. 74, 75.

  Sohrab, son of Rustem, i. 114, 115.

  Solabella and her seven brothers, ii. 314.

  Solomon, ring of, and the hero, i. 167;
    story of the ring of, ii. 175.

  Somas, the, i. 8, 18;
    as a bull, and a stallion, 19, 104.

  Son, the, who sacrifices his mother, i. 124.

  Sons, three, rape and restoration of the, ii. 57;
    transformation of, into doves, 57.

  Sperm as ambrosia, ii. 181.

  Spider, the, and its web, ii. 161, 163, 165;
    and the wasp, 164.

  Squirrel, the, and fox, ii. 73;
    in the Edda, 73.

  St James's Way, i. 422;
    Day, 422, 423, 430.

  Stag, the mythical, ii. 83;
    the golden, 85;
    the hero, 86;
    at the fountain, 86;
    Eikthyrner, 87;
    and Telephos, 88;
    as nourisher of heroes, 88;
    silver images of, in churches, 88;
    disguise of, 88, 89.

  Stone, mountain of, i. 314;
    the man turned to, ii. 285.

  Stork, the, and heron, ii. 261;
    and children, 261;
    mythical meaning of, 261;
    and the old man, 262;
    and the peasant, 262.

  Strix, the, ii. 202, 203.

  Stymphalian, the, birds, ii. 204.

  Styx, the, i. 390.

  Sudabe, i. 116.

  Sudeshnâ, Queen, i. 85.

  Sugrîvas, ii. 109.

  Sun, the, as a god, i. 7;
    as a bull, 8;
    relations of, to aurora, 27;
    as a cowherd, 29;
    child of night and aurora, 37;
    the, in relation to the aurora, 27;
    as a lame hero, 31, 32;
    persecuted by, and persecutor of, the aurora, 33;
    as born of aurora, 51;
    the pearl, 54;
    and the aurora, 56, 65;
    and moon, 65;
    light of the, and Ssaran, intrigue of, 138;
    firing at, 344;
    the, in the cloud, 394.

  Sundas and Upasundas, the inseparable, i. 310.

  Sunlight and Moonlight, i. 315, 316.

  Superlatif, i. 259.

  Suramâ, i. 57, 58.

  Sûryâ, i. 65;
    husband of, 307.

  Svaçvas, i. 343.

  Svetazor and his brothers, i. 192-194.

  Swallows as birds of omen, ii. 240;
    the seven, and Sigurd, 240;
    and the Lord, 240;
    of good augury, 240;
    and the crow, 241;
    and swan, 241;
    as babblers, 241;
    dreaming of, 241.

  Swan, the, and the prince, ii, 311;
    hero as or on, 316.

  Swineherd, the, and the hogs' tails, i. 234.

  Sword, the enchanted, i. 126.

  Tail, the, value of recovering, i. 235, 237;
    the fox's, 236.

  Takshakas, king of serpents, i. 80, 81.

  Tapatî, legend of the loves of, i. 86, 87.

  Tâtos, the Hungarian horse, i. 288, 296.

  Tehmime and Rustem, i. 114.

  Telephos and the stag, ii. 88.

  Tereus, the myth of, ii. 229.

  Theodore, the hero, i. 296.

  Thief and the pigs, i. 200, 201;
    the, in the myths, 333.

  Thomas, little, and the priest's horse, i. 234;
    the ass, 362.

  Thor, and the serpent of Midgard, i. 225;
    his appetite, 226;
    and the goat, 426;
    the vessel of, 426;
    ii. 6.

  Thraetaona, i. 101, 103-106.

  Three, the number, ii. 416.

  Thrita, i. 103-105.

  Thunder, son of, thunder-god and devil, story of, i. 159, 160.

  Thunderbolt, the, i. 9, 14;
    symbolic meaning, 250.

  Tiger, tail of, ii. 160.

  Tistar, i. 98.

  Toad, the, as demon and as a diabolic form, ii. 379;
    the maiden changed into, 379, 380;
    fortune-bringing, 380;
    sacredness of, 381;
    and the third daughter, 381;
    -births, 383;
    the dried, as an amulet, 384;
    the -stone, 384.

  Tom, little, blind of an eye, and his brothers, i. 335, 336.

  Tortoise and the elephant, ii. 93-95;
    the incarnation of Vishnus as a, 360-362;
    originally, 361;
    names of, 361, 362;
    and mountain, 362;
    and elephant, 363-364;
    the funereal, 365;
    buried, 365;
    blood of, 365;
    and frogs, 366;
    changed into the lyre, 366;
    the shields of, 366;
    and Zeus, 366, 367;
    and new-born children, 367;
    mythical meaning, 368;
    German legend of, 368;
    the island, 368;
    and the hare, 369;
    and the eagle, 369;
    and the bird Kruth, 369, 370.

  Tree, the ambrosial, guarded by a dragon, ii. 410, 411.

  Triçankus, i. 72-74.

  Triçiras, i. 76, 77.

  Trigatâ, i. 57.

  Trinity, Indian, dispute for pre-eminence, ii. 8.

  Tritas, i. 8;
    horse of, 23;
    character and relationships, 23;
    why called stupid, 23;
    in the well, 24, 25;
    and his brothers, 25.

  Turn-little-Pea and his brothers, story of, i. 191, 192.

  Tuti-Name, the, i. 119.

  Tvashtar, i. 21, 34;
    the Hindoo Vulcan, ii. 154, 155.

  Twilights, the two, i. 18, 27.

  Tyrant, the, and the bleating lamb, i. 416, 417.

  Tzarevic, Ivan, and his Medea sister Helen, i. 212-214;
    and his penitent sister, 214-216;
    and his perfidious mother, 216;
    and his perfidious wife, 216, 217;
    and his wife Anna, 217.

  Uccaihçravas, the horse, i. 288, 289.

  Uddâlakas, i. 80.

  Ukko, the Finnic thunder-god, i. 147.

  Upamanyus, i. 79.

  Ursula, St, ii. 118.

  Urvaçi, the myth of, i. 39, 67, 84, 170, 273, 365, 369.

  Ushâ, i. 26.

  Utankas, myth of, i. 80, 81, 95, 331, 333.

  Vadhrimatî, ii. 32.

  Väinämöinen, dwarf-god, i. 147, 148;
    harp of, 149.

  Valkyries, the, and their swan forms, ii. 315.

  Valmîkam, ii. 43.

  Vamrî, ii. 43.

  Vamras, ii. 44.

  Varunas, i. 52, 69-72, 107.

  Vasavas, the, i. 68.

  Vasishtas, cow of, i. 72-74, 87, 88;
    vain attempt at self-destruction, 88, 99.

  Valas, the grotto of, i. 13;
    as a cow, 15.

  Vâyus, i. 5-7.

  Vedas, i. 80.

  Vegetables, as symbols of generation, i. 164.

  Veretraghna, the bull, i. 103, 104.

  Vespasian and the horse's dung, i. 389.

  Vesta, i. 384.

  Viçvamitras, myth of, i. 72-74, 88.

  Viçvarûpas, with the three heads, i. 76.

  Vikramâdityas, the history of, i. 136, 137.

  Vishnus, i. 20, 24, 26, 54, 57;
    personified in Ramâs, 59;
    three steps of, 301, 302, 334;
    as a wild boar, ii. 8, 9;
    and Hiranyakshas, 8;
    and the monkeys, 99, 100;
    as haris, 424.

  Vivasvant, i. 34.

  Vouru-Kasha, sea of, i. 96.

  Vulcan, the Vedic, i. 21;
    the Christian, ii. 40.

  Vulnerability of the hero or monster, i. 82.

  Vulture, the, in the classics, ii. 198;
    feathers of, 198;
    and the immortal liver, 198;
    voracity, 199.

  Vultures, the twin, ii. 184.

  Walchelm, the priest, i. 293.

  Walnut-tree, and goat, i. 405.

  Wasp, wisdom of, ii. 221.

  Way, the Milky, i. 421;
    and she-goat, 422.

  Weasel, the, ii. 52, 53.

  Wedding-ring, the, i. 169.

  Whale, the mythical, ii. 337;
    and the fleet, 345.

  Wife, the, and the bewitching voice, i. 137.

  Willimar and his vow, i. 356.

  Wind, Persian god of, i. 105.

  Winds, the, as bulls, i. 7, 12.

  Wise men, the seven (Angirasas), i. 17, 28.

  Wolf, the, and goat's kids, i. 406, 407;
    mythical meaning of, 408;
    the monster, 408;
    the, and the devotee, ii. 142;
    impersonations of, 142;
    and dog, 143;
    heroic forms of, 144;
    the she-wolf, 144;
    transformation into, 145;
    sent by God as instrument of vengeance, 146;
    hide and teeth of, 146, 147;
    the demoniacal, 147;
    as omen of death, 147;
    Sköll and Hati, 147;
    disguises of, 147-149.

  Woman, made of wood, story of, i. 137;
    the old, and her older sister, ii. 6.

  Women, knowledge of, i. 246, 247.

  Woodman and painter, the, Calmuc story of, i. 130.

  Woodpecker, the mythical meaning of, ii. 265;
    and King Picus, 265;
    beak of, 267;
    and Beowulf, 267;
    of evil omen, 267, 268;
    and dog, 268, 269.

  Wren, the, in mythology, ii. 207;
    and the eagle, 208;
    and beetle, 208;
    and death of Cæsar, 209.

  Yamas, i. 23, 71, ii. 25;
    kingdom of, 48, 49;
    son of, 78, 95, 107.

  Yayâtis and the girl in the well, i. 83, 84.

  Yggdrasil and the four stags, ii. 87.

  Ysengrin, the wolf, ii. 141, 149.

  Yudhishthiras, i. 77-79, 82.

  Yünx, the bird, ii. 269.

  Zafarana, ii. 10.

  Zeus and Hera, i. 247, 248;
    the beetle, and the eagle's eggs, ii. 195;
    eagle of, 195, 196;
    and Latona, 277, 280;
    and Lêda, 318;
    and Io, 327;
    Faber, 352, 353.

  Zezolla, the maiden, and the dove, ii. 304, 305.



Transcriber's Notes:

Fixed spelling and punctuation errors throughout

Non-Latin characters have been changed to their Unicode equivalents
(i.e. [h.] to ḥ)

There are several words with the same letters but diacritical marks in
different locations, these appear to all be valid, so were left per
the text

Shakespeare is spelled Shakspeare throughout, this is a spelling of
his name used in the 19th century, so was left per the text

Goose-swans and geese-swans appear to be used interchangeably, left to
match the text

There are several words that are spelled both with and without a hyphen
(i.e. crosstrees and cross-trees), they have been left to match the text

The name Wesselofsky is also spelled Wesselofski, it appears the name
is spelled both ways.

Page 102: Lakshamaṇas left per the text also spelled Lakshmaṇas
elsewhere in the text, both appear correct

Page 209: Extra closing parenthesis ("... for weddings). According
to ...")

Page 212: Extra closing parenthesis ("... warm themselves), is
not ...")

Page 228: there is an extra quote. (... word _kanikradat_."[2] The
god ...)

Page 254: Extra opening parenthesis ("... a crow (in Hellenic ...")

Page 290: Added the word "to" in the following (... same, according
to Ælianos, was ...)

Page 336: Extra opening parenthesis ("... the Ganges, (çiṅçumâras,
which ...")

Page 421: Left the poetry to match the text. However, this is from
Dante's Inferno Canto 1.22-26, accepted wording of the 3rd and 4th
line should be

        "Si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,
         Così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,"

Footnote 314: There is an extra quote. (... Prato:--"A
three-headed ...)

Footnote 368: Removed the extra word "it" from the following (... and
which it had scooped ...)

Footnote 423: There is an extra quote. (... (xxxix.): "'Da, vor ...)

Footnote 440: Added the word "a" in the following (... there is a
beautiful palace ...)

Footnote 478: Inserted closing quote. (... bhîr agaććhat"; _Ṛigv._
i. ...)

Footnote 524: Extra closing parenthesis ("... viǵâniyânna saṁçayaḥ).
The feet ...")

Footnote 525: Inserted closing quote. (... male serpent" (v. 38):
Ahireva ...)

In the Index "Brothers" has 3 different entries for "the three", left
them as is to match the text instead of combining

In the Index many diacriticals are left out of the names, these were
left out to match the text

In the Index, added the volume number to the entry for "Agnis".

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