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Title: Zoological Mythology, Volume I (of 2) - or The Legends of Animals
Author: De Gubernatis, Angelo, 1840-1913
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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First Part.






    Prelude.--The vault of Heaven as a luminous cow.--The gods and
    goddesses, sons and daughters of this cow.--The vault of Heaven as a
    spotted cow.--The sons and daughters of this cow, _i.e._ the winds,
    Marutas, and the clouds, Pṛiçnayas.--The wind-bulls subdue the
    cloud-cows.--Indras, the rain-sending, thundering, lightening,
    radiant sun, who makes the rain fall and the light return, called
    the bull of bulls.--The bull Indras drinks the water of
    strength.--Hunger and thirst of the heroes of mythology.--The
    cloud-barrel.--The horns of the bull and of the cow are
    sharpened.--The thunderbolt-horns.--The cloud as a cow, and even as
    a stable or hiding-place for cows.--Cavern where the cows are shut
    up, of which cavern the bull Indras and the bulls Marutas remove the
    stone, and force the entrance, to reconquer the cows, delivering
    them from the monster; the male Indras finds himself again with his
    wife.--The cloud-fortress, which Indras destroys and Agnis sets on
    fire.--The cloud-forest, which the gods destroy.--The cloud-cow; the
    cow-bow; the bird-thunderbolts; the birds come out of the cow.--The
    monstrous cloud-cow, the wife of the monster.--Some phenomena of
    the cloudy sky are analogous to those of the gloomy sky of night and
    of winter.--The moment most fit for an epic poem is the meeting of
    such phenomena in a nocturnal tempest.--The stars, cows put to
    flight by the sun.--The moon, a milk-yielding cow.--The ambrosial
    moon fished up in the fountain, gives nourishment to Indras.--The
    moon as a male, or bull, discomfits, with the bull Indras, the
    monster.--The two bulls, or the two stallions, the two horsemen, the
    twins.--The bull chases the wolf from the waters.--The cow
    tied.--The aurora, or ambrosial cow, formed out of the skin of
    another cow by the Ṛibhavas.--The Ṛibhavas, bulls and wise
    birds.--The three Ṛibhavas reproduce the triple Indras and the
    triple Vishṇus; their three relationships; the three brothers,
    eldest, middle, youngest; the three brother workmen; the youngest
    brother is the most intelligent, although at first thought stupid;
    the reason why.--The three brothers guests of a king.--The third of
    the Ṛibhavas, the third and youngest son becomes Tritas the third,
    in the heroic form of Indras, who kills the monster; Tritas, the
    third brother, after having accomplished the great heroic
    undertaking, is abandoned by his envious brothers in the well; the
    second brother is the son of the cow.--Indras a cowherd, parent of
    the sun and the aurora, the cow of abundance, milk-yielding and
    luminous.--The cow Sîtâ.--Relationship of the sun to the
    aurora.--The aurora as cow-nurse of the sun, mother of the cows; the
    aurora cowherd; the sun hostler and cowherd.--The riddle of the
    wonderful cowherd; the sun solves the riddle proposed by the
    aurora.--The aurora wins the race, being the first to arrive at the
    barrier, without making use of her feet.--The chariot of the
    aurora.--She who has no feet, who leaves no footsteps; she who is
    without footsteps of the measure of the feet; she who has no slipper
    (which is the measure of the foot).--The sun who never puts his foot
    down, the sun without feet, the sun lame, who, during the night,
    becomes blind; the blind and the lame who help each other, whom
    Indra helps, whom the ambrosia of the aurora enables to walk and to
    see.--The aurora of evening, witch who blinds the sun; the sun
    Indras, in the morning, chases the aurora away; Indras subdues and
    destroys the witch aurora.--The brother sun follows, as a seducer,
    the aurora his sister, and wishes to burn her.--The sun follows his
    daughter the aurora.--The aurora, a beautiful young girl, deliverer
    of the sun, rich in treasure, awakener of the sleepers, saviour of
    mankind, foreseeing; from small becomes large, from dark becomes
    brilliant, from infirm, whole, from blind, seeing and protectress of
    sight.--Night and aurora, now mother and daughter, now
    sisters.--The luminous night a good sister; the gloomy night gives
    place to the aurora, her elder or better sister, working, purifying,
    cleansing.--The aurora shines only when near the sun her husband,
    before whom she dances splendidly dressed; the aurora Urvaçî.--The
    wife of the sun followed by the monster.--The husband of the aurora
    subject to the same persecution.

We are on the vast table-land of Central Asia; gigantic mountains send
forth on every side their thousand rivers; immense pasture-lands and
forests cover it; migratory tribes of pastoral nations traverse it;
the _gopatis_, the shepherd or lord of the cows, is the king; the
gopatis who has most herds is the most powerful. The story begins with
a graceful pastoral idyll.

To increase the number of the cows, to render them fruitful in milk
and prolific in calves, to have them well looked after, is the dream,
the ideal of the ancient Aryan. The bull, the _fœœcundator_, is the
type of every male perfection, and the symbol of regal strength.

Hence, it is only natural that the two most prominent animal figures
in the mythical heaven should be the cow and the bull.

The cow is the ready, loving, faithful, fruitful Providence of the

The worst enemy of the Aryan, therefore, is he who carries off the
cow; the best, the most illustrious, of his friends, he who is able to
recover it from the hands of the robber.

The same idea is hence transferred to heaven; in heaven there is a
beneficent, fruitful power, which is called the cow, and a beneficent
_fœœcundator_ of this same power, which is called the bull.

The dewy moon, the dewy aurora, the watery cloud, the entire vault of
heaven, that giver of the quickening and benignant rain, that
benefactress of mankind,--are each, with special predilection,
represented as the beneficent cow of abundance. The lord of this
multiform cow of heaven, he who makes it pregnant and fruitful and
milk-yielding, the spring or morning sun, the rain-giving sun (or
moon) is often represented as a bull.

Now, to apprehend all this clearly, we ought to go back, as nearly as
possible, to that epoch in which such conceptions would arise
spontaneously; but as the imagination so indulged is apt to betray us
into mere fantastical conceits, into an _à priori_ system, we shall
begin by excluding it entirely from these preliminary researches, as
being hazardous and misleading, and content ourselves with the humbler
office of collecting the testimonies of the poets themselves who
assisted in the creation of the mythology in question.

I do not mean to say anything of the Vedic myths that is not taken
from one or other of the hymns contained in the greatest of the Vedas,
but only to arrange and connect together the links of the chain as
they certainly existed in the imagination of the ancient Aryan people,
and which the _Ṛigvedas_, the work of a hundred poets and of several
centuries, presents to us as a whole, continuous and artistic. I shall
indeed suppose myself in the valley of Kaçmîra, or on the banks of the
Sindhus, under that sky, at the foot of these mountains, among these
rivers; but I shall search in the sky for that which I find in the
hymns, and not in the hymns for that which I may imagine I see in the
sky. I shall begin my voyage with a trusty chart, and shall consult it
with all the diligence in my power, in order not to lose any of the
advantages that a voyage so full of surprises has to offer. Hence the
notes will all, or nearly all, consist of quotations from my guide, in
order that the learned reader may be able to verify for himself every
separate assertion. And as to the frequent stoppages we shall have to
make by the way, let me ask the reader not to ascribe these to
anything arbitrary on my part, but rather to the necessities of a
voyage, made, as it is, step by step, in a region but little known,
and by the help of a guide, where nearly everything indeed is to be
found, but where, as in a rich inventory, it is easier to lose one's
way than to find it again.

The immense vault of heaven which over-arches the earth, as the eternal
storehouse of light and rain, as the power which causes the grass to
grow, and therefore the animals which pasture upon it, assumes in the
Vedic literature the name of Aditis, or the infinite, the inexhaustible,
the fountain of ambrosia (_amṛitasya nabhis_). Thus far, however, we
have no personification, as yet we have no myth. The _amṛitas_ is simply
the immortal, and only poetically represents the rain, the dew, the
luminous wave. But the inexhaustible soon comes to mean that which can
be milked without end--and hence also, a celestial cow, an inoffensive
cow, which we must not offend, which must remain intact.[1] The whole
heavens being thus represented as an infinite cow, it was natural that
the principal and most visible phenomena of the sky should become, in
their turn, children of the cow, or themselves cows or bulls, and that
the _fœœcundator_ of the great mother should also be called a bull.
Hence we read that the wind (_Vâyus_ or _Rudrâs_) gave birth, from the
womb of the celestial cow, to the winds that howl in the tempest
(_Marutas_ and _Rudrâs_), called for this reason children of the cow.[2]
But, since this great celestial cow produces the tempestuous, noisy
winds, she represents not only the serene, tranquil vault of the shining
sky, but also the cloudy and tenebrous mother of storms. This great
cow, this immense cloud, that occupies all the vault of heaven and
unchains the winds, is a brown, dark, spotted (_pṛiçnis_) cow; and so
the winds, or Marutas, her sons, are called the children of the spotted
one.[3] The singular has thus become a plural; the male sons of the
cloud, the winds, are 21; the daughters, the clouds themselves, called
the spotted ones (_pṛiçnayas_) are also three times seven, or 21: 3 and
7 are sacred numbers in the Aryan faith; and the number 21 is only a
multiple of these two great legendary numbers, by which either the
strength of a god or that of a monster is often symbolised. If
_pṛiçnis_, or the variegated cow, therefore, is the mother of the
Marutas, the winds, and of the variegated ones (_pṛiçnayas_), the
clouds, we may say that the clouds are the sisters of the winds. We
often have three or seven sisters, three or seven brothers in the
legends. Now, that 21, in the _Ṛigvedas_ itself, involves a reference to
3, is evident, if we only observe how one hymn speaks of the 3 times 7
spotted cows who bring to the god the divine drink, while another speaks
of the spotted ones (the number not being specified) who give him three
lakes to drink.[4] Evidently here the 3, or 7, or 21 sister cows that
yield to the god of the eastern heavens their own nutritious milk, and
amidst whose milky humours the winds, now become invulnerable,
increase,[5] fulfil the pious duties of benevolent guardian fates.

But if the winds are sons of a cow, and the cows are their nurses,
the winds, or Marutas, must, as masculine, be necessarily represented
as bulls. In reality the Wind (_Vâyus_), their father, is borne by
bulls--that is, by the winds themselves, who hurry, who grow, are
movable as the rays of the sun, very strong, and indomitable;[6] the
strength of the wind is compared to that of the bull or the bear;[7]
the winds, as lusty as bulls, overcome and subdue the dark ones.[8]
Here, therefore, the clouds are no longer represented as the cows that
nurse, but with the gloomy aspect of a monster. The Marutas, the winds
that howl in the tempest, are as swift as lightning, and surround
themselves with lightning. Hence they are celebrated for their
luminous vestments; and hence it is said that the reddish winds are
resplendent with gems, as some bulls with stars.[9] As such--that is,
as subduers of the clouds, and as they who run impetuously through
them--these winds, these bulls, are the best friends, the most
powerful helpers, of the great bellowing bull; of the god of thunder
and rain; of the sun, the dispeller of clouds and darkness; of the
supreme Vedic god, Indras, the friend of light and ambrosia--of
Indras, who brings with him daylight and fine weather, who sends us
the beneficent dew and the fertilising rain. Like the winds his
companions, the sun Indras--the sun (and the luminous sky) hidden in
the dark, who strives to dissipate the shadows, the sun hidden in the
cloud that thunders and lightens, to dissolve it in rain--is
represented as a powerful bull, as the bull of bulls, invincible son
of the cow, that bellows like the Marutas.[10]

But in order to become a bull, in order to grow, to develop the strength
necessary to kill the serpent, Indras must drink; and he drinks the
water of strength, the _somas_.[11] "Drink and grow,"[12] one of the
poets says to him, while offering the symbolical libation of the cup of
sacrifice, which is a type of the cup of heaven, now the heavenly vault,
now the cloud, now the sun, and now the moon. From the sweet food of the
celestial cow, Indras acquires a swiftness which resembles that of the
horse;[13] and he eats and drinks at one time enough to enable him to
attain maturity at once. The gods give him three hundred oxen to eat,
and three lakes of ambrosial liquor[14] to drink, in order that he may
be able to kill the monster serpent. The hunger and thirst of the heroes
is always proportioned to the miracle they are called upon to perform;
and for this reason the hymns of the _Ṛigvedas_ and of the
_Atharvavedas_ often represent the cloud as an immense great-bellied
barrel (_Kabandhas_), which is carried by the divine _bull_.[15]

But when and how does the hero-bull display his extraordinary
strength? The terrible bull bellows, and shows his strength, as he
sharpens his horns:[16] the splendid bull, with sharpened horns, who
is able of himself to overthrow all peoples.[17] But what are the
horns of the bull Indras, the god of thunder? Evidently the
thunderbolts; Indras is, in fact, said to sharpen the thunderbolts as
a bull sharpens his horns;[18] the thunderbolt of Indras is said to be
thousand-pointed;[19] the bull Indras is called the bull with the
thousand horns, who rises from the sea[20] (or from the cloudy ocean
as a thunder-dealing sun, from the gloomy ocean as a radiant sun--the
thunderbolt being supposed to be rays from the solar disc). Sometimes
the thunderbolt of Indras is itself called a bull,[21] and is
sharpened by its beloved refulgent cows,[22] being used, now to
withdraw the cows from the darkness, now to deliver them from the
monster of darkness that envelops them,[23] and now to destroy the
monster of clouds and darkness itself. Besides the name of Indras,
this exceedingly powerful horned bull, who sharpens his horns to
plunge them into the monster, assumes also, as the fire which sends
forth lightning, as that which sends forth rays of light from the
clouds and the darkness, the name of Agnis; and, as such, has two
heads, four horns, three feet, seven hands, teeth of fire, and wings;
he is borne on the wind, and blows.[24]

Thus far, then, we have heavenly cows which nurture heavenly bulls,
and heavenly bulls and cows which use their horns for a battle that is
fought in heaven.

Let us now suppose ourselves on the field of battle, and let us visit
both the hostile camps. In one we find the sun (and sometimes the moon),
the bull of bulls Indras, with the winds, Marutas, the radiant and
bellowing bulls; in the other, a multiform monster, in the shape of
wolves, serpents, wild boars, owls, mice, and such like. The bull Indras
has cows with him, who help him; the monster has also cows, either such
as he has carried off from Indras, and which he imprisons and secretes
in gloomy caverns, towers, or fortresses, or those which he caresses as
his own wives. In the one case, the cows consider the bull Indras as
their friend and liberating hero; in the other, those with the monster
are themselves monsters and enemies of Indras, who fights against them.
The clouds, in a word, are regarded at one time as the friends of the
rain-giving sun, who delivers them from the monster that keeps back the
rain, and at another as attacked by the sun, as they who wickedly
envelop him, and endeavour to destroy him. Let us now go on to search,
in the _Ṛigvedas_, the proofs of this double battle.

To begin with the first phase of the conflict, where in the sky does
Indras fight the most celebrated of all his battles?

The clouds generally assume the aspect of mountains; the words _adris_
and _parvatas_, in the Vedic language, expressing the several ideas of
stone, mountain, and cloud.[25] The cloud being compared to a stone, a
rock, or a mountain, it was natural,--1st, To imagine in the rock or
mountain dens or caverns, which, as they imprisoned cows, might be
likened to stables;[26] 2d, To pass from the idea of a rock to that of
citadel, fortress, fortified city, tower; 3d, To pass from the idea of
a mountain, which is immovable, to that of a tree which, though it
cannot move from its place, yet rears itself and expands in the air;
and from the idea of the tree of the forest to the shadowy and
awe-inspiring grove. Hence the bull, or hero, or god Indras, or the
sun of thunder, lightning, and rain, now does battle within a cavern,
now carries a fortified town by assault, and now draws forth the cow
from the forest, or unbinds it from the tree, destroying the
_rakshas_, or monster, that enchained it.

The Vedic poetry celebrates, in particular, the exploit of Indras
against the cavern, enclosure, or mountain in which the monster
(called by different names and especially by those of Valas, Vṛitras,
Cushṇas, of enemy, black one, thief, serpent, wolf, or wild boar)
conceals the herds of the celestial heroes, or slaughters them.

The black bull bellows; the thunderbolt bellows, that is, the thunder
follows the lightning, as the cow follows its calf;[27] the Marutas
bulls ascend the rock--now, by their own efforts, moving and making
the sonorous stone, the rock mountain, fall;[28] now, with the iron
edge of their rolling chariots violently splitting the mountain;[29]
the valiant hero, beloved by the gods, moves the stone;[30] Indras
hears the cows: by the aid of the wind-bulls he finds the cows hidden
in the cavern; he himself, furnished with an arm of stone, opens the
grotto of Valas, who keeps the cows; or, opens the cavern to the cows;
he vanquishes, kills, and pursues the thieves in battle; the bulls
bellow; the cows move forward to meet them; the bull, Indras, bellows
and leaves his seed in the herd; the thunder-dealing male, Indras, and
his spouse are glad and rejoice.[31]

In this fabled enterprise, three moments must be noted: 1st, The
effort to raise the stone; 2d, The struggle with the monster who
carried off the cows; 3d, The liberation of the prisoners. It is an
entire epic poem.

The second form of the enterprise of Indras in the cloudy heavens is
that which has for its object the destruction of the celestial
fortresses, of the ninety, or ninety-nine, or hundred cities of
Çambaras, of the cities which were the wives of the demons; and from
this undertaking Indras acquired the surname of _puramdaras_
(explained as destroyer of cities); although he had in it a most
valuable companion-in-arms, Agnis, that is, Fire, which naturally
suggests to our thoughts the notion of destruction by fire.[32]

In a hymn to Indras, the gods arrive at last, bring their axes, and with
their edges destroy the woods, and burn the monsters who restrain the
milk in the breasts of the cows.[33] The clouded sky here figures in the
imagination as a great forest inhabited by _rakshasas_, or monsters,
which render it unfruitful--that is, which prevent the great celestial
cow from giving her milk. The cow that gives the honey, the ambrosial
cow of the Vedâs, is thus replaced by a forest which hides the honey,
the ambrosia beloved by the gods. And although the Vedic hymns do not
dwell much upon this conception of the cloudy-sky, preferring as they do
to represent the darkness of night as a gloomy forest, the above passage
from the Vedâs is worthy of notice as indicating the existence at least
during the Vedic period of a myth which was afterwards largely amplified
in zoological legend.[34]

In this threefold battle of Indras, we must, moreover, remark a curious
feature. The thunder-dealing Indras overpowers his enemies with arrows
and darts; the same cloud which thunders, bellows, and therefore is
called a cow, becomes, as throwing darts, a bow: hence we have the
cow-bow, from which Indras hurls the iron stone, the thunderbolt; and
the cord itself of that bellowing bow is called a cow; from the bow-cow,
from the cord-cow, come forth the winged darts, the thunderbolts, called
birds, that eat men; and when they come forth, all the world
trembles.[35] We shall come upon the same idea again further on.

Thus far we have considered the cow-cloud as a victim of the monster
(that Indras comes to subdue). But it is not uncommon to see the cloud
itself or the darkness, that is, the cow, the fortress, or the forest
represented as a monster. Thus, a Vedic hymn informs us that the monster
Valas had the shape of a cow;[36] another hymn represents the cloud as
the cow that forms the waters, and that has now one foot, now four, now
eight, now nine, and fills the highest heaven with sounds;[37] still
another hymn sings that the sun hurls his golden disc in the variegated
cow;[38] they who have been carried off, who are guarded by the monster
serpent, the waters, the cows, are become the wives of the demons;[39]
and they must be malignant, since a poet can use as a curse the wish
that the malign spirits, the demons, may drink the poison of those
cows.[40] We have already seen that the fortresses are wives of demons,
and that the demons possessed the forests.[41]

It is in the beclouded and thundering heavens that the warrior hero
displays his greatest strength; but it cannot be denied that the great
majority of the myths, and the most poetical, exemplify or represent the
relation between the nocturnal sky (now dark, tenebrous, watery, horrid,
wild, now lit up by the ambrosial moon-beams, and now bespangled with
stars) and the two glowing skies--the two resplendent ambrosial
twilights of morning and evening (of autumn and spring). We have here
the same general phenomenon of light and darkness engaged in strife;
here, again, the sun Indras is hidden, as though in a cloud, to prepare
the light, to recover from the monster of darkness the waters of youth
and light, the riches, the cows, which he keeps concealed; but this
conquest is only made by the hero after long wandering amidst many
dangers, and is finally accomplished by battles, in which the principal
credit is often due to a heroine; except in those cases, not frequent
but well worthy of remark, in which the clouds, hurricanes, tempests of
lightning and thunderbolts, coincide with the end of the night (or of
winter), and the sun Indras, by tearing the clouds, at the same time
disperses the darkness of night and brings dawn (or spring) back to the
sky. In such coincidences, the sun Indras, besides being the greatest of
the gods, reveals himself to be also the most epic of the heroes; the
two skies, the dark and the clouded, with their relative monsters, and
the two suns, the thundering and the radiant, with their relative
companions, are confounded, and the myth then assumes all its poetical
splendour. And the most solemn moments of the great national Aryan epic
poems, the _Râmâyaṇam_ and the _Mahâbhâratam_, the _Book of Kings_, as
well as those of the _Iliad_, the _Song of Roland_ and the _Nibelungen_,
are founded upon this very coincidence of the two solar actions--the
cloudy and shadowy monster thunderstruck, and the dawn (or spring)
delivered and resuscitated. In truth, the _Ṛigvedas_ itself, in a
passage already quoted,[42] tells us that the clouds--the three times
seven spotted cows--cause their milk to drop to a god (whom, from
another similar passage,[43] we know to be Indras, the sun) in the
eastern sky (_pûrve vyomani_), that is, towards the morning, and
sometimes towards the spring, many of the phenomena of which correspond
to those of the aurora. The _Pṛiçnayas_, or spotted ones, are beyond
doubt the clouds, as the Marutas, sons of Pṛiçnis, or the spotted one,
are the winds that howl and lighten in the storm cloud. It is therefore
necessary to carry back the cloudy sky towards the morning, to
understand the Pṛiçnayas feeding the sun Indras in the eastern heavens
and the seven _Añgirasas_, the seven sunbeams, the seven wise men, who
also sing hymns in the morning;--it seems to me that the hymn of these
fabled wise men can be nothing else than the crash of the thunderbolts,
which, as we have already seen, are supposed to be detached from the
solar rays. Allusions to Indras thundering in the morning are so
frequent in the Vedic hymns, that I hope to be excused for this short
digression, from which I must at once return, because my sole object
here is to treat in detail of the mythical animals, and because the road
we have to take will be a long one.

Even the luminous night has its cows; the stars, which the sun puts to
flight with his rays,[44] are cows: the cows themselves, whose
dwellings the dwellings of the sun's cows must adjoin, are called the
many-horned ones.[45] These dwellings seem to me worthy of passing
remark, they are the celestial houses that move, the enchanted huts
and palaces that appear, disappear, and are transformed so often in
the popular stories of the Aryans.

The moon is generally a male, for its most popular names, _Ćandras_,
_Indus_, and _Somas_ are masculine; but as Somas signifies ambrosia,
the moon, as giver of ambrosia, soon came to be considered a
milk-giving cow; in fact, moon is one among the various meanings given
in Sanskrit to the word _gâus_ (cow). The moon, Somas, who illumines
the nocturnal sky, and the pluvial sun, Indras, who during the night,
or the winter, prepares the light of morn, or spring, are represented
as companions; a young girl, the evening, or autumnal, twilight, who
goes to draw water towards night, or winter, finds in the well, and
takes to Indras, the ambrosial moon, that is, the Somas whom he loves.
Here are the very words of the Vedic hymn:--"The young girl,
descending towards the water, found the moon in the fountain, and
said: 'I will take you to Indras, I will take you to Çakras; flow, O
moon, and envelop Indras.'"[46] The moon and ambrosia in the word
indus, as well as somas, are confounded with one another; hence,
Indras, the drinker _par excellence_ of _somas_ (somapâtamas), is also
the best friend and companion of the ambrosial or pluvial moon, and so
the sun and moon (as also Indras and Vishṇus) together come to suggest
to us the idea of two friends, two brothers (Indus and Indras), two
twins, the two Açvinâu; often the two twilights, properly speaking,
the morning and the evening, the spring and the autumn, twilights, the
former, however, being especially associated with the red sun which
appears in the morning (or in the spring), and the latter with the
pale moon which appears in the evening (or in the autumn, as a
particular regent of the cold season). Indras and Somas (_Indrâsomâu_)
are more frequently represented as two bulls who together discomfit
the monster (_rakshohaṇâu_), who destroy by fire the monsters that
live in darkness.[47] The word _vṛishaṇâu_ properly means the two who
pour out, or fertilise. Here it means the two bulls; but as the word
_vṛishan_ signifies stallion as well as bull, the two stallions, the
vṛishaṇâu Indras and Somas, are, by a natural transition, soon
transformed into two horses or horsemen, the two Açvinâu. Hence, in
popular tales, we find near the young princess the hero, who now leads
out the cows to pasture, and now, as hostler or groom, takes excellent
care of the horses. But we must not anticipate comparisons which we
shall have to make further on. Having noticed that, in the _Ṛigvedas_,
we find the moon represented either as a bull or a cow (the masculine,
_Indus_, _somas_, _ćandras_, is always a bull; while the feminine,
_râkâ_, suggests more naturally the idea of a cow), let us now
consider the bull Indras in relation to the cow Aurora (or spring).

Five bulls stand in the midst of the heavens, and chase out of the way
the wolf who crosses the waters;[48] the luminous Vasavas unbind the
cow that is tied by its foot.[49]

How now is this cow brought forth?

This ambrosial cow is created by the artists of the gods, by the three
brothers _Ṛibhavas_, who draw it out of the skin of a cow; that is,
they make a cow, and, to give it life, cover it with the skin of a
dead cow.[50] It being understood that the cow Aurora (or Spring) dies
at even (or in the autumn), the Ṛibhavas, the threefold sun Indras,
_i.e._, the sun in the three watches of the night, prepares the skin
of this cow, one Ṛibhus taking off the skin from the dead cow, another
Ṛibhus preparing it during the night (or winter), and the third
Ṛibhus, in the early morning (or at the end of winter) dressing the
new cow, the aurora (or the spring) with it. Thus it is that Indras,
in three distinct moments, takes the skin from off the girl that he
loves, who had become ugly during the night, and restores her beauty
in the morning.[51] And the three Ṛibhavas may, it seems to me, be the
more easily identified with the triple Indras, with Indra-Vishṇus, who
measures the world in three paces, since, as Indras is called a bull,
they also are called bulls;[52] as Indras is often a falcon, they also
are named birds;[53] and their miracles are sometimes also those of
Indras. This identification of the bulls Ṛibhavas, whom we speak of
here as producers of the cow Aurora (the same sterile cow of the
sleeping hero Çayus, that which the Açvinâu, the two horsemen of the
twilight, restored to youth by the Ṛibhavas, rendered fruitful
again),[54] with the bull, or hero Indras, appears to me to be of the
greatest importance, inasmuch as it affords us the key to much that is
most vital to the Aryan legends.

The Ṛibhavas, then, are three brothers. They prepare themselves to
procure the cups which are to serve for the gods to drink out of. Each
has a cup in his hand; the eldest brother defies the others to make
two cups out of one; the second defies them to make three out of one;
the youngest brother comes forward and defies them to make four. The
victory is his, and the greatest workman of heaven, the Vedic Vulcan,
_Tvashtar_, praises their wonderful work.[55] The youngest of the
three brothers is therefore the most skilful. We find in the
_Ṛigvedas_ the name of _Sukarmas_, or maker of fine works, good
workman, given to each of the three brothers; and though only one of
them, who is properly called Ṛibhus, or _Ṛîbhukshâ_, is said to serve
the god Indras in the quality of a workman (whence Indras himself
sometimes received the name of Ṛibhukshâ, Ṛibhvan, or Ṛibhvas), yet
the other two brothers, _Vâǵas_ and _Vibhvan_, are in the service, one
of all the gods, the other of Varuṇas, the god of night.[56] It would
seem natural to recognise in Ṛibhus, the protégé of Indras, the most
skilful of the three brothers, who, as we have seen above, was the
youngest; yet, as we cannot infer anything from the order in which the
hymns name the three brothers--as, in one, Vâǵas is first named, then
Ṛibhukshâ, and finally Vibhvan; in another, Vâǵas first, Vibhvan
second, and Ṛibhus third;[57] in another, again, Ṛibhus is invoked
first, then Vibhvan, and lastly Vâǵas; and as we also find all the
Ṛibhavas saluted under the common epithet of Vâǵas, and Vâǵas himself
by the name of Indras, or rather Indras saluted in his triple form of
Ṛibhus, Vibhvan, and Vâǵas,[58] it remains uncertain which of these
was the proper name of the third brother of the Ṛibhavas. But what
seems to be sufficiently clear is, that Indras is identified with the
Ṛibhavas (_Indravantas_), that the third brother is the most skilful,
and that the three brothers serve the lords of heaven as workmen. And
here we meet with an interesting element. In two hymns of the
_Ṛigvedas_, the host of the Ṛibhavas appears as one only, Indras
himself, or the sun (Savitar), under the name of _Agohyas_ (_i.e._,
who cannot be hidden). During the twelve days (the twelve hours of the
night, or the twelve months of the year) in which they are the guests
of Agohyas, they bring as they sleep every species of prosperity to
the land, by making the fields fertile, causing the rivers to flow,
and refreshing the grass of the field. In this, however, let us not
forget that they are the beneficent sons of _Sudhanvan_, the good
archer, and archers themselves, representatives of the great celestial
archer, of the thunder-dealing and rain-giving Indras; and that
therefore their sleep is only a figure of speech to express their
latent existence in darkness and the clouds of night.

But the _Ṛigvedas_ introduces the three brothers under other names,
and especially in one, and that an important aspect. The third brother
is called _Tritas_, or the third, and as such, is also identified with
Indras. Thus, for instance, the moments of Indras in the sky are
three--evening, night, and towards morning; and the horse of Tritas
(the horse that Tritas has received from _Yamas_) is now mysteriously
Yama himself, now the son of Âditis (whom we have already seen to be
the cow, or the son of the cow), now Tritas himself, whom Tritas alone
can yoke, and Indras alone ride upon, a horse bedewed with ambrosia,
which has three relationships in heaven, three in the waters, three in
the ocean;[60] that is to say, one relation is Yamas, the elder
brother; the second is the son of the cow, or the second brother; the
last is Tritas himself, or the youngest brother. This Tritas is called
intelligent; he therefore corresponds to the third brother, who makes
four cups out of one. How then does he appear sometimes stupid? The
language itself supplies the explanation. In Sanskrit, _bâlas_ means
both child and stolid; and the third brother is supposed to be stolid,
because, at his first appearance especially, he is a child,--and we
constantly see him as a child do wonderful things, and give proofs of
superhuman wisdom. With this key, the meaning of the myth is obvious.
The eldest brother, Yamas, the dying sun, with all his wisdom and
experience, is unable of himself to recover the ravished or missing
princess; the son of the cow Âditis, that is, Âdityas, the sun in the
middle of the night, gives often proof of strength great enough to
disperse the darkness and the clouds, and break the incantation; but,
generally it is the third sun, the morning sun, Indras in his third
moment, Vishṇus taking his third step,[61] the third brother, Tritas,
who seems to obtain the victory, and deliver the young aurora from the
monster of night. All this seems to me to be very evident.

Tritas, like Indras, drinks the water of strength, and thereupon tears
the monster in pieces;[62] the victory of the young hero must be
achieved in the same way in which it is accomplished by Indras, his
more splendid and grandiose impersonation. But Tritas, or _Trâitanas_,
after having killed the monster of the waters, is afraid that the
waters themselves may devour him; after cutting off the head of the
monster, some enemies have lowered him down into the waters.[63] The
sun has vanquished the monster that kept the fountain of waters
shut--he has unchained the waters, but he himself has not been able to
break through the cloud; he has delivered from the dark and cloudy
monster the princess, the dawn that was to have been its prey, but he
himself does not yet come forth--is still invisible. Now, who are the
enemies here that have placed the young hero in the cistern, down into
the well, in the sea? We have already seen that Tritas has two
brothers; and it is these two brothers who, in a fit of jealousy, on
account of his wife, the aurora, and the riches she brings with her
from the realm of darkness, the cistern or well, detain their brother
in the well,--all which is told us in a single but eloquent verse of
the Vedas. The intelligent Tritas in the well calls out (_rebhati_) on
account of his brothers;[64] and the two horsemen of the twilight, the
Açvinâu, come to deliver the invoker (_rebhas_) covered and enveloped
by the waters.[65] In another hymn, the deliverer appears to be
Bṛihaspatis, the lord of prayer, who having heard how Tritas, thrust
down into the well, was invoking the gods, made the large from the
small;[66] that is to say, opened for the young hero a way to escape
from the well and show himself in his glory.

Having seen how in the Vedic hymns Tritas, the third brother, and the
ablest as well as best, is persecuted by his brothers, it is
interesting to note the form of the myth in popular Hindoo
tradition:--"Three brothers, _Ekatas_ (_i.e._, the first), _Dvitas_
(_i.e._, the second), and _Tritas_ (_i.e._, the third), were
travelling in a desert, and distressed with thirst, came to a well,
from which the youngest, Tritas, drew water and gave it to his
seniors. In requital, they threw him into the well, in order to
appropriate his property, and having covered the top with a
cart-wheel, left him within it. In this extremity he prayed to the
gods to extricate him, and by their favour he made his escape."[67]

Thus have we brought the three brothers, of whom Tritas is the
youngest, into close affinity with the three Ṛibhavas, and both the
former and the latter into an equally close connection with the three
moments of Indras. We have already said that the Ṛibhavas created the
cow; in the same way _Uçanâ Kâvyâs_, the desiring wise one protected
by Indras, another name for the sun-hero of the morning, sends the
cows together before him;[68] and Indras himself is the only lord of
the cows, the only real celestial shepherd;[69] or, rather, it is he
that begets the sun and the aurora,[70] or, as another hymn says, who
gives the horses and the sun and the cow of abundance.[71]

Here, therefore, the aurora is explicitly the cow of abundance; she is
still also the milk-giving and luminous cow, in which is found all
sweetness;[72] and finally, _usrâ_ or _ushâ_ are two words, two
appellations, which indiscriminately express aurora and cow as the red
or brilliant one. The identification of the aurora with the cow, in
the mythical sky of the Vedas, is therefore a certainty.

Another of the names which the milk-yielding cow assumes in the
_Ṛigvedas_, besides the ordinary one of _Ushâ_, is _Sîtâ_, whom Indras
also causes to descend from heaven, like the aurora, and who must be
milked by the sun-god _Pûshan_,[73] the nourisher, the _fœœcundator_,
compared in one hymn to a pugnacious buffalo.[74] This Indras,
protector and friend of Sîtâ, prepares therefore Vishṇus, the
protector, in the form of Râmas, of his wife Sîtâ. And even the
Ṛibhavas are the protectors of the cow, as well as the producers.[75]

But Indras, whose special function it is to lighten, to thunder, to
fight the monster of darkness, and to prepare the light, generally
figures in the popular imagination, at dawn (aurora), as the sun,
under his three names of _Sûryas_, of _Ṛitas_, and of _Savitar_.

The sun, with respect to the aurora, is now the father, now the
husband, now the son, and now the brother. As begotten of Indras
simultaneously with the aurora, he is the brother; as following and
embracing the aurora, he is the husband; as simply coming after the
aurora, he is the son; and as sending the cow or the aurora before
him, he is the father. These four relationships of the sun to the
aurora or dawn are all mentioned in the _Ṛigvedas_.

In one of the hymns, the pure effulgence with which the aurora chases
away the shadows of night is said to resemble the milk of a cow;[76]
that is, the whitish light of the daybreak precedes in the eastern
heavens the rosy light of aurora. The aurora is the cow-nurse, and the
oriental mother of the old sun; at the sound of the hymn in praise of
the dawn, the two horsemen of twilight, the Açvinâu, awaken.[77] Two
cows--[_i.e._, the two twilights, that of the evening and that of the
morning, related to the two horsemen, the evening one and the morning
one, whom we also find together in the morning, the one white and the
other red, the one in company with daybreak and the other with the
aurora, and who may therefore be sometimes identified with the two
morning dawns, the white dawn (alba) or daybreak, and the red dawn
(aurora), and, from another point of view, the lunar dawn and the
solar one]--drop milk towards the sun, in the heaven.[78] The aurora
is the mother of the cows.[79]

As the sun approaches, the heavenly cows, who walk without covering
themselves with dust, celebrate him[80] with songs. The red rays of the
high sun fly and join themselves to the sun's cows.[81] The seven wise
_Añgirasas_ (the seven solar rays, or else the Angiras, the seven-rayed
or seven-faced sun, as another hymn[82] represents him) celebrate in
their songs the herds of cows which belong to the aurora, who appears
upon the mountain.[83] Let us notice more particularly what is said of
the aurora that appears with the cows upon the mountain. It is the sun
that enables the Añgirasas to split the mountain, to bellow along with
the cows, and to surround themselves with the splendour of the
aurora.[84] The aurora, the daughter of the sky, the splendid one,
appears; at the same time, the sun draws up the cows.[85] The aurora is
carried by red luminous cows, whilst the sun, the hero-archer, kills
the enemies.[86] The aurora breaks open the prison of the cows; the cows
exult towards the aurora;[87] the aurora comes out of the darkness as
cows come out of their stable.[88] As the solar hero, Indras, is the
guardian or shepherd of horses and of cows,[89] so the auroras are often
celebrated in the _Ṛigvedas_ as _açvâvatîs_ and _gomatîs_, that is, as
provided with and attended by horses and cows. The aurora keeps together
the herd of red cows, and always accompanies them.[90]

Thus have we passed from the pastor-hero to the pastoral heroine upon
the mountain. The pastoral aurora, unveiling her body in the east,
follows the path of the sun;[91] and the sun is represented to us in
the following riddle as a wonderful cowherd:--"I have seen a shepherd
who never set down his foot, and yet went and disappeared on the
roads; and who, taking the same and yet different roads, goes round
and round amidst the worlds."[92] The sun goes round in the ether, and
never puts down a foot, for he has none; and he takes the same, yet
different, roads in the sky, _i.e._, luminous by day, and gloomy by
night. The puzzle of the riddle lies in its self-contradiction; and
the beautiful girl is the prize appointed for him who, by his actions,
resolves it. A similar riddle is, in the _Ṛigvedas_ itself, proposed
to _Mitras_, the sun, and to _Varuṇas_, the night. The riddle is as
follows:--"The first of them who walk afoot (_padvatînam_) comes
without feet (_apâd_);" and the two divine heroes are asked, "Which of
you two has guessed it?"[93] He who solves this enigma we may be sure
is Mitras, the sun, who recognises the aurora, the girl who comes
making use of feet, although she seem to have none, for she comes
borne in a chariot, of which the wheels appear to be feet, which is
the same luminous chariot that rolls well,[94] given by the Ṛibhavas
to the two horsemen Açvinâu (represented sometimes as two old men made
young again by the Ṛibhavas, and sometimes simply as two handsome
youths), into which chariot she mounts by the help of the Açvinâu; and
the daughter of the sun is, in the race, the first to come to the
winning-post, amid the enthusiastic plaudits of the gods.[95] Then the
hymns to the aurora sometimes represent that vast chariot as belonging
to the eastern aurora, who guides a hundred chariots, and who, in
turn, helps the immortal gods to ascend into the chariot beside
her.[96] The aurora, as the first of those who appear every day in the
eastern sky, as the first to know the break of day,[97] is naturally
represented as one of the swiftest among those who are the guests of
the sun-prince during the night; and like her cows, which do not cover
themselves with dust (this being an attribute which, in the Indian
faith, distinguishes the gods from mortals, for the former walk in the
heavens, and the latter upon earth), she, in her onward flight, leaves
no footsteps behind her. The word _apâd_ (_pad_ and _pada_, being
synonymous) may, indeed, mean not only she who has no feet, but also
she who has no footsteps (that is, what is the measure of the foot),
or, again, she who has no slippers, the aurora having, as appears,
lost them; for the prince Mitras, while following the beautiful young
girl, finds a slipper which shows her footstep, the measure of her
foot, a foot so small, that no other woman has a foot like it, an
almost unfindable, almost imperceptible foot, which brings us back
again to the idea of her who has no feet. The legend of the lost
slipper, and of the prince who tries to find the foot predestined to
wear it, the central interest in the popular story of Cinderella,
seems to me to repose entirely upon the double meaning of the word
_apâd_, _i.e._, who has no feet, or what is the measure of the foot,
which may be either the footstep or the slipper; often, moreover, in
the story of Cinderella, the prince cannot overtake the fugitive,
because a chariot bears her away.

The word _apâd_, which we have heretofore seen applied to the heroine,
was applied, moreover, to the hero, giving rise to another popular
legend, of which the _Ṛigvedas_ offers us the mythical elements. We have
already seen the sun as _anipadyamanas_, _i.e._, the sun who never puts
his foot down; but this sun who never puts down his foot easily, came to
be conceived of and represented as a sun without feet, or as a lame
hero, who, during the night, by the perfidy of the witch, the dusk of
evening, became also blind. In one hymn, the blind and the lame are not
one, but two, whom propitious Indras guides;[98] in another, the
blind-lame is one person, with the name of _Pâravṛig_, whom the two
horsemen Açvinâu, the two friends of the dawn, enable to walk and to
see.[99] The lame one who sees, shows the way to the blind who is able
to walk, or the lame carries the blind; Indras, the hidden sun, guides
the blind and the lame; or, the blind and the lame, lost in the forest,
help each other; in the morning, the Açvinâu, the two horsemen, friends
of the aurora, with the water of sight and of strength (that is,
Páravṛig, the blind-lame having discovered the hidden fountain of the
young girls of the dawn,[100] with the ambrosia of the aurora, with the
aurora itself), make the blind see, and him who has no feet, the lame,
walk; that is, they burst forth into the upper air again, transfigured
now into the luminous sun who sets out on his heavenly voyage. I have
said above that the hero becomes blind and lame through the perfidy and
magic of the evening aurora: nor was the assertion unfounded; for the
Vedic hymn in which Indras guides the blind and the lame, _i.e._,
himself or the sun, in the gloomy tardy night, is the very same hymn in
which is celebrated his heroic and manly enterprise of the destruction
of the daughter of the sky. The sun Indras revenges himself in the
morning upon the aurora of the morning, for the wrong done him by the
aurora of the evening, beautiful, but faithless.

For the aurora counts among her other talents that of magic; when the
Ṛibhavas created the aurora cow of morning, investing her with the
skin of the aurora cow of evening, they endowed her with Protean
qualities (_Viçvarûpâm_), and on this account the aurora herself is
also called witch or enchantress (_Mâjinî_).[101] This aurora, this
virago, this Amazon, this Vedic Medea, who, treacherously plunging her
husband, or brother, the solar hero, into a fiery furnace, blinds and
lames him, is punished in the morning for her crime of the evening.
The hero vanquishes her, overcomes her incantations, and annihilates
her. The Vedic hymn sings--"A manly and heroic undertaking thou hast
accomplished, O Indras, for an evil-doing woman, the daughter of the
heavens, thou hast smitten; the growing daughter of the heaven, the
aurora, O Indras, thou hast destroyed; from the chariot, broken in
pieces, fell the aurora, trembling, because the bull had struck
her."[102] Here the mythical animal reappears on the same stage with
the heroes, and for the image of the hero and the heroine there is
substituted that of the cow and the bull.[103]

The sun and the aurora, therefore, do not always seek each other from
promptings of affection only, nor is the hateful part always played by
the aurora. The sun, also appears as a perverse persecutor in his
turn. One Vedic hymn advises the aurora not to stretch out the web
she works at too far, lest the sun, like a robber, with hostile
intention, set fire to and burn her.[104] Another hymn tells us that
the handsome one follows the beautiful one, the brother the sister,
like a lover,[105]--the aurora fleeing from the sun, her brother, out
of shame, and her brother following her, actuated by a brutal
instinct. Finally, a third hymn shows us the Vedic Vulcan, the
blacksmith of the gods, the sun Tvashṭar, called also the omniform sun
(_Sâvitâ Viçvarûpah_), as father of Saraṇyû, another name for the
aurora, omniform herself, like her father (and, like the cow,
undergoing the triple transmutation at the hands of Tvashṭar, _i.e._,
the three brothers, the Ṛibhavas), creating another form of himself,
that is, the sun _Vivasvant_, to be able to espouse the aurora.
Saraṇyû, perceiving perhaps that Vivasvant is her father under another
shape, creates another woman like herself, and flees away on the
chariot that flies of itself, and that was before given her by her
father; and thereupon Vivasvant, in order to overtake her, transforms
himself into a horse.[106]

But sometimes the alienation the sun and the aurora, the young husband
and wife, is not due to evil propensities in themselves, but the
decree of fate working through the machinations of monsters. The two
beautiful ones are at bottom united by love and reciprocal gratitude;
for now it is the sun who delivers the aurora, and now the aurora who
liberates the sun; and we have already seen the aurora making the
ambrosial milk drop for the sun from her cows, and the sun drawing up
and delivering the cows of the aurora. There is a hymn in which the
divine girl, the aurora, comes up in the east, with a lascivious air,
smiling, fresh, uncovering her bosom, resplendent, towards the god who
sacrifices himself,[107] that is to say, towards the sun, towards
_Çunahçepas_ (the sun), who, in three verses of another hymn,[108]
invokes her, the well-known legend of which, narrated in the
_Âitareya-Brâhmaṇam_, I shall briefly relate. The aurora has also the
merit of having, with her pure and purifying light, opened the gates
of the gloomy cavern, discomfited the enemies, the shades of night,
and exposed to view the treasures hidden by the darkness (and here we
have Medea again, but this time in a benignant form); she awakens to
activity the sleepers and everything with life (and therefore, among
the living sleepers, the sun, her son, whom one of the hymns
represents as sleeping profoundly in the bosom of the darkness of
night); she is the saviour of mortals,[109] that is to say, she
protects mortals from death, and resuscitates them; she sees and
foresees everything.[110] The awakener is also the awakened; the
illuminator is also the illumined, or the wise; and the illumined or
luminous one is also the beautiful one. From being small, she is
become large[111] (the heroes and heroines of mythology are only small
at birth, and pass at once into fulness of stature); from being infirm
and sombre-visaged, by the grace of Indras and of the Açvinâu, she is
cured and restored to strength and clearness.[112] But why was she
dark at first? Because her mother, the night, is the black one; she,
the white one, is born of the black one.[113]

During the night, the young girl was blind, and she recovers her sight
by the grace of a wise one, one who, protected by Indras, another
shape of Indras, has become enamoured of her. We have seen above that
it is the Açvinâu who, with the aurora, give back to the sun his
sight; here it is the sun who makes the aurora see, it is the sun who
gives her light; and she who, having been blind, recovers her sight,
becomes the protectress of the blind and preserver of vision,[114]
like St Lucia, virgin and martyr, in the Christian Mythology. Physical
truth and the mythical narration are in perfect accordance.

The night is now the mother, now the sister of the aurora; but the
gloomy night is sometimes her step-mother, sometimes her half-sister.
There is a riddle which celebrates the luminous night and the aurora,
as two diversely beautiful ones who go together, but of whom one goes
while the other comes.[115] Another hymn sings of them thus: "The
brilliantly-decked one approaches, the white aurora comes; the black
one prepares for her her rooms. The one immortal having joined the
other, the two appear alternately in the heavens. One and eternal is
the path of the two sisters; they follow it, one after the other,
guided by the gods; they do not meet, and they never stand still--the
two good nurses, night and aurora, one in soul yet different in
form."[116] The two good nurses, night and aurora, whose hues
alternate eternally, nourish between them one and the same child (the
sun).[117] But the _Ṛigvedas_ itself tells us that the night is not
always the legitimate sister of the aurora; the latter "abandons now
the one that is, now the one that is not, properly its sister."[118]
Here probably we must understand by the proper sister of the aurora
the luminous or moonlight night, and by the half-sister, the gloomy
night, the night without a moon. This is the sister whom, in a hymn,
the aurora removes, sends far away from her, while she shines to be
seen of her husband;[119] and her half-sister, the night, is obliged
to resign her place to her elder or better sister,[120] the word
_ǵyeshṭhas_ meaning not only the eldest, but the best. We have
already seen that the aurora is the first to appear; as such, and as
she who in the evening precedes the night (the evening aurora), she is
the first-born, the eldest, the most experienced, the best; while,
from another point of view, she is represented to us as the little one
who becomes great, and, in this case, as younger sister of the night
(the morning dawn). The dawns, or auroras, are saluted with the
epithet of workwomen,[121] just as the good sister, with respect to
the bad one, is always she who works, doing wonderful work, that is,
spinning or weaving the rosy cloth. But the auroras are not only the
workers, they are also the pure purifying and cleansing ones;[122]
hence one can understand how one of the tasks imposed upon the
youngest sister was that of purifying, purging, or separating the
grain during the night, taking from it all that is impure, in which
task she is assisted sometimes by a good fairy, sometimes by the
Virgin Mary, who, according to all probability, is the moon.

One of the singular qualities of the younger sister is that she
displays her beauty only before the eyes of her husband. The wife
aurora manifests herself in the sight of her husband;[123] united, in
her splendour, with the rays of the sun,[124] like a wife she prepares
the dwelling of the sun.[125] Very brilliant, like a wife cleansed by
her mother, she uncovers her body;[126] like a bather who shows
herself, the shining one unveils her body;[127] she adorns herself
like a dancer, uncovering, like a cow, her breast;[128] she displays
her luminous garments;[129] all-radiant, with beautiful face, she
laughs;[130] and he who has made the aurora laugh, her, the beautiful
princess, who, at first, that is, during the night, did not laugh,
espouses her; the sun espouses the aurora.

The celestial nuptials take place, and the ceremony is minutely
described in the 85th hymn of the 10th book of the _Ṛigvedas_. But the
marriage of the two celestials is never consummated except under
conditions; these conditions are always accepted and afterwards
forgotten, and it is now the husband who, by forsaking his wife, now
the wife who, by abandoning her husband, violates the promise given.
One of these estrangements, these temporary alienations of husband and
wife, is described in the _Ṛigvedas_ by the poetical myth of the dawn
_Urvaçî_ and her husband _Purûravas_, one of the names given to the
sun. Urvaçî says of herself, "I have arrived like the first of the
auroras;"[131] thereupon Urvaçî suddenly abandons her husband
Purûravas, because he breaks an agreement made between them. We shall
see further on in this chapter what this agreement was. Besides,
having given him a son before her departure, she consoles him by
permitting him to come and find her again in heaven, that is, by
endowing the sun with the immortality she possesses herself. In the
morning the aurora precedes the sun; he follows her too closely, and
she disappears, but leaves a son, _i.e._, the new sun. In the evening
the aurora precedes the sun; he follows her again, and she loses
herself, now in a forest, now in the sea. The same phenomenon, a
divorce of husband from wife, or a separation of brother and sister,
or the flight of a sister from her brother, or again, that of a
daughter from her father, presents itself twice every day (and every
year) in the sky. Sometimes, on the other hand, it is a witch, or the
monster of nocturnal darkness, who takes the place of the radiant
bride, or the aurora, near the sun; and in that case the aurora, the
beauteous bride, is spirited away into a wood to be killed or thrown
into the sea, from both of which predicaments, however, she always
escapes. Sometimes the witch of night throws the brother and sister,
the mother and son, the sun and the aurora, together into the waves of
the sea, whence they both escape again, to reappear in the morning.

All these alternative variations of a mythical representation become
each in turn a legend by itself, as we shall see again more in detail,
when the study of the different animals that take part in them shall
furnish us with opportunities of doing so. In the meantime, we have
here finished our enumeration of all that in the hymns of the
_Ṛigvedas_ refers in any way to the bull and the cow,--to the wind,
moon, and sun bulls, to the cow-cloud, moon, spring and
aurora,--leaving it, however, to be understood how natural it is to
pass from the bull to the handsome hero-prince, and from the cow to
the beautiful girl, the rich princess, the valiant heroine, or the
wise fairy. For though in the mythical hymns of the _Ṛigvedas_ we have
little more than hints or foreshadows of the many popular legends
which we have thus referred to, often without naming them, these are
so many and so precise that it seems to me to be almost impossible
not to recognise them. To demonstrate this, however, it will be
necessary for me to show further what form the mythological ideas and
figures relating to the animals dispersed in the Vedic hymns
afterwards assumed in the Hindoo traditions.


[1] Mâ gâm anâgâm aditiṁ vadhishṭa; _Ṛigv._ viii. 90, 15.

[2] Gomâtaraḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 8, 1, 3.--Aditis, called "mâtâ rudrâṇâm;"
_Ṛigv._ viii. 90, 15.

[3] Tubhyaṁ (to Vâyus, to the wind), dhenuḥ sabardughâ viçvâ vasûni
dohate aǵanayo maruto vakshaṇâbhyaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 134, 4.

[4] Imâs ta indra pṛiçnayo ghṛitaṁ duhata âçiram; _Ṛigv._ viii. 6,
19.--Trir asmâi sapta dhenavo duduhre satyâm âçiram pûrvye vyomani;
_Ṛigv._ ix. 70, 1.--Trîṇi sarâṅsi pṛiçnayo duduhre vaǵriṇe madhu;
_Ṛigv._ viii. 7, 10.--In the _Râmâyaṇan_, i. 48, the Marutas also
appear in the number of 7.

[5] Pra çaṅsâ goshv aghnyaṁ krîḷaṁ yać ćhardho mârutam ǵambhe rasasya
vâvṛidhe; _Ṛigv._ i. 37, 5.

[6] Ime ye te su vâyo bâhvoǵaso 'ntar nadî te patayanty ukshaṇo mahi
vrâdhanta ukshaṇaḥ dhanvań ćid ye anâçavo ǵirâç, ćid aǵirâukasaḥ
sûryasyeva raçmayo durniyantavo hastayor durniyantavaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i.
135, 9.

[7] Ṛiksho na vo marutaḥ çimîvâṇ amo dudhro gâur iva bhîmayuḥ; _Ṛigv._
v. 56, 3.

[8] Te syandrâso nokshaṇo 'ṭi shkandanti çarvarîḥ; _Ṛigv._ v. 52, 3.

[9] Tvam vâtâir aruṇâir yâsi; _Tâittiriya Yaǵurvedas_, i. 3,
14.--Ańǵibhir vy ânaǵre ke cid usrâ iva stṛibhiḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 87, 1.

[10] Vṛishâ vṛishabhih; _Ṛigv._ i. 100, 4.--Gṛishṭiḥ sasûva sthaviraṃ
tavâgâm anâdhṛishyaṃ vṛishabhaṁ tumram indram; _Ṛigv._ iv. 18,
10.--Sa mâtarâ na dadṛiçâna usriyo nânadad eti marutâm iva svanaḥ;
_Ṛigv._ ix. 70, 6.

[11] Vṛishâyamâṇo vṛiṇita somam; _Ṛigv._ i. 32, 3.--Pituṁ nu stosham
maho dharmâṇam tavishîm yasya trito (Tritas, as we shall see, is an
_alter ego_ of the god Indras) vy oǵasâ vṛitram viparvam ardayat;
_Ṛigv._ i. 187, 1.

[12] Pibâ vardhasva; _Ṛigv._ iii. 36, 3.

[13] Indro madhu sambhṛitam usriyâyâm padvad viveda çaphavan name goḥ;
_Ṛigv._ iii. 39, 6.

[14] Trî yać ćhatâ mahishâṇâm agho mâs trî sarâṇsi maghavâ somyâpâḥ
kâraṁ na viçve ahvanta devâ bharam indrâya yad ahim ǵaghâna; _Ṛigv._
v. 29, 8.

[15] Vasoḥ kabandhamṛishabho bibharti; _Atharvavedas_, ix. 4, 3.

[16] Sruvati bhîmo vṛisḥabhas tavishyayâ çṛiñge çiçâno hariṇî
vićakshaṇaḥ; _Ṛigv._ ix. 70, 7.

[17] Yas tigmaçṛiñgo vṛishabho na bhîma ekaḥ kṛishṭîç ćyâvayati pra
viçvâḥ; _Ṛigv._ vii. 19, 1.--Idaṁ namo vṛishabhâya svarâǵe
satyaçushmâya tavase 'vâći; _Ṛigv._ i. 51, 15.

[18] Çiçîte vaǵraṁ teǵase na vaṅsagaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 55, 1.

[19] Abhy enaṁ vaǵra âyasaḥ sahasrabhṛishṭir âyatârćano; _Ṛigv._ i.
80, 12.

[20] Sahasraçṛiñgo vṛishabho yaḥ samudrâd udâćarat; _Ṛigv._ vii. 55, 7.

[21] Vi tigmena vṛishabheṇa puro 'bhet; _Ṛigv._ i. 33, 13.

[22] Priyâ indrasya dhenavo vagraṁ hinvanti sâyakaṁ vasvîḥ; _Ṛigv._ i.
84, 10, 11, 12. The root, HI, properly signifies to _distend, draw
out_; here, to _draw out_ the arm of Indras seems to me to mean to
elongate it, to render it as fine as a thread--to sharpen it (in
Italian, _affilare_); the cows that sharpen (It. _affilanti_), are a
variety of the cows that _spin_ (It. _filanti_).

[23] Yuǵaṁ vaǵraṁ vṛishabhaç ćakra indro nir ǵyotishâ tamaso gâ
adukshat; _Ṛigv._ i. 33, 10.

[24] Çiçîte çṛiñge rakshase vinikshe; _Ṛigv._ v. 2, 9.--Ćatvâri çṛiñgâ
trayo asya pâdâ dve çîrshe sapta hastâso asya; _Ṛigv._ iv. 58,
3.--Tapurǵambho vana â vâtaćodito yûthe na sâhvân ava vâti vaṅsagaḥ
abhi vraǵann akshitam pâǵasâ raǵaḥ sthâtuç ćaratham bhayate
patatriṇaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 58, 5. In this stanza, however, _Vaṅsagaḥ_ may
probably signify rather _the stallion_ than _the bull_, as we find in
the second stanza this same Agnis already compared to a radiant horse
(atyo na pṛishṭham prushitasya roćate).

[25] _Adris_ and _parvatas_ properly mean mountain, but, in the Vedâs,
often cloud; and among their many meanings there is also that of tree;
_agas_ (properly that which does not move) expresses equally tree and
mountain. Hence perhaps the Italian proverb: _Le montagne stanno
ferme, ma gli uomini s'incontrano_, Mountains stand still, but men
meet; hence the cry of Râmas in the _Râmâyaṇam_, ii. 122, that the
Himâlayas would move before he should become a traitor; hence the
assurance with which Macbeth, after the celebrated prophecy of the
witches, can say: "That will never be; who can impress the forest; bid
the tree unfix his earth-bound root?" _Shakespeare_ (_Macbeth_, iv.
1.) Nevertheless the forest moved, as it not unfrequently does in the
myths, where the tree-clouds walk, and fill all with terror wherever
they go, where heroes and monsters often fight, by unrooting the trees
of a whole forest. Cfr. _Râmâyaṇam_, iii. 3, 5, and the chapters of
this work which treat of the Horse, the Bear, and the Monkey.

[26] Vraǵam gaćha gosthânam; _Tâittir. Yaǵúr._ i. 1, 9; cfr.
_Çatapathabrâhmaṇam_, i. 2, 3, 4.

[27] Kṛishṇo nonâva vṛishabhaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 79, 2.--Vâçreva vidyun
mimâti vatsaṁ na mâtâ sishakti; _Ṛigv._ i. 38, 8.

[28] Açmânaṁ ćit svaryam parvataṁ girim pra ćyâvayanti yâmabhiḥ;
_Ṛigv._ v. 96, 4.

[29] Pavyâ rathânâm adrim bhindanty oǵasâ; _Ṛigv._ v. 52, 9. _Pavis_, in
general, is the iron part, the iron end (of a dart, or a lance); here it
would appear to be the iron tire of the chariot's wheels, which, driving
furiously over the mountain, break it,--thunder, in fact, often suggests
the idea of a noisy chariot making ruin in heaven.

[30] Vîraḥ karmaṇyaḥ sudaksho yuktagrâvâ ǵâyate devakâmaḥ; _Ṛigv._
iii. 4, 9.

[31] Ayaṁ çṛiṇve adha ǵayann uta ghnann ayam uta pra kṛiṇute yudhâ gâḥ;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 17, 10.--Viḷu ćid âruǵatnubhir guhâ ćid indra vahnibhiḥ
avinda usriyâ anu; _Ṛigv._ i. 6, 5.--Tvaṁ valasya gomato 'pavar adrivo
bilam; _Ṛigv._ i. 11, 5.--Vi gobhir adrim âirayat; _Ṛigv._ i. 7,
3.--Ukshâ mimâti prati yanti dhenavaḥ; _Ṛigv._ ix. 69, 4.--Yad anyâsu
vṛishabho roravîti so anyasmin yûthe ni dadhâti retaḥ; _Ṛigv._ iii. 55,
17.--Pûshaṅvân vaǵrint sam u patnyâmadaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 82, 6.

[32] Indrâgnî navatim puro dâsapatnîr adhûnutam sâkam ekena karmaṇâ;
_Ṛigv._ iii. 12, 6; _Tâitt. Yaǵurv._ i. 1, 14. Cfr. chap. on Serpent.

[33] Devâsa âyan paraçûṅr abibhran vanâ vṛiçćanto abhi viḍbhir âyan ni
sudrvaṁ dadhato vakshaṇâsu yatrâ kṛipîṭam anu tad dahanti; _Ṛigv._ x.
28, 8.

[34] Cfr. the chapter on the Bear and the Monkey.

[35] Vṛikshe-vṛikshe niyatâ mîmayad gâus tato vayaḥ pra patân
pûrushâdaḥ viçvam bhuvanam bhayâte; _Ṛigv._ x. 27, 22.--Tvam âyasam
prati vartayo gor divo açmânam; _Ṛigv._ i. 121, 9.

[36] Brihaspatir govapusho valasya nir maǵǵânaṁ na parvaṇo ǵabhâra;
_Ṛigv._ x. 68, 9.

[37] Gâurîr mimâya salilâni takshaty ekapadî dvipadî sâ
ćatushpadî--ashṭâpadî navapadî babhûvushî sahasrâksharâ parame vyoman;
_Ṛigv._ i. 164, 41.

[38] Utâdaḥ parushe gavi sûraç ćakraṁ hiraṇyayam; _Ṛigv._ vi. 56, 3.

[39] Dâsapatnîr ahigopâ atishṭhan niruddhâ âpah paṇineva gâvaḥ;
_Ṛigv._ i. 32, 11.

[40] Vishaṁ gavâṁ yâtudhânaḥ pibantu; _Ṛigv._ x. 87, 18. The same
passage can, however, be also translated: "The demons of the cows may
drink the poison."

[41] _Ṛigv._ iii. 12, 6; x. 27, 22.

[42] _Ṛigv._ ix. 70, 1.

[43] viii. 6, 19. Cfr. the chapters on the Horse and the Cuckoo.

[44] Vi raçmibhiḥ sasṛiǵe sûryo gâḥ; _Ṛigv._ vii. 36, 1.

[45] Ta vâm (the gods Vishṇus and Indras) vâstûny uçmasi gama-dhyâi
yatra gâvo bhûriçṛiñgâ ayâsaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 154, 6. Here all the stars
or cows together form _many horns_; but perhaps each star or cow in
itself was supposed to have but _one horn_; for the stars, like the
moon, shed but one ray of light, but one light. This, it appears to
me, may be inferred from the name of _Ekaçṛiñgâs_ or _unicorns_,
given, in the later mythology of the Indians, to an entire order of
Mani, of whom the stars are represented as the supreme habitations,
and even purest forms.

[46] Kanyâ vâr avâyatî somam api srutâvidat astam bharanty abravîd
indrâya sunavâi tvâ çakrâya sunavâi tvâ.--Indrâyendo pari srava;
_Ṛigv._ viii. 80, 1, 3.

[47] Indrâsomâ tapataṁ raksha ubǵataṁ ny arpayataṁ vṛishaṇâ
tamovṛidhaḥ; _Ṛigv._ vii, 104, 1.--The following stanzas reproduce and
develop the same argument.

[48] Pańćokshaṇo madhye tasthur maho divaḥ--Te sedhanti patho vṛikaṁ
tarantaṁ yahvatîr apaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 105, 10, 11.

[49] Vasavo gâuryaṁ ćit padi shitâm amuńćatâ yaǵtrâh; _Ṛigv._ iv. 12, 6.

[50] Takshan dhenuṁ sabardugham; _Ṛigv._ i. 20, 3.--Niç ćarmaṇo gâm
ariṇîta dhîtibhiḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 161, 7, e, iv. 36, 4.

[51] This interesting particular is more fully developed in the
chapters which treat of the Wolf, the Pig and the Wild Boar, _q.
v._--To avoid useless and troublesome repetitions, I must observe here
that the myths of morning and evening are often applied to spring and
autumn, and the myths of night to winter.

[52] Rayim ṛibhavaḥ sarvavîram â takshata vṛishaṇo mandasânâḥ; _Ṛigv._
iv. 35, 6.

[53] Rayim ṛibhavas takshatâ vayaḥ; _Ṛigv._ iv. 36, 8.--Here again we
have the cow in relation to the birds, since the riches given by the
Ṛibhavas consist above all in cows. (Ye gomantaṁ vâǵavantaṁ suvîraṁ
rayiṁ dhattha vasumantam purukshuṁ te agrepâ ṛibhavo mandasânâ asme
dhatta ye ća râṭiṁ gṛiṇanti; _Ṛigv._ iv. 34, 10.)

[54] Çayave ćin nâsâtyâ çaćibhir ǵasuraye staryam pipyathur gâm;
_Ṛigv._ i. 116. 22.--Yâ ǵarantâ yuvaçâ tâkṛiṇotana; _Ṛigv._ i. 161, 7.

[55] Ǵyeshṭha âha ćamasâ dvâ kareti kanîyân trîn kriṇavâmety âha
kanishṭha âha ćaturas kareti tvashṭa ṛibhavas tat panayad vaćo vaḥ;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 33, 5.

[56] Vâǵo devânâm abhavat sukarmendrasya ṛibhukshâ varuṇasya vibhvâ;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 33, 9.

[57] Te vâǵo vibhvân ṛibhur indravantaḥ; _Ṛigv._ iv. 33, 3.

[58] Ṛibhur vibhvâ vâǵa indro no aćhemaṁ yaǵńaṁ ratnadheyopa yâta;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 34, 1.--Pibata vâǵâ ṛibhavo; _Ṛigv._ iv. 34, 4.

[59] Dvâdaça dyûn yad agohyasyâtithye raṇann ṛibhavaḥ sasantaḥ
sukshetrâkṛiṇvann anayanta sindhûn dhanvâtishṭhann oshadhîr nimnam
âpaḥ; _Ṛigv._ iv. 33, 7.--Cfr. _Ṛigv._ i. 161, 11-13.

[60] Yamena dattaṁ trita enam âyunag indra eṇam prathamo adhy
atishṭhat; _Ṛigv._ i. 163, 2.--Asi yamo asy âdityo arvann asi trito
guhyena vratena asi somena samayâ vipṛikta âhus te trîṇi divi
bandhanâni trîṇi ta âhur divi bandhanâni trîṇy apsu trîṇy antaḥ
samudre; _Ṛigv._ i. 163, 3, 4.

[61] Vishṇus the three-faced is already spoken of in the _Ṛigvedas_
and in the _Yaǵurvedas_. The third step of Vishṇus is taken among the
cows with the great or many horns: Gamadhye gâvo yatra bhûri-çṛiñgâ
ayâsaḥ atrâ 'ha tad urugâyasya vishṇoḥ paramam padam ava bhâti bhûreḥ;
_Tâittiriya Yaǵurv._ i. 3, 6.

[62] _Ṛigv._ i. 187, 1, the passage already cited, when speaking of
the water of strength.

[63] Na mâ garan nadyo mâtṛitamâ dâsâ yad îm susamubdham avâdhuḥ çiro
yaḍ asya trâitano vitakshat; _Ṛigv._ i. 158, 5. We shall have occasion
to return more than once to an analogous myth referring to Indras.

[64] Tritas tad vedâptyaḥ sa ǵâmitvâya rebhati; _Ṛigv._ i. 105,
9.--_Gâmitvâ_ is properly the relation of brotherhood, and also
relationship in general. _Rebhas_, or the invoker, represented as a
hero, is no other than our _Trita âptyas_.

[65] Rebham nivṛitaṁ sitam adbhyaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 112, 5.

[66] Tritaḥ kûpe 'vahito devân havata ûtaye tać ćhuçrâva bṛihaspatiḥ
kṛiṇvann aṅhûraṇâd uru; _Ṛigv._ i. 105, 17.

[67] _Nîtimańǵarî_, quoted by Wilson, _Ṛigvedas-Saṁhitâ_, vol. i.

[68] Â gâ âǵad uçanâ kâvyaḥ saćâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 83, 5.

[69] Patir gavâm abhavad eka indraḥ; _Ṛigv._ iii. 31, 4.

[70] Ǵaǵâna sûryam ushâsam; _Ṛigv._ iii. 32, 8.

[71] Sasânâtyâṅ uta sûryaṁ sasânendraḥ sasâna purubhoǵasam gâm;
_Ṛigv._ iii. 34, 9.

[72] Mahi ǵyotir nihitaṁ vakshaṇâsu âmâ pakvaṁ ćarati bibhratî gâuḥ
viçvaṁ svâdma sambhṛitam usriyâyâm; _Ṛigv._ iii. 30, 14.

[73] Indraḥ sîtâm ni gṛihṇâtu tâm pûshânu yaćhatu sâ naḥ payasvatî
duhâm uttarâm-uttarâṁ samâm; _Ṛigv._ iv. 57, 7.

[74] Mṛidha ushṭro na; _Ṛigv._ i. 138, 2.

[75] Yat saṁvatsam ṛibhavo gâm arakshan yat saṁvatsam ṛibhavo mâ
apiṅçan; _Ṛigv._ iv. 33, 4.

[76] Ushâ nâ râmîr aruṇâir aporṇute maho ǵyotishâ çućatâ goarṇasâ;
_Ṛigv._ ii. 34, 12.

[77] Dhenuḥ pratnasya kâmyaṁ duhânântaḥ putraç ćarati dakshiṇâyâḥâ
dyotaniṁ vahati çubhrayâmoshasaḥ stomo açvinâv aǵigaḥ; _Ṛigv._ iii.
58, 1.

[78] Ṛitâya dhenû parame duhâte; _Ṛigv._ iv. 23, 10.

[79] Gavâm mâtâ; _Ṛigv._ v. 45, 2.

[80] Areṇâvas tuǵa â sadman dhenavaḥ svaranti tâ uparatâti sûryam;
_Ṛigv._ i. 151, 5.

[81] Ud apaptann aruṇâ bhânavo vṛithâ svâyuǵo arushîr gâ ayukshata;
_Ṛigv._ i. 92, 2

[82] Yenâ navagve añgire daçagve saptâsye revatî revad ûsha; _Ṛigv._
iv. 51, 4.--The sun is also said to be drawn by seven fair horses;
_Ṛigv._ i. 50, 9.--Cfr. the following chapter.

[83] Ta usho adrisâno gotrâ gavâm añgiraso gṛiṇanti; _Ṛigv._ vi. 65, 5.

[84] Ṛiteṇâdriṁ vy asan bhidantaḥ sam añgiraso navanta gobhiḥ çûnaṁ
naraḥ pari shadann ushâsam; _Ṛigv._ iv. 3, 11.

[85] Praty u adarçy âyaty ućhantî duhitâ divaḥ--Ud usriyâḥ sṛiǵate
sûryaḥ saćâ; _Ṛigv._ vii. 81, 1, 2.

[86] Vahanti sîm aruṇâso ruçanto gâvaḥ subhagâm urviyâ prathânâm
apeǵate çûro asteva çatrûn bâdhate; _Ṛigv._ vi. 64, 3.

[87] Ruǵad dṛiḷhâni dadad usriyâṇâm prati gâva ushasaṁ vâvaçanta;
_Ṛigv._ vii. 75, 7.

[88] Gâvo na vraǵaṁ vy ushâ avar tamaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 92, 4.

[89] Yo açvânâṁ yo gavâṁ gopatiḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 101, 4.

[90] Yuñkte gavâm aruṇânâm anîkam; _Ṛigv._ i. 124, 11.--Esha gobhir
aruṇebhir yuǵânâ; _Ṛigv._ v. 80, 3.

[91] Avishk Kṛinvânâ tanvam purastat ṛitasya panthâm anv eti; _Ṛigv._
v. 80, 4.

[92] Apaçyam gopâm anipadyamânam â ća parâ ća pathibhiç ćarantaṁ sa
sadhrîćîḥ sa vishûćir vasâna â varîvarti bhuvaneshv antaḥ; _Ṛigv._ x.
177, 3.

[93] Apâd eti prathamâ padvatînâṁ kas tad vâm ćiketa; _Ṛigv._ i. 152, 3.

[94] Ratham ye ćakruḥ suvṛitam; _Ṛigv._ iv. 33, 8.--Takshan
nâsatyâbhyâm pariǵmânaṁ sukhaṁ ratham; _Ṛigv._ i. 20, 3.

[95] Yuvo rathaṁ duhitâ sûryasya saha çriyâ nâsatyâvṛiṇîta; _Ṛigv._ i.
117, 13.--Â vâm rathaṁ duhitâ sûryasya kârshmevâtishṭhad arvatâ
ǵayantî viçve devâ anv amanyanta hṛidbhih; _Ṛigv._ i. 116, 17.

[96] Yuktvâ ratham upa devân ayâtana; _Ṛigv._ i. 161, 7.--Pṛithû ratho
dakshinâyâ ayogy âenam devâso amṛitâso asthuḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 123,
1.--Devî ǵirâ rathânâm; _Ṛigv._ i. 48, 3.--Çataṁ rathebhiḥ subhagoshâ
iyaṁ vi yâty abhi mânushân; _Ṛigv._ i. 48, 7.

[97] Ǵânaty ahnaḥ prathamasya; _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 9.

[98] Anu dvâ ǵahitâ nayo 'ndhaṁ çroṇaṁ ća vṛitrahan; _Ṛigv._ iv. 30, 19.

[99] Sakhâbhûd açvinor ushâḥ; _Ṛigv._ iv. 52, 2.--Parâvṛiǵam prandhaṁ
çroṇaṁ ćakshasa etave kṛithaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 112, 8.--I here explicitly
abandon the hypothesis I advanced six years ago in the "Life and
Miracles of the God Indras in the Ṛigvedas," pp. 22 and 24, to the
effect that the hero Pâravṛiǵ is the lightning flashing from the dark
cloud; whereas the blind-lame seems now to me the sun in the darkness
of night or winter.

[100] Sa vidvâṅ apagohaṁ kanînâm âvir bhavann udatishṭhat parâvṛik
prati çronaḥ sthâd vy anag aćashṭa; _Ṛigv._ ii. 15, 7.

[101] _Ṛigv._ v. 48, 1.

[102] Etad ghed uta vîryam indra ćakartha pâuṅsyam striyaṁ yad durhaṇâ
yuvaṁ vadhîr duhitaram divaḥ divaç ćid ghâ duhitaram mahân mahîyamânâm
ushâsam indra sam piṇak aposhâ anasaḥ sarat sampishṭâd aha bibhyushî
ni yat sîm çiçnathad vṛishâ; _Ṛigv._ iv. 30, 8-11.

[103] The two arms of Indras are said to vanquish the cow (or the
cows); Goǵitâ bahû; _Ṛigv._ i. 102, 6.

[104] Vy ućhâ duhitar divo mâ ćiraṁ tanuthâ apaḥ net tvâ stenaṁ yathâ
ripuṁ tapâti sûro arćishâ; _Ṛigv._ v. 79, 9.--Cfr. the chapter which
treats of the Spider.

[105] Bhadro bhadrayâ saćamâna âgât svasâraṁ ǵâro abhy eti paçćat;
_Ṛigv._ x. 3, 3.

[106] Cfr. _Ṛigv._ x. 17, and Max Müller's "Lectures on the Science of
Language," second series, 481-486.

[107] Kanyeva tanvâ çâçadânâṅ (arepasâ tanvâ çâçadânâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 124,
6), eshi devi devam iyakshamâṇam saṁsmayamânâ yuvatiḥ purastâd âvir
vakshâṅsi kṛiṇushe vibhâtî; _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 10.

[108] _Ṛigv._ i. 30, 20-22.

[109] Vy û vraǵasya tamaso dvâroćhantîr avran ćhućayaḥ pâvakâḥ;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 51, 2.--Apa dvesho bâdhamânâ tamâṅsy ushâ divo duhitâ
ǵyotishâgât; _Ṛigv._ v. 80, 5.--Spârhâ vasûni tamasâpagûḷhâ âvish,
kṛiṇvanty ushaso vibhâtîḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 6.--Sasato bodhayantî;
_Ṛigv._ i. 124, 4.--Viçvaṁ ǵivaṁ ćarase bodhayantî; _Ṛigv._ i. 92,
9.--Martyatrâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 3.

[110] Viçvâni devî bhuvanâbhićakshyâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 92, 6.--Praǵânatî;
_Ṛigv._ i. 124, 3.

[111] Arbhâd îshate na maho vibhâtî; _Ṛigv._ i. 124, 6.

[112] As to Ghoshâ, cured by the Açvinâu (_Ṛigv._ i. 117, 7), and
Apalâ, cured by Indras (_Ṛigv._ viii. 80), see the same subject
discussed more in detail in the chapter which treats of the Hog.

[113] Çukrâ kṛishṇâd aǵanishṭa çvitîćî; _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 9.

[114] Yasyânakshâ duhitâ ǵâtvâsa kas tâṁ vidvâṅ abhi manyâte andhâm
kataro menim prati tam mućâte ya îm vahâte ya îm vâ vareyât; _Ṛigv._
x. 27, 11.--Vṛitrasya kanînikâ 'si ćakshushpâ asi; _Tâittir. Yagurv._
i. 2, 1.

[115] Apânyad ety abhy anyad eti vishurûpe ahanî saṁ ćarete; _Ṛigv._
i. 123, 7.

[116] Ruçadvatsâ ruçatî çvetyâgâd ârâig u kṛishṇâ sadanâny asyâḥ
samânabandhû amṛite anûćî dyâvâ varṇaṁ ćarata âminâne samâno adhvâ
svasror anantas tam anyânyâ ćarato devaçishṭe na methete na tasthatuḥ
sumeke naktoshâsa samanasâ virûpe; _Ṛigv._ i. 113, 2, 3.

[117] Naktoshâsâ varṇam âmemyâne dhâpayete çiçum ekaṁ samîćî; _Ṛigv._
i. 96, 5.

[118] Nâǵâmiṁ na pari vṛiṇakti ǵâmim; _Ṛigv._ i. 124, 6.

[119] Vyûrṇvatî divo antân abodhy apa svasâraṁ sanutar yuyoti
praminatî manushyâ yugâni yoshâ ǵarasya ćakshasâ vi bhâti; _Ṛigv._ i.
92, 11.

[120] Svasâ svasre ǵyâyasyâi yonim ârâik; _Ṛigv._ i. 124, 8.

[121] Nârîr apasaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 92, 3.

[122] Çućayaḥ pâvakâh; _Ṛigv._ iv. 51, 2.

[123] Yoshâ ǵârasya ćakshasâ vibhâti; _Ṛigv._ quoted above, i. 92, 11.

[124] Yatamânâ raçmibhiḥ sûryasya; _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 12.--Vyućhantî
raçmibhiḥ sûryasya; _Ṛigv._ i. 124, 8.

[125] Ritasya yoshâ na minâti dhâma; _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 9.

[126] Susaṁkâçâ mâtṛimṛishṭeva yoshâvis tanvaṁ kriṇushe dṛiçe kam;
_Ṛigv._ i. 123, 11.

[127] Eshâ çubhrâ na tanvo vidânordhveva snâtî dṛiçaye no asthât;
_Ṛigv._ v. 80, 5.

[128] Adhi peçâṅsi vapate nṛitûr ivâporṇute vaksha usreva barǵaham;
_Ṛigv._ i. 92, 4.

[129] Bhadrâ vastrâ tanvate; _Ṛigv._ i. 134, 4.

[130] Smayate vibhâtî supratîkâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 92, 6.

[131] Prâkramisham ushasâm agriyeva; _Ṛigv._ x. 95, 2.




    The princes called bulls.--The bull the symbol of the god
    Çivas.--The cow was not to be killed.--Exchange of the bull and the
    cow for other animals; the bull and the cow, considered as the
    greatest reward desired by the legislating priests of India.--The
    cow's hide in nuptial usages a symbol of abundance; its elasticity
    and power of extension; the cow and its hide during the pregnancy of
    women an augury of happy birth, and in funeral ceremonies an augury
    of resurrection.--Cows sent to pasture with auguries.--Cows seen by
    night in a dream are a sinister omen; meaning of this Hindoo
    superstition.--The black cow which produces white milk in the Vedic
    hymns.--The reins of the cow or black goat sacrificed in funerals
    given as a viaticum or provision to the dead man, that they may
    contribute to his resurrection.--The variegated cow comes again in a
    brâhmaṇam, and is interpreted as a cloud.--The coming out of the
    cow-dawns feasted.--The cornucopia.--The milk of the cows is the
    serpent's poison.--The salutary herb.--The enchanted gem, the ring
    of recognition.--The moon, as a female, a good fairy who works for
    the aurora, and who entertains and guides the hero.--The moon, as a
    male, a white bull.--The city of the moon.--Indras consoles and
    nourishes the unhappy Sîtâ.--Râmas assimilated to Indras.--The
    coadjutors of Râmas are those of Indras.--The bull Râmas.--The names
    of the monsters and the names of the heroes in the
    Râmâyaṇam.--Râmas, the Hindoo Xerxes, chastises the sea.--The
    celestial ocean; the cloud-mountains carried by the heroes; the
    bridge across the sea made of these mountains; while the bridge is
    being made, it rains.--The battle of Râmas is a winter and a
    nocturnal one, in a cloudy sky.--The monster barrel again; the
    monster trunk with a cavity; Kabandhas.--The dying monster thanks
    the hero, who delivers him from an ancient malediction, and becomes
    again a handsome luminous youth.--The dawn Sîtâ sacrificed in the
    fire.--Sîtâ daughter of the sun.--The Buddhist legend of Râmas and
    Sîtâ.--Sîtâ predestined as the reward of valour.--An indiscretion of
    the husband Râmas causes him to lose his wife Sîtâ.--The story of
    Urvaçî again, the first of the auroras; the wife flees because her
    husband has revealed her secret, because her husband has looked at
    another woman, because he has let himself be seen naked; the
    fugitive wife hides herself in a plant.--The wife stays with her
    husband as long as he says nothing displeasing to her.--The wife
    kills her sons; the husband complains and the wife flees.--The
    contrary.--The story of Çunaḥçepas again.--The god Varuṇas, who
    binds; the son sacrificed to the monster against his will by his
    father.--The hero-hunter.--The middle son sold, the son of the
    cow.--The cow herself, Aditi, or Çabalâ, or Kâmadhuk, wife of
    Vasishṭas, sacrificed instead of the son of Viçvâmitras.--Indras
    delivers the bound hero, _i.e._, he delivers himself. The aurora, or
    the daughter of the black one, liberates Çunaḥçepas, bound by the
    black one, that is, she delivers the sun her husband.--The fetters
    of Varuṇas and of Aǵigartas are equivalent to the bridle of the
    horse and to the collar of the dog sold to the demon in European
    fairy tales.--The golden palace of Varuṇas on the western
    mountain.--Monstrous fathers.--Identification of Hariçćandras,
    Aǵigartas, and Viçvâmitras.--The contention of Viçvâmitras and
    Vasishṭas for the possession of the cow Çabalâ.--Demoniacal
    character of Viçvâmitras.--The sister of the monster-lover or
    seducer of the hero.--The cloud drum.--The cloudy monster Dundubhis,
    in the form of a buffalo with sharpened horns, destroyed by the son
    of Indras.--The buffalo a monster, the bull a hero.--Kṛishṇas the
    monster becomes a god.--The god Indras fallen for having killed a
    brâhman monster.--The three heads of the monster cut off at a
    blow.--The three brothers in the palace of Lañkâ; the eldest brother
    has the royal dignity; the second, the strong one, sleeps, and only
    wakens to eat and prove his strength; the third is good and is
    victorious.--The three brothers Pâṇdavas, sons of Yamas, Vâyus and
    Indras in the Mahâbhâratam; the first is wise, the second is strong,
    the third is handsome and victorious; he is the best.--Again the
    three working brothers entertained by a king.--The three disciples
    of Dhâumyas.--The blind one who falls into the well.--The voyage of
    Utañkas to hell.--He meets a bull.--The excrement of the bull,
    ambrosia.--The stone uplifted with the help of the lever, of the
    thunderbolt of Indras.--The earrings of the queen carried off; their
    mythical meaning.--Indras and Kṛishṇas also search for the
    earrings.--The three Buddhist brothers.--The eldest brother frees
    the younger ones by his knowledge in questions and riddles.--The
    hero and the monster ill or vulnerable in their feet.--The two rival
    sisters.--The good sister thrown into the well by the wicked
    one.--The prince comes to deliver her.--The wicked sister takes the
    place of the good one.--The three brothers again.--The sons make
    their father and mother recognise each other.--The third brother,
    Pûrus, the only good one, assists his aged father Yayâtis, by taking
    his old age upon himself.--The old blind man, Dîrghatamas, thrown
    into the water by his sons.--Yayâtis and Dîrghatamas, Hindoo King
    Lears.--The queen Sudeshnâ makes her maid or foster-sister take her
    place; a Hindoo form of Queen Berta.--The blind and the crooked or
    lame, or hunchbacked, again with the three-breasted princess.--They
    cure each other.--The bride disputed by the brothers.--The aurora
    and the sun flee from each other.--The beautiful girl, the daughter
    of the sun, flees after having seen the prince upon the
    mountain.--The prince cannot overtake her; the third time, at last,
    the prince marries the daughter of the sun.--The marvellous cow of
    Vasishṭhas.--The hero Vasishṭhas wishes to kill himself, but cannot;
    he is immortal; he throws himself down from the mountain and does
    not hurt himself; he goes through fire and is not burnt; he throws
    himself into the water and does not drown; mythical signification of
    these prodigies.--The wind runs after women.--Conclusion of the
    study of the myth and of the legends which refer to the bull and the
    cow of India.

Just as the importance of the cattle to primitive and pastoral Aryan
life explains the propensity of the Aryan mind to conceive of the
mobile phenomena of the heavens, at first considered living beings, as
bulls and cows, so the consecration of these animals, associated and
identified with the celestial phenomena and the gods, naturally gave
rise to the superstitious worship of the bull and the cow, common to
all the Aryan nations, but particularly, through the intervention of
the brâhmanic priests, to the Hindoos.

It is a remarkable fact that the words _vṛishas_, _vṛishabhas_, and
_ṛishabhas_, which mean the bull as the one who pours out, the
_fœœcundator_, is often used in Sanscrit to denote the best, the
first, the prince; and hence the bull, that is to say, the best
_fœœcundator_, is in India the most sacred symbol of royalty. For this
reason the phallic and destroying god, the royal _Çivas_, who inhabits
_Gokarṇas_ (a word which properly means cow's ear), has both for his
steed and his emblem a brâhmanic bull, _i.e._, a bull with a hunch on
its back; the _nandin_, or joyful attribute, being given to Çivas
himself, inasmuch as, being the _Deus phallicus_, he is the god of
joyfulness and beatitude.[132]

Still more honour is paid to the cow (like the Vedic dawn _anavadyâ_,
innocent or inculpable[133]), which therefore it was a crime to
kill.[134] An interesting chapter of the _Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_,[135] on
the sacrifice of animals, shows us how, next to man, the horse was the
supreme sacrifice offered to the gods; how the cow afterwards took the
place of the horse; the sheep, of the cow; the goat, of the sheep;
and, at last, vegetable products were substituted for animals;--a
substitution or cheating of the gods in the sacrifice, which, perhaps,
serves to explain even more the fraud of which, in popular stories,
the simpleton is always the victim; the simpleton here being the god
himself, and the cheater man, who changes, under a sacred pretext, the
noblest and most valued animals for common and less valuable ones, and
finally for vegetables apparently of no value whatever. In the Hindoo
codes of law we have the same fraudulent substitution of animals under
a legal pretext. "The killer of a cow," says the code attributed to
_Yâǵńavalkyas_,[136] "must stay a month in penitence, drinking the
_pańćagavyam_ (_i.e._, the five good productions of the cow, which,
according to Manus,[137] are milk, curds, butter, urine, and dung),
sleeping in a stable and following the cows; and he must purify
himself by the gift of another cow." Thus, according to
_Yâǵńavalkya_,[138] the killer of a parrot is purified by giving a
two-year-old calf; the killer of a crane by giving a calf three years
old; the killer of an ass, a goat, or a sheep, by the gift of a bull;
the killer of an elephant by the gift of five black bulls
(_nîlavṛishâp_). And one need not be astonished to find these
contracts (which remind one of that between Jacob and Laban) in the
Hindoo codes of law, when, in the Vedic hymns themselves, a poet
offers to sell to whoever will buy it, an Indras of his, that is to
say, a bull, for ten cows.[139] Another interesting verse of
_Yâǵńavalkyas_[140] tells us they die pure who are killed by lightning
or in battle for the sake of the cows or the brâhmans. The cow was
often the object heroes fought for in heaven; the Brâhman wished to be
the object heroes should fight for upon earth.

We learn from the domestic ceremonies referred to by _Gṛihyasûtrâni_
with how much respect the bull and the cow were treated as the symbols
of abundance in a family. In _Âçvalâyanas_,[141] we find the bull's
hide stretched out near the nuptial hearth, the wife seated upon it,
and the husband, touching his wife, saying, "May the lord of all
creatures allow us to have children;"--words taken from the Vedic
nuptial hymn.[142] We have seen above how the Ṛibhavas, from the hide
of a dead cow, formed a new and beautiful one, or, in other words,
how, from the dusk of evening, by stretching it in the night, they
formed the dawn of morning. This cow's hide plays also an important
_rôle_ in the popular faith; an extraordinary elasticity is attributed
to it, a power of endless expansibility, and for this reason it is
adopted as a symbol of fecundity, upon which the wife must place
herself in order to become a mother of children. The cow's hide
(_goćarman_), in the _Mahâbhâratam_,[143] is the garment of the god
Vishṇus; and the goćarman divided into thongs, and afterwards fastened
to each other, served formerly in India to measure the circumference
of a piece of ground;[144] hence the cow's hide suggested the idea of
a species of infinity. Further on we shall find it put to
extraordinary uses in western legend; we find it even in the hymns of
the Vedic age used to cover the body of a dead man, the fire being
invoked not to consume it, almost as if the cow's hide had the virtue
of resuscitating the dead.[145]

The cow, being the symbol of fruitfulness, was also the companion of
the wife during pregnancy. _Âçvalâyaṇas_[146] tells us how, in the
third month, the husband was to give his wife to drink of the sour
milk of a cow that has a calf like itself, and in it two beans and a
grain of barley; the husband was then to ask his wife three times,
"What drinkest thou?" and she was to answer three times: "The
generation of males." In the fourth month, the wife, according to
_Âçvalâyaṇas_, was to put herself again upon the bull's hide, near the
fire of sacrifice, when they again invoked the god _Praǵâpatis_, lord
of all creatures, or of procreation; the moon, like a celestial bull
and cow, was invited to be present at the generation of men;[147] and
a bull, during the Vedic period, was the gift which sufficed for the
priest. In the Vedic antiquity, neither bulls nor cows were allowed to
go to pasture without some special augury, which, in the domestic
ceremonials of _Âçvalâyaṇas_,[148] has been also handed down to us;
the cows were to give milk and honey, for the strength and increase of
whoever possessed them. Here we have again the cows not only as the
beneficent, but as the strong ones, they who help the hero or the
heroine who takes them to pasture.

But although beautiful cows, when seen by day, are a sign of good
luck, seen in dreams they are of evil omen; for in that case they are
of course the black cows, the shadows of night, or the gloomy waters
of the nocturnal ocean. Already in the _Ṛigvedas_, the dawn, or the
luminous cow, comes to deliver the fore-mentioned solar hero, Tritas
Aptyas, from the evil sleep which he sleeps amidst the cows[149] of
night. _Âçvalâyaṇas_, in his turn, recommends us when we have an evil
dream, to invoke the sun, to hasten the approach of the morning, or,
better still, to recite the hymn of five verses to the dawn which we
have already referred to, and which begins with the words, "And like
an evil dream amidst the cows." Here the belief is not yet an entirely
superstitious one; and we understand what is meant by the cows who
envelop us in the sleep of night, when we are told to invoke the sun
and the dawn to come and deliver us from them.

A cow (probably a black one), often a black goat, was sometimes also
sacrificed in the funeral ceremonies of the Hindoos, as if to augur
that, just as the black cow, night, produces the milky humours of the
aurora, or is fruitful, so will he who has passed through the kingdom
of darkness rise again in the world of light. We have already seen the
black night as the mother of the white and luminous aurora; I quote
below yet another Vedic sentence, in which a poet ingenuously wonders
why the cows of Indras, the black ones as well as the light-coloured
(the black clouds, as well as the white and red ones), should both
yield white milk.[150] And even the gloomy nocturnal kingdom of Yamas,
the god of the dead, has its cows of black appearance, which are
nevertheless milk-yielding; and thus the black cow of the funeral
sacrifices comes to forebode resurrection.

In the same way the viaticum, or provision of food for his journey,
given to the dead man is a symbol of his resurrection. The journey
being considered as a short one, the provision of food which is to
sustain the traveller to the kingdom of the dead is limited, and each
dead hero carries it with him, generally not so much for himself, as
to ensure a passage into the kingdom of the dead. For this reason we
read, even in the domestic ceremonials of _Âçvalâyaṇas_, that it is
recommended to put into the hands of the dead man,[151] what is the
greatest symbol of strength, the reins of the animal killed in the
funeral sacrifice (or, in default of an animal victim, at least two
cakes of rice or of flour), in order that the dead man may throw them
down the throats of the two Cerberi, the two sons of the bitch
_Saramâ_, so that they may let the deceased enter scatheless into the
death-kingdom, the mysterious kingdom of Yamas; and here we find the
monster of the popular tales, into whose house the hero, having passed
through many dangers, enters, by the advice of a good fairy or of a
good old man, giving something to appease the hunger of the two dogs
who guard its gate.

They who return from the funeral must touch the stone of Priapus, a
fire, the excrement of a cow,[152] a grain of barley, a grain of
sesame and water,--all symbols of that fecundity which the contact
with a corpse might have destroyed.

The Vedic hymns have shown us the principal mythical aspects and
functions of the cow and the bull; we have also seen how the brâhmanic
codes confirmed, by the sanction of law, the worship of these animals,
and how jealously the domestic tradition of the Hindoos has guarded
it. Let us now see from the _Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_, how the Brâhmans
themselves, those of the era immediately following that of the Vedâs,
interpreted the myth of the cow.

We have recognised in the Vedic heavens, as reflected in the hymns of
the _Ṛigvedas_, three cows--the cow-cloud, the cow-moon, and the
cow-aurora. These three cows, and especially the first and the third,
are also quite distinct from one another in the _Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_.

It tells us how the _gâuh pṛiçnih_, the variegated cow, or spotted
cow, of the _Ṛigvedas_, must be celebrated to make the earth
fruitful[153] (or that one must sing to the cloud that it may
fertilise the pastures and fields with rain), and how one must
sacrifice a bull to _Viçvakarman_ (or the one that does all), who is
transformed into the god Indras when killing the demon Vṛitras,[154]
or the monster who keeps the rain in the cloud.

It shows us the full moon, _Râkâ_, joined to the aurora, as a source of
abundance,[155] and the aurora with the cow.[156] It tells us explicitly
that the characteristic form of the aurora is the red cow, because she
moves with the red cows.[157] The gods, after having discovered the cows
in the cavern, open the cavern with the third libation of the
morning;[158] when the cows come out, the gods, the _Âdityâs_, also come
out; hence the coming forth of the gods (_Âdityânâm ayanam_) is
equivalent to the coming forth of the cows (_gavâm ayanam_). The cows
come out when they have their horns, and adorn themselves.[159]

The aurora is a cow; this cow has horns; her horns are radiant and
golden. When the cow aurora comes forth, all that falls from her horns
brings good luck; hence in the _Mahâbhâratam_,[160] the benefits
received from a holy hermit, called Matañgas, are compared to those of
a _gavâm ayanam_, _i.e._, a coming out of cows. To understand this
simile, besides a reference to the Vedic texts, it is necessary to
compare it with the modern usages of India, in which, in celebration
of the new solar year, or the birth of the pastoral god Kṛishṇas (the
god who is black during the night, but who becomes luminous in the
morning among the cows of the dawning, or among the female cowherds),
it is customary, towards the end of December, to give cows to the
Brâhmans, exchange presents of cows and calves, besprinkle one another
with milk, to adorn a beautiful milch cow, crown her with flowers,
gild her horns, or paint them various colours, to deck her to
overloading with flowers, fruit, and little cakes, and then hunt her
from the village to the sound of drums and trumpets, in order that,
full of terror, she may flee away with distraction and impetuosity.
The cow loses her ornaments in her flight, and these, being estimated
as propitious treasures, are eagerly picked up by the faithful, and
preserved as sacred relics.[161]

In the _Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_,[162] the sun is born of the cows
(_goǵâ_), is the son of the cow aurora; as the sun's mother she
naturally nourishes him with her milk; hence the same _Âitareya_[163]
tells us that the gods Mitras and Varuṇas, by means of the curdled
milk, took from the drink of the gods the inebriating poison which the
long-tongued witch (_Dîrghaǵihvî_) had poured into it. This curdled
milk is the same milky sea, with health-giving herbs scattered in it,
and which the gods agitate to form ambrosia, in the _Râmâyaṇam_, the
_Mahâbhâratam_, and the Puranic legends; a sea and herbs which we find
already spoken of together in a Vedic hymn.[164] But in the sky, where
the ambrosial milk and the health-giving herbs are produced, there are
gods and demons; and the milk, which is at one time the rain, at
another ambrosia, is now in the cloud, now in the moon (called also
_Oshadhipatis_, or lord of herbs), now round the dawn. Hanumant, who,
in the _Râmâyaṇam_, goes in quest of the health-giving grass to
restore their souls to the half-dead heroes, looks for it now between
the mountain bull (_ṛishabhas_) and the heavenly mountain _Kâilasas_,
now between the Mount Lunus (_Çandras_) and the mountain cup
(_Droṇas_); and the mountain which possesses the herb for which
Hanumant is searching is itself called herb (_oshadhis_), or the one
that causes to rejoice with perfumes (_Gandhamâdanas_[165]), which two
words are used synonymously. Here the milky, ambrosial, and healthful
humour is supposed to be produced, not by a cow, but by an herb. And
the gods and demons contend in heaven for the possession of this herb,
as well as for the ambrosia; the only difference being that the gods
enjoy both one and the other without corrupting them, whilst the
demons poison them as they drink them; that is to say, they spread
darkness over the light, they move about in the darkness, in the
gloomy waters, in the black humour which comes out of the herb itself,
which, in contact with them, becomes poisonous, so that they in turn
suck the poison. On the other hand, the _Gandharvâs_,[166] an
amphibious race, in whom at one time the nature of the gods
predominates, at another that of the demons, and who consequently take
now the side of the gods, now that of the demons, are simply guards
who, as against theft, keep watch and ward over the perfumes and
healthful herbs, which are their own property, and the healthful or
ambrosial waters, the ambrosia which belongs to their wives, the
nymphs; they are, in a word, the earliest representatives of the
enjoying and jealous proprietor. We have already heard, in the
_Ṛigvedas_, the demoniacal monsters call on each other to suck the
poison of the celestial cows; and we have seen that the
_Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_ accuses a witch of being the poisoner of the
divine ambrosia; we have, moreover, noticed that a Vedic hymn already
associates together the ambrosial milk and the healthful herb, and
that, in the brâhmanic cosmogony, the milk and the herb which produces
it are manifested together, which herb or grass is beneficent or the
reverse according as the gods or the demons enjoy it; from all which
it will be easy to understand this interesting Hindoo proverb, "The
grass gives the milk to the cows, and the milk gives the poison to the
serpents."[167] It is indeed the milk of the cow of the dawn and of
the cow of the moon which destroys the serpents of darkness, the
demoniacal shadows of night.

But the idea of the healthful herb is incorporated in another image,
very familiar to the popular Indo-European legends, and which is
contained even in the Vedic hymns. The cow produces the sun and the
moon; the circular shape, the disc of sun and moon, suggests variously
the idea of a ring, a gem, and a pearl; and the sun, _Savitar_, he who
gives the juice, and the generator, is introduced in a Vedic hymn, as
the one who has immortal juice, who gives the pearl.[168] The humours of
the cow have passed to the herb, and from the herb to the pearl; and the
naturalness of this figure recommends itself to our modern conception,
for when we would describe a diamond or other gem as of the purest
quality, we say it is a diamond or gem of the first water. Even the
pearl-moon and the pearl-sun, from their ambrosial humours, have a fine
water. In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[169] at the moment of production of ambrosia
from the stirring up of the milky sea, we see, near the healthful herb,
the gem _Kâustubhas_, the same which we afterwards find on the
breast of the sun-god Vishṇus, and which is sometimes his navel;
whence Vishṇus, in the _Mahâbhâratam_,[170] is saluted by the name of
_ratnanâbhas_--that is to say, he who has a pearl for his navel; as the
sun is in like manner saluted by the name of _Maṇịçṛiñgas_--_i.e._, who
has horns of pearls.[171] In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[172] the bright-shining
grass and the solar disc appear together on the summit of the mountain
Gandhamâdanas; no sooner does he smell its odour than the solar hero
_Lakshmaṇas_, delivered from the iron that oppressed him, lifts himself
up from the ground; _i.e._, scarcely has the sun formed his disc, and
begun to shine like a celestial gem, than the sun-hero, whom the
monsters had vanquished during the night, rises in victory. And it is on
the summit of the mountain that, with a mountain metal of a colour
similar to that of the young sun,[173] the sun _Râmas_ imprints a
dazzling mark on the forehead of the dawn Sîtâ, as if to be able to
recognise her--that is to say, he places himself upon the forehead of
the aurora or dawn. When the sun Râmas is separated from the dawn Sîtâ,
he sends her in recognition, as a symbol of his disc, his own ring,
which appears again in the famous ring given by King _Dushmantas_ to the
beautiful _Çakuntalâ_, the daughter of the nymph, and by means of which
alone the lost bride can be recognised by the young and forgetful king;
and Sîtâ sends back to Râmas, by the hands of Hanumant, as a sign of
recognition, the dazzling ornament which Râmas had one day placed upon
her forehead in an idyllic scene among the mountains known to them
alone. This ring of recognition, this magic pearl, often turns up in the
Hindoo legends. It is enough for me to indicate here the two most famous

The aurora who possesses the pearl becomes she who is rich in pearls,
and herself a source of pearls; but the pearl, as we have already
seen, is not only the sun, it is also the moon. The moon is the friend
of the aurora; she comforts her in the evening under her persecutions;
she loads her with presents during the night, accompanies and guides
her, and helps her to find her husband.

In the _Râmâyaṇam_, I frequently find the moon as a beneficent fairy,
who succours the dawn Sîtâ; for the moon, as _ráganîkaras_ (she who
gives light to the night), assumes a benignant aspect. We have already
said that the moon is generally a male in India; but as full moon and
new moon it assumes, even in the Vedic texts, a feminine name. In a
Vedic hymn, _Râkâ_, the full moon is exhorted to sew the work with a
needle that cannot be broken.[174] Here we have the moon personified
as a marvellous workwoman, a fairy with golden fingers, a good fairy;
and in this character we find her again in the _Râmâyaṇam_, under the
form of the old _Anasûyâ_, who anoints the darkened Sîtâ (for Sîtâ,
like the Vedic girl, is dark and ugly during the night, or winter,
when she is hidden) in the wood, with a divine unguent; gives her a
garland, various ornaments, and two beauteous garments, which are
always pure (as, _i.e._, they do not touch the earth, like the cows of
the Vedic dawn, who do not cover themselves with dust), and similar in
colour to the young sun;[175] in all which the fairy moon appears as
working during the night for the aurora, preparing her luminous
garments--the two garments, of which the one is for the evening and
the other for the morning, one lunar and of silver, the other solar
and of gold--in order that she may please her husband Râmas, or the
sun Vishṇus, who is glad when he sees her thus adorned. In the
_Svayamprabhâ_, too, we meet with the moon as a good fairy, who, from
the golden palace which she reserves for her friend Hemâ (the golden
one), is during a month the guide, in the vast cavern, of Hanumant and
his companions, who have lost their way in the search of the dawn
Sîtâ. To come out of this cavern, it is necessary to shut the eyes, in
order not to see its entrance; all Hanumant's companions are come out,
but Taras, who shines like the moon,[176] would wish to return. The
same moon can be recognised in the benignant fairies _Triǵâtâ_,
_Suramâ_, and _Saramâ_, who announce to Sîtâ that her husband will
soon arrive, and that she will soon see him. The first, while the
arrival of Râmas is imminent, dreams that the monsters, dressed in
yellow, are playing in a lake of cow's milk;[177] at the time when
Suramâ announces to Sîtâ the approach of Râmas, Sîtâ shines by her own
beauty, like the opening dawn;[178] finally, Saramâ (who seems to be
the same as Suramâ), whom Sîtâ calls her twin-sister (_sahodarâ_),
penetrating underground, like the moon Proserpine, also announces to
Sîtâ her approaching deliverance at the hands of Râmas.[179] As to
Triǵaṭâ, it is not difficult to recognise in her the moon, when we
remember that Trǵiaṭas is a name which is frequently given to the
evening sun, or rising moon, _Çivas_, who is represented with the moon
for a diadem, whence his other name of _Çandraćûḍas_ (having the moon
for his diadem). Suramâ I believe to be, not a mythical, but only an
orthographical variation, and more incorrect one, of Saramâ, whose
relation to the moon we shall see in detail when we come to the
chapter which treats of the mythical dog.

Thus far we have a moon fairy; but we find the moon designated at other
times in the _Râmâyaṇam_ by its common masculine name. The guardian of
the forest of honey, _Dadhimukhas_, in which forest, with its honey, the
heroes who accompany Sîtâ enjoy themselves, is said to be generated by
the god Lunus.[180] And the moon, who assists Hanumant in his search of
Sîtâ, is said to shine like a white bull with a sharpened horn, with a
full horn;[181] in which we come back to the moon as a horned animal,
and to the cornucopia. Moreover, we find the same lunar horn again in
the city of _Çṛiñgaveram_, where first the solar hero Râmas, and
afterwards his brother Bharatas, are hospitably received when the sun is
darkened,[182] by _Guhas_, king of the black _Wishâdâs_, who also is of
the colour of a black cloud;[183] and Râmas and Bharatas take their
departure in the morning from Guhas, who is said to wander always in the
forests.[184] Now, this Guhas, who, though always hidden, yet wishes to
entertain the solar hero during the night with presents of the town of
Çṛiñgaveram, appears to me to be just another form of the solar hero
himself, who enters and hides himself in the night, hospitably received
in the lunar habitation, another form of the god Indras, whom we have
seen in the _Ṛigvedas_ united during the night to Indus or Somas--that
is, to the moon--and who, in the _Râmâyaṇam_[185], when Sîtâ is in the
power of the monster, comes down during the night to console her, lulls
her keepers to sleep, and nourishes her with the ambrosial milk (with
Soma, the moon, the same moon which, in the _Ṛigvedas_, the dawn, the
girl beloved of Indras, and whom therefore he does good to, brings him
as a present), encouraging her with the prospect of the near advent of
Râmas, the deliverer.

But it remains to us to adduce clearer evidence to show that in the
_Râmâyaṇam_ Râmas is the sun, and Sîtâ the dawn, or aurora.

Without taking into account that Râmas is the most popular
personification of Vishṇus, and that Vishṇus is often the solar hero
(although he is not seldom identified with the moon), let us see how
Râmas manifests himself, and what he does in the _Râmâyaṇam_ to
vindicate especially his solar nature.

It is my opinion that the best way to prove this is to show how Râmas
performs the very same miracles that Indras does. Râmas, like Indras,
gives, while still young, extraordinary proofs of his strength; Râmas,
like Indras, achieves his greatest enterprises while he is himself
hidden; Râmas, like Indras, vanquishes the monster, reconquers Sîtâ, and
enjoys of right the company of his wife. Till Râmas goes into the
forests, as Indras into the clouds and shadows, his great epopee
does not begin. Indras has for assistants the winds (the Marutas);
Râmas has for his greatest help Hanumant, the son of the wind
(_Mârutâtmagah_);[186] Hanumant amuses himself with the monsters, as the
wind with the archer-clouds of the thousand-eyed Indras;[187] and it is
said that Râmas gets on Hanumant's back, as Indras does on the elephant
_Âiravatas_. The elephant with a proboscis is not unfrequently
substituted, in the brâhmanic tradition, for the horned bull of the
Vedâs.[188] But the bull Indras is reproduced in the bull Râmas, and the
monkeys who assist Râmas have kept at least the tail of the Vedic cows,
the helpers of Indras, whence their generic name of _golâñgulâs_ (who
have cows' tails).[189] The bow with which Râmas shoots the monsters is
made of a horn, whence his name of _Çârngadhanvant_ (he who shoots with
the horn);[190] Râmas receives the shower of hostile darts, as a bull
upon its horns the abundant rains of autumn.[191] Sîtâ herself calls
both her Râmas and his brother Lakshmaṇas by the name of
_siṇharshabhâu_,[192] or the lion and the bull, which are conjoined so
frequently in the mythology, on account of equal strength; hence the
terror of the lion when he hears the bull bellow in the first book of
the _Pańćatantram_, and in all the numerous Eastern and Western
variations of that book. Indras has his conflicts in the cloudy, rainy,
and gloomy sky; these are also the battle-fields of Râmas. The names of
the monsters of the _Râmâyaṇam_, as, for instance, _Vidyuǵǵivas_ (he who
lives upon thunderbolts), _Vaǵrodarî_ (she who has thunderbolts in her
stomach), _Indraǵit_ (who vanquishes Indras with magical arts),
_Meghanâdas_ (thundering cloud),[193] and others, show us the nature of
the battle. In the battle-field of Râmas, instead, the assisting hero is
now a bull (_ṛishabhas_), now an ox's eye (_gavâkshas_), now _gavayas_
(_bos gavœœus_), and beings of similar appellations, which remind us of
the Vedic deities. Indras strikes with lightning the celestial ocean;
Râmas, an Indian Xerxes, chastises the sea with burning arrows.[194]
Indras, in the _Ṛigvedas_, crosses the sea and passes ninety-nine
rivers; Râmas crosses the ocean upon a bridge of mountains, in carrying
which Hanumant, the son of the wind, shows himself peculiarly skilful;
the winds carry the clouds, which we have seen, in the language of the
Vedâs, represented as mountains. And that clouds, and not real
mountains, are here spoken of, we deduce from observing, as we read,
that while the animal army of Râmas carries the bridge on to the ocean,
or the winds carry the clouds into the sky, the sun cannot burn the
weary monkey-workers, because that clouds arise and cover it, rain
falls, and the wind expires.[195] The field of this epic battle is
evidently the same as that of the mythical battle of Indras. And in the
_Râmâyaṇam_ we find at every step the similarity of the combatants to
the dark clouds, the bellowing clouds, the clouds carried by the wind.
The forest which Râmas goes through is compared to a group of
clouds.[196] The name of wanderer by night (_raǵanîćaras_), afterwards
given frequently in the _Râmâyaṇam_, to the monster whom Râmas combats,
implies, of course, that the battle is fought by night. The fact that,
as we read, the witch _Çûrpaṇakhâ_ comes in winter to seduce Râmas
whilst he is in the forest,[197] and the monster _Kumbhakarṇas_ awakens
after six months' sleep, like a rainy cloud which increases towards the
end of summer (_tapânte_),[198] shows us that the epic poem of Râmas
embraces, besides the nightly battle of the sun over darkness, also the
great annual battle of the sun in winter to recover and rejoin the
spring. Anyhow, it is always a battle of the sun against the monster of
darkness. Râmas, in the very beginning of the great poem, says to his
brother Lakshmaṇas:--"See, O Lakshmaṇas, Mârićas is come here with his
followers, making a noise like thunder, and with him the wanderer by
night Subâhus; thou wilt see them to-day, like a mass of dark clouds,
dispersed by me in a moment, like clouds by the wind."[199] Here we find
almost the whole battle of Indras.

And similar battles in the clouds are found in several other episodes of
the _Râmâyaṇam_. The dart of Râmas falls upon the monster _Kharas_ (the
monster ass), as upon a great tree falls the thunderbolt hurled by
Indras.[200] Heroes and monsters combat with stones and rocks from the
great mountain, and fall, overthrown on the earth, like mountains. The
monster Râvaṇas carries off Sîtâ with the magic of the wind and the
tempest.[201] Heroes and monsters fight with trunks of trees from the
great forest; moreover, the trunks themselves, having become monsters,
join the fray, stretch out their strange arms, and devour the hero in
their cavities. And here we come upon the interesting legend of
_Kabandhas_, in which we find again the forests and trees combating,
and the barrel of the Vedâs carried by the divine bull. The _Dânavâs_ or
demons also appear, in the _Mahâbhâratam_,[202] in the forms of sounding
barrels. In the _Râmâyaṇam_, the highest of the demons (_dânavottamah_)
is called by the name of _Kabandhas_ (barrel and trunk), compared to a
black thundering cloud, and represented as an enormous trunk, having one
large yellowish eye, and an enormous devouring mouth in his chest.[203]
In Tuscany, we say of water that gushes copiously out of a reservoir,
that it pours as from a barrel's mouth. The monster Kabandhas draws
towards himself, with his long arms, the two brothers Râmas and
Lakshmaṇas (compared several times in the _Râmâyaṇam_[204] to the two
Açvinâu, who resemble each other in everything). Râmas and Lakshmaṇas,
_i.e._, the two Açvinâu, the morning and evening, the spring and autumn
suns, the two twilights, who, in a passage of the _Râmâyaṇam_, are
called the two ears of Râmas, cut off the two extremities, the two long
arms, of the monster _Kabandhas_; upon which the trunk, able no longer
to support itself, falls to the ground. The fallen monster then relates
to the two brothers that he was once a beautiful demon; but that, by a
malediction, Indras one day made his head and legs enter his body; his
arms having been lacerated by the two brothers, the monster is
disenchanted from this malediction, and having resumed his form of a
splendid demon, he ascends to heaven in a luminous form. Here we have
the all-radiant sun shut up in the cloud, he being the yellow eye, the
burning mouth, of Kabandhas, and, in union with the cloud, forming a
hideous monster; the hero comes to destroy his monstrous form, and the
monster thanks him, for thus he becomes the glorious god, the splendid
being, the handsome prince he was before. Râmas who delivers Kabandhas
from his monstrous form by cutting off his two arms, is the sun Râmas
coming forth from the gloomy forest, and uncovering the sky in the east
and in the west. Râmas delivering Kabandhas is simply the sun delivering
himself from the monster of gloom and cloud that envelops him. And,
indeed, the greater part of the myths have their origin in the plurality
of appellations given to the same phenomenon. Each appellation grows
into a distinct personality, and the various personalities fight with
each other. Hence the hero who delivers himself becomes the deliverer of
the hero, viewed as a different person from the hero; the monstrous form
which envelops the hero is often his own malediction; the hero who comes
to kill this monstrous form is his benefactor.[205]

This theory of the monster who thanks the hero that kills him, agrees
with what we find on several other occasions in the _Râmâyaṇam_, as in
the case of the stag _Marîćas_,[206] which, after being killed by
Râmas, re-ascends to heaven in a luminous form; of the sea-monster,
which Hanumant destroys, and restores to its primitive form, that of a
celestial nymph; of the old Çavarî, who, after having seen Râmas,
sacrifices herself in the fire, and re-ascends young and beautiful to
heaven (the usual Vedic young girl, the dawn whom, ugly during the
night, Indras, by taking off her ugly skin, restores to beauty in the
morning); an episodical variation of what afterwards happens to Sîtâ
herself, who, having been ugly when in the power of the monster
Râvaṇas, recovers her beauty by the sacrifice of fire, in order to
prove her innocence to her husband Râmas, and shines again a young
girl, like the young sun, adorned with burning gold, and wearing a red
dress;[207] and when Râmas comes near (like the young dawn, when she
sees her husband), she resembles the first light (Prabhâ), the wife of
the sun.[208] This Sîtâ, daughter of Ǵanakas (the generator), whom the
_Tâittiriya Brâhmaṇam_ calls Savitar[209] or the sun, seems to me to
be no other than the dawn, the daughter of light, the daughter of
Indras, the god of the Vedic texts. These, indeed, sometimes represent
Sûryâ, the daughter of the sun, as the lover of the moon (who is then
masculine); but we find more frequently the loves of the dawn and the
sun, of the beautiful heroine and the splendid solar hero, while the
moon is generally the brother, or the pitying sister of the hero and
the heroine, the beneficent old man, the foreseeing fairy, the good
hostess, who aids them in their enterprises; although we also find the
dawn as a sister of the sun and his succourer. In fact, the Buddhist
tradition of the legend of Râmas, illustrated by Weber,[210]
represents Sîtâ to us as the sister of the two brothers Râmas and
Lakshmaṇas, who go into banishment for twelve years to escape the
persecutions of their cruel step-mother (of whom the _Kâikeyî_ of the
_Râmâyaṇam_ offers a confused image), in the same way as the Vedic
dawn is united to the twin Açvinâu; and the same tradition makes
Râmas, at the termination of his exile, end with marrying his own
sister Sîtâ, as the sun marries the dawn. And the fact of Sîtâ being
not born from the womb, but produced from the ground, a girl of
heavenly beauty, destined to be the reward of valour,[211] not only
does not exclude her relationship with the dawn, but confirms it; for
we have seen the dawn rise from the mountain, as the daughter of light
and the sun, whom the young sun wins for his bride, as a reward for
his wonderful skill as an archer against the monsters of darkness; and
we have seen that the dawn marries only her predestined husband, and
her predestined husband is he who performs the greatest miracles,
restores her lost gaiety, and most resembles her. We have just seen
the old Çavarî and the ugly Sîtâ, at the sight of the sun Râmas,
deliver themselves in the fire from every mortal danger, and become
beautiful and happy once more.

But the concord between the mythical husband and wife is not more
steadfast than that of mortal couples. Râmas is very apt to be
suspicious. Having returned to his kingdom of Ayodhyâ, he allows
himself to brood upon what his subjects may say of him for having
taken back his wife, after she had been in the hands of the monster
(they were not present at the first fire-sacrifice of Sîtâ); Râmas
reveals his suspicions to Sîtâ, and blames the evil-speaking of the
citizens for originating them; she submits a second time to the trial
by fire, but, offended by his continual suspicions, she flees from her
husband, and on a car of light, drawn by serpents (_Pannagâs_), goes
down again underground (which appears to mean simply this--the dawn,
or spring, marries the sun in the morning, or she stays all day, or
all summer, in his kingdom, and in the evening, or in the autumn, goes
down into the shades of night, or of winter).[212] It is an
indiscretion of the husband which causes his wife to abandon him.

Thus, in the _Ṛigvedas_, we have seen _Urvaçî_, the first of the
dawns, flee from the sun _Purûravas_. In _Somadevas_,[213] the king
Purûravas loses his wife Urvaçî, because he has let it be known in
heaven that she was with him; in Kâlidâsas's drama of _Vikramorvaçî_,
the king Purûravas, having helped Indras in the fight, receives from
him Urvaçî to wife, with whom he engages to stay till a child is born
to them; the king, shortly after having espoused Urvaçî, looks at
another nymph, Udakavatî (the watery). Urvaçî, offended, flees; she
enters a wood to hide herself, and is transformed into a creeper. In
the brâhmanic tradition of the _Yaġurvedas_, referred to at length by
Professor Max Müller, in his "Oxford Essays," Purûravas loses sight of
Urvaçî, because he has let himself be seen by her without his regal
dress, or even naked.

We find yet another similar legend in the _Mahâbhâratam_.[214] The
wise and splendid Çântanus goes to the chase on the banks of the
Gañgâ, and there finds a beautiful nymph whom he becomes enamoured of.
The nymph responds to his suit, and consents to remain with him, on
condition that he will never say anything displeasing to her,
whatever she may do or meditate; and the enamoured king assents to the
grave condition. They live together happily, for the king yields to
the nymph in everything; but in the course of time, eight sons are
born to them; the nymph has already thrown seven into the river, and
the king, although inwardly full of grief, dares not say anything to
her; but when she is about to throw the last one in, the king implores
her not to do it, and challenges her to say who she is. The nymph then
confesses to him that she is the Gañgâ itself personified, and that
the eight sons born to their loves are human personifications of the
eight divine Vasavas, who, by being thrown into the Gañgâ, are
liberated from the curse of the human form: the only Vasus who is
pleased to remain among men is Dyâus (the sky), in the form of the
eunuch Bhîshmas, whom Çântanus would not allow to be thrown into the
waters. The same curse falls upon the Vasavas for having ravished the
cow of abundance from the penitent Apavas. We shall find a legendary
subject analogous to this one of Çântanus in several of the popular
tales of Europe, with this difference that, in European tradition, it
is generally the husband who abandons his indiscreet partner. The
Hindoo tradition, however, also offers us an example of the husband
who abandons his wife, in the wise Ǵaratkarus, who marries the sister
of the king of the serpents, on condition that she never does anything
to displease him.[215] One day the wise man sleeps; evening comes on;
he ought to be awakened in order to say his evening prayers; if he
does not say them, he does not do his duty, and she would do wrong did
she not warn him. If she awaken him, he will be enraged. What is to
be done? She takes the latter course. The wise man awakes, becomes
enraged, and abandons her, after she had given him a son.[216]

The glowing aspect of the sky, morning and evening, suggested the
idea, now of a splendid nuptial feast, now of a fire. In this fire,
sometimes the witch who persecutes the hero and heroine is burnt, and
sometimes the hero and heroine themselves are immolated. The sacrifice
of Çavarî and of Sîtâ, who are delivered by the sun Râmas, is only a
variation of that of Çunaḥçepas, liberated by the dawn in the
_Ṛigvedas_. The story of Çunaḥçepas has already been made known by
Professor Rodolph Roth,[217] and by Professor Max Müller,[218] who
translated it from the _Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_; and I refer the reader to
these translations, as well as to the English version which Professor
Martin Haugh has given us of all the _Âitareya_. I shall, therefore,
here give but a short account of it, with a few observations apropos
to the subject in hand.

The king Hariçćandras has no sons; the god Varuṇas the coverer, the
gloomy, the watery, the king of the waters,[219] obliges him to
promise that he will sacrifice to him whatever is born to him. The
king promises; a child is born, who is named the red (Rohitas).
Varuṇas claims him; the father begs him to wait till the child has
cut his teeth, then till his first teeth are cast, then till he is
able to bear armour. It is evident that the father wishes to wait till
his son be strong enough to defend himself against his persecutor,
Varuṇas. Varuṇas thereupon claims him in a more resolute manner, and
Hariçćandras informs the son himself that he must be given up in
sacrifice. Rohitas takes his bow and flees into the woods, where he
lives by the chase. This first part of the legend corresponds with
those numerous European popular tales, in which, now the devil, now
the aquatic monster, now the serpent, demands from a father the son
who has just been born to him without his knowledge. The second part
of the story of Çunaḥçepas shows us the hero in the forest; he has
taken his bow with him, and hence, like Râmas in the _Râmâyaṇam_, who
has scarcely entered the forest than he begins to hunt, Rohitas turns
hunter, and hunts for the six years during which he remains in the
forest. But his chase is unsuccessful; he wanders about in quest of
some one to take his place as the victim of Varuṇas; at last he finds
the brâhmaṇas Aġigartas, who consents to give his own second son,
Çunaḥçepas, for a hundred cows. The first-born being particularly dear
to the father, and the third being especially beloved by the mother,
cannot be sacrificed; the second son, therefore, is ceded to Varuṇas,
the gloomy god of night, who, like Yamas, binds all creatures with his
cords. We have already observed how the middle son is the son of the
celestial cow Aditis, the hidden sun, the sun during and covered by
the darkness of night, or, in other words, bound by the fetters of
Varuṇas--and it is his own father who binds him with those fetters.
His sacrifice begins in the evening. During the night he appeals to
all the gods. At last Indras, flattered by the praise heaped upon
him, concedes to him a golden chariot, upon which, with praises to the
Açvinâu, and help from the dawn, Çunaḥçepas, unbound from the fetters
of Varuṇas, is delivered. These fetters of Varuṇas, which imprison the
victim, bound and sacrificed by his own father, help us to understand
the second part of the European popular tale of the son sacrificed
against his will to the demon by his father; for Çunaḥçepas, towards
the end of the European story, takes the form of a horse, Varuṇas that
of a demon, and the fetters of Varuṇas are the bridle of the horse,
which the imprudent father sells to the demon, together with his son
in the shape of a horse;[220] the beautiful daughter of the demon (the
white one, who, as usual, comes out of the black monster) delivers the
young man transformed into a horse; as in the Vedic story of
Çunaḥçepas, it is explicitly the dawn who is the young girl that
delivers.[221] Varuṇas is called in the _Râmâyaṇam_ the god who has in
his hand a rope (_pâçahastas_); his dwelling is on Mount Astas, where
the sun goes down, and which it is impossible to touch, because it
burns, in an immense palace, the work of Viçvakarman, which has a
hundred rooms, lakes with nymphs, and trees of gold.[222] Evidently,
Varuṇas is here, not a different form, but a different name of the god
Yamas, the pâçin, or furnished with rope, the constrictor _par
excellence_; for we are to suppose the magic display of golden
splendour in the evening heavens not so much the work of the sun
itself, as produced by the gloomy god who sits on the mountain, who
invests and surprises the solar hero, and drags him into his kingdom.
As to Hariçćandras and Aġigartas, Rohitas and Çunaḥçepas, they appear,
in my opinion, to be themselves different names for not only the same
celestial phenomenon, but the same mythical personage. Hariçćandras is
celebrated in the legends as a solar king; Rohitas, his son, the red
one, is his _alter ego_, as well as his successor Çunaḥçepas.
Hariçćandras, moreover, who promises to sacrifice his son to Varuṇas,
seems to differ little, if at all, from Aġigartas, who sells his own
son for the sacrifice. The _Râmâyaṇam_,[223] has given us a third name
for the same unnatural father,[224] in Viçvâmitras, who asks his own
sons to sacrifice themselves, instead of Çunaḥçepas, who is under his
protection, and as they refuse to obey, he curses them.

The variation of the same legend which we find in the
_Harivanças_[225] proves these identities, and adds a new and notable
particular. The wife of Viçvâmitras designs, on account of her
poverty, to barter her middle son for a hundred cows, and with that
view already keeps him tied with a rope like a slave. The grandfather
of Rohitas, Hariçćandras's father, Triçañkus, wanders through the
woods, and delivers this son of Viçvâmitras, whose family he
thenceforth protects and maintains. The deeds of Triçañkus, who begs
of Vasishṭas to be allowed to ascend to heaven bodily, and who, by
grace of Viçvâmitras, obtains instead the favour of remaining
suspended in the air like a constellation, are also attributed to his
son Hariçćandras; whence we may affirm, without much risk of
contradiction, that as Triçañkus is another name for his son
Hariçćandras, so Hariçćandras is another name for his son Rohitas, and
that, therefore, the Triçañkus of the _Harivaṅças_ is the same as the
Rohitas of the _Âitareya_, with this difference, that Triçañkus buys
the son destined to the sacrifice in order to free him, while Rohitas
buys him to free himself. But the first hundred cows given by
Triçañkus to Viçvâmitras do not suffice for him, and the fruits of his
hunting in the forest are not enough to maintain the family, a
circumstance which weighs upon him almost as much as if the family
were his own; upon which, in order to save Viçvâmitras, in order to
save Viçvâmitras's son, and, we can perhaps add, to save himself, he
resolves to sacrifice, to kill the beautiful and dearly-prized wife of
Vasishṭas (the very luminous). I have said the wife of Vasishṭas, but
the _Harivaṅças_ says, speaking strictly, it was the cow of Vasishṭas
who was killed. But we know from the _Râmâyaṇam_[226] that this cow of
Vasishṭas, this kâmadhuk or kâmadhenus, which yields at pleasure all
that is wished for, this cow of abundance, is kept by Vasishṭas, under
the name of Çabâlâ, as his own wife. Viçvâmitras is covetous of her;
he demands her from Vasishṭas, and offers a hundred cows for her, the
exact price which, in the _Harivaṅças_, he receives from Triçañkus for
his own son. Vasishṭas answers that he will not give her for a
hundred, nor for a thousand, nor even for a hundred thousand cows, for
Çabâlâ is his gem, his riches, his all, his life.[227] Viçvâmitras
carries her off; she returns to the feet of Vasishṭas, and bellows;
her bellowing calls forth armies, who come out of her own body; the
hundred sons of Viçvâmitras are burned to ashes by them. These armies
which come out of the body of Vasishṭas's cow remind us again of the
Vedic cow, from which come forth winged darts, or birds, by which the
enemies are filled with terror. Vasishṭas is a form of Indras; his cow
is here the rain-cloud. Viçvâmitras, who wishes to ravish the cow from
Vasishṭas, often assumes monstrous forms in the Hindoo legends, and is
almost always malignant, perverse, and revengeful. His hundred sons
burned to cinders by Vasishṭas remind us, from one point of view, of
the hundred cities of Çambaras destroyed by Indras, and the hundred
perverse Dhṛitarâshtrides of the _Mahâbhâratam_; whence his name,
Viçvâmitras, which may also mean the enemy of all (_viçva-amitras_),
would agree well with his almost demoniacal character.

This story of the cow of Vasishṭas, whose relationship with the legend
of Çunaḥçepas cannot be doubted, brings us back to the animal forms of
heroes and heroines from which we started. In the story of Vasishṭas,
the cow-cloud, the cow çabâlâ, or the spotted-cow, plays in the epic
poem the part of the cow Aditis, the cow pṛiçnis (spotted, variegated),
with which we are already familiar in the Vedic hymns. This cow is
benignant towards the god, or the hero, or the wise Vasishṭas, as the
pṛiçnis is to the god Indras. But we have seen in the _Ṛigvedas_ itself
the cloud as the enemy of the god, and represented as a female form of
the monster, as his sister. This sister generally tries to seduce the
god, promising to deliver into his hands the monster her brother, and
she sometimes succeeds, as the witch Hidimbâ of the _Mahâbhâratam_, who
gives up her brother, the monster Hidimbas, into the hands of the hero
Bhîmas, who thereupon espouses her. On the other hand, Çûrpaṇakhâ, the
sister of the monster Râvaṇas, does not succeed in her intent; making
herself beautiful, she endeavours to win the affection of the hero
Râmas; but being ridiculed by him and by Lakshmaṇas, she becomes
deformed, and sends forth cries like a cloud in the rainy season,[228]
exciting her brothers to annihilate Râmas.

The same cloud-monster is found again in the _Râmâyaṇam_, under the
name of Dundubhis, in the form of a terrible buffalo with sharpened
horns.[229] The buffalo, as a wild animal, is often chosen to
represent the principle of evil, in the same way as the bull,
increaser of the bovine herds, is selected as the image of good. This
bellowing buffalo, whence his name of Dundubhis (drum), strikes and
knocks with his two horns at the door of the cavern[230] of the son of
Indras (Bâlin), the king of the monkeys. But Bâlin takes Dundubhis by
the horns, throws him on the ground, and destroys him.

Dundus is also a name given to the father of Kṛishṇas, or the black one,
who in the _Ṛigvedas_ is still a demon, and only later becomes the god
of cows and cowherds, a govindas, or pastor _par excellence_.[231]
Indras, his enemy in the Vedas, having fallen from heaven, he became one
of the most popular gods, and even sometimes the most popular form of
the deity. In the _Mahâbhâratam_, for instance, he is almost the _deus
ex machina_ of the battles between the Pâṇḍavas and the Dhârtarâshṭrâs,
and presents many analogies to the Zeus of the Iliad; whereas Indras
plays only a part in the episodes, the rain-giver and thunderer being
often forgotten for the black one who prepares and hurls the light. But
the fall of Indras begins in the Vedâs themselves. In the _Yaǵurvedas_,
Viçvarûpas, the son of Tvashṭar, whom Indras kills, appears as no less
than the purohitas or high-priest of the gods, and son of a daughter of
the Asurâs; he has three heads, of which one drinks the ambrosia,
another the spirituous drink, while the third eats food. Indras cuts off
Viçvarûpas's three heads, in revenge of the one which drinks his
ambrosia; he is therefore charged with having killed a Brâhman, and
decried as a brâhmanicide.[232] In the _Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_,[233] the
criminality of Indras in this regard is confirmed, to which the
_Kâushîtaki-Upanishad_ also refers. In the seventh book of the
_Râmâyaṇam_, even the multiform monster Râvaṇas is represented as a
great penitent, whom Brâhman fills with supreme grace; in the sixth
book, the son of the wind, Hanumant, cuts off the three heads of the
Râvanide monster Triçiras (having three heads), as one day Indras cut
off the three heads of the monster Vṛitras, son of Tvashṭar;[234] and he
cuts all the three heads off together (_samas_), as the hero of the
European popular tales must cut off, at a blow, the three heads of the
serpent, the wizard, otherwise he is powerless, and able to do nothing.
The monster, like the hero, seems to have a special affinity for the
number three: hence the three heads of Triçiras, as also the three
brothers of Lañkâ--Râvaṇas, the eldest brother, who reigns;
Kumbhakarṇas, the middle brother, who sleeps; Vibhishaṇas, the third
brother, whom the two others do not care about, but who alone is just
and good, and who alone obtains the gift of immortality.[235] We have
evidently here again the three Vedic brothers; the two eldest in
demoniacal form, the youngest a friend of the divine hero, and who, by
the victory of Râmas over the monster Râvaṇas, obtains the kingdom of
Lañkâ. As to the brothers Râmas and Lakshmaṇas, and the brothers Bâlin
and Sugrîvas, their natural place is in the story of the two twins,
which will be referred to in the next chapter, although Hanumant, the
son of the wind, figures second to them in the character of strong

The three interesting heroic brothers come out more prominently in the
_Mahâbhâratam_, where of the five Pâṇdavas brothers, three stay on one
side, and are Yudhishṭhiras, son of the god Yamas, the wise brother;
Bhîmas (the terrible), or Vṛikodâras (wolf's belly), son of Vâyus (the
wind), the strong brother (another form of Hanumant, in company with
whom he is also found in the _Mahâbhâratam_, on Mount Gandhamâdanas);
and Argunas (the splendid), the son of Indras, the genial, dexterous,
fortunate, victorious brother, he who wins the bride. The first
brother gives the best advice; the second shows proof of greatest
strength; the third brother wins, conquers the bride. They are
precisely the three Vedic brothers Ṛibhavas, Ekatas, Dvîtas, and
Tritas, in the same relationships to one another and with the same
natures; only the legend is amplified.[236] As to their other
brothers, twins, born of another mother, Nakulas and Sahadevas, they
are the sons of the two Açvinâu, and feebly repeat in the
_Mahâbhâratam_ the exploits of the two celestial twins. Bhîmas or
Vṛikodâras, the second brother, is considered the strongest,
(balavatâṁ çreshthaḥ), because immediately after birth, _i.e._,
scarcely has he come forth out of his mother (like the Vedic Marutas),
than he breaks the rock upon which he falls, because he breaks his
fetters as soon as he is bound with them (like Hanumant when he
becomes the prisoner of Râvaṇas), because he carries his brothers
during the night (as Hanumant carries Râmas), as he flees from the
burning house prepared by the impious Duryodhanas (_i.e._, from the
burning sky of evening), and because in the kingdom of serpents, where
Duryodhanas threw him down (that is, the night), he drinks the water
of strength. A serpent, wishing to benefit Bhîmas, says to Vasukis,
king of the serpents--"Let there be given to him as much strength as
he can drink from that cistern in which is placed the strength of a
thousand serpents."[237] Bhîmas, at one draught, drinks the whole
cisternful; and with similar expedition, he drains consecutively eight
cisterns.[238] The first-born of the Pânḍavas is dear to his father
Yamas, the god of justice, Dharmarâǵas,--and is himself indeed called
Dharmarâǵas; and when he prepares himself to ascend into heaven, the
god Yamas follows him in the form of a dog: by his skill in solving
enigmas, he saves his brother Bhîmas from the king of the serpents.
The third brother, Arǵunas, son of Indras, is the Benjamin of the
Vedic supreme God. Indras welcomes him with festivals in heaven,
whither Arǵunas had gone to find him. Arǵunas is an infallible archer,
like Indras; like Indras, he several times regains the cows from the
robbers or from the enemies; and, like Indras, he wins and conquers
his bride; he is born by the assistance of all the celestials; he is
invincible (_aġayas_); he is the best son (_varaḥ putras_);[239] he
alone of the three brothers has compassion on his master Droṇas and
delivers him from an aquatic monster.[240]

But there is yet another particular which shows the resemblance between
the three brothers Pâṇḍavas and the three brothers of the Vedas; it is
their dwelling, hidden in the palace of the king Virâṭa, in the fourth
book of the _Mahâbhâratam_. They are exiled from the kingdom, like
Râmas; they flee from the persecution of their enemies, now into the
woods, now, as the Ṛibhavas, disguised as workmen in the palace of
Virâṭas, to whom their presence brings every kind of happiness.

We meet with these three brothers again, episodically, in the three
disciples of Dhâumyas, in the first book of the _Mahâbhâratam_.[241] The
first disciple, Upamanyus, takes his master's cows out to pasture, and,
out of sensitive regard for his master's interest, refuses to drink not
only their milk, but even the foam from their mouths, and fasts till,
like to perish of hunger, he bites a leaf of arkapatrâ (properly, leaf
of the sun, the _aristolochia indica_), when he instantly becomes
blind. He wanders about and falls into a well; he there sings a hymn to
the Açvinâu, and they come immediately to deliver him. The second
brother, Uddâlakas, places his body, as a dike, to arrest the course of
the waters. The third brother is Vedas, he who sees, he who knows, whose
disciple Utañkas is himself in the form of a hero. Utañkas, like the
Vedic Tritas, and the Pâṇḍavas Arǵuṇas, is protected by Indras. He is
sent by the wife of his master to abstract the earrings of the wife of
King Pâushyas. He sets out; on his way he meets a gigantic bull, and a
horseman, who bids him, if he would succeed, eat the excrement of the
bull; he does so, rinsing his mouth afterwards. He then presents himself
to King Pâushyas and informs him of his message; the king consigns the
earrings to him, but cautions him to beware of Takshakas, the king of
the serpents. Utañkas says that he is not afraid of him, and sets out
with the earrings; but as he puts down the earrings upon the shore, in
order to bathe, Takshakas presents himself in the shape of a naked
mendicant, whips them up, and flees away with them. Utañkas follows him,
but Takshakas resumes his serpent form, penetrates the ground, and
descends under it; Utañkas attempts to follow the serpent, but does not
succeed in cleaving the entrance, which corresponds to the Vedic rock
under which the monster keeps his prey. Indras sees him tiring himself
in vain, and sends his weapon, in order that it may be for a help to
Utañkas; that weapon, or club, penetrating, opened the cavern.[242] This
club, this weapon of Indras is evidently the thunderbolt.[243] Utañkas
descends into the kingdom of the serpents, full of infinite wonders.
Indras reappears at his side in the shape of a horse,[244] and obliges
the king, Takshakas, to give back the earrings; having taken which,
Utañkas mounts the horse, that he may be carried more swiftly to the
wife of his master, from whom he learns that the horseman seen by him on
the way was none other than Indras himself; his horse, Agnis, the god of
fire; the bull, the steed of Indras, or the elephant Âiravatas; the
excrement of the bull, the ambrosia, which made him immortal in the
kingdom of the serpents. In another episode of the same (the first) book
of the _Mahâbhâratam_,[245] we again find Indras busied in the search of
the earrings, that is to say, of the excessively fleshy part hanging
from the ears of Karṇas, the child of the sun, who, as soon as born, had
been abandoned upon the waters. We have seen above how the two Açvinâu
are also represented in the _Râmâyaṇam_ as the two ears of Vishṇus Râmas
(as the sun and moon are said to be his eyes); hence it seems to me that
these mythical earrings, coveted by Indras, and protected by him, are
nothing else than the two Açvinâu, the two luminous twilights (in
connection with the sun and the moon), in which Indras, and, still more
than he, the aurora, his wife, take such delight.[246]

In the commentary of _Buddhagoshas_ on the Buddhist Dhammapadam, we
have the three brothers again; the two eldest are represented as fleeing
from the persecution of their cruel step-mother; the third brother,
Suriyas (Sûryas, the sun), goes to overtake them. The eldest counsels or
commands, the second lends his aid, and the youngest fights. The second
and third brothers fall into a fountain, under the power of a monster;
the first-born saves them by his knowledge, as, in the _Mahâbhâratam_,
Yudhishṭhiras, by his skill in solving riddles, delivers the second
brother from the fetters of the forest of the monster serpent.

This mode of delivering the hero, by propounding a question or a riddle,
is very common in the Hindoo legends. Even in the _Pańćatantram_,[247] a
Brâhman who falls under the power of a forest monster who leaps on his
shoulders, frees himself by asking why his feet are so soft. The monster
confesses that it is because, on account of a vow, he cannot touch the
earth with his feet. The Brâhman then betakes himself to a sacred pond;
the monster wishes to take a bath, and the Brâhman throws him in; the
monster orders him to stay there till he has bathed and said his
orisons. The Brâhman profits by this opportunity to make his escape,
knowing that the monster will not be able to overtake him, as he cannot
put his feet to the ground. It is the usual vulnerability, weakness, or
imperfection of the hero, or the monster, in the feet, and, if an animal
is spoken of, in the tail.[248]

The _Mahâbhâratam_ has shown us the three Vedic brothers, of whom the
youngest has fallen into the well; it also presents to us, in the
witch (_asurî_) Çarmishṭhâ, daughter of Vṛishaparvan, king of the
demons, and in the nymph Devayânî, daughter of Çukras, who credits
herself with the virtue of Indras as the rain-giver,[249] the two
rival sisters of the Vedas, the good and the evil. In the
_Râmâyaṇam_,[250] the witch Çûrpanakhâ, who seduces Râmas, in order to
take the place of Sîtâ at his side, is compared to Çarmishṭhâ, who
seduced Nâhushas. In the _Mahâbhâratam_, Çarmishṭhâ assumes the guise
of Devayânî, whom she throws into a well. Yayâtis, son of King
Nâhushas, goes to the chase; feeling thirsty, he stops near the well;
from the bottom of the well a young girl looks up, like a flame of
fire.[251] The prince takes her by the right hand and draws her up;
and because in the marriage ceremony, the bride is taken by the right
hand,[252] the prince Yayâtis is said to marry Devayânî. But even
after she is a wife, Çarmishṭhâ continues to seduce her husband, to
whom she unites herself. Two sons are born of Devayânî, Yadus and
Turvasas, similar to Indras and Vishṇus (a new form of the twins, of
the Açvinâu); three are born of Çarmishṭhâ, Duhyus, Anus, and Pûrus;
and here also the third brother is the most glorious and valiant. And
in this way the episode is connected with the essential legend of the
_Mahâbhâratam_, and one and the same general myth is multiplied into
an infinity of particular legends. As the genealogy of the gods and
heroes is infinite, so is there an infinite number of forms assumed by
the same myth and of the names assumed by the same hero. Each day
gave birth in the heavens to a new hero and a new monster, who
exterminate each other, and afterwards revive in an aspect more or
less glorious, according as their names were more or less fortunate.

It is for the same reason that the sons always recognise their fathers
without having once seen them or even heard them spoken of; they
recognise themselves in their fathers. Thus Çakuntalâ and Urvacî
enable their mother to find again the husband that she has lost, and
their father to recover his lost wife. Thus in the episode of Devayânî
and Çarmishṭhâ, when the former wishes to know who is the father of
the three sons of Çarmishṭhâ, so similar to the sons of immortals, she
turns to them, and they tell her at once.

For this fault, Yayâtis, from being young, is fated to become old. He
then beseeches the two eldest of the three sons that he had by
Çarmishṭhâ to take on themselves the old age of their father; they
refuse, but the third son, Pûrus, out of reverence for his father,
consents to become old in his stead, to give up his youth to his
father. After a thousand years, the king Yayâtis, satiated with life,
restores to his son Pûrus his youth, and although he is the youngest,
along with his youth, the kingdom, because he found him the only one
of the three who respected the paternal will; and he expels the two
eldest brothers.[253]

Sometimes, however, the blind old father is entirely abandoned by his
sons. Thus the old Dîrghatamas (of the vast darkness), blind from birth,
is deprived of food, and thrown into the water by his wife and
sons,[254] but a heroic king saves him, in order, by his wife, to beget
sons for him. We have in Dîrghatamas and Yayâtis, King Lear in embryo.

In the same legend of Dîrghatamas, we find an exchange of wives. Queen
Sudeshnâ, instead of going herself, sends her servant-maid, her
foster-sister, to be embraced by Dîrghatamas.[255] In the cunning
Sudeshnâ we have an ancient variation of Queen Berta.

Other blind men occur frequently in the Hindoo legends. I shall here
cite only Andhakas (the blind one) and Vṛishṇis (the sheep, as the lame
one),[256] who appear in the _Harivanças_[257] as the two sons of Mâdrî.
But we know from the _Mahâbhâratam_, that the two sons of Mâdrî are a
human incarnation of the celestial twins, the Açvinâu; and here we come
again upon the blind-lame one of the Vedas, the solar hero in his twin
forms, the two Açvinâu protected by Indras, and companions of the dawn.

The _Pańćatantram_[258] represents the blind and the crooked, or
hunchbacked,[259] in union with the three-breasted princess (_i.e._,
the triple sister, the aurora in the evening, the aurora in the night,
the aurora in the morning; the breast of the night nourishing the
defective, the monstrous, which the morning sweeps away). The crooked
guides the blind with a stick; they both marry the three-breasted
princess. The blind recovers sight by the steam of the poison of a
black serpent, cooked in milk (the darkness of night, or of winter,
mixed with the clearness of day, or of the snow); he then, being a
strongly-built man, takes the hunchback by the legs, and beats his
hunch against the third and superfluous breast of the princess. The
anterior prominence of the latter, and the posterior one of the
former, enter into their respective bodies;[260] thus the blind, the
crooked, and the three-breasted princess help and cure each other; the
two Açvinâu and the aurora (or the spring) reappear together in
beauty. The Açvinâu and the aurora also come forth together from the
monstrous shades of night; the Açvinâu contend for the aurora; as we
shall see soon, and in the next chapter, the delivered bride disputed
for by the brothers.

The sun and the aurora flee from each other; this spectacle has been
represented in different ways by the popular imagination; and one of
the most familiar is certainly that of a beautiful young girl who,
running more quickly than the prince, escapes from him. This incident,
which is already described in the _Ṛigvedas_, occurs again in the
_Mahâbhâratam_,[261] in the legend of the loves of the virgin Tapatî,
daughter of the sun (the luminous and burning aurora, and also the
summer season, ardent as Dahanâ), with the king Saṁvaraṇas, son of the
bear (_ṛikshaputras_, a kind of Indras). The king Saṁvaraṇas arrives
on horseback with his retinue at the mountain, in order to hunt; he
ties his horse up and begins the chase, when he sees on the mountain
the beautiful girl, the daughter of the sun, who, covered with
ornaments, shines like the sun; he declares his love and wishes to
make her his own; she answers not a word, but flees and disappears
like the lightning in the clouds;[262] the king cannot overtake her,
because his horse, while he was hunting, has died of hunger and
thirst; he searches in vain through the forest, but not seeing her, he
throws himself almost breathless to the ground. As he lies there the
beautiful girl appears again, approaches and wakens him; he again
speaks to her of love, and she answers that he must ask her father the
sun, and then, still quite innocent, she disappears swiftly on high
(_ûrdhvam_). The king again faints; his minister sprinkles him with
the water of health, and makes him revive, but he refuses to leave the
mountain, and having dismissed his hunting company, he awaits the
arrival of the great purohitas Vasishṭhas, by whose mediation he
demands from the sun his daughter Tapatî to wife; the sun consents,
and Vasishṭhas reconducts to Saṁvaraṇas, for the third time, the
beautiful girl as his legitimate wife. The husband and wife live
together happily on the mountain of their loves; but as long as King
Saṁvaraṇas remains with Tapatî upon this mountain, no rain falls upon
the earth; wherefore the king, out of love for his subjects, returns
to his palace, upon which Indras pours down the rain, and begins again
to fructify the earth.[263]

We said a little ago that Vasishṭhas himself caused it to rain
(_abhyavarshata_); and the mention of Vasishṭhas reminds us of the
particularly rain-giving, cloudy, and lunar function of his cow
Kâdmadhenus, whose wonderful productions are again described in the
_Mahâbhâratam_.[264] Besides milk and ambrosia, she yields herbs and
gems, which we have already referred to, as analogous products in
mythology. The cow of Vasishṭhas is, besides her tail, celebrated for
her breasts, her horns, and even her ears ending in a point; whence
her name of _çañkukarṇâ_ (the masculine form of which is generally
applied to the ass). And in the _Mahâbhâratam_, also, the wise
Viçvâmitras is covetous of this wonderful cow; the cow bellows and
drops fire from her tail, and radiates from every part of her body
armies which disperse those of the son of Gadhis. Viçvâmitras then
avenges himself in other ways upon the sons of Vasishṭhas; having,
_e.g._, become a cannibal, he eats them.

Vasishṭhas cannot endure the pain this causes him: he tries to throw
himself down from the summit of Mount Merus, but he falls without
hurting himself; he throws himself into the fire, but does not burn
himself; and, finally, he leaps into the sea, but is not drowned.
These three miracles are accomplished every day by the solar hero, who
throws himself down from the mountain into the gloomy ocean of night,
after having passed through the burning sky of evening.

Vasishṭhas ends by freeing, with the help of charmed water, the
monster Viçvâmitras from his curse; and the latter is no sooner
delivered from the demon who possessed him, than he begins again to
illumine the forest with his splendour, as the sun illumines a
twilight cloud. The friendships, enmities, and rivalries of Vasishṭhas
and Viçvâmitras seem to be another version of those of the two
Açvinâu, whom we shall particularly describe in the next chapter.

Meanwhile, it is high time, as the reader will think, to conclude this
part of our study, which treats of the mythical cow of India. We might
easily, indeed, have made it much larger, had our design been to chain
together, link by link, all the traditions and legends in which the cow
plays a primary or subordinate part. But it is better to stop short,
lest, by expatiating further, we should lose sight of the essential aim
of our work, and be tempted into digressions from the legends relating
to beasts to those relating to men; besides, we think that we have
sufficiently proved the thesis of this chapter, and shown how the
principal mythical subjects of the Vedic hymns are not only preserved,
but developed, in the posterior Hindoo traditions. It is not entirely
our fault if, from cows, we pass so often to princesses, and from bulls
to princes; the myth itself involves and indicates these
transformations. Hence we find the bull Indras, the winner of the cows,
become a winner and a seducer of women; we see the bull Wind, who aids
Indras in the conquest of the cows, become the violator of a hundred
damsels;[265] we read of the bull and god Rudras, as husband of Umâ,
given up to sensual indulgence for a hundred years without a pause; that
the son of the bull, or of the wind, Hanumant, does prodigies of valour
and strength for the sake of a beautiful woman, and receives, as a
reward for his zeal, from the king Bharatas, a hundred thousand cows,
sixteen wives, and a hundred servant-maids.[266] What could Hanumant
have done with so many wives and maids, if he were simply a bull? or
what could he have done with so many cows, if he had been an ape? It is
these inconsistencies which have caused mythology to be condemned by the
crowd of old but prolific pedants, as a vain science; whereas, on the
contrary, it is precisely these inconsistencies which raise it, in our
esteem, to the rank of a valid science. He who handed down to us the
feats of Hanumant, took care also to tell us how he had the faculty of
changing his form at will; and this faculty, attributed to this
impersonation of a celestial phenomenon, is the fruit of one of the most
_naïve_ but just observations of virgin and grandiose nature.


[132] I must, however, observe that competent authorities, such as
Professor Weber, consider the phallical worship of Çivas to have
originated in the beliefs of the indigenous tribes of Dravidian race.

[133] _Ṛigv._ i. 123, 8.

[134] Vidique saepe, sed cumprimis anno 1785 in Malabaria ad flumen
templo celebri Ambalapushe proximum, extra oppidum Callureàta in
silvula, sententia regis Travancoridis Ráma Varmer, quinque viros arbori
appensos et morti traditos, quod, contra regni leges et religionis
præscripta, voluntarie unicam vaccam occiderint; _Systema Brahmanicum_,
illustr. Fr. Paullinus a S. Bartholomæo, Romæ, 179.--Cfr.
_Mânava-Dharmaçâstram_, xi. 60, and _Yâgńavalkya-Dharmaçâstram_, iii.

[135] ii. 1, 8.

[136] Pańćagavyaṁ piban goghno mâsam âsîta saṁyataḥ goshṭreçayo go
'nugâmî gopradânena çudhyati; _Dharm._ iii. 263.

[137] _Dharm._ xi. 166.

[138] Ibid. iii. 271.

[139] Ka imaṁ daçabhir mamendraṁ krîṇâti dhenubhiḥ; _Ṛigv._ iv. 24, 10.

[140] _Dharm._ iii. 27.

[141] _Gṛihyasûtrâṇi_, i. 8, 9.--It was, moreover, on the occasion of
a marriage, the custom to give cows to the Brâhmans; in the
_Râmâyaṇam_, i. 74, the King Daçarathas, at the nuptials of his four
sons, gives 400,000 cows.

[142] Â naḥ praǵâṁ ǵanayatu praǵâpatiḥ; _Ṛigv._ x. 85, 43.

[143] Goćarmavasano hariḥ; xiii. 1228.

[144] Cfr. Böhtlingk u. Roth's, _Sanskrit Wörterbuch_ s. v. _goćarman_.

[145] Âçvalây. _Gṛihyasû._ iv. 3.

[146] _Gṛihyasû._ i. 13.--The commentator _Nârâyaṇas_, quoted by
Professor Stenzler, in his version of _Âçvalâyanas_, explains how the
two beans and grain of barley express by their form the male organs of

[147] _Gṛihyasû._ i. 14.

[148] _Gṛihyasû._ ii. 10.--The St Antony, protector of animals, of the
Vedic faith was the god Rudras, the wind, to whom, when the cattle
were afflicted by a disease, it was necessary to sacrifice in the
midst of an enclosure of cows.--Cfr. the same, _Âçvalây._ iv. 8.

[149] Yać ća goshu dushvapnyaṁ yać ćâsme duhitar divaḥ tritâya tad
vibhâvary âptyâya parâ vahânehaso va ûtayaḥ suûtayo va ûtayaḥ; _Ṛigv._
viii. 47, 14.

[150] Payaḥ kṛishṇâsu ruçad rohiṇîshu; _Ṛigv._ i. 62, 9.--Cfr. _Ṛigv._
i. 123, 9.

[151] _Gṛihyasû._ iv. 3.

[152] Âçvalây; _Gṛihyasû._

[153] v. 4, 23.

[154] Indro vâi vṛitraṁ hatvâ viçvakarmâbhavat; iv. 3, 22.

[155] iii. 2, 37.

[156] Ushase ćaṛuṁ yoshâḥ sâ râkâ so eva trishṭup gave ćarum ya gáuḥ
sâ sinîvâlî (the new moon) so eva ǵagati; iii. 2, 48.

[157] Abhûd ushâ ruçatpaçur ityushaso rûpam; i. 2, 18.--Gobhiraruṇâir
ushâ âǵimadhâvat tasmâd ushasyagatâyâm aruṇam ivaeva
pra-bhátyusḥasorûpam; iv. 2, 9.--Abhûd ushâ ruçatpaçur ityushaso
rûpam; i. 2, 18.

[158] _Âit.-brâhm._ vi. 4, 24.

[159] _Âit.-brâhm._ iv. 3, 17.

[160] iii. 8080.

[161] Cfr. Weber's _Über die Kṛishṇaǵamâshtamî_, Berlin, 1868; _L'Inde
Française_, par Eugène Burnouf, Paris, 1828; _The Hindoos_, London,
1834, vol. i.

[162] iv. 3, 20.

[163] i. 3. 22.

[164] Mahînâm payo 'sy oshadhînáṁ rasaḥ; _Taittir. Yagurv._ i. 1,
10.--Kshîrodaṁ sâgaraṁ sarve mathnîmaḥ sahitâ vayaṁ nâuâushadhîḥ
samâhṛitya prakshipya ća tatastataḥ; _Râmây._ i. 46.--Cfr. Kuhn's _Die
Herabkunft des Feuers und des Göttertranks_, Berlin, 1859.

[165] The _Gandhamâdanas_ is especially defended by the _Gandharvâs_,
a word which seems to be composed of _gandha_, perfume, and _arvas_,
the one who goes on (and afterwards the horse), from the root _arv_,
expansion of _ṛiv_; according to this, they would therefore be those
who go in the perfumes, as the nymphs beloved and guarded by them are
they who go in the waters (ap-sarasas). Cfr. the chapter on the Ass.

[166] Cfr. _Râmây._ vi. 82, 83.

[167] Böhtlingk's _Indische Sprüche_, 122, erster Theil; 2^te Aufl. S.
Petersburg, 1870.--Cfr. _Mahâbhâratam_, i. 1143-1145.

[168] Abhi tyaṁ devaṁ savitâram ûṇyoḥ kavikratum arćâmi satyasavasam
ratnadhâm abhi priyam matiṃ; _Tâittir. Yagurv._ i. 2, 6.

[169] i. 46.

[170] xiii. 7034.

[171] Hariv., 12,367.

[172] Âruhya tasya çikhare so 'paçyat paramâushadîṁ dṛishṭvâ
ćotpâtayâmâsa viçalyakaraṇîṁ çubhâm.--Viçalyo niruǵaḥ
çîghramudatishṭhanmahîtalât; vi. 83.

[173] Sa nighṛishâñgulim râmo dhâute manaḥçilâgirâu ćakara tilakaṁ
patnyâ lalâṭe rućiraṁ tadâ bâlârkasamavarṇena tena sâ giridhâtunâ
lalâṭe vinivishṭhe na sasaṁdheva niçâbhavat; _Râmây._ ii. 105.

[174] Sîvyatu apaḥ sûćyâćhidyamânayâ dadâtu vîraṁ çatadâyam ukthyam;
_Ṛigv._ ii. 32, 4.

[175] Tataḥ çubhaṁ sâ taruṇârkasaṁnibhaṁ gataklamâ vasrayugaṁ sadâ
malaṁ sraǵo 'ñgarâgaṁ ća vibhûshaṇâni ća prasannaćetâ ǵagṛihe tu
mâithilî; _Râmây._ iii. 5.

[176] _Râmây._ iv. 50-53.

[177] Pîtâirnivâsitâ vastrâiḥ krîdanto gomaye hrade; _Râmây._ v.
27.--Cfr. vi. 23.

[178] Sîtâmuvâća ha dîpyamânâm svayâ lakshmyâ saṅdhyâmâutpâtikîmiva;
_Râmây._ v. 52.

[179] Samarthâ gatanaṁ gantumapivâ tvaṁ rasâtalam--Aćirammokshyase
sîte; _Râmây._ vi. 9, 10.

[180] Sâumyaḥ somâtmagáḥ; _Râmây._ vi. 6.

[181] Sitaḥ kakudvâniva tîkshṇaçṛiñgo rarâǵa ćandraḥ paripûrṇaçṛiñgaḥ;
_Râmây._ v. 11.--Cfr. v. 20.

[182] Babhâu nashṭaprabhaḥ sûryo raǵanî ćâbhyavartata; _Râmây._ ii. 92.

[183] Nishâdarâǵo guhaḥ sanîlâmbudatulyavarṇaḥ; _Râmây._ ii. 48.

[184] Sadâ vanagoćaraḥ; _Râmây._ ii. 98.

[185] iii. 63.

[186] _Râmây._ iv. 1.

[187] Sahasrâkshadhanushmadbhis toyadâiriva mârutaḥ; _Râmây._ v. 40.

[188] _Râmây._ v. 73.--In the _Râmâyaṇam_ itself, Râmas, overpowered
with grief, is compared now to a bull (v. 34), now to an elephant
tormented by a lion (v. 37).

[189] _Râmây._ vi. 105.

[190] _Râmây._ vi. 102.

[191] Çâradaṁ sthûlapṛishataṁ çṛiñgâbhyâm govṛisho yathâ; _Râmây._
iii. 32.

[192] _Râmây._ v. 28.--The monster Kabandhas salutes them both with
the name of _Vṛishabhaskandhâu_, or they who have bulls' shoulders;
_Râmây._ iii. 74.

[193] _Râmây._ vii. 36-38.

[194] _Râmây._ v. 93.

[195] Çrantâṅstu na tapet sûryaḥ kathańćidvânarânapi abhrâṇi ǵaǵnire
digbhyas ćhâdayitvâ raveḥ prabhâṁ pravavarsha ća parǵanyo mârutaçća
çivo vavâu; _Râmây._ v. 95.

[196] _Râmây._ iii. 77.

[197] _Râmây._ iii. 23.

[198] _Râmây._ vi. 37.

[199] Paçya lakshmaṇa mârîćaṁ mahâçanisamasvanam sapadânugamâyântaṁ
subâhuṁ ća niçâćaraṁ etâvadya mayâ paçya nîlâńćanaćayopamâu asmin
kshaṇe samâdhûtâvanilenâmbudâviva; _Râmây._ i. 33.

[200] Çakreṇeva vinirmukto vaǵrastaruvaropari; _Râmây._ iii. 35.

[201] Mâyâmâçritya vipulâṁ vâtadurdinasaṁkulâm; _Râmây._ iii. 73.

[202] Te nikṛittabhuǵaskandhâs kavandhâkṛiti ekadarçanâḥ nadanto
bhâiravânnâdânnâpatanti sma dânavâs; _Mbh._ iii. 806.

[203] Atha tatra mahâghoraṁ vikṛitaṁ tam mahoććhrayaṁ
vivṛiddhamaçirogrîvaṁ kabandhamudare mukham romabhirnićitaṁ
tikshṇâirmahâgirimivoććhritam nîlameghanibhaṁ ghoraṁ
meghastanitanisvanam mahatâ ćâtipiñgena vipulenâyatenaća ekenorasi
dîrgheṇa nayanenâtidarçinâ; _Râmây._ iii. 74.--The one yellowish eye
of Kabandhas reminds us of Vâiçravaṇas with only one yellowish eye
(_ekapinghekshaṇas_), his other eye having been burnt out by the
goddess Parvatî; _Râmây._ vii. 13.

[204] i. 49; ii. 7, _et passim_.

[205] Cfr. the chapter on the Wolf.

[206] iii. 40, _et seq._

[207] Taruṇâdityasaṁkâçâm taptakâńćanabhûshitâṁ raktâmbaradharâm
bâlâm; _Râmây._ vi. 103.--Of the dress of Sîtâ we read in another
place that it shines "like the light of the sun upon the summit of a
mountain" (Sûryaprabheva çâilâgre tasyâḥ kâusheyamuttamaṁ; iv. 58).

[208] _Râmây._ vi. 99.

[209] Cfr. Weber's _Ueber das Râmâyaṇa_, Berlin, 1870, p. 9.

[210] Ibid. p. 1.

[211] Vîryaçulkâ ća me kanyâ divyarûpâ guṇânvitâ bhûtalâdutthitâ
pûrvaṁ nâmnâ sîtetyayoniǵâ; _Râmây._ i. 68.

[212] _Râmây._ vii. 104, 105.

[213] _Kathâ sarit sâgaras_, iii. 17.

[214] i. 3888-3965.

[215] "Apriyańća na kartavyaṁ kṛite ćâinâm tyaǵâmyaham," says
Ǵaratkarus; _Mbh._ i. 1871.

[216] _Mbh._ i. 1870-1911.

[217] _Indische Studien_, vol. i. pp. 457-464, vol. ii. pp. 111-128.

[218] _History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature._

[219] Varuṇas, the god of night, has, like the night, a double aspect;
now he is the gloomy ocean, now the luminous milky ocean without a moon.
He is represented under the latter aspect in the 7th book of the
_Râmâyaṇam_ (canto 27), in which the solar hero, having entered the
celestial city of Varuṇas, finds the cow which always yields milk (payaḥ
ksharantâm satataṁ tatra gâṁ ća dadarça saḥ), whence the white-rayed
moon emerges, whence also the ambrosia and the nectar (yataçćandraḥ
prabhavati çîtaraçmiḥ--yasmâdamṛitaṃutpannaṁ sudhâ ćâpi).

[220] Cfr. the chapter on the Horse.

[221] In the _Râmâyaṇam_, i. 63, the deliverer is Indras, who, even in
the _Âitareya_, does much for Çunaḥçepas.

[222] Teǵasâ gharmadah sadâ--Prâsâdaçatasambâdhaṁ nirmitaṁ
viçvakarmanâ çobhitaṁ padminîbhiçća kâńćanâiçća mahâdrumâiḥ nilayaḥ
pâçahastasya varuṇasya mahâtmanaḥ; _Râmây._ iv. 43.

[223] i. 64.

[224] The Puranic-legend gives an instance of such another father in
Hiraṇyakaçipus, who, persecuting his own son Prahlâdas, tries to
destroy him in several ways, and finally throws him into the sea;
Prahlâdas praises Vishṇus, and is delivered.--Cfr. _The Vishṇu
Purâṇa_, translated by H. Wilson, i. 17-20. London: Trübner, 1864.

[225] Chap. xii. 13.

[226] i. 54-56.

[227] Etadeva hi me ratnametadeva hi me dhanam etadva hi sarvasvam
etadeva hi ǵivitam; _Râmây._ 1. c.

[228] Nanâda vividhân nâdân yathâ prâvṛishi toyadaḥ; _Râmây._ iii. 24.

[229] Dhârayan mâhishaṁ rupaṁ tîkshṇaçriñgo bhayâvahaḥ; _Râmây._ iv.
9.--Further on, instead (iv. 46), the buffalo is said to be the
brother of Dundubhis, and to have the strength of a thousand serpents
(balaṁ nâgasahasrasya dhârayan) or elephants, for the word _nâgas_ is

[230] Çṛiñgâbhyâmâlikhan darpat taddvâram; _Râmây_, iv. 9.--Cfr. the
two chapters which treat of the Horse and the Monkey.

[231] I do not insist upon this brâhmanic god, because his legend is
now popular.--Cfr., for the rest, for the relationship of Kṛishṇas
with the cows, the cowherds, and the cow-maiden, the whole 5th book of
the _Vishṇu Purâna_, translated by H. Wilson, and the _Gîtagoviṅdas_
of Gayadevas, edidit Lassen, Bonn, 1836.

[232] Viçvarûpo vâi tvâshṭraḥ purohito devânâm âsît svasriyo 'surâṇâm
tasya trîṇi çirshâny asant--Indras tasya vaǵram âdâya çîrshâny aćhinad
yat somapânam--Brahma-hatyam upâ 'griḥṇat--Tam bhûtâny abhy akroçan
brahmahann iti; _Tâittirîya Saṁhitâ_, ed. Weber. ii. 5, 1-6.

[233] vii. 5, 28.

[234] Sa tasya khañgena mahâçirâṅsi kapiḥ samas tâṁ sukuṇḍalâṁ
kruddhaḥ praćiććheda tadâ hanûmâns ṭvâshṭrâtmaǵasyeva çirânsi çakrah;
_Râmây._ vii. 50.

[235] _Râmây._ vii. 10.

[236] _Mbh._ i. 4990.--Cfr. also the three phallical and solar brothers
of the story of Çunaḥçepas (him with the luminous tail or phallus).

[237] i. 4775.

[238] Balaṁ nâgasahasrasya yasmin kuṇḍe pratishṭhitaṁ yâvatpivati bâlo
'yaṁ tâvad asmâi pradîyataṁ--ekoććhvâsâttataḥ kuṇḍaṁ danaḥ; _Mbh._ i.
5030, 5032.--A similar legend is found again in the third book of the
_Mahâbhâratam_, under the form of an impenetrable forest, in which the
king of the serpents envelops Bhîmas.

[239] _Mbh._ i. 4777.

[240] i. 5300-5304.

[241] i. 680-828.

[242] Tam kliçyamânamindro 'paçyatsa vaǵraṁ presḥayâmâsa--gaććhâsya
brâhmaṇasya sâhâyyaṁ kurusveti--atha vaǵram daṇḍakâshṭhamanupraviçya
tadvilamadârayat; _Mbh._ i. 794-795.

[243] In a legend of the Tibetan Buddhists, referred to by Professor
Schiefner in his interesting work, _Ueber Indra's Donnerkeil_ (St
Petersburg), 1848, we find two valiant heroes who, upon Mount
Gṛidhrakûṭa (the vulture's peak), strive, in presence of their master,
to lift the vaǵram (that is, the arm in the form of a wedge, the
lever-rod, the thunderbolt of Indras), but in vain; Vaǵrapâṇis alone
succeeds in lifting the vaǵram with his right hand. Râmas makes a
similar trial of strength in the _Râmâyaṇam_, when he lifts and breaks
in pieces a bow, which no one had before been able even to move.

[244] Cfr. the following chapter.

[245] i. 2772-2783.

[246] To the myth of the ravished earrings is almost always joined, even
in the popular tales, the story of the horse, which is always especially
referred to the Açvinâu, as that of the bull to Indras. In the Puranic
legends, Kṛishṇas receives from the earth the earrings of Aditis (whom
we already know to be a cow), whilst he frees the princesses from the
infernal Narakas.--Cfr. the _Vishṇu Purâṇa_, v. 29.

[247] v. 17.

[248] Cfr. the chapters which treat of the Wolf, the Fox, and the
Serpent; and also the foregoing discussion on the Vedic riddles, where
the sun is called _anipadyamânas_.

[249] Ahaṁ ǵalaṁ kimuńćâmi praǵânâm hitakâmyayâ; _Mbh._ i. 3317.

[250] iii. 23, 24.

[251] Dadarça râǵâ tâm tatra kanyâmagniçikhâmiva; _Mbh._ i. 3294.

[252] _Mbh._ i. 3379-3394

[253] _Mbh._ i. 3435-3545.

[254] _Mbh._ i. 4193-4211.

[255] _Mbh._ i. 4211-4216.

[256] We shall find the lame goat in the chapter which treats of the
Lamb and the Goat.

[257] 1908.

[258] v. 12.

[259] The word _badhiras_ means here the crooked, the crippled one,
and not the deaf (from the root _badh_ or _vadh_, to wound, to cut);
the more so that here the name of the blind man's companion is
Mantharakas, a word which properly means the slow one. The curved line
and the slow line correspond; and the curved one, who cannot stand
upright, may be the hunchback just as well as the cripple, the
crooked, the lame.--Cfr. The chapter on the Tortoise.

[260] For the incident of the hunchback who betrays the blind man, in
the same popular tale, cfr. next chapter.

[261] i. 6527.

[262] Sâudâminîva ćâbhreshu tatrâevântaradhîyata; _Mbh._ i. 6557.

[263] Tasminnṛipatiçârdûle pravishṭe nagaraṁ punaḥ pravavarsha
sahasrâkshaḥ çasyâni ǵanayanprabhuḥ; _Mbh._ 6629, 6630.

[264] i. 6651-6772.

[265] The hundred daughters of King Kuçanabhas, and of the nymph
Ghṛitâći, who walks in curdled milk, recalling to us the mythical
cow.--Cfr. _Râmây._ i. 35.

[266] Cfr. Virgil, _Ænëid_, I. 65-75, where Juno gives the nymph
Deiopea to Æolus.




    The bull the first created in Persian tradition.--The bull of
    Mithra.--Mithra and Yamas.--The excrements of the celestial cow and
    bull.--Exorcisms for chasing the evil one away from the beasts of
    the stable.--The salutary herb, rue.--The heavenly cypress and the
    mythical forest.--The mountain and the gem.--The mountain of the
    heroes.--The defenceless soul of the bull recommends itself to the
    mercy of the gods.--The moon, as a cow or bitch, guides the hero
    over the funereal bridge.--The many-eyed god.--The golden-hoofed
    bull.--The spinners of the sky.--Friendship between sun and
    moon.--The Geusurva is the full moon.--The purifying
    moon.--Ardhvî-Çûra-Anâhita, the Persian aurora, has all the
    characteristics of the Vedic aurora, elevated, luminous, discomfiter
    of the demons, deliverer of the hero Thraetaona from the water,
    having golden shoes, swift, the first to arrive with her chariot,
    guesser of riddles, revered at the break of day.--The aurora sung to
    by her own name, the cow-aurora.--Mithra, the shepherd-god,--Mithra,
    the hero who fights to recover his cows.--The bull
    Veretraghna.--Thrita and Thraetaona.--The three brothers in the
    Avesta.--The two brothers.--The three sisters.--The strength of the
    solar hero consists in the wind.--The winds have golden shoes and an
    especial foible for women, as the women have for them.--Indras
    envious of the Marutas.--Kereçâçpa envious of the wind.--The wind,
    with its whistling and wailing, makes everything tremble; the hero
    presses him tightly and forces him to be silent.--The bound
    hero.--The bow-cow, and the birds coming out of the cow in the
    Avesta.--The darts, horns of the cow.--The rich brother and the poor
    one.--The poor one, who has a lean ox and a lean horse, makes his
    fortune.--Ashis Vag̃uhi, another equivalent of the aurora who also
    frees the hero Thraetaona.--Other names of the three Persian
    brothers.--Importance of the Avesta on account of its mythical
    contents.--The hero exposed on the mountain.--The hero-shepherd, the
    wonderful child, Cyrus.--Feridun.--The three brothers, sons of
    Feridun; the third brother is the best, and is murdered by the two
    elder ones.--Sal, with white hair, the hero exposed and nourished by
    a bird, solves riddles, and receives in reward the daughter of the
    king.--The hero Rustem, with the mace of a bull's head, with the
    strong horse that vanquishes the lion, the strong hero, the Persian
    Orlando, kills and binds demons, monsters, and giants, who fight
    with rocks.--From black comes white.--The prince Kawus recovers his
    sight after the death of the monster.--The demon in the mountain,
    who keeps back the waters, is the same as the demon in the
    mill.--The hero Rustem unites himself with the daughter of the
    demoniacal and hostile king.--Sohrab is born of this union, with a
    demoniacal nature.--Gurdaferid, the Persian amazon princess,
    assailed in her white castle by the hero-demon Sohrab.--Rustem
    fights, wins, and kills his son Sohrab; he then retires from
    warfare.--Explanation of this myth.--The end of Rustem in an
    ambuscade.--Sijavush persecuted by his stepmother, whose love he had
    disdained; the young prince submits to the trial by fire, and comes
    out safely: the cruel stepmother was to have undergone the same
    trial, but Sijavush intercedes for her; she continues to persecute
    him; Sijavush dies in the country of his demoniacal father-in-law,
    and is avenged by Rustem, who kills the cruel stepmother.--The
    child-hero Kai Khosru consigned to the care of shepherds; during his
    childhood he performs prodigies of valour, and passes a river with
    dry feet.--The strength of the hair of the hero Firud.--The two
    hero-brothers again; one brother avenges the other.--The old hero
    becomes a penitent, and disappears in a tempest upon a
    mountain.--The seven heroic undertakings of Isfendiar.--The legend
    of Iskander.--The Tuti-Name.--The hero who wishes to kill himself
    for the king's sake; the deity prevents the sacrifice.--The story of
    the poor man and the rich one again.--The beautiful woman persecuted
    by her brother-in-law the seducer; the oriental Crescentia or
    Geneviève.--The sea, invited to the wedding, brings pearls and
    gold.--The maiden who discovers the thief by means of a riddle.--The
    girl who gives his eyesight back to the blind man against her
    will.--The lovers flee upon the bull's back.--The lover forsakes his
    mistress on the shore after having despoiled her.--The three
    brothers deliver the beautiful maiden and dispute for her; the
    maiden takes refuge in a convent.--The wise child who distinguishes
    false from true, honest from dishonest.--The money of the dead
    man.--The adulterer condemned to death who bites off the nose of his
    companion in guilt and dissoluteness.--The wife despoiled of her
    riches by her husband and thrown into the water.--Romeo and Juliet
    in the East.--The three brothers: the seer; the strong carrier, or
    Christophoros; the victorious one.--The disputed bride again.--The
    little pipkin of abundance; Perrette in the East.--The small
    porringer of abundance, which the two brothers contend for.--The
    shoes which take one in an instant wherever one wishes to go.--The
    little purse which is filled as fast as it is emptied.--The sword
    which makes a city rise.--The animals which contend for the division
    of the prey, and the third comer who profits between two
    disputers.--The four mines of the four brothers.--Why old men have
    white hair.--Calmuc and Mongol tradition.--The six companions are
    the same as three.--The bride torn in pieces.--A man unites himself
    with a cow, which brings forth a Minotaur of a good nature, who
    fights against the demons in favour of the gods.--The gem in the
    cow's litter.--The bull lost.--The three sisters; the third sister
    marries the monster bird; she loses him, because she has burned the
    aviary.--The painter and the woodman in Paradise; the painter is
    burned.--The two brothers, the rich one and the poor one; the rich
    brother ends badly.--The husband who despoils his wife and hides her
    in a chest in the sand of the desert.--The gem of the prince falls
    to the ground; his nose bleeds and he dies; explanation of this
    myth.--The wonderful hammer, which, when used, brings one whatever
    is wished for.--The rich and poor brothers; the poor one becomes
    rich.--The lengthened nose and the corresponding Italian
    proverb.--The wife kills her husband with the hammer, wishing to
    knock a protuberance off his nose.--The old man who eats his last
    cow; his wife continues, even after its death, to nourish and
    protect him until the wild beasts in the cavern devour him.--The
    woman disguised as a solar hero.--The lion and the bull friends, or
    foster-brothers; their friendship is put an end to by the fox.--The
    projects of Perrette again.--The horns of the dead buffalo.--The
    grateful animals.--The laughing princess.--The wise
    herd-children.--The wise puppets.--The prince born of a cake.--The
    boy learns in the forest every art, even devilish ones.--The son of
    the wolves who understands their language.--Heroes and demons cut
    in pieces multiply themselves.--The hero has good luck, because he
    has performed funeral services to the dead.--Four young shepherds, a
    new form of the Ṛibhavas, make a beautiful maiden of wood, and then
    dispute for her.--The wife throws her husband into the fountain out
    of jealousy, having heard another voice, perhaps the echo of her
    own.--The princess Light of the sun, who must be seen by no one, and
    who is visited by the minister Moon.--Turanian tradition in
    Siberia.--The three brothers dream upon the mountain; the third
    brother is persecuted on account of his dream; he finds the blind
    woman and lame man, and induces them to adopt him; he hunts, fights
    against the devil, and vanquishes him; from the body of the demon
    come forth animals, men, and treasures; he fishes up in the sea of
    milk the casket which contains the eyes of the blind woman; receives
    extraordinary gifts, and above all the faculty of transforming
    himself; wins his predestined bride, and kills his own cruel
    father.--The hero who solves enigmas.--Ancient and modern
    riddles.--The cow devours the wolf, and the wolf devours the
    cow.--The bow of horn.--The wolves fastened to the calf's tail.--The
    soul of the black bull in the rainbow, the bridge of souls, wounded
    by the young hero, who then espouses the daughter of the sky, after
    attaining the third heaven, and accomplishing heroic undertakings to
    merit her.--The sleeper in the cup, the gem in the fish.--The
    Argonauts and Medea in Turan.--The Finnish Diana.--The Finnish
    thundering God, Kave Ukko.--The little sun, the Finnish
    dwarf-hero.--The second of the three brothers.--The strong
    bear.--The monster giant darkness or cloud.--The Orpheus and the
    lyre of the Finns; grief the inspirer of song.--Finnish and Aryan
    myths.--The Sampo.--Esthonian tradition.--The three sisters; the
    third is the most beautiful, and is persecuted by her stepmother,
    and delivered by the prince.--The bird of light.--The maiden
    transformed into a pond-rose, and delivered by her husband in the
    shape of a shrimp.--The witch is burned in the form of a cat.--The
    gold of the witch.--Explanation of several myths.--The third brother
    is the swiftest.--The wise maiden.--The golden fairy.--The
    puppet.--The magical rod makes the cock come out of the
    mountain.--The fairy is good towards the good, and punishes the
    wicked.--The cow lost.--The old hospitable dwarf.--The leaf which
    carries the hero across the waters.--Heroic undertakings against the
    serpent and the tortoise.--The third brother, expelled from home,
    travels and solves riddles on the way.--The rod which makes a
    bridge.--In heaven and in hell time passes quickly.--The hero
    under-cook.--The golden birds and the voyages to hell.--The brothers
    punished, and the bride won by the magical sword.--The son of
    thunder.--The weapon carried off from the god of thunder.--The
    weapon recovered.--The fisherman-god.--The marvellous musical
    instrument; the magical flute.--The three dwarfs.--The hat that
    makes its owner invisible, made of men's nails; the shoes which
    carry one where-ever one wishes, and the stick which fights of
    itself.--The proverb of the third who profits between two disputers
    again.--The third brother is the son of a king, exposed when a
    child; he awakens the princess who sleeps in the glass mountain;
    _non est mortua puella, sed dormit_.--Passage from the dawn of the
    day to the dawn of the year.--The child sold by his father without
    the latter's knowledge.--The boy exchanged.--The boy sets out to
    deliver the maiden from the demon.--The pea, the kidney-bean, the
    cabbage, and the pumpkin of funerals accompany the solar hero in his
    nocturnal voyage.--The symbol of abundance, of generation, of
    stupidity.--The nuptial beans.--Meaning of the myth concerning
    vegetables.--The region of silence.--The region of noise.--The wise
    girl helps the hero.--The cow milked and the calf bound.--The
    luminous ball comes out of the calf.--The antithesis of white and of
    black.--Hungarian proverbs.--The luminous ball comes out of the
    stone.--The luminous ball and the ring.--The fearless hero frees the
    castle from spirits.--The Esthonian story of Blue Beard.--The
    charivari in the nuptials of widowers.--The widow who burns
    herself.--The hero exposed, and then brought up among cowherds,
    feels himself predestined to reign, and learns the art by guiding
    herds.--The German (or Western) witch endeavours to take the red
    strawberries from the Esthonian hero.--The boy avenges this injury
    by causing her to be devoured by wolves, who will not touch her
    heart.--The gardener's daughter.--The broken ring; the two parts of
    the ring unite again; the husband and wife find each other once
    more.--The maiden born of the egg in the shape of a puppet.--The
    casket which brings good luck disappears when the young couple are

Moving now from India westwards, we find on one side the Iranian, and
on the other the Turanian traditions. We cannot pass into Europe
without at least indicating the general character of each.

In the Persian cosmogony, the bull (_gâus aevo dâto_) is one of the
first of created existences, being as old as the elements. It is,
moreover, well known how much importance was ascribed to the bull
among the Persians in the mysteries of the solar god Mithra, who is
represented as a beautiful youth, holding the horns of a bull in his
left hand, and having the knife of sacrifice in his right. Mithra
sacrificing the bull is just the solar hero sacrificing himself in the
evening. Indeed, in the Persian tradition, Mithra, like the Hindoo
Yamas, holds the office of god of the dead, and as such, like Yamas,
is of a monstrous aspect, and is found in the _Yaçna_ represented with
a thousand ears and ten thousand eyes.

As in India, so in Persia, the urine of the cow is used in ceremonies of
purification, during which it is drunk.[267] We have already seen in the
story of Utañkas how the excrement of the bull, upon which Utañkas fed,
was ambrosia itself; and, indeed, all is beneficial which is given by
the cow of abundance (the moon, the cloud, and the aurora), and by the
divine bull (the moon and the sun). The mythical belief was natural,
however disgusting when we insist on literal interpretation.

And even in the Persian tradition itself, a distinction already exists
between common bulls or oxen and sacred or privileged ones. This
distinction appears in the legend of Gemshid, whose bulls were all
devoured by the devil, as long as they were protected by no magical
rites; whilst, when he was given a red ox (or bull) cooked in old,
that is strong, vinegar, to which was added garlic and rue (famous for
its potency in exorcism), he disappeared and was never seen
again.[268] The rue is probably the fabulous plant which the Zend
tradition surmises to have sprung from the sea _Vôuru-Kasha_, whence
Ahura Mazda draws the clouds, from which all healthful water is
derived, and which corresponds to the sea of milk of Hindoo tradition,
in which the ambrosia is agitated.

Thus the funereal cypress of Kishmar (planted by Zarathustra, with a
branch from the tree of Paradise), under which more than two thousand
cows and sheep could pasture, and the innumerable birds of which
darkened the air, obscuring the light of the sun, reminds us of the
celestial forest of the Vedâs, in which the shepherd-hero and the
hunter-hero wander and are lost.

The idea of the funereal tree recalls to us that of the Persian
mountain Arezûra or Demâvend, where the demons met together to plot
evil, and where was the gate of hell.[269]

The Zend word _açma_, which signifies stone and heaven, yields us, in
its double meaning, the key to the interpretation of the myth. This
stone, inasmuch as it is dark, is of evil omen; inasmuch as it shines,
it is a gem, or gives the gem (the moon or the sun); whence, according
to the _Minokhired_, the sky is the progeny of a precious stone.[270]

Thus to the mountain of the demons (where the sun goes down), is
opposed in Persian tradition the glorious mountain, out of which are
born the heroes and the kings (or from which the sun rises and the
moon); because Haoma is born there (the Hindoo Somas), the ambrosial,
golden, and health-bringing god, who gives them the divine
nourishment, and because the sacred bird, which stays on that
mountain, feeds them with ambrosia, whence the _Yaçna_[271] invites
Haoma to grow on the road of the birds.

In a rather obscure passage of the _Gâthâ Ahunavaiti_, confirmed by the
_Bundehesh_, the soul of the bull (or of the cow, as the case may be),
despoiled of his body by the evil one, complains to the Supreme Creator
that he is without defence against the assaults of his enemies, and that
he has no invincible protector. Ahura Mazda seems to wish only to give
him spiritual help, but the bull continues to declare himself
unsatisfied, until Zarathustra, the defender, accords it, and he
receives the gift of efficacious favours which Ahura Mazda alone
possesses.[272] Zarathustra is himself also born upon a mountain;[273]
while his son Çaoshyańç, the deliverer, comes out of the waters.

A sacred cow, or at least a bitch which guards the cows (_paçuvaiti_),
seems, besides a good fairy, to be, in the _Vendiad_ itself,[274] the
conductor of the souls across the bridge Ćinvat, created by Ahura Mazda,
to the kingdom of the blessed. The cow, as the guide of the souls[275]
lost in the kingdom of the dead, and placed upon the bridge, is probably
the moon; the bitch (also the moon) reminds us of the Hindoo Saramâ, the
bitch which aids the heroes who have lost themselves in the nocturnal
forest, grotto, or darkness. In the same chapter, after accounts of the
bridge, we read the praise of the good Çaoka, who has many eyes (like
the brâhmanic Indras, disguised as a woman, having a thousand eyes, and,
after the adventure of Ahalyâ, a thousand wombs--the god hidden in the
night, who looks at the world through a thousand stars); after Çaoka, of
the splendid Veretraghna (who corresponds to Vṛitrahan, properly the
discomfiter of the all-covering darkness); and after him, of the
luminous star Tistar, which seems a bull with golden hoofs,[276] which
again must refer to the moon; as the Gâhs, who, according to Anquetil,
"sont occupées à filer des robes pour les justes dans le ciel," like the
cows and Madonnas in our popular tales, cannot be very different from
the fairy, or at least from the stars which form her crown. The _Khorda
Avesta_, in its hymns in praise of Mithra, celebrates the perfect
friendship which reigns between the sun and the moon, and sings of the
moon immediately after singing of the sun Mithra, and the splendid
Tistar immediately after the moon, whose light is said to come from the
constellation Tistrya.

We can thus divine the meaning of Geusurva (the soul of the bull or
the cow), of which, besides the soul, the body also is invoked in the
_Yaçna_.[277] The Geusurva appears in the _Yaçna_ itself[278] as the
protectress of the fourteenth day of the month, or of the full-moon,
viewed as a full cow. And when it is said in the _Khorda Avesta_[279]
that one must not sacrifice to the Geusurva at the time when the
Daevas, or demons, are practising their evil-doings, it seems to me to
indicate clearly enough that the sacrifice was to take place while the
moon was increasing, and not while it was diminishing. Thus Asha
Vahista, who reminds us of the Hindoo Vasishṭhas and his marvellous
cow, has the power of conjuring away illness, north winds--in a word,
evil of every kind--only when Ag̃ro-maiṇyus appears without help.[280]

We have seen in the legend of Utañkas how, as the youth is on his way
to take the queen's earrings, he meets a bull, upon the excrement of
which he feeds, as upon ambrosia; that this ambrosial bull stays near
Indras, as Indras and Somas are invoked together; and we noticed that
from this mythical belief was derived the superstitious Hindoo custom
of purifying one's self by means of the excrement of a cow. The same
custom passed into Persia; and the _Khorda Avesta_[281] has preserved
the formula to be recited by the devotee, whilst he holds in his hands
the urine of an ox or cow, preparatory to washing his face with
it:--"Destroyed, destroyed be the demon Ahriman, whose actions and
works are cursed. His actions and works do not come to us. May the
thirty-three Amshaspands (the immortal saints, who correspond to the
thirty-three Vedic devâs), and Ormazd, be victorious and pure!" It is
said this remedial formula was used for the first time by Yima, when,
from having touched Ahriman, in order to extricate from his body, by
fraud, Takh mo Urupa, whom the demon had devoured, he had an eruption
on his hand. Finally, it is interesting to learn that one of the Zend
names of the moon is _gaoćithra_, which means he that contains the
seed of the bull, since, according to the _Bundehesh_, the seed of the
primitive bull passed into the moon, who, having purified it, used it
to procreate other cattle (_pôuru çaredho_).

As to the aurora, there seems to be no doubt but that she was
represented in ancient Persia by Ardvî Çûra Anâhita, the elevated, the
strong, the innocent or pure, according to the interpretation of
Professor Spiegel; she also drives a chariot drawn by four white
horses, which she guides herself; she has a veil, a diadem, and
bracelets of gold, beautiful earrings (the Vedic Açvinâu), a dress of
beavers' skin, and prominent breasts; she is beautiful, and she is a
good young girl who protects men and women. She is often invoked in
the _Khorda Avesta_, like the Vedic aurora, to exorcise the demons,
and to help the heroes who combat them; she herself has the strength
of a thousand men, and is a marvellous heroine, like the Vedic amazon
whom Indras fought with; her body is girt round with a girdle. The
probability of this comparison seems to pass into certainty after
reading a hymn of the _Khorda Avesta_,[282] even in the version of
Professor Spiegel, who perhaps would have introduced some little
variation if he had recognised the aurora in Ardvî Çûra Anâhita. In
this hymn, the victorious and mighty Thraetaona, in the form of a
bird, flies for three days and three nights, which reminds us of the
fugitive Indras of the _Ṛigvedas_, who wades across the rivers after
his victory; at the end of the third night he arrives near the aurora,
and beseeches Ardvî Çûra Anâhita (that is, as it seems to us, the
aurora herself, elevated, mighty, and innocent) to come and help him,
that he may pass the waters and touch the ground at her habitation.
Then Ardvî Çûra Anâhita appears in the shape of a beautiful, strong,
and splendid girl, having a golden diadem and wearing shoes of gold
(cfr. the _Yast_, xxi. 19) on her feet (this is perhaps another feeble
foreshadow of Cinderella's slippers); the beautiful girl takes him by
one arm (the bird has, it seems, become a hero), and gives him back
health and strength. But the certainty increases still more when, as
the Vedic aurora is the first of those who arrive, winning the race in
her chariot, the so-called Ardhvî Çûra Anâhita appears in the _Khorda
Avesta_ as "the first who guides the chariot;"[283] and we are
recommended to offer up sacrifices to her at break of day, before the
sun rises.[284] We have seen the Vedic aurora and the sun propose and
solve riddles; we have seen the Hindoo solar hero free himself from
the monster by proposing or solving insoluble enigmas; in the same
way, in the _Avesta_, the hero Yaçto Fryanananm asks Ardvî Çûra
Anâhita to help him to solve ninety-nine enigmas, in order that he may
free himself from the monster Akhtya.

Add to this that Ardvî Çûra Anâhita, like the Vedic aurora, is a giver
of cows and horses, and that these animals are offered to her by her
devotees. The aurora herself, in the invocation made to her in the
sixth prayer of the _Khorda Avesta_, is also called "elevated," and
furnished with swift and splendid horses.[285] The fact of finding the
Anâhita drawn by four white horses, like the sun Mithra, enhances the
evidence of this identity. And if the aurora is not explicitly
represented in the _Avesta_ as a cow, we infer that it was so
conceived of, from the worship of Mithra, who was adored from the
first streak of daylight till midday. Mithra often receives the
epithet of "he who possesses vast pasture-lands;" the morning sun is
therefore a pastoral god; and if so, we are constrained to think of
the Persian aurora too as, if not a cow, at least a female cowherd.

But Mithra is not a god of mere idyllic exploits, he is also a hero;
the _Vendidad_[286] salutes him as "the most victorious of the
victors." The booty of his victory [essentially due to his immediate
predecessors Veretraghna (Vṛitrahan) and Çraosha][287] must have been
the cows of the aurora, without which his immense pasture-lands would
have been of no use to him. Indeed it is said that Mithra enables
owners of herds to recover their lost oxen.[288]

But Mithra is not the only prominent hero of the _Avesta_. Besides him,
the above-cited Veretraghna, with all his secondary and tertiary
reflections, plays an important part in it. Now, this Veretraghna, who
offers numerous analogies to the Vedic Indras, killer of Vṛitras, is,
like Indras, now a hero, now a horse, now a bird, now a sheep, now a
wild boar, and now a bull.[289] As the bull Indras assists Tritas,
Trâitanas, and Kavya Ućanas[290] in the _Ṛigvedas_, so the bull
Veretraghna in the _Avesta_, partaking of the nature of one Thrita[291]
who is rich, splendid, and strong, and who, like Indras, cures maladies
by the help of the guardian of the metals (the usual co-relation between
the hero and the magic pearl), assists Thraetaona, the killer of the
serpent Duhâka (Azhi Dahâka) and the hero Kava Uça, of which Kava
Haoçrava is another name rather than another form. The Thrita and
Thraetaona of the _Zend_ are peculiarly interesting, because they remind
us, though vaguely, of the Vedic myth of the three brothers. Only the
_Avesta_ names Thrita and Thraetaona as two distinct divine heroes; it
attributes to Thraetaona the second place among the three brothers; and
as in the _Mahâbhâratam_, it is the second brother, the strong Bhîmas,
who falls into the waters, whilst the third brother, Arǵunas, delivers
others from the marine monster by his valour, so in the _Avesta_ it is
Thraetaona who comes out of the waters, or who is the son of Athvya
(-Âptya). But every one can see the point of contact, connection, or
identification between the two hero-brothers. It is Bhîmas who comes out
of the waters, and Arǵunas who extricates him, that is, who extricates
his own strength, expressed in Bhîmas (the subject, and his virtue,
become the object, being inclosed in one person). They are confounded
together, inasmuch as Thraetaona, son of him who stays in the waters, or
of the watery one, or he who comes out of the waters, and kills the
demon, must be the same as Thrita, the third one, who has the virtue of
curing demoniacal diseases. Thraetaona, the killer of the serpent, and
Thrita, who destroys the evil-doing ones, are found again, with a
different splendour, in the same heroic adventure. Scarcely an instant
transpires between the time when the hero was a victim and that in which
Veretraghna, or Thraetaona, or Thrita, the hero, triumphs in his own

In the _Yaçna_,[292] we find three men who, by their piety, win the
favour of the god Haoma (Soma, the lunar god, the moon, the good
magician, the good fairy). The first is Vivaghâo, the second Âthvya,
and the third Thrita; from which we are led to conclude that Vivaghâo is
the eldest brother, Âthvya the second, and Thrita the youngest. On
account of their piety, they obtain sons; the son of Vivaghâo is Yima
(the Vedic Yamas), the wise, the happy, the heavenly; the son of Âthvya
is Thraetaona, the warrior who discomfits the monster; the third,
Thrita, called the most useful, has two sons, Urvâksha and Kereçâçpa,
who remind us of the Açvinâu. Âthvya's son and Thrita being confounded
in one person, Thraetaona, or Thrita, forms a new triumvirate with
Urvâksha and Kereçâçpa, as the Vedic Indras with the two Açvinâu. The
story of the three brothers and that of the two brothers seem to be
interwoven even in the myth, as they certainly are afterwards in the
legend. To the three brothers, moreover, correspond, in the _Avesta_,
the three sisters, the three daughters of Zarathustra and of Hvôvi:
Freni, Thriti, and Pourućiçsta.[293] The first seems to correspond to
Yamas, the second to Âptya and his son Thraetaona (or Thrita), the
third, the luminous, the beautiful (as being the aurora), to the two
handsome brother horsemen, Urvâksha and Kereçâçpa (the Açvinâu).

The solar hero comes out of his difficulties, and triumphs over his
enemies, not only by force of arms, but by his innate strength and
prowess. This extraordinary strength, by which he moves and is borne
along, and which renders him irresistible, is the wind, invoked by the
heroes in the _Avesta_ under the name of Râman. The wind, according to
the _Avesta_, is not only the swiftest of the swift, but the strongest
of the strong (like the Marutas, Hanumant, or Bhîmas, Hindoo winds, or
sons of the wind). Even in the _Avesta_, he fights and assures the
heroes of victory, and is dear to woman and girls. (In the same way,
Sîtâ has a leaning for Hanumant, and Hidimbâ, of all the Pâṇḍavas,
gives the preference to Bhîmas.) Moreover, in the _Avesta_, girls
invoke the wind in order to obtain a husband.[294]

A hymn of the _Ṛigvedas_, however, celebrates a kind of quarrel
between the winds Marutas and the god Indras, prompted by rivalry; a
quarrel which ends in Indras having the advantage. It is interesting
to find in the Persian tradition[295] the same rivalry between the
wind (vâta) and the son of Thrita, the hero Kereçâçpa. An evil genie
informs the wind that Kereçâçpa boasts of being superior to him in
strength. Thereupon the wind begins to howl and rage in such a
terrifying manner that nothing can resist him, and the very trees are
cleft in two or torn up, till Kereçâçpa comes and squeezes him so
tightly in his arms that he is obliged to cease. This interesting
mythical incident is a prefigurement of the loud whistle of the heroes
and the monsters in fairy tales, which is brought to an end in a
summary fashion, similar to that of the Persian legend; which also
leads us to suppose that Thraetaona vanquished the serpent Dahâka,
merely by tying him to the demoniacal mountain Demâvend.[296] This
style of vanquishing the enemy by binding him occurs often enough in
the Persian legends and in the _Avesta_ itself;[297] and is also
mentioned in the Hindoo traditions. The arrows of the monsters hurled
against the heroes of the _Râmâyaṇam_ bind them; the god Yamas and the
god Varuṇas bind their victims; the first draws tight, tightens the
reins (_i.e._, the evening sun shortens his rays); the second
envelops, covers and binds with the darkness that which Yamas reined
in. The solar ray which shortens itself, the shadow which advances,
are images of the ensnarer of heroes; whereas the solar ray which
lengthens itself, the thunderbolt which traverses all the heavens,
surrounded by clouds and darkness, represents the hero who grasps
around, presses tightly, and strangles the monster.

The bow of Mithra is formed of a thousand bows, prepared from the
tough hide of a cow; these bows, in the _Avesta_, also hurl a thousand
darts, which fly with winged vultures' feathers.[298] This carries us
back again to the Vedic myth of the birds which come out of the cow.

The bow being considered a cow, this cow sharpens its horns; whence
the _Khorda Avesta_ celebrates the horned darts of the bow of Mithra,
_i.e._, the horns of the cow, which have become weapons[299] or the

The legend of the two brothers is connected more with the myth of the
horse than with that of the cow or the ox. But inasmuch as it presents
the two brothers to us as the one poor and the other rich, the riches
are symbolised by the ox. However, if I am not mistaken, there are
two heroes, celebrated in the _Avesta_ one after the other (and whom I
therefore suppose to be brothers), who derive their origin from this
legend; one is called Çrîraokhsan (or who has a fine ox), the other
Kereçaokhsan (or who has a lean ox). As the _Avesta_ does not go on to
develop this subject more in detail, I dare not insist upon it;
nevertheless it is gratifying to me to remark that, of the two
brothers, Kereçaokhsan was the most valiant, as of the two brothers
Urvâksha (a word which may perhaps signify the one who has the fat
horse, and which is perhaps synonymous with Urvâçpa[300]) and
Kereçâçpa (he of the lean horse), it is the second who is the glorious
hero; as in the Russian popular tales, we shall find the third
brother, though thought to be an idiot, despised by the others, and
riding the worst jade of the stable, yet becoming afterwards the most
fortunate hero. Kereçâçpa avenges his brother Urvâksha against
Hitâçpa, whom Professor Spiegel[301] interprets to mean the bound
horse, but which can also be rendered he who keeps the horse bound,
which would bring us back again to the story of the bridle and of the
hero-horse, whom the demon keeps bound to himself, which we have
already noticed above in the story of the sacrifice of Çunaḥçepas,
delivered by the aurora.

It is uncertain whether we must recognise the aurora or the moon, in
the _Avesta_, in the so-called Ashis Vag̃uhi, the elevated (like Ardvî
Çûra Anâhita), who appears upon the high mountain, rich, beautiful,
splendid, golden-eyed, beneficent, giver of cattle, posterity, and
abundance, who discomfits the demons, guides chariots, and is invoked
by the son of the watery one, Thraetaona, in the _Ashi Yast_,[302] in
order that she may help him to vanquish the three-headed
monster-serpent Dahâka. Now, Thraetaona, the victorious and rich in
oxen,[303] being a well-known form of the solar hero Mithra, it is
interesting to learn how the heroine, the so-called Ashis Vag̃uhi (the
aurora, or the moon, as the three words Ardvî Çûra Anâhita are simple
names of the aurora), having the same supreme god for her father, has
three brothers, of whom the first is Çraosha, the pious; the second,
Rashnus, the strong; and the third, Mithra, the victorious.

She is, moreover, herself represented as being pursued by enemies on
horseback; and it is now a bull, now a sheep, now a child, anon a virgin
who hides her from her pursuers. Not knowing where to go, whether to
ascend into heaven, or creep along the earth, she applies to Ahura
Mazda, who answers that she must neither ascend into heaven nor creep
along the earth, but betake herself to the middle of a beautiful king's
habitation.[304] How is it possible not to recognise in her the moon, or
the aurora, who follows the path of the sun her husband, the moon, or
the aurora, who appears on the summit of the high mountains?

Other facts not devoid of mythological interest might perhaps be found
in the _Avesta_, which, on account of the uncertainty attending the
translation of the original texts, has hitherto been, it seems to me,
utterly neglected by mythologists. And yet, though Anquetil, Burnouf,
Benfey, Spiegel, Haugh, Kossowicz, and all who have turned their
talents and science to the interpretation of the Zendic texts,
disagree in the more abstruse passages, there are many of which the
interpretation is certain, in which the learned translators agree,
which offer interesting mythological data, and permit us, in any case,
to extract from the _Avesta_ an embryo of mythology, in the same way
as an embryo of grammar has already been extracted from it. The brief
references which I have now made to the myth of the cow and the bull
in the _Avesta_, anyhow appear to me sufficient to warrant the
conclusion I draw, that the cow and the bull presented the same
aspects, and generated the same myths and the same beliefs in Persia
as in India, albeit in a form far more feeble and indeterminate.

The solar hero of Persia occurs again in the costume of historical
legend in the Cyrus (Κυρος) of Herodotus and Ktesias, the
first of which represents to us the child exposed by his parents,
saved and educated during his infancy (like the Hindoo Karṇas, child
of the sun, and Kṛishṇas) among the shepherds, where for some time he
gives extraordinary proofs of his valour; the second shows us the
young hero who wins his own bride, Amytis, daughter of Astyages.

Finally, the same hero appears in several splendid and glorious forms
in the _Shahname_.

As in the _Ṛigvedas_, Tritas or Trâitanas, and in the _Avesta_,
Thraetaona (of whom Thritas is a corresponding form), accomplish the
great exploit of killing the monster, and more especially the serpent,
so Feridun, the Persian synonym (by means of the intermediate form
Phreduna) for the Zendic Thraetaona is, in subsequent Persian
tradition, the most distinguished hero in the struggle against the
monster. I shall not insist upon the deeds of Feridun and his mythical
valour, after the learned paper written upon the subject by Professor
R. Roth, which appears in the Transactions of the Oriental Society of
Leipzig, and the able and highly-valued essay by Professor Michael
Bréal on the myth of Hercules and Cacus. I shall therefore content
myself with quoting from the legend of Feridun the episode of his old
age, which reminds us of the Vedic myth of the three brothers.

The great king Feridun has three sons, Selm, Tûr, and Ireǵ (Selm, Tûr,
and Er are also the sons of Thraetaona); he divides the world into
three parts and gives the west to the first-born, and the north to the
second, whilst he keeps Iran for the youngest. The two eldest are
jealous, and announce to their father their intention of declaring war
against him, unless he expels their younger brother Ireǵ from the
palace. Feridun replies to their impious threat with haughty reproofs,
and meanwhile warns the young Ireǵ of the danger he is in. The youth
proposes to go in person to his brothers, and induce them to make
peace; his father is unwilling to let him go, but finally consents,
and gives him a letter for the two brothers, in which he commends him
as his best-loved son to their care. Ireǵ arrives at his brothers'
dwelling; their soldiers see him, and cannot take their eyes off him,
as though they already recognised him for their lord. Then Selm, the
eldest, advises Tûr, the second, the strong one, to kill Ireǵ; Tûr
thereupon assaults the defenceless Ireǵ, and transfixes his breast
with a dagger. Ireǵ is afterwards avenged by the son of his daughter
(born after his death of a maid whom he had left pregnant), the hero
Minućehr, who kills Selm and Tûr.

The hero who succeeds Minućehr is Sal, the son of Sam, whom, because
born with white hair, his father had exposed upon Mount Alburs, where
the bird Simurg nourished and saved him. Sal proves his wisdom before
Minućehr by solving six astronomical riddles which King Minućehr
proposes to him. The king, satisfied, orders him to be dressed in
festive clothes; he then, to prove his strength, challenges him to run
a tilt with the horsemen; Sal is victorious, and obtains another robe
of honour and innumerable royal gifts; after which he espouses Rudabe,
daughter of King Mihrab.

Sal distinguishes himself, like Minućehr, in his wars against the
perverse Turanians, the dragons and the monsters, in which he takes
along with him as his chief helper the mighty hero Rustem, whose
weapon is a club surmounted with the head of a bull[305] or a horned
mace (the hero is the bull, the thunderbolts are his horns), and whose
horse is so powerful as by itself to fight and vanquish a lion while
Rustem is asleep. The hero himself kills a dragon, and a witch
transformed into a beautiful woman, but who resumes her monstrous
shape as soon as the hero pronounces the name of a god. He thunders
like a cloud, is dark, and describes himself as a thunder-cloud which
hurls the thunderbolt.[306] He binds the warrior Aulad, and obliges
him to reveal where the demons detain in prison King Kawus, who is
become blind in their kingdom of darkness. Kawus then informs Rustem
that to recover his sight his eyes must be anointed with three drops
of blood from the slain demon Sefid; upon which Rustem sets out to
kill the demon. The demons can be vanquished only by day; when it is
light, they sleep, and then they can be conquered, says Aulad to
Rustem; for this reason, Rustem does not begin the enterprise till the
sun is in mid-heaven;[307] then he thunders and lightens at the
demons. Like a sun, he sets out towards the mountain (no doubt,
towards sunset), where the demon Sefid sits, and arrives at the mouth
of a deep and gloomy cavern, from which Sefid sallies forth in the
form of a black giant just awakened from his sleep. The giant himself,
like an enormous mountain assaulting the earth, hurls a rock like a
millstone at Rustem; Rustem strikes the monster on the feet, and lops
away one of them; the lame giant continuing the fight, Rustem at last
wrestles with him, lifts him into the air, then beats him several
times furiously against the ground, and so takes his life. He throws
the body of Sefid into the mountain cavern, whilst his blood saturates
the earth, and gives back to the prince Kawus his eyesight and his
splendour. The myth is a beautiful and an expressive one. As from the
black venomous serpent comes white healthy milk, so from the black
monster, at his death, comes blood, which gives back his eyesight to
the blinded prince; the red aurora is here represented as the blood of
the nocturnal monster, discomfited by the solar hero.

Let me ask the reader to notice the Persian comparison of the rock
thrown by the demon to a millstone, as it is important to explain a
superstition still extant in the West, to the effect that the devil
goes under the millstone to carry out his evil designs. The stone or
mountain fractured by the waters was naturally compared to a millstone
moved by the waters; the demons inhabit the cavernous mountain to
guard the waters; thus the devil, the evil one, the hobgoblins, prefer
mills as their dwellings.

Rustem fights, in the _Shahname_, many other victoriously successful
battles against Afrasiab the Turanian, and other demoniacal beings, in
the service of sundry heroic kings, with epic incidents to boot, which
are nearly all uniform. His struggle against his son Sohrab, however,
is of an entirely different character.

Rustem goes to the chase. In the forest, Turkish bandits rob him of
his invaluable horse while he sleeps; he then sets out, alone and sad,
towards the city of Semengam, following the track left by his horse.
When he appears, emerging from the wood, the king of Semengam and his
courtiers note the phenomenon as though it were the sun coming out of
the clouds of morning.[308] The king receives Rustem with great
hospitality, and, as if to fill to the full the measure of his
courtesy, he sends at night to the room where he sleeps his
exceedingly beautiful daughter Tehmime. The hero and the beauty
separate in the morning; but Rustem, before parting from Tehmime,
leaves her a pearl of recognition. If a daughter is born to their
loves, she is to wear it as an amulet in her hair; if a son, he is to
wear it on his arm, and he will become an invincible hero. After nine
months, Tehmime gives birth to Sohrab; at the age of one month he
seems a year old, at three years of age he amuses himself with arms,
at five he gives proof of a lion's courage, and at ten he vanquishes
all his companions, and asks his mother to inform him of his father,
threatening to kill her if she does not tell him. Scarcely does Sohrab
learn that he is the son of Rustem, than he conceives the desire of
becoming king of Iran and supplanting Kawus; he then commences his
persecution of the Iranian heroes by assaulting the white castle (the
white morning sky, the alba), defended by a beautiful warrior
princess, Gurdaferid, dear to the Iranian warriors. Sohrab conquers
and destroys the white castle, but in the moment of triumph, the
warrior maiden disappears. The old hero Rustem then moves against his
own son Sohrab; the latter throws him down, but Rustem, in his turn,
mortally wounds Sohrab. In the old Rustem thrown down on the mountain
it is not difficult to recognise the setting sun; in Sohrab mortally
wounded by Rustem, the sun itself, which dies; and in fact, the dying
sun has a different appearance from the new sun which rises and
triumphs in the heavens: these two appearances might give rise to the
idea of a struggle between the old and the young sun, in which both
are sacrificed. Indeed, Rustem feels, when he mortally wounds Sohrab,
that he is wounding himself; he curses his work and immediately sends
for a healing balsam; but in the meantime Sohrab dies. The only one
who could destroy the young sun was the old sun; the sun grows old and
dies; Rustem alone could kill Sohrab. With the death of Sohrab the
glory of Rustem is also eclipsed; he retires unto solitude, and the
most grandiose period of his epic life comes to an end. After this he
only reappears in episodic battles or enterprises; as, for instance,
in his setting fire to Turan, in which he resembles Hanumant, burner
of Lañkâ; in the liberation of the young hero Bishen, who had been
taken prisoner and incarcerated by the Turanians; in the killing of
the powerful and perverse Turanian Afrasiab; and in his own death in
an ambuscade set by young rivals of the old lion, who dies taking
vengeance on his enemies.

In the very palace of Kawus (he who was protected by Rustem), a
notable legendary drama takes place. Sijavush, son of King Kawus, is
seduced by the queen-mother Sudabe, who burns with love for him. The
youth spurns this love, upon which she accuses him to King Kawus as
her seducer. The father, after hearing his son's defence in proof of
his innocence, cannot believe the queen; and thereupon she devises
another method for destroying the young Sijavush. She concerts with a
slave she has, who is a sorceress, and persuades her to create two
little venomous monsters, which she straightway proclaims aloud are
the children of Sijavush. Then Sijavush, to prove his innocence,
submits willingly to the trial by fire; he enters the flames upon his
black horse, after having embraced his trembling father; both horse
and horseman come out of the immense fire, amid the plaudits of all
the spectators. Then the king gives orders to strangle the unnatural
queen; but his son Sijavush intercedes in her favour, and Sudabe is
allowed to live by grace of the young prince, whom, however, she
continues to persecute, till, on the death of Sijavush, Rustem, who
bewailed him as his own son, or as his other self, avenges him first
by killing Sudabe, on account of whom Sijavush had been obliged to
repair to Turan, and afterwards by carrying the war into Turan, where,
after a very agitated life, Sijavush had fallen into the power of his
father-in-law, Afrasiab, and been put to death.

The wife of Sijavush, Ferengis by name, being pregnant, is hospitably
entertained by Piran, and gives birth to the hero Kai Khosru; and no
sooner is he born than he is consigned to the shepherds of the
mountain. As early as seven years of age, his favourite amusement is
that of drawing the bow; at ten, he confronts wild boars, bears,
lions, and tigers with only his shepherd's staff. When Afrasiab sees
the young shepherd, he inquires at him about his sheep and the
peaceful pursuits of shepherds; the boy replies with stories of lions
having sharp teeth, and of other wild animals, of which he is not
afraid. As soon as he comes to manhood, he flees from Turan, followed
by the Turanians; he arrives at the banks of a river, where the
ferryman asks impossible conditions to take him over; upon which, like
Feriḍun, he crosses the river safely, but without a boat, and on dry
feet (it is the sun traversing the cloudy and gloomy ocean without
wetting himself);[309] arrived at length in Iran, he is feasted and
fêted as the future king. His reign begins; he then assigns different
tasks to different heroes, among whom is his brother Firud, born of
another mother, of whom it is said that a single hair of his head has
more strength in it than many warriors (one ray of the sun is enough
to break the darkness). One evening, however, at sunset, Firud is
killed in his castle upon the mountain, being surrounded by a crowd of
enemies, after having lost his horse, and after his mother Cerire had
dreamt that a fire had consumed both mountain and castle. His mother
Cerire (the evening aurora) throws herself among the flames with her
maids, and dies also. Kai Khosru bewails the loss of his brother Firud
all the night through, till the cock crows; when morning comes he
thinks of avenging him.

After this, the life of Kai Khosru is consumed in battles fought by
his heroes against the Turanians. Only towards the end of his days
does he become a penitent king; he will no longer allow his subjects
to fight, and his only occupation is prayer; he takes leave of his
people and his daughters in peace, ascends a mountain, and disappears
in a tempest, leaving no trace of himself. In a similar manner the
heroes Yudhishṭhiras, Cyrus, and Romulus disappear (not to speak of
the biblical Moses, still less of Christ, as we do not wish to
complicate a comparison of which the materials are already so
extensive, by mixing up the Aryan elements with those of Semitic
origin; although the legends of the serpent, of Noah, of Abraham and
his regained wife, of Abraham and his son Isaac, of Joseph and his
brethren, of Joshua, of Job, and other and more recent biblical
heroes, by their mythical or astronomical import, present numerous
analogies with the Indo-European legends); in a similar manner, the
old sun, weary of reigning in the heavens and fighting for his life,
becomes invisible every evening on the mountain-peaks.

The _Shahname_ contains numerous other legends besides those which we
have thus far briefly described; and one of the most notable is,
beyond a doubt, that of Isfendiar, who goes with his brother Bishutem
to deliver his two sisters, imprisoned in a fortress by the Turanian
king Ardshasp. The seven adventures of Isfendiar, _i.e._, his meeting
with the wolf, the lion, the dragon, the witch (who makes herself
beautiful, but who is no sooner bound with the enchanted necklace of
Isfendiar [the solar disc] than she becomes old and ugly again), the
gigantic bird, the tempest and the river, all of which dangers he
victoriously overcomes, are reproductions, in an analogous form too,
of the seven adventures of Rustem.

Finally, the legend of Iskander or Iskender (the name of Alexander of
Macedon), full of extraordinary adventures, became exceedingly popular
in Persia, and thence, no doubt, passed with all its charms into Europe.
The audacity and good fortune, the glory and the power of the great
conqueror were the reasons why there grouped round his name so many
extraordinary stories, which wandered dispersedly through the world
without epic unity. To make up one glorious and never-to-be-forgotten
hero, were combined together the achievements of many anonymous or
nearly forgotten ones. The Persian _Iskendername_ of Nishâmi, is, as its
name denotes, entirely taken up with the celebration of the deeds of the
Macedonian hero, of which the most illustrious are the liberation of the
princess Nushâbe (taken prisoner by the Russians), and the voyage in
search of the fountain of life and immortality, which, however, Iskander
cannot find. From Persia the same legend afterwards passed, with new
disguises, into Egypt, Armenia, and Greece, whence it was diffused
during the middle ages over almost the whole of Western Europe.[310]

As a bridge of transition between the Hindoo and Persian, and the Turk
or Tartar traditions, we shall make use of three works: the Turkish
version[311] of the Persian _Tuti-Name_, itself a translation and in
part a paraphrase of the Hindoo _Çuka-Saptatî_, _i.e._, the seventy
(stories) of the parrot; the Mongol stories of _Siddhi-kûr_, and the
Mongol history of _Ardshi-Bordshi Khân_,[312] the first being a
paraphrase of the Hindoo _Vetâla-Pańćavinçatî_, _i.e._, the
twenty-five of the Vetâla (a kind of demon), and the second of the
Hindoo _Vikrama-ćaritram_ (the heroic action).

We have seen in the _Âitareya Brahmânam_ the father who prepares to
offer up his son, and in the _Mahâbhâratam_, the son who forfeits
youth that his father may live. In the _Tuti-Name_,[313] the faithful
Merdi Gânbâz prepares to sacrifice his wife and sons, and afterwards
himself, to prolong the life of the king; but his devotion and
fidelity being proved, he is arrested by God before he can accomplish
the cruel sacrifice, and receives numberless benefits from the king.

In the story of the goldsmith and the woodcutter, the _Tuti-Name_[314]
reproduces the two brothers or friends, of whom one is wicked, rich, and
avaricious, while the other is defrauded of the money due to him,
because, though, in reality intelligent, he is supposed to be an idiot.
The woodcutter avenges himself upon the goldsmith by a plan which we
shall find described in the legend of the bear, and recovers, thanks to
his craftiness, the gold which his brother or friend had kept from him.

In the interesting story of Merhuma,[315] we read of the wife who is
persecuted by the seducer her brother-in-law. To avenge her refusal, he
causes her to be stoned during the absence of his brother; being
innocent, she rises again from under the stones; being sheltered by a
Bedouin, a monster of a slave seduces her; being repulsed, he accuses
her of the death of the Bedouin's little son, whom he had himself
killed; the beautiful girl flees away; she frees a youth who was
condemned to death, and who in his turn seduces her. She then embarks in
a ship; while she is at sea all the sailors become enamoured of her and
wish to possess her; she invokes the god who caused Pharaoh to be
drowned and who saved Noah from the waters. The waves begin to move; a
thunderbolt descends and burns to ashes all who are in the ship, with
the exception of the beautiful girl, who lands safe and sound upon the
shore (it is the aurora coming out of the gloomy ocean of night, and the
monsters who persecute her are burned to ashes by the thunderbolts and
the sun's rays); she thence escapes into a convent, in which she
ministers to the unfortunate, cures the lame, and gives eyesight to the
blind. Among the latter is her persecutor, the brother of her husband;
she pardons him and gives him back his eyesight; in the same way she
cures all her other persecutors. It is scarcely necessary for me to
remind the reader how this oriental tale, which developed itself from
the myth of the persecuted and delivering aurora which we have seen in
the Vedic hymns, reappears in numerous very popular western legends, of
which Crescentia and Geneviève are the most brilliant types.

The aurora comes out of the gloomy ocean and is espoused by the sun;
these heavenly nuptials in proximity to the sea gave rise to the
popular tale[316] of the king who wishes the sea with its pearls to be
present at his nuptials; the pearls of the bride-aurora are supposed
to come out of the sea of night. The sea sends as gifts to the king a
casket of pearls, a chest of precious dresses, a horse that goes like
the morning wind, and a chest full of gold.

The wise aurora figures again in the story of the ingenious
princess[317] who discovers, by means of a story-riddle, the robbers
who, during the night, stole the precious gem destined for the king.

The aurora imparts splendour and eyesight to the blinded sun. The story
of the three-breasted princess who, while she meditates poisoning the
blind man, in order that she may enjoy unrestrained the affections of
her young and handsome lover, relents and gives him back his sight,
reappears in a rather incomplete form in the _Tuti-Name_.[318]

The girl who has been married to a monster, whom she flees from to
follow a handsome young lover, who, arriving at the banks of a river,
despoils her of her riches, leaves her naked and passes over to the
other side, after which she resigns herself to her fate and resolves to
return to her husband the monster,[319] represents the evening aurora,
who flees before the monster of night to follow her lover the sun, who,
in the morning, after adorning himself with her splendour, leaves her on
the shore of the gloomy ocean and runs away, the aurora being thereupon
obliged in the evening to re-unite herself to her husband the monster.
It is interesting, moreover, as bearing upon our subject, to note the
expression of which the youth who flees with the beautiful woman makes
use to express his fear of discovery. He says that the monster-husband
will follow them, and that should he sit upon the horns of the bull (the
moon) he would be sure to recognise him. The story of two young people
fleeing upon a bull, and followed by the monster, occurs again in the
Russian popular tales. By the horns of the bull, the youth means the
most prominent and visible situation; and he knows, moreover, that if
the monster overtakes them, he will be sure to demonstrate the truth of
the brave proverb which advises us in arduous undertakings to take the
bull by the horns.

It is also the aurora who is represented by the beautiful maiden[320]
whom her father, mother, and brother have, without each other's
knowledge, severally affianced to three youths of different
professions. The three young men contend for her person, but while the
quarrel is undecided, the girl dies. The three then go to visit her
tomb; one discovers her body, the second finds that there is still
some life in her, and the third strikes her and raises her up alive,
upon which the quarrel is resumed. She flees from them, and withdraws
into another living tomb, a convent. In the most popular form of this
legend the three companions, or three brothers, fighting for the
bride, divide her; the aurora is torn into pieces as soon as the sun,
her true lover and rightful suitor, appears.

From darkness comes forth light; from the old, the young; from death,
life; from the dust of a dead man's skull, tasted by a virgin, is born a
wonderful child, who knows how to distinguish false pearls from real,
dishonest women from honest ones[321] (the morning sun can distinguish
between light and darkness); the wise boy (the young sun) is the brother
of the wise girl (the young aurora). The flesh of a killed Brâhman is
turned into gold in another story of the _Tuti-Name_.[322]

We have seen that the aurora and the sun are mother and son, brother
and sister, or lover and mistress. The sun in the evening dies
ignominiously, is sacrificed and hanged upon a gibbet, and with
himself sacrifices his mother or his mistress. The legend is popular
and ancient which speaks of the robber son, when about to end his life
upon a gibbet,[323] biting the nose off his mother, who gave birth to
him and brought him up badly. In the _Tuti-Name_,[324] it is the young
adulterer (and robber too) who, condemned to death for his adultery,
asks to see his mistress once more before his death and kiss her, and
who, as she does so, gratifies his revenge by inflicting upon her a
like indignity. It is remarkable how, even in the Hindoo popular tale,
the story of the adulterer is confounded with that of a thief; the
adulterer ends by being thrown into the water (the sun and the aurora
fall into the gloomy ocean of night).

In the next story it is the wicked husband who, travelling with his
rich wife for change of dwelling-place, despoils her of her clothes,
and then throws her into a well in order to ensure possession of her
jewels and wardrobe. These riches, however, do not last long; he
becomes poor and goes begging alms, dressed as a mendicant, until he
finds his wife again, who had been saved by divine intervention from
the well, and provided anew with clothes and jewels of equal
gorgeousness. The husband passes some time with his wife, and then
sets out again on a voyage with her; he arrives at the same well, and
throws her in as before to enjoy alone her stripped-off garnitures and
riches. (The meaning of the myth is evident; it is the sun throwing
the splendid aurora into the gloomy waters of the night.)

A king becomes enamoured of the beauteous Mahrusa;[325] his
councillors tear him from his love, upon which he pines away in
solitude and dies. The beautiful girl unites herself to him in the
grave (Romeo and Juliet, the evening aurora and the sun die together).

The story of the three brothers, the Ṛibhavas, occurs again in the
_Tuti-Name_,[326] with other particulars which we already know. The
first brother is the wise one; the second is a maker of talismans
(amongst other things he can make a horse which will run in one day
over a space of ground that would take other horses thirty); the third
and youngest brother is the victorious archer. They set out to search
for the beautiful maiden who has fled by night from the house of her
father. The first brother discovers, by his wisdom, that the maiden
was carried off by the fairies into an island-mountain which men
cannot reach. The second creates a wonderful animal upon which to
traverse the intervening waters (Christophoros or Bhîmas). Having
arrived at the island-mountain, the third and youngest brother fights
the demon, the lord of the fairies, vanquishes him, and frees the
beautiful girl, who thereupon is conducted back to her father. Then
there arises the usual quarrel between the three brothers as to who is
to possess the bride.

In the Vedâs, we have the sky and the moon represented as a cup. From
the little cup of abundance (the moon) it is easy to pass to the
miraculous little pipkin (the moon), in which the kind-hearted but poor
housekeeper of the Pâṇḍavas, in the _Mahâbhâratam_, still finds
abundance of vegetables, after her powers of hospitality had been
exhausted on the god Kṛishṇas disguised as a beggar--to the pipkin from
which can be taken whatever is wished for. In the _Tuti-Name_,[327] a
woodcutter finds ten magicians round a pipkin, and eating out of it as
much and whatever they want; they are pleased with the woodcutter, and,
at his request, give him the pipkin. He invites his acquaintances to a
banquet at his house, but not able to contain himself for joy, he places
the pipkin upon his head, and begins to dance. The pipkin falls to the
ground and is broken to pieces, and with it his fortune vanishes (the
story of Perrette).

A variation of the small cup is the wooden porringer (the moon), which
two brothers (the Açvinâu) dispute for, in the history of the king of
China,[328] and from which can be taken whatever drink and food is
wished for; as, in the same story, we find the enchanted shoes which
carry us in an instant wherever we wish to go;--which brings us back
to the fugitive Vedic aurora, the swiftest in the race, and to the
popular tales relating to Cinderella, who is overtaken and found again
by the prince only when she has lost her enchanted slipper. With the
porringer and the enchanted shoes we find, in the popular tales, the
little purse full of money which fills again as fast as it is emptied
(another form of the cup of abundance), and a sword which, when
unsheathed, causes a fine, rich, and great city to arise in a desert,
which city disappears when the sword is put back into the sheath (the
solar ray is the drawn sword, which makes the luminous city of the
rich aurora arise; scarcely does the sun's ray vanish, or scarcely is
the sword sheathed, than the marvellous city vanishes). The rest of
the story is also interesting, because it applies to three men a
double and well-known fable of the animals which contend for the prey
(as the three brothers contend for the beautiful maiden whom they have
found again). The animals cannot divide it equally; they refer to the
judgment of a man passing by; he divides it so well that the animals
are ever after grateful to him, and help him in every danger. The
story of the _Tuti-Name_ touches upon this form of the myth, but soon
abandons it for another equally zoological, and a more familiar one,
that of the third who comes in between two that quarrel, and enjoys
the prey. The young adventurer undertakes to put an end to the dispute
of the two brothers as to the division of the purse, the porringer,
the sword and the wonderful shoes; he does so by putting the shoes on
his feet and fleeing away with the other three articles contended for
(the two brothers Açvinâu, the two twilights, contend for the moon and
also for the aurora, as we shall see better in the next chapter; the
sun puts an end to their quarrel by espousing her himself).

We are already familiar with the Vedic Ṛibhavas who out of one cup make
four. Probably upon this legend depends that of the four brothers of the
_Tuti-Name_,[329] who, as they let each a pearl fall from their forehead
upon the ground, see four mines open, one of copper, the second of
silver, the third of gold (the third brother is here again the
favourite), the fourth only of iron. The gem appears to be the sun
itself. The four mines seem to me to represent respectively the coppery
sky in the evening, the silver sky in the moonlight night, the sky in
the morning, golden with the dawn, and the iron sky, the grey or azure,
of the day. The word _nîlas_ in Sanskrit means azure, as well as black,
and between azure and black is grey, the colour of iron.

Of the three brothers, the most learned, he who solves the enigmas, is
often the eldest; and in the story of the _Tuti-Name_,[330] the eldest
of the three brothers explains why old men have white hair, saying
that this whiteness is a symbol of the clearness of their thoughts.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us now pass to the Calmuc and Mongol stories of _Siddhi-kûr_,
which, as we have said above, are also of Hindoo origin.

In the first story, the three companions, forming at first three
groups of two, have resolved into six. The night-time is divided into
three, into six, into seven (six, _plus_ an extraordinary one, born
afterwards), into nine (three groups of three), into twelve (three
groups of four). Hence, near the monster with three, six, seven, nine,
or twelve heads, we find sometimes three, sometimes six, seven, nine,
twelve brother-heroes. The last head (or the last two, three, or four
heads) of the monster, the decisive one, is the most difficult, and
even dangerous, to cut off; the last of the brothers is he who, by
cutting it off, is victorious. In the first Calmuc story of
_Siddhi-kûr_, six brothers or companions separate where six rivers
take their rise, and go in search of fortune. The first-born perishes;
the second, by means of his wisdom (he partakes of the wisdom of the
first-born, with whom he is grouped), discovers the place where the
dead one is buried; the third, the strong one, breaks the rock under
which the eldest is hidden; the fourth resuscitates him by means of a
health-bringing drink, as Bhîmas, the strong hero of the
_Mahâbhâratam_, arises again when he drinks the water of health and
strength; the fifth brother creates a bird, which the sixth colours;
this bird flies to the bride of the eldest brother, and brings her
among his companions, who, finding her exceedingly beautiful, become,
one and all, enamoured of her; they fight for her, and, that each may
have a part, end by cutting her to pieces. We already know the
mythical meaning of this legend.

The third and fourth Calmuc tales introduce explicitly the bull and
the cow. In the third, a man who possesses but one cow unites himself
to her, in order to make her fruitful. Of this union a tailed monster
is born, having a man's body and a bull's head. The man-bull
(Minotauros) goes into the forest, where he finds three
companions--one black, one green, and one white--who accompany him.
The man-bull overcomes the enchantments of a dwarf witch; his three
companions lower him into a well and leave him there, but he escapes.
He meets a beautiful maiden drawing water, at whose every footstep a
flower arises; he follows her, and finally finds himself in heaven; he
fights against the demons, in favour of the gods, and dies in this
enterprise. This story, of Hindoo origin, where the bull and the cow
take the place of the hero and the maiden, appears to me to justify
the amplitude of the comparisons.

We have already seen the beneficial qualities of the excrement of the
cow. In the fourth story, it is under the excrement of a cow that the
enchanted gem, lost by the daughter of the king, is found. It is of
the cow that the pearl is the secretion. The moon-cow and the
aurora-cow are rich in pearls; they are pearls themselves, like the
sun; the sun comes out of the aurora, the pearl comes out of the cow.

The subject of the seventh tale is the three sisters who, taking the
cattle to pasture, lose a buffalo, or black bull. In their search for
it, they came across an enchanted castle, tenanted by a white bird,
who offers to marry them. The third sister consents, and marries him.
The bird turns out then to be a handsome cavalier (a form of
Lohengrin). But having, by the advice of a witch, burned the aviary,
she loses him, and cannot recover him till the aviary is restored. We
shall see the sun as a bird in the Vedic hymns; the aurora is the
aviary, made of flames, of this divine bird. When the aviary is burned
at morn, the aurora and the sun separate; they meet again in the
evening, when the aviary is reconstructed.

Another beautiful myth of analogous import occurs again in the eighth
story. A woodman and a painter envy each other; the painter makes the
king believe that the woodman's father, who is in heaven, has written
ordering his son to repair to paradise, in order to build him a temple,
and to take the route that the painter shall indicate. The king orders
the woodman to set out for paradise. The painter prepares a funeral
pyre, by way of exit; from this the woodman succeeds in escaping, and,
going back to the king, he tells him that he has been to paradise, and
presents a letter which his father has given him, ordering the painter
to come by the same road, and paint the temple. The king requires the
summons to be obeyed, and the perfidious painter perishes in the flames.
The morning sun emerges safe and sound from the flames of the morning
aurora; the evening sun passes through those flames, and dies.

The tenth Calmuc tale gives us the myth of the two brothers; the rich
one avaricious and wicked, and the poor one virtuous. The story ends
in a manner analogous to that of the dying adulterer, who, as we have
seen in the _Tuti-Name_, bites off his mistress's nose.

The eleventh story is a variation of that of the lover, or husband,
who abandons or kills his wife, after having despoiled her of her
riches; but instead of the waters of the sea, we have here the sea of
sand, the sandy desert, in a cavity of which is deposited the young
girl, shut up in a chest, the same chest which in other popular tales
drifts about on the surface of the water.[331] But into the place
where it was laid, the chest having been taken away by a young prince,
a tiger enters; the unworthy husband turns up himself to abstract the
chest, and is torn to pieces by the tiger. The sterile night is a vast
desert, a sea of waters, a sea of sand; the sun-prince frees the
aurora from the waters, out of the well, or the cavern of the desert;
the tiger kills the monster-husband.

In the twelfth tale, a thief steals the enchanted gem from the prince;
he throws the gem to the ground, the consequence of which is that the
prince's nose bleeds so excessively that he dies. The nose is the most
prominent part of the face, the most conspicuous and splendid part; it
is the gem of the sun-prince. The sun falls at night upon the
mountain; the gem falls to the ground; the prince's nose bleeds; he
has struck his nose against the ground, and it bleeds. The sun-prince
dies, and the evening sky is tinged red, blood-colour; the sun, who
loses his blood in the evening, dies.

The thirteen Calmuc stories are followed by ten Mongol tales; in all,
twenty-three, of which the sixteenth, however, is lost.

The fourteenth tells us of the rich and avaricious man whose poor
brother goes in despair into the forest to die upon a rock; but his
presence not being known to the spirits, he has the good luck to come
upon a hammer and a sack, of which the former, when struck against an
object, produces whatever is desired by the owner, the latter being
used to carry away the objects thus obtained, this hammer and this
sack having been left there by the hobgoblins. Thus the poor brother
becomes rich, and is envied by the other, who goes to the same place,
in hopes of experiencing the same good fortune; but as he does not
hide himself, the hobgoblins see him, and believing him to be the man
who stole the hammer and the sack, avenge themselves upon him by
lengthening his nose, and covering it with protuberances. To this myth
may perhaps be referred the origin of the Italian expression, "Restare
con uno o due palmi di naso," to remain with one or two spans of the
nose; that is to say, to be laughed at, and with the gesture by which
derision is accompanied, and which is addressed to the man who is
laughed at, by applying one or sometimes both hands to the end of
one's nose. The poor brother, now rich, visits the miserly brother,
who has a long nose covered with protuberances, and knocks them off
with his hammer. He had already knocked off eight, and only one
remained, when, at his wife's request, he desisted and left the last
one on. The rich man's wife, seeing how the protuberances had been
taken off by striking them, tries herself to remove the last one, and
strikes it with a hammer; but not calculating her aim accurately, she
splits her husband's head open, and he dies.

In the seventeenth Mongol story, an old man and an old woman have nine
cows. The old man is fond of meat, and eats all the calves; the old
woman, on the other hand, has a great liking for milk and butter, with
which she satiates herself. When the old man has eaten all the calves,
he thinks that one cow more or less will not affect his wealth;
reasoning thus, he eats all the cows except one, which he spares out
of respect for the whim of his old wife. But one day that the old
woman is out, the old man cannot resist the temptation, and kills the
last cow. His wife returns, is angry, and abandons him, upon which he
throws after her one of the cow's breasts. The woman, in grateful
memory of the milk and butter she liked so much, takes it up and goes
up the mountain, where she strikes the cow's breast against the summit
of the rock, and thereupon there flow out milk and butter in rivers.
She satisfies her appetite, and then remembers that her husband is
perhaps dying of hunger, feeding, as he does, upon ashes; she
therefore, but secretly, throws butter into the house down the
chimney, and then disappears. In this attention the old man recognises
the love of his wife, and resolves upon the plan of following her
footsteps during the night upon the snow. He comes to the mountain,
sees the breast, and cannot resist the temptation it offers; he eats
it, and takes the butter away with him. The old woman wanders about
till she comes upon a herd of deer, who pasture freely, and who,
instead of fleeing, let themselves be milked. Again, she thinks of her
husband, and she throws deer's butter down the chimney. The old man
follows her over the snow, finds her near the deer, and kills them in
his inordinate passion for meat. The old woman continues to wander
about, and stumbles this time upon a cavern of the wild beasts,
guarded by a hare. The hare defends her from the wild beasts; but she
then conceives the idea of giving her husband a stick, and throws it
down the chimney whilst he is taking the ashes up with a spoon. He
follows her, and comes to the cave of the wild animals, who, seeing
them arrive together, tear them to pieces. Here again we have the myth
of the sun and the aurora (or the fine season); the hare who guards
the cavern and tames the wild beasts is, as we shall see in the
chapter which treats of it, the moon, the cows and the deer being the
same. The ferocious animals of the cavern of night rend both sun and
aurora (or fine season), both old man and old woman.

The eighteenth Mongol story is too indecent for me to relate, or for
the reader to peruse; suffice it to say, that we have in it a comic
variation of the Amazon heroine, and that this heroine calls herself
Sûrya (the sun) Bagatur (to which corresponds the bagatír; or hero, of
the Russians).

In the twentieth tale we have a calf and a lion's whelp brought up
together by a lioness upon the same milk.[332] When grown, the lion
goes and inhabits the forest, or the desert, and the bull, the
mountain illumined by the sun, meeting as good friends and brothers to
drink the same water. This good understanding is, however, put an end
to by their perfidious uncle the fox, who persuades the lion to
believe that the bull designs to kill him, and adds that when the bull
in the morning strikes the ground with his horns, and bellows loudly,
will be the sign that he is going to carry his purpose into effect; he
then tells the bull that the lion has a similar design against him. In
the morning, when the two brothers, bull and lion, go to drink the
same water, they approach each other with suspicion, engage in battle
and kill each other, the fox, or wolf, being the only one to benefit
by the quarrel. This is a form of the story of the two twilights (the
Açvinâu), which we shall illustrate in the following chapter.

The beginning of the twenty-first Mongol story offers a new analogy
with the apologue of Perrette.[333] A poor father and mother find a
little lamb's-wool; they consult together, and resolve with the wool
to make cloth, and with the cloth to buy an ass. Upon this ass they
will place their little child, and go a-begging; by begging they will
become yet richer, and buy another ass. Of the two, a young ass will
be born. The youngster immediately exclaims that if a young donkey is
born he will ride upon it; whereupon his mother answers, "You would
break its back," when, accompanying these words with the movement of a
stick, she strikes the youngster's head with it, and kills him; with
him the fine projects of the poor parents also vanish.

In the last of the stories of _Siddhi-kûr_, which is joined to the
three legends of the grateful animals, the disguises, and the laughing
princess, a man uses the horns of his dead buffalo to grub up the
roots upon which he lives in exile.

The history of _Ardshi-Bordshi_ also contains several interesting

It begins with a challenge among the children who keep the king's cows
to run a race from the summit of a mountain. The first who comes to
the winning-post is honoured as a king by his companions for that day,
and acts and judges on the spot where the race takes place as a real
king; indeed, he judges and decides as a court of final appeal on
cases which have not been well examined by the great king of the
country. He unmasks and convicts robbers and false witnesses acquitted
by the king as innocent, and sends a missive to the king, recommending
him to be more cautious in future in his judgments, or else to resign
his royal dignity. The great king wonders at the extraordinary wisdom
of the king of the children, and ascribes his preternatural sagacity
to the magical influence of the mountain where the children who guard
the cows play their games. On another occasion, the king of the
children, by his craftiness, detects a demon in one whom the king had
thought to be the legitimate son of his minister. The discovery is
made by means of a challenge to the minister's real son and his
demoniacal counterfeit to get into a small jug at hand. The real son
cannot; but the supposititious makes himself small and enters the jug,
in which the king of the children shuts him up with a diamond, and
administers thereupon fresh reproof to the great king for his
carelessness. The great king then visits the mountain of the children,
and sees a golden throne with thirty-two steps emerge from the ground;
upon each step there is a wooden puppet (the moon). The great king has
the throne carried into his palace, and endeavours to ascend it; the
puppets arrest him, and one of them tells him that this was once the
throne of the god Indras, and afterwards of King Vikramâdityas. The
great king inclines himself in reverence, and one of the puppets
begins to narrate the history of Vikramâdityas.

The history of Vikramâdityas, narrated by the puppets, refers to a wise
child, born of the wife of the king, after she had eaten a cake made of
earth mixed with oil, and dissolved in water in a porcelain vase (of
which cake the servant-maid eats the remainder). The young Vikramâdityas
passes his infancy in the forests, where he learns all the arts, not
excluding the art of thieving, taught him by the most experienced
robbers, as well as every kind of mercantile fraud; by cheating, he
becomes possessed of an enchanted gem which was in the hip of a dead
man, and of a child who has the faculty of understanding the language of
the wolves, and who calls himself son of the wolves, but was, in fact,
born by the roadside of the maid who had eaten the rest of the cake;
this child is nursed by his mother, and although at first ill-favoured,
becomes in the long run very handsome. Vikramâdityas afterwards kills
the king of the demons in battle, in which it is remarkable that as many
new demons arise to combat him as there are pieces into which the hero
cuts the demon, until the hero multiplies himself in his turn, and to
every demon opposes a lion sprung from his own body. Vikramâdityas
mounts upon a throne where those who had sat before him had all
perished, each after a reign of twenty-four hours, because they had
omitted to offer up funeral sacrifices to the dead during the night;
Vikramâdityas, with his companion, the son of the wolf, fulfils the
sacred duty, and escapes death.

In the same story, which reminds us of the _Ṛibhavas_ and the four cups
and the cow, four young shepherds, one after another, work at the same
piece of wood; one gives it the general shape of a woman, the second
colours it, the third imparts the features peculiar to the feminine
form, and the fourth gives it life; they then dispute for her person.
The case is referred to the king; a wise man pronounces that the two
first who worked the wood are the father and mother, the third is the
priest, the fourth, who gave it life, is the legitimate husband. Thus
the four become three, by making a group of the first two.

Next comes the legend of the wife who, taking her husband by the feet,
makes him fall into a fountain, because she hears a melodious voice,
perhaps an echo of her own, which charms her; she sees a monster
instead, and bewails her lost husband. In zoological mythology, the
fable of the dog who, at the sight of his own shadow, lets the meat
drop into the river, is analogous to this legend, which, however, we
introduce here, only because of its relation to the similar stories of
the wife who kills her husband, and of the husband who kills his wife
by throwing her into the water, already vaguely hinted at in the Vedic

The last of the tales contained in the history of _Ardshi Bordshi_
shows us, on the other hand, a far too complaisant wife. A king has a
daughter, named Light of the sun, who is to be seen by no one. The
daughter asks to be allowed to go out into the city to walk on the
15th of the month (at full moon); this granted, the king orders every
one to stay that day in his house, and all the doors and windows to be
shut; and capital punishment is the penalty of disobeying the king's
command. (The like occurs again in the British legend of Godiva, the
Countess of Mercia, in the eleventh century.) A minister, Ssaran by
name (moon), cannot repress his curiosity, and observes her from a
balcony; the girl makes signs to him, inviting him to join her; the
wife of the inquisitive minister interprets the signs to him, and
urges him to overtake the beautiful girl, giving him, at parting, a
pearl of recognition. Light of the sun and Light of the moon meet at
the foot of a tree, and spend the night until sunrise in amorous
dalliance. One of the persons employed to guard the princess discovers
this intrigue, and denounces it before the king; the wife of the
minister Ssaran ascertains, by means of the pearl, that her husband is
in danger; she rejoins him, disguises and disfigures him, suggesting a
formula of oath by which Light of the sun swears that it was the
monster, and the monster only she embraced; which seeming impossible
to the king and courtiers, the minister Ssaran and Light of the sun
are acquitted. (The aurora, or the sun, hides during the night, and no
one sees, no one is allowed to see her; the god Lunus shows himself;
he remains during the night with the sun, or with the solar aurora,
whom no one can see during the night; the god Lunus then transforms
and disfigures himself, so that he becomes unrecognisable, invisible;
the guilty one glides away, and escapes; it then seems impossible that
the god Lunus, who is no longer seen, can have been with the light of
the sun; their loves having come to an end, the adulterers being
separated, their guilt is no longer believed, their innocence is
recognised, and the morality of the myth is left to take care of
itself as best it can.)

But the Calmuc and Mongol stories _Siddhi-kûr_, and the history of
_Ardshi Bordshi_, being, as they are, only paraphrases of Hindoo
tales, would not alone suffice to prove the derivation from the
zoological legends of Aryan mythology of the oral Turco-Finnic
tradition, properly speaking. We must, therefore, search for the
proofs of their influence in other quarters as well.

A Turanian story of the south of Siberia[334] combines together
several of the mythical subjects which we are already acquainted with.

A poor old man and woman have three sons; the three sons go upon the
mountain to dream; the two eldest dream of riches, and the third dreams
that his father and mother are lean camels, his brothers two hungry
wolves running towards the mountains, while he himself, between the sun
and the moon, wears the morning star upon his forehead. The father
orders the brothers to kill him; they dare not do so; they only expel
him from the house, and kill the dog instead, the blood of which they
take to their father, who, thinking it is his son's, says they have done
well. The young man wanders about till he comes to a hut where a lame
old man and a blind old woman are eating out of a golden cup, which of
itself fills with meat as they empty it (the moon). The hungry youth
helps himself to some of this meat, but the old man finds, as he
continues to eat the food, that some one has put his teeth into it; with
a hook, which he whirls around him, he clutches hold of the young man,
who begs for his life, pledging himself to be the eye of her who has no
eyes, and the foot of him who has no feet. This proposal pleases the old
couple, and they adopt him as their son; he makes himself a bow and a
wooden arrow, and goes to hunt wildfowl for their support. The old man
lends him his iron-grey horse, one day old, but advises him to ride him
only by day; the young man, thinking that by night he conceals
treasures, cattle, and people, disobeys, and rides by night. What the
horse then does we shall see in the next chapter. The youth fights and
vanquishes the demon, by fastening one of his lips to the heavens, and
the other to the earth; the defeated demon advises him to rub himself
with the fat of his stomach; inside his stomach he will find a casket of
silver, inside that a casket of gold, and inside that another casket of
silver; he is to take it and throw it into the sea of milk. From the
monster's stomach, cut open, come forth innumerable animals, men,
treasures, and other objects. Some of the men say, "What noble man has
delivered us from the black night? what noble man has shown us the clear
day?" The youth finds in the caskets money and a white handkerchief,
which he puts into his pocket; from the last casket come forth more men,
animals, and valuables of every kind; he drives the white cattle before
him and returns home, where the old couple are asleep. He opens the
handkerchief, and finds in it the old woman's eyes; whilst he is smoking
near the fire, the old people waken, see him, and embrace him. The old
man then endows him with the power of transforming himself into a fox, a
wolf, a lion, a vulture, and other shapes, at will. He goes, to find for
himself a wife, to the residence of the prince Ai-Kan; the latter
promises to give his daughter to whoever will bring him the necessary
amount of gold. It is in the shape of a vulture[335] that the young man
sets out to search for it; he then wins the young maiden who has the
gold, and she, who is herself the daughter of Ai-Kan, says to him, "Thou
art my husband." After various other transformations, in one of which
the two lean camels reappear, _i.e._, his two parents, of whom he had
dreamt, whom he loads with a sack, he ends by taking to himself another
wife, the daughter of Kün-Kan, and he lives now with one, now with the
other, to whom he gives the flesh of his own infanticide father to eat.
Let us recapitulate the moments of this significant legend:--1st, We
have the presage, the dream of the mountain-peak; 2d, The three
brothers, the third of whom, predestined to good fortune, the others
wish to sacrifice; 3d, The lame and the blind in the forest; 4th, The
hero's hunt; 5th, The struggle with the monster of night; 6th, The
treasures, spiritual and material, which come out of the monster; 7th,
The cattle in conjunction with the sea of milk; 8th, The passage of the
hero from the milky sea to the fireside, from the alba to the aurora,
from the whitish sky to the reddish one; 9th, The awakening of the
sleepers, and restoration of sight to the blind, whilst he sits by the
fire, whilst the sun is united to the aurora; 10th, The transformation
of the hero himself; 11th, Winning his bride, by procuring the necessary
amount of gold; 12th, His marriage of two wives; 13th, His revenge on
his persecuting father. The legend is in itself an epic poem, and we can
only regret that the Altaic story-tellers did not give it a more
artistic form than that in which it appears in the excellent collection
of Radloff.

Another interesting Turanian story, in the same collection, which
preserves several traces of the primitive myth, is another version of
the story of the hero who solves the riddle proposed by his
father-in-law, and thus wins his wife. A father has three sons; the
first-born dreams that their cow has devoured a wolf; he goes to see,
and finds it is true (the aurora destroys the night). We have already
seen that, as the third brother is the wise child, so the first-born
of the three is often the one who possesses the secret of solving
riddles. The father of the three brothers wishes to obtain a wife for
his first-born son, and the bride's father, to give her up, demands
that the bridegroom's father should come to take her, arriving, the
first time, with a fur-coat and without one (in the morning the old
man, by the advice of the eldest son, departs wearing a coat of fur
which seems to be one, but is not, being in reality a coat of mail),
and coming, the second time, without touching the road, yet not off
the road, on horseback, yet without horses (the old man, by the advice
again of his first-born son, arrives at the father-in-law's abode,
going on the side of the road, and riding on a stick; thus he obtains
permission to take the bride away for his son).

Professor Schiefner gives a Finnic variation of the same story. A king
orders the son of a peasant to come neither by day nor by night,
neither by the road nor by the road-side, neither on horseback nor on
foot, neither dressed nor naked, neither inside nor outside. The
intelligent boy makes a robe of goat's skin, goes to the city lying
in the bottom of a coffin, during the morning twilight, having a sieve
fastened to one foot, and a brush to the other, and stops on the
doorstep of the antechamber, with one leg out and the other in.

Such was the humour, and such the wisdom of our fathers; ingenuity was
measured by skill in solving astronomical riddles. Now the riddles have
taken another form; they are strokes of diplomacy, amorous hieroglyphs,
ethical ambiguities, metaphysical nebulosities, which we, the men of
progress, must solve; but not wishing to acknowledge our inferiority in
acuteness to the children of the legends, we are fain to persuade
ourselves that the new riddles are more obscure than the ancient.

In the Vedic riddles proposed to one another by the aurora and the sun,
we have seen how they were solved in the morning by the nuptials of the
guesser and the guessee. Thus in the two riddles which we have just
described, the son of the old man and the child solve the riddle in the
morning. As to the sieve, the brush, and the coffin, they are mythical
furniture of great interest and obvious import. The nocturnal sky is the
great coffin; to sweep the sky of night, we must have a brush; to sunder
the good grain from the bad during the night, as the cruel mother-in-law
commands, we must have a sieve; the child-sun arrives, in the twilight,
in the bottom of the coffin, at the doorstep of the royal palace, and
presents to the maiden aurora (the Vedic cleaner or purifier) the brush
and the sieve. The sun, at twilight, is neither in nor out. In the
second Scottish story of Mr J. F. Campbell, the giant commands the hero,
among other things, to cleanse, in one day, the stables which had not
been cleansed for seven years (Heraklés and Augeias).

But let us continue our subject, for the path is a long one.

A Mongol tradition, contained in the _Mongol Crestomathy_ of
Papoff,[336] speaks of the boy who comes riding upon a black ox,
instead of in a coffin.

We have seen above the cow who eats the wolf; in another Altaic legend
we find an old woman who gives up her seven azure (dark-coloured) cows
to be eaten by the seven wolves, in order that the latter may spare the
child Kan Püdai, whom she had found at the foot of a tree; meanwhile the
child, who has fed upon two hundred hares,[337] has become strong, and
breaks his iron cradle (the iron sky of night is the cradle of the young
sun); from the horns of six roebucks he makes himself a bow; from the
skin of a colossal marine animal (the cloud, the gloomy one), he makes a
string for the bow (the string of the Hindoo bow is also called _go_,
_i.e._, cow, as a cloud in the sky, and as being formed from the hide of
a cow); he rides upon the azure calf (the dark calf, which recalls our
attention to the black ox, and leads us to conclude the colossal animal
to have been a cow), and subdues and tames it; he then comes to a field
of snow, upon which he breathes a black and numbing wind, and where he
finds the seven wolves; he ties them to the tail of his calf, and drags
them along the ground till they die. The boy continues his wild beast
hunt; he kills the black and fat ones, and leaves the yellow and lean
ones alone. He goes into a black sea, and erects there a black castle,
into which he receives both the old woman who had sustained him, and his
azure (_i.e._, dark-coloured) calf. Thereafter the young Kan Püdai,
applying himself to warfare, forsakes or exchanges his calf for a horse.
We shall see in the next chapter what he does with his horse;--suffice
it to notice here, that, in the end, he meets the black bull, who will
one day be the king of the Altaï. The soul of the black bull takes
refuge in a red thread in the middle of the rainbow (in the popular
belief of the East the rainbow was supposed to be a bridge, a road
traversed by the souls of mortals); the young Kan Püdai transfixes it
with his arrows. He wins the white cattle, kills the monstrous Kara
Kula, and, taking the latter's wife and daughter with him, returns home;
and for seven days there is eating, drinking, and festivity in the house
of Kan Püdai. But up to this point it is not said that he has espoused
the daughter and the wife of Kara Kula. Kan Püdai is, on the contrary,
passionately enamoured of Tämän Ökö, the daughter of the sky (duhitar
divas, or daughter of the sky, is the name usually given to the aurora
in the Vedic hymns), and ascends, in order to secure her and make her
his wife, to the third heaven (it is the third step of Vishṇus; it is
the third brother, the sun of the third night-watch, who carries off the
palm against the gloomy monster). In order to become worthy of the
daughter of the sky, Kan Püdai has to kill two monsters; to scatter
ashes on the field of victory, and lead away from it the white cattle;
to catch the three bears; to take the three black bulls and make them
swallow three hills; to take the tiger and give it the grass of the
three mountains to eat; to kill the whale in the azure sea (all
different forms of one and the same mythical and heroic battle); and,
finally, to play upon the mountain-peak with the golden-haired monster
Andalma. He then obtains his bride, and returns with her to his own
country, where he hunts, and makes war, and vanquishes all his enemies,
until he grows old; he then renounces all except his old companion (the
old sun and the old aurora meet again in the evening).

Here evidently the mythology is really zoological.

In the complicated legend of Ai-Kan, we have in the brother Altyn
Ayak, who sleeps in the form of a golden cup, and who awakens to help
Ai-Kan, a figure which, though not the same as, is similar to, that of
the sleeping brother Kumbhakarṇas (conch-ear) in the _Râmâyaṇam_, who
awakens to help Râvaṇas. We have the inebriating liquor which gives
strength to the hero, who is resuscitated three times from death,
after having been the food of dogs; the wolves who devour Sary-Kan, or
the fair-haired prince; the hero (the sun) who beats the wife (the
aurora) given him by the two brothers (the Açvinâu); the friendly dog
and cat; the golden cup in which the brother of Ai-Kan is shut up
asleep, and which falls into the sea; the grateful animals which
search for the cup; the gem found in the stomach of a fish (from the
whale of the nocturnal ocean the gem comes forth); and the consequent
awakening of the sleeping Altyn Ayak.

The following is from an Altaic saga, in the collection of
Radloff:--Beyond the sea, on a rock surrounded with treasures, a dwarf
girl is brought up, against whom aggressive warriors can prevail
nothing. She sends all enemies away, after loading them with gold and
silver, and placing on their heads part of the hair of her forehead,
which proves to be sufficient to cover seven men. In this marvellous
hair, in this enchanted maiden, and in the warriors who come by sea,
who does not recognise the veil of the maiden aurora of the Vedâs, who
uncovers her bosom before the sun her husband, and the sea which the
warrior-sun crosses, and from which he emerges to come to the
aurora?--who does not recognise the golden fleece, Jason, Medea, the
Argonauts of Hellenic tradition?

In the Finnic mythology of the _Kalevala_[338] also, we have upon the
mountain a good and pure hostess, a generous giver, from the golden
windows of whose house are observed the women who give the wildfowl;
but in this Finnic representation, it is not the heroic girl-aurora,
it seems to me, we recognise, but the moon, Diana the huntress (the
German _Helljäger_), who also appears on the mountain-peak, surrounded
by the stars of the nocturnal forest, where the wildfowl is found,
which she can therefore lavish upon the hero.

The Finns worship a thundering god, united with the clouds, who has
the thunderbolt for his sword, and who is called Ukko,[339] father of
Väinämöinen, the valorous and wise hero, who speaks in the womb of his
mother, who performs prodigies when yet a child, and who produces the
sun and the moon.

This child-hero occurs again in their dwarf-god (_pikku mies_), who,
although, like the Hindoo Vishṇus, he is but a span long, wields in his
hand an axe the length of a man, with which he cuts down an oak-tree
that no one had yet been able to bring to the ground. The sun-hero is
little; but his ray, his thunderbolt, his weapon, his hand, lengthen
themselves, extend themselves as far as the dwarf-hero can desire, in
order to destroy the enemy, who wears here the well-known aspect of the
trunk of a tree, or of a dark forest. The woodcutter is therefore a
favourite figure in popular tradition. And the fact that Väinämöinen,
having grown old and truthful in speech, cuts down in the
_Kalevala_,[340] by the help of the little god, the prodigious oak,
shows us that this little god is a new and junior form, a younger and
victorious brother, or self-reproduction of the erewhile child-hero
Väinämöinen, who has lived his life of a day. The valiant child-sun of
morning has become the experienced old sun of evening; but as this old
sun is not strong enough to cut down the oak-tree, under whose shadow he
loses himself, he is obliged to become a child again to develope the
requisite amount of strength; he needs a younger brother, a hero or
dwarf-god, to free him from the evil shades of the forest of night. To
this end he also invokes the sun and the moon to illumine the forest,
and also the bear (the middle brother)--(in the _Kalevala_, of the three
heroes it is the bear Ilmarinen who shows the greatest strength, and who
wins the virgin for his bride)--in order that by his strength he may
root up the tree. But to root up the tree is all that bears can do,
while Väinämöinen wishes it to be cut down; and so this victorious
enterprise is intrusted to the dwarf-god. Thus, without explicit mention
of their names, we find the three brothers described in the entirely
mythical epopee of the Finns.

Alongside of the dwarf, by force of antithesis, there arises, even in
the Finnic mythology, the idea of a giant, a Titan who amuses himself
with uplifting and hurling rocks and mountains. The cloud, the monster
of darkness, being represented as a mountain, the monster inhabiting
this country must fight by means of the mountain itself. The cloudy
mountain moves; it is a giant monster that moves it; it is the second
brother, the strong brother, the son of the cow, the bear, who amuses
himself with it, who shakes, carries, and throws it like a weapon. And
such mythical battles must have seemed so much the more natural in the
age in which the greater number of the myths were conceived and
produced, as we know it to have been the age which archæologists call
the age of stone. The sun, as a dwarf, destroys the vast cloud, the
vast darkness, viewed as a giant.

But battles are not always going on in the heavens; even the wild
animals of the gloomy forest become tame and rest themselves; music
fills the soul with calm sentiments. Therefore even the warrior
Gandharvâs of the Hindoo Olympus are transformed into expert
musicians, who entrance the very gods with wonder. The song of the
Sirens attracts and seduces the traveller; the lyre of Orpheus draws
after it mountains, trees, and animals; the harp of Väinämöinen, in
the _Kalevala_, makes the wolf forget his ferocity, the bear his
wildness, the fish his coldness. And it is grief which is the first
inspirer of song; the first stanza of the poet Vâlmîkis had its origin
in the sorrow he felt upon seeing a bird bereft of its companion.
Orpheus (the Thracian sun) sings and plays for grief, when the serpent
(the shade of night) has bitten and thrown into the gloomy regions his
sweet bride Eurydice (the aurora), and moves the demons to pity; the
harp of Väinämöinen is also born of sorrow.[341]

The epopee of the Finns contains, moreover, several other myths cognate
with those of Aryan mythical tradition;--such as the resuscitated hero;
the winning of the maiden by display of heroism; the bride heroically
won and afterwards cut in pieces; the cup of abundance, or the
cornucopia (the Sampo); the golden cradle; the marvellous vessel in
which the hero crosses the sea; the three sisters, of whom one gives
black milk, one white, and one red (night, the alba or moon, and
aurora); the invulnerable shirt; the magician who makes children of gold
and silver; and others of secondary importance,[342] but all tending to
prove that formerly the Turanian and Aryan races, in their neighbouring
abodes, were originally much more similar to each other than they now
appear, on account of partly diversity of language, and partly their
different degrees of civilisation.

I have just named the Finnish Sampo as a cup of abundance or
cornucopia; it does, in fact, yield marvellous abundance to whoever
possesses it, and wherever it falls. It is made of the feather of a
swan, or of a duck (the swan and the duck are, as we shall see,
confounded together in tradition, and the duck, like the hen, is a
symbol of abundance), of a tuft of wool, of a grain of corn, and of
chips from a spindle, all evident symbols of abundance; and it becomes
so large that it has to be carried by a hundred-horned ox (reminding
us of the horns of the cow which spin). The ox bears abundance upon
its horns, it yields abundance from its horns. The cornucopia is, in
my mind, unmistakably implied in these mythical data.

The same mythical correspondence which we have found to exist between
the Finnic epos and the various legendary Aryan traditions is observable
between the latter and the Esthonian popular tales. In the collection of
Frederic Kreuzwald[343] we find numerous proofs of this correspondence.

In the first story we have, in a hut in the forest, three sisters, of
whom the youngest is the most beautiful. The old witch, her
step-mother, persecutes her, and always gives her filaments of gold to
spin, hiding from time to time the gold she has spun in a secret room.
During the summer the old woman goes out of the house, no one knows
where, after having apportioned their respective tasks to the three
sisters. While the old woman is out, a young prince, having lost
himself in the forest, finds his way to the hut, and becomes enamoured
of the youngest of the three sisters. The young couple speak to each
other of love in the light of the moon and of the stars; while the old
king, impatient at the absence of his son, falls into grief, and sends
everywhere to look for him. After three days he is found; before going
back to the palace, he secretly promises to the youngest sister that
he will return. Meanwhile the old woman comes back, finds the work
badly done, curses, threatens, and maltreats the girl. Early in the
morning, while the old woman and the two elder sisters are slumbering,
the maiden slips out, and leaves the house. During her childhood she
had learned the language of birds; accordingly, when she meets a crow,
she salutes him by the name of "bird of light," and sends him as a
messenger to the young prince, to warn him not to come back to see
her, on account of the fury of the old woman. The prince then names
her another trysting-place, and the young couple meet under a tree,
between the second and third crowing of the cock; and when the sun
rises, they flee away together. The old witch causes them to be
followed by a ball made of nine evil herbs, and carried by malignant
winds. The fugitives are overtaken on the banks of a river, where the
ball strikes the prince's horse; it rears up on its hind legs, and the
girl falls off into the river, into the hands of a marine monster;
upon which the prince is struck by a disease which no one can cure. By
eating the flesh of a hog, the prince acquires a knowledge of the
language of birds; he sends the swallows as messengers to the magician
of Finland, that he may teach him the way to free a girl who has been
transformed into a pond-rose (lotus-flower). The answer, instead of
being brought by the swallows, is brought by an eagle. The prince must
become a shrimp, in order to enter the water without being drowned; he
must detach the lotus by its root, draw it along the surface of the
water to the bank, near a stone, and pronounce these words, "From the
pond-rose, a maiden--from the shrimp, a man." The crow confirms the
eagle's words. The prince hears a song issue from the rose; he then
determines to deliver the girl. The two young people emerge together
from the water. The maiden is ashamed of being naked, and the prince
goes to procure nuptial robes for her; after which he conducts her to
the palace in a beautiful chariot, where a joyous and gorgeous
wedding-festival is celebrated. Soon afterwards the old witch dies, to
appear again in the form of a cat, which is taken by the tail and
flung into the fire. In the witch's house are found mountains of spun
gold, which serve for the dowry of the three sisters. We have already
said that the three sisters correspond to the three brothers, and the
youngest sister to the youngest brother. The epithet of _young_ is
often given to the Vedic aurora, whom the sun marries. Here the prince
marries the youngest of the three sisters; the morning aurora is
united to the sun. Towards night she falls into the water; it is the
witch (night) who throws her in; the hog which the prince (the sun)
eats we shall see to be a figurative representation of the nocturnal
monster, or the moon. Eating the hog, staying in the forest of night,
the prince learns the language of birds. The prince frees the maiden
from the waters; the sun delivers the aurora from the gloomy ocean of
night, and robes her in his splendour, causing the witch of night to
be burned in the flames of the aurora, and taking from the witch's
abode the spun gold or golden fleece.

In the third Esthonian story, a woman, called mother-of-gold, bears,
by the favour of a dwarf, three dwarf-sons at the same time, who
become three heroes. The first is the seer (the wise brother), the
second has a ready arm (the strong brother), the third runs swiftly in
the race (a quality distinctive of the third brother, Arǵunas, in the
_Mahâbhâratam_, and which is applicable to the victorious sun of
morning, who wins the race, together with the aurora).

A variation of the story relating to the youngest sister and the dwarf
is that of the girl seven years old, the wise girl (the aurora), in the
fourth Esthonian tale, who, being persecuted by her step-mother, retires
into the forest (the night). While there, it seems to her that she is in
heaven, where, in a house of crystal and pearls, she is received by a
well-dressed woman of gold (the fair-haired moon). The girl asks the
golden woman to be allowed to take care of the cattle, like the cowmaid
aurora. In the history of _Ardshi Bordshi_ we have seen the wise
puppet. This form of the wise girl, the dressed girl of wood, occurs
again in the Esthonian story; in which she is made of wood from the
forest, of three anchovies, of bread, of a black serpent, and of the
blood of the girl herself, to whom the image has a great likeness, and
which may be beaten by the old step-mother without being hurt. From the
forest-tree, wood, or wooden box of the night, with the juice of the
black serpent of night and the blood of the girl aurora of evening,
comes forth the maiden aurora of morning, the wise, the speaking puppet,
the puppet who guesses the riddles. The girl who comes out of wood is
represented as a wooden puppet; more frequently the puppet is the moon,
the wise fairy who comes out of the forest. In the same story we have
the magic rod which produces a cock upon the mountain, beside which a
tablecloth spreads itself out, while the chairs range themselves in
their places, and the dishes are filled of their own accord. The story
ends with the usual marriage between the beautiful maiden, and a king's
son returning from the chase (or the son who comes out of the forest of
night, viewed as infested by ferocious animals).

In the sixth Esthonian tale, the poor girl finds a woman in a white
robe (the moon), adorned with gold, upon a rock near a fountain, who
announces her approaching marriage with a youth as poor as herself;
but the good fairy godmother--for in the legends the godmother is
represented as good, as the stepmother is wicked--promises to make
them both rich and happy. She calls herself the lady of the waters,
secret wife of the wind, and she judges the criminals who present
themselves at her tribunal (Proserpina or Persephonê).

In the seventh tale, a boy nine years of age, the third son of two
poor people, goes out to be a cowherd; his master treats him well, but
his mistress gives him more floggings than bread. One day the young
cowherd is unfortunate enough to lose a cow; he searches for it all
through the forest, but in vain. He re-enters the house with the
cattle, after the sun has set some time. The observant eye of his
mistress perceives at once that there is a cow missing; she beats the
boy without pity, and sends him out to look for it, threatening to
kill him if he returns without it. He wanders through the forest; but
when the sun arises from out the bosom of the dawn, he resolves to
stay out of the house, and not to return to his persecutor (the young
morning sun flees from the old and perverse night). In the evening,
the boy finds an old dwarf, who is his host during the night (the
moon), and who says to him, "When the sun rises to-morrow, carefully
observe the spot in which he rises. Thou must go in that direction, so
that every morning thou may'st have the sun before thee, and every
evening the sun behind thee. Thus thy strength will increase more and
more every day." How can one indicate better the apparent course of
the solar hero, or of the sun in the night? The hero, in order to go
towards the morning sun, must necessarily have the sun of evening
behind him. The old dwarf also gives him a sack and a little barrel,
in which he will always find the food and drink he requires; but he
recommends him never to eat or drink more than is necessary, that he
may have to give to a hungry bird or a thirsty wild beast. He also
leaves him a rolled-up leaf of burdock, upon which, by rolling it out,
he will always be able to cross water (a new form of the cup). We know
how the Hindoos represented their god as floating upon a lotus-leaf in
the midst of the waters, and how Padmaǵas (born of the lotus-flower,
or the rose of the waters, which shuts during the night) was one of
the names of Brâhman; here we have the god or hero shutting himself up
in the flower, from which he afterwards comes out. In the chapters on
the Serpent and the Frog we shall again see how the god sometimes
shuts himself up in a monstrous form in this flower, the rose, on
account of a curse from which he is to be freed by a beautiful maiden.
We have seen how the Esthonian girl, who was by the curse of the old
woman thrown into the water, was transformed into a water-rose or
lotus-flower, and delivered by the young prince. The Esthonian boy
finds himself before a small lake; he throws the leaf in, and it
becomes a magical boat, which carries him over. Meanwhile he has
become strong. Upon the mountain he sees a serpent, a tortoise, and an
eagle, all three of enormous dimensions, approaching to attack him,
with a man upon a black horse, which has wings on its feet, in the
rear of them. He kills the serpent and the tortoise, but the eagle
flies away. The man with the black horse takes the boy into his house,
and appoints him to look after the dogs, that they may not get loose
from their chains, a danger against which the man provides by making
twelve colossal oxen fetch rocks upon rocks, to repair the damage done
by the dogs. The rocks, touched by a magical rod, arrange themselves
upon the car drawn by the oxen. At last, by the advice of the eagle,
he steals his master's horse, and departs to sojourn among mankind,
taking a wife with him.

In the eighth Esthonian story too, the third brother is the cunning one.
His two elder brothers, after the death of their father, despoil him of
his share of the inheritance, and he is reduced to wander alone and
impoverished about the world in quest of good fortune. He falls in with
a woman who complains to him that her husband regularly beats her when
she is unable to procure for him the things he wants, which he asks for
in the form of a riddle. The third brother solves the enigma for the
woman (the moon), who, in gratitude, gives him provisions for his
travels. He then comes to a palace, where the king is engaged in
celebrating a summer festival, and he undertakes to provide and prepare
the feast. A magician presents himself at the festival in the shape of
an old man, and asks to taste the food. The young man suspects him, but,
seeing a ring upon his finger, he consents to allow him if he gives him
a pledge. The magician vows that he has nothing to give. The youth asks
for his ring, and the old man in his gluttony at once gives it up; upon
which the youth, who, along with the ring, has taken all the magician's
strength away, first binds and derides him, and then has him beaten by
seven strong men. The old man breaks the ropes and disappears; however,
the young man, having the ring in his hands, possesses the means of
tracking his footsteps and making him his. (This is the usual disc,
lasso, or bridle which is now in the hands of the hero, now in those of
the monster.) The youth follows the magician underground. The latter, it
appears, is served by three maidens, who, when they perceive that the
sorcerer has lost his ring, and that they have a young man for
companion, enjoy themselves with him while the magician is asleep. The
youth learns from them that the old wizard also possesses a sword which
can destroy armies, and a magical rod which can create a bridge to span
the sea; these, therefore, he steals, and departs, returning by a
wonderful bridge thrown over the sea to the palace whence he had
started. It seems to him as if his journey had lasted only two nights,
instead of which a year has passed.[344] He finds on his arrival his
two brothers in the king's service, one as coachman and the other as a
valet, both enriched because they have received the pay due to their
younger brother for having prepared the great feast. The young man now
engages himself in another capacity, in a species of service especially
dear to the young hero, next to those of stable-boy and cowherd; that is
to say, he becomes under-cook of the king. (In the _Vîrâṭa-Parvam_ of
the _Mahâbhâratam_, it is the second of the brothers who disguises
himself as a cook, in order to prepare good sauces and substantial food
for the king whose guest he is; the elder brother is disguised as a
Brâhmanas, a wise adviser; the third brother, Arǵunas, the agile, the
swift one, pretends to be a eunuch, is given in exchange for a woman,
and teaches dancing, music, and singing in the gynecium. Of the two sons
of the Açvinâu, one becomes a groom, the other a cowherd.) His brothers
continue to dislike him, and because he boasts to them that he had seen
in hell golden birds, they induce the king to send him to hell in order
to procure them. He accomplishes this undertaking with great difficulty,
and brings the birds in a sack made of spiders' webs, which is so strong
that the birds enclosed in it cannot extricate themselves. In the same
sack, during another expedition, the young man brings from hell many
precious objects of gold and silver. In compensation, he only asks of
the king to send the princess, his daughter, to listen for one evening
to the conversation of his two brothers the coachman and the valet. Both
boast of having enjoyed to satiety the favours of the princess. The
latter, indignant and full of shame, runs to tell the king everything,
upon which he arraigns them before him and has them judged. The third
brother is named Counsellor; with his enchanted sword he destroys an
entire army of enemies, and obtains in reward for his services and his
valour the king's daughter to wife.

The ninth Esthonian story presents to us the son of the thunder, who
sells his soul to the devil, on condition that the latter serves him
for seven years. The time agreed upon is nearly come to an end, and
the son of the thunder wishes to escape from him, and profits by an
opportunity which has chanced. The devil sees a black cloud, which is
a sign of an approaching tempest; he is afraid, hides himself under a
stone, and asks the son of the thunder to keep him company. The latter
consents; but seeing that the devil is afraid, at each thunderclap he
presses his ears and eyes in such a manner as to make him perspire and
shiver all over. The devil, believing this to be the effect of the
thunder, promises the son of the thunder that he will not only leave
him his soul, but give him three other souls, if he will deliver him
from the evils which he suffers on account of the thunder, by taking
from the thundering god, the father of the clouds, his weapon (which
is also a musical instrument). This weapon, having been ravished from
the god, is taken by the devil into hell, into a chamber of iron, shut
up within seven castles. A great drought coming upon the earth, the
son of the thunder repents of having rendered such a service to the
devil; he finds means, however, of informing the thunder-god where his
weapon is concealed. The thunder-god then becomes a child, and engages
himself in the service of a fisherman, near a lake which the devil is
accustomed to visit to steal the fishes. He surprises him in the act
of robbery, and by the help of a magician takes him prisoner, and has
him beaten without pity, until he promises to pay a heavy ransom in
money to be let free, the fisherman and his child to accompany him to
hell itself to receive the sum of money. Arrived in hell, the devil
entertains them like a gentleman. The child tells the fisherman to ask
the devil to show them the musical instrument which he keeps enclosed
in the iron room. The devil kindly consents, but cannot draw from the
instrument anything more musical than the mewing of a cat or the
grunting of a pig. The fisherman then laughs at the devil, and says
that his boy can play better. The devil does not believe it, and
laughingly gives the instrument, which he calls bagpipes, to the boy.
The latter blows into them and makes such a noise that all hell
resounds with it, and the devils fall to the earth as if dead. The
child then becomes the god of thunder again, and returns to heaven,
where by the noise of his instrument he opens the celestial reservoirs
and lets out the beneficent rain. The description of the tempest which
occurs in many Vedic hymns is the germ of this interesting myth. The
drum or kettledrum thunder is a familiar image in Hindoo poetry, and
the Gandharvâs, the musician-warriors of the Hindoo Olympus, have no
other instrument than the thunder. The conch of the warrior Pâṇḍavâs
in the _Mahâbhâratam_, and the famous horn of Orlando (which comes
from the golden horn of Odin), are epical reminiscences of thunder.
Orpheus, who in hell plays on his lyre and tames the animals, is a
more lucid and more perfect form of this Esthonian thunder-god who
plays the bagpipes in hell. It is also remarkable how, in harmony with
the pastoral bagpipes, in the tenth Esthonian story, which is a
variation of the preceding one, the god transformed into a powerful
boy is called a little shepherd or cowherd--another interesting fact,
which completes his identification with Orpheus.[345] The magic flute
is a variation of the same celestial musical instrument. The magic
flute, the bagpipes or wonderful pipe, occurs again in the
twenty-third Esthonian story, in which the good Tiidu, by means of it
and of his virtue, obtains riches. The magical harp of Gunnar in the
Edda has the same marvellous effects.

Evidently the monster-dwarf is a favourite subject of Esthonian
tradition, and it often occurs in the Hindoo and in the German
traditions, as well as in the Franco-Latin tradition of Charlemagne.
The eleventh story introduces us to three dwarf-brothers who contend
for the inheritance left by their father, consisting of a miraculous
hat, which enables its wearer to see everything, whilst he can himself
be visible or invisible at pleasure (this hat is made of pieces of
men's nails cut up);[346] of a pair of slippers which transport the
owner in an instant wherever he wishes (we must not forget that
Cinderella, when she loses the slipper, is overtaken by the prince
bridegroom); and of a stick which strikes of itself, and destroys
everything, even stronger than the thunderbolt (the thunderbolt
itself). The three brothers maintain that these three articles, to be
really useful, must be the property of one; but who is to enjoy this
privilege? A man comes up to put an end to the dispute, and feigns
disbelief in the virtue of these three things, unless he proves it
himself. The three simpletons give them to him that he may prove them.
The man takes them off, and the three dwarfs are left to meditate upon
the truth of the above-quoted proverb, "Between two disputers the
third profits," or at least that variation of it which their own case
suggests "Between three that dispute, the fourth profits."

In the thirteenth Esthonian story, the privileged character of the
third brother is explained, as we are told that he is the son of a
king, but was exchanged by a witch during his infancy for the child of
a peasant. The latter died in the palace, whilst the king's son grew
in the hut, showing in every action his royal pedigree. Here we have
the story of the hero who is exposed on the mountains intimately
connected with that of the third brother. To this third brother, who
alone shows himself to be devoted to his father, and who alone makes a
vow to watch by his grave, is also attributed the merit of having
delivered, upon a high mountain of crystal, from a seven years' sleep,
a princess, who then becomes his wife. We have seen the
aurora-awakener in the Vedic hymns--the sun and the aurora arouse each
other: the sun sends forth the aurora; the aurora draws out the sun.
The myth reproduces itself every day, and expresses in its entirety a
daily phenomenon of light in the heavens. In Northern countries, where
the contrast is great between winter and spring, and therefore the
impression is striking which is caused by the cessation of vegetation
in autumn, the earth also assumed the aspect of a dead young princess;
but an omniscient magician having said, _Non est mortua puella, sed
dormit_, the third brother, predestined to the enterprise, lays down
his poor robes, and dresses himself, on the first occasion, in the
colour of bronze; on the second, the colour of silver; on the third,
the colour of gold, and ascends the mountain of crystal, or ice,
whence he brings forth the beautiful spring. The sky, grey in autumn,
snowy in winter, and golden in spring, corresponds to the grey sky of
evening, the silver one of night, and the golden one of morning.
Spring is the dawn of the year; the primitive myth is but amplified;
the last hour of the day awakens the aurora; the last month of the
solar year awakens the spring. The application of the myth of the day
to the year is one of the greatest simplicity.

In the fourteenth story, the king of the golden country loses himself in
the forest full of ferocious animals, and cannot find his way out. A
stranger (no doubt the devil) conducts him out, on condition that he
will give him whatever first comes to meet him. The king promises. The
first thing he sees on his return is his royal child, who, carried by
his nurse, stretches out his arms to his father. The king exchanges him
for a peasant's girl, whom he gives up to the stranger, allowing his own
son to be brought up among the peasant's herds. The king's son, having
grown to manhood, determines to go and deliver the poor girl. He
disguises himself as a poor man, puts a sack of peas on his shoulders,
and goes into the forest where his father was lost eighteen years
before. He also loses himself, and meets the stranger, who promises to
direct him if he will give him the peas which are in the sack, as they
will serve, he alleges, to recompense the assistants at the funeral of
his aunt, who died in poverty during the night.--This pulse in funeral
ceremonies refers to a very ancient custom. The Vedic ceremonials
already mention them in connection with funerals; and in the Greek
belief, the dead carried vegetables with them to hell, either for the
right of passage or as provisions for travelling. In Piedmont, it is
still the custom on the second of November (All Soul's Day) to make a
great distribution of kidney-beans to the poor, who pray for the souls
of the dead. Vegetables, peas, vetches, and kidney-beans are symbols of
abundance, and to this belief may be traced the numerous Indo-European
stories in which mention is made of beans which multiply themselves in
the pipkin, or of peas which grow up to the sky, and up the stalk of
which the hero climbs to heaven. The vegetables necessary for being
introduced into the kingdom of the dead, and the pea by means of which
the hero enters heaven, are variations of the same mythical subject. In
Hindoo tradition, besides the pea or kidney-bean, we have the pumpkin as
a symbol of abundance, which is multiplied infinitely, or which mounts
up to heaven. The wife of the hero Sagaras gives birth to a pumpkin,
from which afterwards come forth sixty thousand sons. The kidney-bean,
the pea, the vetch, the common bean, and the pumpkin are also symbols of
generation, not only on account of the facility with which they
multiply, but also on account of their form. We have seen in the Vedic
ceremonials what organs are represented by the two kidney-beans; we
shall also see, in the chapter on the Ass, how the names given to the
organs of generation are also used to designate fools. Now, it is worthy
of notice that the Sanskrit word _mâshas_ (or kidney-bean) also
signified the foolish, the stolid one, in the same way as in Piedmont a
_bonus vir_ is called a kidney-bean. Thus, too, the pumpkin, which
expresses fecundity, also means, in Italian, idiocy or stupidity. As to
beans, I have already remarked, in my work upon "Nuptial Usages," upon
their symbolical meaning, and cited the Russian and Piedmontese custom
of putting a black and a white bean into the cake eaten at Epiphany, one
of which represents the male and the other the female, one the king and
the other the queen. The two who find the beans kiss each other with
joyful auguries. As all these vegetables personify the moon, which we
know to be considered as a giver of abundance, and which, by its form of
a turning ball, can well be represented by the turning pea, in this
personification we must search for the solution of the principal myths
relating to vegetables.--The young prince of the Esthonian story, having
obtained the stranger's favour in the gloomy forest by means of the
peas, engages himself in his service, with intent to deliver the girl
who had freed him by taking his place with the stranger during eighteen
years. He therefore follows him; but on the way he lets a pea fall to
the ground from time to time, in order to know the way back. He is
conducted by a strange and wild subterranean passage, where silence as
of the tomb reigns--it is, in fact, the kingdom of the dead--where birds
have the appearance of wishing to sing, dogs to bark, and oxen to low,
but cannot, and where the water flows without a murmur. The young prince
feels in his heart a kind of anguish; the universal stillness in the
midst of animated beings oppresses him. Having passed the region of
silence, they come to that of deafening noise. The young prince thinks
he hears the excruciating din of twenty-four saws at work; but the old
stranger tells him that it is only his grandmother who has fallen
asleep, and is snoring. At last they come to the stranger's dwelling,
where the prince finds the beautiful maiden, but the old stranger will
not let him speak. He sees in the stable a white horse and a black cow,
with a white or luminous-headed calf. This cow the young prince is
ordered to milk until there is not a drop of milk in its breast; instead
of milking it with his fingers, he, by the advice of the girl, uses for
that purpose red-hot pincers. Another time the youth is told to lead
away the enchanted calf with the white or luminous head. In order that
it may not escape, the girl gives him a magic thread, of which one end
is to be tied to the left leg of the calf, and the other to the little
toe of the prince's left foot.--The little finger, although the
smallest, is the most privileged of the five. It is the one that knows
everything; and in Piedmont, when the mothers wish to make their
children believe that they are in communication with a mysterious spy,
who sees everything that they do, they are accustomed to awe them by the
words, "My little finger tells me everything."--At last the two young
people resolve to flee. Before starting, the prince splits open the
forehead of the white-headed calf; from its skull comes forth an
enchanted little red ball, which shines like a small sun. He wraps it
up, leaving part of it uncovered to light the way, and flees away with
the girl. Being followed by malignant spirits, who are sent by the old
man to follow them, the two fugitives, by means of the enchanted little
ball (or pearl), turned round three times, become, first the one a pond
and the other a fish, then the one a rose-bush and the other a rose,
then again the one a breeze and the other a gnat, until the stone which
covers the entrance to the subterranean world having been lifted up,
they arrive again safe and happy upon the earth; and by means of the
little red ball, they show themselves to mankind in splendid and
princely robes. I scarcely think it necessary to explain to the reader
the sense of this lucid mythical story. The black cow which produces the
calf with the white or luminous head is a Vedic antithesis which we have
already seen;[347] the cow (night) produces the calf (the moon). The
prince takes the little red ball out of the calf; by means of this ball,
the girl is delivered from the regions of gloom. The little ball moves
the stone; the sun and the aurora come out together from the mountain,
after having travelled together in the kingdom of shadows; the sun
delivers the aurora. This story unites together and puts in order
several myths of an analogous character, but born separately.

The three next stories describe other voyages made by the solar hero to
heaven, or in hell, and end by meaning the same thing. In the eighteenth
story we again find the enchanted ring, called Solomon's ring, which the
young hero goes to search for; when he finds it, by taking it from the
daughter of hell, and puts it on his finger, he is of a sudden endowed
with such strength that he can split a rock with one blow of his fist.
The little red ball of the story just described, which lifts up the
rock, and this ring which splits the stone, represent the same mythical
object, _i.e._, the sun, the sun's ball or disc.

The twenty-first story shows us the fearless hero who frees a castle
from the presence of the demons, and who thus gains a treasure; riches
are the reward of valour.

The twentieth Esthonian story is a variation of the exceedingly
popular tale of Blue Beard, the killer of his wives. The Esthonian
monster-husband has already killed eleven, and is about to murder the
twelfth, by way of punishing her for having, against his express
prohibition, visited the secret room opened by the golden key (perhaps
the moon), when a youth who takes care of the goslings, the friend of
her childhood, comes to deliver her. From the subject itself, and the
expressions used in this story, we can discover the origin of the
terrible charivari in the nuptials of widowers or widows. This savage
custom is intended not only to deride the lust of the old man or woman
who marries again, but to warn the girl who marries the one, or the
youth who marries the other, of the possibility of a fate similar to
the first wife or husband. When, therefore, the wife _apatighnî_ (who
does not kill her husband) is praised to the Vedic husband, we must
understand that the _patighnî_ (or killer of her husband) is a widow,
whom no one must marry, as being suspected of murder. Hence, to free
herself from this suspicion, an honest Hindoo wife (like Gudrun in the
Edda) was to throw herself into the fire after the death of her
husband; the evening aurora, after the death of the sun, dies too.

In the twenty-second story we have once more the myth of the young
pastoral hero; he is the son of a king. By the order of his
step-mother, a witch, who carries off shepherds, steals him from the
palace during his infancy, and abandons him in a solitary place, where
he is brought up by cowherds, and becomes himself an excellent
cowherd. An old man finds him and says, looking at him and at the
cattle, "Thou dost not seem to me born to remain a cowherd." The boy
answers that he knows he was born to command, and adds, "Here I learn
the duties of a commander by anticipation. If things go well with the
quadrupeds, I shall also prosper with bipeds." The shepherd is
therefore a little king; a good shepherd will become a good king. The
boy goes through several adventures, in which he displays his valour.
A wicked German lady wishes to take from him the strawberries which he
has plucked. He defends himself bravely; his mistress persecutes him;
and he takes twelve wolves, shuts them up in a cavern, and each day
gives them a lamb to eat, in order to avenge himself upon his wicked
mistress, to whom he simply says that the wolves have devoured them.
At last he causes her to be devoured herself by the wolves, who eat
her all up, leaving only the heart (the sun) and the tongue, which are
too full of venom for the wolves of the night, because they burn their
mouths. At the age of eighteen, the youth has several other
adventures. He becomes enamoured of a gardener's daughter, and is
found again by the king his father, who, before allowing him to marry
the beautiful gardener's daughter, wishes to prove that they are
predestined to each other. He cuts a ring in two with his sword, and
gives one part to the young prince and the other to the maiden; the
two halves must be preserved by both, and one day they will meet of
themselves and form again the whole ring, in such a manner that it
will be impossible to find the place where it was broken.--In a Tuscan
story, the beautiful maiden gives half her necklace to the third
brother. The young couple lose each other; their meeting again and
mutual recognition take place when the two parts of the necklace join
each other. The use of the wedding-ring has a mythical origin. The
solar (and sometimes the lunar disc) is the ring which unites the
heavenly husband and wife.--When, after other adventures, the two
young people of the Esthonian story join together the two halves of
their ring, their misfortunes come to an end; they marry and live
together happily, whilst the cruel step-mother, who meanwhile has
become a widow, is expelled from the kingdom.

The last Esthonian story tells of the extraordinary births, in the same
day, of a handsome prince and a beautiful princess. The princess is born
in a bird's egg, laid like a pearl in the bosom of the queen; she has at
first the form of a living puppet, and afterwards, when warmed in wool,
she becomes a real girl. Whilst she undergoes this transformation, the
queen also gives birth to a beautiful boy. The two children are
considered as twins, and baptized together. To the baptism of the girl
there comes as godmother, in a splendid chariot drawn by six horses, a
young woman dressed in rose-coloured and golden robes, who shines like
the sun, and who, as she lets her veil drop, like the beautiful Argive
Helen, fills the bystanders with admiration. [The aurora, who, before
appearing in the form of a beautiful girl, is enclosed in the wood of
the forest, is a wooden puppet, and becomes a wooden puppet once more
when, fleeing from the sun, she hides herself in a creeping-plant, like
the Hindoo Urvaçî (the first of the dawns), or in a laurel-plant, like
the Hellenic Daphne (the Vedic Dahanâ-aurora). The aurora is born
together with the sun; the beautiful doll-maiden is born with the little
prince. The mother and the beneficent godmother seem to be the moon, or
a more ancient aurora.] The mother, dying, leaves her daughter, putting
it upon her breast, a gem which is to bring her happiness; that is, the
little basket which contained the bird's egg, with the eggshell itself.
By means of the magical little basket, and by pronouncing some magic
words, the maiden can find all that she searches or wishes for. The
young man and woman end by marrying each other, having discovered that,
although both born of a king, they are children of different fathers;
they marry, and the little basket of happiness mysteriously disappears.


[267] _Anquetil du Perron, Zendavesta_, ii. p. 545.

[268] Misit itaque Deus justissimus citissime Angelum Behman quasi
esset fumus (jubendo): Ito et bovem rubrum accipiens mactato in nomine
Dei qui prudentiam dat; eumque coquito in aceto veteri, et cave
accurate facias, allio ac rutâ, superadditis; et in nomine Dei ex olla
effundito: deinde coram eo adpone ut comedat. Cumque portiunculam
panis in íllud friasset, Diabolus ille maledictus inde aufugit, abiit,
evanuit et disparuit, nec deinde, illum aliquis postea vidit;
_Sadder_, p. 94.--The Russian peasants still believe that a household
devil, the damavoi, enters into the stable, who, during the night,
mounts on horses and oxen and makes them sweat and grow lean.--Cfr.
also, on the _Damavoi_, Ralston's _Songs of the Russian people_,
London, 1872, pp. 119-139.

[269] Cfr. Spiegel's _Avesta_, vol. ii.; _Einleitung_, vii.

[270] Cfr. Spiegel's _Avesta_, vol. ii. 21.

[271] x. 11.

[272] xxix.

[273] Cfr. Spiegel's _Avesta_, vol. ii. p. 8.

[274] xix. 99-101. Professor Spiegel translates "Mit dem Hunde, mit
Entscheidung, mit Vieh, mit Stärke, mit Tugend, diese bringt die
Seelen der Reinen über den Harabezaiti hinweg: über die Brücke Chinvat
bringt sie das Heer der himmlischen Yazatas."

[275] Cows and calves, as a funeral gift, are spoken of in the _Khorda
Avesta_, li. 15, Spiegel's version.

[276] Cfr. also the Tistrya with a whole eye of the _Khorda Avesta_ of
Spiegel, p. 9, and all the _Tistar Yast_ in the _Khorda Avesta_, xxiv.
If Tistar is the moon, Tistrya would appear to perform the same duties
as the good fairy--that is, of showing, by means of her good eyes, her
good eyesight, and her splendour, the way to the lost heroes. The
Hindoo cow of Vasishṭhas, which yields every good thing, and which
then fights in the clouds against Viçvâmitras, would sometimes appear
to be the moon veiled by the rainy cloud; thus we can explain the
rain-giving character of the star Tistrya, which, according to the
_Bundehesh_, by raining ten days and ten nights, destroyed the
monsters of dryness created by the demon Ag̃ro-maiṇyus.

[277] xxxix. 1.

[278] xvii. 25.

[279] Spiegel's version, p. 149.--Cfr. the three litanies for the body
and soul of the cow, in the fragments of the same vol. p. 254.

[280] _Khorda Avesta_, Spiegel's version, _Einl._ x.

[281] Spiegel's version, p. 4.

[282] These are the exact terms used by Spiegel:--"Dieser opferte der
frühere Vifra-navâza, als ihn aufrief der siegreiche, starke Thraetaona,
in der Gestalt eines Vogels, eines Kahrkâça. Dieser flog dort während
dreier Tage und dreier Nächte hin zu seiner eigenen Wohnung, nicht
abwärts, nicht abwärts gelangte er genährt. Er ging hervor gegen die
Morgenröthe der dritten Nacht, der starken, beim Zerfliessen der
Morgenröthe und betete zur Ardvî Çûra, der fleckenlosen; Ardvî Çûra,
fleckenlose! eile mir schnell zu Hülfe, bringe nun mir Beistand, ich
will dir tausend Opfer mit Haoma und Fleisch versehene, gereinigte, wohl
ausgesuchte, bringen hin zu dem Wasser Ragha, wenn ich lebend hinkomme
zu der von Ahura geschaffenen Erde, hin zu meiner Wohnung. Es lief
herbei Ardvî Çûra, die fleckenlose, in Gestalt eines schönen Mädchens,
eines sehr kräftigen, wohlgewachsenen, aufgeschürzten, reinen, mit
glänzendem Gesichte, edlen, unten am Fusse mit Schuhen bekleidet, mit
goldnem Diadem auf dem Scheitel. Diese ergriff ihm am Arme, bald war
das, nicht lange dauerte es, dass er hinstrebte kräftig zu von Ahura
geschaffenen Erde, gesund, so unverletzt als wie vorher, zu seiner
eignen Wohnung;" _Khorda Avesta_, pp. 51, 52.

[283] Welche zuerst den Wagen fährt; _Khorda Avesta_, Spiegel's
version, p. 45.

[284] Professor Spiegel says, however, "Vom Aufgang der Sonne bis
Tagesanbruch," which in a note he explains, "Vom Sonnenaufgang bis
Mitternacht," which it appears to us cannot stand scrutiny, any more
than the conclusion inferred from this, that the sacrifice was to be
made "den ganzen Tag hindurch." Zarathustra would not have been obliged
to ask the precise time at which to sacrifice to the goddess, if she was
to answer him in such a general way. What occasion is there to pray in
midday, in full daylight, that the darkness may be dispersed?--If there
be any equivoque, it can only be, in my opinion, in the rather frequent
exchange of the maiden Aurora and the fairy Moon.

[285] Cfr. _Khorda Avesta_, Spiegel's version, pp. 7, 27.

[286] xix. 52.

[287] Cfr. the chapter which treats of the Cock.

[288] Cfr. _Khorda Avesta_, Spiegel's version, _Einl._ xxv., and all
the important _Mirh Yast_, or collection of hymns in honour of Mithra,
in the _Khorda Avesta_, xxvi.

[289] Cfr. _Khorda Avesta_, Spiegel's version, _Einl._ xxxiii., and the
_Bahrâm Yast_ in the _Khorda Avesta_, xxx. 7, Spiegel's version. It is
then that he says of himself, "As to strength, I am the strongest."
Further on it is said that strength belongs to the bull (or the cow).

[290] In a hymn, Indras even calls himself Uçanâ, with the added
denomination of kavis; Ahaṁ kaviruçanâ: _Ṛigv._ iv. 26, 1.

[291] _Vendidad_, xxii. 11.

[292] Chap. ix.

[293] Cfr. _Farvardin Yast_ in the _Khorda Avesta_, xxix. 30,
Spiegel's version.

[294] Cfr. _Khorda Avesta_, Spiegel's version, _Einleit._ xxxiv., and
the _Râm Yast_ in the _Khorda Avesta_, xxxi. 40.--The 57th strophe
appears to be a real Vedic hymn to the Marutas; the wind is celebrated
as the strongest of the strong, the swiftest of the swift, having arms
and ornaments of gold, a golden wheel and a golden chariot; his golden
shoes and his girdle of gold besides show his sympathy and relation
with the Ardvî Çûra Anâhita, who, in the form of aurora, is referred
to in the 55th strophe.

[295] Cfr. _Khorda Avesta_, p. lxix.

[296] Cfr. ibid. p. lxi.

[297] Denn Verethraghna, der von Ahura geschaffene, hält die Hände
zurück der furchtbaren Kampfesreihen, der verbündeten Länder und der
mithratrügenden Menschen, er umhüllt ihr Gesicht, verhüllt ihre Ohren,
nicht lässt er ihre Füsse ausschreiten, nicht sind sie mächtig;
_Khorda Avesta._ xxx. 63, Spiegel's version.

[298] Cfr. the _Mihr Yast_ in the _Khorda Avesta_, xxvi. 128, 129.

[299] Cfr. ibid.

[300] Urvâksha is also called the accumulator; _Khorda Avesta_, xl. 3,
Spiegel's version.

[301] _Khorda Avesta_, p. 155.

[302] _Khorda Avesta_, xxxiii., Spiegel's version.

[303] Mögest du reich an Rindern sein wie (der Sohn) de Athvyânischen
(clanes); _Khorda Avesta_, xl. 4, Spiegel's version.

[304] Soll ich zum Himmel aufsteigen, soll ich in die Erde kriechen?
Darauf entgegnete Ahura Mazda: Schöne Ashi, vom Schöpfer geschaffene!
steige nicht zum Himmel auf, krieche nicht in die Erde; gehe du hieher
in die Mitte der Wohnung eines schönen Königs; _Khorda Avesta_,
xxxiii. 59, 60, Spiegel's version.--Cfr. xxxiv. 3, and following,
where are celebrated the handsome husband of the beautiful Ashis and
his rich kingdom.

[305] Die Stierkopfkeule in der Rechten schwingend; Schack,
_Heldensagen von Firdusi_, iv. 2.--Cfr. viii. 9.

[306] Die Donnerwolke bin ich, die Blitzeskeule schleudert; Schack,
_Heldensagen von Firdusi_, v. 5.

[307] Die Diwe (the demons) pflegen um Mittagszeit zur Ruhe sich zu
legen; das ist die Stunde sie zu besiegen. Nicht eher schreitet Rustem
zu der That, bis sich die Sonne hoch erhoben hat; _Schack, Heldensagen
von Firdusi_, v. 5.

[308] Ist's Rustem? ist es nicht die Sonne, die durch Morgenwolken
bricht? _Schack, Heldensagen von Firdusi_, vii. 2.

[309] Indeed, this undertaking seems to the ferryman himself so
supernatural, that he says these cannot be called men: "In Wahrheit,
Menschen kann man sie nicht heissen." _Schack, Heldensagen von
Firdusi_, x. 27.

[310] Cfr. Spiegel's _Die Alexandersage bei den Orientale_, Leipzig,
1851; and Zacher's _Pseudocallisthenes, Forschungen zur Kritik und
Geschichte der ältesten Aufzeichnung der Alexandersage_, Halle, 1867.

[311] Georg Rosen's version, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1858, 2 vols.

[312] Bernhard Jülg's version, Innsbruck, 1867-1868.

[313] i. 5.

[314] i. 6.

[315] _Tuti-Name_, i. 7.

[316] _Tuti-Name_, i. 13.

[317] _Tuti-Name_, i. 14.--Cfr. Afanassieff, _Narodnija ruskija
skaski_, vi. 23.

[318] iii. 27.

[319] ii. 17.

[320] _Tuti-Name_, ii. 19.

[321] ii. 21.

[322] ii. 28.

[323] This story was current in Italy as early as the fifteenth
century, having been related to her son by the mother of the
philosopher and man of letters Pontano, as I find from his biography,
published last year by Professor Tallarigo (Sanseverino-Marche).

[324] ii. 21.

[325] _Tuti-Name_, ii. 25.

[326] ii. 24.

[327] ii. 26.

[328] ii. 28.

[329] ii. 29.

[330] ii. 29.

[331] Cfr. also the chapter on the Hog, where we shall expound the
myths and legends relating to disguises.

[332] Cfr. also the chapters on the Lion and the Fox.

[333] Cfr. on the story of Perrette, an interesting essay of Professor
Max Müller in the _Contemporary Review_, 1870.

[334] Radloff, _Proben der Volkslitteratur der Türkischen Stämme

[335] Professor Schiefner has already compared with this passage a story
published by Ahlquist in his _Versuch einer Mokscha-Mordwinischen
Grammatik_, p. 97.

[336] Kasan, 1836, quoted by Professor Schiefner in the introduction
to the _Proben_, &c., of Radloff.

[337] Cfr., for the meaning of this myth, the chapter which treats of
the Hare.

[338] _Rune_, 7.--Cfr. Castren's _Kleinere Schriften_, Petersburg,
1862, and the French translation of the _Kalevala_, published in 1867
by Leouzon le Duc.

[339] I find combined in the _Kleinere Schriften_ of Castren (p. 25)
the same _Ukko_ with the word _Kave_ (_Kave Ukko_). I would with
diffidence ask the learned Finnish philologists, whether, as _Ukko_ is
a Finnish form of the deity whom the Hindoos called Indras, and as the
hero protected by Indras, the hero in whom Indras is reproduced, is
called in the Vedic (and Iranian) tradition _Kâvya Uçanâ_, or even
_Uçanâ Kavis_, the words _Kave Ukko_ may not have some relation to the
name given to the Vedic and Iranian hero?

[340] Väinämöinen, alt und wahrhaft, konnt durch ihn die Eiche fällen;
_Kal._ 24, in Castren's _Kleinere Schriften_, p. 233.

[341] Nur aus Trauer ward die Harfe, nur aus Kummer sie geschaffen;
harten Tagen ist die Wölbung, ist das Stammholz zu verdanken, nur
Verdruss spannt ihre Saiten, andre Mühsal macht die Wirbel;
_Kanteletar_, i., quoted by Castren in the _Kleinere Schriften_, p. 277.

[342] The origin of the bad and poor mythical iron, described in the
_Kalevala_, is one of these: the mythical iron is the cloudy or
tenebrous sky. The description is original, but the myths to which it
refers are known to Indo-Europeans; as, for instance, the honey which
becomes poison.

[343] _Ehsthnische Märchen_ aufgezeichnet von Fried. Kreuzwald, aus
dem Ehsthnischen, übersetzt von F. Löwe, with notes by A. Schiefner
and R. Köhler, Halle, 1869.

[344] This is the phenomenon which occurs in the winter solstice on
Christmas Eve and that of New Year's Day, in which we pass from one
year to another; in one night we become older by a year.

[345] In a popular Swedish song, the maiden Gundela, who plays
marvellously upon the harp, and, in order to play it, demands the king
to marry her, is also a shepherdess.--Cfr. _Schwedische Volkslieder
der Vorzeit_, übertragen von Warrens, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1857.

[346] Cfr. the note of F. Löwe, illustrating this passage, in his
version of the collection of Kreuzwald, pp. 144 and 145.--[This is
also a myth of easy interpretation, if I am not mistaken: at evening,
the sun loses his rays; the lion, the hero, loses his nails; these
nails are picked up by the demoniacal monster, who forms out of them a
hat (the gloom of night, or the clouds), by which the wearer has the
gift of seeing without being seen. The magician who sees with his eyes
shut is an interesting variation of this subject.]

[347] A similar antithesis is found in a Hungarian proverb,
communicated to me by my learned friend Count Geza Kunn, together with
other notices of Hungarian beliefs relating to animals. This proverb
is as follows: "Even the black cow's milk is white." The black cow is
spoken of in two other Hungarian proverbs; one says, "The black cow
has not trodden upon his heel," meaning that no misfortune has
happened to him; it is the usual vulnerable heel, the heel of
Achilles, the posterior part, for which is substituted sometimes, as
we shall see in the chapter on the Fox and the Serpent, the tail or
extreme hind part. Another proverb is, "In the dark all cows are
black;" but it does not seem to have any mythical importance.




    The red cow and the black cow; what they prognosticate.--The red hue
    of evening.--The bull that drinks.--The bull corrupts the
    water.--The bull's hoofs.--The cow in the bartering of animals.--The
    hero ascends into heaven.--The bull sold to the tree; the tree,
    split open, yields gold.--The fool sells the bull.--Two bulls
    conduct the poor brother to riches.--The bull carries the fugitive
    home.--The bull is split in two, and is useful even after
    death.--Ivan and Helen, followed by the bear, flee upon the bull
    with their faces turned to the part whence the bear is likely to
    come.--The dwarf comes out of the bull's bones; the dwarf dies amid
    the flames.--The beasts of prey help the hero.--John and Mary, sun
    and aurora of the Christians.--The saviour-bull again.--From the
    dead bull an apple-tree springs up.--Ivan delivers Mary.--Mary, the
    step-daughter, and persecuted.--The cow that spins, the good fairy,
    the Madonna, the moon.--The maiden who combs the hair is the same as
    the purifier.--The demoniacal cow obliges men to kiss her under her
    tail.--The witch who sucks the beautiful girl's breast whilst the
    latter combs her hair.--The hide of the demoniacal cow taken
    off.--The eye which does not sleep and plays the spy.--From the cow,
    the apple-tree; from the apple-tree, the branches which wound the
    wicked sisters, and let the good one pluck their fruit; from the
    apple, the husband.--The maiden bows to the right foot of the
    beneficent cow; a tree springs up again from the killed cow.--The
    red apples which cause horns to grow, and the white ones which give
    beauty and youth.--Ivan, the sun, persecuted by the witch his
    sister, is saved by the sister of the sun, the aurora.--The mythical
    scales; the scales of St Michael.--The cows with golden horns and
    tails.--The black demoniacal bull strikes the ground with his horns,
    in order to prevent a wedding from taking place.--The hare and the
    crow put obstacles in the way of nuptials.--The demon blinded whilst
    drinking.--The third son of the peasant throws down the bull.--The
    avaricious merchant.--The epidemic among the animals, and the bull
    killed because he has stolen some hay from a priest.--The bull in
    the forest.--The robber of cows and of oxen.--The black bull led
    away by Ivan, by means of a cock.--The hero comes out of the
    cow.--The intestines of the calf eaten by the fox.--Out of the calf
    come birds.--The son of the cow, the strongest brother.--The three
    brothers reduced to one with the qualities of the three.--The third
    brother mounts into heaven by means of the cow's hide.--He who
    ascends does not come down again.--Dreams.--The wife of the old man,
    carried to heaven in a sack, is let fall to the ground and
    dies.--The ascent into heaven by means of
    vegetables.--Turn-little-Pea, the third brother, the killer of
    monsters; Turn-little-Pea and Ivan identified.--Ivan followed by the
    serpent-witches.--The female serpent tries to file the iron gate
    with her tongue, which is caught by the pincers and burned.--The
    three brothers, the evening one, the midnight one, and the
    clearly-seeing one; the third is the victorious hero; he delivers
    three princesses out of three castles of copper, of silver, and of
    gold, and receives from them three eggs of copper, of silver, and of
    gold, new forms corresponding to those of the three brothers; the
    third brother, abandoned by his elders, after various vicissitudes,
    finds his bride again; explanation of this beautiful myth.--Ivan
    identified with Svetazór.--The mother of the birds, in gratitude,
    delivers the hero.--The third brother, the cunning one, despoils his
    two elder brothers of their precious objects.--Ivan of the dog is
    equivalent to Svetazór; the story of the goldsmith.--Ivan the great
    drinker.--Ivan the prince, Ivan the fool; Ivan and Emilius, foolish
    and lazy, are one and the same person.--The red shoes in the
    legend.--The sister kills her little brother to take his red shoes;
    a magical flute discovers the crime.--The slippers attract the
    bridegroom; corresponding nuptial usages.--The slipper tried on; the
    toe cut off.--The change of wives.--The ugly one becomes
    beautiful.--The grateful pike.--The barrel full of water, which
    walks of its own accord.--The forest which is cut down and walks of
    itself, the chariot which goes on by itself, the stove that moves
    and carries Emilius where he wishes, the cask in which the hero and
    heroine are shut up and thrown into the sea, all forms of the cloud
    and of the gloom of night; the ugly becomes beautiful; the poor,
    rich and pleasing.--The wine allowed to run out of the barrel,
    _i.e._, the cloud which dissolves itself in rain.--Ivan, thought to
    be stupid, makes his fortune out of having watched by his father's
    grave.--Ivan, thought to be stupid, speculates upon his dead mother;
    his brothers try to do the same by their wives, and are
    punished.--The law of atavism in tradition.--The foolish mother and
    the cunning son.--The funereal storks.--The thief cheats the
    gentleman in several ways, and finally places him to guard his
    hat.--Ivan without fear; a little fish terrifies him.--Various
    heroical forms of Ivan in Russian tradition: Alessino, the son of
    the priest, invokes the rain against the monster-serpent; Baldak
    spits in the Sultan's face--the star under his heel; Basil and
    Plavaćek, who demand a gift from the monster; the fortunate
    fictitious hero; the cunning little Thomas; the third brother, who
    does not allow himself to be put to sleep; the thief Klimka, who
    terrifies the other thieves in order to rob them; the Cossack who
    delivers the maiden from the flames, and receives precious gifts;
    Ilia Muromietz and his companions; the merchant's son educated by
    the devil; the boy who understands the language of birds; the
    virtuous workman, who prefers good advice to a large reward.--The
    flying ship; the protector of the unfortunate rewarded; eating and
    drinking.--The girl who solves the riddle of the prince, who comes
    with the hare and the quail, and obtains her husband.--The dwarf
    Allwis obtains the bride by answering the questions of his
    father-in-law.--The wonderful puppet (the moon), that sews for the
    priest's daughter (the aurora) the shirt destined for the
    prince.--The girl-heroine, protectress of her brother, helper of the
    young hero in dangers and trials of heroism.--The cow-herd's
    daughter, who never says anything displeasing to her husband the
    king, whatever the latter does.--By contact with the monster, the
    heroine is perverted, and also becomes a persecutor of the hero, her
    brother or husband; analogous types of the perfidious
    woman.--Dangerous trials imposed on the hero.--The sister bound to
    the tree.--The wife subdued, and the magical belt.--The tooth of a
    dead man thrust into Ivan's head; the animals deliver him; the fox
    knows better than the rest how to manage it.--The towel which causes
    a bridge to spring up across the water; the hero's sister steals the
    towel, and unites herself to the monster-serpent; she demands from
    her brother Ivan wild beasts' milk, and the flour or powder of gold
    which is under a mill guarded by twelve gates.--The monster burned,
    and the hero's sister condemned to weep and to eat hay.--The
    exchange of the hero.--The crow brings the water of death and of
    life.--The stepmother who persecutes Ivan.--Ivan resuscitated by his
    two sons.--Ivan chaunts his death-song; the liberating animals
    appear to help him.--Ivan and his preceptor persecuted by his wife
    Anna.--The blind man, the lame man, and the beautiful girl whose
    breast is sucked by the witch.--The witch is forced to find the
    fountain of life and of health; the blind man sees, the lame walks,
    and the girl recovers her good health.--The maiden blinded; the wife
    changed; the dew which gives eyesight; the girl finds her husband; a
    Russian variety of the legend of Berta.

Having drawn so far the general outline of the Turanian boundaries of
Slavonian tradition, it is now time to begin to study the tradition of
the Slaves itself, as far as it concerns the myth and the legend of
the bull and the cow.

The Russian peasants and shepherds are accustomed to remark that the
weather will be fine when a red cow places herself at the head of the
herd, and that it will rain or be bad weather when, on the contrary,
the first of the cows to re-enter the stable at evening is a black
one. We already know what the black and the red cow signify in the
language of the Vedâs. The aurora of morning and evening, that is, the
red cows promise fine weather; the cloud (or black cow) announces wet
weather. In Piedmont, when a beautiful evening aurora is observed, it
is the custom to say--

             "Rosso di sera,
              Buon tempo si spera."
      (Red at eve, we hope for fine weather.)

Let us now follow the Russian tradition relating to the cow and the bull
in two of the many invaluable collections of popular stories already
printed in Russia, as well as in the celebrated fables of Kriloff.[348]

We shall begin with those stories and fables in which the cow or the
bull is explicitly mentioned. They show us the bull who protects the
hero and the heroine, the bull who enriches the hero, the bull that is
sold, the grateful bull, the bull who sacrifices himself, the
persecuted bull, the demoniacal bull; the cow who spins, the
beneficent cow, the son of the cow, the birds that come out from the
cow, the cow's hide which becomes a rope to mount up to heaven, the
cow exchanged, the demoniacal cow, the cow's horns. Here, again,
therefore, we have the double aspect of the Vedic cow; the
dark-coloured one (cloud and darkness), generally monstrous, the
luminous one (moon and aurora), usually divine and beneficent.

One of the special characteristics of the bull and of the cow is their
capacity of drinking. We have already seen how much the bull Indras (the
sun in the cloud) drank. In the third story of the first book of
_Afanassieff_, when the good maiden, persecuted by the witch, stretches
out a towel, and thus causes a river to arise, in order that the witch
may not overtake her, the latter leads forward the bull to drink up the
river (a form of the Hindoo Agastyas, who, in the _Mahâbhâratam_,[349]
absorbs the sea). But the bull, who could dry up the river, refuses to
do so on account of a debt of gratitude he owes to the good maiden. The
water where this bull, or cow, belonging to the witch, drinks, has the
property of transforming into a calf the man who drinks of it;[350] nay,
to drink out of the hoof of the bull itself is enough to turn him into a
calf.[351] The water which comes out of the hoof of the demoniacal bull
is the opposite of the water of Hippokrene, which flows from the hoofs
of the divine horse of the Hellenes, the Pêgasos.

In the second book of _Afanassieff_, there is a story which speaks of
the exchange of animals in the very same order as in the
_Âitareya-brâhmaṇam_, _i.e._, the gold for a horse, the horse for a cow,
the cow for a goat or sheep. The Russian peasant goes on with his
unfortunate exchanges; he barters the sheep for a young pig, the young
pig for a goose, the goose for a duck, the duck for a little stick with
which he sees some children playing; he takes the stick home to his
wife, and she beats him with it. In the twelfth story of the fifth book
of _Afanassieff_, an old man also begins to barter the golden stockings
and silver garters received in heaven from God for a horse, the horse
for a bull, the bull for a lamb; his last exchange is for a little
needle, which he loses. In the second story of the sixth book, the same
foolish liberality is attributed to the third brother, the stupid one
(who, in another Russian variation of the same story, is the cunning
one), who, having learned that in heaven cows are cheap, gives his cow
for a fly, his ox for a horse-fly, and mounts up to heaven.

But, generally speaking, the bull and the cow are the beginning of
good luck for the heroes of popular tales.

In the fifty-second story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the third
brother, the truthful and fortunate fool, has, for his inheritance from
his father, one bull alone; he goes to sell it, and passes a dry old
tree, which rattles; thinking that the tree wishes to buy his bull, he
gives it, promising to come back for the money. On his return the bull
is gone; he asks the tree for the money, and, receiving no answer,
proceeds to cut it down with his hatchet, when from the tree there drops
out a treasure which some robbers had hidden in it;[352] the young man
then takes it up and carries it home. In a variation of the same story,
in the collection of _Erlenwein_,[353] the third son of the miller,
before going to sell his bull, or ox, seeing the second son milking the
cow, endeavours to milk the bull too; finding that his efforts are in
vain, he resolves upon selling an animal which appears to him to be so
utterly useless.

In the thirty-fourth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, we meet
again the two brothers, one rich and miserly, the other poor; the poor
one borrows from a neighbour two bulls, and is conducted by Misery
(gory) to a stone, under which he finds a cavity full of gold. The
poor man fills his waggon, and, on coming out, tells Misery that there
is plenty more inside. Misery turns in to see; the ex-pauper thereupon
closes up the entrance with the stone, and returns home.[354]

But the bull and the cow do not only provide the hero with riches,
they help him in danger. In the eleventh story of _Erlenwein_,[355]
Ivan Tzarević, or the Prince John,--the name of the favourite hero of
Slavonian popular tradition (he is the third brother, the strongest,
the most fortunate, the victorious, the most intelligent, after having
been the most foolish)--wishes to flee from the serpent, and, not
knowing how, sits down on the trunk of a tree and weeps. The hare
comes to carry him away, but is killed by the serpent; the wolf
comes, but is killed too. At last the ox or bull comes, and carries
him off. Ivan having arrived at his dwelling, the ox has himself
divided in two; one part must be placed under the sacred images, which
ornament a corner of every room in Russian houses, the other part
under the window; Ivan must then look out sharp till two dogs and two
bears appear, who will serve him in the chase, and be his strength.

In the twenty-seventh story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, Ivan
Tzarević and the beautiful Helen are pursued by a monstrous bear with
iron bristles; they escape upon a bull (the moon), and Ivan, by the
bull's advice, rides him with his face turned towards the place whence
the pursuing bear is likely to come, in order that he may not take
them by surprise. When Ivan sees that the bear is coming, the bull
turns round and tears his eyes out; the blind bear follows them still,
but the fugitives pass a river on the bull's back, in which the bear
is drowned. Ivan and Helen feel hungry; the bull tells them to cut him
to pieces and eat him, but to preserve his bones, and to strike them
together; from the bones of the bull, when struck, a dwarf, the height
of a finger-nail, but with a beard a cubit long, comes out; he assists
Ivan in finding the milk of a wolf, a she-bear, and a lioness, until
he is swallowed by the burning bird, whose eggs he wished to steal.
(The bear is the night; the bull is the sun's steed in the night, the
moon; the bull-moon is sacrificed; then comes forth a little sun with
long rays, the dwarf with a long beard, an _alter ego_ of Ivan, who
ends his life in the burning furnace of the phœœnix, or of the evening
aurora.) Ivan is threatened with death when the dwarf dies, but he is
at that moment helped by the wild beasts he had tamed and fed, who
save him from danger. These were, as we have seen before, given to him
after the death of the bull, his deliverer, being born of the bull
himself, cut in pieces (the wild animals of the forest of night are
born as soon as the evening sun is sacrificed).

The same subject occurs again, with some variations, in the
twenty-eighth story, which follows; only instead of John and Helen, we
have John and Mary, the sun and the aurora of the Christians. Near the
abode of Ivan and Mary a funeral pile arises, on which the bull
sacrifices himself. The bull's bones are sown in three furrows; from
the first furrow a horse comes forth, from the second a dog, and in
the third an apple-tree grows up. Ivan mounts upon the horse, followed
by the dog, and hunts wolves' whelps and young bears, which he
afterwards tames and uses to kill the serpent, who has shut up his dog
in a cavern, and carried off his sister; he forces the entrance of the
place where the dog is hidden, by striking the bolt of the door with
three small branches of the apple-tree; the bolt breaks into pieces,
the door bursts open, and the dog is delivered; dog, wolf, and young
bear then worry the serpent, and Ivan liberates the Princess Mary.

In the sixth book of _Afanassieff_,[356] the young Mary, being
persecuted, is miraculously assisted by a cow. An old woman has three
daughters of her own (of whom one has one eye, another two, and the
third three), and a step-daughter called Mary; her own three do
nothing, and eat much; the step-daughter must work hard and eat
little. Her step-mother gives her for one night alone, while she takes
the cow to pasture, to spin, make into skeins, weave, and bleach, the
weight of five pounds. The maiden goes to the pasture-ground, embraces
her variegated cow, leans on her neck and bewails her fate. The cow
says to her, "Beautiful girl, enter one of my ears, and come out by
the other, and all will be done."--In the Italian variety of this
story,[357] the cow spins with her horns for the good maiden, whilst
she combs the head of the old woman or the Madonna. I think I have
already said that I recognise in this good old woman, fairy, or
Madonna, the moon. The moon, like the sun, is considered as in
relation with the aurora, and especially the evening aurora, which she
accompanies; she is the hostess, the guide, and the protectress of the
hero and heroine of evening, lost and pursued in the night; after the
evening aurora, the white moon comes out, in the same way as after the
morning aurora the sun comes out in effulgence. We have seen that the
name of purifier, cleanser, is given to the Vedic aurora; from this
expression to the image of comber or cleanser of the head of the old
Madonna the transition is easy;[358] from, _i.e._, after, the aurora,
the moon comes out shining and clean, in a beautiful and serene sky;
and on this account pearls fall from the Madonna's head; but when, on
the other hand, the beautiful maiden, the aurora, does not come, when
the step-mother sends to the pasture-ground, near the old woman, one
of her own daughters, foul lice fall from the head of the old fairy or
Madonna, inasmuch as the moon cannot show herself in her splendour
amid the shadows of the cloudy and black night. The Russian story
shows us how the beneficent cow of the good maiden, who caresses her
and serves her well, and the Madonna or good old woman grateful for
the careful combing of her hair of Italian tradition, are one and the
same thing. In the thirty-fifth story of the fifth book of
_Afanassieff_, on the contrary, where the cow appears in a demoniacal
aspect, whom the hero Ivan, condemned from a prince to become a
cowherd, must kiss under her tail, which she lifts with this intent,
we meet with an old witch who sucks the white breasts of the beautiful
girl, while the latter is obliged to hunt the vermin in her head; in
the witch, as well as in the cow who insolently lifts up her tail, we
can recognise the gloomy night, an explanation which is justified by
the fact that the hero-shepherd Katoma, the adorned one, the
agile-footed, ends by flaying the shameless cow (the morning sun,
shepherd of the luminous cows, takes off the skin of the dark-coloured
cow of the gloomy night). But, to return to the fifty-fourth
story.--When the stepmother sees that the girl has done all the work
assigned her, she begins to suspect that there is some one who helps
her, and so sends next night her first daughter, who has but one eye,
to watch the daughter-in-law, who goes to the pasture-ground. The
young Mary then says to her, "Eye, sleep;" and immediately her
step-sister falls asleep, thus allowing the cow to assist her without
any one perceiving it. The second night, the second daughter, who has
two eyes, is sent; Mary says twice to her, "Eye, sleep," and obtains,
without being seen, the same favours from the cow. The third night,
the third sister, who has three eyes, is sent; Mary does not remember
the third eye, and only says twice, "Eye, sleep:" and so the third
sister sees with her remaining eye[359] what the cow does with Mary,
and in the morning tells everything to her mother, who gives orders
that the cow be killed. Mary warns the cow; and the cow recommends
her to eat none of her flesh, to keep the bones, sow them in the
garden, and water them. The maiden does so; every day, however hungry
she may be, she eats none of the meat, only collects the bones
together. From the bones sown in the garden arises a marvellous
apple-tree, with leaves of gold, and branches of silver, which prick
and wound the three daughters of the stepmother, whilst, on the other
hand, they offer apples to the beautiful maiden, in order that she may
present one to the young and rich lord who is to make her his wife. In
the following story, the fifty-fifth, which is a variation of the
preceding one, the girl is named Mary, and her husband Ivan Tzarević;
when she goes to the pasture, and when she returns, she is accustomed
to make obeisance to the right foot of the cow. When the cow, being
killed, revives again in the shape of a tree, it swarms with birds,
which sing songs for kings and peasants alike, and make the sweet
fruits fall upon Mary's plate.

The apples that cause horns to grow, and those which beautify and make
young, mentioned in the thirty-sixth story of the fifth book, and
again in the last book of the collection of _Afanassieff_, as well as
in other European variations of the same subject, are connected, in my
opinion, with the myth of the evening sky, and of the lunar night, in
the shape of an apple-tree. In the fifteenth story of the collection
of _Erlenwein_, the third brother, the usual Ivan, comes to an
apple-tree which has red apples, and eats four of them, upon which
four horns grow on his head, to such a height that he cannot enter the
forest; he goes to an apple-tree that bears white fruit, eats four
apples, and the four horns disappear. (The solar hero at evening
approaches the tree with the red apples, the evening aurora, and
immediately becomes deformed; horns grow on his head; he loses
himself in the shades of night; in the moonlight and the alba, he
approaches the tree with the white apples, loses his horns, and
becomes young and beautiful again.)

In the fifty-seventh story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff's_
collection, Ivan Tzarević is presented with the apples which restore
youth to him who eats them, by the sister of the sun, to whose abode he
is lifted in the following manner: Ivan (the sun) has for his sister (no
doubt half-sister) a serpent-witch (night), who has already devoured his
father and mother (the sun and the aurora of evening, which create the
night, and are destroyed by it); the witch persecutes her little brother
Ivan, and endeavours to eat him; he flees, and she overtakes him in the
vicinity of the dwelling of the sister of the sun (the aurora, the true
sister of Ivan). The witch makes a proposal to Ivan, that they be
weighed together in the scales. Ivan accepts this proposal, upon which
the one enters the one scale, and the other the other; no sooner does
the witch put her foot on the scale than, as she weighs so much more
than Ivan, he is lifted up to heaven, the dwelling of the sister of the
sun, where he is welcomed and admitted. (A beautiful myth, of which the
meaning is evident. Ivan is the sun, the aurora is his sister; at
morning, near the abode of the aurora, that is, in the east, the shades
of night go underground, and the sun arises to the heavens; this is the
mythical pair of scales. Thus, in the Christian belief, St Michael
weighs human souls: those who weigh much sink down into hell, and those
who are light arise to the heavenly paradise.)

By means of the sister of the sun, Ivan saves himself from the witch.
In another story in _Afanassieff_,[360] by means of the sister of the
hero Nikanore, the same Ivan, running after the cows, causes them to
have golden horns and tails, with sides formed of stars; and
afterwards, with the assistance of the hero Nikanore in person (of the
sun, that is, of himself), he kills the serpent.

We have already seen the cloudy and the gloomy sky represented in the
Vedic poems, now as a black cow, now as a stable which encloses the
bulls and cows. The black bull or cow of night is considered to be
demoniacal. In a story given in _Afanassieff_,[361] we find the devil
in the shape of a bull, which bellows, and throws up the earth with
its horns, arresting a nuptial procession. From a bull he turns into a
bear, then a hare, and then a crow, to put obstacles in the way of the
marriage, until, having presented himself in the form of a devil, a
soldier-hero blinds him while he is drinking. A variation of this
soldier is the third son of the peasant,[362] who is so strong that
with a snap of his fingers he makes the bull and the bear fall dead,
and then by a single pinch strips off their skins. The same hero hires
himself to a merchant, whom he engages to serve for two years, on
condition of receiving as his reward, at the end of them, the
permission to give him a snap with the fingers and a pinch. The
merchant thinks he is getting the man's service for nothing, but pays
for it with his life. The merchant seldom plays a good part in popular
stories. He and the miser are synonymous,--the miser is the monster
which keeps treasures hidden; and on this account, as we have already
seen in the Vedic hymns themselves, the enemies of the gods, the
monsters that ravish and conceal the treasures, are represented as
paṇayas or merchants, cheats, robbers, or misers. The currency of this
epithet as a term of infamy must have been owing in part to the
dislike with which the priestly sacrificers of the last Vedic period
regarded the merchants, in whom they saw only a pack of misers,
because, on account of their wandering life, they had neither cows nor
bulls to give them for sacrifice, but carried with them all their
fortune, and did not require the fertilising rain of the god Indras to
multiply their gold and their silver.

The celestial bull comes out of the night or the nocturnal stables
either, as we have seen, to help the hero, to be sacrificed, to flee
from persecution, or because he has been stolen by a skilful thief.

In one of Kriloff's fables, God sends a terrible plague among the
animals, of which they perish in great numbers. They are so terrified
by it that they forsake their habits, and begin to wander aimlessly
hither and thither. The wolf no longer eats the sheep; the fox leaves
the hens unmolested; the turtle-doves no longer make love to each
other. Then the lion holds a council of the animals, and exhorts them
all to confess their faults. The cunning fox essays to quiet the
lion-judge by assuring him that though he stole some sheep, he did not
thereby commit a fault; and so he justifies his own ravages; as also
do the bear, the tiger, the wolf, and all the most wicked of the
animals. Then the simple bull comes forward, and, in his turn,
confesses that he stole a little hay from the priest. This crime
appears so heinous that the council of animals sentences the bull to
be offered in sacrifice.[363]

Sometimes, on the contrary, the bull, either because he cannot bear the
bad treatment that he receives from his masters, or in order to avoid
the danger of being killed or sold by the stupid son, who is in need of
money that he may marry a wife, a danger of which he has a
presentiment, abandons the stable with other animals, constructs a hut
or isbà and shuts himself up in it.[364] He has with him the lamb, the
goose, the cock, or else some other tame animals. The fox passes by,
hears the crowing of the cock, and goes to call his friends the bear and
the wolf to help him. The bear opens the door, the fox enters, and the
bull by goring him with his horns, the lamb by butting against his
sides, and the cock by pecking his eyes out, put an end to the unwelcome
intruder. The wolf, who goes in, curious to see what is going on, has
the same fate, and the bear, who comes last, only succeeds with great
difficulty, and after having been severely maltreated, in effecting his
escape. In another variation of the same story, the bear dies of fear,
and the stupid son takes his skin, sells it and makes money; then, the
danger of being sold having passed by, the bull and his company return
home. The battle between the tame and the savage animals, won by the
former, is an expression in zoological form of the victory of the heroes
(the sun and the moon) over the monsters of darkness.

The story of the hero-thief is generally connected with the carrying
off of his master's horse; but not unfrequently the hero, like the
monster, becomes a robber of cows and oxen.

The thief Ivan[365] is required to steal from his master a black bull or
ox tied to the plough; if he succeeds, he is to have a hundred roubles
for his reward; but if he does not, he is to receive instead a hundred
bastinadoes. In order to steal it, Ivan adopts the following device: he
takes a cock, plucks it, and puts it alive under a clod of earth. The
ploughmen come with the oxen; while they are ploughing, the cock starts
up; they leave the plough to run after it, upon which Ivan, who was
hidden behind a bush, comes out. He cuts off one ox's tail and puts it
in another ox's mouth, and then leads away the black ox. The ploughmen,
not having been able to overtake the cock, come back, and when they see
only two animals instead of three, conclude that one ox has eaten the
black ox and is beginning to eat the tail of the other, the variegated
ox. In the twenty-first story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the
boy-dwarf steals an ox from the priest and eats its tripe.[366]

From the cow the hero is born; under a putrid cow thrown into a ditch
lies Ivan Tzarević; a bird takes the water off and Ivan Tzarević comes
forth.[367] In another story of _Afanassieff_, the fox-heroine,
companion of the wolf, whilst the wolf is absent, eats the intestines
of the calf, their common property (which they had received from
cowherds in exchange for a certain cake contaminated by their
excrement, the usual excrement which is the beginning of riches); she
then fills the calf or cow with straw and sparrows, and departs. The
wolf returns, is astonished that the calf should have eaten so much
straw that it comes out, and draws out the straw. The birds fly away,
the calf falls, and the wolf flees away terrified.[368] With these two
myths are connected two more, that of the son of the cow and that of
the ascent into heaven by means of the cow's hide.

The king has no sons; he catches a pike, which the cook washes, giving
thereafter the dirty water to the cow to drink; the fish they give to
the black girl to carry to the queen; the black girl eats a piece of
it on the way, and the queen eats what remains. At the expiration of
nine months, the cow, the maid, and the queen, give each birth to a
son. The three sons resemble each other completely; but the son of the
cow, the hero-tempest, is the strongest of the three brothers, and
accomplishes the most difficult enterprises. In another variation of
the same story, in _Afanassieff_,[369] instead of the cow we have the
bitch giving birth to the strongest of the three brothers.[370] In the
nineteenth story of _Erlenwein_, instead of the cow and the bitch, we
have the mare; the strongest brother is here the son of the black
girl, Burghraver or the hero-tempest (Burya-Bagatír). In the third
story of _Erlenwein_, Ivan Tzarević appears as the son of the black
girl. As in numerous other Russian stories, Ivan Tzarević, usually the
third brother, appears not only (as) the most skilful, but the
strongest of the brothers, we are driven to recognise in the three
brothers, the son of the black girl, the son of the cow, and the
queen's son, who alternately accomplish the same heroic undertakings,
the same solar personage, whose mother, Night, is represented now as a
queen, now as a cow (we have just seen Ivan Tzarević come out of the
putrid cow), now as a black slave (the negro washerwoman, the Saracen
woman of Italian stories [Holda]; the cleaned fish which is carried by
the black girl may perhaps be a link connecting the imagery of Russian
tradition with that of Italian legend).

In the second story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the third
brother, the cunning one, by means of the hides of his cows and oxen
converted into thongs, ascends into heaven; thus, in a variation of
the same story, the third brother thinks to let himself down by the
cow's hide, cut into pieces and made into thongs, being fastened to
the confines of heaven; but he perceives on the way that the thong is
not long enough. Some peasants are threshing corn, and the chaff rises
into the air; he tries to make a rope with this chaff, but the rope
breaks and he falls to the ground. This successful ascent into heaven,
followed by an unlucky descent, is often referred to, with curious
details, in Russian popular legend; to which a play of words in the
language must have not a little contributed. It is as follows, "He who
mounts does not descend,"[371] _i.e._, when one is doing one thing he
cannot be doing the contrary. This elementary truth was afterwards
altered by changing the tenses. "He who has been able to ascend will
not be able to come down again;" which is only partly true, and means
that while in dreams we require only a thin thread to mount up high,
when we wish to come down from the world of dreams to that of reality,
the fall is heavy; we come down with leaden wings, with that
difficulty in breathing which oppresses us in dreams when we seem to
fall from a height with painful slowness. And as at the end of the
dream, after the painful fall from the sky, we awaken alive, so the
story does not say of the hero who fell from heaven that he is dead,
only that his dreams are dead. He is only unlucky when, the second
time, he attempts the descent with a greater weight.

While reasonings such as these may have helped to diffuse the myths, I
believe that the myths, at their formation, pleased more as images of
nature than of reason, and as the images of mythology are almost all
celestial, so in the third brother, or old man of other varieties of
the story, who mounts up to heaven and comes down again by means of
the cow's hide, I always recognise the sun. The old man who ascends
into heaven, after the cow is dead, does so also by means of a
vegetable of funereal omen which grows up in a marvellous manner.

An old man and an old woman have one daughter; she eats some beans and
lets one fall to the ground; a plant (the moon) grows up till it
reaches the sky. The old man mounts up and then comes back again. He
tries to take his wife up in a sack, but unable to bear the weight, he
lets her fall to the ground, when she dies.[372]

A cabbage grows up near an old man's dwelling, till in like manner it
rises up to the sky. The old man climbs up, makes a hole in the sky,
and eats and drinks to satiety. He then returns and narrates
everything to his wife. She wishes to go up too; when they are half
way, the old man lets the sack drop, the old woman dies, and her
husband prepares her funeral, calling in the fox[373] as a mourner.

Other variations of the same story offer us, instead of the cow's
hide, the cabbage, and the beanstalk, the pea-plant, and even the
oak-tree, which grows up to heaven.[374]

From the vegetable or funereal plant,--a symbol, as we have already
remarked, at once of abundance and resurrection,--by which the hero
ascends to heaven, where he finds riches and abundance of food, the
transition was very natural to the pea which turns round, of which the
hero Turn-little-Pea (the son of the king of the peas) is born.

In the second story of the third book of _Afanassieff_,[375]
Turn-little-Pea appears as the third of the brothers, as the youngest
brother, who delivers his sister and his two brothers from the
monster. But the ungrateful brothers (perhaps covetous of the maiden,
here called a sister, but, who is virtually the same, the bride
delivered and disputed for by the three brothers in numerous
Indo-European legends), tie him to an oak-tree and go home alone.
Turn-little-Pea unroots the whole oak and goes off. He afterwards
kills three more monster-serpents, and the she-serpents their wives.

In the thirtieth story of the second book of _Afanassieff_, this
enterprise against the serpents, male and female, is attributed to the
usual Ivan. He goes with his brothers against the serpent with twelve
heads, and with his iron stick alone kills nine of them, and the three
remaining ones by the help of his two brothers. Then the she-serpent and
her three daughters persecute the three brothers, and Ivan in
particular. She causes them to find a beautiful cushion upon the ground;
Ivan, who is suspicious of some trick, first beats the cushion, upon
which blood gushes out of it (in the story of _Turn-little-Pea_, the
young hero averts the danger by making the sign of the cross with his
sword, when blood comes out). The serpent then tempts them by an
apple-tree with gold and silver apples. The brothers wish to pluck some;
Ivan, however, first strikes the tree, and blood flows from it. They
then come to a beautiful fountain, where the brothers would like to
drink; Ivan strikes the fountain, and again blood comes from it. The
cushion, the apple-tree, and the fountain were the three daughters of
the serpent. Then the serpent, having failed to deceive them, rushes
upon Ivan; the latter escapes with his brothers into a forge shut by
twelve iron gates; the serpent licks the doors with her tongue to force
a passage, and her tongue is caught with red-hot pincers.

In the fourth story of _Erlenwein_, the three brothers occur again with
interesting mythical names. A woman bears three sons; one at evening,
who is on this account called Većernik, or the evening one; the second
at midnight, whence he is named Polunoćnik, or the midnight one; the
third at the aurora, who is named Svetazór, or the clearly-seeing. The
three brothers become adults in a few hours. The most valiant of the
three is Svetazór, the last one. To prove his strength, he goes to the
blacksmith and orders an iron club that weighs twelve puds (480 pounds);
he throws it into the air and catches it on the palm of his hand, the
club breaks. He orders one of twenty puds (800 pounds), throws it up,
catches it on his knee, and it breaks. Finally he orders one of thirty
puds (1200 pounds), throws it up, and catches it on his forehead; it
bends but does not break. Svetazór has it straightened and takes it
with him, as he goes with his two brothers to deliver the three
daughters of the Tzar, carried off by three magicians into the three
castles of copper, silver, and gold. Svetazór, after having drunk the
water of strength, and received from the first princess an egg of
copper, from the second one of silver, and from the third a golden one,
delivers the three princesses and brings them out. The two brothers,
seeing that the third princess is more beautiful than the others, think
that the youngest brother is reserving her for himself, and throw him
into the water. Svetazór wanders about the subterranean world, and
delivers the daughter of another Tzar by killing a monster and burying
him under a rock. A soldier boasts before the Tzar of having
accomplished this heroic act. Svetazór invites the soldier to prove his
strength, and so the truth of his boast, by lifting the rock up. He does
not succeed, and Svetazór wins the trial of strength, upon which the
soldier is executed by order of the Tzar. After this, Svetazór, for
having once spared the life of a crow, is carried by it into the world
of the living, on condition that he gives it something to eat by the
way. Svetazór has at length to feed the crow with his own flesh, yet is
in the end set down again safe and sound, with all his flesh, in the
world above, where, with the eggs of copper, silver, and gold, he causes
the castles formed of these metals to arise, in which are found the
ring, the slipper, and the robe demanded from their bridegrooms by the
three princesses, who hoped by this expedient to see again their lost
Svetazór. Then Svetazór begins to sweep out the terrace of the golden
castle. The third princess expresses her intention to take him for her
husband. The nuptials are celebrated, Svetazór pardoning his two elder
brothers and giving them the two elder sisters of his bride. (The
princess of the copper is the evening aurora, the princess of the silver
is the silvery moon, and that of the gold is the morning aurora, to whom
Svetazór, the clearly-seeing, the illumined, the sun, is married.)

In the sixth story of the first book of _Afanassieff_, the same
undertaking is accomplished by the third brother, Ivan. The monster
which carries off the three sisters is an aquatic one, an otter.
Abandoned by his brothers in the nether world, Ivan is overtaken by a
great tempest; he takes pity upon some young birds that are bathing,
and saves them under his dress, upon which the grateful mother of the
birds brings him back to the upper world. In the fifteenth story of
_Erlenwein_, the third brother is the cunning one, who, by a
stratagem, and by means of his purse, which is self-replenishing,
steals from his two brothers the snuff-box out of which issue as many
armies as are wished for, and the cloth which makes the wearer
invisible (both figures to represent the cloud from which come forth
riches, solar rays, thunderbolts, and weapons, and which hides the
hero, that is, renders him invisible). In the fifty-fourth story of
the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, Ivan of the dog, the hero sacrificed
by his brothers, is the strong one, he who delivers the three
princesses, who possesses the three rings, and gives them to the
goldsmith from whom they were ordered, and who is not able to make
them, by which means he is recognised.

Ivan Tzarević, inasmuch as he was born of a cow, as we have also seen
above, was necessarily represented as a bull; the bull displays part
of his strength by drinking; Ivan Tzarević drinks, at a gulp, whole
barrels of wine of marvellous strength. In this capacity he resembles
Indras, the great drinker of somas, and the drinker Bhîmas, the second
brother of the Pâṇḍavas.

The third brother is now Prince Ivan (Ivan Tzarević, Ivan Karoliević,
Ivan Kraliević), now the stupid Ivan (Ivan durak), Ivan the little fool
(Ivan Duraćiok). But, as I have already remarked, the fool generally
makes his fortune, either because the kingdom of heaven is for the poor
in spirit, or because the stupidity of Ivan is feigned, or else because
the fool becomes wise. In a story given in _Afanassieff_,[376] the fool
is also lazy, and takes the name of Emilius.

Emilius is sent with a barrel to draw water; he only goes on account
of the promise made him by his sister, that he will receive as a
reward a pair of red boots.--This desire of the boy-hero, and of the
girl-heroine, is spoken of in many popular songs, and among others, in
a Piedmontese one, as yet unpublished. In the seventeenth story of the
fifth book of _Afanassieff_,[377] the sister kills her brother, Little
John, to possess herself of his red strawberries (as in the Esthonian
tale), and his red little shoes. Upon his grave a fine cane grows; a
shepherd makes a flute of it, and the flute, pressed to the lips,
begins to emit the following lamentation:--

      "Gently, gently, little shepherd, play;
       Do not wound my heart!
       My little sister, the traitress,
       For the red little strawberries, for the red little shoes!"

When the flute is pressed to the sister's lips, instead of the word
"little shepherd," it says, "Little sister, thou hast betrayed
me,"[378] and her crime is thus discovered. These little red shoes
are simply a variation of the slippers which are lost by the fugitive
aurora, and found again by the sun, and which both wish to wear. (I
refer to this myth the origin of the nuptial custom in Europe of
maidens, towards the new year, throwing the slipper to know whether,
during the next year, they will be married, and who is to be their
husband.)[379] The slipper lost by the maiden, Little Mary (Masha, the
Marion of Piedmontese and French legends), and found by the prince,
also occurs in the Russian tales. In the thirtieth of the sixth book
of _Afanassieff_, Little Mary's elder sister begins by trying on the
slipper; but it is too small; the foot will not go in. Seeing this,
Little Mary's step-mother advises her daughter to cut off her great
toe, which would not enter; then the foot goes in, and the messengers
of the prince lead the eldest sister away; but two doves fly after
them and cry out, "Blood on her foot, blood on her foot." The deceit
is discovered, and the eldest sister sent back; the prince causes his
true and predestined bride, Little Mary, to be carried off. (This is
the usual exchange of wives, upon which I have remarked in my "Essay
on the Comparative History of Nuptial Usages," and of which the
legend of Queen Berta is one of the most popular examples. The
Russian Little Mary, like Cinderella, is at first of ugly aspect, and
then beautiful. In the Russian story, the maiden becomes beautiful by
mounting upon the stove. Sîtâ comes forth, beautiful in her innocence,
passing through the fire; the morning aurora only seems beautiful when
it passes through the flames of the Eastern sky. The stove brings us
back to the interrupted story of the foolish and lazy Emilius (or
Ivan).--On account, therefore, of the promise made to him of the red
boots, he goes to the fountain with the barrel to draw water. In the
fountain he catches a pike, who beseeches him to set him at liberty,
and promises in return to make him fortunate. Being lazy, the greatest
favour that he wishes for at this moment is that he may be helped to
carry the barrel; the grateful pike performs the miracle of the barrel
full of water which walks of its own accord. (I have already
endeavoured to explain this myth: the cloud is represented as a barrel
in the Vedic hymns; it moves on of its own accord; the barrel does the
same; the hero, as long as he is shut up in the cloud, remains
foolish; the barrel of the fool walks of itself.) Emilius is then sent
to cut wood; by favour of the grateful pike, it is enough for him to
send his hatchet, which cuts the wood of itself; the wood piles itself
upon the waggon, and the waggon, without being drawn by any one,
advances, passing or crushing whatever it meets; they endeavour to
arrest its progress, when the trunk of an oak-tree detaches itself
from the waggon, and, like a stick, beating on every side, sweeps the
road (these are all curious variations of the walking forest or
cloud). The Tzar then sends to invite him to court, and knowing his
weak penchant for things of a red colour, he promises him a red robe,
a red hat, and red boots. When the Tzar's envoys arrive, Emilius,
like his _alter ego_ Ivan Durak (Ivan the fool), is warming himself at
the stove; grudging all trouble, he obtains from the pike the favour
of being carried by the stove itself to the Tzar at court. The Tzar's
daughter falls in love with him; the Tzar shuts the young couple up in
a cask (the usual cloud-barrel, which occurs in the form of a little
chest in other stories, a variation of the wooden dress), and has them
thrown into the sea. Emilius, who was drunk in the cask, sleeps; the
princess wakens him, and beseeches him to save her; by means of the
pike, the cask comes to a beautiful island, where it breaks open;
Emilius becomes handsome, rich, and happy in a beautiful palace with
the young princess. (The aurora and the sun of evening are thrown
together into the ocean of night, until they land on the happy isle of
the east, where they reappear again together in all their splendour.)
One of the most popular stupidities of the fool is that of letting the
wine contained in the barrel flow out upon the ground, when he is left
alone at home; in the Russian story, too, Ivan the fool leaves the
beer that is fermenting in the barrel open (Indras with his lightning
makes a hole in the cloud-barrel, and the rain comes out).[380]

The fool Ivan takes his good luck from the living, but he also does so
from the dead. On account of having watched three nights by the tomb
of his father, his luck begins,[381] the shade of his father having
blessed him; but, as the dead bring good luck (a belief which, at any
rate, has always been entertained by the heirs of rich men deceased),
the third brother speculates on the body of his own mother. We do not
know whether he does so out of pure simplicity, or with some hidden
and far-seeing design, presumable from the ease with which he
exchanges the character of a fool for that of a cunning schemer (the
first Brutus of popular tradition). In the seventeenth story of
_Erlenwein_, after he has carried a treasure home, by selling his ox
to the tree, and then cutting down the tree, which contains money, he
always guards his money, and sleeps upon it. His brothers know this,
and resolve to go and kill him. But that very night, the third, the
foolish brother, leaves his mother in charge of the treasure; the
brothers come and kill his mother by mistake, instead of him. He turns
up, and threatens to give them up to justice; they bribe him with a
hundred roubles to keep silence. Then the third brother takes his
mother's body and carries it into the middle of the road, in order
that a merchant's waggon may crush it; when this happens, he accuses
the merchant of murder, until the latter gives him a hundred more
roubles to say nothing about it. He then comes to a village by night
with his mother's corpse; he places it against a peasant's door, and
knocks at the window; the peasant opens the door, the body falls, and
the peasant treads upon it, upon which the so-called stupid son cries
out that he has killed his mother, and receives another hundred
roubles, on promise of silence. Then the two elder brothers, finding
that it is possible to speculate upon corpses, and make one's fortune,
kill their wives, and go to town with their bodies; they are
immediately arrested and put into prison.

The law of atavism evolves itself in the generation of the heroes of
mythical legends, no less than in that of simple mortals upon earth.
Of a stupid father is born a wise son, and then the wise son in turn
has a foolish one. I do not as yet know how to explain this singular
fact of natural history; its appearance in mythology, however, is not
difficult to understand. To the luminous day succeeds the gloomy
night, and then again to the dark night the luminous day; to summer
succeeds winter, and to winter summer; to white black, and to black
white; to heat cold, and to cold heat.

On this account, in legends, when the mother is intelligent, the son,
generally speaking, is silly; whereas, when the mother is silly,[382]
the son is usually intelligent.

In the fifth story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, a soldier enters
the house of a woman, while her son is travelling, and induces her to
believe that he has just returned from hell, where he had seen her son
employed in taking the storks to pasture, and greatly in want of money;
the soldier says that he is about to return to hell, and will be happy
to take with him whatever the woman wishes to send to her son. The
credulous woman gives him some money, directing him to take it
immediately to hell, and give it to her poor child. The soldier
disappears, and shortly afterwards the woman's son returns home; his
mother is greatly astonished at his appearance, and tells him how she
has been deceived; he gets angry and leaves the house again, swearing
never to return till he finds some one more foolish than his mother. He
is a skilful thief; he steals from a lady, whilst her husband is absent,
a hog with its little pigs, and puts them in safe concealment; the
husband returns, hears what has taken place, and follows the thief with
a carriage and horses. The robber hears him coming; squats down on the
ground, takes off his hat, and pretends to be covering with it a bird
or a falcon, which wishes to escape. The husband comes and asks him if
he has seen the robber; the latter answers that he has seen him, but
that he is a long way off, and that the roads by which he can be
overtaken are many and winding. The husband, who, perhaps, does not know
the proverb which says, "Who wishes, let him go; who wishes not, let him
send," asks the robber to overtake the fugitive; the thief demurs,
saying that he has under his hat a falcon, which cost his master three
hundred roubles, and that it may escape. The gentleman promises to take
care of it, and if the falcon escapes, to pay the three hundred roubles.
The thief does not believe his promise, and desires the three hundred
roubles in pledge of his good faith; the gentleman gives them, and the
thief goes off with the carriage, the horses, and the three hundred
roubles. The gentleman stays till evening looking at the hat, waiting
for his friend to return; at last he loses patience, wants to see what
there is under the hat, and finds nothing--but a proof of his own

Ivan (John), and oftener still Vaniusha (Little John, the Giovannino
of Italian legends), distinguishes himself, not only by his thieving
accomplishments, but also by his courage. In order to play the part of
a thief, as Little John does in all the Indo-Europeans legends, not
only industry, but courage must be called into requisition; hence he
acquires, like the Chevalier Bayard, the good reputation of a hero
without fear and without reproach. The hero Ivan is now the son of a
king, now of a merchant, and now of a peasant; the merchants wished,
no less than the peasants, to appropriate to themselves the most
popular hero of tradition. In the forty-sixth story of the fifth book
of _Afanassieff_, neither the shades of night, nor brigands, nor
death, can make the hero afraid; but he is terrified and dies, falling
into the water, when the little _iersh_ (the perch) leaps upon his
stomach, whilst he is asleep in his fishing-boat. In the Tuscan
story,[384] the fearless hero Giovannino, after having confronted
every kind of danger, dies from the terror the sight of his own shadow
inspires him with. In the same way, in the _Ṛigvedas_, the god Indras,
terrified at his own shadow, or, probably, that of his dead enemy,
takes to flight after the killing of the serpent Ahis.[385]

The following heroes are also variations of Prince Ivan, Ivan the son
of the cow, Ivan the peasant's son, Ivan the merchant's son, and the
cunning Ivan:--1st, Alessino Papović, the son of the priest (it is
well known that the Russian priests are not bound to celibacy), who
kills Tugarin, the son of the serpent, by prayer, that is, by praying
to the Holy Mother of God, to order the black cloud to cause drops of
rain to fall on the monster's wings, upon which the son of the
serpent, like the Vedic Ahis, when Indras opens a way for the rivers
to come out, instantly falls to the ground;[386] 2d, Baldak, son of
Boris, the boy seven years old, who succeeds in spitting in the
Sultan's face--(I have already remarked, in the preface to this work,
that the king of the Turks is, in the Slavonic tradition, as well as
in that of Persia, the representative of the devil; the demon, when
the hero approaches, smells the odour of human flesh in India, of
Christian flesh in Western stories,[387] and of Russian flesh in
Russian fairy tales)--but who afterwards becomes the Sultan's
prisoner, because he appears to the third daughter of the latter with
a star under his heel, or shows his heel (which is the vulnerable part
of both hero and monster); 3d, Basil Bes-ćiastnoi, who goes, by his
father-in-law's order, into the kingdom of the serpent, in order to
receive a gift from him, with adventures similar to those of the young
Plavaćek in Bohemian stories, when he goes to seek the three golden
hairs of the old Vsieveda (the all-seeing, the Vedic sun
Viçvavedas);[388] 4th, The third brother who exchanges two sacks of
flies and gnats he has caught for good cattle.[389] The same hero
takes the name of Little Thomas Berennikoff; being blind of one eye,
he kills an army of flies, and boasts of having killed an army of
heroes; he thus dishonestly gains the reputation of being a hero, and
is fortunate in having an opportunity offered him of proving his
bravery by killing a monster-serpent, who, out of foolhardiness, shuts
both eyes when he sees that Thomas has but one; he afterwards destroys
an army of Chinese with the trunk of a tree, rooted up by his
indomitable horse, which a real hero had bound to the tree;[390] 5th,
The cunning rogue, Little Thomas (Thomka; the quacks in Piedmont are
accustomed to give the name of Tommasino to the little devil which
they conjure out of a phial), who, by means of disguises, cheats and
robs the priest;[391] 6th, The third brother who does not suffer
himself to be put to sleep by the witch (as we have seen above the
third sister who keeps one of her three eyes open);[392] 7th, The
famous robber, Klimka,[393] who, by means of a drum (in Indian tales a
trumpet), terrifies his accomplices, the robbers, and takes their
money, and then steals from a gentleman his horse, his casket of
jewels, and even his wife; 8th, The Cossack who delivers the maiden
from the flames, and carries her to his golden house, where there are
two other maidens (be it understood, the one in the silver house, and
the other in that of copper); from which three maidens the Cossack
receives a shirt which renders him invulnerable, a sword which
produces the most marvellous effects in slaughtering men, and a purse
which, when shaken, drops money;[394] 9th, The celebrated Ilia
Muromietz (Elias of Murom), round whom, as also around Svetazór and
Svyatogor (holy mount), Dobrynia Nikitić, and the heroes of Vladimir,
is grouped an entire heroic Russian epic poem.[395]

Other variations of the same hero are the son of the merchant given
up to be educated by the devil, who teaches him every kind of craft;
the boy Basil, who understands the language of birds, and who makes
his parents serve him;[396] the merchant or son of a peasant,[397]
who, because he prefers good advice to money, acquires a fortune; the
virtuous workman, who receives by way of pay for his labour only three
kapeika, which, spent in good works, enables him at last to marry the
king's daughter, or the princess who did not laugh.[398]

The legend of the hero Ivan has yet other interesting forms,
reflective of the beautiful Vedic myth of the Açvinâu, who into their
flying chariot-vessel also take up the unhappy. In _Afanassieff_,[399]
the third brother, thought to be foolish, is ill-treated by his
parents, who dress and feed him badly. The king issues a proclamation,
that whoever can make a flying vessel will obtain his daughter to
wife. The mother sends forth her three sons in quest of the necessary
enchantment; to her third son she gives a little brown bread and
water, whilst the two eldest go provided with good white loaves and
some brandy. The fool meets on the way a poor old man, salutes him,
and begins to share with him his scanty store of food; the old man
transmutes his brown bread into white, and his water into brandy, and
then advises him to enter the forest, to make the sign of the cross
upon the first tree he finds, and to strike it with his axe; then to
throw himself on the ground and stay there until he wakens; he will
see a vessel ready before him: "Sit down in it," added the old man,
"and fly whither your behest requires you; and by the way take up
beside you as many as you meet."[400] This chariot is freighted with
abundance, both to eat and to drink; the young man overtakes several
needy beggars, and invites them up into the chariot; he receives only
poor people, not a single rich man.[401] But these poor men afterwards
show their gratitude to the hero, and help him in other adventures
imposed upon him by the Tzar, who hopes by this means to get rid of a
son-in-law of such vulgar origin. One of the new tasks imposed
requires him to eat twelve oxen, and to drink at one gulp forty
barrels of wine; in this he is helped by Eating (Abiédalo) and by
Drinking (Apiválo), whom he had entertained in his chariot-ship, and
who eat and drink instead of him.[402] At last he comes to claim and
marry the young princess. (The hero-sun, taken up into the chariot of
the Açvinâu, by the grace of the Açvinâu, invoked by him in danger, is
delivered, and espouses the aurora.)

In a variation of this legend, a prince, fifteen years of age, who has
been lost by his parents, is found again by means of a riddle which
they propose, and which he alone can solve.[403] In the Vedic hymns it
is now the aurora, the beautiful maiden, who delivers the hero-sun,
and now the hero-sun who delivers the beautiful maiden, the aurora.
In the forty-first story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, a little
girl, seven years old (semilietká), presents herself to the Tzar, who
must marry her, inasmuch as she solves the riddle proposed by him, by
arriving riding on a hare (an animal which represents the moon), with
a quail (an animal which seems to represent the sun) tied to her
hand.[404] She too, like the aurora, knows all; she too protects the
poor against the rich, and the innocent against the guilty. The dwarf
Allwis is a form of this child. Allwis is the omniscient man of the
Edda, who solves all the questions put to him by the god Thor, in
order to obtain his daughter; when he is done with answering these
questions, day breaks, and the sun shines.

The wondrous girl of seven years of age (the aurora), brings us back
to the marvellous puppet (generally, the moon). It is three puppets
(the wooden chest of Marion d'bosch, or wooden little Mary of the
Piedmontese story, the dark forest of night, the tree that hides the
splendid treasures of the evening aurora; another variety of the same
myth in relation to the sun) that hide the three splendid dresses of
the stars, the moon and the sun, which belong to the beautiful maiden,
the daughter of the priest (a variation of the Vedic aurora, duhitar
divas, or daughter of the sky). It is the three puppets which enable
the beautiful girl to descend through the ground, and so escape from
the persecutions of her father and seducer (in other versions, of her
brother), and which go down with her, dressed as old women, and enter
a forest, where, near an oak-tree, there is the house of a princess,
who has a young and handsome son.[405] In a variation of this
story,[406] the girl is persecuted, not by her father, but the
well-known cruel stepmother, for whom she divides the wheat from the
barley, and draws water at the fountain (like the Vedic maiden Apalâ);
she goes three times splendidly dressed to church (which takes the
place of the ball-room of other stories), where she is seen three
times by a handsome prince; she is twice followed, and twice
disappears; the third time the prince has gum (pitch, in other
variations) put on the ground; the fugitive loses her golden slipper
in consequence, which the prince picks up, and tries on all the
maidens till he finds his bride. In another story,[407] where the
relation of the aurora with the two Açvinâu comes out in wonderful
distinctness,[408] it is by means of her marvellous speaking puppet
(_i.e._, the moon, the Vedic Rakâ, very small, but very intelligent,
enclosed in the wooden dress, in the forest of night) that the girl,
persecuted by her step-mother, weaves a cloth so fine that it can pass
like a thread through the eye of a needle (just as the girl's feet are
very small, so also are the puppet's hands). The marvellous cloth is
brought to the Tzar, but no one is found who is able to sew it into a
shirt for the Tzar.[409] The maiden alone, by the help of her puppet,
succeeds; the Tzar wishes to see the girl who prepared his
extraordinary shirt, and goes to find her; he is astonished at her
beauty, and marries her. In the _Ṛigvedas_, the aurora weaves a robe
for her husband the sun.

The same girl (the aurora) whom we have here only as a good,
beautiful, intelligent, and skilful maiden, appears in other stories
given in _Afanassieff_ as a heroic damsel. In the seventh story of the
first book she disguises herself as a man, and mocks the Tzar three
times. In the fourteenth story of the first book, the same girl, under
the name of Anastasia the beautiful, vanquishes and binds the serpent,
and discovers the secret of how he can be killed. Under the name of
Helen, or Little Helen, she is the protectress of her little brother,
Ivanusca (Little John),[410] and his guide through the world; and when
the boy, by the incantation of a witch, is transformed into a lamb or
kid (in a story of the Canavese, in Piedmont, the seven monks,
brothers of the courageous girl, are transformed into seven hogs), she
recommends him to the care of the prince, her husband, in order that
he may destroy the evil work of the witch. The same maiden is found
again as the very wise Basilia (Vasilisa Premudraia), who succours the
young hero, because, after stealing her dress while she was bathing in
the sea, he restores it to her, agreeably to her prayer. For this
favour she gratefully accomplishes for him the labours imposed upon
him by the king of the waters, and ends, after many vicissitudes, by
marrying him.[411] She appears once more as the royal maiden
(Tzar-dievitza), who comes three times with her ships by sea to lead
away the young Ivan, beloved by her;[412] and I also place among the
girl-heroines the daughter of the shepherd in the twenty-ninth story
of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, of which this is an abridgment.
There was once a king who could not find a maiden beautiful enough to
suit his taste. One day, returning from the chase (the solar hero
always meets the aurora, his bride, when returning from the hunt in
the forest of night), he meets a shepherd's daughter, who is leading
out the flock to pasture, so beautiful that her like would be sought
for in vain over the world. He becomes enamoured of her, and promises
to make her his wife, but only on condition that she will never say
anything displeasing to him, whatever he may do; the poor enamoured
maiden consents, the nuptials are celebrated, and the couple live
together happily for a year. A boy is born to them; then the king says
roughly to his wife that the boy must be killed, that it may never be
said the heir to the throne is the son of a shepherdess. The poor
woman resigns herself to her fate, remarking, "The will of the king
must be done." Another year passes, and a daughter is born. The king
informs his wife that she too must be killed, as she can never become
a princess, but will always remain a peasant girl. The unhappy mother
once more bows her head to the will of the king, who, however,
consigns his son and daughter, not to an executioner, but to his
sister, that they may receive all the attentions due to their royal
pedigree and standing. Years pass away; the little prince and princess
grow up beautiful, healthy, good, and happy, and pass adolescence.
Then the king puts his wife to the last proof. He sends her back to
her house in the dress of a shepherdess, signifying at the same time
that she has lived with him long enough. Then he orders her to return,
to put the rooms in order, and to wait upon the new bride whom he
intends to take her place; the shepherd's daughter obeys again without
a murmur. The new bride arrives, and is set down at the table; they
eat, drink, and are merry; the shepherd's daughter is obliged to see
and hear all, and to serve in silence; at last the king asks her,
"Well, is not my bride beautiful?" To which the unhappy woman
responds with a heroic effort, "If she seem beautiful to thee, still
more does she seem so to me." Then the king, at the summit of his
felicity, exclaims, "Dress thyself again in thy royal robes, and place
thyself by my side; thou hast been, and shalt always be, my wife, my
only wife; this, my supposed bride, is thy daughter, and this handsome
youth is thy son." The poor heroine had undergone the last proof of
her virtue, and triumphed.

But the virtue of the legendary heroine is not always so sound. Often
the good wife, sister, maiden, or woman is corrupted by contact with the
wicked. We have already seen how the beautiful aurora, the pitying and
beneficent maiden, becomes, in the Vedic hymns themselves, the
evil-doer, whom the god Indras overthrows and destroys. The Hellenic
Amazons, the beautiful and proud warrior-women, were also pursued,
fought with, and vanquished by the Hellenic heroes. Thus the
Scandinavian warrior, Walkiries, has a double aspect, a good and a bad.
The Russian stories also supply numerous instances of the ease with
which the good degenerates into the demon, the hero into the monster,
and the beautiful heroine into the powerful and mischief-working witch.

This good sister Helen or Little Helen, so careful a guardian of her
brother John, ends, when she conceives a passion for the monster, with
becoming his perfidious persecutor. (The evening aurora is represented
as a friend of the monster of night, who conspires with him against
her brother the sun; and whoever observes the sinister aspect often
assumed by the reddish sky of evening, will find this fiction a very
natural one. I have said above that a Piedmontese proverb predicts bad
weather for the morrow from a red evening; but in Piedmont the belief
is also widely diffused that the red of evening signifies blood, and
that this bloody redness signifies war. It certainly does mean war,
but a mythical war--the war in which the hero, fighting against the
monster, succumbs and sheds blood. It is a woman that is the hero's
destruction. A counter-type of the biblical Delilah is found in all
the popular Indo-European traditions; the Vedic aurora, the sister of
Râvaṇas in the _Râmâyaṇam_, the sister of Hidimbas in the
_Mahâbhâratam_, the Hellenic Dejanira, Ariadne, Medea, the Amazons,
Helen, the Slavonic Helen, and Anna the Sabine woman, the Scandinavian
Walkiries, Freya, Idun, Brünhilt, Gudrun, the Germanic Krîmhilt, are
all forms of one and the same heroine, conceived now in the light of a
saint, and now in that of a witch.

In the Russian story,[413] after the bull has saved from the bear the
fugitive brother and sister, Ivan Tzarević and Helen the exceedingly
beautiful (Prekraçna), they enter a brigand's house. Their bull,
having become a dwarf, kills all the brigands, and shuts their bodies
up in a room, which he forbids Helen to enter; the latter, not
attending to the prohibition, enters, and seeing the head of the
brigand chief, falls in love with him, resuscitates him by means of
the water of life, and then conspires with him to destroy her brother
Ivan, by requiring him to accomplish enterprises in which death seemed
inevitable, or else by ordering him to bring her, first, the milk of a
wolf, then that of a she-bear, and then that of a lioness. Ivan, by
the help of his dwarf (or the sun grown small during the night, and
perhaps also the moon), accomplishes all these undertakings. We have
already seen how white comes from black; the milk of the wolf, the
bear, and the lioness is the _alba luna_, or the white morning sky
brought back by the solar hero. Ivan is then sent to fetch the eggs of
the burning bird (Szar-ptitza). Ivan goes with his dwarf (that is to
say, the moon, or he makes himself a dwarf, in other words, renders
himself invisible); the bird is enraged, and swallows the dwarf
(_i.e._, the red sky of evening, the burning bird, or phœœnix, absorbs
the moon or the sun in its flames.[414]) Ivan goes back to his sister
without the eggs, upon which she threatens to burn him in the bath.
Ivan, with the help of the wolf's, the bear's, and the lion's whelps,
or Ivan, with the young wolf, bear, or lion (the moon), or Ivan the
son of the wolf, Ivan the son of the bear, Ivan the son of the lion
(Ivan born of the she-wolf Night, the she-bear Night, or the lioness
Night), tears the brigand to pieces, and binds his sister (as the
Vedic cow) to a tree (the aurora almost always loses herself in a tree
or the water). Then Ivan wishes to marry a heroine. [Two myths are
here united in the story, originating in one and the same phenomenon,
which seems twofold, because observed at different, almost literally
succeeding, instants. The morning sun comes and puts to flight his
sister the aurora, driving her back into the forest of night, and
binding her to the tree; the morning sun passes safe and sound through
the flames (like Sîfrit in the _Nibelungen_), vanquishes and subdues
the aurora, makes her his, and espouses her.] He fights with her
first, and succeeds in throwing her with his lance from her horse, and
subduing her. The first night--that is, when evening comes, she
embraces and presses him so tightly, and with such strength, that he
cannot succeed in extricating himself (the evening aurora envelops and
surrounds the sun; it is the famous nuptial belt, the belt of
strength of the god Thor, the shirt of Nessus). At last, however,
towards morning, Ivan vanquishes, subdues, and throws down (like
Sîfrit in the _Nibelungen_) the girl-heroine (the morning sun, as
Indras, throws down the aurora). He then thinks of liberating his
sister Helen, who is bound to the tree, in order to take her with him;
but she, under the pretext of combing his hair, thrusts a dead man's
tooth into his head. Ivan is about to die. Here the primary myth of
the sun and aurora, as brother and sister, reappears, and the
secondary one of the husband and wife is forgotten. The lion's whelp
comes forward and extracts the tooth; the lion is on the point of
dying, when the young bear runs up and extracts it again. He is also
about to die; the fox then comes up, who assumes towards the end of
the story the part played in the middle by the young wolf (in the same
way as in Indian tales the jackal is substituted for the fox), and,
with more cunning, throws the dead man's tooth into the fire, and thus
saves himself--_i.e._, the solar hero, passing through the flames,
comes out of the shadows which enveloped him during the night. Helen
is attached to the tail of a horse (of Ivan's solar horse itself), and
is thus made to perish (when the sun comes forth in the morning the
aurora loses herself behind him).

The same story of Ivan's perfidious sister, of which the mythical
sense appears to me more than usually evident, occurs again in other
forms in Russian tales.

Whilst Ivan is travelling with his sister towards the kingdom where
all the people die[415] (that is, towards the night), a fairy gives
him a towel, by shaking which a bridge may be thrown across a
river--(is this bridge the milky way, the bridge or road to be taken
by the souls in the Persian and Porphyrian belief, as well as in the
German?)--but advises him never to let his sister see him shake it.
Ivan arrives with his sister in the kingdom of the dead; they come
upon a river on the further bank of which there is a serpent, who has
the power of transforming himself into a handsome youth; Ivan's sister
becomes enamoured of him, and he induces her to steal the towel from
her brother and shake it. The sister, under the pretext of washing the
dirty linen, takes off the fairy's towel and shakes it; a bridge
rises, upon which the serpent crosses the river, and then conspires
with the girl with intent to work Ivan's ruin. They demand the usual
milk, which Ivan brings; then the flour which is shut up within twelve
doors. Ivan goes thither with his beasts of prey, takes the flour and
brings it away, but his beasts remain shut up inside; then his
strength diminishes, and the serpent, boasting that he fears him no
longer, prepares to devour him. Ivan, by the advice of a crow, prays
for time, and procrastinates till his beasts of prey, gnawing the
twelve doors through, come to his help, and tear the serpent in
pieces. The serpent's bones are burned in the fire, its ashes are
dispersed to the four winds, and the sister is bound to a stone pillar
(to the rock or mountain upon which the aurora arises, fading away
afterwards when the sun appears). Ivan places near her some hay and a
vessel full of water, that she may have whereof to eat and drink, and
another empty vessel, which she is to fill with her tears: when she
has eaten the hay, drunk the water, and filled the vessel with her
tears, it will be a sign that God has forgiven her; when Ivan too will
forgive her. Meanwhile, Ivan goes into a kingdom where there is
nothing but mourning, because a twelve-headed serpent is massacring
all the people (the usual nocturnal sky, where it is now the hero-sun,
now the heroine aurora that sacrifices itself), and the king's
daughter is the next victim. Ivan, by the help of his hunting animals,
cuts the serpent to pieces, and then goes to sleep on the knees of the
king's daughter. While he sleeps, a water-carrier passes towards
morning, cuts off his head, and presents himself to the king as the
deliverer of the princess, whom he demands for his wife. The beasts of
prey come up, descry the crow upon Ivan's corpse, and prepare to eat
it, when the crow begs for its life; they consent, and in return
require it to search for the water of life and death, by means of
which Ivan is resuscitated; the water-carrier's deceit is found out,
and Ivan marries the princess whom he had delivered from the monster.
Then he goes to look for his sister, and finds she has eaten the hay,
drunk the water, and filled half the vessel with tears; upon this he
pardons her, and takes her away with him.

In another story,[416] instead of the perfidious sister, we have the
perfidious mother (probably step-mother), who, to please her demon
lover, feigns illness, and demands from Ivan the heart, first of the
three-headed, then of the six-headed, and finally of the twelve-headed
monster. Ivan accomplishes these undertakings. He is then sent to a hot
bath, to weaken his strength. Ivan goes, and his head is cut off by the
monster. But Ivan's two sons resuscitate him by rubbing a root upon his
body; the demon lover of Ivan's mother dies as soon as the hero revives
again. In the two sons of Ivan we recognise again the myth of the
Açvinâu, the celestial physicians who resuscitate the solar hero.

In another story, Ivan Karoliević (king's son) is threatened with
death by his own wife,[417] who, feigning illness, demands the usual
milk of a she-wolf, a she-bear, and a lioness, and then the enchanted
powder (powder of gold or flour), which is under the devils mill,
barred behind twelve doors. Ivan comes out, but his beasts remain
inside. He returns and finds his wife with the serpent, the son of the
serpent; he chaunts the song of death--he sings it three times;[418]
on hearing which the serpent is thrown down, and the beasts, regaining
strength to deliver themselves, come out and tear the serpent, and
with him the perfidious wife is put to death.

Ivan's perfidious wife occurs again in the thirty-fifth story of the
fifth book of _Afanassieff_, under the name of Anna the very beautiful
(Prekraçnaia). She has married Ivan Tzarević against her will, because
she could not solve a riddle which he proposed to her; she does not love
him, and endeavours to destroy him by requiring an extraordinary proof
of his valour,[419] in which, by the help of his tutor, Katoma, Ivan is
victorious, so that Anna falls into his hands. But, understanding that
Ivan's strength is not in himself, but his tutor, she induces Ivan to
send him away, after depriving him of his feet. Anna then sends Ivan to
take the cows to pasture. The lame Katoma finds in the forest a blind
man, also made so by Anna;[420] they become friends and consociate
together, and carry off a beautiful maiden to be their sister; but a
witch comes and makes the maiden comb her hair, whilst she sucks her
breast (we must remember that in the Indian story the girl has three
breasts, or is defective in her breast, in the same way as the witch
makes the Russian girl so by sucking her breast). The poor girl grows
thin and ugly, until the old witch is surprised in her evil doings by
the two heroes, fallen upon by them like a mountain of stone, and
pressed so tightly that she cries for mercy. Then they demand to be
shown where the fountain of life and healing can be found. The old woman
conducts them into a dense forest, and shows them a fountain. They first
throw a dry twig in, which immediately takes fire; they threaten to kill
the old witch, and force her to lead them to another fountain, into
which they throw another dry twig; it becomes green again. Then one rubs
his eyes, and the other his feet, with the water, and both become
healthy and strong again. They throw the witch into the fountain of
fire. Katoma, in a shepherd's dress, goes to deliver the hero Ivan from
the demon cow, which lifts up its tail and gives him back his strength
and splendour. This is again the Vedic myth of the Açvinâu united to the
aurora, who cure the blind and the lame, _i.e._, themselves, and save
the multiform solar hero.

Finally, such as we have found the blind girl in the Vedic hymns, so
we meet her again in Russian tradition.[421] A servant-maid takes out
the eyes of the maiden her mistress, after having put her to sleep by
means of a herb, and marries the king in her stead. The girl awakens,
hears but does not see; an old shepherd receives her into his house;
during the night she, although blind, sews a crown for the Tzar and
sends the old man to court to sell it for an eye (this is a variation
of Queen Berta in the forest). The servant-maid, now become queen,
tempted by the beauty of this crown, takes one of the girls eyes out
of her pocket and gives it to the old man. The maiden arises at the
aurora, washes her eye in her own saliva (_i.e._, the dew. In Tuscany,
the peasants believe that whoever washes his face in the dew before
the sun rises on St John's Day, will have no illness all the year
following), puts it in the socket and sees. She then sews another
crown, and, in the same manner, recovers her other eye at the next
aurora. Then the servant-queen learns that she is alive, and makes
hired murderers cut her to pieces. Where the maiden is buried, a
garden arises and a boy shows himself. The boy goes to the palace and
runs after the queen, making such a din that she is obliged, in order
to silence him, to give him the girl's heart, which she had kept
hidden. The boy then runs off contented; the king follows him, and
finds himself before the resuscitated maiden. He marries her, and the
servant-girl is blinded, and then torn to pieces by being fastened to
the tails of horses. Like the German Geneviève and the Hindoo
Çakuntalâ, the Russian wife is recognised by her husband by means of a
boy. This is the young sun, who enables the old one to be born again,
to arise again and be young once more; this is the son who, in the
Hindoo legend, gives his father his eyesight back, and by doing so,
naturally imparts to him the means of recognising his wife, whom he
had forgotten, or rejected, or lost, according to the various forms
assumed by the celestial myth of the separation of husband and wife.

I might now carry on this comparison by entering the mythical field of
the more Western Slavonic nations;[422] but it is not my intention to
convert this modest volume into an entire library of legends; neither is
it necessary for my purpose, as by so doing I should not add much more
evidence to that which I have thus far attempted to collect, in order to
prove how zoological mythology is the same in existing Slavonic
tradition as it was in Hindoo antiquity. I have, moreover, gone rather
minutely into the contents of Russian tradition in particular, because,
on account of our ignorance of the language, which is beautiful and
worthy of study, it is little known, and because it is of especial
importance in our present inquiry. I believe, if I do not deceive
myself, that I have, up to this point, given an account of all the more
essential legends developed in the Eastern Aryan world relating to the
myth of the cow and the bull; and now, in moving towards the West, I
think I may venture to proceed with greater expedition, because we shall
find ourselves in a region already familiar to us. It seemed to me that
it was especially necessary, for a just comparison, to determine and fix
the character of Oriental tradition, in order that it may be easy for
the student to classify the interminable stories and traditions which
have already been collected in Western Europe, and which are published
in languages which are, certainly, different from each other, but all,
comparatively speaking, readily accessible. If I have succeeded in
imparting to the reader an understanding of the more authentic sources
of legendary traditions and their most probable meanings, I shall go on
with more courage and a greater confidence to the investigations that


[348] These last have already been translated into English, and
illustrated, by W. R. S. Ralston, M.A. The _Narodnija Skaski_
sabrannija selskimi ućiteliami, isdanie A. A. Erlenwein (Moskva 1863),
and the more voluminous N. Aphanasieva, _Narodnija ruskija skaski_,
Isd. 2 (Moskva 1860, 1861), have not thus far been translated into
other European languages. I have therefore thought fit to make copious
quotations from them as well for the use of Western readers, as on
account of the real importance of their mythical contents, whilst
awaiting the publication of the competent work which Mr Ralston is
expressly preparing upon Russian songs.

[349] iii. 8805, and following.

[350] _Afanassieff_, ii. 29.

[351] iv. 45.

[352] This subject is already given in _Æsop's Fables_, in the
twenty-first fable (ed. Del Furia, Florence, 1809): the man prays to a
wooden idol (xülinon theon) that it may make him rich; the statue does
not answer; he breaks it to pieces, and gold comes out of it.

[353] Seventeenth story.

[354] Cfr. also in _Afanassieff_, the story, v. 19.

[355] Cfr. also, for the variations, the twenty-second of _Erlenwein_,
and iii. 24, of _Afanassieff_.

[356] Story 54.

[357] Cfr. the first story of my collection of the _Novelline di Santo
Stefano di Calcinaia_, Torino, A. F. Negro, 1869. I am also acquainted
with a Piedmontese variation, differing but little from this Tuscan

[358] In the story, ii. 27, of the collection of _Afanassieff_, the
beautiful princess, near the sea, combs the youngest son of the Tzar,
who goes to sleep.

[359] Cfr. the chapter on the Goat.

[360] v. 37.

[361] v. 50.

[362] v. 9.

[363] In Lafontaine, _Fables_, vii. 1, the animal sacrificed is the ass.

[364] _Afanassieff_, iv. 20-22.--In a Lithuanian song, which describes
the nuptials of animals, the bull appears as a woodcutter or
woodman.--Cfr. Uhland's _Schriften zur Geschichte der Dichtung und
Sage_, iii. 75.

[365] _Afanassieff_, v. 6.

[366] Cfr. the chapter which treats of the Wolf.

[367] _Afanassieff_, v. 41.

[368] _Afanassieff_, iv. 1.--In another variation of the same myth,
which we have already referred to in the Vedic hymns, the birds come,
on the contrary, out of a horse.

[369] v. 54.

[370] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 54, and the chapters on the Fish and the

[371] I read in the travels of Olearius in Persia during the year
1638, French translation: "Les Persans disent que la montagne de
Kilissim a une telle propriété que tous ceux qui y montent n'en
descendent point; que le schach Abas obligea un jour un de ses
chasseurs, en lui promettant une grosse somme d'argent, à monter sur
cette montagne, et qu'il y monta effectivement, l'ayant fait connoître
par le feu qu'il alluma; mais qu'il n'en descendit point, et que l'on
ne sçait point ce qu'il devint avec son chien, qu'il menait avec lui."

[372] _Afanassieff_, iv. 9.--In the well-known English story of _Jack
and the Bean-stalk_, it is the giant who is killed by the fall from
heaven, when Jack cuts the bean-stalk close to the ground.

[373] _Afanassieff_, iv. 7.--Cfr. the chapter on the Fox.

[374] _Afanassieff_, v. 12, and vi. 2.--Cfr. the chapters on the Goat,
the Fox, the Wolf, and the Duck, where other episodes of this legend
are found again.--In the twelfth story of the fifth book of
_Afanassieff_, the old man goes up to heaven to call God to account
for the peas that He has taken from the top of the pea-plant; God
gives him in exchange stockings of gold and garters of silver.

[375] Cfr. also v. 24.

[376] v. 55.--Cfr. also vi. 22.--Cfr. the _Contes et Proverbes
Populaires recueillis en Armagnac_, par Bladé (Paris, 1867), where the
foolish and lazy one occurs again under the name of Joan Lou Pigre.

[377] Cfr. also the two variations in _Afanassieff_, vi. 25.


      Po malu, malu, sestritze, grai
      Nie vraszi ti mavó serdienká vkrai!
      Ti-sz mini szradila
      Sza krasni yagodki, sza ćorvonni ćobotki!

Also cfr. the chapter on the Peacock.

[379] In the Festival of the Epiphany, which is also a festival of the
husband and wife, the good fairy is accustomed to bring to the child,
husband, and wife, a boot or a stocking full of presents. This nuptial
boot occurs again in the English custom of throwing a slipper after a
newly-married couple. Another meaning was also given to the slippers
which are thrown away in the popular belief. Instead of being the
heroine's shoes which, having been abandoned, serve to attract and
guide the predestined husband, they are also considered as the old
shoes which the devil leaves behind him when he flees (his tail, which
betrays itself). The Germanic wild huntress Gueroryssa, another form
of the Frau Holle--the phantom of winter expelled at Epiphany--is
represented with a serpent's tail. Hence in the German carnival the
use of the _Schuh-teufel laufen_, or running in the devil's slippers.

[380] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 4, and the chapter on the Stork.

[381] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, ii. 25, ii. 28, iv. 47, v. 37.

[382] The _mère sotte_ has become proverbial in France, where, in the
sixteenth century, Pierre Gringore wrote a satirical comedy with the
title of _Le Jeu de Mère Sotte_, in which the Mère Sotte is the Catholic

[383] A similar story, which, on account of its indecent details, I
was not able to publish in my collection of the _Novelline di Santo
Stefano di Calcinaia_, is narrated upon the hills of Signa, near
Florence. It is also told, with some variations, in Piedmont.--Cfr. a
Russian variety of the same story in the chapter on the Hen.

[384] _Novelline di Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_, 22.

[385] Cfr. the chapter on the Fishes.

[386] _Afanassieff_, vi. 59.--But in the tale v. 11, he knows how to
fight well.

[387] In England the monster smells the blood of an Englishman, as in
the familiar lines in _Jack the Giant-Killer_--

      "Fe fo fum,
       I smell the blood of an Englishman;
       Be he alive or be he dead,
       I'll grind his bones to make my bread."

[388] Cfr. Teza, _The Three Golden Hairs of the Grandfather Know-all_, a
Bohemian tale (_I tre Capelli d'oro del Nonno Satutto_, Bologna, 1866).

[389] _Afanassieff_, ii. 7.

[390] v. 11.

[391] _Afanassieff_, v. 7, 8.

[392] iv. 46.

[393] v. 6; _Erlenwein_, 7.

[394] _Erlenwein_, 5.--In the first story of _Erlenwein_, the
last-born, Vaniusha (Little John), takes from disputing peasants, by a
stratagem, first a marvellous arrow, then a hat which makes the wearer
invisible, and, finally, a mantle which flies of itself. He promises
to divide them equitably, and for this service makes them pay him
beforehand, each of the three times, a hundred roubles; he then throws
the objects far away and says, that he who is able to find them will
have them; all search, but he alone finds them. (Thus Arǵunas, in the
_Mahâbhâratam_, hides his wonderful arms in the trunk of a tree, in
which he alone can find them.)

[395] Cfr. Schiefner, _Zur Russischen Heldensage_, Petersburg, 1861.
This is how the hero Svyatogor is described in a Russian popular epic
song cited by Ralston (_The Songs of the Russian people_): "There
comes a hero taller than the standing woods, whose head reaches to the
fleeting clouds, bearing on his shoulders a crystal coffer."

[396] _Afanassieff_, vi. 41.

[397] v. 31, and _Erlenwein_, 16.

[398] v. 32.

[399] vi. 27.

[400] Çadis v nievó, i leti kuda nadobno; da po daroghie zabirái k
sebié vsiákavo vstriećnavo.

[401] Na karablié niet ni adnavó pána, a vsió córnie ludi.

[402] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 23.--Ice, in the form of an old man,
comes to try the boiling bath into which the king of the sea wishes to
throw the young hero; when Ice has tried the bath, the youth enters it
without suffering any harm.--The trial of drinking occurs again in a
grandiose form in the combat between Loki and Thor to empty the cup in
the Edda of Snorri, a different form of the Hindoo legend of Agastyas,
who dries up the sea.--Odin, too, as Indras and as Bhîmas, at three
gulps dries up three lakes of mead.

[403] _Afanassieff_, v. 42.

[404] Cfr. the chapters on the Hare and the Quail.

[405] _Afanassieff_, vi. 28, and ii. 31.

[406] _Afanassieff_, vi. 20.--Cfr. i. 3, and ii. 31, where we have the
same particular of the prince who strikes three times the disguised
girl who serves him, as in the Tuscan story of the Wooden Top (the
puppet), the third in my collection of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano
di Calcinaia_.

[407] iv. 44.

[408] Cfr. next chapter.

[409] Cfr. the chapter on the Spider.

[410] _Afanassieff_, ii. 29, and iv. 45.

[411] v. 23.

[412] v. 42.

[413] _Afanassieff_, v. 27.

[414] Cfr. the chapter which treats of the Eagle, the Vulture, and the

[415] _Afanassieff_, vi. 52.

[416] _Afanassieff_, vi. 63.

[417] vi. 51.

[418] In the story, vi. 52, Ivan, by playing in a marvellous manner on
a flute, is recognised by the princess whom he had delivered from the

[419] Cf. next chapter.

[420] We find the blind-lame man again in an epigram by Ausonius of
Bordeaux, a writer of the fourth century:--

      "Insidens cæco graditur pede claudus utroque,
         Quo caret alteruter, sumit ab alterutro.
       Cæcus namque pedes claudo gressumque ministrat,
         At claudus cæco lumina, pro pedibus."

[421] _Afanassieff_, v. 39.

[422] The student who wishes to extend his researches in Slavonic
tradition may consult with profit, among others, the following
works:--Schwenck, _Mythologie der Slaven_; Hanusch, _Slavische
Mythologie_; Woycicki, _Polnische Märchen_; Schleicher, _Littauische
Märchen_; Wenzig, _Westslavischer Märchenschatz_; Kapper, _Die Gesänge
der Serben_; Chodzko, _Contes des Paysans et des Pâtres Slaves_; Teza,
_Itre Capelli d'oro del Nonno Satutto_, a Bohemian story; Miçkiević,
_Canti Popolari Illirici_.




    The four bulls, sons of the virgin Gefion.--The bull which comes out
    of the sea.--The bull progenitor of royal races.--The bull who
    carries the maiden.--The cow of abundance, Audhumla, nurse and
    mother of heroes.--The three brothers of Scandinavian and German
    mythology.--The warrior-cow.--The sacred cow of Ögwaldr burned upon
    the hero's tomb.--The rod-phallos used to strike the cow, as an
    augury of abundance and fecundity.--The head of the ox used as a
    hook to catch the sea-serpent.--The Scandinavian cornucopia made of
    the horns of oxen.--The horn full of honey.--The horn-trumpet.--The
    daughter that milks.--The hero who eats oxen.--Atli eats the hearts
    of his sons, believing them to be the hearts of
    calves.--Hornboge.--To a wicked cow God gives short horns; to cut
    off the cow's horns; to take the bull or cow by the horns, three
    Germanic proverbs.--To dream of eagles announces the vicinity of
    cows; Scandinavian corresponding legend.--A red cow on a certain
    bridge announces a battle.--The Germanico-Scandinavian mythical
    bridge.--The red cow and the black cow yield white milk.--Digression
    upon mythical proverbs, and the explanation which seems to be the
    most likely.--To shut the stable after the cow has been
    stolen.--When the daughter is stolen, shut Peppergate.--He who has
    lost a cow and gets its tail back again has not much, but he has
    more than nothing.--To take by the horns.--Even if the cow's tail
    moves it does not fall.--The tails in the mud.--The virtues of the
    tail.--The ascent to heaven by means of the tails.--The hero in the
    sack made of a cow's hide thrown into the sea.--The punishment of
    the bull.--When the cow places herself upon the eggs, do not expect
    fowls.--The black cow has crushed him.--The sack of the wolf or of
    the black beast is his body itself.--The trial between hero and
    monster to take off their skins; the hero gives cows' skins, but the
    monster is obliged to give his own.--The cow's hide, when sold, is
    the beginning of good luck.--The daughter flees from her father, who
    wishes to seduce her; the story of the slipper again.--The cow can
    pass before the hare.--The cow jumped over the moon.--Tarde sed
    tute.--To take the hare with the chariot.--All those who blow the
    horn do not hunt hares.--As a blind cow finds a pea.--Marvellous
    pipkins and amphoræ.--The cow that laughs.--The princess who
    laughs.--The cow that speaks.--The language of animals.--Phallical
    mysteries.--What the king said in the queen's ear.--Because they
    have spoken, the husband and wife are separated.--Bulls that speak
    at Rome.--Women know everything, even how Zeus married Hêra.--The
    mythical laugh is in the sun's ray and in the lightning.--The fishes
    that laugh; Phallic meaning of the myth.--If the cow-maid must spin,
    there will be little yarn.--The cows that spin.--The spinning
    Berta.--Berchta and Holda.--The time is passed when Berta spun.--The
    times of King Pipino.--Berta with the large foot.--Berta with the
    goose's foot.--St Lucia and St Luke.--Virgins after
    parturition.--The old husband Pepin, a form of St Joseph.--The wife
    Berta changed.--The Italian proverbs dare la Berta and dare la Madre
    d'Orlando.--Continuation of the story of Berta persecuted in the
    forest.--Orlando and Charlemagne.--The bull-priest and the
    priest-bull.--The bull in funerals, in pregnancy, and as the food of
    the hero.--The dwarf and the giant.--A French dwarf explains a myth
    to us; a Scandinavian explains other myths to us.

I shall here combine under one category the Germanico-Scandinavian and
Franco-Celtic traditions, as traditions which, in the Middle Ages
especially, had a close and continual correlation of correspondence
with each other.

The _Edda_ of Snorri begins with the voyage of Gefion, with the four
oxen, her sons (although she is a virgin), yoked to a plough. The king
Gylfi concedes to her the right of occupying and possessing as much
ground as she can plough in twenty-four hours. When they come to the
western sea-board, the four oxen rush forward and drag Gefion with them
into the sea, until they arrive at the land of Seelund (Seeland).[423]
In which, it is obvious we have again the Vedic bull with a thousand
horns which comes out of the sea, and the bull which carries off the
maiden. The bull which comes out of the sea is also found in Irish
legends, and in German ones. According to a German legend, of which
several variations exist, a shepherd received a dinner every day and a
clean shirt every Sunday from a variegated bull that came out of the
sea.[424] A bull on the seaside begets, by the sleeping queen, the king
Meroveus, the first of the Merovingians; perhaps it is on this account
that we find a golden bull's head represented on the tomb of King
Childeric. Charles Simrock[425] found a similar legend also in Spain.
The bull which carries the girl, which we have already met with in the
Russian stories, occurs again in the Norse tale[426] of "_Katee Wooden
Cloak_ (Dasent), endowed with the powers of wish. In its left ear is a
cloth (which reminds us of that spun on the cow's horns), which, when
spread out, is covered with dainties of all kinds for the dawn-maiden,
who has been thrust out of her father's house; but when the step-mother
informs her that she cannot rest until she has eaten the dun bull's
flesh, the animal, hearing her, engages to deliver her, and offers, if
she so wills, to carry her away."

In the voyage of Gylfi in the _Edda_ of Snorri, we find that the cow
Audhumla, the cow of abundance, was the parent of the supreme
Scandinavian god Odin, as it was of the supreme Vedic god Indras. The
cow Audhumla nourishes with her milk Ymir, the first of the giants. She
licks the salt mountain of ice (the Esthonian ice-mountain, the twelve
glasses of the Russian princess, through which the young hero Ivan
penetrates to kiss her). From the ice which the cow has licked, comes
forth, first the hair, then the head, then the whole body, of the hero
Buri. (The sun arises little by little from the mountain of the east,
warmed, attracted by the cow-aurora, and shows, first a few rays, then
his disc, and then himself in all his splendour and strength; and that
which the sun does every day he repeats on a larger scale once a year,
rising again from the ice of winter through the tepidity of spring.) Of
Buri, who is at birth strong, is born Bör, who has, by Bestla, the
daughter of the giant Bölthorn, three sons, Odin, Wili, and We (the
usual three brothers of the legends), who correspond to the three sons
of Mannus in German tradition, that is, Inguis, Istio, and Irminius. The
Swedish king Eistein had a great veneration for the cow Sibilia, and
used to take her with him to battle, that she might terrify the enemy by
her lowing. (The lowing of cows plays an important part in the battles
of the Vedic hero Indras. In the _Pańćatantram_, as we have noticed, the
bellowing of the bull fills the lion with terror.) The Scandinavian
king, Ögwaldr, was accompanied everywhere by a sacred cow, of which he
drank the milk, and with which he desired to be buried. In the
_Ṛigvedas_, as we have seen, the hero Indras makes the cow fruitful;
and the thunderbolt of the god, penetrating the cloud, takes the form of
a phallos. Afterwards, as a symbol of the rod-phallos, the branch or rod
of the tree palâças was adopted, with which the cow was struck to make
it fruitful; such a magic rod is used in Germany to this day, where it
is in many parts the custom to strike the cow, in the belief that it
will render her fruitful.[427]

It is with the head of the most beautiful of the giant Hymir's oxen
fastened to his hook that, in Snorri's _Edda_, the god Thor goes to
fish up the immense serpent of Midgard from the bottom of the sea, and
destroys it upon the sea-shore. (This myth, if I am not mistaken, has
the following meaning:--The head of the solar, or lunar, bull is
devoured by the monster of night; this same head, tossed about, draws
up, towards morning as sun, and towards evening as moon, upon the
shore of the sea of night, that is to say, on the eastern mountain,
the monster-serpent: thus Hanumant, in the _Râmâyaṇam_, passes over to
the opposite shore of the sea, crossing the body of the marine
monster, which he causes to burst; thus Indras kills Ahis the serpent
upon the mountain).

Nor is there the cow of abundance only. Scandinavian tradition, in the
short poem on the dwarf Allwis, offers us the cornucopia in the cup
formed of the defence of oxen (_i.e._, with their horns), in which the
god Thor drinks hydromel. Thus Sigurd offers to Brünhilt a horn full of
mead to drink. And this horn, moreover, besides serving as a cornucopia,
becomes as a golden horn the war-trumpet of Odin (the Giallarhorn).

The Scandinavian hero then, it appears also, has his relationship with
cows, though his life has far more of a warlike character than a
pastoral one; he therefore accuses Loki, and in so doing fills him with
shame, with having passed eight winters underground occupied in milking
the cows like a woman. (It is known that the Hindoo word _duhitar_,
whence Tochter, means she who milks). The Scandinavian hero, instead of
milking cows, eats bulls. We find more than once in the _Eddas_ the
heroes occupied in roasting oxen. Atli, the husband of Gudrun, boasts of
having killed some oxen and having eaten them with her. Gudrun, the
Scandinavian Medea, gives Atli the hearts of his two sons to eat,
assuring him that they are calves' hearts. The god Thor, disguised as
the goddess Freya, drinks three barrels of mead, and eats a whole bull,
when he sets out on the enterprise of recovering his marvellous hammer.
The bull's or cow's horn, moreover, not only supplies mead to the hero,
nor is it only used to call his friends to his aid and to throw down the
enemy; it also forms the hero's bow, which therefore, in the _Vilkina
Saga_,[428] also takes the name of Hornboge, and, as such, assists the
greatest hero, Thidrek or Dîtrich, and is the parent of the celebrated
hero Sigurd (Sîfrit, or Siegfried). And, in conclusion, the horns are
considered such an important weapon of the cow and bull, that a proverb,
which is at once Slavonic, German, and Italian, says, "To a wicked cow,
God gives short horns" (that it may do no harm, or rather, because it
wears them away by use); to cut off the cow's horns means, in a German
proverb, to surmount a difficulty; and to take the bull or cow by the
horns, is to disarm them.[429]

In the Greenland poem on Atli, in the _Edda_ of Sömund, Högni says, that
when many cattle are killed much blood is seen, and that when one dreams
of eagles, oxen are not far distant. In the _Edda_ of Snorri, whilst
Odin, Loki, and Hönir are cooking an ox under a tree, an eagle on its
summit prevents the meat from being cooked, till the heroes consent to
give him part of it. The heroes consent, but the eagle carries off no
less than the two thighs and the two shoulders of the ox. The eagle has
in the _Edda_ the same demoniacal and infernal character that is in
other traditions ascribed to the crow, the funereal stork, and the
vulture: it searches for oxen; and therefore to dream of eagles is an
intimation that an ox is near, in the same way as they say the presence
of a vulture is a sign of the proximity of a corpse.

A German legend, cited by Kuhn and Schwartz,[430] makes a battle begin
"as soon as a red cow is led over a certain bridge." We remember the
Russian story of the girl who, by means of the magical towel of her
brother, makes a bridge arise over the river, over which the
monster-serpent, in the form of a handsome young man, crosses to take
her; how the brother is sacrificed in the battle which he is obliged to
fight against the monster, who disarms him by fraud; and how the battle
between the hero and the monster begins when the maiden, passing the
bridge, abandons the hero, her brother, who falls and sheds his blood in
the unequal struggle. I have already remarked that in the popular
belief the bloody sun of evening forebodes war, and the red cow of
German tradition represents no other than this sky. As to the bridge, an
interesting note of Kuhn and Schwartz[431] seems to confirm the
hypothesis which I have already hinted at in connection with the
Slavonic story, _i.e._, that it represents the milky way; from this
note, too, in which a resemblance is noticed between the bridge of the
red cow, which determines the beginning of a battle, and the
Scandinavian celestial Bîfröst (as perhaps there is between it and even
the Persian bridge Ćinvant itself), I gather that in Frisia the milky
way is called Kau-pat (or Kuh-pfad, cow's-path). That is to say, it is
supposed that the red cow of evening passes during the night along the
milky way, scattering her milk over it; whence perhaps is derived the
German proverb, "Even red cows yield white milk,"[432]--like that other
which we have already seen current in India, and met with again in
Turanian tradition, and which exists as a German, Slavonic, and Italian
proverb, "Even the black cow yields white milk"--(the black night which
produces the alba or white dawn of morning, and we might add, the silver
moon and the milky way).

Since it seems to me, therefore, as I trust it also does to the
reader, that the maiden who crosses the bridge in the Slavonic
stories is, without doubt, the same as the red cow which does the like
in German legend, and if I have not been mistaken in identifying the
maiden who travels with her brother to the kingdom of the dead with
the evening aurora and the dying sun, I shall here adduce a few other
German proverbs, which may also be said to be universal in European
tradition, relating to the cow, all pointing to a similar conclusion.
They are as follows:--"Shutting the stable after the cow has been
stolen." "He who has lost a cow, and recovers her tail, has not much,
but he has more than nothing." "A cow's tail might reach heaven, if it
were only a long one."[434] "A cow does not know what her tail is
worth till she loses it." "To take the cow by her tail." "The black
cow has crushed him, or has got upon him." "A cow cannot overtake a
hare." "The cow has outrun the hare." "Not all who sound the horn hunt
the hare." "When the cows laugh." "As a blind cow can find a pea." "He
must be carried about in an old cow's hide." "If the cow-maid spins,
there will be little yarn." "The cow will learn to spin first."[435]

Meditating upon all these German proverbs, it is, it appears to me,
not difficult to recognise in them a reminiscence of ancient myths
with which we are already acquainted. When we reflect that almost
every proverb has passed into contradictory forms and varieties, and
as in these varieties we may trace the elements of the history of a
great number of strange proverbs, it does not seem rash to affirm that
the said history generally had, in like manner, its origin in a myth.
Not to wander from the subject in hand, that the same proverb is
attributed to different animals, not only by different nations, but in
the oral traditions of the same people, I must refer the reader to
what I have remarked in the preface to this volume concerning the
contradiction which exists between certain superstitious beliefs. The
contradiction between many proverbs, as also between many
superstitions, compared with each other, can only be reconciled by
referring both back to the battle-field of mythology, where an
inconceivable number of myths arise, and can only arise, out of
contradictions; that is, out of contrasted aspects which celestial
phenomena present, even to the same observer, still more so to
different observers. The comparative history of mythical proverbs is
yet to be written, and perhaps it is not yet possible to write it
according to rigorous scientific method in all its completeness. A
preliminary study of the details is necessary to understand a proverb
as well as a popular custom, a superstitious belief, a legend, or a
myth; and this study will demand some labour; for one proverb,
completely illustrated, may involve the development of an entire
epical history. I shall not presume here to solve the enigma of the
above-quoted German proverbs, but only to indicate what seems to me to
be the way of arriving at their most probable solution. In the study
of a proverb, it is necessary to lay great stress upon its
intonation. Upon the different tones in which an ancient proverb was
originally pronounced, and afterwards repeated, passing from tongue to
tongue, and from people to people, depends a great part of the
alteration in the meaning even of the most interesting of the
proverbs, which are a patrimony we owe in common to Aryan tradition. A
proverb, for instance, began by being a simple affirmation, the simple
expression of a natural mythical image; with the lapse of time the
expression remained, and the myth was forgotten; the expression then
appeared to refer to a strange thing, and was accompanied, when
pronounced, with a doubtful mark of interrogation; it was now adopted
in the denial of an impossible thing, and became an instrument for
satire. Thus many proverbs which have become satirical, must have been
originally nothing more than mythical affirmative phrases.

"To shut the stable after the cow has been stolen." In England, instead
of the cow, we have in the proverb a girl: "When your daughter is
stolen, shut Peppergate" (the name of a little gate of the city of
Chester, which it is said the mayor ordered to be shut when his daughter
had been carried off). The proverb is now used to stir up a laugh at the
expense of those who are at pains to guard their property after it has
been robbed; but it perhaps had not always the same meaning. We are
already familiar in Hindoo tradition with the hero who delivers the
beautiful maiden out of the enclosure, and have seen how she is scarcely
free, when she is led away by iniquitous brothers or companions, after
shutting up the legitimate proprietor of the cow or maiden in the cave
whence the cow or girl came forth; how the ravishing brothers shut the
door of the stable or cavern, after having carried off the maiden. The
hero imprisoned in the stable, the hero shut up in the darkness of
night, often assumed in mythology the form of a fool. Hence from the
idea of shutting the gate of the stable upon the hero, by the ravishers
of his cow, the transition seems natural, in my opinion, to the hero
lost in the cavern, to the hero become foolish, to the peasant who shuts
the door of the stable when the cow has been robbed, or to the mayor of
Chester, who, being shut up in the town, shuts the Peppergate, through
which the girl who had been carried off passed.

"He who has lost a cow and recovers its tail has not much, but he has
more than nothing." This proverb also appears to me to have a mythical
meaning. I have already remarked that the tail, the heel, the feet,
that is to say, the lower or hinder extremities, betray the mythical
animal; which we shall see more convincingly when we come to examine
the legends which refer to the wolf, the fox, and the serpent. It is
the footprint which, in all the European traditions, betrays the
beautiful maiden in her flight; and when the brigand Cacus carried off
the oxen of Hercules, the hero, to recover them, searches for their
footprints. But in order that these may not be recognised, the cunning
brigand, instead of leading the oxen by their heads, takes them by
their tails,[436] and makes them walk backwards. Hence, to take by the
tail, means to take hold of the wrong way, and it is applied to the
ass as well as the cow. It is said in Germany that a cow once fell
into a ditch from which none of the bystanders dared to extricate it.
The peasant to whom the cow belonged came up, and, according to some,
took it fearlessly by the horns, while, according to others, he
dragged it out by its tail, whence can be explained the double proverb
to take by the horns, _i.e._, to take by the right side, and to take
by the tail, or, as we have said, to take by the wrong. But the
peasant could only take his cow out by the horns, or by the tail,
according to the way in which it had fallen in; that is, if it had
fallen down head foremost, it could only be dragged out by the tail,
and if, on the contrary, it had fallen in tail foremost, he could only
extricate it by laying hold of its horns. The cow-aurora is taken by
surprise and devoured by the wolf, bear, wild-boar, or serpent of
night, who takes her by the shoulders (it is on this account that, in
the Russian story, we have seen the bull recommend the fugitive hero,
accompanied by his sister, to keep his face turned in the direction
whence the pursuing monster might be expected to come up). The monster
(the shadow, or the cloud) clutches the cow by her tail and devours
her, or drags her into his cave. The hero, in order to deliver his cow
out of the cave, can take her by the horns only on condition that he
penetrates into the cavern by the same way by which the cow entered,
that is, by the monster's mouth; but, as the monster endeavours to
surprise the hero from behind, so the hero often wounds the monster
from behind, catches hold of him by the tail, and in this way drags
him out of the cavern, ditch, or mud--his fallen cow. In a Hindoo
fable in the second book of the _Pańćatantram_, we have the story of a
jackal, who, to satisfy a desire of his wife, follows the bull for
whole years together, in the hope that his two hanging testicles might
fall some day or another. In a joke of Poggius, and in Lessing,[437]
we find the same subject spoken of, of which a variation is given in
a German proverb, "Though the cow's tail moves, it does not
fall."[438] In the hope of this it is that the wolf, or the fox, runs
after the tail of the cow or bull. There is a Piedmontese story which
I heard in my infancy, one comic feature of which lingers vividly in
the memory: a boy who took the hogs to pasture, cut off their tails
and stuck them in the mud, and then made off with the animals. The
owner of the hogs, seeing their tails, is under the impression that
they have sunk into the mud. He tugs at them, brings away their tails,
but cannot fish up their bodies. In a Russian story given by
_Afanassieff_,[439] we read that the cunning Little Thomas (Thomka,
Fomka) cheats the priest of his horse (in some versions his ass) by
cutting off its tail and planting it in the mud of a marsh. He makes
the priest believe that his horse has fallen into the marsh; the
priest, thinking to pull it out, gives one stiff tug, and falls down
on his back with the tail in his hand; upon which Tom persuades him to
believe that he has broken it off himself, and to be content with the
recovery of so much of the lost animal. In the fifty-seventh Gaelic
story of Campbell,[440] a priest endeavours to pull out of the water a
drowning sheep, but the tail comes away, and the story-teller adds,
"If the tail had not come off, the story would have been longer." And
so the owner of the cow, the robber of which has left the tail behind
as a consolation, has in reality but little, but yet this little is
something; for, just as the slipper left behind her by the fugitive
girl, although it is of little value, enables the hero to identify
her, so in the tail of his cow the owner has something in hand to set
out on its search with, and to recover his lost property; either
because the tail of an animal is like its shadow and serves to trace
it, as the slipper does the maiden by showing the footstep; or else,
because tailless cows are evidently stolen ones. (In the myth of
Cacus, in which Hercules traces the stolen oxen by the footprints, and
Cacus drags them by their tails, the mythical figure of the slipper
and that of the lost tail are perhaps united. It is possible that the
tails of the oxen came off in the hands of Cacus when dragging them
into the cavern, and that, thrown away by the brigand, and found by
Hercules, they may have served him as a guide to recover his oxen. It
is also possible that Cacus, pursued by Hercules, had not time to
drive the oxen in entirely, but that their tails still protruded and
betrayed their whereabouts. Relative to the Latin legend of Cacus,
these are simply hypotheses, and I have therefore enclosed them in a
parenthesis; but inasmuch as in the above-quoted Russian story, we
find the horse's tail cut off by the robber, and as in the chapter on
the fox, we shall see the fox who betrays himself by not drawing in
his tail, whence the proverb, "Cauda de vulpe testatur," the two
hypotheses advanced above are, after all, not so visionary.) In
_Pausanias_[441] the hero Aristomenes, who has been thrown into a deep
cistern, liberates himself in a marvellous manner by means of an
eagle, after a fox had opened a passage. The fox's tail has such a
bewitching power of attraction, that according to popular tradition,
when it is moved the cock falls down unable to resist the charm.
According to popular belief, the tail (as well as the nose and mouth)
is the most splendid part of the body of an animal. The great monkey
Hanumant, with his tail on fire, burns Lanka (in the same way as the
burning tails of the foxes of the biblical Samson burn the ripe
harvests of the Philistines). The grey, or black, horse of mythology
(having devoured the solar white, or red horse) emits fire from his
mouth or tail. This black horse being the night, the horse's jaws and
tail, which emit fire, represent the luminous heavens of evening and
of morning; when, therefore, the tail of his horse (stolen by the
robber in the same way as the bull and the cow[442]) remains in the
mythical hero's hand, this light-streaming tail is enough to enable
him to find the whole animal, _i.e._, the solar hero comes out of his
hiding-place (Hanumant comes out of the hinder parts of the marine
monster, the dwarf comes out of the wolf's back[443]), the bull-sun
finds his cow the aurora again; the prince sun, the princess aurora;
the peasant recovers his ass or his cow; Hercules, his oxen; the white
horse comes out of the tail of the black horse, who had eaten him, and
then, by means of the tail, ascends to heaven;[444] the white bull
comes out of the black one; the white, or the red, cow comes out of
the black cow; the tail comes out of the body; the hero comes out of
the sack, or hide, in which he had been enclosed or sewed up. The sack
plays a great part in the tradition of the hidden or persecuted hero;
this sack is the night or the cloud, or the winter; the hero shut up
in the sack, and thrown into the sea, is the sun. The hero enclosed in
the sack and thrown into the sea, and the heroine shut up in a chest
(covered, moreover, with a cow's hide, in the myth of Pasiphäe) or
barrel, and abandoned to the water,[445] are equivalent to each other,
and so are the heroes shut up in the well, in the cavern, in the
stables, and even in the cow. Inasmuch as the sack in which, according
to the proverb quoted above, the delinquent hero is to be sewed, is an
old cow's-hide, or else the hide of an old cow, or a dark one (of the
night), when this black cow sits on the eggs of the bird of evening,
to hatch them, the eggs come to evil; whence I derive the German
proverb, "When the cow sits upon the eggs, do not expect fowls."[446]
And when the night was observed to overwhelm the sun and withdraw him
from human sight, this other proverb took its origin, "The black cow
has crushed him." The black cow does not only crush the hero, but, as
the wolf does, shuts him up in her own hide,[447] in her own sack,
_i.e._, devours him--to fill the sack is the same as to fill the body,
and to empty the sack as to empty the body. In the Piedmontese story
of the dwarf child (the Norwegian Schmierbock), whom the wolf[448]
encloses in the sack, the dwarf comes out of the sack while the wolf
is emptying his body. Of two Russian stories given by _Afanassieff_,
which we shall examine in the chapter on the wolf, one shows us the
wolf who puts the peasant in a sack, and the other the wolf who puts
the dwarf-hero in his body; and both peasant and dwarf save
themselves. The two variations took their origin in the comparison
drawn between the body and a sack, which, in mythical speech, are
therefore the same thing. The hide of the black bull, black ox, black
or grey horse, or black or grey wolf, and the sack which wraps up the
hero or the devil, play a great part in popular Indo-European
tradition.[449] From the sack of the funeral stork (the night), in a
Russian story,[450] come forth two young heroes (the Açvinâu),
defeaters of their enemies, who spread out the tablecloth of abundance
(the aurora), and a horse which drops gold (the sun). The hero shut up
in the sack, or the cow's hide, and thrown into the water, escapes
from shipwreck in the same way as those navigators of the Chinese sea
described in his voyages by Benjamin of Tudela, who, he says, when
shipwrecked, escaped being swallowed up by the waves by covering
themselves with the whole hide of a cow or an ox; for the eagles,
mistaking them for real, flew to the spot and pouncing upon them, drew
them ashore. The ship with the buffalo's hide is found again in
popular stories. This is evidently a reminiscence of mythical
derivation (from which was, perhaps, afterwards derived the idea of
torture, as in the famous bull of Phalaris, in which many see a symbol
of the god of the waters, the bull's hide in which the tetrarch
Acarnides, vanquished by Memnon, was sewed up,[451] in antiquity, and,
in the Middle Ages, the ox's hide in which, according to the
chronicles, the horrid Duke of Spalato Euroia orders Paulus Chuporus,
prefect of the Emperor Sigismond, to be sewed, to revenge himself upon
him, because he had, out of contempt, saluted him by bellowing like an
ox). Thus with the Celtic hero Brian,[452] the pretended fool, who
speculates upon the stupidity of those who are reputed wise. When one
of these so-called sages, deceived by him, proposes to throw him into
the sea shut up in a sack, he makes another man take his place by
means of a witty invention, as Goldoni's liar would say, whilst he
himself comes back to the shore with a whole herd of cattle. In the
other Celtic, Slavonic, German, and Italian variations of this story,
the would-be fool begins his fortune-making, in one version, by
putting a few coins into his dead cow's hide, and then selling it at a
very high price as a purse which will give out money whenever shaken;
and in another, by palming off his ass or horse, persuading the
purchaser, by means of an easy deceit, to believe that it yields gold
and silver, and thus obtaining a high price for it. With the cow are
also connected the two horns, by blowing into which he causes his
wife, who feigns death, to rise to life again, which horns he thus
prevails on his brothers or companions to buy at a great ransom, who,
thinking themselves cunning, and wishing by means of the horns to
speculate upon corpses,[453] begin by killing people, and are ruined.
I have said above, that the sack in which the hero is generally
enclosed is the same as the chest in which the heroine is usually shut
up on account of her beauty, that is to say, in which the beautiful
heroine hides her splendour, or in which the red cow, the evening
aurora with the sun, loses herself. The fourteenth Scottish story of
Mr J. F. Campbell's contains the following narrative:--A king, whose
first wife (the morning aurora) is dead, engages to marry the woman
whom the dead queen's dresses will fit, and finds no one who can wear
them except his own daughter (the evening aurora). She makes her
father give her gold and silver dresses and shoes (that is, she takes
from her father, the sun, the splendour of the morning aurora); she
shuts herself up with them in a chest, and lets herself be thrown into
the sea. The chest drifts about on the waves, and comes at last to the
shore; the beautiful maiden enters the service of a young king; she
shows herself in church with her splendid robes; the young king, who
does not recognise his servant-maid in this beautiful princess,
becomes enamoured of her, and hastens to overtake her; she flees and
loses her golden slipper; the king finds it, and to discover her, has
it measured on every foot; many maidens cut off their toes to make the
slipper go on, but a bird divulges the deceit; the young king marries
the beautiful maiden who came out of the wooden chest. Here we have
again, not only the heroine who escapes, but the walking heroine; this
heroine is the aurora, and the aurora is often a cow. Another swift
cow passes in the proverb before the hare (the leaping moon), in the
fable of the ant and the grasshopper, of which the former represents
the cloud or the night, or Indras or the aurora in the cloud of night,
or the earth,[454] and the latter, the leaping one, the moon; the ant
passes the grasshopper in the race, not because it walks faster, but
because the two runners must necessarily meet, and therefore the one
must pass the other. The English infantile rhyme, "Hey! diddle,
diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon," refers
to the myth of the cow which jumps over the hare. The observation of
celestial phenomena being afterwards neglected, and it being forgotten
that the running ant or cow meant the cloud, or the sun, or the
aurora, or the earth, and the jumping hare or grasshopper the moon,
only a regular and parallel race, on the terrestrial soil, between cow
and hare, or ant and grasshopper, was seen; and from the myth of the
two animals which meet and pass each other in the sky, was derived,
according to the different characters of nations or eras, a double
proverb--one deriding the slow and rash animal which presumes to try
and overtake the swift one in the race, the other serving as an
example to prove the truth of the sentence, "Tarde sed tute," which,
in Italian, is "Chi va piano va sano e va lontano" (he who goes
slowly, goes well and far). The first proverb has for its parent the
Greek one, "to hunt the hare with an ox," which, in Italian, is
"pigliar la lepre col carro" (to take the hare with a car);[455]
referring to cases where means disproportionate to the end are made
use of. When the hare and the cow meet, if the cow is obliged to stop
the hare, she crushes it, as we have seen above that she crushes the
bird's eggs instead of hatching them. The idea, moreover, of the ox
hunting the hare arose naturally out of the idea of the ox or cow
overtaking and passing beyond the hare. To these proverbs can perhaps
be joined the next German one:--"All who blow the horn do not hunt
hares," which is now directed against those who think by an easy
method, such as blowing a horn, to accomplish a difficult enterprise,
such as hunting a hare; in the same way as in Germany it is said, that
all thunder-clouds do not give rain, and the cow must do more than low
in order to have much milk, or the cow that lows most is not the one
that yields most milk.[456] In fact, a cow which lows much is unwell,
neither while it is lowing can it eat and make milk; so he who
fatigues himself with blowing the horn is not able, at the same time,
to run after the hare; as in the Italian proverb, "Il can che abbaia
non morde" (the dog that barks does not bite), for the simple reason
that whilst he opens his mouth to bark, he cannot shut it to bite. The
hen that clucks, on the other hand, is the one that lays the egg,
because the act of clucking with the mouth does not interfere with the
operation of egg-laying; there is no incompatibility of offices.

The German proverb, "As a blind cow finds a pea," is now used to
indicate an impossibility; and yet in the myth the blind cow (or the
night) really finds the pea, kidney-bean, or bean (the moon), which
are the same thing to all intents and purposes. The night is sacred to
the dead; for the dead are as eaten vegetables--kidney-beans, vetches,
peas, and cabbages--lunar symbols of resurrection and abundance. In
the ninth story of the fourth book of _Afanassieff_, the daughter of
the old man and woman eats beans; a bean falls upon the ground, and
grows up to the sky; upon this bean the old man (the sun) climbs up to
heaven and sees everything. In the numerous stories in which the young
hero sells a cow or cow's hide, we almost always find a pipkin full of
kidney-beans, which he induces people to think can cook themselves,
the hero having first cooked them, and then placed them upon the fire
covered with ashes (the darkness); the pipkin is also the moon. The
stories of the pipkin belonging to the house-mother in the
_Mahâbhâratam_, which the god Kṛishṇas, having been hospitably
entertained by her, refills with beans, and of the lord who, in an
unpublished Piedmontese legend, disguised as a poor old man, throws
pebbles into the kettle of the pious widow, which, as soon as thrown
in, become kidney-beans, involve the same myth. In the same way I
think the kidney-bean is evidently intended by the fruit of fruits,
which, according to the _Mahâbhâratam_, the merciful man receives in
exchange for the little black cow (_kṛishṇadhenukâ_) given to the
priest.[457] In the English fairy tale of "Jack and the Bean-stalk,"
Jack barters his cow for some beans; his mother (the blind cow)
scatters the beans; one of them takes root, and grows up to the
sky.[458] By means of the black cow, of the funereal or blind cow, of
the cow-aurora, which becomes black or blind during the night, the
hero finds the bean or the pea of abundance (the moon), by means of
which he sees again in the morning and becomes rich.

We have seen a sack, instead of the hide of a black cow, used to
signify the night; in like manner, after or instead of this same cow's
hide (which the hero goes to sell), as well as the pea or bean, we
have the pipkin--the poor hero finds the moon. The Slavonic story of
the potter who becomes rich, and that of the brother believed to be
stupid, who sells at a high price his pipkin, which makes the beans
boil without a fire, are varieties of the same subject. In a Russian
story in _Afanassieff_,[459] the amphora takes the place of the pipkin
that makes its owner rich. The poor brother draws it out of the water;
from the broken amphora comes a duck, which lays one day golden eggs,
and the next silver ones--the sun and the moon (at morning the aurora
hatches the golden day, at evening the silver night).

We have still to explain the proverbs of the cow that laughs and the
cow that spins. The laughing aurora (after having, during the night,
acted the princess that never laughs) and the spinning aurora (in
relation with the cow, the moon, that spins by means of its horns) are
already known to us. The aurora laughs at morn in the sky, at the
sight of her husband; thus the princess that never laughs, in a
numerous series of Slavonic, German, and Italian stories, laughs when
she sees her predestined husband.[460] The proverb of the cow that
laughs is connected with that of the cow that speaks; it is perhaps on
this account that bulls and cows (and other animals) which speak, and
say and do complimentary things among themselves, in an entire cycle
of Indo-European stories, which have been learnedly illustrated by
Professor Benfey, in _Orient und Occident_, under the title of "Ein
Märchen von der Thiersprachen," always make the man who understands,
and indiscreetly listens to their language, laugh. But if the man
reveals what the bulls or cows (or other animals) have said to each
other, he prepares his own ruin: the language and the inner life of
animals must not be divulged to all; if published abroad, the augury
is a sinister one. That which makes the princess of the Russian tale
laugh, is seeing the courtesy which the animals, like men, show to the
man taken out of the mud; that which makes the man who understands the
language of animals laugh, is seeing them speak and act to each other
exactly as men do in similar private relations. To betray this mystery
is to wish for one's death. No one must know what the bull said in
secret to the cow, the sun to his mistress, what the king said in the
queen's ear. The violator of the mysteries of Venus is guilty of
sacrilege, and merits the punishment of death, or at least brings evil
down upon his head. Woe to the heroine if the hero hidden in the skin
of an animal, on account of some indiscretion, or because she has
spoken to her sisters, shows himself naked in his human form; she
loses him, and their separation is inevitable.

We are already acquainted with the cloud-cow and the cloud-bull; the
cloud thunders, the bull bellows and speaks. The clouds, the Vedic
_gnâ devapatnîs_, _gnâ devîs_,[461] that is, the goddesses, or divine
and knowing wives, the fairy goddesses (women with their
presentiments, the women that know more than the devil), are also
prophetic cows; these cows, in their character of fairies, speak with
a human voice, and so do the cloud-bulls. Hence the Romans could take
their auguries from an ox that spoke with a human voice. It has been
said that this omen was a sinister one, but it is a mistake. According
to Livy, under the consulate of Cn. Domitius and L. Quintius, an ox
threw Rome into terror by the words, _Cave tibi, Roma_. These words
seem to have a sinister meaning, but they are in reality nothing more
than a friendly counsel or admonition, as much as to say, Look to your
field occupations, O Rome; the thunder has been heard which announces
the summer. Thus, when we read in the fifth book of Pliny's _Natural
History_ that whenever an ox was known to have spoken with a man's
voice, the Roman Senate was accustomed to meet in the open air--_sub
dio_, I only see in this allusion, and in ascribing this practice to
the Senate, one way of saying that when thunder is heard (that is to
say, when the ox speaks) it is a sign of summer, and we may go out
into the country and sleep in the open air. And so, finally, when,
according to Eusebius, an ox said, that for the death of Cæsar (which,
as every one knows, took place on the Ides of March, that is to say,
at the beginning of spring) there would be more blades of corn than
men, I see a most evident announcement of the approach of summer, in
which men or reapers are in fact never too many, and even rare when
the harvest is a large one. The ox that with a man's voice heralds the
near advent of summer corresponds to the cuckoo, the legend of which
we shall reserve for a special chapter. Meanwhile, to confirm still
more our identification, we shall cite here the almost proverbial
verse of Theocritos: Women know everything, even how Zeus married Hêra
(or that which the king said in the queen's ear). Zeus, transformed
into a cuckoo, flew to the mountain, and alighted on the knees of
Hêra, who, to protect him from the cold, covered him over with her
robes. The cuckoo, or Zeus, disappears soon after having spoken, that
is, announced the summer loves of the sun. After St John's Day the
cuckoo, who appears in March, is no longer seen; so the ox, soon after
it has spoken and betrayed the loves of Zeus, or soon after the cloud
has thundered, revealing the secret loves of the sun within the sky
covered with clouds, or the confidential speeches and secret caresses
of the animals, pays for this indiscretion by his own death. As the
aurora is represented in the Vedic hymns by a maiden who does not
laugh, and smiles only when she sees her husband,[462] so the
lightning that tears the cloud and comes before the thunder is
compared to the laughing of an ox or a cow, or else of the man who has
seen their loves. As long as the sky only lightens, or merely
smiles,[463] there is little harm done. No one can know as yet why the
ox or the cow, the hero or heroine, or the third person who is looking
on, smiles before the spectator; but when the hero or the heroine
speaks, betraying the thought or singular surprise which makes him or
her smile, the penalty of the indiscretion is death; the thundering
cloud is soon dissolved into rain. Nor will my identification of the
cloud that lightens (making a distinction between the lightning and
the thunderbolt) with the smiling cow, or ox, or man who,
understanding the language of animals, as they speak in low tones, and
seeing their most familiar habits, smiles, seem forced when we reflect
that our language has preserved the figures of a ray of joy, of a
flash of joy, to indicate a smile, of which we say that it shines,
illumines, or lightens. Lightning is the cloud's smile. In the ninth
story of the third book of _Afanassieff_, we meet with a fish which
laughs in the face of the onlooker (the cloud that lightens, and also
the moon that comes out of the ocean of night), and for which, on
account of this singular property, the poor man (the sun in the cloud
or in the night) obtains an extraordinary sum from a rich lord, even
all his riches--_i.e._, the poor man takes the place of the lord; the
splendid sun takes the place of the sun hidden in the cloud or in the
darkness. In a Hindoo story of _Somadevas_ (i. 5), a fish laughs upon
seeing men disguised as women in the king's apartment. In the
_Tuti-Name_ (ii. 21), the fishes laugh when they see the prudery of an
adulteress. With this is connected the fable of Lafontane, "Le Rieur
et les Poissons" (viii. 8). In the legend of Merlin, the magician also
laughs because the wife of Julius Cæsar lives with twelve heroes
disguised as women, and because he himself allowed himself to be taken
by Grisandole, a princess disguised as a cavalier.[464]

The fish is a phallic symbol (in the Neapolitan dialect, _pesce_,
fish, is the phallos itself). The fish that laughs because it has been
the spectator of adultery is the phallos itself _in gaudio Veneris_.
The thunderbolt of Indras is his phallos that breaks the cloud. In
Ovid,[465] we have Jupiter, who, by means of riddles, teaches Numa the
way of forming the thunderbolt.

      "Cœœde caput, dixit, cui Rex, Parebimus, inquit;
         Cœœdenda est hortis eruta cepa meis.
       Addidit hic, Hominis: Summos, ait ille, capillos.
         Postulat hic animam: cui Numa, Piscis, ait.
       Risit; et His, inquit, facito mea tela procures,
         O vir colloquio non abigende meo."

The joke of the April fish (le poisson d'Avril), with which so many of
our ladies ingenuously amuse themselves, has a scandalously phallical
signification.[466] The fishes of the Zodiac are twins, a male and a
female bound together, born of Erôs (Amor) and Aphroditê (Venus). In
the Adiparvam of the _Mahâbhâratam_, we read of a fish which devours a
man's seed, and a girl who, having eaten it, brings forth a child. The
same myth occurs again in the Western popular tales.

The cow that spins still remains to be explained. We have already seen
that the cow spins with her horns for the maiden; this cow is,
generally, the moon, which spins gold and silver during the night. The
aurora is ordered by her step-mother, the night, both to pasture the
cow (the moon) and spin. If the cow-maid is to take care of her cow
and guard her well, she will be able to spin but little; whence the
German proverb is right when it says that if the cow-maid must spin
there will be little yarn. The good cow-maid prefers to keep her cow
well, and pays every regard to it, in order that it may find good
pasturage; then the grateful cow (the moon) puts gold and silver upon
its horns to spin for the maiden.[467] In the morning the girl
appears upon the mountain with the gold and silver yarn, with the gold
and silver robes given her by the good fairy or by the good cow.[468]
And when the old woman kills the cow, the girl who keeps its bones and
sows them in the garden sees, instead of the cow, an apple-tree with
gold and silver apples grow up, by offering one of which to a young
prince the maiden obtains a husband, whilst perverse women are beaten
by the apple-tree or find themselves opposed by horns. This
apple-legend is a variation of the star which falls upon the good
maiden's forehead on the mountain, and of the horns, or donkey's tail,
which grow out of the forehead of the bad sister who has maltreated
the cow or badly combed the Madonna's head. The story of the good
maiden and the wicked one, of the beautiful and the ugly one, finishes
with the attempt made by the ugly and wicked girl to take the place of
the beautiful and good one in her husband's bed, in the same way as,
in other stories, a black washerwoman tries to take the place of the
beautiful princess; and this conclusion brings us to the interesting
story of the spinning Berta, or Queen Bertha, as she is called.

In German mythology we have the luminous Berchta, who spins, in
contrast with the dark and wild Holda at the fountain (the washerwoman
of fairy tales). The former seems to be (besides the moon as a white
woman, in her period of light, the silvery night) the aurora, the
spring, or the luminous aspect of the heavens; the latter (besides the
moon in her period of darkness, Proserpina or Persephonê in hell), the
dark night, winter, the old witch.[469] The same name is given to the
various phenomena of the gloomy sky, in the same way as a contrary
name is given to the various phenomena of the luminous heavens. On
this account lunar and solar myths, daily and annual myths, enter into
the story of Berta or Berchta.

Berta, like the cow of the fairy tales, spins silver and gold.
Therefore, when we say in Italy that the time when Berta spun is
past,[470] this expression means, that the golden age, the age in
which gold abounded is past. And instead of this expression we also
use another in Italy to denote an incident which took place in a very
ancient era, at a time very remote from the memory of men; we say, in
the times of King Pipino (Pepin). Queen Berta having been the wife of
Pepin, it was natural that the times of the husband should correspond
to the fabled era of his wife, who was, tradition alleges, mother of
Charlemagne, the hero so-named of the legends, of whom it is said, in
Turpin's Chronicle, that he had long feet, and his _alter ego_ Orlando
(a new and splendid mediæval form of the twin heroes), rather than of
the King Charlemagne of history.

Berta has a large foot, like the goddess Freya, the German Venus, who
has swan's feet. It is this large foot that distinguishes her from other
women, and enables her husband to recognise her, in the same way as it
is the foot, or footprint (the sun follows the path taken by the
aurora), that betrays and discovers the fugitive maiden, who, we have
said, is the aurora with the vast chariot (the vast chariot which, if it
pass over the hare, may crush it. Frau Stempe, and Frau Trempe, and the
large-footed Bertha, are the same person)--vast, because she occupies a
large extent of the heavens when she appears. When standing on the
chariot, she seems to have no feet, or a very small, an imperceptible
foot; but the chariot on which she stands and which represents her foot
is so much the larger; therefore when we leave the chariot out of
account, and suppose, on the contrary, that she goes on foot, inasmuch
as, when walking, she takes up much room, the swan's, or goose's, or
duck's foot given to her in the myth of Freya and the legend of Berta is
quite suited to her. And seeing, as we have said, that the foot (the
myths almost always speak of one foot alone; even the devil is lame, or
has only one foot) and the tail of an animal are often substituted for
each other in mythology, we can understand how, in a Russian story,[471]
the hero who has fallen into a marsh was able to deliver himself by
clutching hold of the tail of a duck. This duck being the aurora, and
having a wide spreading tail as well as a large foot, the solar hero, or
the sun, can easily, by holding on to her, raise himself out of the
swamp of night. There is a German story[472] in which the white woman,
or the Berta, is transformed into a duck. In another German legend,[473]
instead of the swan-footed Berta, we have the Virgin Mary (who, as a
maiden, represents the virgin aurora, always pure, even after having
given birth to the sun; like the Kuntî of the _Mahâbhâratam_, who gives
birth to Karṇas, the child of the sun, and yet is still a virgin. On the
other hand, when a good old woman, good woman or Madonna, she generally
personifies, in the legends, the moon) who, in the shape of a swan,
comes to deliver from the prison of the infidels (the Saracens or Turks,
here the black demons, or the darkness of night), and carry off by land
and by sea, the young hero whom she protects (the aurora delivers the
sun from the night).[474] The same luminous Berta also assumes, in
popular German tradition, the form of St Lucia, that is, the saint who,
after having been made blind, became the protectress of eyesight. Of the
blind or black cow of night is born the luminous cow of morning, the
aurora that sees everything herself and makes us see everything. For the
same reason that the cow or duck, Berta, is consecrated to St Lucia,
whose appearance she assumes, the bull (the sun) is sacred to St Luke,
the festival of whom is on this account celebrated at Charlton, near
London, with a horn-fair or exhibition of horns, generally ornamented
and perfumed.

In the above-quoted Hindoo legend of the _Mahâbhâratam_, the queen
will not sleep with the old blind man, but sends instead her
servant-maid. In the _Reali di Francia_, King Pepin is advised by his
barons to take a wife, when he is already "far advanced in years" (he
is a form of St Joseph). The barons look for a wife, and find, in
Hungary, Berta, the daughter of King Philip, "the most beautiful and
skilful horsewoman," or Berta with the large foot upon a beautiful and
stately horse, which goes along the road bounding, whilst she is
always laughing. Berta has a maid called Elizabeth, who resembles her
in every respect except her feet. King Pepin is married by proxy to
Berta, sends for her, and comes to meet her. Berta when she sees that
King Pepin is so ill-favoured, grieves "although forewarned of his old
age." When evening comes she takes off her royal robes and gives them
to Elizabeth, that she may take her place and sleep with the
king.[475] Hence the Italian proverbs, "Dar la Berta" (to give the
Berta), and "Pigliar la Berta" (to take the Berta), meaning to deride
and to be derided. But instead of to give the Berta, in Italy we also
say, "Dar la madre d'Orlando" (to give the mother of Orlando). The
_Reali di Francia_ informs us that King Pepin had, by Elizabeth, two
perverse bastards, Lanfroi and Olderigi, and by Berta, Charlemagne and
another Berta, mother of Orlando; but the Italian proverb is perhaps
nearer the mythical truth when it recognises the mother of Orlando as
herself Pepin's wife, so that Charlemagne and Orlando are brothers;
and, in fact, they accomplish several of the undertakings mentioned in
the legend of the two brothers. In the so-called Chronicle of
Turpin[476] when Orlando dies, Charlemagne says that Orlando was his
right arm, and he has no longer anything to do in life without him;
but he lives long enough to avenge the death of Orlando; and after
this vengeance, the heroic life of Charlemagne comes at once to an
end. In the _Chanson de Roland_, too, after the death of his hero,
whom he avenges, Charlemagne feels the burden of life, weeps, tears
his beard, unable to support this solitude; but in the _Chanson_, as
well as in the _Reali di Francia_, Orlando explicitly appears as the
nephew of Charlemagne, that is, as the son of his sister Berta. (As
the Vedic aurora was now the mother, now the sister of the sun and of
the Açvinâu, thus Berta may, mythically, be mother or sister of
Charlemagne, and yet be always the mother of Orlando).

It would be a never-ending work to collect together all the Germanic,
Scandinavian, and Celtic legends which, in one way or another, are
connected with the myth of the cow and of the bull. The literature
relating to this subject is composed not of one or a hundred, but of
thousands of volumes, of which some (such, for instance, as the poem
of the _Nibelungen_, and the poems of the _Round Table_) individually
contain, in the germ, almost the whole diverse world of fairy tales. I
must therefore limit myself to the indication of the more general
features, leaving to more diligent investigators the minuter
comparisons; and esteeming myself, I repeat, too happy if my brief
notices should be found clear enough to spare others the labour of
preparing the warp upon which to weave comparisons.

From what we have said thus far, it seems to me that two essential
particulars have been made clear:--1st, That the worship of the bull
and the cow was wide-spread, even in northern nations; 2d, That the
mythical bull and cow were easily transformed into a hero and heroine.

The sacred character ascribed to the cow and the bull is further
evidenced by a Scandinavian song, in which, on the occasion of the
nuptials of the animals (the crow and the crane), the calf (perhaps
the bull) appears as a priest, and reads a beautiful text.[477] As a
symbol of generation, the bull is the best adapted to propitiate the
married couple; so the priest in the _Atharvavedas_ teaches the
inexperienced husband and wife, by formulas _ad hoc_, the mysteries
of Venus. Thus the _jus primæ noctis_ was conceded to the Brahman in
mediæval India; and so in the ritual of mediæval France, we still find
indications of the priest _pronubus_. The beautiful text that the
calf, or bull, recites in the Scandinavian song must be the same
which, according to the ceremonial recorded by Villemarqué, the priest
recited, whilst sprinkling them with incense, to the married couple
_sedentes vel jacentes in lectulo suo_.[478] Thus, when the wolf dies
(in a German writing of the twelfth century), it is the ox that reads
the gospel.[479] Besides marriages and funerals, the bull or ox also
appears, finally, as in the Hindoo ceremonial, in pregnancy.
Gargamelle, while she has Gargantua in her womb, eats an excessive
quantity[480] of tripe of fattened oxen. When she feels the pains of
child-birth, her husband comforts her with an agricultural proverb of
Poitou, "Laissez faire aux quatre beufz de devant;" and she then gives
birth to Gargantua, who comes out of her left ear, in the same way as
in the Slavonic stories we find the heroes come out of the ears of the
horse (or of the ass of night; the luminous solar hero comes out of
the ears of the ass, or of the grey or black horse; the twin horsemen
come out of the two ears). Rabelais, to explain this extraordinary
birth, asks "Minerve ne naquit-elle pas du cerveau par l'aureille de
Iupiter?" No sooner is Gargantua born, than he asks with loud cries
for something to drink; to give him milk, 17,913 cows are brought, his
mother's breasts not being enough, although each time she is milked
she yields "quatorze cens deux pipes neuf potées de laict." This is
the giant of popular tradition, whom the gigantic phantasy of Rabelais
has coloured in order to make him the butt of an immense satire. It is
an amplified and humorous rendering in a literary form of the popular
Superlatif,[481] whose mythical character is revealed in the curse
hurled against him by the old dwarf-fairy, whom he maltreated: "One
sun, to accomplish his work, eats eleven entire moons; but this time
every moon will eat the work of a sun." The ascending and descending
life of the solar hero is thus indicated. Superlatif will become
continually smaller, until it seems as though he were about to
disappear altogether; but at that very instant the curse comes to an
end, and from a dwarf, he grows into a giant again in the arms of his
bride.[482] Thus the days become continually shorter and shorter,
till the winter solstice, till Christmas. At Christmas the sun is born
again, the days lengthen, the dwarf grows tall; the sun, by a double
but analogous conception of ideas, passes once each day and once each
year from giant to dwarf, and from dwarf to giant.

And the dwarfs of tradition know and reveal the mythical how and why
of their transformations, since, though they are dwarfs and hidden,
they see all and learn all. It is from the knowing dwarf Allwis, his
diminutive _alter ego_, that the mighty Thor, in the _Edda_, learns
the names of the moon, the sun, the clouds, and the winds. The moon,
according to Allwis, when it is in the kingdom of hell (in the kingdom
of death, in the infernal world, when it is Proserpina), is called a
wheel that is hurrying on; it then shines among the dwarfs (_i.e._, in
the luminous night, in which the sun hides itself; it becomes an
invisible dwarf). The sun among the dwarfs (_i.e._, when it is a
dwarf) plays with Dwalin (the mythical stag, probably the horned
moon); among the giants (_i.e._, when in the aurora, it becomes a
giant again), it is a burning brand; among the gods (the Ases), it is
the light of the world. The cloud, the dwarf Allwis goes on to inform
us, is the ship of the winds, the strength of the winds, the helmet
(or hat, or hood) which makes its wearer invisible. The wind, again,
is the wanderer, the noisy one, the weeper, the bellower, the
whistler (no one can resist the cries or the whistling of the hero of
fairy tales; the bellowing of the bull makes the lion tremble in his
cave). In this learned lesson on Germanico-Scandinavian mythology,
given us by the dwarf Allwis, we have a further justification of the
transition which we here assume to have been made from the natural
celestial phenomenon to its personification in an animal, and to the
personification of the animal in a man: Allwis, who knew all things,
has explained the mystery to us.


[423] _Les Eddas_, traduites de l'ancien idiome Scandinave par Mdlle.
du Puget, 2ème édition, p. 16.

[424] Kuhn und Schwartz, _Norddeutsche Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche_,
p. 501.

[425] _Handbuch der Deutschen Mythologie_, mit Einschluss der
nordischen, 2te. aufl. p. 437.--We find also in Eginhardus (_Vita
Caroli Magni_): "Quocumque eundum erat, carpento ibat, quod bubus
junctis et bubulco rustico more agente, trahebatur."--The bull is a
symbol of generation; the man who fears the bull is a stupid and
ridiculous eunuch. We find in Du Cange, Lit. Remiss, ann. 1397, "Le
suppliant, lui dist, Eudet, vous avéz un toreau qui purte les gens et
ne osent aler aux champs pour luy; lequel Eudet luy respondis: as tu
nom Jehannot?" Faire Johan dicitur mulier, quæ marito fidem non servat
(a variety of the Mongol Sûrya Bagatur).

[426] Recorded by Cox, _Mythology of the Aryan Nations_, vol. i. p.
438, when speaking of the Hellenic myth of Zeus and Eurôpâ.

[427] Cfr. Kuhn, _Die Herabkunft des Feuers und des Göttertranks_, p.
181 and following.--In Du Cange, _Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ
Latinitatis_, s. v. Acannizare, we read an extract of a paper of
Jacob, i. _Regis Arag._ fol. 16: "Quicunque Acannizaverit vaccam vel
bovem, si bos vel vacca fecerit damnum casu fortuito, dum Acannizatur,
cujus est amittat ipsum bovem vel vaccam, nisi Acannizetur causa
nuptiarum;" and in Du Cange also: "Ut in anserem ludendo baculos
torquere in usu fuit, ita et in bovem."

[428] _Die Deutsche Heldensage_, von Wilhelm Grimm, 2te Aus., No 102,

[429] Cfr. the chapter on the Goat and He-goat for more information on
mythical horns.

[430] _Vide_ p. 497.

[431] Diese Brücke wird keine andere sein, als die himmlische Bîfröst,
deren er hütet, eine Vermuthung, die noch an Wahrscheinlichkeit
gewinnt, wenn man den friesischen Namen der Milchstrasse Kaupat, der
Kuhpfad, hinzunimmt; denn Milchstrasse und Regenbogen berühren
einander sehr nahe. Dieser ist die Tagesbrücke zwischen Göttern und
Menschen, jene die nächtliche.

[432] Rothe Kühe geben auch weisse Milch; Wander, _Deutsches
Sprichwörter Lexicon_, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1870.

[433] Auch eine schwarze Kuh gibt weisse Milch; Wander, _ibid._

[434] This reminds us of the familiar English riddle, "How many cows'
tails would it take to reach the moon? One, if it were long enough."

[435] Wenn die Kuh gestohlen ist, verwahrt man den Stall.--Wer eine
Kuh verloren und den Schwanz zurück erhält, hat nicht viel, aber mehr
als nichts.--Die Kuh könnte mit dem Schwanze bis an den Himmel
reichen, wenn er nur lang genug wäre.--Une vache ne sceit que lui
vault sa queue jusques elle l'a perdue.--Die Kuh beim Schwanz
fassen.--Die schwarze Kuh hat ihn gedrückt.--Eine Kuh kann keinen
Hasen erlaufen.--Die Kuh überläuft einen Hasen.--Nicht alle, die
Hörner blasen, jagen Hasen.--Wenn die Kühe lachen.--Wie eine blinde
Kuh eine Erbse findet.--Den sollt man in einer alten Kuhhaut
herumfahren.--Soll die Kuhmagd spinnen, wird man wenig Garn
gewinnen.--Man würde eher einer Kuh spinnen lehren; Wander's _Lexicon
of German Proverbs_, ii. 1666-1695.

[436] Livius i.: "Quia si, agendo, armentum in speluncam compulisset,
ipsa vestigia quærentem dominum eo deductura erant, aversos boves
eximium quemque pulchritudine caudis in speluncam traxit."

[437] _Facetiæ_, Krakau, 1592, quoted by Benfey in his introduction to
the _Pańćatantram_, Leipzig, Brockhaus, p. 323: "Quia testiculi mei
quadraginta annos pependerunt casuro similes et nunquam
ceciderant."--And in Lessing, xi. 250, we read of Lachmann-Maltzahn:
"De vulpe quadam asini testiculos manducandi cupido."--In Aldrovandi,
_De Quadrupedibus Bisulcis_, i. Bologna, 1642, we read, "Membrum tauri
in aceto maceratum et illitum, splendidam, teste secto, facit faciem;
Rasis ait, genitale tauri rubri aridum tritum, et aurei pondere
propinatum mulieri, fastidium coitus afferre; e contrario quidam
recentiores, ut in viris Venerem excitent, tauri membrum cæteris hujus
facultatibus admiscent."

[438] Wenn auch der Kuhschwanz wackelt, so fällt er doch nicht ab; in
Wander, _Deutsches Sprichwörter Lexicon_.

[439] v. 8.

[440] Referred to by Köhler in _Orient und Occident_.

[441] iv. 15.

[442] Whence the proverb quoted above, relating to the stable that is
shut when the cow is stolen, is also quoted as follows: "Shutting the
stable when the horse has been stolen."

[443] Cfr. the chapter on the Wolf, where the dwarf enters the wolf by
his mouth and comes out by his tail.

[444] In a Russian story, in _Afanassieff_, vi. 2, when the old peasant
(the old sun) falls from the sky into a marsh (the sea of night), a duck
(the moon or the aurora) comes to make its nest and lay an egg upon his
head; the peasant clutches hold of its tail; the duck struggles and
draws the peasant out of the marsh (the sun out of the night), and the
peasant with the duck and its egg flies and returns to his house (the
sky whence he had fallen).--In a variation of the same story in
_Afanassieff_ (the two stories together refer to that of Aristomenes)
the old man falls from heaven into the mud. A fox places seven young
foxes on his head. A wolf comes to eat the young foxes; the peasant
catches hold of his tail; the wolf, by one pull, draws him out; by
another, leaves his tail in the peasant's hand. The tail of the wolf of
night is the morning aurora.--In the story of _Turn-Little-Pea_,
_Afanassieff_, iii. 2, the young hero enters into the horse after having
taken off his (black) hide, and after having taken him by the tail,
_i.e._, he becomes the luminous horse of the sun.

[445] In the Russian story of lazy and stupid Emilius, who makes his
fortune, the hero is shut up in a barrel with the heroine, and thrown
into the sea: the sun and the aurora, made prisoners, and shut up
together, cross together the sea of night.

[446] Wenn sich eine Kuh auf die Eier legt, so erwarte keine Hühner;
Wander, the work quoted before.

[447] In the Russian story of _Afanassieff_, v. 36, the hero-workman
kills the monster-serpent by gambling with him for the price of his
own skin. Thinking that he may lose, he has provided himself
beforehand with seven ox hides and with iron claws. He loses seven
times; each time the monster thinks he has him in his power, but the
workman as often imposes upon him with an ox's hide, inducing him to
believe that it is his own. At last the serpent loses, and the
workman, with his iron claws, really takes off his skin, upon which
the serpent dies. To take the sack or hide from the monster, to burn
the skin of the monster-serpent, goat, hog, frog, &c., to burn the
enchanted mantle or hood in which the hero is wrapped up, is the same
as to kill the monster.

[448] See the chapter on the Wolf.

[449] For the German one, cfr. Simrock, the work quoted before, p. 199.

[450] _Afanassieff_, ii. 17.

[451] Acarnides insutus pelle juvenci; Ovidius, _In Ibin_.

[452] Köhler, _Ueber T. F. Campbell's Sammlung gälischer Märchen_, in
_Orient und Occident_.--Cfr. the 30th of the _Novelline di Santo
Stefano di Calcinaia_.

[453] Köhler, the work quoted above.

[454] To this myth of the cow which goes over the moon, the
observation of a lunar eclipse might have contributed materially, in
which the cow earth (in Sanskṛit, _go_ means earth as well as cow)
really passes over the moon or hare. Or else, the cloud and the night,
as a black cow, very frequently goes over the hare or moon.

[455] In the Russian superstition, when a hare passes between the
wheels of the vehicle which carries a newly-married couple, it bodes
misfortune; nor is this without reason: the hare is the moon; the moon
is the protectress of marriages; if she throws obstacles in the way,
the marriage cannot be happy; consequently, marriages in India were
celebrated at full moon.

[456] Die Kuh, die viel brüllt, gibt nicht die meiste Milch.

[457] Phalânâm phalam açnoti tadâ dattvâ; _Mahâbhâratam_, iii. 13, 423.

[458] In the German legend of King Volmar, in Simrock, the work quoted
before, p. 451, we find the peas in the ashes. In the seventh of the
_Contes Merveilleux_ of Porchat, we have the pot in which the cabbages
are boiled, from which come forth money and partridges. In the sixth
of the same _Contes Merveilleux_, the young curioso sees a nest upon
an elm-tree, and wishes to climb up; the ascent never comes to an end;
the tree takes him up near to heaven. On the summit of the elm-tree
there is a nest, from which comes forth a beautiful fair-haired maiden
(the moon).

[459] i. 53.

[460] In the story, vi. 58, of _Afanassieff_, the honest workman, when
he wishes to fix his eyes upon the princess who never laughs, falls into
a marsh; the fish, the beetle, and the mouse, in gratitude, clean him
again; then the princess laughs for the first time, and marries the
honest workman. In the 25th of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano_, an
analogous detail is found, but this is not enough to make the princess
laugh; it is the eagles which draw after themselves everything they
touch that accomplish the miracle of making the queen's daughter laugh.
In the third story of the _Pentameron_, the princess laughs upon seeing
Pervonto carried by the faggot of wood, instead of carrying it. The
Russian stories of the ducks which save the hero, in _Afanassieff_, vi.
17-19, and the faithless wife and her lover bound together, are
variations of the eagles of the Tuscan story.

[461] _Ṛigvedas_, v. 46, 8; v. 43, 6; i. 61, 8.

[462] In the _Nibelungen_, Krîmhilt, who has never saluted any one,
(diu nie gruozte reeken), salutes for the first time the young Sîfrit,
the victorious and predestined hero, and, whilst she is saluting him,
turns the colour of flame (do erzunde sich sîn varwe).

[463] In a mediæval paper in Du Cange, s. v. _Abocellus_, we read: "De
quodam cæco vaccarum custode," who, "quod colores et staturam vaccarum
singularium specialiter discerneret," was believed to be demoniacal;
hence the sacrament of confirmation was given him to deliver him from
this diabolical faculty, and the paper narrates that he was
immediately deprived of it. The blind hero who sees, who distinguishes
his cows from each other, is the sun in the cloud. No sooner does he
receive confirmation (which is a second baptism), than he ceases to
see his cows, for the simple reason that the clouds are dissolved in
rain, or that himself has recovered his vision.

[464] Cfr. the papers relative to Merlin by Liebrecht and Benfey in
_Orient und Occident_.

[465] _Fasti_, iii. 339.

[466] Cfr. the chapter on the Fishes; where the custom of eating fish
on Friday is also explained.

[467] In the first of the stories of _Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_, the
cow-maid says to her cow, "Cow, my cow, spin with your mouth and wind
with your horns; I will make you a faggot of green boughs."

[468] The maiden spins for her step-mother; the fairy gives luminous
robes to the maiden; the maiden weaves dresses for her husband; these
are all details which confound themselves in one. In the _Nibelungen_,
the virgins prepared dresses of gold and pearls for the young hero

[469] Holda, or Frau Holle, is burnt every year in Thuringia on the
day of Epiphany, on which day (or, perhaps, better still, on the
Berchtennacht, the preceding night, or Berta's night) the good fairy
expels the wicked one. In England, too, the witch is burned on the day
of Epiphany.--Cfr. Reinsberg von Düringsfeld, _Das festliche Jahr_, p.

[470] In the _Pentameron_ of Basil, i. 9, we read: "Passaie lo tiempo
che Berta filava; mo hanno apierto l'huocchie li gattille."

[471] _Afanassieff_, vi. 2.

[472] Cfr. Simrock, the work quoted before, p. 409, and the ninth of
the _Novelline di Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_, in which the luminous
maiden disguised as an old woman is uncovered by the geese, when she
puts down the dress of an old woman.

[473] Simrock, the work quoted before, p. 410.

[474] Wuotan also saves him whom he protects upon a mantle;--this is
the flying carpet or mantle, hood, or hat, which renders the wearer
invisible, and for which the three brothers disputed, which is also
represented as a tablecloth that lays itself. Thus the poor man who
goes to sell his cow's hide finds the pot of abundance and riches. The
dispute for the tablecloth is the same as the dispute for riches, for
the beautiful princess who is afterwards divided, or else carried off
by a third or fourth person who takes the lion's share. We must not
forget the fable of the animals who wish to divide the stag among
themselves, of which the lion takes all, because he is named lion. In
the _Nibelungen_, Schilbung and Nibelung dispute with each other for
the division of a treasure; they beg Sîfrit to divide it; Sîfrit
solves the question by killing them both and taking to himself the
treasure, and the hood that makes its wearer invisible (Tarnkappe).

[475] The romance of Berta continues in the _Reali di Francia_ in
harmony with the popular stories of an analogous character; the false
wife really causes King Pepin to marry her, and sends Berta into the
forest to be killed; the hired murderers pity her, and grant her her
life. Berta, whilst in the forest bound to a tree (like the Vedic
cow), is found by a hunter; out of gratitude she works (she, no doubt,
spins and weaves), in order that the hunter may sell her work at Paris
for a high price. Meanwhile her father and mother dream that she is
beset by bears and wolves who threaten to devour her, that thereupon,
throwing herself into the water, a fisherman saves her (in the dream,
the water has taken the place of the forest, and the fisherman that of
the hunter). King Pepin goes into the forest, finds her, recognises
and marries her, whilst Elizabeth is burnt alive. The change of wives
also occurs in a graceful form (with a variation of the episode of the
beauty thrown into the fountain) in the twelfth of the _Contes
Merveilleux_ of Porchat, Paris, 1863.

[476] _Histoire de la Vie de Charlemagne et de Roland_, par Jean
Turpin, traduction de Alex. de Saint-Albin, Paris, 1865, preceded by
the Chanson de Roland, poème de Théroulde.--Cfr. the _Histoire
Poétique de Charlemagne_, par Gaston Paris.

[477] Uhland's _Schriften zur Geschichte der Dichtung und Sage_, iii.

[478] "Seigneur, bénissez ce lit et ceux qui s'y trouvent; bénissez
ces chers enfants, comme vous avez béni Tobie et Sara; daignez les
bénir ainsi, Seigneur, afin qu'en votre nom ils vivent et vieillissent
et multiplient, par le Christ notre Seigneur.--Ainsi soit-il."
Villemarqué, _Barzaz Breiz, Chants Populaires de la Bretagne_, sixième
édition, Paris, 1867, p. 423.

[479] Uhland, the work quoted above, p. 81.--In the French romance of
_Renard_, on occasion of the apparent death of the fox, the gospel is
read, on the contrary, by the horse. In the German customs the bull also
appears as a funeral animal, and is fastened to the hearse. If, while he
is drawing the hearse, he turns his head back, it is considered a
sinister omen. According to a popular belief, the bulls and other
stalled animals speak to each other on Christmas night. A tradition
narrates, that a peasant wished on that night to hide himself and hear
what the bulls were saying; he heard them say that they would soon have
to draw him to the grave, and died of terror. This is the usual
indiscretion and its punishment.--Cfr. Rochholz, _Deutscher Glaube und
Brauch_, Berlin, 1867, i. 164, and Menzel, _Die Vorchristliche
Unsterblichkeits-Lehre_, Leipzig, 1870.--We have the speaking oxen again
in Phædrus's fable of the stag who takes refuge in the stable, ii. 8,
where the master is called "ille qui oculos centum habet."

[480] Elle en mangea seze muiz, deux bussars et six tupins; Rabelais,
_Gargantua_, i. 4.

[481] Cfr. Porchat, _Contes Merveilleux_, Paris, 1863.

[482] In _Porchat_, Superlatif, while he is a dwarf, is shut up in a
clothes-press; he is a male form of the wooden girl, of the wise puppet,
of the sun hidden in the trunk of a tree, in the tree of night, in the
nocturnal (or cloudy, or wintry) night, full of mysteries, which the
little solar hero surprises from his hiding-place. The hero in hell, or
who, educated by the devil, learns every kind of evil, is a variation of
this multiform idea. The dwarf of _Porchat_, who comes out of the
clothes-press, is in perfect accord with the popular belief which makes
the man be born in the wood, on the stump of a tree, of which the
Christmas-tree is a lively reminiscence.




    Preparatory works.--Bos quoque formosa est.--Zeus as a bull.--Iô and
    Eurôpê as cows.--The cow sacred to Minerva, the calf to Mercury, and
    the bull to Zeus.--Demoniacal bulls.--Taurus draconem genuit et
    taurum draco.--White bulls sacrificed to Zeus, and black ones to
    Poseidôn.--Poseidôn as a bull.--The horn of abundance broken off the
    bull Acheloos.--The bulls of Aiêtas.--The bull who kills
    Ampelos.--Dionysos a bull.--The bull that comes out of the sea.--The
    eaters of bulls.--The sacrifice of the bull.--The intestines of the
    bull.--From the cow, the lamb.--The bull's entrails are wanting when
    the hero is about to die, that is, when the hero has no heart.--Even
    the bull goes into the forest.--The bull that flees is a good omen
    when taken and sacrificed.--The bull and the cow guide the lost
    hero.--Analogy between solar and lunar phenomena.--Hêraklês passes
    the sea now on the cow's neck, now in a golden cup.--Hêraklês shoots
    at the sun.--The moon, the bull of Hêraklês, becomes an apple-tree;
    anecdote relating to this.--The moon as a golden apple.--The moon as
    a cake.--The funeral cake.--Instead of a cow of flesh, a cow made of
    paste, in Plutarch and Æsop.--Ashes and excrement of the cow.--L'eau
    de millefleurs.--The bulls of the sun.--Hêraklês stable-boy and
    cleaner of the herds.--The bull Phaethôn.--The myth of the bull and
    the lion.--The bull's horns.--The god a witty thief; the demon an
    infamous one.--The myth of Cacus again.--The worm or serpent that
    eats bulls.--The bellowing or thundering bull, celestial
    musician.--The bull and the lyre.--The voice of Zeus--Bull-god and

In descending now from the North upon the Hellenic and Latin soils, to
search for the mythical and legendary forms assumed there by the bull
and the cow, the mass of available material in point which offers,
instead of diminishing, has increased prodigiously. Not to speak of the
rich literary traditions of mediæval Italy and Spain (as to those of
France, they are often but an echo of the Celtic and Germanic), nor the
significant traditions of the Latin historians and poets themselves, nor
the beliefs, superstitious customs, and legends still existing on the
half-Catholic, half-Pagan soil of Italy, all of which are notably
fraught with the earliest mythical ideas, we here find ourselves face to
face with the colossal and splendid edifice of Greek poetry or mythology
itself; for that which constitutes the greatness and real originality of
Greek poetry is its mythology, by means of which it is that a divinity
breathes in every artistic work of Hellenic genius. The poet and the
artist are almost always in direct correspondence with the deities, and
therefore it is that they so often assume such a divine and inspired
expression. It would, therefore, be a bold presumption on my part if I
were to essay to extract and present, in a few pages, the soul, the
contents of this endless mythology. I have, moreover, the good fortune
of being able to plead relief from the obligation to venture on any such
attempt, by referring the reader to the learned preparatory works
published in England, in the same interest, by Max Müller and George
Cox, upon the Hellenic myths in relation to the other mythologies. It is
certainly possible to take exception to interpretations of particular
myths proposed by these two eminent scholars, as, no doubt, might be the
fate of many of mine, were I to enter into minute explanations, and were
my lucubrations fortunate enough to obtain any measure of consideration.
But as I flatter myself with the hope that, notwithstanding occasional
diversions, in which I may have gone aside and lost myself for a few
minutes, I am taking the royal road which alone leads to the solution of
the great questions of comparative mythology, I recognise with gratitude
the labours of Max Müller and Cox upon Greek mythology, the writings of
Michael Bréal upon Roman mythology, the immortal work of Adalbert Kuhn
upon the Indo-European myth of fire and water, and a few other helpful
beacon-towers which send their light-shafts clear and steady athwart the
waste, and serve as useful guides to the studious navigator of the _mare
magnum_ of the myths. And because that which there is yet to do is
immense in proportion to the little that has been done well, I shall
take for granted what has already been demonstrated by my learned
predecessors (to one and all of whom I confidently and respectfully
refer my readers), and go on with my own researches, restricting myself,
however, entirely to the zoological field, in order not to increase, out
of all proportion, the dimensions of this opening chapter, which already
threatens to straiten the space I must leave for the rest of my

      "Bos quoque formosa est,"

says Ovid, in the first book of the _Metamorphoses_, when the daughter
of Inachos is transformed into a luminous cow by Jupiter. The bull
Zeus of Nonnos is also beautiful, as he swims on the sea, carrying the
beautiful maiden Eurôpê. Her brothers wonder why oxen wish to marry
women; but we shall not wonder when we remark that Iô and Eurôpê are
duplicates of one and the same animal, or, at least, that Iô and
Eurôpê both took the shape of a cow--one as the moon especially,[483]
the other, the far-observing daughter of Telephaessa, the
far-shining,[484] as the moon also, or the aurora. In the first case
it is the heroine that becomes a cow; in the second, it is the hero
who shows himself in the shape of a bull.[485] These forms are,
however, only provisional and unnatural, in the same way as in the
Vedic hymns the representation of the aurora, the moon, and the sun as
cow and bull is only a passing one. The cow and the bull send their
calf before them; the sun, the moon, and the aurora are preceded or
followed by the twilight. Jupiter and Minerva have for their messenger
the winged Mercurius; and hence also Ovid[486] was able to sing:--

                        "Mactatur vacca Minervæ,
      Alipedi vitulus, taurus tibi, summe Deorum."[487]

The fruit of the nuptials of Iô and of Eurôpê with Zeus is of a
monstrous nature, such as the evil-doing daughters of Danaos, who, on
account of their crimes, are condemned in hell to fill the famous barrel
(the cloud) that is ever emptying (the counterpart of the cup which, in
the Scandinavian myth, is never emptied); such too as Minôs, he who
ordered the labyrinth to be made, the infernal judge, the feeder of the
Minôtauros (of which the monstrous bull of Marathon, first subdued by
Hêraklês and afterwards killed by Theseus, is a later form), the son of
his wife and the gloomy and watery black bull Poseidôn. Even Kadmos, the
brother of Eurôpê, ends his life badly. He descends into the kingdom of
the dead in the form of a serpent. Of good, evil is born, and of evil,
good; of the beautiful, the hideous, and of the hideous, the beautiful;
of light, darkness, and of darkness, light; of day, night, and of night,
day; of heat, cold, and of cold, heat. Each day and each year the
monotonous antithesis is renewed; the serpent's head always finds and
bites its tail again. A Tarentine verse of Arnobius expresses very
happily these celestial vicissitudes:

      "Taurus draconem genuit et taurum draco."

Thus, in the romance of Heliodoros (_Aithiopika_) we read that the
queen of Ethiopia, being black, gave birth to a white son; that is to
say, the black night gives birth to the white moon and to the white
dawn of morning. To Zeus (Dyâus, the luminous,) are sacrificed white
bulls; to his brother Poseidôn, black ones; indeed, entirely
black[488] ones, according to the Homeric expression.

Poseidôn, in Hesiod (_Theog._ 453), is the eldest brother; in Homer
(_Il._ xv. 187), he is, on the contrary, the youngest; and both are
right; it is the question of the egg and the hen; which is born first,
darkness or light? The son of Poseidôn, Polyphêmos the Cyclop, is
blinded by Odysseus. Poseidôn, representing the watery, cloudy, or
nocturnal sky, his one-eyed son seems to be that sky itself, with the
solar star, the eye of the heavens, in the midst of the darkness or of
the clouds (the mouth of the barrel). When Odysseus blinds his son,
Poseidôn avenges him by condemning Odysseus to wander on the waters
(that is, lost in the ocean or the clouds of night). Inasmuch, moreover,
as Zeus, properly the luminous one, is often called and represented by
Homer as black as the clouds and pluvial,[489] he is assimilated to
Poseidôn, the _presbýtatos_ or oldest; in fact, in the oldest Hellenic
myths, Poseidôn is essentially the pluvial form of Zeus. When Poseidôn,
in the form of a bull, seduces Pasiphaê, the daughter of the sun and
wife of Minôs, he appears, indeed, of a white colour, but has between
his horns a black spot.[490] This spot, however small, is enough to
betray his tenebrous nature. Thus Acheloos, vanquished by Hêraklês in
the shape of a serpent, rises again in that of a pugnacious bull, one of
whose horns Hêraklês breaks,[491] which he gives to the Ætolians, who
receive abundance from it (the waters of the Acheloos fertilise the
country traversed by them; the dragon of the cloud kept back the waters;
Hêraklês discomfits the dragon, _i.e._, the darkness, and it then
reappears in the form of a bull; when its horns are broken, abundance is
the consequence). This monster reappears in the two perverse and
terrible bulls of King Aiêtas, with copper feet (_taurô chalkópode_),
which breathe dark-red flames and smoke, and advance against the hero
Iêsôn in the cavern; in the same way as the king of the monkeys in the
_Râmâyaṇam_ vanquishes the demoniacal bull that fights with its horns,
by taking hold of the horns themselves, and throwing it down; so Iêsôn
does in Apollônios.[492] The same bull is repeated in that ridden by the
youth Ampelos, dear to Diónysos (who has also the nature of a bull,
_taurophüsês_, but of a luminous one). Ampelos, persuaded by the
death-bringing Atê (_thanatêphóros Atê_), mounts on this bull, and is
thrown by it upon a rock where his skull is broken, because he was full
of pride against the horned moon, her who agitates the oxen, who,
offended, sends a gadfly to the bull and maddens it. The bull Diónysos
wishes to avenge the young Ampelos, by fixing his horns in the belly of
the perverse and homicidal bull.[493] In this myth, the black bull of
night and the bull-moon are confounded together in one sinister action.

From the ocean of night comes forth the head of the solar and lunar
bull, and on this account, in Euripides[494] Okeanos is called the
bull-headed (_taurókranos_); or else the head of the solar bull enters
the nocturnal forest, or that of the lunar bull comes out of it. This
phenomenon gave rise to several poetical images. The bull is devoured
by the monsters of night; hence in the _Seven at Thebes_ (xlii.) of
Æschylos, the messenger accuses of impiety the seven eaters of bulls,
who touch with their hands the blood of bulls; hence in the
forty-third fable of Æsop, the dogs flee, horrified, from the peasant
who, being of a gluttonous nature (like the old man of the Russian
story who eats all his cows), after having devoured sheep and goats,
prepares to eat the working oxen themselves.[495] The bulls head, or
even the bull itself, or the milch-cow, which must not be eaten, can,
however, be sacrificed; nay, he is lucky who offers them up (except
when the deity is named Heliogabalus, who receives the _taurobolium_
as a homage due to him, without giving anything in exchange to the
devoted sacrificers).[496] According to Valerius Maximus,[497] the
empire of the world would, by an oracle of the time of Servius
Tullius, belong to the nation who should sacrifice to the Diana of the
Aventine a certain wonderful cow belonging to a Sabine (the aurora or
the moon, from the sacrifice of which the sun comes out at morning).
The Sabine prepares to sacrifice it, but a Roman priest takes it from
him by fraud, whilst the Sabine is sent to purify himself in the water
near at hand. This is a zoological form of the epico-mythic rape of
the Sabines, of the exchange of the wife or of the precious object, of
the exchange effected in the sack.

In Ovid,[498] the same myth occurs again with a variation:

      "Matre satus Terra, monstrum mirabile, taurus
         Parte sui serpens posteriore fuit.
       Hunc triplici muro lucis incluserat atris
         Parcarum monitu Styx violenta trium.
       Viscera qui tauri flammis adolenda dedisset,
         Sors erat, æternos vincere posse Deos.
       Immolat hunc Briareus factu ex adamante securi;
         Et jam jam flammis exta daturus erat.
       Jupiter alitibus rapere imperat. Attulit illi
         Milvus; et meritis venit in astra suis."

We shall return to this myth in the following chapters. The monster is
killed only when his heart, which he keeps shut up, is taken away.
Sometimes he does not keep it shut up in his own body, but in a duck
(the aurora), which comes out of a hare (the moon sacrificed in the
morning).[499] When this duck is opened, a golden egg (the sun) is
found. When the egg is thrown on the ground, or at the monster's head,
the monster dies. The golden duck, whence the monster's heart, the
sun, comes forth, is the same as the cow which gives birth to the lamb
(the night gives birth to the aurora, and the aurora to the solar
lamb). The historian Flavius cites, among the prodigies which preceded
the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, a miracle of this kind,
which took place in the middle of the temple itself, in the case of a
cow led thither to be sacrificed. It occurs still every morning in the
mythical heavens, and was a phenomenon familiar to human observation
in the remotest antiquity, when it became a proverb; but, as often
happened, the proverb which affirmed an evident myth, when its sense
was lost, was adopted to indicate an impossibility; wherefore we read
in the second satire (cxxii.) of Juvenal:--

      "Scilicet horreres maioraque monstra putares,
       Si mulier vitulum, vel si bos ederet agnum?"

In Greek and Latin authors[500] we find frequent examples of the
sacrifice of a bull a short time before the death of the hero by whom
it was ordered, in which it was noticed as a very sinister omen that
the entrails were missing, and particularly the heart or the liver.
Having observed that the monster's heart is the solar hero, or the sun
itself, we can easily understand how, in the sacrifice of a bull, this
heart must be wanting when the hero approaches his end. In the
mythical bull sacrificed at evening, the hero's heart is not to be
found; the monster has eaten his intestines, of which, according to
the legend, he is particularly greedy.

But the bull does not always let himself be sacrificed patiently; he
often flees in order not to be killed. We have seen in the Russian
stories how the bull, which his owner intends to sacrifice, flees into
the forest, with the lamb (the bull and the lamb are two equivalent
forms of the morning and evening solar hero) and the other domestic
animals. The proverb of Theokritos, "Even the bull goes into the
forest,"[501] can have no other origin than in the two analogous myths
of the moon which wanders through the forest of night, and of the sun
who hides himself in the same forest, when he sees the preparations
made for the sacrifice; the sun in the night becomes the moon.

I have said that the bull, when sacrificed, often, on account of his
being devoid of intestines, forebodes unlucky occurrences to the hero;
the solar bull of the evening is without strength, he has no heroic
entrails. But after he has been to pasture freely in the forest, after
having exercised his powers in battle with the wolves of night, after
having, by his bellowing (in the darkness, in the thundering cloud),
filled all the animals with terror, the bull is found again and led
towards his dwelling of the morning, full of light, like a sacrificed
hero; heroic entrails are found in him; from the black bull who is
sacrificed towards morning, from the forest, from the bull of night,
come forth the heart, the liver, the life and strength, the sun, the
hero-sun; and the human hero, observing his sacrifice, considers it a
good omen. We can thus understand the narrative of Ammianus Marcellinus:
"Decimus (taurus) diffractis vinculis, lapsus ægre reductus est, et
mactatus ominosa signa monstravit."[502] Whilst he is hidden in the
forest, the solar bull is black, but often (_i.e._, in all the nights
illumined by the moon), giving up his place to the moon, he appears in
the form of a white bull or cow, who guides the hero lost in the
darkness. Thoas is called the king of the Tauroi (or bulls) in the
_Iphigenia in Tauris_ of Euripides, because he has wings on his feet.
The cow Iô flees without stopping in the _Prometheus_ of Æschylos.
Euripides[503] says that she gave birth to the king of the Kadmœœans.
Here, therefore, we find once more the intimate relation between Iô and
Eurôpê, the sister of Kadmos, which I noticed above. Kadmos, the brother
of Eurôpê, unites himself with Iô. But Iô is a cow, and we find a cow, a
travelling cow, marked with a white spot in the shape of a full moon
(the moon itself, or Iô), in the legend of Kadmos in Bœœotia, according
to Pausanias,[504] and to Ovid,[505] who sings--

      "Bos tibi, Phœœbus ait, solis occurret in arvis,[506]
       Nullum passa jugum, curvique immunis aratri.
       Hac duce carpe vias, et, qua requieverit herba,
       Mœœnia fac condas: Bœœotia ilia vocato.
       Vix bene Castalio Cadmus descenderat antro:
       Incustoditam lente videt ire juvencam,
       Nullum servitii signum cervice gerentem.
       Subsequitur, pressoque legit vestigia gressu;
       Auctoremque viæ Phœœbum taciturnus adorat.
       Jam vada Cephisi, Panopesque evaserat arva;
       Bos stetit; et, tollens spatiosam cornibus altis
       Ad cœœlum frontem, mugitibus impulit auras.
       Atque ita, respiciens comites sua terga sequentes,
       Procubuit, teneraque latus submisit in herba."

This is the good fairy, or good old man, who shows the way to the
heroes in popular tales; it is the cow which succours the maiden
persecuted by her step-mother, the puppet which spins, sews, and
weaves for the maiden aurora. For just as we have seen that the wooden
girl is the aurora herself, which at morn comes out of, and at even
re-enters, the forest of night,[507] as is clearly shown by the myths
of Urvaçî and of Daphne, so in like manner the moon comes out of and
re-enters the nocturnal forest, transforming herself from a tree to a
cow, and from a cow to a tree, wooden girl, or puppet. Some myths
relating to the aurora are also applicable to the moon, on account of
the resemblance of the phenomena (the lunar and solar bulls also are
interchangeable), as they both come out of the nocturnal gloom, both
drop dewy humours, and both run after the sun, of which the aurora is
the deliverer in the morning, and the moon the protectress, guide,
hostess, and good advising fairy, who teaches him the secret by which
to avoid the ambuscades of the monster. Hêraklês passes the sea upon
the neck of the cow-moon; but instead of the cow, we also find in the
mythical sky of Hêraklês the golden cup, which is the same thing. From
the cow-moon comes forth the horn of abundance; from the cornucopia to
the cup the passage is easy. It is said that Hêraklês, approaching the
oxen of Geryon, the West, felt himself burned by the sun's rays, and
shot arrows at him (in the same way as Indras in the _Ṛigvedas_ breaks
a wheel of the car of Sûryas, the sun). The sun admires the courage
and strength of the hero, and lends him his golden cup, upon which
Hêraklês passes the sea. This being accomplished, Hêraklês restores
the cup to the sun, and finds the oxen.

The bull which carries the hero and heroine, in the Russian story,
arises again in another form, if its essential part (now the
intestines, now the bones, now the ashes) is preserved. The cow which
helps the maiden becomes, as we have already seen, an apple-tree, and
helps her again in this form. We find the same myth transformed in
Greece. In _Cœœlius_, quoted by Aldrovandi,[508] we read, "Cum rustici
quidam Herculi Alexicaco bovem essent immolaturi, isque rupto fune
profugisset (the bull destined to the sacrifice repairs to the forest
of night), nec esset quod sacrificaretur, malum arreptum suppositis
quatuor ramis crurum vice, deinde additis alteris duobus ceu cornuum
loco, bovem utcumque fuisse imitatos, idque ridiculum simulacrum pro
victima sacrificasse Herculi." This account is confirmed by the facts
recorded by Julius Pollux,[509] that the apple-tree was sacrificed to
Hêraklês. The moon, on account of its circular form, assumed, besides
the figure of a pea, a pumpkin and a cabbage, also that of a golden
apple. As it contains honey, the sweet apple represents well the
ambrosial moon. Moreover, in the same way as we have seen the pea
which fell on the ground become a tree, and rise to heaven, so the
apple became an apple-tree, the tree of golden apples found in the
Western garden of the Hesperides.

The moon, besides the form of a horned cow, also assumed, in the
popular Âryan belief, that of a tart, of a cake, either on account of
its circular shape, or of the ambrosial honey supposed to be contained
by the moon, because of the dew or rain which it spreads on the
ground. The cake has in Slavonic tradition the same importance as the
pea, kidney-bean, or cabbage. The bull or cow of the fool, bartered
for a pea, is perhaps the same as the sun or aurora of evening,
bartered during the night for the moon, or else meeting the moon. The
funereal pea or kidney-bean, the vegetable which serves as provision
for the journey in the kingdom of the dead, and which brings the hero
riches, is perhaps only the moon, which the solar hero finds on the
way during the night, and which he receives in exchange for his cow's
hide. When the hero possesses this pea, he is assured of every kind of
good fortune, and can enter or ascend into the luminous sky, as well
as come out of the gloomy hell, into which the monster has drawn him.
A similar virtue is attributed to the cake, which we find in
Indo-European funeral customs instead of the vegetable of the dead.

After this we can understand what Plutarch tells us in the Life of
Lucullus concerning the Cyziceni, of whom he writes, that, pressed by
siege, they offered up to Proserpine (the moon in hell) a cow of black
paste, not being able to offer up one of flesh; and he adds, that the
sacrifice was agreeable to the goddess. Thus, in the thirty-sixth
fable of Æsop, we read of an invalid who promises to the gods that he
will sacrifice a hundred oxen to them in the event of a cure; when
cured, as he does not possess a hundred oxen of flesh, he makes a
hundred of paste, and burns them upon the hearth. But, according to
Æsop, the gods were not satisfied, and endeavoured to play off a joke
upon him; an attempt, which, however, did not succeed, inasmuch as the
cunning man used it to his own profit; for the solar hero in the
night, not being really a fool, merely feigns to be one.

But, to return to the cow-moon: we must complete the explanation of
another myth, that of the excrement of the cow considered as purifying.
The moon, as the aurora, yields ambrosia; it is considered to be a cow;
the urine of this cow is ambrosia or holy water; he who drinks this
water purifies himself, as the ambrosia which rains from the lunar ray
and the aurora cleans the paths of the sky, purifies and makes clear
(_dîrghaya ćakshase_) the paths of the sky which the shadows of night
darken and contaminate. The same virtue is attributed, moreover, to
cow's dung, a conception also derived from the cow, and given to the
moon as well as to the morning aurora. These two cows are conceived as
making the earth fruitful by means of their ambrosial excrements; these
excrements, being also luminous, both those of the moon and those of the
aurora are considered as purifiers. The ashes of these cows (which their
friend the heroine preserves) are not only ashes, but golden powder or
golden flour (the golden cake occurs again in that flour or powder of
gold which the witch demands from the hero in Russian stories), which,
mixed with excrement, brings good fortune to the cunning and robber
hero. The ashes of the sacrificed pregnant cow (_i.e._, the cow which
dies after having given birth to a calf) were religiously preserved by
the Romans in the temple of Vesta, with bean-stalks (which are used to
fatten the earth sown with corn), as a means of expiation. Ovid[510]
mentions this rite:--

      "Nox abiit, oriturque Aurora. Palilia poscor,
         Non poscor frustra, si favet alma Pales.
       Alma Pales, faveas pastoria sacra canenti;
         Prosequor officio si tua festa pio.
       Certe ego de vitulo cinerem, stipulasque fabales,
         Sæpe tuli plena februa casta, manu."

The ashes of a cow are preserved both as a symbol of resurrection and
as a means of purification. As to the excrements of the cow, they are
still used to form the so-called _eau de millefleurs_, recommended by
several pharmacopœœias as a remedy for cachexy.[511]

I have noticed above the myth of Hêraklês, in which, having passed the
sea upon the golden cup, he finds the oxen upon the shore. These oxen
are thus described by Theokritos, in the myth of King Augeias, as the
child of the sun. The sun, says Theokritos, granted to his son the
honour of being richer than all other men in herds. All these herds are
healthy, and multiply without limit, always becoming better. Among the
bulls, three hundred have white legs (like the alba of morning), two
hundred are red (like the sun's rays), with curved horns. These bulls
are to be used for purposes of reproduction; besides them there are
twelve sacred to the sun, which shine like swans. One of them is
superior to all the rest in size, and is called a star, or Phaethôn (the
luminous, an epithet given to Hêlios, the sun, in the _Odyssey_, the
guider of the chariot of the sun, who, after finishing his diurnal
course, is unable to rein in the horses, and is precipitated with the
chariot into the water, in order that the burning horses may not set
fire to the world. Instead of solar oxen, which draw the chariot, and
fall, at evening, into the nocturnal marsh, we find in this myth the
chariot drawn by horses overturned into the waves; but the Phaethôn, the
very luminous and excellent ox, as represented by Theokritos, justifies
our identification of the two mythical episodes of the ox and of the
horse which falls into the water). The bull Phaethôn of Theokritos sees
Hêraklês, and, taking him for a lion, rushes upon him and endeavours to
wound him with his horns. The sun, as a golden-haired hero, is a very
strong lion (Hêraklês, Samson); as a golden-horned hero, he is a very
strong bull; enclosed in the cloud, they roar and bellow. The two images
of the sun-lion and of the sun-bull are now in harmony and now in
discordance, and fight with one another. In the _Râmâyaṇam_ we found the
two brother-heroes Râmas and Lakshmaṇas, an epic form of the two
Açvinâu, represented respectively as a bull and a lion. In the Hellenic
fables we frequently find the lion and the bull together, and afterwards
in discordance, as happens in the legend of the two brother-heroes. In
Æsop and in Avianus, the bull (perhaps the moon) fleeing from the lion
(_i.e._, from the sun in its monstrous evening or autumnal form of a
lion), enters the hiding-place of the goat (the moon in the grotto of
night), and is insulted and provoked by it. In another Æsopian fable, on
the contrary, it is the lion who fears the horns of the bull, and
induces him to part with them, in order that the bull may become his
prey.[512] In yet another Æsopian fable taken from Syntipa, the bull
kills the lion, while asleep, with his horns. In Phædrus, the wild boar
with his tusks, the bull with his horns, and the ass with kicks, put an
end to the old and infirm lion. In Phædrus's fable of the ox and the ass
drawing together, the ox falls inert upon the ground when he loses his
horns. Aristoteles, in the third book on the Parts of Animals, censures
the Momos of Æsop, who laughs at the bull because he has his horns on
his forehead instead of on his arms, showing that if the bull had his
horns on any other part of his body, they would be a useless weight,
and would impede his other functions without aiding him in anything. The
ox and the lion were also painted together in Christian churches.[513]

To continue the legend of the solar hero and the oxen, we find again in
Hêraklês, as employed among the herds in the service of King Augeias,
the sun, the usual hostler-hero; he is not only to guard the herds well,
but in one day to cleanse them thoroughly, and make them shine.
Defrauded of the price by Augeias, he kills him, and ravages all his
country. In the same way, in Homer, Apollo guards, for a stipulated
price, the herds of King Laomedon upon Mount Ida, and is cheated of his
reward. In the same way, Hermes takes the herds of King Admetos to
pasture; he leads them to browse near the herds of Apollo, from whom he
steals a hundred bulls and twelve cows, preventing the dogs from barking
(as Hêraklês does when he leads away Geryon's oxen). This Hermes, this
god Mercury, god of merchants, this merchant and robber, is the same as
the skilful and cunning thief of the stories who carries off horses,
draught oxen, caskets, and ear-rings from the king; he is the
hero-thief; but a shade distinguishes him from the monster brigand or
Vedic demoniacal Paṇis; the hero who hides himself and the monster that
hides things both do a furtive action. When Hermes leads away the herds
stolen from the solar god, the sun, he also takes care to fasten
branches of trees to their tails, which, by sweeping the road, shall
destroy the track of the bulls and cows that have been led away. The
shepherd Battos plays the spy, although, as the price of his silence,
Hermes has promised him a white cow (the moon, and perhaps Battos
himself, the spy, is the moon). Hermes tests him, by disguising himself
and promising him a bull and a cow if he speaks. Battos speaks, and
Hermes punishes him by transforming him into a stone:--

      In durum silicem, qui nunc quoque dicitur index."[514]

This god Mercury, who steals the bulls from Apollo (as Hêraklês leads
away the oxen of Geryon), is the divine form of the thief. His
demoniacal form, is--Cacus, the son of Vulcan (as the Vedic Vṛitras is
the son of Tvashṭar), who vomits fire; a giant who envelops himself in
darkness, in Virgil; three-headed (like the Vedic monster), in
Propertius;[515] who inhabits in the Aventine forest a cavern full of
human bones (like the monster of fairy tales); who thunders (flammas
ore sonante vomit), who fights with rocks and trunks of trees, in
Ovid[516] (like the heroes in the Hindoo, Slavonic, German, and
Homeric tradition); who steals the cows from Hêraklês, and hides their
footprints by dragging them backwards into the cavern, in Livy; who
also tells us that the cows in the cavern low, wishing for the bulls
from whom they are separated (as in the Vedic hymns). The hero,
hearing them, finds the cavern, overturns with a great noise the rock
which five pair of oxen yoked together could scarcely have moved (like
the Marutas who break the rock, like Indras who splits the crag open),
and with the three-knotted club (trinodis) kills the monster and frees
the cows. The solar hero who at evening leads away oxen or cows, or
who at morning steals them from the stable, is a skilful robber who
has acted meritoriously, and marries, in reward, the princess aurora;
the cloudy or gloomy monster who steals the solar cows to shut them up
in the cavern, whence he then throws out smoke and flames, is an
infamous criminal. The divine thief steals almost out of playfulness,
either to show his craftiness or to prove his valour; the demoniacal
thief steals because of his malevolent character, and instinct to
devour what he steals, as does the fabled worm of the river Indus (the
Vedic Sindhus, or heavenly ocean), who draws into the abyss and
devours the thirsty oxen who go to drink.[517]

The monster of the clouds who whistles and thunders only terrifies; the
god who whistles and thunders in the cloud, on the other hand, is _par
excellence_ a celestial musician; his musical instrument, the thunder,
astonishes us by its marvels,[518] and makes stones and plants tremble,
that is, makes stones and plants move, especially celestial ones
(_i.e._, cloud-mountains and cloud-trees); it draws after it the wild
animals (of the heavenly forest), tames and subdues them. The bellowing
bull terrifies the lion himself. We, therefore, also read in
Nonnos,[519] that Dionysos gives a bull in reward to Æagros, who has won
in the competition of song and of the lyre, whilst he reserves a hirsute
he-goat for him who loses; on this account we find on the capitals of
columns in old Milanese churches, calves and bulls represented as
playing on the lyre.[520] It is a variation of the myth of the ass and
the lyre, which has the same meaning. The bull and the ass, for the same
reason, are found represented together, because they bellow and bray
(like Christian Corybantes) near the cradle of the new-born god, in
order to hide, by their noise, his birth from the old king or deity who
is to be dethroned.[521] The conch of Bhîmas, the elephant-horn of
Orlando, the Greek war-bugle tauraia, by means of which armies were
moved, derived their character and their name from the mythical bull,
the thundering god. The voice of the bull is compared in Euripides to
the voice of Zeus;[522] the music which pleases the heroes is certainly
not the air of the _Casta diva_; it is the braying of the ass,[523] the
roar of the lion, the bellowing of the bull, who occupies the first
place in the heavens, and has occupied us so long, because the supreme
god took his form, after having carried off Eurôpê. Zeus left on the
earth his divine form, and the more generally preferred heroic form of a
bull took him up to heaven:--

      "Litoribus tactis stabat sine cornibus ullis
       Juppiter, inque deum de bove versus erat.
       Taurus init cœœlum."[524]

We thus, after a long pilgrimage in the fields of tradition, return to
the Vedic bull Indras, from whom we started, and to his female form,
which, having a human nature, became a cow, and being a cow, assumed a
divine shape:--

      "Quæ bos ex homine, ex bove facta Dea."[525]


[483] According to Eustatius, "Iô gar hê selênê katà tên tôn Argetôn

[484] Cfr. Pott, _Studien zur griechischen Mythologie_, Leipzig,
Teubner, 1859; and Cox, the work quoted before.

[485] _Dionysiakôn_, i. 45, and following; iii. 306, and following.

[486] _Metamorphoseôn_, iv. 754.

[487] In England, as I have already noticed, the bull or ox is sacred to
St Luke; in Russia, to the saints Froh and Laver. In Sicily, the
protector of oxen is San Cataldo, who was bishop of Taranto. (For the
notices relating to Sicilian beliefs concerning animals, I am indebted
to my good friend Giuseppe Pitrè.) In Tuscany, and in other parts of
Italy, oxen and horses are recommended to the care of St Antony, the
great protector of domestic animals. In the rural parts of Tuscany, it
was the custom, on the 17th of February, to lead oxen and horses to the
church-door, that they might be blessed. Now, to save trouble, only a
basket of hay is carried to be blessed; which done, it is taken to the
animals that they may eat it and be preserved from evil. On Palm Sunday,
to drive away every evil, juniper is put into the stables in Tuscany.

[488] Taúrous pammélanai, in the _Odyssey_; the commentator explains
that the bulls are black because they resemble the colour of water.

[489] Kelainefès-nefelêgeréta Zeús; _Odyssey_, xiii. 147 and 153.


      Signatus tenui media inter cornua nigro
      Una fuit labes; cœœtera lactis erant.
                            Ovidius, _De Arte Amandi_.

[491] In _Diodoros_, Hammon loves the virgin Amalthea, who has a horn
resembling that of an ox. The goat and the cow in the lunar and cloudy
myth are the same; and on this account we find them both in connection
with the apple-tree, a vegetable form, and with the cornucopia, since
both are seers, and spies, and guides. The golden doe is a variation
of the same lunar myth.

[492] _Argonantikôn_, iii. 410, 1277.

[493] Nonnos, _Dionysiakôn_, xi. 113 and following.

[494] _Orestês_, 1380.

[495] _Ergazoménous Bóas._--In the twelfth book of his _History of
Animals_, Ælianos writes: "Among the Phrygians, if any one kills a
working ox, he atones for it with his life." And Varro, _De Re Rusticâ_:
"Bos socius hominum in rustico opere et Cereris minister. Ab hoc antiqui
ita manus abstineri voluerunt ut capite sanxerint si quis occidisset."

[496] _Scriptores Historiæ Augustæ_, Lampridius, in the life of

[497] vii. 3.

[498] _Fasti_, iii. 800.

[499] Cfr. the chapter on the Hare.

[500] Plutarch, in the Life of Marcellus, Arrianos and Appianos among
the Greeks, Livy, Cicero (De Divinatione), Pliny the elder, Julius
Capitolinus, Julius Obsequens among the Latins.

[501] _Éba kai táuros an hülan_, xiv. 43. In Theokritos, the proverb
is used to intimate that he is gone to other and perfidious loves; he,
too, is a traitor.

[502] _Rerum gestarum_, xxii.--Cfr. the episode of the ox which lets
itself fall into the marsh or swamp, in the various versions of the
first book of the _Pańćatantram_.--The astrologers placed the brain
under the protection of the moon, and the heart under that of the sun;
Celoria, _La Luna_, Milano, 1871.

[503] Kadmeiôn Basilêas egeinato; _Phoinissai_, 835.

[504] _Boiotia._

[505] _Metam._, iii. 10.--Cfr. Nonnos, _Dionys._, iv. 290, and

[506] Or, on the path of the sun in the sky.

[507] In an unpublished Piedmontese story, which is very widely spread,
the girl carried off by robbers escapes from their hands, and hides in
the trunk of a tree.

[508] _De Quadrupedibus Bisulcis_, i.

[509] _De Vocabulis_, i., quoted by Aldrovandi.

[510] _Fasti_, iv. 721.

[511] Cfr. Ott. Targioni Tozzetti, _Lezioni di Materia Medica_,
Firenze, 1821.

[512] In an Æsopian fable taken from Syntipa, which corresponds to the
first of Lokman, two bulls combine against the lion, and resist him;
the lion excites them against each other, and tears them to pieces. In
the sixth fable of Aphtonios, the bulls are three; in the eighteenth
of Avianus, they are four. The lion already knew the motto of kings:
"Divide et impera."

[513] Durandus, _Rational._ i. 3, quoted by Du Cange.

[514] Ovidius, _Metam._, ii. 706.

[515] Per tria partitos qui dabat ora sonos; _Ecl._ iv.

[516] _Fasti_, i. 550.

[517] Philê, _Stichoi peri zôôn idiotêtos_, lix.

[518] In Italian, _attonito_ (or, properly speaking, struck by
thunder) is the same as "who is much surprised").

[519] _Dionys._ xix 58.

[520] Cfr. Martigny, _Dictionnaire des Antiquités Chrétiennes_, s. v.

[521] In _Phædrus_, as we have already observed, the ox and the ass
are yoked together.

[522] _Ippolitos_, _Ôs fonê Diòs_, 1200-1229.

[523] Cfr. the chapter relating to the Ass.

[524] Ovidius, _Fasti_, v. 615.

[525] _Ib._ v. 620.




    The horse, favourite animal of the solar hero.--Attributes of the
    Vedic solar hero.--Animals which draw the Vedic gods.--The Açvinâu
    sons of a mare.--The mule, the ass, and the horse in relation to
    each other.--The hero's horse, prior to being noble and handsome, is
    vile and ill-favoured; proofs.--The teeth of the horse.--The figs
    that make tails grow.--The excrement of the horse.--Three colours of
    the heroic horse.--Pluto's horses abhor the light.--Pêgasos an
    imperfect horse.--The black horse generally demoniacal.--The
    hippomanes.--The monster that makes horses perspire and grow lean;
    the fire in stables.--To dream of black horses.--The horse of the
    third brother is small, humpbacked, and lame.--The hero transforms
    himself into a horse.--The grey horse differs from the black
    one.--The red horse frees the hero.--The three steps, the three
    races, the three leaps, the three castles, the three days, the three
    brothers, and the three horses correspond to each other.--Two
    horsemen change the hero's bad horse into a heroic steed.--The
    horse's ears; the hero in the horse's ears.--The horse's head
    blesses the good maiden, and devours the wicked one.--The black
    horseman, the white horseman, and the red one.--The horse-monster
    that devastates the field surprised by the hero, and destroyed by
    fire, in the _Ṛigvedas_.--The Dioscuri washing the sweat off their
    horses.--Salt on the horse's back.--The hero-horse covered by the
    waters.--The Açvinâu and Agnis give a good horse to the hero who has
    a bad one.--The three steps of Vishṇus are made by the horses of
    Indras.--Vishṇus as horse.--Indras and the Açvinâu find the bride on
    horseback.--Râmas as horse.--Dadhyańć and his ambrosial horse's
    head, which discomfits the hostile monsters.--The bones of the
    horse.--The exchange of heads.--The two brother horses Pêgasos and
    Chrüsaor in opposition to one another.--Castor and
    Pollux.--Discussion upon the nature of the Açvinâu.--The two
    brothers at discord; Sundas and Upasundas.--Nakulas and
    Vasudevas.--Râmas and Lakshmaṇas.--The brothers who resemble each
    other; Bâlin and Sugrîvas; the brother betrays his brother and
    steals his wife.--Kereçâçpa and Urvâksha.--Piran and Pilsem.--The
    sky a mountain of stone; heroes, heroines, and horses of stone.--The
    brother seducer in the _Tuti-Name_.--Sunlight and moonlight, two
    brothers.--The minister's son and the king's son.--Horse and
    cat.--The two brothers on a journey; one becomes a king, the other
    spits gold; the candle of one of the two brothers lights of its own
    accord, and he therefore obtains the kingdom; the other brother's
    treasure.--Digression concerning the interpretation of the
    myth.--Agamêdês and Trophonios; Piedmontese story of the skilful
    thief.--The two brothers who resemble each other; mistaken one for
    the other by the wife of one of them; the brother sleeps with his
    sister-in-law without touching her; the legend of the pilgrim who
    comes from Rome; the head fastened on again.--The horse led away out
    of hell.--The solar horse destined for sacrifice carried off by
    Kapilas; that is, the solar horse escapes, like the solar bull, from
    the sacrifice.--The stallion destined for the sacrifice touched, and
    the horse's fat smelted by Kâuçalyâ as an augury of
    fruitfulness.--The horse's head as the mouth of hell.--The robber of
    the horse and of the treasure.--The horns of the stag, the horns or
    mane of the horse, and the hair of the hero, which catch and fasten
    themselves to the trees of the forest.--The thief now protects
    thieves, and now protects men from thieves.--The Miles gloriosus;
    hero, horse, and tree, united together, discomfit the enemies.--The
    heroic horse.--The tail of Indras's horse, and the Hindoo
    war-horse.--The war-horses of Rustem, of Alexander, of Bellerophon,
    and of Cæsar; the winged horse.--The horse goes through water and
    fire.--The horse and the apple.--The chains of the heroic horse, and
    the difficulty of riding him.--The horse that speaks; the
    horse-spy.--The chariot that speaks.--The solar horse bound that it
    may not come back again.--The hero who flees in the shape of a
    horse, and the horse sold with the bridle; transformations of the
    horse.--The sun without a horse and without a bridle.--The horses of
    the sun, arrested or wounded, precipitate the solar hero into the
    waters.--The eternal hunter.--Etaças, Phaethôn, Hippolytos.--The
    horse that delivers the hero.--The neighing of Indras's horse; the
    horse of Darius which neighs at the sight of the sun on account of
    the smell of a mare.--Number of the solar horses.--The hero born of
    a mare.--The mare's egg.--The hare born of a mare devours the
    mare.--Spanish mares made pregnant by the wind.--Horses sons of the
    wind.--The hero Açvatthâman neighs immediately after birth.--The
    horses that weep; mythical signification of these tears.--Vedic
    riddle and play of words upon the letter _r_, and the root _varsh_
    relative to the horse.--The foam from the horse's mouth destroys
    enemies and cures the cough.--The Açvinâu, the Dioscuri, Asklêpios
    and his two sons as physicians.--Caballus.--Ambrosia from the hoof
    of the Vedic horse.--Hippokrênê; the horse's hoof in relation with
    water.--Exchanges between moon and sun and between bull and
    horse.--Horses sacred to the gods and to saints.--Holy horsemen who
    help the heroes _mercede pacta_.

The myth of the horse is perhaps not so rich in legends as that of the
bull and the cow, but certainly no less interesting. As the horseman
is the finest type of the hero, so the horse which carries him is in
mythology the noblest of animals.

We have already observed that the best of the three brothers, the third,
the victorious one, the morning sun, is, in tradition, distinguished
from the other brothers by his swiftness; and that the morning dawn or
aurora, which is the third sister, the good one, the best of the three
sisters, is she who wins the race. It is, therefore, natural that the
favourite animal of the hero should be his horse. The two Hindoo
Dioscuri, that is, the Açvinâu, the two horsemen, derive their name from
the açvas or horse, as being the swift one;[526] and they are very
probably identical with the two fair-haired, amiable, splendid, and
ardent coursers of Indras, of Savitar (the sun), and proper and worthy
to bear heroes,[527] who yoke themselves at a word,[528] are maned,
adapted to make fruitful, full of life,[529] having eyes like the
sun,[530] made by the Ṛibhavas,[531] who, as they made the cow out of a
cow, also made a horse out of the horse,[532] black, with white feet,
drawing the chariot with the golden yoke, revealing the beings;[533] the
two rapid ones; the two most rapid ones;[534] plunging into the
inebriating drink before Indras yokes them;[535] beautiful, by means of
which the chariot of the Açvinâu is as swift as thought;[536] who carry
Indras, as every day they carry the sun;[537] are the two rays of the
sun;[538] who neigh, dropping ambrosia;[539] the very pure horses of the
bull Indras, inebriated, who illumine the sky,[540] with manes the
colour of a peacock,[541] bridled sixty times (properly six times twice
five);[542] beneficent, winged, indefatigable, resolute destroyers (of
the enemies).[543] The _Âitareya Brâhmanam_, when giving the
characteristics of the race of each god, whilst it tells us that Agnis,
at the marriage of Somas and Sûryâ, is drawn by mules, and the aurora
by red cows (or bulls), teaches us that Indras is drawn by horses, and
the Açvinâu by asses; the Açvinâu carried off the prize.[544] In the
_Mahâbhâratam_,[545] we find another important circumstance, _i.e._, the
Açvinâu represented as sons of a mare, or of Tvashtrî, wife of the sun
Savitar, who took the form of a mare. Therefore we have here the sons of
the mare, who may be horses or mules, according as the mare united
herself with a horse or with an ass. Here, then, we have already an
evident proof of the identification of the heroes Açvinâu with the
animals, horses or asses, which draw them. The _Ṛigvedas_ does not as
yet know the word _açvatara_, or mule, but in representing the Açvinâu
drawn now by horses and now by asses, it shows us the intermediate
character of the real animal that draws the Açvinâu, a grey beast,
dark-coloured, and white only in its fore parts. Night is the mule that
carries the Açvinâu or twilights, in the same way as, in the
above-quoted _Âitareya_, it carries or awakens Agnis, fire or light. In
the _Iliad_,[546] mules are sung of as being better adapted than oxen to
draw the plough.

The hero's horse, like the hero himself, begins by being ugly,
deformed, and inept, and ends by becoming beautiful, luminous, heroic,
and victorious.

The mythical horse of the Hungarians, the horse Tátos, or Tátos lo,
when born, is of an ugly aspect, defective and lean; it is therefore
said in Hungarian, that "the Tátos comes out of a defective horse." It
is, however, always born with teeth,[547] although its chin is
sometimes wanting; its bursts out of a black pentagonal egg on an Ash
Wednesday, after the hero has carried it for seven summers and seven
winters under his arm. In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[548] the first created
horse Uććâiḥçravas, the king of the horses (and therefore the horse of
Indras), which is as swift as thought, follows the path of the sun,
and is luminous and white, has, however, a black tail, made so by the
magic of the serpents, who have covered it with black hairs. This is
probably the black ass's or horse's tail which remains upon the ugly
or wicked sister's forehead, in the popular European story of the two
sisters.[549] It must also be remarked that, as the word
_Uććâiḥçravas_ means, properly, him of the high ears, it indicates
the ass better than the horse.

In the same way, therefore, as the hero of popular tales before
becoming a wise man is generally an ass, the animal ridden by the
solar hero, prior to being a real and noble horse, is usually a
worthless jade, or a dark-coloured ass. The sun, in the beginning of
the night, rides a black horse, and afterwards a grey one, or else an
ass or a mule, but in the morning, on the contrary, a white and
luminous horse, which has a black tail; or else the dark horse of
night has a white head, or white legs, or anterior parts of the body,
with golden ears, and the nape of the neck formed of pearls.[550] The
monstrous Trojan horse too, of Epeios, a figure which represents the
horse of mythology, in Tryphiodôros the Egyptian,[551] has a golden
mane, red eyes, and silver teeth.

In the Turkish stories of Siberia,[552] it is upon an iron-coloured
horse that the third brother, hated by his father and his two elder
brothers, advances against the demon Ker Iutpa. The hero becomes the
excrement of a horse, and the horse a crow; the former glues the
monster's lower lip to the earth, the latter suspends his upper lip to
the sky. In order better to understand this strange myth, we must
remember that the name of one of the Valkiries is "Mist," a word which
means excrement and fog. The fog, or frost, or rain, or dew, falls to
the ground; the solar horse, or the sun, rises in the sky; the
monster of night or of clouds is dispersed.

In the thirteenth Esthonian story of _Kreutzwald_, the third brother
comes three times to deliver the princess from the mountain of glass
(or ice), where she sleeps. The first time he is dressed the colour of
bronze, upon a bronze-coloured horse; the second time dressed in
silver, upon a horse the colour of silver; and the third time upon a
gold-coloured horse, dressed in gold.

In an unpublished Piedmontese story, the young prince, whose beloved
princess has been ravished beyond seas, is borne over the waves by an
eagle, which he feeds with his own flesh. Arrived beyond the sea, he
hears that the princess is destined to be the wife of the hero who wins
the race three times; the first time he appears dressed in black, upon a
black horse; the second time dressed in white, upon a white horse; and
the third time dressed in red, upon a red horse. Each time he wins the
race, and thereafter receives the beautiful princess in marriage.

Thus we see the first horse of the hero is always dark-coloured, like
the devil's horse, like the horses of Pluto, which, accustomed to
darkness, are terrified by light;[553] it then becomes the grey horse
of the giantess, the grey horse which smells the dead hero Sigurd in
the _Edda_. Pêgasos himself, the _hieros hippos_ of Aratos, is born
semi-perfect (êmitelês),[554] an expression which reminds me of the
_equus dimidius_ of an Alsatian paper of 1336, in Du Cange, by which
the mule is meant. The Hindoo Aruṇas, charioteer of the sun (or even
the brother of the sun himself, inasmuch as he is the brother of
Garuḍas, the solar bird), is said to be born with an imperfect
body;[555] he can be luminous and divine only in part. The black
horse, on the contrary, has generally an evil and demoniacal nature;
the black horse corresponds to the black devil; the colour black
itself is, according to popular superstition, the product of bad
humours.[556] Every horse, when born, has, according to Maestro
Agostino, a piece of black flesh upon its lips, called hippomanes by
the Greeks: "La quale carne dici lo vulgo essere molto sospettosa a li
maleficii." Maestro Agostino adds, moreover, that the mother refuses
to give suck to the colt as long as it carries this piece of flesh
upon its lips, and some say that the mother herself eats it. In an
idyll of Theokritos, we read that the Hippomanes is born among the
Arcadians, and maddens colts and swift mares.[557] In the first
chapter we mentioned the Russian _damavoi_, the demon who, during the
night, rides upon cows, oxen, and horses, and makes them perspire.
This superstition was already combated in Italy in the sixteenth
century by Maestro Agostino;[558] and to it can probably be traced the
custom, still observed by many grooms, of leaving a lamp lighted in
the stable during the night. The devil, as is well known, is afraid of
the light (Agnis is called rakshohan, or monster-killer), and his
black horse likewise. It is therefore a sinister omen, according to
two verses in _Suidas_,[559] to dream of black horses, whilst, on the
contrary, it is a good omen to dream of white ones. In the Norman
legend of the priest Walchelm, a black horse presents itself to him in
the first days of January of the year 1091, and tempts him to mount
upon its back; scarcely has Walchelm done so, than the black horse
sets off for hell.[560] The dead, too, according to the popular
belief, often ride upon black or demoniacal horses.[561]

A well-known Russian story in verse, the _Kaniok Garbunok_, or _Little
Hump-backed Horse_, of Jershoff, commences thus:--An old man has three
sons, the youngest of which is the usual Ivan Durák, or Ivan the fool.
The old man finds his corn-field devastated every morning; he wishes
to find out who the devastator is, and sends his first-born son to
watch the first night. The first-born has drunk too much, and falls
asleep, and so does the second son, and from the same cause, on the
second night. On the third night it is Ivan's turn to watch; he does
not fall asleep. At midnight he sees a mare which breathes flames
coming. Ivan ties her by a rope, leaps upon her, seizes her by the
mane, torments and subdues her, until the mare, to be let free,
promises to give Ivan one of her young ones, and carries him to the
stable where her three young ones are. She gives Ivan a little
hump-backed horse with long ears (the Hindoo Uććâiḥsravas), that
flies. By means of this little hump-backed horse, Ivan will make his
fortune; when he leads it away, the mare and the two other colts
follow it. Ivan's two brothers steal the mare and two colts, and go to
sell them to the Sultan. Ivan rejoins them, and the three brothers
stay in the Sultan's service as grooms; sometime afterwards, Ivan
saves himself from drowning by means of his horse.

In the third of _Erlenwein's_ Russian stories, a stallion is born to
the Tzar's mare, that had drunk the water in which a certain fish (a
pike, in the nineteenth story) had been washed, at the same time as
the Tzar's daughter and her maid give birth to two heroes, Ivan
Tzarević and Ivan Diević--_i.e._, John of the Tzar and John of the
girl, a form representing the Açvinâu. Ivan Tzarević rides upon the
stallion. In the nineteenth story, the son of the mare is called
Demetrius of the Tzar (Dmitri Tzarević); hero and horse being
identified. In the fifth story of _Erlenwein_, a Cossack goes into the
forest, where he is betrayed into the enemy's hands, who gives orders
that he be cut in pieces, put into a sack, and attached to his horse.
The horse starts, and carries him to the house of silver and gold,
where he is resuscitated. During the following night, an old man and
woman, whose guest the Cossack is, drag him, in order to waken him, by
the cross which hangs on his neck, and he is thus transformed into a
horse of gold and silver. Towards evening, the horse, by the Tzar's
order, is killed, and (like the bull and the cow) becomes an
apple-tree of silver and gold. The apple-tree is cut down, and becomes
a golden duck. The golden duck is the same as the golden horse, or as
the hero resuscitated, _i.e._, the morning sun. The sack and the horse
which carry the hero cut in pieces represent the voyage of the sun in
the gloom of night, or the voyage of the grey horse, the imperfect
horse, the bastard mule, or the ass.

In the Russian tales, moreover, a distinction is made between the grey
and the black horse; the grey horse helps the hero in the night very
effectively, and the black one, on the contrary, is the herald of death.
When, in the ninth story of _Erlenwein_, the horse of Ivan the
merchant's son goes to search for the horses of the princess from beyond
the sea, Ivan waits for him upon the shore. If he sees grey horses come
forth, it is to be a sign that his own steed is alive; but if, on the
other hand, black horses appear, he is to conclude that his own horse is
dead. Grey is the colour of sadness, black is the colour of death.

In _Afanassieff_, we find new interesting data. Ivan the fool watches
during the night to surprise the horse which devastates his father's
crops, and succeeds in binding it with rods from a linden-tree, after
it has smelt the odour of tobacco. Then, by the help of the sister of
the hero Nikanore, it acquires the faculty, when running after cows
and horses, of turning their tails into gold, as well as their horns
or manes, and their flanks into stars. What better image could there
be of the starry sky of night, the golden tail of which is the red
evening, and the front parts, also of gold, the morning aurora?[562]

In another story,[563] we have Ivan the son of the bitch occupying the
place and playing the part of Ivan the son of the mare. Ivan of the
bitch, after having delivered the three princesses from the deep
cistern, is himself thrown into it. The black horse comes to deliver
him, and cannot; the grey horse comes, and cannot either; the red horse
comes, and succeeds in dragging the hero out. The black horse represents
the dark night, the grey horse the night beginning to clear, and the red
horse the roseate morning, which delivers the sun or solar hero.

The third brother Ivan, mounted on a marvellous horse, comes first to
the bronze castle, then to the silver one, and lastly to that of
gold.[564] This is a variety of the same myth, and represents
similarly the solar voyage from evening to morning. The next mythical
legend, however, probably alludes rather to the three days of the
winter solstice, which the sun takes to return. The hero, Theodore,
finds a horse that has been just brought forth, which the wolves have
driven towards him; he makes it pasture upon the dew for three dawns
(like the Hungarian Tátos, who feeds upon the golden oats in a silver
field, that is to say, who, during the silvery night, or else during
the white dawn, or the snowy winter, absorbs the dewy humours of the
spring, or the morning aurora). The first day, the young horse becomes
as high as half a tree; the second, higher than the tree; the third
day it is as high as the heavens, and bears the hero Theodore and his
wife Anastasia on its back.

Ivan Durák watches three nights at his father's tomb.[565] His father
tells him that if at any time of need he calls with a hero's whistle,
a wonderful grey horse will appear to help him, whose eyes shoot
flames, and from whose nostrils issues smoke. Ivan does so, and is
answered; he gets into his right ear, and comes out of the left. By
means of this horse, Ivan succeeds in taking down the portrait of the
Tzar's daughter three times, though hung high up on the wall of the
palace, and thus obtains the beautiful princess to wife.

According to another variety of this story,[566] Ivan, the third and
foolish brother, goes with the most worthless jade in the stable into
the open air, and calls up the grey horse with a loud shout; he enters
into him by one ear, and comes out at the other. Two young horsemen (the
Açvinâu) appear to him, and make a horse with golden mane and tail come
forth; upon this horse Ivan succeeds in three times kissing, through
twelve glasses (the glass mountain of the Esthonian story), the daughter
of the Tzar, who therefore becomes his wife. Here, therefore, we find
the ugly horse which is made beautiful by the two horsemen, represented
by the two ears of the grey horse out of which they come. These two
horsemen give the hero a better steed. Be it understood that their own
heroic steed (that is, the sun's horse), from being ugly or asinine
during the night, became beautiful and noble; in the Küllaros of the
Dioscuri, too, we ought probably to recognise a courser that has been
transformed from an ass to a heroic horse.

Sometimes, instead of the horse, we have only its head. The
step-mother persecutes the old man's daughter;[567] the persecuted
maiden finds a mare's head, which beseeches her to relieve and cover
it; at last it invites her to enter the right ear and come out of the
left one. The persecuted girl comes out in the form of an exceedingly
beautiful maiden. The step-mother sends her own daughter to try the
same means of becoming beautiful; but she maltreats the mare's head,
and the mare's head devours her.

There is also a singularly clear allusion to the Açvinâu in the
forty-fourth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, which seems to
me to be a full confirmation of these interpretations. When Basiliça,
the girl persecuted by her step-mother, approaches the house of the
old witch (the baba-jegá), she sees galloping towards the great door
of it a black horseman, dressed all in black, upon a black horse, who
disappears underground, upon which night begins.[568] When the day
begins to appear, Basiliça sees before her a white horseman, dressed
all in white, upon a white horse, caparisoned in white. The maiden
goes on; when the sun begins to rise, she sees a red horseman, dressed
in red, upon a red horse.[569] The myth does not require comment; but
it happens to be given to us in the story itself by the witch, who, to
appease the curiosity of the girl Basiliça, reveals to her that the
black horseman represents the dark night (noć tiómnaja), the white
horseman the clear day (dien jasnoi), and the red horseman the little
red sun (solnishko krasnoje).

Returning from Slavonic to Asiatic tradition, we meet with the same

Let us begin with the demoniacal horse, or demon of horses. The
_Ṛigvedas_ already knows it; the yâtudhanas, or monster, feeds now
upon human flesh (like the Bucephalus of the legend of Alexander), now
upon horse flesh, and now milk from cows. We have said it seems
probable that the custom of keeping a lamp lighted in the stables is a
form of exorcism against the demon; the _Ṛigvedas_, indeed, tells us
that Agnis (that is, Fire, with his flame) cuts off the heads of such
monsters.[570] But this is not enough; the _Ṛigvedas_ offers us in the
same hymn the proof of another identification. We have seen in the
last chapter how Rebhas, the invoker, is the third brother, whom his
envious and perfidious brothers threw into the well; and we have seen
above how Ivan, who is also the third brother, invokes with a sonorous
voice the grey horse which is to help him, and how the same Ivan is
the one that discovers the monstrous horse which ravages the seed or
the crops in his father's field. In the same Vedic hymn where the
flame of Agnis beats down the heads of the monster that torments
horses, Agnis (that is, fire) is invoked in order that the hero Rebhas
may see the monster which devastates with its claws.[571] Rebhas and
Bhuǵyus are two names of the hero who falls into the cistern in the
_Ṛigvedas_. We have seen, not long ago, in the Russian story, that
Ivan, the third brother, who is thrown down into the cistern, is
delivered by the red horse. The Açvinâu, in the _Ṛigvedas_, deliver
Bhuǵyus out of the sea by means of red-winged horses.[572] Here the
grey and imperfect horse of night is become a red horse. In the same
Vedic hymn, Rebhas, overwhelmed in the waters, is identified with his
own horse (Ivan is son of the bitch, or the cow, or the mare), he
being compared to a horse hidden by wicked ones.[573]

We saw above, in the Russian story, how the two horsemen who come out
of the grey horse's ear give to the foolish Ivan, who has an ugly and
worthless horse, a handsome hero's palfrey, by means of which he
accomplishes the arduous undertakings which entitle him to the hand of
the king's daughter. It is remarkable how completely the Vedic myth
agrees with this European legend. The Açvinâu have given, for his
eternal happiness, a luminous horse to him who has a bad one.[574] In
another hymn, the god Agnis gives to his worshipper a pious, truthful,
invincible, and very glorious son, who vanquishes heroes, and a swift,
victorious, and unconquered horse.[575]

We have seen, moreover, how Ivan, the most popular type of the Russian
hero, has always to make three essays before he accomplishes his
undertaking upon the wonderful horse which he has obtained from the
two horsemen. The _Ṛigvedas_, which celebrates the famous mythical
enterprise of the three steps of Vishṇus, of the great body
(bṛihaććharîraḥ),[576] of the very vast step (urukramishṭaḥ),[577]
who, in three steps, measured or traversed the whole span of the
heavens,[578] betrays in another hymn the secret of Vishṇus's success
in this divine enterprise, since it says that when, with the strength
of Indras, he made his three steps, he was drawn by the two
fair-haired horses of Indras[579] (that is, the two Açvinâu lent him
the swift and strong horse which was to bear him on to victory). The
three steps of Vishṇus correspond, therefore, to the three stations of
Ivan, to the three races of the young hero to win the beautiful
princess. Vishṇus also appears in the _Râmâyaṇam_,[580] in the midst
of the sea of liquified butter, attractive to all beings, in the form
of a horse's head. Hero and the solar or lunar horse are identified.

Indras is requested to yoke his right and his left (horses), to
approach, inebriated, his dear wife.[581] By means of the horse
obtained from the two horsemen, the Russian Ivan acquires his wife; in
the _Ṛigvedas_, the two Açvinâu themselves, by means of their rapid
chariot, became husbands of the daughter of the sun.[582] The horses
of the sun are so fully identified with the chariot drawn by them,
that they are said to be dependent on it, united with it, and almost
born of it.[583] The Açvinâu, therefore, by means of the horse now
enable the wife to be found by the solar hero, by the old Ćyavanas
made young again (Tithôn),[584] now by the sun, and now find her
themselves (perhaps drawing the chariot like horses). Râmas, too, who
is represented in the _Râmâyaṇam_[585] as the deliverer of Sîtâ, is
compared to the solar horse, to the sun born upon the mountain.

We have seen in the Russian stories how the horse's head possesses the
same magic power as the marvellous horse which the two horsemen give to
the hero Ivan. Thus, in the Vedic myth, and in the corresponding
brâhmanic tradition, the horse's head Dadhyańć stands in direct relation
with the myth of the Açvinâu. The wise Dadhyańć shows himself pious
towards the Açvinâu, to whom, although he knows that he will pay with
his head for the revelation he makes, he communicates what he knows
concerning the ambrosia or the Madhuvidyâ. For this, accordingly,
Dadhyańć forfeits his head; but the Açvinâu present him with a horse's
head (his own), which heroically achieves wonders. With the bones of
Dadhyańć, or with the head of the horse Dadhyańć (he who walks in butter
or ambrosia), fished up in the ambrosial lake Çaryaṇâvat (the head of
the horse Vishṇus in the sea of butter),[586] Indras discomfits the
ninety-nine hostile monsters (as Samson the Philistines with the jawbone
of an ass).[587] This exchange of heads seems to be common to the
traditions which are founded upon the myth of the Açvinâu, that is, to
the legends of the two brother or companion heroes. In the
_Tuti-Name_,[588] the heads of the prince and of the Brâhman, who are
exceedingly like each other, are cut off and then fastened on again;
but, by some mistake, the head of the one is attached to the body of the
other, so that the prince's wife is embarrassed between them. This
exchange of the husband (which corresponds to the exchange of the wife
in the legend of Berta, referred to in the first chapter) is very
frequent in the legend of the two brothers, and often ends in the
rupture of the perfect concord reigning between them. The two brothers
or companions who dispute about the wife, is a variety of the legend of
the three brothers who, having delivered the beautiful princess, wish to
divide her between them.

The _Ṛigvedas_ does not seem as yet explicitly to exhibit the two
Açvinâu at discord--they generally are united in doing good; but as we
already know the Vedic blind man and lame man who are cured by the
grace of Indras, or of the Açvinâu themselves; as we know that the
Açvinâu, in the _Ṛigvedas_, make Dadhyańć, who has a horse's head,
conduct them to the ambrosia, or indicate where it is, probably in
order that they may procure health and strength for themselves; as in
the ninth strophe of the 117th hymn of the first book of the
_Ṛigvedas_, the marvellous horse of the Açvinâu, which kills the
monster-serpent (ahihan), is but one; as we know that the Açvinâu run
to gain the bride for themselves; and as we cannot ignore the fact
that in the story of the blind and lame man, when a woman comes upon
the scene, they endeavour to do harm to each other; as we know that of
the two Hellenic brothers, the Dioscuri, one alone had from the gods
the gift of immortality; as, finally, it is known to us that of the
two brothers, he alone is the true hero who, by means of his horse,
gains the victory over the monster,--it is clear that if we have not
as yet in the _Ṛigvedas_ the myth of the two brothers at discord, we
have, at least, in the ambrosia, and in the bride won by them the
origin of the myth already indicated; and from the idea of the
privileged brother that of the envious one would naturally arise.

In Hesiod's _Theogony_ we have the two brothers Chrysäor and Pêgasos,
that come out of the Medusa (the evening aurora), who is made pregnant
by Poseidôn, after Perseus has cut off her head. Pêgasos, the younger
brother, becomes the heroic horse. In Hesiod himself, and in the
_Metamorphoses_ of Ovid, he carries the thunder and the thunderbolts
for Zeus. The hero Bellerophontes rides him, and vanquishes, by his
help, the Chimaira and the Amazons; he becomes the horse of the
aurora, the horse of the Muses, the ambrosial steed. The monstrous
Chimaira appears, in the _Theogony_ of Hesiod, as the daughter of
Typhaon and the Echidna, the monstrous daughter of Chrysäor. Therefore
in the conflict which Bellerophontes maintains against the Chimaira,
we have a form of the battle which goes on between the twin horses
Pêgasos and Chrysäor, the one divine, the other demoniacal.

In the analogous myth of the Hellenic Dioscuri (the sons of the
luminous one, _i.e._, of Zeus, just as the Vedic Açvinâu are the sons
of the luminous sky;[589] Zeus is united with the Dioscuri, as Indras
is with the Açvinâu), we again find the twins who fight to recover a
woman who had been carried off from them, _i.e._, their own sister
Helen. One of the two brothers is mortal, and the other immortal; he
who is immortal passes the night in hell with his mortal brother. The
double aspect of the sun, which at evening enters and loses itself in
the night, now black, now illumined by the moon, and which, in the
morning, comes forth in a luminous form, has enriched the story of
the two brothers of mythology. One of the two brothers, the red
horseman, is in especial relation with the morning sun; the other, in
intimate connection with the silvery moon, the white horseman, and
when the latter is amissing, with the infernal gloom.

Several mythologists have interpreted the Açvinâu as only the two
twilights; but it seems more exact, inasmuch as they are often found
together, whilst the two twilights are always apart, to recognise in
them two crepuscular lights, the lunar of evening and autumn, and the
solar of morning and spring.[590] Of the twin-brothers, one is always
imperfect; the lunar crepuscular light offers us a similar
imperfection, with respect to the sun. Inasmuch as the Açvinâu are
affiliated both to the sun and the moon, when they come out of the two
ears of the horse of night, we should understand, it would appear,
that on one side the moon goes down, while on the other the sun is
born, or that the solar horse arises, upon which the young hero lost
in the night mounts and wins the princess aurora. In the Russian
stories referred to in the preceding chapter, we have seen how the
maiden abandons her hero-husband, or brother, to give herself into the
monster's hands; the evening aurora forsakes the sun to throw herself
into the night, and the evening twilight stays for a long time with
the evening aurora (the reddish sky of evening), when the sun is
already gone. In the morning the two lovers, the twilight, or sun and
moon, and the aurora, meet once more; when the sun, or solar hero,
arrives, he surprises them _in flagrante delicto_, and punishes them.
Sometimes, on the contrary, the twilight and the aurora stay together,
preserving their chastity; in this case the brother twilight figures
as the good and honest guardian of the rights of his brother the sun.
This appears to me to have been the most ancient, as it is the most
subtle, interpretation of the myth; afterwards, it is possible, and
even probable, that in the two Açvinâu only the two gods of morning
and of evening were seen, with their respective twilights, considered
as two brothers, so like that they were easily mistaken for each
other. But from the data of the Russian story, which gives us the
lunar twilight as a white horseman and the rising sun as a red one,
the aurora being found exactly between the white and the red horsemen,
between the moon or the white dawn (alba) and the sunrise, and seeing
that the _Ṛigvedas_, which makes the aurora mount upon the chariot of
the Açvinâu, considers them in the celebrated nuptial hymn as the
_paranymphoi_ of Sûryâ, the daughter of the sun or of the aurora
herself, I venture to insist upon my interpretation as the most
obvious, and perhaps the most logical one. The two brothers may very
naturally be conceived of as contending for the possession of the
bride when they have her between them, since the Açvinâu, considered
as lunar light and sun, really take the aurora between them. The Vedic
hymn cited above shows us how both the Açvinâu, arriving on the
swift-running chariot, became the husbands of Sûryâ, the daughter of
the sun. But this very Sûryâ, in the Vedic nuptial hymn, must be
satisfied with one husband, who is called Somas, so that the Açvinâu
can only occupy the place of paranymphs. The Açvinâu, therefore, would
appear to be excluded from the wedding of Sûryâ as principal
personages; they would seem to be nothing more than assistants, and,
in fact, they often assume this part in the Vedic hymns, by enabling
now the bride to find a husband, now the husband to recover his bride.
We know already that by means of them Ćyavanas, the old sun (a Vedic
Tithôn), became young again, and was able to espouse the aurora. We
know that they gave sight to Vandanas (properly, the Face), that they
made the blind see,[591] the lame walk, and performed sundry other
works of charity, which would, however, have been much more glorious
if these acts did not, in fact, always issue in benefit to themselves,
as blind, lame, or drowned. It is hence very probable that when they
give a bride to the hero, they, being now lunar, now solar heroes, do
only appropriate her to themselves. When, therefore, we read that the
Açvinâu assist as paranymphs at the nuptials of Sûryâ and Somas, we
are much inclined to think that under Somas in this case one of the
Açvinâu is hidden. In Indras and Somas, often sung of together in the
_Ṛigvedas_, it seems to me that we have just another form of the
Açvinâu, the more so because I also find them both, like the Açvinâu,
personified in one and the same horse, whose back is covered with
honey, and who is terrible and swift,[592] and because they are
invoked together against the yâtudhânas, which, by the grace of the
Açvinâu, the hero Rebhas succeeds in discovering and then chasing
away.[593] The _Tâittiriya_ _Brâhmaṇam_[594] represents to us the
daughter of the sun (Sâvitrî) by the name of Sîtâ, as enamoured of
Somas, who, on the contrary, loves another woman, the Çraddhâ (_i.e._,
Faith), almost as if the daughter of the sun, the aurora, were, for
him at least, a symbol of infidelity. Probably this embryo of a myth
refers to the passage of the aurora, in the morning, from her amours
with the white horseman (the white twilight), which, as we have said,
was supposed to be in particular relation with the moon (Somas), to
her amours with the red horseman (the sun), or, _vice versa_, to the
aurora who, in the evening, abandons the red horseman, the sun (now
her father, now her husband), to throw herself into the arms of the
white horseman, the white twilight, the king Somas, or silver god
Lunus. Moreover, Yâskas, in the _Niruktam_,[595] already notices that
the Açvinâu were identified now with the day and the night,[596] now
with the sun and the moon.

When, therefore, we read that the Açvinâu obtained for their wife the
daughter of the sun, and when we learn that she chose both for
husbands,[597] we must interpret the passage with discrimination, and
conclude that one of them was sometimes preferred, inasmuch as the
Vedic nuptial hymn speaks of only one husband of Sûryâ, with the name
of Somas, with whom, as we have said, Yâskas identifies one of the
Açvinâu. We read in _Pausanias_ that, among the Greek usages, when the
bride was conducted to the bridegroom's house, she was accustomed to
mount a chariot and sit down in the middle, having the bridegroom on
one side, and on the other her nearest relation as paranymphos. The
preference given to one of the two brothers over the other is
naturally suggestive of a contention between them; however, as I say,
the _Ṛigvedas_, which offers us already the myth of the third brother
abandoned in the well by his relations, does not record any example of
an open strife between the two brothers (_i.e._, the Açvinâu, the
lunar and the solar light).

An evidently Hindoo variation of this myth is contained in the
well-known episode of the _Mahâbhâratam_, which relates the adventures
of Sundas and Upasundas, two inseparable brothers, who lived together
in love and concord, each being ruled by the will of the other, and
who had never all their lives either said or done anything to
displease each other. The gods become envious of their virtue, and
wish to prove it, and send to seduce them a nymph of enchanting
beauty. The two brothers, on seeing her, desire each the exclusive
possession of the divine maiden, and strive between themselves to
carry her off. They fight so long and so desperately that they both
die (the moon and the sun see the aurora in the morning, and dispute
for her; they see her again in the evening, and fight so long that
they both perish miserably, and die in the night). The gods who are
envious of the virtue of the two brothers Sundas and Upasundas, are
the same as those who, envying the good which the Açvinâu do to
mankind, treat them as celestial Çudrâs, under the pretext that they
pollute themselves by their contact with men, and refuse to admit
them, being impure, to the sacrifices.[598]

In the twin brothers, Nakulas and Saladevas, sons of the Açvinâu, the
Açvinâu themselves revive again, are made better, according to the
expression of the first book of the _Mahâbhâratam_. The first-born,
Nakulas, too, is perhaps the real Açvin who kills the monster. Nakulas
is the name given to the _viverra ichneumon_, the mortal enemy of the
serpents, which refers us back to the horse Ahihan (or killer of the
serpent), as the horse of the Açvinâu, or perhaps rather of one of the
Açvinâu, is called, in the _Ṛigvedas_. Of the two Dioscuri, moreover,
one alone is especially the horseman; the other is the valiant in
combat.[599] The mortal brother, he who has to remain in hell, and who
has to fight the monsters of night, is Castor the horseman. Pollux,
the strong-armed, is, on the contrary, the immortal one, the daily
sun, he who profits from the victory obtained by his brother who has
fought in the night, during which the Gandharvâs (the horses in the
perfumes, they who walk in perfume) also ride upon war-horses, heroic,
invulnerable, divine, exceedingly swift, who change colour at
will--the Gandharvâs, whose strength increases during the night, as
one of them informs Arǵunas in the _Mahâbhâratam_, when communicating
to him Gandharvic knowledge.[600]

In the _Râmâyaṇam_, the two brothers Râmas and Lakshmaṇas are
compared to the Açvinâu, to the sun and moon, as similar the one to
the other; and their reciprocal love reminds us of that of the
Açvinâu.[601] Râmas and Lakshmaṇas are always at peace with each
other; there is, however, a passage which may serve as a link to
connect the myth of the two friendly brothers and that of the two
hostile ones. When Râmas combats alone in the forest thousands of
monsters, Lakshmaṇas stays with Sîtâ, hidden in a cavern.

But the _Râmâyaṇam_ itself shows us the two brothers in open strife in
the legend of the two brothers Bâlin and Sugrîvas, children of the sun,
beauteous as the two Açvinâu, so perfectly like one another that it is
impossible to distinguish one from the other; and so that when Râmas, to
please Sugrîvas, wishes to kill Bâlin, he does not know which to strike,
until Sugrîvas puts a garland on his head as a sign of recognition.[602]
Once Bâlin and Sugrîvas were intimate friends, but, on account of a
woman, they became mortal enemies. Sugrîvas complains that Bâlin, his
elder brother, has deprived him of his wife Rumâ;[603] but it is not
certain that Sugrîvas did not rather steal Bâlin's wife. Bâlin seems
especially to represent the evening sun; the _Râmâyaṇam_[604] says of
him that, while the sun is not risen (_i.e._, in the night), he is
unweariedly passing from the western to the eastern ocean; by this is
described the supposed voyage of the sun in the ocean of night, in the
grotto or the darkness. When Bâlin is in the grotto, he is betrayed by
his brother Sugrîvas. The two brothers, Bâlin and Sugrîvas, while still
friends, set out together to follow the monster Mâyâvin (the brother of
Dundubhis, who, in the _Râmâyaṇam_ itself,[605] fights in the shape of
a demoniacal buffalo against Bâlin, near the entrance of the cave). The
moon rises to show them the way. The monster escapes into the cavern,
upon which Bâlin enters and follows him, whilst Sugrîvas remains
without, awaiting his return. After waiting a long time, Sugrîvas sees
blood flow out of the cave (in analogous legends, instead of blood, it
is a treasure, or else a princess or a beautiful maiden comes out in
shining garments). This is the blood of the monster, killed by Bâlin;
but Sugrîvas believes it to be that of his brother Bâlin. He returns
home, and showing his sorrow in public, declares that Bâlin is dead, and
allows himself to be consecrated king in his stead (probably also
enjoying with the crown the wife of his brother). Meanwhile Bâlin, after
having killed the monster Mâyâvin, endeavours to come out of the cavern,
but he finds the entrance closed. Attributing at once this wicked action
to the brother Sugrîvas, he succeeds, after great efforts, in effecting
an opening; he comes out, returns to the palace, and expels Sugrîvas
from it, whom he persecutes ever after.[606] Even Añgadas, Bâlin's son,
irritated one day with Sugrîvas, accuses him of having once shut up his
brother Bâlin in the cave, in order to possess himself of the latter's

In the _Avesta_, the name and the myth of Kereçâçpa seems to me to be
of special interest. To the Zend word _kereçâçpa_ corresponds the
Sanskṛit _kṛiçâçvas_ (the name of a warlike ṛishis and hero), that is,
he of the lean horse. The hero Kereçâçpa has, in the _Avesta_, a
brother called Urvâksha (a word which is perhaps the same as
_urvâçpa_, and, if this equivalence is admitted, _urvâksha_ would mean
him of the fat or great horse, of the heroic horse.[607] We have
already noticed that the Vedic and Slavonic hero begins his fortune
with an ugly and bad horse; the hero Kereçâçpa, too, of the two
brothers of the Zend myth, is the good, the heroic, and truly glorious
one. His brother, Urvâksha, according to a Parsee tradition,[608] was
banished to hell because he had struck the fire which did not obey his
commands (the evening sun which descends into the infernal night);
Kereçâçpa avenges him. This is evidently a Persian form of the myth of
the Dioscuri, who, as it seems to me, reappear once more in the two
Zend brothers, Gustâçp and Açpâyaodha (he who fights with the horse).

In the epic poem of Firdusi, the two brothers Piran and Pilsem, who
fight together against the Turanians, and of whom the former and elder
delivers the latter and younger from the dangers that he is exposed to
among the enemies, seem to me re-embodiments of the same myth.

We find the cloudy or tenebrous sky of night represented in the
_Ṛigvedas_ and in the _Avesta_ as açman, or mountain of stone. When
the evening sun falls upon the mountain, it turns to stone, and the
whole sky assumes the colour of this mountain. When the hero of the
popular story follows the monster, the latter hides under a rock; the
hero lifts up the rock and descends into the grotto, that is, hides
himself in the mountain of stone, or is turned to stone, and if he has
a horse, it undergoes the same transformation.

In the story of Merhuma, who is stoned (the aurora lost in the mountain
of stone), in the _Tuti-Name_,[609] we have the brother possessed by a
demon, who seduces the wife of his brother, who is travelling abroad. In
that of Mansûr, in the same _Tuti-Name_,[610] the monstrous Fari assumes
the very shape of the absent husband, and succeeds in seducing his wife.
In another story in the _Tuti-Name_,[611] two brothers, finding
themselves deceived in their expectations, set out together, each, for
love of the other, wandering about the world in search of a better fate.
These are three forms of the myth of the Açvinâu. With them is connected
the story of the maiden who comes out of the wood, of whom as many men,
when she appears, become enamoured.[612]

The fifth Calmuck story (of Hindoo origin) is unmistakably a
reproduction of the myth of the Açvinâu, even to the very mythical names
themselves. The king, Kun-snang (he who illumines all, like the Vedic
Viçvavedas and the Slavonic Vsievedas, the all-seer), has by two
different mothers two sons--Sunlight (born in the year of the tiger;
perhaps in the sol-leo, in July, in summer, under the solar influence)
and Moonlight. The second wife does not love her step-son Sunlight, and
persecutes him, but the two brothers are devoted to each other, and when
Sunlight goes into exile (like Râmas), Moonlight follows him (as
Lakshmaṇas follows Râmas, as the white lunar twilight follows the sun in
the forest of night). On the way, Moonlight is thirsty; Sunlight goes to
find water for him, but in the meantime Moonlight dies.[613] Sunlight
returns, and is in despair at the sight of his dead brother; however, a
hermit has pity upon him, and, having resuscitated Moonlight, adopts the
two brothers as his own sons. Near his abode there is a kingdom where
the dragons keep back the waters, unless they are given a young man born
in the year of the tiger. It oozes out that Sunlight is such a young
man, and he is led away to the king of that country. The daughter of the
king falls in love with him, and begs Sunlight not to be given to the
dragons. The king is furious against his daughter, and has her thrown
with Sunlight into the swamp where the dragons are.[614] The young
couple break out into such piteous lamentations, that the dragons are
touched, and let Sunlight and the young princess go free. When free,
they find Moonlight, who also becomes the husband of the beautiful
princess, the two brothers being inseparable, like the Vedic Açvinâu.
The three personages (white twilight, or white moonlight, aurora, and
sun) return together into the kingdom of their birth, where, upon seeing
them arrive, Sunlight's step-mother (Night) dies of terror. Here the
legend has all its mythical splendour.

In the sixteenth Mongol story, on the contrary, the friendship of the
two companions cannot last, because of the perfidy of one of them;
while they are travelling in the forest, the minister's son kills the
king's son.

In the history of _Ardshi-Bordshi_, the two men born in the palace
are so like each other in everything, in shape, complexion, dress, and
horses, that they cannot be distinguished one from the other; hence
they dispute between themselves for the possession of everything, of
wife and sons. One is made like the other by witchcraft; he is the son
of a demon; and it is the marvellous king of the children who
discovers the secret.[615]

This exchange of husbands, or heroes, by means of demoniacal craft,
often occurs in European fairy-tales, like the exchange of wives. The
demon is now a water-carrier, now a washerman, now a woodcutter, now a
charcoal-burner, now a gipsy, now a Saracen, and now the devil _in
propria persona_.

The Russian fairy-tales show us the two forms of the two brothers or
companions, _i.e._, the two that remain friends _usque ad mortem_, and
the friend betrayed by his perfidious companion.

We find a zoological form of the legend of the two friends in one of
Afanassieff's stories. The horse delivers the child of one of his
masters from the bear, upon which his grateful masters feed him
better, whereas before they had almost let him die of starvation. The
horse (the sun) remembers in prosperity his companion in misfortune,
the cat (the moon), who is also allowed to starve, and gives it a part
of what he receives from his masters. The latter perceive this, and
again ill-treat the horse, who then forms the resolution of killing
himself, in order that the cat may eat him; but the cat refuses to eat
his friend the horse,[616] and is also determined to die.

The two brothers who, because they have eaten one the head and the
other the heart of a duck, are predestined, in _Afanassieff_,[617]
one to be king and the other to spit gold, flee from their perfidious
mother (probably step-mother), who persecutes them in their father's
absence. They meet with a cowherd taking his cows to the pasturage,
and are hospitably entertained by him. Then, continuing their journey,
they come to a place where two roads meet, where, upon a pillar, this
is written, "He who goes to the right (to the east) will become a
king; he who goes to the left (to the west, into the kingdom of
Kuveras, the western sun, the god of riches; when the sun rises in the
east the moon goes down in the west) will become rich." One goes to
the right; when it is morning, he rises, washes, and dresses himself.
He learns that the old king is dead (the old sun), and that funeral
honours are being paid to him in church. A decree says that he whose
candle lights of itself will be the new Tzar.[618] The Vedic god also
has the distinctive attribute of this wonderful candle, that of being
lighted by himself, of shining of himself, _i.e._, he is svabhânus.
The candle, therefore, of our youth predestined to be king lights of
its own accord, and he is immediately proclaimed the new king. The
daughter of the old king (the aurora) marries him, recognising in him
her predestined husband, and makes with her golden ring (the solar
disc) a mark upon his forehead (as Râmas does with Sîtâ). The young
man (the sun), after having remained some time with his bride (the
aurora), wishes to go towards the part where his brother went (that
is, to the left, to the west). He traverses for a long time different
countries (_i.e._, the sun describes the whole arc of heaven which
arches over the earth), and finds at last (in the western sky,
towards the setting sun) his brother, who lives in great wealth. In
his rooms whole mountains of gold arise; when he spits, all is gold;
there is no place to put it,[619] (the evening sky is one mass of
gold). The two brothers then set out together to find their poor old
father (the sun during the night). The younger brother goes to find
for himself a bride (probably the silvery moon), and the wicked mother
(the step-mother, night) is forsaken. Here, too, the legend is
entirely of a mythical character. In the two brothers we see now
twilight and sun, now the two twilights, now the spring and autumnal
lights, now the sun and the moon, but always the Açvinâu, always two
deities, two heavenly beings closely connected with the phenomena of
the lunar and solar light.

And here allow me to say that I deem it enough for me to collect in
one body legends which betray a common origin; as to explaining all
mythology in the legends, this is beyond my power, and therefore
outside my pretensions. I only point out, as I proceed,
interpretations which I think come near the truth; but the objects
embodied in mythology are so mobile and multiform, that, if grasped
too tightly, they easily evaporate and disappear. Their richness
consists in their very mobility and uncertainty. If the sun and moon
were always seen in the same place, there would be no myths. The myths
which originated the greatest number of legends are those which are
founded upon the most fleeting phenomena of the sky.[620] The myth of
the Açvinâu cannot be solved by mathematical demonstrations,
precisely on account of the uncertainty presented by the crepuscular
light which probably gave rise to it. This continuous succession of
shadows, penumbræ, chiaroscuri, and shades of light, from the black
darkness to the silver moon, from the silver moon to the grey twilight
of morning, which gradually melts into, and confounds itself with the
dawn, from the dawn to the aurora, from the aurora to the sun; the
same variations recurring, but inversely, in the evening, from the
dying sun to the reddish and blood-coloured sky or evening aurora,
from the evening aurora to the grey twilight, from the grey twilight
to the silver moon, from the silver moon to the gloomy night,--this
continual change of colours, which meet, unite with, and pass into
each other, originated the idea of celestial companions, friends, or
relations, who are now in unison and now separate, who now approach to
love each other, to move together and affectionately follow each
other, now rush upon each other to fight, despoil, betray, and destroy
each other turn by turn, who now attract and are now attracted, are
now seduced and now seducers, now cheated and now deceivers, now
victims, now sacrificers. Where there is a family, there is love,
hence come exemplary brothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters,
fathers, and mothers, full of tenderness; that is the obverse of the
medal: where there are relations, there are disputes, hence
contentions between brothers, out of jealousy in love, or envy of
riches; perverse mothers-in-law, step-mothers, and sisters-in-law,
tyrannous fathers, perfidious wives; that is the reverse. This
contradiction of feelings is difficult to explain psychologically even
in man; how much more, therefore, is it so when it has to be analysed
in a mythical image, which assumes an animal form in one rapid flash
of imagination, and then disappears? On this account, in the case of
some myths, we must content ourselves with a general demonstration, at
least until new and positive data appear, on which it may be possible
to base, in a solid foundation, the real nature of the details of
mythology. In the absence of these data, we can only offer
probabilities, and not rules to the reader. As to the Vedic Açvinâu,
this much is certain: they are found in unison with their wife, the
aurora, after having passed through the dangers of night, or after
having enabled the heroes protected by them--that is to say, their own
heroic forms--to pass through them; they are two splendid
brother-horsemen; and they are especially invoked in the first hours
of morning. The myth in this Vedic form would not appear to be of
dubious interpretation. The white moon and the sun take the aurora
between them, that is, marry her; or else they present her in marriage
to Somas (with whom one of the Açvinâu, the white light or twilight,
is in particular relation), in the quality of paranymphs. The aurora,
in the morning, as well as in the evening, taken between the sun and
the moon, disappears. One would think that the twilight and the sun
present her together at the same time to the king or god Somas, or
Lunus, for whom the daughter of the sun has affection. One would also
think that she was especially united with the twilight, which is in
especial relation with Somas, observing how in the morning the aurora
immediately succeeds the twilight, and disappears when the sun shows
himself, that is, rejoins the twilight and forsakes the sun; and how
in the evening, when the sun hides himself, or when her husband is
absent, she again unites herself with the twilight, with whom she
again flees and disappears, to reappear once more with him in the
morning. To continue; the absence of the sun during the night
tormented the popular phantasy in several ways. As much as the aspect
of the sky was negative with regard to the mythical hero--that is to
say, as much as the hero or god hides himself from the view--just so
much the more does popular imagination invest him with positive
qualities and exalt his greatness. The greatest of all deities is that
which is seen the least;--would that Roman Catholic priests understood
this mythological truth! Indras and Zeus are great when within the
thundering and lightning cloud. The sun becomes a hero when he loses
himself in the darkness of night and in the cloud. But it is just at
this very point that the demonstration of mythical particulars becomes
more difficult, because the myths are now founded, not merely upon an
external appearance or image, but often upon a simple subjective
hypothesis; and while the ancient image, possessing an objectivity
irrespective of the subject, can always be reconciled with the
observation of the new celestial phenomena which reproduce it, the
subjective hypothesis, being an individual phantasy, is lost. The
demonstration is therefore possible only in the essential parts. When
the sun was seen to disappear in the nocturnal sky, this sky appeared
in the various aspects of an ocean, a mountain, a forest, a cavern, or
a voracious monster which devoured the hero. But has the sun lost
himself by accident, or has he been precipitated into the night by the
aurora and her crepuscular lover, perfidiously united together, in
order that they may have more freedom in their loves? This is a
dilemma of which the two solutions originate a double series of
legends,--the brother betrayed by the brother, and the hero who goes
to succour his unfortunate brother fallen into the power of the
monsters. The hour of day which the French indicate by the expressive
phrase _entre chien et loup_, is the great epical hour of the fox,
which partakes of the nature of the domestic dog and the savage wolf.
It is the hour of betrayals, of perfidies, of doubts, and mythical
uncertainties. Who can tell whether the aurora is a widow by an
accident which happens to her husband the sun, or whether she herself
has betrayed him?--whether she has been a chaste and faithful
Geneviève, or a perfidious and luxurious Helen? It is these very
mythical doubts which have made the fortune and the charm of
tradition, as they are the despair of mythologists. When, moreover,
the sun is within the night, what can he do? According to the
different aspect assumed by the night, the acts of the solar hero lost
in it are modified, and these modifications can be explained without
too great an effort of imagination; but, sometimes, the relations
between the hero and his companions or brothers in the world of the
dead, can only be conceived by means of poetical dreams. When the sun
is seen to enter the obscure night in the evening, and to come out of
it safe and sound in the morning, after having dispersed the darkness,
it is natural to think that throughout the night he is singly intent
upon killing the monster. The action of the principal hero is well
defined, and therefore evident; and the reference is equally clear
when the aurora is represented as experiencing the same fate as the
sun, her husband or brother. They descend together into the night,
which makes them invisible, and together emerge from it happily.

The myth becomes richer when the aurora throws herself into the arms of
a rival of her husband, because the character of this rival is various.
Now he is a handsome youth who resembles the legitimate husband, either
as the twilight or as Lunus; now he is a real demoniacal monster, the
demon himself, the black night. In proportion to the variety of aspects
and relations which the hero's rival assumes, does the myth become more
complicated, and its interpretation more difficult; hence the
story-tellers are often in the habit of interrupting their narrative by
saying, "Now, let us leave this or that hero, and return to such or such
another." These interruptions of the stories have their mythological
reason. We can understand, for instance, how the aurora, or daughter of
the sun, should be conceived of as, in a moment of feminine weakness,
falling in love with the moon, which she sees on the other side of the
heavens, and desirous of being conducted to him as his bride. We can
understand how Lunus, reciprocating the love-glance of the aurora at the
other extremity of the sky, should appear to be drawing her to himself,
and wishing to seduce her. We can also understand how now the moon, now
the sun, appears to seduce the aurora and carry her off from her
legitimate husband. In these cases the infidelity of the hero or the
heroine is evident; but woe to him who attempts to carry the
demonstration or the proof of this interpretation too far, for when the
seducer and seduced, be the seducer male or female, are thought of as
enjoying together the fruits of their perfidy, the myth must come to an
end, as no one can conceive the possibility of the moon and the aurora
living or doing anything together; no one can tell what the aurora and
the twilight, phenomena appertaining exclusively to the morning and
evening, and which only appear when the sun rises from the mountain, do
together in the night. The phenomenon ceases, the mythical personages
vanish too, and the story-teller breaks off his narrative, because he
possesses no data upon which to continue it. And so with all the myths;
they can only be explained on the condition that we do not insist upon
explaining too much. We must therefore be contented to see the girl
aurora carried off in the evening and the hero sun recover her in the
morning, or to conceive of the aurora and the sun fleeing away together
into the night, but we must not be too inquisitive as to the manner in
which they do so. The moon, or good fairy, sometimes teaches them the
way; but their nocturnal actions are but little seen into; those which
are spoken of as performed by them at night refer either to the moment
in which night begins, or to that in which it comes to an end. During
the night they wander about until they see a light (the guiding moon or
delivering light of day); they remain in the chest or cask thrown into
the water until it is carried to the other shore beyond the sea, or on
the eastern coast. In their nocturnal journey the moon plays the part
now of the good old man, or the good fairy; now of the good cow, or the
bull; now of the grey horse, the steed of night, who, in three stations,
bears them to their goal; now of the bird who, nourished upon their
flesh, carries them to their destination; and now we have, on the
contrary, the monster itself, or the step-mother who threatens,
tortures, and persecutes them. The hero shows his greatest strength
when hidden, but it is used now to send out the cows, now to recover the
ravished bride, now to unchain the rivers kept back by the dragons, now
to make the water of health gush forth, and now to destroy the monster
and deliver himself. The hero displays his greatest powers when
contending with the monster; but it is in order to his own deliverance.
In the earliest epochs of the legend he is foolish, ill, drunken,
unhappy, and stony; one can only speak of him by what is seen of him
externally. The cloud-barrel moves; it is the barrel full of water which
moves of its own accord in order to please the hero: the cloud-barrel
drops rain upon the earth; it is the foolish one who lets the wine run
out of the cask: the cloud-forest moves; it is the trunk of a tree which
attaches itself to the horse ridden by the hero, and massacres his
enemies--_i.e._, the cloud or darkness disappears, and the hero comes
out victorious. The part performed by the solar hero in the night or in
the cloud seems to me, therefore, almost always of a nearly certain
interpretation, but only so long as he is alone, or with but one
companion; when the one hero is transformed into three, or five, or six,
who accompany each other, or when he meets other mythical personages of
a nature akin to his own, and when he speaks and acts in unison with
them, the legend confuses the myth, in order to explain which, we are
often obliged to stretch the sense of the adverb _together_ to the
signification, now of a whole night, and now of an entire year. When we
find, for instance, in tradition, the twelve months of the year
associated with twelve old men round the fire, we know that the fire is
the sun, round which the twelve months turn in the sky in the space of a
year. Here _together_ is amplified to denote, therefore, the period of a
year and the entire width of the sky.

I have been led into this long, but, I trust, not idle digression, in
order to explain the Russian story of the two brothers, of whom it is
said that they go together, one to the right and the other to the
left. In whatever way the Açvinâu are to be understood, whether as
twilight and sun, as spring and autumn, or as sun and moon, it is
impossible to comprehend how they can travel in the same direction;
the ways they take must therefore be separate. The sun and the evening
twilight do not advance in opposite directions; the morning sun and
that of evening occupy opposite positions, but not at the same time;
the sun and moon advance at the same time in the sky, but not
conjointly and upon the same path, like two travelling companions. It
is therefore necessary to suppose that the journey of the two brothers
either happens at different periods, although it may be in the same
night or the same day, or else takes its start from different places,
although always in the sky; in the evening the moon is seen advancing
from east to west, whilst the hidden sun travels from west to east;
when the sun has arrived in the east, the moon goes down in the west.
The eastern sun is bent, in the daytime, upon following and finding
his brother who has gone to the west; and when he arrives there he
sees, besides his brother, his brother's immense treasures also. With
this is connected the other version of the myth of the Açvinâu, the
poor brother and the rich one. This is probably the weary, thirsty,
and hungry sun, who, having during the day given all his wealth away,
demands hospitality from, and offers his services to, his rich
brother; the latter drives him away, and the poor brother wanders
alone, poorer and sadder than before, into the forest, where he makes
his fortune by digging up a treasure which enriches him, whilst his
rich brother in the west becomes poor. The story of the treasure, in
connection with the two brothers and the skilful thief, was familiar
to the Greeks in the vicissitudes of Agamêdês and Trophonios (in
_Pausanias_[621]), who stole King Hürieus's treasure, on which account
one of the two brothers was to lose his head.

Were I to follow the story of the two brothers in its Western
versions, I could compose an entire volume on the subject, which is
indeed of such interest that a student, by connecting it with that of
the three brothers, might profitably address himself to the work. But
to resume the account of the horse. I must here limit myself to
recording only one other interesting variety of this legend, offered
us in the seventh story of Basile's _Pentamerone_.[622]

There were once two brothers, named respectively Cienzo and Meo
(Vincenzo and Meo). When they were born two enchanted horses and two
enchanted dogs also came into the world. Cienzo goes about the world
in search of fortune; he comes to a place where there is a dragon with
seven heads, from whom a beautiful princess must be delivered. As long
as he does not cut all the heads off, the dragon goes and rubs itself
against a herb which possesses the virtue of fastening on to the body
again the head which had been cut off. Cienzo cuts off all the
dragon's heads, "pe gratia de lo sole Lione" (by the grace of the Lion
sun, _i.e._, when the sun is in the sign of Leo, which corresponds to
the tiger of the Indo-Turanian story recorded above, or when the solar
hero possesses all his strength; the lion and the tiger are equivalent
in Hindoo symbolism as heroic types, and are therefore all the same in
the zodiac). Cienzo marries the beautiful princess delivered by him;
but a beautiful fairy who lives in the opposite house fascinates him
by her beauty, attracts him, and binds him with her hair. Meanwhile
Meo, who by signs settled upon beforehand learns that his brother
Cienzo is in danger, comes to the house where the latter's wife lives,
accompanied by his enchanted horse and dog. The wife believes him to
be Cienzo (the story of the Menechmi, of the two brothers who resemble
each other in everything, was no doubt taken by the Greek poet, and
afterwards by Plautus, from popular tradition), fêtes him on his
arrival, and receives him into her bed; but the faithful brother, in
order not to touch her, divides the sheets between them so that they
have one each, and refuses to touch his sister-in-law. Thus Sifrît, as
well as his Scandinavian _alter ego_ Sigurd, places a sword between
himself and Brünhilt, the destined bride of the king, in order not to
touch her when she lies beside him; and when Brünhilt throws herself
upon the funeral pyre, she also places a sword between herself and
Sigurd's corpse.[623] In the royal or heroic weddings by proxy of the
Middle Ages a similar custom was observed. In the popular Piedmontese,
Bergamasc, and Venetian song[624] of the pilgrim who comes from Rome,
the pilgrim is separated from the woman only by a wisp of straw.
Towards morning Meo also sees the beautiful fairy in the house over
the way; he guesses that Cienzo has been drawn into her snare, and
goes to deliver him. He makes his enchanted dog devour her, and frees
his brother, awakening him out of his sleep. Cienzo learning that Meo
had slept with his wife, cuts off his head; but when he learns from
his wife how Meo had divided the sheets when he lay beside her, he
bewails his rashness, has recourse to the herb with which the dragon
rubbed itself when one of its heads had been cut off, and by this
means fastens Meo's head on to his body again.

The principal auxiliary, however, to one in particular of the two
brothers, as of the third in the legend of the three brothers, is his

When the hero devotes himself to the trade of thieving, his most
glorious achievement is robbing the king's horse.

When the young hero has been educated by the devil, it is in the shape
of a horse that he succeeds in escaping from him.

When the solar hero fights, his greatest strength is in his horse.

When the hero dies, his horse, too, is sacrificed.

Let us now illustrate, by some examples, these four circumstances
relative to the myth of the horse.

In the _Mahâbhâratam_,[625] the god Indras appears in the form now of
a horseman, now of a horse. It is, moreover, upon such a heroic horse
that the young Utañkas flees from the king of the serpents, after
having recovered from him the queen's earrings, which the king of the
serpents had stolen. In this legend reference is made to several
myths; to that of the hero in the infernal regions, to that of the
hero-thief, and to the legend of the horse which saves the fugitive
hero, the same as the hero who leads away the horse.

In the _Vishṇu P._,[626] we have Kapilas, a form of Vishṇus, or of the
solar hero (inasmuch as he is of a reddish colour, or else of the
evening sun), who carries off the horse destined for the açvamedhas,
that is to be sacrificed. (In other words, the solar horse, the horse
which was meant for the sacrifice, escapes from it, in the same way as,
in the preceding chapter, we have seen the bull escape into the
forests.) In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[627] the horse destined for the sacrifice
is, on the contrary, carried off by a serpent (_i.e._, the monster of
night ravishes the evening sun, whilst, in the western sky, the fire is
being prepared for his immolation). The sons of Sagaras (the clouds of
the heavenly ocean, the word _sagaras_ meaning sea), make a noise like
thunder, searching for the horse that had been carried off from them.
They find it near the god Vishṇus or Kapilas (here the sun himself, the
solar horse itself, carried off into the cloudy ocean of night);
believing him to be the ravisher, they assail him; Kapilas (or the solar
horse), full of indignation, burns them to ashes. Their nephew,
Aṅsumant (he who is furnished with rays, the radiant sun of morning), on
the contrary, delivers the horse out of the forest. In the evening he is
reconducted back to the place of sacrifice, on the golden pavement,
after having made the journey round the world.[628] In the same way as
we have seen, in the preceding chapter, that the bull or the cow is
touched or struck as an augury of fruitfulness and abundance, in the
_Râmâyaṇam_,[629] Kâuçalyâ touches the horse (a stallion) in order to be
fruitful, as he desires to have sons (_putrakâmyayâ_), and the king and
queen smell the odour of the burnt marrow or fat of the horse, as a
talisman which may work for them the gratification of a like wish.[630]
Of course we must always refer the legend to the myth of the solar
horse, which, even when sacrificed, makes itself fruitful, so that it
may rise again in the morning in a new and young form. And we can easily
prove that the horse of the açvamedhas was a mythical horse, since the
açvamedhas was originally a celestial ceremony, seeing we read in the
_Ṛigvedas_ how the swift heroic horse destined to be sacrificed was born
of the gods, and how the Vasavas had adorned it with the colours of the
sun.[631] We saw a short time ago how in the _Ṛigvedas_ itself it is
now the Açvinâu, and now Agnis who give the heroic steed to the
predestined youth. Agnis, moreover, who gives a horse to the hero, is
himself now a handsome red horse, and now an excellent ghṛidhnus,[632] a
word which means the ravisher, as well as the vulture (as a bird of
prey). The thief plays a principal part, even in the Vedic myths. In the
war between the demons and the gods, described at length in the first
book of the _Mahâbhâratam_, there is a continual strife between the two
sides as to who will show himself the most skilful in stealing the cup
which contains the ambrosia. And the horse's head which, according to
Hindoo cosmogony, is born in the very production of the ambrosia with
the mythical gem, the horse's heads of Dadhyańć and of Vishṇus, which
are found in the ambrosia [through the mouth of which (Vaḍavamukhas) it
is necessary to pass in order to enter hell, where one hears the cries
and howls of the tormented, who inhabit the water[633]], shows us how
already in the myth the legend of the theft of the earrings (the
Açvinâu), or of the queen's gem (the sun), or of the treasure, must be
united with the theft of the horse (the sun itself), as it seems to be
united in the legend of Utañkas, before quoted, in which Utañkas flees
upon the divine horse as he carries away from hell the earrings of the
queen, which another skilful thief, the king of the serpents, had, in
his turn, stolen from him. (Herodotos already knew the story of the
skilful thief who robs the king's treasure and obtains the king's
daughter to wife; he applies it to the king of Egypt, Rampsinitos.)

When the stag, in the fable, flees in the forest, his high horns betray
him; when the bull flees, he fears that his horns may betray the
fugitives; even the mane of the solar hero takes the name of horns. The
Vedic hymn describing the horse destined for the sacrifice, represents
it as having golden horns, and feet as rapid as thought (like the stag),
whose horns (or whose mane, like the hair of the biblical Absalom, who
revives again in the legendary tradition of Mediæval Europe under an
analogous form), stretching here and there, are caught in the trees of
the forest.[634] Here, therefore, we have the swift-footed animal, whose
mane and horns are entangled to the trees. Another Vedic hymn presents
to us the hero Tugras lost in the sea, who embraces a tree, and is saved
by means of it.[635] In popular stories, the hero is often saved upon a
tree, either because the thieves or the bear cannot see him, or because
he is thus able to see the horizon; the tree brings good luck to him,
now because by letting something drop or making a noise, he terrifies
the thieves, now because he cheats the cowherds, whose cattle he wishes
to possess himself of, by appearing now upon one tree, and now upon
another; whereupon the cowherds begin to dispute about his identity, one
affirming that it is the same person, another that it cannot be; they
therefore hastily go back to inspect the first tree, and leave the
cattle unguarded, upon which the hero-thief descends from the tree, and
drives them away before him (this occurs in _Afanassieff_; the enemy of
robbers is generally himself an exceedingly skilful thief; Kereçâçpa was
no less a cunning thief than Mercury, the god of robbers, who discovers
the deceit of others, because he is himself so expert a deceiver). In
the nineteenth Mongol story, which is of Hindoo origin, the young hero,
after having discharged his pious filial duties at the tomb of his
father, mounts a fiery horse, while he seizes the branch of a tree. The
tree is uprooted, and with it the horse and the hero massacre the army
of the king, whose daughter the hero wishes to marry. In the Russian
story[636] which narrates the adventures of Little Thomas Berennikoff,
blind of an eye, the _miles gloriosus_, Little Tom, after killing an
army of flies, begins to boast of the heroism he had shown in
overthrowing, by himself, a whole army of light cavalry. He meets with
two real heroes, Elias of Murom and Alexin Papović (son of the priest),
who, on hearing him narrate his achievements, immediately own and honour
him as their elder brother. The valour of the three is soon put to the
proof; Elias and Alexin show themselves to be true heroes; at last it
comes to Little Tom's turn to make proof of his valour; he kills a
hostile hero whilst his eyes are shut, and then endeavours to ride his
horse, but cannot. It is a hero's horse, and can be ridden only by a
hero. At length he fastens the horse to an oak-tree, and climbs up the
tree in order to leap from it upon the horse's back. The horse feels
the man on his back, and plunges so much that he roots up the whole
tree, and drags it after him, carrying Tom away into the heart of the
Chinese army. The Chinese are struck down by the oak-tree and trodden
under foot by the furious charger, and those who are not killed are put
to flight. (The mythical wooden horse which proved so fatal to the
Trojans appears to be a mythical variety of this horse with the tree so
fatal to the Chinese.) The Emperor of China declares that he will never
make war again with a hero of Little Tom's strength. Then the King of
Prussia, an enemy of the Chinese, gives, in gratitude to Tom, and as a
reward for his valour, his own daughter to wife. It is remarkable that,
in the course of the story, Alexin once observes to Elias that the horse
which Little Tom had brought from his house showed none of the
characteristic qualities of a hero's horse. Alexin, as the priest's son,
is the wise hero; Elias, the strong one, who had conceived a high
opinion of his new colleague, Little Tom, seriously answers that a
hero's strength consists in himself, and not in his horse. However, the
development of the story shows that Alexin was right; without the fiery
horse of the dead hero, Tom would not have dispersed the Chinese.

Thus, in a Vedic hymn,[637] we read that Indras, when he removes
himself from his two horses, becomes like to a weak and wearied
mortal; when he yokes them, he becomes strong. The enemies in the
battles cannot resist the charge of the two fair-coloured horses of
the god Indras;[638] and not only this, but one part alone of the
divine horse is sometimes sufficient to give assurance of victory to
the hero-god. Another hymn[639] sings, "A horse's tail wert thou then,
O Indras;" that is, when Indras vanquished the monster serpent. It is
with the head of the horse Dadhyańć that Indras discomfits his
enemies.[640] The horse of the Açvinâu, which kills the monster
serpent, has already been referred to in these pages. The solar horse
Dadhikrâ, the same as Dadhyańć, in another hymn of the
_Ṛigvedas_,[641] is celebrated as a swift falcon, luminous, impetuous,
who destroys his enemies like a hero-prince, who runs like the wind.
His enemies tremble, terrified by him, as by the thundering sky; he
fights against a thousand enemies--invincible, formidable, and
resplendent. Finally, the horses of the god Agnis are said to vanquish
the enemies with their fore-feet.[642]

When Añgadas wishes to fight with the monster Narântakas, in the
_Râmâyaṇam_,[643] he strikes with his fist the head of his great and
swift-footed horse, and then with another blow he smites the monster
in the chest, and kills him.

In the seven adventures of Rustem, related by Firdusi, the hero's horse
fights against the monster, and drives him away, while the hero sleeps.

It is said of Bucephalus, the horse which Alexander the Great alone
was able to tame--so called because he had, it would seem, on his head
protuberances similar to the horns of a bull (we saw not long since
how the mane of the solar horse is spoken of as horns in the Vedic
hymns)--that he several times saved Alexander in battle, and that,
though mortally wounded, in an engagement in India, in the flank and
head, he still summoned up strength enough to flee away with
extraordinary swiftness and save his master, and then died. Pliny,
quoting Philarcus, says that when Antiochus was slain, the warrior who
had killed him endeavoured to ride his horse, but that the latter
threw him on the ground, and he expired.

Of Pêgasos, the winged horse which bore the hero Bellerophon over the
waters, and by means of whom that hero won his glorious victories, we
know that the warrior-goddess Pallas wore the effigy upon her helmet.

Suetonius writes of the horse of Julius Cæsar that it had almost human
feet, with toes ("pedibus prope humanis, et in modum digitorum ungulis
fissis"), from which the aruspices prognosticated to Cæsar the empire
of the world; this horse, like Bucephalus, and every heroic courser,
would bear no other rider than its master--the great conqueror.

The horse Baiardo, in _Ariosto_, fights the enemies with its feet. The
hippogriff of Ariosto has, moreover, the privilege of being winged
like Pêgasos, and of walking on air, like the Tatos of the Hungarians.
The name of Falke, given to the horse of the Germanic and Scandinavian
hero Dietrich or Thidrek (Theodoricus), induces us to believe that it
too had the same winged nature.

In the _Edda_, Skirner receives from Frey a horse which carried its
rider through fogs (waters) and flames, and the sword which strikes of
itself when the wearer of it happens to be a hero. The horse of Sigurd
or Sîfrit exhibits the same bravery in bearing the hero intact through
the flames. This happens in the morning, when the sun emerges safe and
sound from the flames of the aurora; in the evening, on the contrary,
when the sun loses itself in the flames of the aurora, or when the
solar hero dies, his horse, too, like the horse of Balder in the
_Edda_, is burned upon the pyre or sacrificed; the resurrection of the
dead horse and that of the dead hero happen at the same time. The
horse's head which protrudes out of the window, represented in ancient
Hellenic tombs, and preserved in Germanic customs,[644] is, for man, a
symbol of resurrection. The head of Vishṇus, that of Uććâiḥçravas, and
that of Dadhyańć, in Hindoo tradition, have the same meaning. He who
enters into this head finds death and hell; he who comes out of it
rises again to new life. The pious Christian belief in the
resurrection that is to come, and the numerous mediæval legends of
Europe concerning dead heroes or maidens who are resuscitated, had
their origin and ground in the contemplation of the annual and daily
resurrection of the sun.

In the thirty-eighth story of the fifth book of _Afanassieff_, the
young prince receives from an enchanted bird the present of a
war-charger, and of an apple the colour of the sun. (The youth gives
the golden apple to a beautiful princess for the pleasure of passing
the night with her; remark here, again, the relation of the horse and
the apple, and probably of the horse and the bull, the sun and moon).
In other Russian stories, the horse of the hero, Ivan Tzarević, is at
first bound underground by twelve iron chains; when Ivan rides him, he
breaks them all.[645] The horse which Ivan the thief is told to carry
off from his master[646] is shut up within three gates made fast by
six bolts; if he steals it, he is to receive a reward of 200 roubles;
and if he does not, 200 bastinadoes will be his punishment. Ivan takes
his master's clothes, disguises himself as a gentleman, and, imitating
his voice, orders the grooms to bring him his favourite horse. The
grooms are deceived, and obey, and thus Ivan carries the horse off.
Finally, in a third Russian story,[647] Ivan Tzarević must ride a
hero's horse on the occasion of his nuptials with the beautiful but
wicked Anna. He has recourse to his preceptor Katoma, surnamed Hat of
Oak (here we find again the hero in relation with the tree and the
horse), who orders the blacksmith to prepare a hero's horse; twelve
young blacksmiths (the twelve hours of the night, or else the twelve
months of the year) draw twelve bolts, open twelve doors, and lead out
an enchanted horse, bound with twelve iron chains. Scarcely has the
preceptor mounted on its back when it flies higher than the forest
which stays still, and lower than the cloud which moves.[648] The
preceptor subdues it by taking hold of its mane with one hand, and
striking it with the other between the ears with four pieces, one
after another, of an enchanted iron pillar. The horse then begs, with
a man's voice, for its life, the power of speech being a distinctive
attribute of the hero's horse (a power of which it often makes use, as
Rustem's horse does, for instance, to warn the hero of the dangers
which surround him, and to give him good advice; sometimes, on the
contrary, when it is in the monster's power, it plays the part of a
spy upon the hero's actions, and reports them to the monster);[649] it
promises also to do the will of the preceptor. Katoma, calling the
horse dog's flesh, orders it to stay still the next day, which is the
day fixed for the wedding, and, when the bridegroom Ivan is to ride
it, to seem as though it were oppressed by a great weight.

In the seventh Esthonian story, the young hero steals the horse from the
master (the devil, or the black monster of night) in whose service he
had engaged himself. When he comes to the place where the sun sets, he
bethinks himself of binding the horse with iron chains (the rope of
Yamas, or Varuṇas, the nocturnal coverer or binder, which binds the
Vedic hero Çunaḥçepas, the sun, he of the golden rod), in order that it
may not escape and go back again. This particular is very interesting,
as rendering the meaning of the myth more manifest. Seeing that the sun,
in the evening, does not return, it was supposed that the solar horse
had been bound by the hero himself, who had stolen it.

In the European popular tales we sometimes have, instead of the hero
who carries off his master's horse, the hero himself, who escapes from
his master in the form of a horse, helped in his flight by the
daughter of his master, by the magician's or demon's daughter or black
maiden (who afterwards becomes beautiful and luminous). In the
Hungarian belief, the youngest of the witch's daughters (the aurora)
often assumes the form of the heroic horse of the Tatos. She becomes
Tatos when the hero, meeting her, strikes her on the forehead with the
bridle; then she carries him, in the shape of a horse, into the air.
In the Russian story,[650] the son of a merchant goes to be instructed
by a wise magician, who teaches him every kind of knowledge, and,
among the rest, what sheep say when they bleat, birds when they sing,
and horses when they neigh. At last the young man, having learned
every species of mischief, returns home and transforms himself into a
horse, in order that his father may sell him at the market and make
money; but he warns his father not to give up the bridle, that he may
not fall again into the hands of the magician. The father forgets, and
sells horse and bridle together. The magician attaches the horse by a
ring to an oak-tree; the black maiden (dievki ćernavke), the sister of
the devil, gives the horse millet and hydromel; the horse thus gains
strength enough to break the chain which binds him to the tree, and
escapes. The devil follows him; the horse becomes a fish, and from a
fish a ring; the king's daughter buys the ring and puts it on her
finger; during the day it is a ring (the solar disc), and during the
night a handsome youth, who lies in the bed of the queen's daughter
(the hidden sun, or the moon, in the darkness of night). One day the
princess lets the ring fall on the ground, and it breaks into a
thousand pieces (the evening sun which falls upon the mountain); then
the devil becomes a cock, to pick up the pieces of the broken ring;
but a little piece falls under the princess's foot; this piece is
transformed into a falcon, which strangles and devours the cock.

In the bridle which binds this hero who becomes a horse, I think I can
recognise the lasso with which Varuṇas keeps Çunaḥçepas bound in the
_Âitareya Br._ In the _Ṛigvedas_,[651] we have Sûryas, the sun, as
Sâuvaçvyas, or son of Svaçvyas, that is, of him who has fine horses;
but as, besides Svaçvyas, we find Svaçvas, he who has a fine horse,
the sun itself would seem to be this horse. The legend narrates that
Svaçvas, having no children, requested the sun to give him some, and
that the sun, to please him, was himself born of him. Svaçvas, he who
has a fine horse and has no sons, is perhaps the same as the old man
who has lost his son by selling the horse; when the sun returns his
son also comes back again. In the Vedic expressions, _without a horse,
born without a bridle, the sun_ (as a courser[652]), the hero would
seem to be indicated who has not as yet that horse or that bridle,
without which he is powerless; for the idea of the hero is rarely
unaccompanied by that of the horseman.

For the horseman hero his horse is his all, and sometimes it even takes
the bit in its mouth, then the hero punishes it. We have already noticed
the well-known Hellenic myth of Phaethôn, who is, with both the chariot
and the horses, precipitated into the waters, because the horses
threatened to set the earth on fire. This happens every day towards
evening, when the sun sets; the whole sky goes down, then the sun is
thrown down into the ocean of night; the course of the solar steeds is
interrupted, and the wheels of the chariot no longer turn. A similar
catastrophe is repeated on St John's Day, at the summer solstice, in
which the sun stops and begins to retire, for which reason the light of
day, from this time to Christmas, grows less and less.

It is a custom on St John's Day, in Germany,[653] for hunters to fire
at the sun, believing that they will thereby become infallible
hunters. According to another popular German belief, he who, on St
John's Day, fires towards the sun is condemned ever after to hunt for
ever, like Odin, the eternal hunter; and both superstitions have their
reason. In the night, as well as in the period during which the
splendour of the sun diminishes, and especially in autumn, the gloomy
forest of heaven is filled with every kind of ferocious animal; the
sun enters this forest, becomes moon, and hunts the wild beasts in it
during the whole of the night, or of the year that is, until he is
born again. In the _Ṛigvedas_, where we have seven sister-mares yoked
to the sun-chariot,[654] Indras, to please his favourite, Etaças,
after having drunk the ambrosia, pushes the clouds that had fallen
behind before the flying steeds of the sun,[655] that is to say, he
prevents the solar hero, drawn by horses, either by the cloud in a
tempest, or by the darkness of night, from going on; and he even
strikes the wheels themselves of the solar chariot to arrest its
incendiary course. From these Vedic data it is easy to pass to the
Hellenic Phaethôn, who is precipitated into the waters on account of
the horses. The hero killed on account of his horses is a frequent
subject of mythology, and the Greek name Hippolytos refers to this
kind of death. Hippolytos, the son of Theseus, fleeing from his
father, who supposes him guilty of incest with his step-mother Phedra,
is thrown from the chariot broken to pieces, when the horses that draw
it approach the sea and are terrified by marine monsters. This is a
variation of the legend of the young hero, persecuted by his
step-mother, who is thrown into the sea, with the novel and remarkable
accompaniment that it is his horses themselves which are the cause of
his death. The Christian legend of St Hippolytos has appropriated this
particular trait, representing the holy martyr, who was prefect under
the emperors Decius and Valerian, as dying, having been condemned to
be torn in pieces by horses. The poet Prudentius comments upon the
story in these two curious distichs, on the occasion of the Roman
judge pronouncing capital punishment against St Hippolytos--

      "Ille supinata residens cervice, quis inquit
          Dicitur? affirmant dicier Hippolytum.
       Ergo sit Hippolytus; quatiat turbetque jugales
          Intereatque feris dilaceratus equis."

But the horses which draw the hero into the water are the same as
those that save him by carrying him over the deep, drawing the chariot
or ship on the sea towards the shore. The Açvinâu do the same in the
_Ṛigvedas_, where they save from the waves both themselves and other
heroes upon their chariot, which is compared to a ship.[656] Hero and
horse always have the same fate.

When the hero approaches, or when some fortunate incident is about to
happen to the hero, his horse neighs for joy.

In the _Ṛigvedas_,[657] on the arrival of the god Indras, the horse
neighs, the cow lows, like a messenger between heaven and earth. The
neighing of this horse, and the lowing of this cow, are the thundering
of the sun in the cloud. By this neighing or lowing, man is informed
that the hero-god Indras is beginning his battles in heaven. Another
hymn, which calls the two horses of Indras two rays of the sun
(sûryasya ketû), celebrates them as neighing and pouring out
ambrosia,[658] _i.e._, the sun makes rain fall from the clouds; when
he shows himself in the east at morn, his horse neighs and drops the
dew on the ground.

Herodotus, and, after him, Oppianos and Valerius Maximus, relate the
mythical story of Darius Hystaspes, who unexpectedly succeeded to the
empire from having persuaded his colleagues to decree that he should
obtain the crown whose horse happened first to neigh at the sight of
the sun. It is narrated that when he came to the place, Darius, in
order to assure himself of success, made his horse smell the odour of
a mare.[659] Neighing is the laughter of the horse. We have seen, in
the preceding chapter, how the bull speaks and the fish laughs at
sight of coition; and so we have here, in the story of Darius, the
horse who neighs on account of the mare.--To return to the horse of
mythology; the solar horse neighs within the thundering-cloud which,
as a cow, the bull makes pregnant, and as a mare, the stallion, and
neighs at the approach of the aurora, who appears now as the driver of
a hundred chariots[660] (a round number, like the hundred thousand
horses which, in another hymn,[661] the god Indras drives; a favourite
number, like seven, which is applied to the same solar horses, solar
rays and Añgirasas[662])--on which account it can be compared with the
Hellenic Aphroditê Hippodameia--now even as a real mare. The sun is
now a driver of horses, and now himself a horse; in the same way, the
aurora is now an Amazon horsewoman, now a driver of chariots, now
açvâvatî, and now a mare. When the sun approaches the aurora, or when
the horse approaches the mare, the horse neighs. We know how the
Açvinâu considered themselves sons of the wife of the sun, Saraṇyû,
daughter of Tvashṭar, who united herself to the sun in the form of a
mare. Whether this Saraṇyû be the cloud or the aurora, we have in her,
anyhow, a mare with which the sun, solar hero, or solar horse, unites
himself to produce the twin heroes, who are, for this reason, also
called the two sons of the mare.[663] We have already seen, in the
preceding chapter, a hero and a heroine who are hatched from eggs; of
the Dioscuri, we know that they were born of the egg of Leda; and the
mare's egg is the subject of a story in the _Ukermark_.[664] Greek
writers have handed down several cases of coition between men and
mares, and between horses and women, with corresponding births of
monstrous conformation. Now, unnatural as such births must appear to
us, they are, in mythology, in strict accordance with nature. In the
preceding chapter we saw the cow which leaps over the hare, and
explained this phenomenon by the cloud or darkness covering the moon,
and also by the earth covering the moon in eclipses. In Herodotus and
Valerius Maximus, a mare, in the time of Xerxes, gives birth to a
hare; and we must here understand the hare to be the moon, coming out
of the darkness or clouds; and when we read that the hare suffocated
the mare, we must understand it to mean the moon as dispersing the
darkness or clouds (perhaps also the sun or evening aurora). We must
have recourse in this way to the myth to comprehend the examples of
parturition without coition found in some Hindoo legends, and applied
to heroes, as well as the curious discussions and information which we
find in the ancients, from Aristotle, Varro, Pliny, Columella,
Solinus, and St Augustin, to Albertus Magnus and Aldrovandi,
concerning mares, and especially Spanish and Portuguese mares, made
pregnant by the wind (called by Oppianos[665] of the windy feet), and
which are also spoken of in the _Pentamerone_,[666] with less
decency, in reference to the myth of the maiden born of the tree.

The horse of Ariosto, too, has a similar nature--

      "Questo è il destrier che fu dell' Argalia
       Che di fiamma e di vento era concetto
       E senza fieno e biada si nutria
       De l'aria pura e Rabican fu detto."

The horse of Ciolle, in a Tuscan proverb, also feeds upon wind alone.

The horse of Dardanos, son of Zeus, was also said to be born of the
wind, which brings us back to the Vedic Marutas, whose chariots have
horses for wings, and to the _volucer currus_ of the Diespiter of
Horace.[667] In the Sanskṛit tongue, the expression _vâtâçvas_, or
wind-horse, is very common, to indicate a very swift-footed horse.

No sooner is the horse Uććâiḥçravas born than he neighs; and like him,
in the _Mahâbhâratam_, the hero Açvatthâman laughs, the son of Droṇas,
properly he who has strength in his horse, which is the same as the

Moreover, as the horse exults by neighing over the good fortune of the
hero who rides him, so he not only becomes sad, but sheds real tears
when his rider is about to meet with misfortune.

When Râvaṇas, in the _Râmâyaṇam_, comes forth in his chariot, to join
in final combat with Râmas, his coursers shed tears,[668] as a
sinister omen, Râvanas is the monster of darkness and clouds; when the
cloud begins to disperse, drops of rain fall, that is, the horses of
the monster weep. The treacherous sister who is confederate with the
monster against her brother, in Russian stories, is condemned by her
brother, who kills the monster, to fill a whole basin with her
tears.[669] These tears are also a legendary symbol of the rain which
falls when the solar hero has torn the cloud in two.

Suetonius, in the Life of Cæsar, writes that the horses consecrated by
Cæsar to Mars, and then set at liberty after the passage of the
Rubicon, refused to eat, and wept abundantly.[670] Note that this
legend of the horses that weep is connected with the passage of water,
of the Rubicon (a river which no geographer has been able to identify
with certainty, probably because the legend of Cæsar relating to it is
a fable of mythical origin. We know how mythical beliefs incline to
assume a human form, and are especially prone to group themselves
round the great personages of history--Cyrus, Alexander, Romulus,
Cæsar, Augustus, Vespasian, Attila, Theodoric, and Charlemagne are
proofs of this; and perhaps a day will come in which Napoleon I. or
Garibaldi will offer a new _mannequin_ to some popular tradition,
which is now uncertain and wandering). Thus it is said that Cæsar's
horse itself shed tears for three days before the hero's death. In the
_Iliad_,[671] the horses of Achilleus weep for the death of
Patroklos, whom Hektor has thrown from his chariot into the dust; in
the _Paraleipomenoi_ of Quintus Smyrneus,[672] the horses of Achilleus
weep bitterly for the death of their hero. This is a variety of the
legend of the horses which throw the solar hero down into the waters,
the ocean of night or the clouds, and of that of the horses of
Poseidôn. The mists which after sunset in the evening impregnate the
air, and the diurnal or nocturnal rains, as well as the autumnal ones,
cause tears to fall upon the ground, or weep over the (apparent) death
of the solar hero.

The dew of the morning, on the contrary, which comes from the mouth of
the solar horse like foam, or from its hoof as ambrosia and salutary
water, is fraught with every species of healthful influence.

The horse and the bull of mythology are pourers out _par excellence_. In
a Vedic strophe--which seems in my eyes to be one of those riddles which
are recited in order to loosen the thread of the tongue--relative to the
two outpouring or fertilising horses of Indras, there is a continual
play kept up upon the root _varsh_ or _vṛish_, which means at once to
pour out and to make fruitful,[673] and upon the letter _r_ which enters
into almost every word of the verse. Not only do the horses of Indras
pour out and make fruitful; the same virtue is attributed to the chariot
which they draw.[674] We have seen already that the horse of the
Açvinâu is the killer of the monster serpent, and that the horse's head
Dadhyańć, he who goes in the milk or in the liquefied butter, and who is
found in a sea of milk, discomfits the enemies of Indras. A Vedic hymn
sings that, with the foam of the waters, Indras beats down the head of
the monster serpent.[675] In Tuscany, the whooping-cough is called the
horse-cough or asinine-cough,[676] and it is thought that the cough is
cured by giving the children to drink the foam from the horse's mouth,
or causing them to drink in the water where a horse has been drinking.
This is a remedy founded upon the principle _similia similibus_, the
foam being used against the convulsive cough, which, like all
convulsions in general, brings much saliva or foam to the mouth. The
credit, however, of this marvellous medicine is slightly compromised
when we read that the same foam is also very efficacious for ear-ache.
Pliny, Sextus Empiricus, and Marcellus, quoted by Aldrovandi,[677] also
recommend the saliva of a horse as a cure for cough, particularly in the
case of consumptive patients, adding that the sick person is cured in
three days, but that the horse dies; a superstition which must have had
its origin in the mythical horse who feeds on ambrosia, and who loses
his strength, and expires when his saliva, foam, ambrosia, or dew is
taken from him. It is well known that the Açvinâu, besides being
luminous horsemen, were, as friends of men, also exceedingly skilful
physicians; nor could they be otherwise, having in their power the head
of Dadhyańć which is in the ambrosia, that is, whose foam is ambrosia.
The Dioscuri also frequently appear, in European legends, as unexpected
and miraculous deliverers. With this mythical belief of the horse that
produces ambrosia, is also connected the transformation, described by
Ovid in the second book of the _Metamorphoses_, of Ocyroe into a mare,
because she had predicted that Æsculapius would save men from death by
the medical art. It is a well-known fact that Æsculapius was revered
near fountains whose waters were supposed to have salutary effects, and
that he was protected by the sun-god Apollo; and the two physicians,
sons of Asklêpios or Æsculapius, seem to be nothing more than a specific
form of the Dioscuri.

But the solar horse does not produce ambrosia with his mouth alone.

He has great strength in his hoofs (whence Isidorus and other mediæval
etymologists derived the name _caballus_, thus, "Quod ungula terram
cavet"[678]), and makes use of them in the myth, and in the legend,
not only to combat the enemies, but also to break open the earth, and
cause ambrosial fountains to spring out of it. Sometimes ambrosia
pours out of the hoof of the horse itself. In the _Ṛigvedas_,[679] the
horses of Agnis are said to have hands (_i.e._, hoofs of the
fore-feet) that pour out; and the horse given by the Açvinâu to the
hero protected by them (that is, to the solar horse, to the morning
sun), with his strong hoof fills a hundred jars with inebriating
liquor.[680] It is not necessary for me to instance here the famous
fountain of the horse, or Hippokrênê, which Bellerophon's horse
Pêgasos caused to spring out of the earth by breaking the soil with
his hoof (called also for this reason _Pêgasía krênê_). In Latin
tradition, the horse's hoof was worshipped on a spot near Lake
Regillus, where it is said that the Dioscuri had appeared.[681] In a
Russian story,[682] when Johnny (Ivanushka) sees a horse's hoof, he is
sorely tempted to drink out of it, but is dissuaded by his sister. He
experiences the same temptation upon seeing a bull's hoof, and
afterwards that of a kid. At last he gives way, drinks from the kid's
hoof, and is himself transformed into a kid. In the footprint of a
horse's hoof, in other stories, the ant is in danger of being drowned;
saved by a man, it is ever afterwards grateful to him.[683]

Several myths which we have already noticed in the preceding chapter
as applied to the bull, occur again in connection with the horse; as,
for instance, the birds which come out of the horse; the hero who
takes the horse's skin off, seizing it by the tail in order to make a
sack of it; the swift horse of Adrastus, which runs after the tortoise
(a Greek proverb);[684] the lunar horse, and the solar one. These
exchanges between moon and sun, and between bull and horse, are
happily indicated by the Latin poet, Fulgentius:--

      "Jam Phœœbus disjungit equos, jam Cynthia jungit,
       Quasque soror liquit, frater pede temperat undas:
       Tum nox stellato cœœlum circumlita peplo
       Cœœrula rorigenis pigrescere jusserat alis
       Astrigeroque nitens diademate luna bicornis
       Bullarum bijugis conscenderat æquora tauris."

The gods had often a liking to transform themselves into horses; so much
so, that the sacrifice of the god, that is, the god's death, is
represented by the death of the horse. Every one knows that gods and
heroes delighted in showing themselves good horsemen, or, at least, good
charioteers. On this account, it would be difficult to say to which god
in particular the horse is sacred. The Vedic Açvinâu, the Vedic aurora,
who wins the race in her chariot, Agnis, Savitar, Indras, victorious and
splendid by means of their steeds, the hippios Poseidôn, the hippeia
Athênê, the hippodameia Aphroditê, the horsemen Dioscuri, Mars, Apollo,
Zeus, Pluto, and the German Wuotan (like his _alter ego_, St Zacchæus),
never show themselves otherwise than on horseback; hence the horse was
naturally sacred to all of them. In the Christian faith, the innumerable
gods of the ancients having become innumerable saints (when they were
not so unfortunate as to degenerate into devils), the horse is now
recommended in its stable to the protection of several saints, from the
obscure Sicilian St Aloi to the no less modest Russians St Froh and St
Laver, who take the horse, as well as the mule and the ass, under their
especial protection, not to speak of the glorious horsemen St George, St
Michael, St James, St Maurice, St Stephen, St Vladimir, and St Martin,
especially revered by warriors, and in whose honour the principal orders
of knighthood in Europe were founded. But religions being, from one
point of view, the caricature of mythologies, there is now some
difference between the mythical old deities and the legendary new ones,
inasmuch as the former would at times ingenuously accept the homage of
the animal in effigy, as we have observed in the preceding chapter;
while the latter, and they who purvey to them upon earth, not being
quite so simple, never leave their devotee in peace until they have
received, at sight and without discount, the full value of their
favours. In the Life of San Gallo, we read that, in the times of King
Pepin (we already know what these times mean), a certain Willimar, being
ill, promised, if cured, to offer a horse to the Church of San Gallo.
Having recovered his health, he forgot his promise; but passing one day
before the church of the saint, his horse stopped before the gate, and
by no possibility could it be induced to-move on, until Willimar had at
last declared his intention of fulfilling his vow. In the Life of St
Martin, there is a rather gayer variation of the same anecdote. King
Clodoveus, after having become a Christian, when fighting against the
Visigoths, promises his own horse to St Martin, if he grants the victory
to him. Having obtained it, Clodoveus regrets being obliged to deprive
himself of his good charger, and beseeches St Martin to be kind enough
to take money instead, offering him a hundred pieces of gold. St Martin
thinks the sum insufficient, and asks for double, which Clodoveus gives;
but, inasmuch as a little heretic blood still runs in his veins, he
cannot refrain from aiming a pointed witticism at him: "Martinus,
quantum video, auxiliator est facilis, sed mercator difficilis!"[685]


[526] The word _atyas_ has the same meaning.

[527] Yunǵantv asya kâmyâ harî vipakshasâ rathe çonâ dhṛishṇû
ṇṛivâhasâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 6, 2.

[528] Vaćoyuǵâu; _Ṛigv._ i. 7, 2.

[529] Yukshvâ hi keçinâ harî vṛishaṇâ kakshyaprâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 10, 3.

[530] Sûraćakshasaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 16, 1.

[531] Indrâya vaćoyuǵâ tatakshur manasâ harî; _Ṛigv._ i. 20, 2.

[532] Saudhanvanâ açvâd açvam atakshata; _Ṛigv._ i. 161, 7.

[533] Vi ǵanâń ćhyâvaḥ çitipâdo akhyan rathaṁ hiraṇyaprâugaṁ vahantaḥ;
_Ṛigv._ i. 33, 5.

[534] Indro vañkû vañkutarâdhi tishṭhati; _Ṛigv._ i. 5, 11.

[535] Yukshvâ madaćyutâ harî; _Ṛigv._ i. 81, 3.

[536] Vâm açvinâ manaso ǵaviyân rathaḥ svaçvah; _Ṛigv._ i. 117, 2.

[537] Â tvâ yaćhantu harito na sûryam ahâ viçveva sûryam; _Ṛigv._ i.
130, 2.

[538] Harî sûryasya ketû; _Ṛigv._ ii. 11, 6.

[539] Ghṛitaçćutaṁ svâram asvârshṭâm; _Ṛigv._ ii. 11, 7.

[540] Pra ye dvitâ diva ṛińǵanty âtâḥ susammṛishṭâso vṛishabhasya
mûraḥ; _Ṛigv._ iii. 43, 6.

[541] Indra haribhir yâhi mayûraromabhiḥ; _Ṛigv._ iii. 45. 1.

[542] Shoḷhâ yuktâh pańća-pańćâ vahanti; _Ṛigv._ iii. 55, 18.

[543] Patatribhir açramâir avyatibhir daṅsanâbhiḥ; _Ṛigv._ vii. 69, 7.
The Açvinâu also are called dravatpânî (swift-hoofed); _Ṛigv._ i. 3, 1.

[544] Açvatarî--rathenâgnir âǵimadhâvattâsâṁ prâǵamâno
yonimakûlayattásmâttâ na viǵâyaṅte. Gobhiraruṇâirushâ
prabhâtyushasorûpamaçvarathenendra âǵimadhâvattasmâtsa uććâirghosha
upabdimânkshatrasya rûpamâindro hi sa gadarbharathenâçvinâ
udaǵayatâmaçvinâvâçnuvâtâm; _Ait. Br._ iv. 2, 9.

[545] Tvâshtrî tu savitur bhâryâ vadavârupadhâriṇî asûyata mahâbhâgâ
sâ 'ntarîkshe 'çvinâvubhâu; _Mbh._ i. 2599.

[546] _Il._ x. 352.

[547] In the Monferrato, according to the information kindly given me,
concerning the beliefs relative to animals current in this country, by
Dr Giuseppe Ferraro, the young collector of the popular songs and
stories of the Monferrato, it is believed that the horse's teeth hung
upon the necks of infants at the breast cause them to cut their teeth,
and that the two incisors of the horse, when worn, are a spell to
charm away every evil.

[548] _Mbh._ i. 1093-1237.

[549] Cfr. the first of the Tuscan stories of _Santo Stefano di
Calcinaia_.--In the preceding chapter, we have seen how the apples of a
certain apple-tree cause horns to grow on whoever eats them. In an
unpublished Italian story, instead of the apple-tree, we have the
fig-tree, and instead of horns, the tail. It is narrated by an old man
of Osimo, in the Marches:--Three poor brothers, having but little
inclination for work, go in search of fortune round the world. Overtaken
in the country by night, they fall asleep in the open air. A fairy,
under the aspect of a hideous old woman, comes up and wakens them,
offering herself as their wife. The three brothers excuse themselves,
and declare that they wish for nothing except a little money with which
to make merry. The fairy answers, "Tell me what you wish for, and you
shall have it." The first asks for a purse, which shall always be full
of money; the second for a whistle, by blowing into which a whole army
of brave combatants would be summoned to his side; the third a mantle,
which would make its wearer invisible. The fairy satisfies them, and
then disappears in flames, like the devil. The eldest brother, Stephen,
goes with his purse into Portugal, where he plays and loses, but still
remains rich. This comes to the queen-dowager's ears, who wishes to see
the stranger, hoping to possess herself of his secret; she feigns to
love him, and the wedding-day is fixed; but before it comes she has
already gained his confidence, and taking the purse from him, she orders
him to be flogged. Stephen returns to his brothers, relates his
grievance, and proposing to revenge himself upon the queen, induces them
to lend him the whistle, which calls armies into existence. The queen
softens towards him, protesting that she expected to the last that he
would have appeared on the day appointed for the wedding, and that he
had been flogged without her knowledge. Stephen gives way, and the
whistle passes out of his hands into those of the queen. He is flogged
again, but twice as severely as before. Again he has recourse to his
brothers; he implores, supplicates, and promises to get everything back
by the miraculous mantle; but having obtained it, he allows himself to
be deceived once more by the queen. Deprived of everything, he wanders
about in despair, reduced to beggary. In the middle of January, he sees
a tree covered with beautiful figs; desirous of them, he eats with
avidity; but for every fig that he swallows, a span of tail as thick as
a boa grows on to him. He goes on his way, still more desperate, till he
finds more figs, of a smaller size; he eats them, and the tail
disappears. Contented with this discovery, he fills a basket with the
first figs, and disguised as a countryman, comes to the palace of the
Queen of Portugal. Every one marvels on seeing such fine figs in
January. The queen buys the basket, and every one eats; but tails
immediately grow on their backs. Stephen then dresses himself as a
doctor, and with the little figs, cures many persons. The queen has him
called; he obliges her to confess to him first, and in the confession
makes her say where the three marvellous gifts of the fairy are kept.
Having recovered them, he leaves the queen with ten spans of tail, and
returns rich and happy to his brothers. In this story there must be some
parts wanting; it is probable that the fairy warned the brothers not to
discover their secret to any one. The last enterprise, moreover, is more
likely to have been undertaken by the third brother, who always assumes
in fairy tales the part of the cunning one, than by the first-born, who
in this story represents the part of the fool.--Polydorus speaks of the
horse's tail as a chastisement for an insult to Thomas Archbishop of
Canterbury, in the thirteenth book of his _Hist. Angl._:--"Irridentes
Archiepiscopum, caudam equi cui insidebat, amputarunt. At postea nutu
Dei ita accidit, ut omnes ex eo hominum genere qui id facinus fecissent,
nati sunt instar brutorum caudati."

[550] Hiraṇyakarṇam maṇigrîvam arṇas; _Ṛigv._ i. 122, 14.

[551] _Ilíou Halôsis_, 65-72.

[552] In the before-quoted collection of Radloff, _Täktäbäi Märgän_.


                     Longa solitos caligine pasci
      Terruit orbis equos; pressis hæsere lupatis
      Attoniti meliore polo; rursusque verendum
      In chaos obliquo pugnant temone reverti.
                  Claudianus, _De Raptu Proserpinæ_, ii. 193.

[554] _Phainomena_, 215.

[555] _Mbh._ i. 1470, 1471.

[556] Quelli cavalli che sono de pilo morello se fanno de humore
colerico impero che e più caldo humore et sicco che non e lo sangue et
per questo produce ad nigredine el pelo. _I tre Libri della Natura Dei
Cavalli et del Modo di medicar le Loro Infermità_, composti da Maestro
Agostino Columbre; _Prologo._ 6, Vinegia, 1547.


      Hippomanes phüton esti par Arkasi tôi d'epi pasai
      Kai pôloi mainontai an ôrea, kai thoai hippoi; ii. 48.

[558] Devennosi corrigere et emendare quelli li quali se posseno dire
heretici, impero che voleno dire che quelle tal bestie che portano li
crini advolte et atrezate; et con loro poco cognoscimento dicono che
sono le streghe che li cavalcano et chiamanli cavalli stregari;"
_Prologo._ 10, the work quoted before.--Cfr. on the Damavoi, Ralston,
_The Songs of the Russian People_, p. 120, 139.


      Hippous melaínas ou kalon pantôs blepein
      Hippôn de leukôn opsis, aggelôn phasis.

In Tuscany, flying horses, when seen in dreams, announce news; no
doubt, this flying horse seen in dreams can only refer to the
nocturnal voyage of the solar horse.

[560] Cfr. Menzel, _Die Vorchristliche Unsterblichkeits-Lehre_,
Leipzig, 1870.

[561] The Hungarians call the bier of the dead St Michael's horse;
Neo-Greek popular songs represent the ferryman of the dead, Charon, on
horseback; in Switzerland, the sight of a horse is a harbinger of
approaching death for a person seriously ill.--Cfr. Rochholtz,
_Deutscher Glaube und Brauch_, i. 163, 164.

[562] _Afanassieff_, v. 37.

[563] _Ib._ v. 54.

[564] _Afanassieff_, i. 6.

[565] _Ib._ ii. 25.--Cfr. iii. 5, iv. 27.

[566] _Afanassieff_, ii. 28.

[567] _Ib._ iv. 41.--In the twenty-first story of _Erlenwein_, the
poor brother obtains wealth by means of a mare's head, while the rich
brother, on the other hand, becomes poor.--In _Af._ v. 21, the
dwarf-boy, who possesses great strength, enters into the ear of one of
the two horses when in the act of ploughing; upon which they plough of
their own accord, and the old father of the dwarf is at liberty to
rest.--In the sixth Calmuck story, the head of the dead horse, when
fallen from the tree, brings riches and good luck to him who lets it
fall, who finds under it a golden cup: this is a form of the ambrosia
which comes out of the horse's head, which we shall find farther on.

[568] The Russian text seems to me of too much importance, in the
history of myths, not to deserve to be recorded here: "Iediet apiát
vsadnik: sam ćornoi, adiet va vsiem ćornom; na ćornom kanié; padskakál
k varótam babijaghí i is-ćesz, kak skvosz szemliń pravalílsia; nastála

[569] Idiót aná i draszít. Vdrúg skaćet mimo iejá vsadnik sam bieloi,
adiet v bielom, kon pod nim bieloi, i sbruja na kanié biélaja; na dvarié
stalo raszvietát. Idiót aná dalshe, kak skaćet drugoi vsadnik; sam
krasnoi, adiét v krasnom i na krasnom kanie; stalo vshódit solntze.

[570] Yaḥ pâurusheyeṇa kravishâ samañkte yo açvyena paçunâ yâtudhânaḥ
yo aghnyâyâ bharati kshîram agne teshâin çîrshâṇi harasâpi vṛiçća;
_Ṛigv._ x. 87, 16.--Cfr. the dragon that torments the horses in the
_Tuti-Name_ of Rosen, ii. 300.

[571] Tad agne ćakshuḥ prati dhehi rebhe çaphâruǵam yena paçyasi
yâtudhânam; _Ṛigv._ x. 87, 12.--The demon Hayagrîvas killed by Vishṇus,
which is the same as horse's neck, and Hayaçiras, or horse's head,
another monster giant in the _Râmâyaṇam_, iv. 43, 44, always refer to
the Vedic açva-yâtudhânas. We are already acquainted with the demon who,
during the night, makes the horses sweat and grow lean, _i.e._, who
makes them ugly. In the Latin tradition, after having assisted the
Romans in the battle of the Lake Regillus, Castor and Pollux were seen,
near the ambrosial lacus Iuturnæ (Ovidius, _Fasti_, i.), to wash the
sweat off their horses with the water of this lake, which was near the
temple of Vesta. To this Macaulay alludes in his verses--

      "And washed their horses in the well
       That springs by Vesta's fane."
              --_Battle of the Lake Regillus_, xxxix.

The salutary water of the Dioscuri, or sons of the luminous one, would
here occupy the place of the fire lighted by night in stables, and of
the Vedic Agnis who kills the monster of horses. My friend Giuseppe
Pitrè writes me, that in Sicily, when an ass, a mule, or a horse is to
enter a new stable, salt is put upon its back (a form of Christian
baptism), in order that the fairies may not lame it.--The Küllaros,
the heroic horse of the Dioscuri, is perhaps not unrelated to the word
_küllos_, which means lame and bent; the solar horse, before being
heroic, is hump-backed, lame, lean, and ugly; the lame hero, the lame
horse (ass or mule), the lame devil, seem to me to be three _penumbræ_
of the solar hero, or of the sun in the darkness.

[572] Vibhir ûhathur ṛigrebhir açvâiḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 117, 14.--Cfr. vii.
69, 7.

[573] Açvain na gûḷham açvinâ durevâir ṛishiṁ narâ vṛisḥaṇâ rebham
apsu; _Ṛigv._ i. 117, 4.--The Açvinâu pass the sea upon a chariot,
which resembles a ship; this chariot is said to have the sun for a
covering--rathena sûryatvaćâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 47, 9.

[574] Yam açvinâ dadathuḥ çvetam açvam aghâçvâya çaçvad it svasti;
_Ṛigv._ i. 116, 6.

[575] Agnis tuviçravastamain tuvibrahmâṇam uttamam atûrtaṁ çrâvayatpatim
putram dadâti dâçushe--Agnir dadâti satpatiṁ sâsâha yo yudhâ nṛibhiḥ
agnir atyaṁ raghushyadaṁ ǵetâram aparâǵitam; _Ṛigv._ v. 25, 5, 6.

[576] _Ṛigv._ i. 155, 6.

[577] i. 154, 4.

[578] Vishṇor nu kaṁ vîryaṇi pra voćam yaḥ pârthivâni vimame raǵâṅsi
yo askabhâyad uttaraṁ sadhasthaṁ vićakramâṇas tredhorugâyah; _Ṛigv._
i. 154, 1.

[579] Yadâ te vishṇur oǵasâ trîṇi padâ vićakram âd it te haryatâ harî
vavakshatuḥ; _Ṛigv._ viii. 12, 27.

[580] _Râmây._ iv. 40.

[581] Yuktas te astu dakshiṇa uta savyaḥ çatakrato tena ǵâyâm upa
priyâm mandâno yâhy andhaso yoǵâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 82, 5.

[582] Tad û shu vâm aǵiraṁ ćeti yânain yena patî bhavathaḥ sûryâyâh;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 43, 6.--In the following hymn, strophe 1st, the aurora is
called now daughter of the sun, now cow: Tam vâṁ rathaṁ vayam adyâ
huvema pṛithuǵrayam açvinâ saṁgatiṁ goḥ--Taḥ sûryâṁ vahati.

[583] Rathasya naptyaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 50. 9.

[584] _Ṛigv._ i. 116, 10.

[585] vi. 9.

[586] The lake of Brâhman, visited by Hanumant in the _Râmâyaṇam_, vi.
53, has the form of a horse's snout (hayânanam).

[587] Indro dadhîćo asthabhir vṛitrâṇy apratishkutaḥ ǵaghâna navatîr
nava; _Ṛigv._ i. 84, 13, 14, i. 117, 22, and the corresponding
commentary of Sâyaṇas.--The bones of the heroic horse possess strength
equal to that of the horse itself; thus in the last chapter we have
seen how, when the bones of the sacrificed bull or cow are kept, it
springs up again with renewed strength.--Cfr. concerning this subject
the interesting and copious details relating to European beliefs to be
found in Rochholtz, _Deutscher Glaube und Brauch_, i. 219-253.

[588] ii. 24.

[589] Divo napâtâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 182, 1.

[590] As to the Vedic passage, v. 76, 3, where it would seem that the
Açvinâu are invoked in the morning, at midday, and in the evening,
there seems to me to be room for discussion. The text says: Utâ yâtam
sañgave prâtar ahno (that is, in the early dawn, when the cows are
gathered together), madhyandine (which, in my mind, is the middle term
which separates the gloomy hours from the luminous ones), uditâ
sûryasya (which, meaning the rising of the sun, cannot express
evening, but precisely the rising of the morning sun). We too would
have thus expressed the three moments in the morning in which it was
opportune to invoke the Açvinâu.

[591] Sushupvâṅsaṁ na nirṛiter upasthe sûryaṁ na dasrâ tamasi
kshiyantam çubhe rukmaṁ na darçataṁ nikhâtam ud ûpathur açvinâ
vandanâya; _Ṛigv._ i. 117, 5.

[592] Madhupṛishṭhaṁ ghoram ayâsam açvam; _Ṛigv._ ix. 89, 4.

[593] _Ṛigv._ viii. 104, 15-25.

[594] Quoted in Muir's _Sanskṛit Texts_, v. 264.--Somas united with
Agnis in the _Ṛigvedas_, Somas united with Rudras, seem, in my opinion,
to be the same as Somas united with Indras.--Cfr. Muir, v. 269, 270.

[595] xii. 1, quoted by Muir in his _Sanskṛit Texts_, v. 224.

[596] In the _Edda_ we find the Açvinâu under the forms of night and
day. Odin took Natt and Dag her son, gave them two horses and two
drays, and placed them in the heavens to go round the earth in
twenty-four hours. Natt was the first to advance with Hrimfaxe, her
horse; he scatters every morning the foam from his bit upon the earth;
it is the dew. The horse of Dag is named Skenfaxe; the air and the
earth are illumined by his mane.

[597] Â vâm patitvaṁ sakhyâya ǵagmushî yoshâvṛiṇîta ǵenyâ yuvâm patî;
_Ṛigv._ i. 119, 5.

[598] Cfr. the legends relating to Ćyavanas cured by the Açvinâu in
the _Çatapatha Brâhmaṇam_ and in the _Mahâbhâratam_, referred to by
Muir in the above-quoted fifth volume of the _Sanskṛit Texts_, p. 250,
and those following.

[599] In the _Ṛigv._ i. 8, 2, also, the invokers of Indras desire to
fight the enemies, the monsters Mushṭihatyayâ and Arvatâ, by fist and
by horses.

[600] _Mbh._ i. 6484-6504.

[601] _Râmây._ i. 49, ii. 7.

[602] iv. 12.

[603] iv. 7, 17.

[604] iv. 8.

[605] iv. 10.

[606] _Râmây._ iv. 8.

[607] The Persian hero often takes his name from his horse or his
horses; hence Kereçâçpa, Vîstâçpa, Arǵâçp, Gustâçp, Yapâçp,
Pûrushâçpa, Açpâyaodha, &c.

[608] Cfr. Spiegel's _Avesta_, ii. 72.--In the Servian stories of
Wuck, one of two brothers sleeps, transformed into stone with all his
people, until the other comes to free and resuscitate him.

[609] i. 91, and following, Rosen's version.

[610] ii. 20, and following.

[611] ii. 157.

[612] _Tuti-Name_, i. 151.

[613] Cfr. a zoological variety of this myth in the chapter on the
Cock and the Hen.

[614] This is a variety of the legend of the Tzar's daughter enamoured
of Emilius, the foolish and idle, though fortunate, youth, whom the
indignant Tzar orders to be shut up in a cask and thrown with her
lover into the sea, as we have seen in the first chapter.

[615] iv. 24.

[616] We shall shortly find the hare (the moon) who devours the mare.

[617] i. 53.

[618] U kavó preszde sviećâ sama saboi zagaritsia, tot tzar budiet.

[619] Tzelijá kući zolotá v anbarah nasipani; ćto ni pluniet on, to
vsié zólotom; dievat niekudá!

[620] It will, I hope, be deemed not inappropriate to quote here the
words with which Professor Roth begins his essay upon the legend of
Çunaḥçepas in the first volume of the _Indische Studien_: "Die Deutung
der indischen Sagengeschichte sucht noch die Regeln, nach welchen die
das überlieferte verworrene Material behanden soll. Eine und dieselbe
Sage wird vielleicht in zehn verschiedenen Büchern in zehnfacher Form
erzählt. Glaubt man einen festen Punkt gefunden zu haben, auf welchen
nach einem Berichte die Spitze der Erzählung zusammenläuft, so streben
andere Berichte wieder nach ganz anderem Ziele und treiben denjenigen,
der einen festen Kern der Sage fassen will, rathlos im Kreise herum. Die
Widersprüche, mit welchen ein Sammler und Ordner griechischer
Heldensagen zu kämpfen hat, sind lauter Einklang und Klarheit im
Vergleiche zu dem wirren Knäuel, in welchen die Willkühr indischer
Poeten die reichen Ueberlieferungen ihrer Vorzeit zusammengeballt hat."

[621] ix. 37, 3.--I observe that the same craft as that used by the
two brothers to steal the treasure, in an as yet unpublished fairy
tale of the Canavese in Piedmont, was employed by the inexperienced
robber, who becomes at length very skilful to rob the loaves from the
baker's oven. The Piedmontese thief makes an opening from without, and
thus carries the bread off. The same thief then steals the king's
horse. At first, he learns his profession from the chief of the
robbers. The chief sends him the first time to waylay some travellers,
and bids him leap upon them; the young thief obeys these directions to
the letter; he makes the travellers lie down and then jumps upon them,
but does not rob them. The second time the chief tells him to take the
travellers' quattrini (the name of a very small coin, by which money
in general is also expressed). The young thief takes the quattrini
alone, and lets the travellers keep their dollars and napoleons. At
last, however, he becomes an accomplished thief.

[622] Cfr. in the same _Pentamerone_, the ninth story of the first
book; the eighteenth of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_;
the thirty-ninth of the Sicilian stories of the _Gonzenbach_; the
sixtieth and the eighty-fifth story of Grimm's collection, _Kinder und
Hausmärchen_; the tenth of Kuhn and Schwartz's _Märchen_; the
twenty-second of the Greek stories of Hahn, _Griechische und
Albanesische Märchen_; the fourth of Campbell's in _Orient und
Occident_; the first book of the _Pańćatantram_, and the twelfth story
of the fifth book of the same; and Cox, the work quoted before, i.
141, 142, 161, 281, 393, &c.

[623] In the _Pentamerone_, i. 9, the queen's son does the same with
the wife of his twin-brother; "Mese la spata arrancata comme staccione
'miego ad isso ed a Fenizia."

[624] In the corresponding collections of Ferraro, Bolza, and
Wolf.--Cfr. the end of the twenty-eighth of the _Novelline di Santo
Stefano di Calcinaia_.

[625] i. 807 and following.

[626] iv. 4.

[627] i. 41-43.

[628] _Râmây._ i. 13.

[629] i. 13.

[630] In the Western stories, instead of the horse's fat or marrow, it
is generally the fish eaten by the queen and her servant-maid which
gives life to the two brothers, who become three when the water in
which the fish was washed is given to be drunk by the mare or the
bitch, whence the son of the mare or bitch is born. I have already
attempted to prove the identity of the fish with the phallos; the fish
eaten by the queen, the maid, the mare, or the bitch, which renders
them pregnant, seems to me a symbol of coition. The horse's fat or
marrow smelled by the queen seems to have the same meaning.

[631] Vâǵino devaǵâtasya sapteḥ pravakshyâmo vidathe vîryâṇi; _Ṛigv._
i. 162, 1.--Sûrâd açvaṁ vasavo nir atashṭa; _Ṛigv._ i. 163, 2.

[632] Sâdhur na gṛidhnuḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 70, 11.

[633] Vikroçatâm nâdo bhûtânâm salilâukasâm çrûyate bhṛiçâmârttânâṁ
viçatâm vaḍavâmukham; _Râmây._ iv. 40.--Aurvas, who, in the shape of a
horse's head, swallows the water of the sea and vomits flames, is a
variety of the same solar myth; _Mbh._ i. 6802, and following verses.

[634] Hiraṇyaçṛiñgo yo asya pâdâ manoǵavâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 163, 9.--Tava
çṛiñgâṇi vishṭhitâ purutr âraṇyeshu ǵarbhurâṇâ ćaranti. 11.--We find
the stag in relation with the horse, as his stronger rival until man
mounts upon the horse's back, in the well-known apologue of Horace,
_Epist._ i. 10.

      "Cervus equum pugna melior communibus herbis
       Pellebat, donec minor in certamine longo
       Imploravit opes hominis, frenumque recepit;
       Sed postquam victor discessit ab hoste,
       Non equitem dorso, non frenum depulit ore."

[635] Vṛiksho nishṭhito madhye arṇaso yaṁ tâugryo nâdhitaḥ
paryashasvaǵat; _Ṛigv._ i. 182, 7.

[636] _Afanassieff_, v. 11.

[637] Apa yor indraḥ pâpaǵa â marto na çaçramâṇo bibhîvân çubhe yad
yuyuǵe tavishîvân; _Ṛigv._ x. 105, 3.

[638] Iasya saṁsthe na vṛiṇvate harî samatsu çatravaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 5, 4.

[639] Açvyo vâro abhavas tad indra; _Ṛigv._ i. 32, 12; and the Hindoo
commentator notes that Indras chased the enemy as the tail of a horse
shakes off the insects that place themselves upon it, which it is much
more natural to believe of the tail of Indras's horse, which is
covered with milk, butter, honey, and ambrosia.

[640] _Ṛigv._, the hymn quoted before, i. 84, 13, 14; Agnis, too, is
honoured as a tailed horse (vâravantam açvam), _Ṛigv._ i. 27, 1.

[641] Ṛiǵipyaṁ çyenam prushitapsum âçum ćarkṛityam aryo nṛipatiṁ na
çûram--vâtam iva dhraǵantam--uta smâsya tanyator iva dyor ṛighâyato
abhiyuǵo bhayante yadâ sahasram abhi shîm ayodhîd durvartuḥ smâ
bhavati bhîma ṛińǵan; _Ṛigv._ iv. 38, 2, 3, 8.

[642] Avakrâmantaḥ prapadâir amitrân; _Ṛigv._ vi. 75, 7.

[643] vi. 49.

[644] Cfr. Simrock, _Handbuch der Deutschen Mythologie_, p. 375, and
Rochholtz, the work quoted before.

[645] _Afanassieff_, ii. 24.

[646] _Ib._ v. 6.

[647] _Ib._ v. 35.

[648] Povíshe liessú stajáćavo, ponísze ablaká hadiáćavo.

[649] For instance, in the _Pentamerone_, iii. 7, where the king of
Scotland sends Corvetto to steal the horse of the ogre who lives ten
miles distant from Scotland: "Haveva st' Huorco no bellissimo cavallo,
che pareva fatto co lo penniello, e tra le autre bellizze no le
mancava manco la parola." When Corvetto carries off the horse, it
cries out, "A l'erta ca Corvetto me ne porta."--Cfr. also the
_Pentamerone_, iii. 1.--Not only has the horse the gift of speech, but
the chariot too: in the seventh book of the _Râmâyaṇam_, 44, the
chariot Pushpakam speaks to Râmas, and says to him that he alone is
worthy of driving it.

[650] _Afanassieff_, vi. 46.--Cfr. also v. 22, and the 26th of the
_Novelline di Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_.

[651] i. 61, 15.

[652] Anaçvo ǵâto anabhîçur arvâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 152, 5.

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

[654] Sapta svasâraḥ suvitâya sûryaṁ vahanti harito rathe; _Ṛigv._
vii. 66, 15.

[655] Adha kratvâ maghavan tubhyaṁ devâ anu viçve adaduḥ somapeyam yat
sûryasya haritaḥ patantîḥ purah satîr uparâ etaçe kaḥ; _Ṛigv._ v. 29, 5.

[656] Â no nâvâ matînâṁ yâtam parâya gantave, yuńǵâthâm açvinâ ratham;
_Ṛigv._ i. 46, 7.

[657] Krandad açvo nayamâno ruvad gâur antar dûto na rodasî ćarad vâk;
_Ṛigv._ i. 173, 3.

[658] Ghṛitaçćutaṁ svâram asvârshṭâm; _Ṛigv._ ii. 11, 7.

[659] ... in equæ genitalem partem demissam manum, cum ad eum locum
ventum esset, naribus equi admovit, quo odore irritatus ante omnes
hinnitum edidit, auditoque eo sex reliqui summæ potestatis continuo
equis dilapsi candidati, ut mos est Persarum, humi prostratis
corporibus Darium regem salutarunt; Valerius Maximus, _Mem._ vii.;
_Herodotus_, iii. 87. Herodotus also refers to another variation of
the same anecdote, where he adds, that at the first dawn of day it
lightninged and thundered.

[660] Devî ǵîrâ rathânâm; _Ṛigv._ i. 48, 3.--Çataṁ rathebhiḥ
subhagoshâ iyaṁ vi yâty abhi mânushân; i. 48, 7.

[661] Upa tmani dadhâno dhury âçûnt sahasrâṇi çatâni vaǵrabâhuḥ;
_Ṛigv._ iv. 29, 4.

[662] Cfr. _Ṛigv._ iv. 3, 11; iv. 13, 3.

[663] Cfr. Böhtling u. Roth, _Sanskṛit Wörterbuch_, s. v. _açvin_.

[664] Kuhn u. Schwartz, p. 330.--The English proverbial expression, "a
mare's nest," now used to denote an impossibility, probably originally
referred to a real myth.

[665] _Künêgetikôn_, i. 284.

[666] ii. 3.--"Allecordatose d'haver 'ntiso na vota da certe
stodiante, che le cavalle de Spagna se'mpreñano co lo viento;" and the
story goes on to speak of the ogre's surprise, who, seeing a beautiful
maiden in his garden, "penzaie che lo shiavro de lo pideto, havesse
'ngravedato quarche arvolo, e ne fosse sciuta sta penta criatura;
perzo abbracciatala co gran'ammore, decette, figlia mia, parte de sto
cuorpo, shiato de lo spireto mio, e chi me l' havesse ditto mai, che
co na ventosetate, havesse dato forma a ssa bella facce?" Varro
seriously wrote: "In fætura res incredibilis est in Hispania, sed est
vera, quod in Lusitania ad Oceanum in ea regione, ubi est oppidum
Olyssipo monte Tagro, quædam e vento concipiunt equæ, ut hic gallinæ
solent, quarum ova hypanemia appellant, sed ex his equis qui nati
pulli, non plus triennium vivunt."

[667] Rathebhir açvaparṇâiḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 88, 1.--In Horace, _Carm._ i.

                "Namque Diespiter,
      Igni corusco nubila dividens,
      Plerumque per purum tonantes
      Egit equos, volucremque currum."

[668] Açrûṇi ćâsya mumucurvâǵinaḥ; _Râmây._ vi. 75.

[669] In the corresponding Italian stories, the hero or heroine,
punished for some indiscretion, must, before being pardoned, wear out
seven pairs of iron shoes, and fill seven flasks with their tears.

[670] Proximus diebus equorum greges, quos in trajiciendo Rubicon
Marti consacraverat, ac sine custodibus vagos dimiserat, comperit
pabulo pertinacissime abstinere, ubertimque flere.

[671] xvii. 426.

[672] iii. 740.

[673] Vṛishâ tvâ vṛishaṇaṁ vardhatu dyâur vṛishâ vṛishabhyâm vahase
haribhyâm sa no vṛisha vṛisharathaḥ suçipra vṛishakrato vṛishâ vaǵrin
bhare dhâh; _Ṛigv._ v. 36, 5.--In Piedmont there exists a game of
conversation, consisting in the description of the presents which one
intends making to one's bride, in which description the letter _r_
must never enter; he who introduces it loses the game.

[674] Vṛishâyam indra te ratha uto te vṛishaṇâ harî; _Ṛigv._ viii. 13,

[675] Apâm phenena namućeḥ çira indrod avartayaḥ; _Ṛigv._ viii. 14, 13.

[676] It is also called the canine cough, and it is believed on this
account that it is cured when the children are made to drink where a
dog has been drinking.

[677] _De Quadrupedibus_ i.

[678] Du Cange, _Gloss. Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis_, s. v. _caballus_.

[679] Vṛshapâṇayo 'çvâḥ; _Ṛigv._ vi. 75, 7.

[680] Kârotarâć ćhaphâd açvasya vṛishṇaḥ çataṁ kumbhâṅ asińćataṁ
surâyaḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 116, 7.

[681] "One spot on the margin of Lake Regillus was for many ages
regarded with superstitious awe. A mark, resembling in shape a horse's
hoof, was discernible in the volcanic rock; and this mark was believed
to have been made by one of the celestial chargers."--Macaulay,
Preface to the _Battle of the Lake Regillus_.

[682] _Afanassieff_, iv. 45.

[683] The milk of white mares, which, according to Olaus Magnus (i.
24) was poured into the ground by the king of the Goths every year, on
the 28th of August, in honour of the gods, who received it with great
avidity, would seem to be an announcement of the imminent rains of
autumn; the horse loses his ambrosial humour, and his end is at hand.

[684] The Græco-Latin proverb, "Equus me portat, alit rex," would seem
also to have a mythical origin, and to refer to the mythical legend of
the betrayed blind man, who carries the cunning hunchback or lame man;
who sometimes only feigns lameness, in order to play off his practical
jokes upon his companion.

[685] The fable in _Phædrus_, iv. 24, of the poet Simonides saved by the
Dioscuri, is well known; but the gods punish the miser who refuses to
give the reward that he had promised, not on their own account, but on
account of the wrong done to the poet, whom they love. It is remarkable
that, as the Latin legend shows us the horses of the Dioscuri
perspiring, so Phædrus represents the Dioscuri themselves as--

                      "Sparsi pulvere
      Sudore multo diffluentes corpore."

This sweat must be the crepuscular mists, in the same way as the poet
Simonides, who alone escapes, being delivered by the Dioscuri, the
ceiling of whose banqueting-hall he had ruined, seems to conceal an
image of the sun saved from the night.




    Glory has been pernicious to the ass.--The purely stupid ass not an
    ancient belief in India.--Eastern and Western asses; the ass of an
    inferior quality pays the penalty of the reputation acquired in the
    East by his superior congener.--Christianity, instead of improving
    the condition of the ass, has aggravated it.--The mediæval hymn in
    honour of the ass is a satire.--The ass in the sacred ceremonies of
    the Church.--Physical and moral decadence of the ass.--Indian names
    of the ass; equivoques in language form myths.--Gardabhas and
    gandharbas.--Identification of the mythical ass with the gandharvas;
    both are in connection with salutary waters, with perfumes or
    unguents, and with women.--The ass which carries mysteries.--The
    flight into Egypt; the ass laden; the old man, the boy, and the
    ass.--Peau d'âne.--The onokentauros.--Urvaçî and Purûravas in
    connection with the gandharvas; Cupid and Psyche in connection with
    the ass.--The mythical ass and the kentauros correspond, as well as
    the ass and the gandharvas.--The Hindoo onocentaur and satyr; monkey
    and gandharvas as warriors.--Kentauros, gandharvas, and ass in the
    capacity of musicians and dancers.--Kṛiçâçvas
    dancing-master.--Kṛiçânus and Kereçâni.--Hybrid nature of the
    mythical ass and of the gandharvas.--The Açvinâu ride asses, and
    give youth to Ćyavanas; the youthfulness of the ass.--The Vedic ass
    as a warrior.--The Vedic ass flies.--The decadence of the ass dates
    as far back as the Vedâs; its explanation.--The phallic ass and the
    punishment of the ass for adulterers.--The braying of the ass in
    heaven; Indras kills the ass.--The funereal and demoniacal ass of
    the Hindoos; the ass piçâćas; the faces of parrots; equivoque
    originated by the words _haris_ and _harit_.--The golden ass.--The
    ass in love.--The ass in the tiger's skin.--The ass who betrays
    himself by singing.--The Zend lame ass who brays in the
    water.--Rustem, devourer of asses.--The ass's kick.--The fool and
    the ass, the trumpet and the drum, the trumpet of Malacoda.--The
    king Midas in the Mongol story; the hero forced to speak, in order
    not to burst.--The ass among the monkeys.--Midas, king of Phrygia,
    in connection with the ass, with Silenos, Dionysos, the roses, gold,
    blades of corn, and waters.--The centaurs among the flowers.--The
    ass awakens Vesta whilst she is being seduced.--Priapos and the ass
    of Silenos.--The ass as a musical umpire between the cuckoo and the
    nightingale.--Midas judges between Pan and Apollo.--The ears of King
    Midas; his secret revealed by the young man who combs his hair.--The
    Phrygian ass held up to derision by the Greeks.--The Greek spirit of
    nationality still more pernicious to the ass.--The ass of Vicenza
    impaled.--Pan and the ass.--Gandharvâs and satyrs.--Pan and the
    nymphs.--Syrinx and the reed or cane; the leaf of the cane, and the
    ass.--Pan chases away fear; the ass's skin gives courage.--The ass
    in hell; golden excrements.--The heroic ass and Pan.--Perseus who
    eats asses.--The ass and the water of the Styx; the horned ass.--The
    cornucopia.--Ass and goat.--The asses save the hero out of the
    water.--The asses in heaven.--The ass carries the water of
    youth.--Ass's milk has a cosmetic virtue.--Youth and beauty of the
    ass.--The deaths of the ass.--The ass carries wine and drinks
    water.--The ass wet by the rain, the ass's ears predict rainy
    weather.--The shadow of the ass; the ass's wool; lana caprina; to
    shear the ass; the gold on the ass's head.--Asini prospectus.--The
    ass and the gardener.--The ass chases the winds away.--The third
    braying or flatus of the ass kills the fool.--The prophetic ass; the
    kick of the ass kills the lion; the ass a good listener, who hears
    everything; the hero Oidin Oidon; the ears of Lucifer.

The ass, in Europe at least, has had the misfortune to have been born
under an evil star, a circumstance which must be reckoned to the
account of the Greeks and Romans, whose humour it was to treat it as a
sort of Don Quixote of animals. Its liability to be flogged has always
increased with its celebrity, which, no one can deny, is great and
indefeasible. The poor ass has paid very dear, and continues to pay
still dearer, upon earth for the flight which the fantasy of primeval
men made it take in the mythical heavens. May this chapter--if it
produce no other effect--have at least that of sparing the poor
calumniated animal some few of the many blows which, given in fun, it
is accustomed to receive, as if to afford a vent for the satirical
humour of our race, and _ad exhilarandam caveam_.

The germ of the reputation the ass has of being both a stupid and a
petulant animal, acquired in Greece and in Italy, spreading thence
into all the other parts of Europe, may already be found in the
ancient myths of the Hindoos. Professor Weber,[686] however, has
proved, in answer to Herr Wagener, that the idea of a stupid and
presumptuous ass, such as we always find it represented in the fables
of the _Pańćatantram_, was diffused in India by the Greeks, and is not
indigenous to Hindoo faith and literature.

In India, the ass was not a particular object of ridicule; and this
was perhaps for the simple reason that the Eastern varieties of the
asinine family are far handsomer and nobler than the Western ones. The
ass in the East is generally ardent, lively, and swift-footed, as in
the West it is generally slow and lazy, having no real energy except
of a sensual nature. For if even the West (and especially the south of
Europe) possesses a distinct species of ass, which reminds us of the
_multinummus_ ass of Varro (in the same way as the East also, though
exceptionally, has inferior varieties), the asinine multitude in
Europe is composed of animals of a low type and a down-trodden
appearance, and it is against them that our jests and our floggings
are especially directed. This is the proverbial ass's kick against the
fallen; the poor outcast of the West dearly pays the penalty of the
honours conceded to his illustrious mythical ancestors of the East. We
think that the ass of which we hear heroic achievements related is the
same as that which now humbly carries the pack; and since we no longer
regard him as capable of a magnanimous action, we suppose that he
(unfortunate animal!) appropriates to himself all these ancient
glories out of vain presumption, for which reason there is no affront
which we do not feel entitled to offer to him. Nor did Christianity
succeed in delivering him from persecution,--Christianity, which, as
it represents the Sun of nations, the Redeemer of the world, as born
between the two musical animals, the ox and the ass (who were to
prevent His cries from being heard), and introduces the ass as the
saviour of the Divine Child persecuted during the night, and as the
animal ridden by Christ, in his last entry into Jerusalem, invested
him with more than one sacred title which ought from its devotees to
have procured for him a little more regard. Unfortunately, the same
famous mediæval ecclesiastical hymn which was sung in France on the
14th of January in honour of the ass, richly caparisoned near the
altar, to celebrate the flight into Egypt, was turned into a satire.
It must have been not without some gay levity that priest and people
exclaimed "Hinham!" three times after the conclusion of the mass, on
the day of the festival of the ass.[687] Nor did the inhabitants of
Empoli show him more reverence, when, on the eighth day after the
festival of the _Corpus Domini_--that is, near the summer
solstice--they made him fly in the air, amid the jeers of the crowd;
nor the Germans, who, in Westphalia, made the ass a symbol of the dull
St Thomas, who was the last of the apostles to believe in the
resurrection. The Westphalians were accustomed to call by the name of
"the ass Thomas" (as in Holland he is called "luilak") the boy who on
St Thomas's Day was the last to enter school.[688] On Christmas Day,
in the Carnival, on Palm-Sunday, and in the processions which follow
the festival of _Corpus Domini_,[689] the Church often introduced the
ass into her ceremonies, but more in order to exhilarate the minds of
her devotees than to edify them by any suggestion of the virtues it
represents in the Gospels; so that, notwithstanding the great services
rendered by the ass to the Founder of the new religion, he not only
received no benefit in return from Christianity, but became instead
the unfortunate object of new attentions, which rather depressed than
heightened his already sufficiently degraded social condition.

And so the Greeks and Romans first, and the Catholic priests afterwards,
combined, by their treatment of him, to make the ass more indifferent
than he would otherwise have been to the passion and spirited struggle
for life shown in all the other animals. He was perhaps intended for a
higher fate, if man had not come upon earth, and interfered too
persistently to thwart his vocation. And probably his race gradually
deteriorated, just because, having become ridiculous, few cared to
preserve or increase his nobleness. As the proverb said that it was
useless to wash the ass's head, so it seemed useless for man to
endeavour to ameliorate or civilise his form: the physical decadence of
the ass was contemporary and parallel with his decline morally.

But although it was in Greece and Rome that the poor ass was thrown
completely down from his rank in the animal kingdom, the first decree of
his fall was pronounced in his ancient Asiatic abode. Let us prove this.

In the _Ṛigvedas_, the ass already appears under two different
aspects--one divine and the other demoniacal--to which may perhaps be
added a third intermediate or gandharvic aspect.

In the _Ṛigvedas_, the ass has the names of _gardabhas_ and
_râsabhas_; in Sanskṛit, also those of _kharas, ćakrîvant, ćiramehin_,
and _bâleyas_.

It is important to notice how each of these designations tends to
lapse into ambiguity; and ambiguity in words plays a considerable part
in the formation of myths and popular beliefs.

Let us begin with the most modern designations.

_Bâleyas_ may mean the childish one (from _bâlas_ = child, and
stupid[690]), as well as the demoniacal (from _balis_; and indeed,
besides being a name given to the ass, _bâleyas_ is also a name for a

_Ćiramehin_ is the ass as _longe mingens_ (a quality which can apply
to the ass, but still more so to the rainy cloud).

_Ćakrîvant_ means he who is furnished with wheels, with round objects or
testicles (an epithet equally applicable to the ass and his phallos).

_Kharas_ signifies he who cries out, as well as the ardent one (and
_kharus_, which ought to have the same meaning, signifies, according
to the Petropolitan Dictionary, foolish, and horse; perhaps ass too).

_Râsabhas_ is derived from the double root _ras_, whence _rasa_ =
humour, juice, water, savour, sperm, and _râsa_ = din, tumultuous noise.

_Gardabhas_ comes from the root _gard_,[691] to resound, to bellow; but
I think I can recognise in the word _gardabhas_ the same meaning as
_gandharbas_ or _gandharvas_, and _vice versa_. The _gardabhas_ explains
to me how the _gandharvas_ was conceived to be a musician; and the
_gandharvas_ (a word which, I repeat, seems to me composed of _gandha_ +
_arvas_, developed out of a hypothetic _ṛivas_,[692] that is, he who
walks in the unguent, or he who goes in the perfume) helps me to
understand the proverb, "Asinus in unguento," and the corresponding
legends. The equivocal word _râsabhas_, in its two meanings, seems to
unite together the sonorous _gardabhas_ with the _gandharbas_ who likes
perfumes, or the _gandharvo apsu_ (_gandharvas_ in the waters) of the
_Ṛigvedas_,[693] the guardian of the ambrosial plant.[694] The mythical
ass and the Vedic _gandharvas_ have the same qualities and the same
instincts. The gandharvâs, for instance, are represented in the
_Âitareya Br._ as lovers of women,[695] so much so that for a woman's
sake they allow themselves to be deprived of the ambrosia (or somas);
and it is also known from the story of Urvaçî how jealous they are of
their nymphs, the _apsarâs_, or them who flow by on the waters (the
clouds), and from the story of Hanumant, in the _Râmâyaṇam_, how greedy
they are of their salutary herbs and waters.[696] The mythical and
legendary ass also has a foible for beautiful maidens; it is unnecessary
to give the reason of this belief.[697] When Circe wishes to give, by
means of an unguent, an ass's head to Odysseus, we find an allusion to
the loves of the ass and the beautiful woman. When the Lucius of
Apuleius, while endeavouring to change himself into a bird (another of
the names by which the phallos is indicated), becomes instead, by means
of the woman's unguent, an ass, the ass is another name for the
phallical bird. And as the Vedic ass delights in the _rasas_, or humour,
water or sperm (the two words _râsas_ and _rasas_, derived from a common
root, being easily interchangeable); as the mythical ass, when it finds
the ambrosia of the roseate morning aurora, once more becomes the
splendid young sun; so the ass of Apuleius, too, becomes Lucius again,
or the luminous and handsome youth that he was before, as soon as he has
an opportunity of feeding upon roses: he becomes an ass for love of a
woman, and regains his splendour in the rosy aurora. During the night,
being subject to the enchantment of a beautiful fairy, the hero remains
an ass; and in the form of an ass, and under an ass's skin, he carries
the priapœœan mysteries, whence the expression of Aristophanes in the
_Frogs_, "The ass which carries mysteries" (onos agôn müstêria), the
same mysteries as the Phallagia or Perifallia of Rome. In the Christian
myth, this mystery is the flight of the new-born Divine Child into
Egypt;[698] in the story of Perrault, it is the beautiful maiden, the
evening aurora, the girl persecuted by her father and would-be seducer,
who disguises herself during the night with an ass's skin;[699] the
beautiful girl evidently transfers her erotic sympathies to the ass that
loves her. Of loves such as these,--of an ass with a maiden, or of the
young hero and an ass,--are born the monstrous onokentaurs and Empusa,
now a beautiful maiden, and now the terrifier of children, who is
represented with ass's feet, because her mother was an ass, and her
father, Aristoxenes, enamoured of an ass. It is now the evening aurora,
now the dying sun, and now both, who, under the cloud of night, or in
winter, are represented as covered with an ass's skin. Professor Kuhn
has already proved the close affinity, amounting to identity, between
the gandharvâs and the Hellenic kentauroi, both of which come before us
in connection with the inebriating drink; but the kentauros is
essentially a hippokentauros, or, still better, an onokentauros,[700]
or centaur ass. The fable of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius, in its
relation with the story of the ass, perfectly agrees with the analogous
Hindoo fable of the loves of Purûravas and Urvaçî, united with the story
of the Gandharvâs. Peau d'âne, Psyche, and Urvaçî are therefore mythical

Professor Kuhn's proof of the identity of the gandharvas and the
kentauros being admitted, the identity of the gardabhas with the
gandharbas, and of the ass with the gandharvas, seems to follow as a
natural consequence. The myth of the kentauros, either hippokentauros or
onokentauros, no less than the myth of the gandharvas, corresponds
entirely with that of the ass. The kentauros loves wine and women; he
plays the lyre upon the car of Dionysos in conjunction with satyrs,
nymphs, and bacchantes; he teaches on Mount Pelion music,[701] the
science of health, and the prophetic art to the Dioscuri, which are all
subjects that occur again with slight modifications in the Hindoo
legends concerning the gandharvâs, and in the fable of the ass, as we
shall prove hereafter.--But to return to the Hindoo myth; in the same
way as the gandharvâs has a hybrid nature, and shows himself at one time
in the aspect of a demi-god, at another in that of a semi-demon, so the
mythical ass of India has now a divine nature, and now a human. The
gandharvas is the guardian of riches and waters: inasmuch as he defends
them from the demoniacal robbers, preserves them from mortals, and
distributes them among the pious, he appears under a beneficent and
divine aspect; inasmuch, on the other hand, as he carries them off and
keeps them shut up like a miser, he resembles the monster that is fabled
to guard fountains and treasures, the demon who keeps the waters shut
up, the thieves who gather treasures together, and the devil, the master
of all riches. For the same reason we already find in Hindoo tradition
the beneficent ass and his evil-doing congener. The sun (sometimes the
moon also) in the cloud and the darkness of night is the same as the
treasure in the cavern, the treasure in hell, and the hero or heroine in
the gloomy forest; and this cavern and hell sometimes assume the form of
an ass's skin, or of an ass simply. That which comes out of the cloud,
and of the gloom, also comes out of the ass; the soul of the ass is the
sun, or the hero or heroine, or the riches which he conceals. The
Açvinâu are often found in connection with the worthless horse, which
afterwards becomes handsome by means of the ambrosia itself that the
horse produces; the gandharvâs, a more nocturnal and cloudy form, if I
may use the expression, of the solar or lunar hero, are in near relation
with the ass, their _alter ego_, who enjoys the blessing of eternal
youth. The Açvinâu themselves, the two horsemen who have given youth to
the old Ćyavanas, rode upon asses before they rode upon horses. The myth
of the gandharvâs and that of the Açvinâu, the myth of the horse and
that of the ass, are intimately connected: from the gandharvâs the açvin
comes forth; from the mythical ass the horse comes out. This is
unnatural in zoology, but it is very natural in mythology: the sun
comes, now out of the grey shades of night, and now out of the grey

The Vedic hymns already present us with several interesting myths
concerning the ass.

The ass of the Açvinâu is swift; the devotees ask the Açvinâu when they
are to yoke it, that they may be carried by it to the sacrifice.[702] In
another hymn, as the Açvinâu are two, so are their asses two (râsabhâv
açvinoḥ). Finally, the second strophe of the 116th hymn offers us a
twofold significant particularity, viz., the ass, that vanquishes a
thousand in the rich battlefield of Yamas (or in the nocturnal battle,
in the struggle in hell, in which the ass appears as a real warrior,
joined with riches, and fighting for riches), and is helped by strong
and rapid wings (in which it shows us the ass that flies).[703]

The _Ṛigvedas_ also represents the ass of Indras as swift-footed.[704]
But in the same hymn we already see the reverse of the medal, that is
to say, the swift ones who deride him who is not swift, the horses
that are urged before the ass.[705] The solar hero, towards morning,
substitutes the horse for the ass, or appears with horses, leaving the
ass or asses behind. We have learned in the preceding chapter how, in
the heavenly race of the Vedic gods, the asses gained the palm of
victory; but it was an effort superior to their powers. The _Âitareya
Br._ informs us that by this effort they lost their swiftness and
became draught animals, deprived of honey, but yet preserving great
vigour in their sperm, so that the male ass can generate offspring in
two ways, that is, mules by union with a mare, and asses by union with
an ass.[706] Here, therefore, the ass is already considered an animal
of an essentially phallical nature, which notion is confirmed by the
precept of Kâtyâyanas, recorded by Professor Weber,[707] which enjoins
the sacrificing of an ass to expiate violated chastity. To chastise
the ass, to sacrifice the ass, must mean the same as to chastise and
to mortify the body,[708] and especially the phallos; and the Eastern
and Western punishment of leading adulterers about upon an ass has the
same meaning; the real martyr, however, in this punishment being the
ass, who is exposed to every kind of derision and ill-treatment. In
the same way, the henpecked husband who allowed himself to be beaten
by his wife, used, in several villages of Piedmont, only a few years
ago, to be led about ignominiously upon an ass: a husband who lets his
wife impose upon him, and cannot subdue her, deserves to be chastised
by means of an ass; he is not a man, and his ass, the emblem of his
manly strength, must on this account suffer the punishment, because
he has not shown himself able to assert his marital rights. The
adulterer upon the ass, and the silly husband upon the ass, are
punishments for phallic offences in, and in connection with, the
person of that which represents the phallos: one is chastised for
having wished, in this regard, to do too much, and the other for not
having been able to do enough. On this account the condemned person
was forced, in similar cases, to ride upon an ass with his face turned
towards the animal's tail, another image which is yet more manifestly
phallical; whence the very name of the punishment, "asini caudam in
manu tenere."[709] As to the other proverb which says, "He to whom the
ass belongs, holds him by the tail," it is explained by the narrative
of a peasant who drew his ass out of a swamp, taking it by the tail;
but this story too seems to have a phallic signification.

The ass, therefore, is already deposed from his noble place as a
swift-footed courser in the _Ṛigvedas_ itself. And in the _Ṛigvedas_,
too, where we have observed the ass described as a warrior who fights
for the gods, we find him in the demoniacal form of a disagreeable
singer who terrifies the worshippers of the god Indras; the latter is
therefore requested by the poet to kill the ass who sings with a
horrible voice.[710] Here the ass already appears as a real monster,
worthy even of the steel of the prince of the celestial heroes
himself, who prepares to combat him. The ass, therefore, is already
sacred to the monsters in the white Yaǵurvedas.[711]

In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[712] the slowness of the ass has already become
proverbial. The modest Bharatas excuses himself from not being able to
equal his brother Râmas in the science of government, just as the ass,
he says, cannot run like the horse, or other birds cannot fly like the
vulture. The mythical ass, moreover, appears in this epic poem[713] in
a demoniacal and infernal aspect: Bharatas, in fact, dreams of seeing
his dead father Daçarathas, in blood-coloured clothes, borne to the
southern funereal region on a car drawn by asses; and we are told that
when a man is seen upon a car drawn by asses, it is a sign of his
departure for the abode of Yamas. Kharas, a word which, as we already
know, means ass, is also the name of a younger brother of the great
monster Râvaṇas. Râvaṇas himself is drawn by asses upon a chariot
adorned with gold and gems. These asses have the faces of the monster
Piçâćâs,[714] that is, faces of parrots, as Hanumant afterwards
informs us when he speaks of the monsters which he has seen in Lañkâ,
which he also says are as swift as thought.[715] We know that the
coursers of Râvaṇas were asses, and therefore the asses with the faces
of the Piçâćâs, and the horses of the monsters with the faces of
parrots, are the same. The monster Piçâćâs, therefore, has the face of
a parrot. How is it that the parrot is reared in India as a sacred
bird? It appears to me that equivocation in language had something to
do with the formation of this singular mythological image. The word
_piçâćas_ is derived, like _piçañgas_, which means golden and red,
from the root _piç_, to adorn; whence also the Vedic feminine _piç_,
ornament, and the Vedic neuter, _peças_, coloured tissue. The ass
piçâćas, who draw the chariot full of gold, are therefore themselves,
at least in their face, in their foremost part, golden asses, or red
like the colour of gold, red like the colour of the sun; in fact, we
find kharas (the ardent) as the proper name of an attendant on the
sun, and kharâṇçus or khararaçmiḥ, he of the burning ray, as Sanskṛit
names of the sun. Kharaketus, he who has a burning ray, is also the
name of one of the monsters in the _Râmâyaṇam_.[716] We therefore
already see here the golden ass and the infernal monster identified
with the sun; and hence we are very near the monster with the parrot's
face. In the preceding chapter we observed how the solar horse appears
in the morning luminous at first in its foremost parts,--now in its
legs, now in its face, now in its mane, which is called golden; it is
only the head of the horse which is found in the butter; of Dadhyańć
we perceive only his head in connection with the ambrosia. Thus of the
nocturnal ass, of the demoniacal ass, of the demon himself, the
piçâćas (the piçâćâs are called carnivorous[717]), only the face is
seen, in the same way as of the piçâćâs, and of the horses belonging
to the monsters, only the head is that of a parrot. But what
connection can there be between the gold colour of the ass piçâćas and
the green colour of the parrot? The equivoque lies probably in the
words _hari_ and _harit_, both of which, in the Hindoo tongue mean
yellow, as well as green. Haris and hari signify the sun, and the
moon, as being yellow; harayas and haritas are the horses of the sun;
harî are the two horses of Indras and of the Açvinâu, of whom we also
know that they more usually rode upon asses. We thus arrive at the
light-coloured asses, at the asses that are golden, at least in their
foremost parts, that is, in the morning twilight, when after his
nocturnal course, the solar horseman is on the point of arriving at
his golden eastern destination, whence the head of the ass which
carries the divine horseman is illumined by him. But _haris_, besides
signifying the solar hero as being yellow, also signifies the parrot
as green; on this account the ass or demon with a golden head was
exchanged with the ass or monster with the green head, or with the
parrot's head. We shall see in the chapters concerning birds how the
bird was often substituted for the horse in the office of carrying the
deity or the hero.

To conclude the subject of the Hindoo mythical ass, it is certain that
it existed in the heavens; it is certain that it flies in the sky,
that it fights in the sky like a valiant warrior, that it terrifies
its enemies in the sky with its terrible voice; that, in a word, it
was a real and legitimate heroic animal. It is certain, moreover,
that, considered under another aspect, it not only throws down the
heroes, but carries them to hell, serves the infernal monsters, and is
found in connection with the treasures of hell. Moreover, admitting,
as I hope the reader will, my identification of the mythical ass with
the gandharvas, we have the ass as dancer, the ass as musician, the
ass who loves women, and the ass in the odorous ointment and in the
inebriating drink, the somas which occupies the place of the wine of
the Dionysian mysteries, in which the Hellenic ass took a solemn part.

In the fables of the _Pańćatantram_, the ass is partly modelled on the
Hellenic type and partly preserves its primitive character. The fourth
book shows us the ass twice attracted towards the lion by the jackal,
who induces him to believe that a beautiful female ass is awaiting
him. The ass is distrustful and shows his fear, but the argument of
the female ass, upon which the artful jackal insists, overcomes his
timidity. He is, however, cunning enough to send the jackal before
him; and at the sight of the lion he perceives the jackal's treachery
and turns, fleeing away with such rapidity that the lion cannot
overtake him. The jackal returns to the assault, and convinces the ass
that he did wrong to abandon the beautiful female ass when he was on
the point of receiving her favours; and thus touching the tender
chord of his heart, he goes on to assure him that the female ass will
throw herself into the fire or the water if she does not see him
return. "Omnia vincit amor;" the ass returns, and this time the lion
surprises and tears him to pieces; upon which the lion, before
partaking of his meal, goes to perform his ablutions and devotions.
Meanwhile the jackal eats the ass's heart and ears, and makes the
lion, on his return, believe that the stupid animal had neither the
one nor the other, because if he had had them, he would not have
returned to the dangerous spot after having once escaped. The lion
declares himself to be perfectly satisfied with this explanation. Here
we have a mixture in the ass of swift-footedness, lust, and stupidity,
his stupidity being caused by his lustfulness. Now, it is possible
that his acquaintance with the Hellenic ass may have induced the
author of the _Pańćatantram_ to embody in the ass a quality which is
generally attributed in fables of Hindoo origin to the monkey; but
this is not absolutely necessary in order to explain the narrative of
which we have now given the epitome.

On the other hand, in the fourth book of the _Pańćatantram_, the fable
of the ass in the tiger's skin--an insignificant variety of the ass in
the lion's skin--was, as Professor Weber has already proved, taken
from the Æsopian fable. Another fable, in the fifth book, which tells
us of the ass who, being passionately fond of music,[718] insisted
upon singing, and was thus discovered and made a slave of, also seems
to be of Hellenic origin. But, although the editing of these two
Hindoo fables in a literary form had its origin in the knowledge of
Hellenic literature, the original myth of the ass-lion (haris, which
is the horse of Indras, also means the lion), and that of the
ass-musician (as gandharvas and gardabhas), can be traced as far back
as the Vedic scriptures.

In the Zendic _Yaçna_,[719] I find a new proof, which appears to me a
very satisfactory one, of the identification which I have proposed of
the ass with the gandharvas. I have already mentioned the gandharvas
who guards over the somas in the midst of the waters, and I observed
how the gandharvas kṛiçânus of the Vedâs, and the Zend kereçâni who
guards over the _hom_ in the _Vôuru-Kasha_, have been identified. But
the same office is fulfilled in the _Yaçna_ by a three-legged ass,
that is, a lame ass (or the solar horse who has become lame during the
night, in the same way as the solar hero becomes lame, or a lame
devil), who, by braying, terrifies the monsters and prevents them from
contaminating the water.

In the first of the seven adventures of Rustem, in the _Shah-Name_ of
Firdusi, the starving Rustem goes with his brave heroic horse to chase
wild asses. The asses flee, but the hero's horse is swifter than they,
and overtakes them; Rustem takes one by means of a lasso, and has it
cooked, throwing away the bones. He then goes to sleep (_then_
sometimes expresses in the myths the interval of a whole day or of a
whole year.--The hero does almost the same in his second adventure and
in the book of _Sohrab_). While Rustem sleeps, a monstrous lion makes
its appearance to surprise the hero; Rustem's heroic horse throws the
lion down and tears it to pieces with its hoofs and teeth. This
battle between the horse of the sleeping hero and the monster lion is
an epic form of the fable which represents the animals as being
terrified in the forest by the braying of the ass, and of that of the
lion itself killed by the ass's kick. Probably the bones of the dead
ass, when preserved, gave heroic strength to Rustem's horse.

In the Mongol stories, of which we have on a previous occasion
indicated the Hindoo origin, we find two other legends relating to the
ass. In the eighteenth Mongol story, a foolish man goes with his ass
to hang up some rice; he hides his ass in a cave; some merchants pass
by with their goods, and the fool sends forth, by means of a trumpet,
such a sonorous shout, that the merchants, thinking brigands are
hidden in the cavern, escape, leaving their goods in the ass's
possession. Here the fool and the ass are already identified. The
trumpet and the blowing made by the fool correspond to the braying of
the ass, of whom we shall soon see other miracles related. The sense
of the myth is this: the solar hero in the night or in the cloud grows
stupid; he becomes an ass during the night or in the cloud; the cloud
thunders, and the thunder of the cloud gives rise to the idea now of
the braying and now of the flatus of the ass (or the fool), now of a
trumpet,[720] and now of a drum. We must not forget that the word
_dundubhis_ which properly means kettledrum or drum, is also the name
of a monster, and that Dundubhî is the proper name of the wife of a
gandharvas, or of a gandharvî. The skin of the drum being made of an
ass's hide is one more reason why the thundering cloud, being very
naturally likened to a drum, the thunder should be also considered now
as a _flatus oris_, now as a _flatus ventris_ of the celestial ass, or
of the foolish hero who accompanies him.

In the twenty-second Mongol story we have a variety, though partly a
less complete and partly a richer one, of the fable of the Phrygian king
Midas. A king who has golden ass ears, has his head combed every night
with golden combs by young men, who are immediately after put to death
(to comb the ass's head is about the same as to wash it; but however
much it is combed, the ears can never be abolished). One day a young man
predestined to the highest honours, before going to comb the king's
head, receives from his mother a cake made of her own milk and flour.
The young man offers the cake to the king, who likes it, and spares the
youth's life on condition that he tells no one, not even his mother, the
great secret, _viz._, that the king has golden ears. The youth promises
to preserve silence, and makes a very great effort indeed to keep his
promise, but this effort makes him seriously ill, so much so that he
feels he will burst if he does not tell the secret. His mother then
advises him to go and relieve his mind by whispering it into a fissure
of the earth or of a tree. The young man does so; he goes into the open
country, finds a squirrel's hole, and breathes gently down it, "Our king
has ass's ears;" but animals have understanding and can speak, and there
are men who understand their language. The secret is conveyed from one
to another, till the king hears that the young man has divulged it. He
threatens to take his life; but relents when he hears from him how it
happened, and not only pardons him, but makes him his prime minister.
The fortunate youth's first act is to invent a cap of the shape of the
ears of an ass, in order that the king may be able to conceal the
deformity; and when the people see the king with a cap of this shape, it
pleases them so much that they all adopt it; and so the king, by means
of his young minister, is no longer obliged to live secluded, and in the
constant tormenting dread of discovery, but lives at his ease and
happily ever afterwards.

Having thus examined under its principal aspects the most popular
Asiatic tradition relative to the ass, let us now go on to epitomise
the European tradition, and, if possible, more briefly; all the more
that the reader, having, as I hope, now the key of the myth, will be
of himself able to refer to it many analogous particulars of
Græco-Latin tradition. I say Græco-Latin alone, because the myth of
the ass among Slavonic and Germanic nations, where the ass is little,
if at all, known, had no especial and independent development. In
Slavonic countries, the part of the ass is generally sustained by Ivan
the fool or Emilius the lazy one, as also by the bear or wolf, as in
India it is often sustained by the monkey;[721] ass, bear, wolf, and
monkey, as mythical animals, represent almost identical phenomena.

Let us take the story of Midas again at its commencement.

Midas appears in _Herodotus_, not only as a king of Phrygia, but as a
progenitor of the Phrygians. In the Tusculans of Cicero, the drunken
satyr Silenos (originally another form of the same Midas, the satyrs
having ass's ears), the master of Dionysos, loses himself in the
rose-garden belonging to Midas, before whom he is conducted, and by
whom he is benevolently received and entertained, and then sent back
with honour to the god, who, in gratitude, concedes to Midas the gift
of turning to gold everything that he touches, to such an extent as to
affect the food that he wishes to eat and the water in which he
bathes. This myth is probably of a complex nature. Midas ought, like
the ass, to turn to gold what he has eaten, that is, to turn his food
and drink into excrements of gold, to fructify the golden ears of
corn, _i.e._, in heaven, the solar rays. Cicero himself leads us to
suppose that the myth of Midas is in relation with the ears of corn,
when, in his first book _De Divinatione_, he says that the ants
carried grains of wheat into the mouth of Midas when a child; these
being symbols of abundance and of fecundity which are quite applicable
to the mythical ass. For although the common ass is not a privileged
fœœcundator, the mythical ass, in its capacity of a rain-giving cloud
or ćiramehin, is the best fertiliser of the fields. The sun, or gold,
or treasure, comes out of the ass-darkness or ass-cloud. The ass
Lucius, after having eaten the roses of morning or the east, again
becomes Lucius the luminous one (the sun). On this account the ass
Midas, too, who also delights in roses, turns to gold whatever he
eats, as well as the dew or ambrosial fountain in which he bathes; the
rosy becomes the golden; the sun comes out of the contact of the ass
of night with the aurora.

Servius, in his commentary on the sixth book of the _Æneid_, also
tells us the centauri "in floribus stabulant," as the Hindoo
gandharvas in the perfumes. These perfumes are rain and dew. The ass
crowned with loaves of bread[722] and flowers, in the Latin worship
of Vesta, who remembered the service rendered to her one day by the
braying of the ass, which aroused her from her sleep when some one was
attempting to violate her, is another variety of the myth of the
aurora who awakes out of the night, golden, that is, rich in golden
oats and in golden wheat. The ass itself is sacrificed, because,
perhaps, it was the ass itself that had made an attempt to deprive
Vesta of her chastity; but having betrayed itself, as it often happens
in fables, by its braying, it arouses Vesta, who punishes it by
offering it in sacrifice. In a variation of the same story in the
first book of Ovid's _Fasti_, where instead of Vesta we have the nymph
Lothis asleep, the red Priapos, who wishes to violate her, also loses
his opportunity, because the ass of Silenos--

      "Intempestivos edidit ore sonos,"

on which account it is killed by Priapos:

      "Morte dedit pœœnas auctor clamoris, et hæc est
       Hellespontiaco victima sacra Deo."

The apologue is well known of the long-eared ass, who, when called
upon to judge between the nightingale and the cuckoo as to who has the
sweetest voice, decides in favour of the cuckoo. The nightingale then
appeals to man with the sweet song that we are all acquainted
with.[723] In the myth of Midas, the Phrygian hero is given ass's
ears as a chastisement by Apollo, because, having been called upon to
judge between the cithern or lyre of Apollo (whence the proverb
"Asinus ad lyram") and the pastoral pipe (calamus agrestis) of Pan
(who is represented as a horned and bearded satyr, with a tail and
long ears), he pronounced that the pan-pipes were the most harmonious
instrument. Midas hides his ears in a red cap, but his comber lets out
the secret, as in the Mongol story, and in a manner almost identical--

      "Ille quidem celat, turpique onerata pudore
       Tempora purpureis tentat velare tiaris:
       Sed, solitus longos ferro resecare capillos,
       Viderat hoc famulus: qui, cum nec prodere visum
       Dedecus auderet, cupiens efferre sub auras,
       Nec posset reticere tamen, secedit; humumque
       Effodit, et domini quales aspexerit aures,
       Voce refert parva: terræque immurmurat haustæ.
       Indiciumque suæ vocis tellure regesta
       Obruit, et scrobibus tacitus discedit opertis.
       Creber arundinibus tremulis ibi surgere lucus
       Cœœpit; et, ut primum pleno maturuit anno,
       Prodidit agricolam: leni jam motus ab Austro
       Obruta verba refert; dominique coarguit aures."[724]

The same Greeks who held the ass up to derision, made the Phrygian
king Midas, of the ass's ears, the object of their satire. This is a
particular form of the mythico-heroic struggle between Greeks and
Phrygians or Trojans. Apollo is the enemy of the Trojans, as he is the
enemy of the Phrygian king Midas. The Trojans and Troy are
represented by the ass, and the Greeks, who vanquish and take by
assault the Trojan fortress, by the horse; the sun disperses the
night; the hero kills the centaur; the horse defeats the ass, the
Greek the Trojan; and every one can see how the fact that the Greeks
personified in the ass their enemies in Asia Minor, must have damaged
the reputation of the poor long-eared animal. The most bitter and
cutting satire is always that which is directed towards one's own
enemies; and the ass, unfortunately, had at one time the honour of
representing the Phrygian, the traditional enemy of the Greek. The ass
bore the load of this heroic war, in the same way as in the Middle
Ages he was publicly impaled by the Paduans for having had the
misfortune of being the sacred animal on the arms of the city of
Vicenza, with which the Paduans lived in rivalry.[725]

In the same eleventh book of Ovid where the transformation of the
human ears of Midas into ass's ears is described, it is very
remarkable that the new ears are called whitish, as in the Mongol
story they are said to be golden. This confirms still more the
interpretation of the myth, to the effect that the ass is the solar
steed during the night. The head and the tail of the night, conceived
as an animal, are now the two whitish or grey twilights, and now the
two golden auroras of morning and evening.

                                "Nec Delius aures
      Humanam stolidas patitur retinere figuram,
      Sed trahit in spatium villisque albentibus implet
      Instabilesque illas facit et dat posse moveri."

The changeableness of the twilights must have served very well to
express the mobility of the ears of an ass.

In the story of the ass, Midas, the musical critic, the predestined ass,
pronounces in favour of Pan; and he does so not only on account of the
consanguinity between himself and the god, but also from a patriotic
feeling. Pan was born in a forest of Arcadia, of Zeus and the nymph
Kallisto; and it is well known that antiquity celebrated the asses of
Arcadia above those of every other country. The ass as a musician, the
ass as a musical critic, Pan the musician, and Pan preferred by the ass,
are the same person. Arcadia, the country of pastoral music, of
whistling shepherds, which made the Italy of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries bleat out so many useless verses, the country of
Pan the satyr, _par excellence_, is the country of the ass. Arcadia is
the most mountainous and wooded part of Greece,[726] and therefore, when
the Olympians came down from heaven, celestial nymphs and satyrs came to
people the forests and fountains of Arcadia. The divine guardian of the
ambrosia in the heavenly cloud takes, in the Arcadian forest, the form
of Pan, god of shepherds, who keeps guard over the honey. The
gandharvâs, who danced and sung in the Hindoo Olympus with the
apsarasas, has descended into Arcadia in the shape of Pan, to dance and
sing with the nymphs.[727] Pan who goes alone into the gloomy forest,
Pan who chases fear away, connected as he is with the story of the ass,
reminds us on the one hand of the superstition recorded by Pliny, to the
effect that an ass's skin put upon children chases fear from them[728]
(in the same way as in the province of Girgenti, in Sicily, it is
believed that shoes made of a wolf's skin, put on children's feet, make
them daring and lucky in battle), and, on the other hand, of the
unpublished Piedmontese story of the fearless Giovannino, who, in reward
for his courage in going alone to hell, brings away with him an ass
which throws gold from its tail.[729] In Tzetzas[730] I find again the
curious notion that Midas sold his own _stercus_ out of avarice, that
is, that he changed it into gold, as Vespasian used to do by selling the
excrement of his horse.

The Æsopian ass, when he goes to battle, terrifies by his braying all
the animals of the forest; so Pan defeats his enemies by means of his
terrible voice; and according to Herodotus,[731] in the heroic battle
of Marathon, the Athenians were helped by the powerful voice of the
god Pan. Finally, as we have seen Apollo to be the rival of Pan and
the enemy of the Phrygian Midas, the predestined ass, as well as of
the Trojans, so, in the eleventh of the Pythic odes of Pindar, we find
the hero Perseus, among the Hyperboreans,[732] eating asses.[733] The
morning sun devours the ass of night, as we have seen the solar hero
Rustem do in the _Shah-Name_, where he eats the wild asses.

But we must look for more mythical personages in connection with the
ass Midas in Arcadia, as the region of Pan and of asses. The ass Midas
is considered as a rich progenitor of races, and is supposed to have
been the first Phrygian. Windischmann has already observed (with the
examples of Yamas, Yima, Manus, Minos, and Radamanthüs) the connection
between the rich progenitor of races and the rich king or judge of
hell. To Midas the progenitor and to Midas the judge, corresponds the
ass whose excrements are of gold, the ass judge and prophet, the
Arcadian and prophetic Pan. The Arcadians considered themselves not
only autocthonoi, but proselênoi, or anterior to the moon. But they
are also considered in the light of inhabitants of an infernal region.
In Arcadia was situated the lake Stümphalos, the demoniacal birds of
which were slain by Hêraklês in Arcadia; in a chasm formed of wild
rocks was the source of the Styx, the principal infernal river, that
by which the Hellenic infernal beings were accustomed to swear. Greek
and Latin writers used to narrate of the ass (and the mule) that it
had an especial aversion to the water of the Styx, as being poisonous.
This superstition, when referred to the myth, appears to mean that,
when the solar hero drinks this water--the water of the dark or cloudy
ocean--he becomes a dark ass. (We find in Russian stories the hero who
is transformed into a bull, a horse, or a he-goat, when he drinks
water of which a demoniacal bull, horse, or he-goat has previously
drunk.) Ælianos, in his tenth book relative to animals, speaking of
the horned asses of Scythia, writes that they held in their horns the
water of the Styx. A similar narrative is given by Philostratos in the
third book of his romantic Life of Apollonios, concerning the fabulous
horned ass of India. "It is said," he writes, "that in the marshy
ground near the Indian river Hyphasis many wild asses are to be found;
and that these wild beasts have on their heads a horn with which they
fight bravely like bulls" (this seems to be a reminiscence of the
Indian rhinoceros); "and that the Indians form out of these horns
drinking-cups, affirming that those who drink out of these cups are
delivered from every illness for all that day; when wounded they feel
no pain, they pass safely through flames, nor, when they have drunk
out of it, can they be hurt by any poison. They say that these cups
belong to kings alone, nor is it permitted to any other than a king to
hunt the animal. It is narrated that Apollonios (the hero of the
romance) had seen this animal and observed its nature with wonder.
Moreover, to Damis, who asked him whether he had faith in what was
commonly said concerning the virtue of this cup, he answered 'I will
believe it when I shall have learned that in this country the king is
immortal.'" And no doubt Apollonios would have believed had it been
impossible for him to divine that the king who makes use of this
marvellous cup is the immortal sun, to whom alone it is reserved to
kill the ass of the nocturnal forest, the ass whose hairy ears are
like horns,[734] whose ears are of gold.

The horn of the Scythian ass full of Stygian water, the horn of the
ass which, when used as a cup, gives health and happiness to him who
drinks out of it, remind us (not to speak of Samson's jaw-bone of an
ass, which makes water flow) especially of the myth of the cornucopia
and that of the goat, with which the satyrs and fauns, having goat's
feet, stand in particular connection. It is also for this reason that
the ass is found in relation with Pan; wherefore it is too that
Silenos rides upon an ass, and appears, as we have already seen, in
the story of Midas, in his garden of roses; indeed the mythical
centaurs or onocentaurs, satyr, faun, ass, and goat are equivalent
expressions. We have seen, a few pages back, the Zendic three-legged
ass; in the following chapter we shall find the lame goat.

As the ass was ridden by Silenos,[735] so was he the animal dedicated to
Bacchus and to Priapos, whose mysteries were celebrated in the Dionysian
feasts. It is said that when Bacchus had to traverse a marsh, he met
with two young asses, and was conveyed by one of them, who was endowed
with human speech, to the other side without touching the water. (The
116th hymn of the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_ merits being especially
compared with this. In it, immediately after having represented the
Açvinâu as drawn by winged asses, the poet celebrates the Açvinâu as
delivering the hero Bhugyus out of the waters upon a vessel that moved
of itself in the air.)[736] On this account it is said that Bacchus, in
gratitude, placed the two young asses among the stars.[737] This is
another confirmation of the fact that the mythical ass really had the
virtue of flying; and the proverb "Asinus si volat habet alas"[738]
alludes to this myth. The fable of the ass who wishes to fly, and the
flight of the ass, are derisive allusions, applied to the earthly ass.
The celestial myth lingers in the memory, but is no longer understood.

In the myth of Prometheus, in _Ælianos_ (vi. 5), we have the ass who
carries the talisman which makes young again, which Zeus intended for
him who should discover the robber of the divine fire (Prometheus). The
ass, being thirsty, approaches a fountain, and is about to drink, when a
snake who guards the fountain prevents him from doing so. The ass offers
the snake the charm which he is carrying, upon which the serpent strips
off its old age, and the ass, drinking at the fountain, acquires the
power of becoming young again. The ass of night, when he drinks the dew
of the dawn, grows young and handsome again every day. It is on this
account, I repeat, that youth is celebrated as a peculiar virtue of the
ass; it is on this account that the Romans attributed a great cosmetic
virtue to ass's milk[739] (the white dawn, or moon).

The mythical ass seems to die every day, whereas, on the contrary it
is born anew every day, and becomes young again; whence the Greek
proverb does not celebrate the death in the singular, but the deaths
of the ass ("Onou thanatous").

The Italian proverb of the ass that carries wine and drinks water,
probably alludes to the ass that carries the water of youth, and then,
being thirsty, drinks at the fountain in the legend of Prometheus. The
wine of the Hellenic and Latin myth corresponds to the inebriating
drink or somas in which Indras delights so much in the _Ṛigvedas_. The
ass bears the drunken Silenos on its back.

The sun, who in the cloud is covered with the skin of an ass, carries
the rain; whence the Greek proverb the ass is wetted by the rain
("Onos hüetai"), and the popular belief that when the ears of the ass
or of a satyr (that is to say, of the ass itself) move, it is an
indication of rainy weather (or dew). When the sun comes out of the
shadows of night, he drinks the milk or white humour of the early
morning sky, the same white foaming humour which caused the birth of
Aphroditê, the same humour out of which, by the loves of Dionysos (or
of Pan, of a satyr, or of the ass itself) and Aphroditê, the satyr was
procreated--Priapos, whose phallic loves are discovered by the ass.
The satyr serves as a link between the myth of the ass and that of the
goat. On this account (that is, on account of the close relation
between the mythical ass and the mythical goat) two ancient Greek and
Latin proverbs--_i.e._, to dispute about the shadow of the ass ("Peri
onou skias") and to dispute, "De lana caprina"--have the same meaning,
a dispute concerning a bagatelle (but which is no trifle in the myth,
where the skin of the goat or of the ass is sometimes changed into a
golden fleece), which seems so much the more probable, as the Greeks
have also handed down to us another proverb in which the man who
expects to reap where he has not sown is laughed at as one who looks
for the wool of the ass ("Onou pokas zêteis"), or who shears the ass
("Ton onon keireis"). We have seen, in the myth of Midas, the king,
whose ears, when combed, betray his asinine nature. The Piedmontese
story of the maiden on whose forehead a horn or an ass's tail grows,
because she has badly combed the good fairy's head, is connected with
this story of the combing of the long-eared Midas. The combed ass and
the sheared ass correspond with one another; the combed ass has golden
ears, in the same way as gold and gems fall from the head of the good
fairy combed by the good girl in the fairy tale. To this mythical
belief, I think, may be traced the origin of the mediæval custom in
the Roman Church, which lasted till the time of Gregory VII., in which
public ovations were offered to the Pope, and an ass bearing money
upon its head was brought before him.[740]

The shadow of the ass[741] betrays him, no less than his ears, his
nose, and his braying. The shadow of the ass and his nose are found in
connection with each other in the legend of the Golden Ass of
Apuleius, which, after narrating how the ass, by putting his head out
of the window, had betrayed his master the greengrocer or gardener
(the friend of perfumes, "Gandharvas, asinus, in unguento, onos en
müro"), concludes thus: "The miserable gardener having been found
again, and taken before the magistrates to pay the fine, they lead him
to a public prison, and with great laughter cease not, says the ass
Lucius, to "make merry with my face;" whence also was derived the
popular proverb concerning the face and shadow of the ass ('De
prospectu et umbra asini')." The ass who betrays his master the
greengrocer or gardener by his face is a variety of the ass who,
dressed in the forest in the lion's skin[742] (like Hêraklês who goes
into hell dressed in a lion's skin), betrays himself by his braying,
and of the ass who discovers by his braying Priapos, who delights in
gardens (the vulva), Priapos the gardener, like the ogre[743] of the
_Pentamerone_, who finds before him in his garden a beautiful maiden.

The ass can restrain neither his voice nor his flatus; we have already
seen something similar in the story of Midas, where the comber of the
ass feels he will burst if he is not permitted to relieve himself of
the secret of the ass. Diogenês of Laertes narrates that the fields of
Agrigentum being devastated by malignant winds which destroyed the
crops, the philosopher Empedocles instructed them to take asses'
skins, and having made sacks of them, carry them to the summits of the
hills and mountains, to chase the winds away. Ælianos, confounding one
noise with another, suggests, to prevent the ass from braying, the
advantage of appending a stone to its tail. This ancient Greek fable
is to this day very popular in Italy, and the narrator is accustomed
to furbish it up with a character of actuality, as if it had happened
yesterday, and among his acquaintances.

In the Italian stories,[744] when the ass brays upon the mountain, a
tail grows on the forehead of the step-mother's ugly daughter; the third
crowing of the cock is the signal for the monster's death; the third
braying or flatus of the ass announces the death of the fool. With the
end of the night the ass disappears, and the fool also disappears or
dies. The braying of the ass cannot mount up into heaven; after the ass
has brayed, after the cloud has thundered, the ass comes down upon the
earth, is dissolved into rain, is dispersed and dies; the dark ass
cannot remain in the luminous sky, it can only inhabit the cloudy,
watery, or gloomy sky of hell. The way in which the fool of the story
tries to elude death resembles that which was used, according to
Ælianos, to prevent the ass from braying. In a story of Armagnac,[745]
Joan lou Péc runs after a man whom he believes to be a sage, and asks
him when he will die; the man answers, "Joan lou Péc, mouriras au
troisièmo pet de toun ase." The ass does so twice; the fool endeavours
to prevent the third: "Cop sec s'en-angonc cerca un pau (a stake) bien
pounchut et l'enfouncéc das un martet dens lou cu de l'ase. Mes l'ase
s'enflec tant, e hasconc tant gran effort, que lou pau sourtisconc coumo
no balo e tuèc lou praube Joan lou Péc."

In _Herodotus_, the Scythians are defeated when the asses bray, and
the dogs bark among Darius's tents. The braying of the ass, the
thunder of the cloud, is an oracle; the ass that brays is a judge and
a prophet. In hell everything is known; the devil knows every art,
every species of malice, every secret; the ass in hell participates in
this knowledge. The ass Nicon, in _Plutarch_, in the Life of Antony,
predicts to Augustus his victory at the battle of Actium; on the
contrary, in the Life of Alexander, by the same author, an ass who
kills with a kick a great lion belonging to the Macedonian, appears to
the great conqueror in the light of an evil omen. The dying sun of
evening, the old lion, is killed in the evening by the ass of night;
in the morning, on the contrary, the ass of night announces his
fortune to the solar hero, who again becomes luminous and wise. The
ass can predict all things, because it knows all things; it knows
everything, because it hears everything, and it hears everything by
means of its exceedingly long ears; the ass of Apuleius says of
itself: "Recreabar quod auribus præditus cuncta longule etiam dissita
sentiebam." And this ass which listens from a distance reminds us
again of the third brother, now a fool, and now only supposed to be a
fool; to the Andalusian Oidin-Oidon, hijo del buen oidor (a relation
of the already cited Vedic Indras âçrutkarṇas), of the second cuento
of Caballero,[746] who hears everything that is done in the deepest
parts of hell, where Lucifer sits, horned and large-eared. The hero
who combats with Lucifer only thinks of cutting off his ear; the ass
without ears is no longer an ass; the ears of the mythical ass are its
vital and characteristic organs. Instead of ears, give horns to the
mythical ass, and we have the mythical goat; take the horns away and
we have now the mythical abject sheep, now the hog; this is what we
shall see in the two next chapters.


[686] _Ueber den Zusammenhang indischer Fabeln mit griechischen_, eine
kritische Abhandlung von A. Weber, Berlin, 1855.

[687] Here is the hymn as given by Du Cange in his _Gloss. M. et I.

      "Orentis partibus
       Adventavit Asinus,
       Pulcher et fortissimus,
       Sarcinis aptissimus.
         Hez, Sire Asnes, car chantez,
         Belle bouche rechignez,
         Vous aurez du fom assez
         Et de l'avoine à plantez.

      "Lentus erat pedibus
       Nisi foret baculus
       Et eum in clunibus
       Pungeret aculeus.
         Hez, Sire Asnes, &c.

      "Hic in collibus Sichem,
       Jam nutritus sub Ruben,
       Transiit per Jordanem,
       Saliit in Bethleem.
         Hez, Sire Asnes, &c.

      "Ecce magnis auribus
       Subjugalis filius
       Asinus egregius
       Asinorum dominus.
         Hez, Sire Asnes, &c.

      "Saltu vincit hinnulos,
       Damas et capreolos,
       Super dromedarios
       Velox Madianeos.
         Hez, Sire Asnes, &c.

      "Auram de Arabia,
       Thus et myrrhum de Saba
       Tulit in ecclesia
       Virtus Asinaria.
         Hez, Sire Asnes, &c.

      "Dum trahit vehicula
       Multa cum sarcinula,
       Illius mandibula,
       Dura terit pabula,
         Hez, Sire Asnes, &c.

      "Cum aristis hordeum
       Comedit et carduum;
       Triticum a palea
       Segregat in area.
         Hez, Sire Asnes, &c.

      "Amen, dicas, Asine,
                (_Hic genuflectabatur._)
       Jam satur de gramine:
       Amen, amen itera
       Aspernare vetera.
         Hez va! hez va! hez va! hez!
         Bialz! Sire Asne, car allez;
         Belle bouche car chantez."

[688] Cfr. Reinsberg von Düringsfeld, _Das festliche Jahr_.

[689] Sometimes the place of the ass is taken by the mule. At Turin, for
instance, it is narrated that the church dedicated to the _Corpus
Domini_ was erected several centuries ago on account of the miracle of a
mule which carried some sacred goods stolen by an impious thief. Having
arrived in the little square where the Church of the _Corpus Domini_ now
stands, the mule refused to go any farther; and out of a cup, which was
among the sacred objects stolen, a wafer containing the body of our
Saviour rose into the air. Nor would it come down again until the bishop
came forth, and, holding the cup high in the air, besought the wafer to
come back into it; which having been miraculously accomplished, the
Church of the _Corpus Domini_ was erected on the spot, from which starts
and to which returns the solemn procession which takes place annually at
Turin on the festival of _Corpus Domini_, and in which, about twenty
years ago, the princes and great dignitaries of the state, with the
professors of the university, used to take part in all the pomp of
mediæval ceremony and costume.--In Persia the festival of asses is
celebrated at the approach of spring; the ass personifying here the end
of the winter season.

[690] The same analogy presents itself in the Sanskṛit word
_arbhakas_, which means little and foolish.

[691] Cfr. the root _gad_, from which we might perhaps deduce an
imaginary intermediate form, gadarbhas, besides the known gardabhas
and gandharbas or gandharvas.

[692] Cfr. _arvan_ with the roots _arv, arb, arp, ṛiph, riph, riv,

[693] x. 10, 5.

[694] Gandharva itthâ padam asya rakshati.; _Ṛigv._ ix. 83, 4.

[695] Strîkâmâḥ vâi gandharvâḥ; i. 27.

[696] Professor Kuhn (_Die Herabkunft_, d. f. &c.) has already compared
to this the Zend Gandhrawa, who, in the Lake Vôuru-Kasha, keeps guard
over the tree _hom_ (the Vedic Somas). Kuhn and Weber, moreover, have
identified the Vedic gandharvas, Kṛiçânus, who wounds the ravisher of
the Somas, with the Zend Kereçâni, who endeavours to destroy riches;
here the gandharvas would appear to be a monstrous and demoniacal being.

[697] ... ut omittam eos, quos libidinis ac fœœdæ voluptatis causa,
coluisse nomen illud atque imposuisse suis, a scriptoribus notatur,
qualis olim Onos ille Commodi; qualis exsecrandus Marci Verotrasinus,
qualis et alterius Onobelos, quales, quos matronis in deliciis fuisse
scimus. Unde illud atque alium bipedem sibi quærit asellum, ejus nempe
membri causa, quod, in asino, clava, a Nicandro dicitur; _Laus Asini_,
Lugd. Batavorum, ex officina Elzeviriana, p. 194.

[698] To this flight into Egypt upon the ass can be referred the
Piedmontese custom among children in the middle of Lent--that is, near
the festival of St Joseph--of attaching to their companions now a saw,
now a devil's head, now an ass's head, pronouncing the words, "L'asu
cariá che gnün lu sa" (the ass burdened, and no one knows it).
Moreover, it seems to me that to the Christian tradition of Joseph,
and of the child Jesus carried upon the ass, can be referred the
well-known European fable of the old man, the boy, and the ass, of
which numerous varieties may be read in the article upon the _asinus
vulgi_ in the _Orient und Occident_ of Benfey.

[699] Professor Benfey, in his learned Einleitung to the
_Pańćatantram_, p. 268, says that the disguise by means of the skin of
an ass is found in a Latin poem of the fifteenth century.

[700] "Addo ex Conrado Lycosthene in libro de ostentis et prodigiis
hanc iconem quam hippokentauri esse credebam, ipse vero (nescio ex
quo) Apothami vocat, Apothami (inquit) in aqua morantes, qui una parte
hominem, alia vero caballum sive equum referunt. Sic etiam memoriæ
tradiderunt mulieres esse capite plano sine crinibus, promissas autem
barbas habentes. Atqui ea descriptio plane ad Onocentauros pertinere
videtur, quos Aelianus et Philes sic fere delineant. Quæ vero de
Onocentauro fama accepi, hæc sunt: Eum homini ore et promissa barba
similem esse, simul et collum et pectus, humanam speciem gerere;
mammas distantes tamquam mulieris ex pectore pendere; humeros,
brachia, digitos, humanam figuram habere; dorsum, ventrem, latera,
posteriores pedes, asino persimiles et quemadmodum asinum sic cinereo
colore esse; imum ventrem leviter exalbescere: duplicem usum ei manus
præstare; nam celeritate ubi sit opus eæ manus præcurrunt ante
posteriores pedes; ex quo fit, ut non cæterorum quadrupedum cursu
superetur. Ac ubi rursus habet necesse vel cibum capere vel aliud
quidpiam tollere, qui ante pedes erant manus efficiuntur, tumque non
graditur, sed in sessione quiescit: Animal est gravi animi acerbitate;
nam si capiatur, non ferens servitutem, libertatis desiderio ab omni
cibo abhorret, et fame sibi mortem consciscit, licet pullus adhuc
fuerit. Hæc de Onocentauro Pythagoram narrare testatur Crates, ex
Mysio Pergamo profectus;" Aldrovandi, _De Quadrupedibus_, i.--In the
Indian satyrs described by Pliny, in the seventh book of his _Natural
History_, we find represented an analogous animal: "Sunt et satyri
subsolanis Indorum montibus (Cartadulonum dicitur regio) pernicissimum
animal, turn quadrupes, turn recte currens, humana effigie, propter
velocitatem nisi senes aut ægri, aut capiuntur." Evidently this refers
to some kind of monkey (probably the orang-outang); but as the myth of
the monkey does not differ much from that of the ass, as we shall see,
even the Hindoo gandharvas is represented as a monkey.--"In _A. V._
iv. 37, 11, the gandharvas, a class of gods, who are described as
hairy, like dogs and monkeys, but as assuming a handsome appearance to
seduce the affections of earthly females, are implored to desist from
this unbecoming practice, and not to interfere with mortals, as they
had wives of their own, the Apsarases;" Muir's _Sanskṛit Texts_, v.
309.--We have the monkey-gandharvas and the warrior-gandharvas in the
Vedic hymns, the warrior-monkey in the _Râmâyaṇam_, and the
warrior-kentauros and warrior-ass in Hellenic myths.

[701] We also read of the ass that dances, which reminds us of the
gandharvas in their capacity of heavenly musicians and dancers, who
teach the gods how to dance. Nor is it perhaps without reason that the
author of precepts for dancers and mimics is named _Kṛiçâçvas_:
kṛiçâçvas means, as we already know, he who possesses a lean horse, or
simply the lean horse. Between the lean horse, the mule, and the ass,
the distance is short; nor can we overlook the fact that in the
gandharvas Kṛiçânus is recognised as he who causes to become lean,
which calls us back to the monster who makes horses grow lean, to the
monster of horses, the ugly horse, the horse-monster, who destroys the
golden ears of the fields, making them dry up, like the monster
Çushṇas, or the destroyer of riches, like the Zend Kereçâni.--In the
before-quoted book, _Laus Asini_, the author says in jest, "Fortassis
Pegasum fuisse asinum;" and in this jest a great truth is contained.

[702] Kadâ yogo vâǵino râsabhasya yena yaǵńaṁ nâsatyopayâthaḥ; _Ṛigv._
i. 34, 9.

[703] Viḷupatmabhir âçuhemabhir vâ devânâṁ vâ ǵûtibhiḥ çâçadânâ tad
râsabho nâsatyâ sahasram âǵâ yamasya pradhane ǵigâya.

[704] Yatrâ rathasya bṛihato nidhânaṁ vimoćanaṁ vâǵino râsabhasya;
_Ṛigv._ iii. 53, 5.

[705] Nâvâǵinaṁ vâǵinâ hâsayanti na gardabham puro açvân nayanti;
_Ṛigv._ iii. 53, 23.

[706] Gardabharathenâçvinâ udaǵayatâmaçvinâvâçnuvâtâṁ yadaçvinâ
udaǵayatâmaçvinâvâçnuvâtâṁ tasmâtsasṛitaǵavo dugdhadohaḥ
sarveshâmetarhi vâhanânâmanâçishṭo retasastvasya vîryaṁ nâharatâm
tasmâtsa dviretâ vâǵî; _Âit. Br._ iv. 2, 9.

[707] _Ueber den Zusammenhang indischer Fabeln mit griechischen_,
Berlin, 1855.

[708] St Jerome, in the Life of Saint Hilarion: "Ego, inquit, Aselle,
faciam ut non calcitres necte hordeo alam, sed paleis; fame te
conficiam et sitis gravi onerabo pondere; per æstus indagabo et
frigore, ut cibum potius quam lasciviam cogites."--St Paulinus wrote,
"Sit fortis anima mortificans asinum suum."--In Italian, too, there is
a low term by which we say, _il mio asino_, instead of _il mio corpo_.

[709] A. c. i. m. t.,--pœœna seu mulcta, quæ reis irrogari solebat, ut
colligitur ex decreto Nepesini populi ann. 1134.--Iis et maxime
maritis, qui a suis vapulabant mulieribus; quod eo usque insaniæ
deventum erat, ut si maritus aufugisset, proximior vicinus eam ipse
pœœnam luere teneretur; quem morem non omnino periisse audivi. Du
Cange, whose words these are, gives several examples of a similar
chastisement.--In the _Tuti-Name_, ii. 20, a certain man complains to
a sage that he has lost his ass, and begs the wise man to find it
again for him; the latter points out a man who grew old without having
known love; he who does not love is a fool.--It is a remarkable fact
that the ass, generally considered a very lustful animal, is sometimes
despised as unadapted to make fruitful, and the reason of this is
given by Aldrovandi (_De Quadrupedibus_, i.)--Quamvis modo libidine
maxime pruriat, ob verendi tamen enormitatem, qua supra modum præditus
est, ad generandum admodum segnem esse compertum est, sicuti et
homines qui simili genitalis productione conspicui sunt, quod in
emissione per eam longitudinem semen transmeans hebetetur et frigidius
fiat. Testaturque Ælianus inter causas cur Ægyptii asinos odere, et
hanc quoque accedere putari, quod eum populi prædicti omnes fœœcundos
animantes colant, asinus minime fœœcundans nullus in honore sit.

[710] Sam, indra, gardabham mṛiṇa nuvantam pâpayâmuyâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 29, 5.

[711] Quoted by Weber, _Ueber den Zusammenhang indischer Fabeln mit
griechischen_, where the braying ass would also appear to be born of the
omniform monster: "Entsteht, nach Ç. xii. 7, 1, 5, nebst Ross und
Maulthier, aus dem Ruhm (yaças, which, however, may perhaps here also
simply mean splendour), welcher dem Ohr des getödteten Viçvarûpa
Tvâshṭra entfloss, worin der Bezug auf sein lautes Geschrei wohl nicht
zu verkennen ist."--We have already seen, in the Russian stories quoted
in the preceding chapter, how the two horsemen who protect the hero come
out of the ears of the grey horse, and how the hero himself, entering by
one ear, and coming out of the other, finds a heroic horse. Here we can,
perhaps, detect an allusion to the long-eared ass, in the same way as in
the appellation of âçrutkarṇas, or the ear which listens, given to
Indras (_Ṛigv._ i. 10, 9), the long-eared Indras may possibly be a form
representing the long-eared Midas, or the ass with long ears.

[712] Gatiṁ khara ivâçvasya suparṇasyeva pakshiṇaḥ anâgantuṁ na çakto
'smi râǵyam tava mahîpate.

[713] _Râmây._ ii. 71.

[714] _Râmây._ iii. 38, 48.

[715] _Ib._ v. 12.

[716] vi. 74.

[717] Kravyâdaḥ piçâćâḥ, in the _Atharvavedas_, viii. 2, 12.

[718] Cfr. also the _Tuti-Name_ of Rosen, ii. 218, for the musical
ass; and the same, ii. 149, for the ass in a lion's skin.

[719] xli. 28.--Cfr. the _Khorda Avesta_, Spiegel's _Einleitung_, p.
54: "Dort ist der dreibeinige Esel der in der Mitte des Sees steht und
mit seinem Geschrei die bösen Wesen vertreibt und alles Wasser, das
mit unreinen Wesen und Dingen in Berührung kommt, sogleich reinigt."

[720] Readers of Dante are acquainted with the trumpet of the devil
Malacoda, which is used in the same way as the fool uses his in the
Mongol story.

[721] In Menander, quoted by Aulus Gellius, a husband complains of the
injuries done him by his wife, using the proverb, "The ass amongst the
monkeys." Monkeys are well known for their impudent lasciviousness;
the ass, who represents the phallos, among this lascivious fraternity
finds himself often in the condition of an impotent and weak husband.


      Lampsacus huic soli solita est mactare Priapo.
        Apta asini flammis indicis exta damus.
      Quem tu diva memor de pane monilibus ornas;
        Cessat opus; vacuæ conticuere molæ.
                                 --Ovidius, _Fasti_, vi.

[723] From the myth of the ass, as a musician and judge of music, is
derived the Tuscan game of the ass, which is thus described by Signor
Fanfani in his _Vocabolario dell' Uso Tuscano_, Firenze, 1863:--"Each
member of the party chooses an animal whose voice or song he must
imitate. The head player represents the ass, and is the king of the
other animals. When the head player, sitting in the middle, calls one
of the animals who encircle him, the dog, for instance, this animal
must bark; when he calls the cock, it must cry chicchiricù; when he
calls the ox, he who represents it must bellow, and so on. When the
ass brays, then all the animals emit their respective cries. Whoever
laughs, or omits to give forth the voice or song of the animal which
he represents, pays a forfeit."

[724] Ovidius, _Metam._ xi. 180.

[725] According to the _Annals of Padova_, cited by Berrardino
Scardeone, in Aldrovandi. _De Quadrupedibus_, i.

[726] The German proverb, "Wald hat Ohren, Feld hat Gesicht," is well
known. Cfr. the varieties of this proverb upon the ears of the forest,
in the third vol. pp. 120 and 173, of Uhland's _Schriften zur
Geschichte der Dichtung und Sage_, Stüttgart, 1866.

[727] The reader is acquainted with the myth of the nymph Syrinx,
beloved of Pan, who was changed into a cane or reed, from which Pan made
a flute. We find the leaf of the cane in connection with the ass in
Hungarian tradition. A singular indentation can be observed upon the
leaves of the cane, which has a great resemblance to the mark of three
teeth. To explain this strange mark the Hungarian people narrate, that
the ass of the Redeemer once bit the leaf of a cane, but as Christ was
in a hurry, the ass was unable to eat the leaf, and so it happened that
its three teeth only left the mark of the bite upon the cane. From that
time forward every leaf of a cane bears record to this. The two lines
which stretch down the two flanks of the ass are said in Hungary to be
caused by the blood of our Redeemer. The popular belief in Ireland is
that these lines remain as a memorial of Christ having once struck the
ass.--Cfr. the chapter on the Peacock and that on the Eel, where we
shall find the hero and the heroine again transformed into canes.

[728] The loss of heart or courage is expressed in Italian by the low
term "Quí mi casca l'asino" (here my ass falls). This expression,
however, may perhaps be of Hellenic origin; the equivoque between the
two equisonant expressions, "ap' onou" and "apo nou" is well-known;
whence to fall off the ass and to fall from one's mind became

[729] There is an unpublished story which I heard narrated at Antignano,
near Leghorn, of a mother who has a silly son named Pipetta. The latter
asks his mother for a quattrino (a small coin) to buy a vetch, and
afterwards a bean, because it grows higher; he sows it, and it attains a
marvellous height. Climbing up the bean-stalk he comes to the gates of
paradise, which are opened to him, but St Peter sends him back; he then
finds the entrance to hell, which he wishes to visit. The devil shows
him all the sights; the two then play at cards, and Pipetta wins a
sackful of souls. The devil fears that Pipetta will empty hell, so he
allows him to depart with the sack, and an ass which throws gold from
its tail; he mounts up to heaven, and consigns the sack of souls to St
Peter. The story ends with the usual exchange of asses at the inn where
Pipetta sleeps upon his descent from the beanstalk.

[730] _Biblion Istorikon_, i. 116.--It is added, that when Titus
remonstrated with his father on his avarice, Vespasian made him smell
the gold for which the horse's dung had been sold, asking him whether
it smelt bad.--In the Mongol story we saw the fool who goes out with
his ass and hides it in a cavern afterwards despoiling a merchant's
caravan.--_Tzetzas_, i. 128, records the existence in Phrygia of a
village called "Ass's-ears" (ê klêsis onou ôta), inhabited by robbers,
and belonging to Midas; he thinks, moreover, that Midas was surnamed
the large-eared on account of this village of his.

[731] vi. 105.

[732] Kleitas onôn hekatombas, xi. 51.

[733] In _Anton. Liberalis_ we find a long narrative from which we
gather that Apollo would only suffer the ass to be sacrificed to him
among the Hyperboreans.

[734] I read on this subject in the curious volume _Laus Asini_,
printed at Leyden by Elzevir, the following notice: "Si quis graviter
a scorpione ictus, id in aurem insusurret asino, ex tempore curetur."


      "Te senior turpi sequitur Silenus asello
       Turgida pampineis redimitus tempora sertis
       Condita lascivi deducunt orgya mystæ."
                                  --Seneca, _Œdipus_.

[736] Tam ûhathur nâubhir âtmanvatîbhir antarikshaprudbhir
apodakâbhiḥ; strophe 3.--Cfr. strophe 4th and 5th of the same hymn.

[737] Another reason is also assigned for the honour given to the ass
in heaven: the ass and Priapos contend together as to who is superior;
Priapos defeats the ass, and Dionysos takes pity upon the vanquished,
and places it in heaven among the stars.

[738] _Laus Asini_, Ludg. Batavorum, ex officina Elzeviriana.

[739] "Conferre aliquid et candori in mulierum cute existimatur.
Poppaea certe Domitii Neronis conjux quingentas secum per omnia
trahens fætas balnearum etiam solio totum corpus illo lacte macerabat,
extendi quoque cutem credens;" _Aldrov._ To which custom Juvenal
alludes in his 6th satire:

                      "Atque illo lacte fovetur
      Propter quod secum comites educit asellas
      Exul hyperboreum si dimittetur ad axim."

[740] "Finitis laudibus, surgit quidam archipresbyter, retro se
ascendit asinum preparatum a curia; quidam cubicularius tenet in
capite asini bacilem cum xx. solidis denariorum," &c.; in Du Cange,
the work quoted before, _s. v. cornomannia_.--We also find in Du Cange
that a soldier was called in the middle ages "caput asini, pro
magnitudine capitis et congerie capillorum."

[741] In the _Pentamerone_, iii. 8, the night is called "l'aseno de

[742] In the _Pentamerone_, ii. I, we have a variation of the other
Æsopian fable of the lion who is afraid of the ass. The old witch, in
order to deliver herself from the lion which Petrosinella has caused to
rise, flays an ass and dresses herself in its skin; the lion, believing
it to be really an ass, runs off.--In the thirteenth of the Sicilian
stories collected by Signora Laura Gonzenbach, and published at Leipzig
by Brockhaus, the ass and the lion dispute the spoil; the young hero
divides it, giving to the ass the hay that the lion has in its mouth,
and to the lion the bones in the ass's mouth. But probably the lion here
represents the dog, according to the Greek proverb, "Küni didôs achüra,
onôi ta ostea," to express a thing done the wrong way.

[743] In the _Pentamerone_ again, in the island of the ogres, an old
ogress feeds a number of asses, who afterwards jump on to the bank of
a river and kick the swans; here the ass is demoniacal, as it is in
the _Râmâyaṇam_; the swans, as we shall see, are a form of the
luminous Açvinâu.--In obscene literature, the _mentula_ as a gardener,
and the _vulva_ as a garden, are two frequent images; cfr., among
others, the Italian poem, _La Menta_.

[744] Cfr. the first of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano di Calcinaia_,
in which we also find the third brother, believed to be stupid, who
makes his ass throw gold from its tail; the foolish Pimpi, who kills his
ass whilst cutting wood; the son of the poor man, who amuses himself by
sending the ass before him tied to a string, and then making it return;
the peasant who drags up the ass which had fallen into the marsh, and
who then marries the daughter of the king of Russia (the wintry, the
gloomy, the nocturnal one), who never laughed and whom he causes to
laugh; and the ass who dies after eating a poisoned loaf.

[745] _Contes et Proverbes Populaires recueillis en Armagnac_, par J.
F. Bladé, Paris, Franck.

[746] _Cuentos y Poesias Populares Andaluces_, collecionados por
Fernan Caballero, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1866.




    The sun-shepherd, and the sun-lamb, ram, or goat.--The dark-coloured
    he-goat.--The goat-moon.--Aǵas; explanation given by Professor
    Bréal; the Finnic aija.--Meshas; she-goat, ram, skin, sack.--The ram
    Indras.--The goats Açvinâu.--The he-goat Veretraghna.--The lamb and
    the goat in the forest opposed to the wolf.--The apple-tree and the
    she-goat; the cloud and the apple-tree.--The goat, the nut-tree and
    the hazel-nuts.--The wolf assumes the goat's voice; the wolf in the
    fire.--The witch takes the voice of the little hero's mother; the
    child born of a tree.--The hero among the sheep, or in the spoils of
    the sheep, escapes from the witch.--Pûshan aǵâçvas and his
    sister.--The brother who becomes a kid while drinking; the sister in
    the sea.--The husband-goat; the goat's skin burned; the monster
    appears once more a handsome youth; the funereal mantle of the young
    hero; when it is burned, the hero lives again handsome and
    splendid.--The children changed into kids.--The cunning Schmier-bock
    in the sack.--Aǵamukhî--Ilvalas and Wâtâpis.--Indras meshâṇḍas,
    sahasradhâras and sahasradâras.--The rams of the wolf eaten.--The
    goat of expiation, the goat and the stupidity of the hero disappear
    at the same time.--The devil-ram; the putrid sheep that throws gold
    behind it.--The goat which deprives men of sight.--The young prince,
    riding on the goat, solves the riddle.--The spy of heaven; the eye
    of God.--The constellation of the she-goat and two kids.--The lame
    goat.--The heroine and the goat her guide and nurse.--The milky way
    and the she-goat.--The goat's blood, manus Dei; the stone
    bezoar.--The cunning goat.--The goat deceives the wolf; the goat
    eats the leaf.--The she-goat possessed of a devil.--The
    ram-vessel.--Ram and he-goat fœœcundators.--The he-goat and the
    horned husband.--Zeus he-goat and the satyr Pan; Hêraklês the rival
    of a goat; the old powerless man called a he-goat.--Hellenic forms
    of the myth of the goat.--Phrixos and Helle; Jupiter Ammon; the
    altar of Apollo; the fleece of the Iberians; the golden ram of
    Atreus; Aigüsthos; Diana and the white sheep; Neptune a ram; satyrs
    and fauns; Hermês krioforos; the sheep of Epimenis; lambs, rams, and
    he-goats sacrificed; aixourania and the cornucopia.--The mythical
    goat; its threefold form; black, white, and light-coloured
    lambs.--Pecus and pecunia.

When the girl aurora leads out of the stable in the morning her
radiant flock, among them there are found to be white lambs, white
kids, and luminous sheep; in the evening the same aurora leads the
lambs, the kids, and the sheep back to the fold. In the early dawn all
this flock is white, by and by their fleeces are golden fleeces; the
white, and afterwards the golden heavens of the east (or the west)
constituting this white and golden flock, and the sun's rays their
fleeces. Then the sun himself, who steps forth from this flock, is now
its young shepherd-king, and now the lamb, the ram, or he-goat. When
the sun enters into the region of night, the he-goat or lamb goes back
to the fold and becomes dark-coloured; the sun veiled by the night or
the cloud is a dark-coloured ram, he-goat, or she-goat. In the night,
says the proverb, all cows are black; and the same might be said of
goats, except in the case of the goat, luminous and all-seeing, coming
out of the nocturnal darkness in the form of the moon. We must,
therefore, consider the sheep or goat under a triple aspect; the
principal and most interesting aspect being that of the sun veiled by
the gloom, or by the cloud, which wears often a demoniacal form, such
as that of the ass or of the hero in hell; the second being that of
the grey-white, and afterwards golden sky of morning, or of the golden
and thereafter grey-white sky of evening which, as a luminous, is
therefore generally a divine form of the goat; and the third aspect
being that of the moon.

The richest myths refer to the sun enclosed in the cloud or the shades
of night, or to the cloud or darkness of night closing round the sun.
The shifting shadow and the moving cloud on the one side, the damp
night and the rainy cloud on the other, easily came to be represented
as a goat and as a ram. In the Indian tongue, or even the Vedic,
_aǵas_ is a word which means, properly speaking, pushing, drawing,
moving (agens), and afterwards he-goat; the he-goat butts with its
horns; the sun in the cloud butts with its rays until it opens the
stable and its horns come out.[747] The ram is called _meshas_, or
_mehas_, that is, the pourer or spreader, mingens (like the ass
ćiramehin), which corresponds with the _meghas_, or cloud mingens.
Moreover, as in Greek from _aix_,[748] a goat, we have _aigis_, a skin
(Ægis), so in Sanskṛit from _aǵas_, a goat, we have _aǵinas_, a skin;
and from _meshas_, a ram, _meshas_, a fleece, a skin, and that which
is formed from it; whence the Petropolitan Dictionary compares with it
the Russian _mieh_ (Lithuanian, _maiszas_) skin and sack.

Let us now first of all see how these simple images developed
themselves in the Hindoo myth.

Indras, the pluvial and thundering god, is represented in the first
strophe of a Vedic hymn as a very celebrated heroic ram;[749] in the
second strophe, as the one who pours out ambrosial honey (madaćyutam);
in the third strophe, as opening the stable or precinct of the cows to
the Añgirasas;[750] in the fourth strophe, as killing the serpent that
covers or keeps back; in the fifth strophe, as expelling the
enchanters with enchantments, and breaking the strong cities of the
monster Piprus;[751] and in the sixth strophe, as crushing under his
foot the giant-like monster Arbudas[752] or monster serpent. Thus far
we have two aspects of the myth, the ram which pours out ambrosial
honey, and the ram which opens the gate and crushes with its foot. In
another hymn the Açvinâu are compared to two he-goats (aǵeva), to two
horns (çṛiñgeva), and to two swift dogs.[753] A third hymn informs us
that Indras by means of a ram killed a leonine monster.[754]

Here we evidently have a heroic he-goat or ram.

Let us compare it with other traditions. In the _Khorda Avesta_[755]
we find Veretraghna (the Zend form of Indras, as Vṛitrahan) "with the
body of a warrior he-goat, handsome, and with sharpened horns."

In the Russian tale given by _Afanassieff_,[756] the lamb, companion of
the bull in the wood, kills the wolf by butting against its sides, while
the bull also wounds the ferocious beast with its horns. In another
variation of the same story,[757] the cat is confederate with the lamb
against the wolf; the lamb butts hard at the wolf, while the cat
scratches it till blood flows. In yet another version, besides the lamb,
the he-goat also appears; the cat twists some of the bark of the
birch-tree round the horns of the he-goat, and bids the lamb rub against
it to produce fire; sparks come from it, the cat fetches hay, and the
three companions warm themselves. The wolves come up, and the cat makes
them run, presenting them the goat as a scarecrow, and frightening them
further by ominous hints as to the strength contained in its beard.
Finally, we have in the Russian stories two singular variations of the
fable of the goat, the kids, and the wolf.[758] The goat is about to
give birth to her young ones under an apple-tree. (We have seen in
Chapter I. the apple-tree, the fruit of which, when eaten, causes horns
to sprout. It is well-known that in Greek, _mêlon_ means a goat and an
apple-tree, as the Hindoo masculine noun _petvas_, which means a ram, is
in the neuter _petvam_ = ambrosia. The mythical apple-tree is ambrosial,
like the cornucopia of the goat of mythology; and it seems to me that
here, too, I can find an analogy in the Slavonic field itself between
the Russian words _óblaka_, clouds, in the plural _ablaká_, the clouds,
and _iablony_, apple-tree, plural _jáblogna_, the apple-trees, _jablok_,
the apple.) The apple-tree advises the goat to betake itself to some
other place, as the apples might fall upon its new-born kids and kill
them. The goat then goes to give birth to her young ones under an
equally shady walnut-tree; the walnut-tree also advises her to go away,
as the nuts might fall and do serious harm to her little ones;[759] upon
which the goat goes to a deserted tent in the forest, another form of
the cloud of night. When the kids are brought forth, the goat issues
forth out of the tent to procure food, and cautions her children not to
open to any one (the fable is well known in the West, but the Slavonic
variations are particularly interesting). The wolf comes and pronounces
the same password as the goat to induce the kids to open, but they
perceive by the rough voice of the wolf that it is not their mother, and
refuse to admit him. The wolf then goes to the blacksmith, and has a
voice made for him resembling that of the goat; the deceived kids open,
and the wolf devours them all except the smallest, who hides under the
stove (the favourite place where the little Slavonic hero, the third
brother, the ill-favoured fool, who afterwards becomes handsome and
wise, is accustomed to squat). The goat returns, and learns from the kid
which has escaped the massacre of its brothers. She thinks how to avenge
herself, and invites her friend and gossip the fox with the wolf to
dinner; the unsuspecting wolf arrives along with the fox. After dinner,
the goat, to divert her guests, invites them to amuse themselves by
leaping over an opening made in the floor; the goat leaps first, then
the fox leaps, and then the wolf, but falls down on the burning ashes
and is burnt to death, like the witch in some other stories, as the
night is burned by the morning aurora; and the goat chaunts a marvellous
_Te Deum_ (ćudesnoi pamin) in the wolf's honour. The other Russian
version adds some new and curious details. The goat goes to find food,
and leaves the kids alone; they shut the door after her. She returns
and says, "Open, my sons, my little fathers; your mother is come; she
has brought some milk, half a side full of milk, half a horn full of
fresh cheese, half a little horn full of clear water (the
cornucopia)."[760] The kids open immediately. The second day the goat
goes out again; the wolf, who had heard the song, tries to sing it to
the kids; but the latter perceive that it is not their mother's voice,
and do not open. Next day the wolf again imitates the mother's voice;
the kids open the door, and are all devoured except one which hides
itself in the stove, and afterwards narrates to the mother-goat all that
has happened. The goat avenges herself as follows: She goes into the
forest with the wolf, and comes to a ditch where some workmen had cooked
some gruel, and left the fire still burning. The goat challenges the
wolf to leap the ditch; the wolf tries and falls into it, where the fire
makes his belly split open, from which the kids, still alive, skip out
and run to their mother.

Another story, however,[761] affords us still more aid in the
interpretation of the myth; that is, in leading us to see in the goat
and her kids the sun horned or furnished with rays, as it issues radiant
out of the cloud, or darkness, or ocean of night, and in the wolf, or in
the wolf's skin, split open or burned, out of which the kids come, the
dark, cloudy, watery nocturnal sky. Instead of the wolf we have a witch,
instead of the goat a woman, and instead of the kids the young Vaniushka
(Little John); the witch has a voice made by the blacksmith like that of
Vaniushka's or Tereshićko's mother, and thus attracts him to her.
Tereshićha says that he was originally the stump of a tree, which his
father and mother, being childless, had picked up in the forest, and
wrapped up and rocked in a cradle till he was born.

The monster wolf, or the witch, having the faculty of simulating the
voice of the goat,[762] and an especial predilection for both sheep
and goats,--so much so that the witch Liho (properly Evil) keeps some
in her house, and those which come out (of the dark sky) in the
morning, and which re-enter (the dark sky) in the evening, are
considered her peculiar property,[763]--often transforms the hero (the
evening sun) into a kid (into the darkness or cloud of night). Of
course, as the dark and cloudy monster is often represented as a wolf,
it is easy to understand his wish that everything should be
transformed into a lamb in order to eat it. But the mythical lamb or
kid, the young solar hero, generally escapes out of the jaws of the
wolf, out of the hands of the witch, or out of the darkness, the
waters, or the cloud of night.

A Vedic hymn celebrates the strong Pûshan, who has a he-goat for his
horse (or who is a goat-horse), and is called the lover of his sister.
Perhaps these words contain the germ of the Russian story of Little
John, brother of Little Helen, who is changed by witchcraft into a
kid. I have already observed in Chapter I. how Helen, who at the
commencement of the story shows affection for her brother John, ends
by betraying him. The Vedic hymn would appear to contain the notion of
the brother Pûshan transformed into a he-goat (the sun which enters
into the cloud or darkness of night), because he has loved his sister.
In another Vedic hymn we have the sister Yamî, who seduces her brother
Yamas. In European fairy tales, the sister loves her brother, who is
metamorphosed by the art of a witch, now into a young hog, and now
into a kid. In the forty-fifth story of the fourth book of
_Afanassieff_, Ivanushka (Little John) becomes a kid after drinking
out of a goat's hoof. In the twenty-ninth story of the second book of
_Afanassieff_, Ivanushka and Little Helen, the children of a Tzar,
wander alone about the world. Ivanushka wishes to drink where cows,
horses, sheep, and hogs feed and drink; his sister Little Helen
advises him not to do so, lest he should turn into a calf, a colt, a
lamb, or a young pig; but at last John is overcome by thirst, and,
against the advice of his sister, he drinks where goats drink, and
becomes a kid. A young Tzar marries the sister, and gives every honour
to the kid, but a witch throws the young queen into the sea (Phrixos
and Helle; in other European stories, into a cistern), and usurps her
place, inducing the people to believe that she is Helen, and
commanding the kid to be put to death. The kid runs to the shore and
invokes his sister, who answers from the bottom of the sea that she
can do nothing. The young Tzar, to whom the affair is referred,
hastens to deliver Helen out of the sea; the kid can again skip about
in safety, and everything is green again, and flourishes as much as it
withered before; the witch is burnt alive.[764]

According to the fiftieth story of the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, a
merchant has three daughters. He builds a new house, and sends his
three daughters by turns to pass the night there, in order to see what
they dream about. (The belief that the man dreamed of by a maiden
during the night of St John's Day, Christmas Day, or the Epiphany, is
her predestined husband, still exists in the popular superstitions of
Europe.) The eldest daughter dreams that she marries a merchant's son,
the second a noble, and the third a he-goat. The father commands his
youngest daughter never to go out of the house; she disobeys; a
he-goat appears and carries her off upon his horns towards a rocky
place. Saliva and mucous matter fall from the goat's mouth and
nostrils; the good maiden is not disgusted, but patiently wipes the
goat's mouth. This pleases the animal, who tells her that if she had
shown horror towards him, she would have had the same fate as his
former wives, whose heads were impaled on a stake. The geese bring to
the girl news of her father and sisters; they announce that the eldest
sister is about to be married; she wishes to be present at the
wedding, and is permitted by the goat to go, who orders for her use
three horses as black as a crow, who arrive at their destination in
three leaps (the three steps of Vishṇus), whilst he himself sits upon
a flying carpet, and is transported to the wedding in the form of a
handsome and young stranger. The same happens on the occasion of the
second sister's marriage, when the third sister guesses that this
handsome youth is her own husband. She departs before the rest, comes
home, finds the skin of the goat and burns it; then her husband always
preserves the form of a handsome youth, inasmuch as the enchantment of
the witch has come to an end.[765]

The lamb, the he-goat, and the sheep are favourite forms of the
witch. In the European story, when the beautiful princess, in the
absence of the prince, her husband, gives birth to two beautiful sons,
the witch induces the absent prince to believe that, instead of real
sons, his young wife has given birth to pups. In the seventh story of
the third book of _Afanassieff_, the young queen gives birth, during
the king's absence, to two sons, of whom one has the moon on his
forehead, and the other a star on the nape of his neck (the Açvinâu).
The wicked sister of the young queen buries the children. Where they
were buried a golden sprout and a silver one spring up. A sheep feeds
upon these plants, and gives birth to two lambs, having, the one the
moon on its head, the other a star on its neck. The wicked sister, who
has meanwhile been married to the king, orders them to be torn in
pieces, and their intestines to be thrown out into the road. The good
lawful queen has them cooked, eats them, and again gives birth to her
two sons, who grow up hardy and strong, and who, when interrogated by
the king, narrate to him the story of their origin; their mother is
recognised, and becomes once more the king's wife; the wicked sister
is put to death.[766]

The witch is sometimes herself (as a wolf-cloud or wolf-darkness) a
devourer of young luminous kids or lambs, such as the Schmierbock in
the Norwegian story. The witch carries Schmierbock three times away in
a sack; the first and second time Schmierbock escapes by making a hole
in the sack; but the third time the witch succeeds in carrying him to
her house, where she prepares to eat him. The cunning Schmierbock,
however, smuggles the witch's own daughter into his place, and,
climbing up, conceals himself in the chimney (a variation of the
stove, the place where the young Russian hero usually hides himself,
in the same way as in the Tuscan story the foolish Pimpi conceals
himself in the oven). From this post of security he laughs at the
witch, who endeavours to recapture him; he throws a stone down the
chimney and kills her, upon which he descends, rifles her
treasure-stores, and carries off all her gold. Here the young hero is
called a he-goat; in the chapter on the wolf, we shall find the witch
of the Norwegian story actually bears the name of wolf. These two data
complete the myth; the wolf which wishes to devour the little hero,
and the witch who endeavours to eat the little lamb, are completed by
the fable which represents the wolf as, at the rivulet, eating the
lamb, which, in the mythical heavens, means the cloudy and gloomy
monster which devours the sun.

We have seen above the witch who imitates the voice of the mother of
the little hero, in order to be able to eat him, and the wolf who
mimics the voice of the goat and eats the kids; but the wolf does more
than assume the goat's voice; he sometimes even takes her form.

In the _Râmâyaṇam_,[767] Aǵamukhî, or goat's face, is called a witch,
who wishes Sîtâ to be torn to pieces. In the legend of Ilvalas and
Vâtâpis,[768] the two wizard brothers who conspire to harm the
Brâhmaṇâs, Vâtâpis transforms himself into a wether, and lets himself
be sacrificed in the funeral rites by the Brâhmaṇâs. The unsuspecting
Brâhmaṇâs eat its flesh; then Ilvalas cries out to his brother, "Come
forth, O Vâtâpis!" and his brother, Vâtâpis, comes out of the bodies
of the Brâhmaṇâs, lacerating them, until the ṛishis Agastyas eats of
himself the whole of Vâtâpis, and burns Ilvalas to ashes. The
_Râmâyaṇam_ itself explains to us why, in these sacrifices, a wether,
and not a ram, is spoken of,[769] when it narrates the legend of
Ahalyâ. It is said in this passage that the god Indras was one day
condemned to lose his testicles by the malediction of the ṛishis
Gâutamas, with whose wife, Ahalyâ, he had committed adultery. The
gods, moved to pity, took the testicles of a ram and gave them to
Indras, who was therefore called Meshâṇḍas; on this account, says the
_Râmâyaṇam_, the Pitaras feed on wethers, and not on rams, in funeral
oblations. This legend is evidently of brâhmanic origin. The
Brâhmaṇâs, being interested in discrediting the god of the warriors,
Indras, and finding him called in the Vedâs by the name of Meshas or
ram, invented the story of the ram's testicles, in the same way as,
finding Indras in the Vedâs called by the name of Sahasrâkshas
(_i.e._, he of the thousand eyes), they malignantly connected this
appellation with the same scandalous story of the seduction of Ahalyâ,
and degraded the honourable epithet into an infamous one, he of the
thousand wombs, probably by the confusion arising out of the equivoque
between the words _sahasradhâras_, the sun (as carrying, now a
thousand stars, now a thousand rays), or _sahasrânçus_, and
_sahasradâras_, which has a very different meaning.

In the important 116th hymn of the first book of the _Ṛigvedas_,
Ṛiǵrâçvas (_i.e._, the red horse, or the hero of the red horse) eats a
hundred rams belonging to the she-wolf (in the following hymn, a
hundred and one); his father blinds him on this account; the two
marvellous physicians, the Açvinâu, give him back his two eyes.[770]
Evidently the father of the solar hero is here the gloomy monster of
night himself; the sun, at evening, becomes the devourer of the rams
who come out of the she-wolf, or who belong to the she-wolf; it is for
this reason that the monster wolf blinds him when evening comes. The
red horse Ṛiǵrâçvas, or the hero of the red horse, who eats the rams
of the she-wolf, affords a further key to enable us to understand the
expiatory goat, which in the _Ṛigvedas_ itself is sacrificed instead
of the horse. We are told in a hymn, that in the sacrifice of the
horse the omniform he-goat (aǵo viçvarûpaḥ) has preceded the
horse;[771] and the _Âitareya Br._, commenting on this exchange of
animals, also speaks of the he-goat as the last animal destined for
the sacrifice. In the Russian stories, too, the goat has to pay the
price of the follies or rogueries done by the man, and is
sacrificed.[772] This sacrificed he-goat appears to be the same as the
ass which undergoes punishment for all the animals in the celebrated
fable of Lafontaine (which becomes a bull in the hands of the Russian
fabulist Kriloff, who could not introduce the ass, an animal almost
unknown in Russia); and we already know that the ass represents the
sun in the cloud or the sun in the darkness; and we have also said
that the ass and the fool die together in the legend. The she-goat
dies in the Russian story to deliver the fool, who, after her death,
is a fool no longer, his folly having died with her.[773] The popular
story offers us another proof of the identity of the mythical ass and
the mythical goat. We have also seen above, in the Norwegian story,
how the witch possesses a treasure which is carried off by the
Schmierbock, who kills her; the magician, or the devil, is always
rich. The ass which the devil gives to Little Johnny throws gold from
its tail; the ass personifies the devil. But the devil, as we have
observed, also has a predilection to embody himself in a ram, a lamb,
or a he-goat. I remember the puppets who every day improvised popular
representations in the little wooden theatre on the Piazza Castello,
at Turin, when I was a boy; the final doom of the personage who
represented the tyrant was generally to die under the bastinadoes of
Arlecchino, or to be carried to hell by the devil in the form of a
bleating lamb, which came upon the scene expressly to carry him away
with him, this disappearance being accompanied by much throbbing of
the spectators' hearts, to whom the manager preached a salutary
sermon.[774] In the twenty-first of the Tuscan stories published by
me, it is not the devil, but the little old man, Gesù, who gives to
the third brother, instead of the usual ass, a putrid sheep, which,
however, has the virtue of throwing louis-d'or behind it. This putrid,
or wet, or damp sheep represents still better the damp night.

Ṛiǵrâçvas, as we have said, eats the ram and becomes blind, his father
having blinded him to avenge the she-wolf to whom the rams belonged; but
the mother of the rams being the sheep, it is probable that the she-wolf
who possessed the rams had assumed the form of a putrid sheep, in the
same way as we have seen her above transformed into a she-goat; the
father of Ṛiǵrâçvas, who avenges the she-wolf on account of the hundred
rams, may perhaps himself have been a horned wolf transformed into a
he-goat, and have blinded Ṛiǵrâçvas with his horns. In the popular
story, the she-goat, when she is in the forest, takes a special pleasure
in wounding people's eyes with her horns; hence is probably derived the
name of the reptile aǵakâvas, conjured with in the _Ṛigvedas_,[775] as
durdṛiçikas, or making to see badly, damaging the eyesight, and the name
of aǵakâ, given to an illness in the eyes by the Hindoo physician
Suçrutas. However, we must not forget the connection between the idea of
skin and that of goat, by which the aǵakâ might mean simply the thin
membrane that sometimes harms the pupil of the eye, and produces
blindness. This thin membrane, stretched over the eye of the solar hero,
blinds him. We shall see in the chapter on the frog and the toad, which
very often represent, in the myths, the cloud and the damp night, that
the toad[776] causes blindness only by means of the venom which it is
fabled to exude, like the reptile aǵakâvas.

But, as the hero in hell learns and sees everything, the goat, which
deprives others of sight, has itself the property of seeing
everything; this is the case, because the goat, being the sun enclosed
in the cloud or gloomy night, sees the secrets of hell, and also
because, being the horned moon or starry sky, it is the spy of the
heavens. We have already observed in the first chapter how the
marvellous girl of seven years of age, to answer the acted riddle
proposed by the Tzar, arrives upon a hare, which, in mythology,
represents the moon. In a variation of the same story given by
_Afanassieff_,[777] instead of riding upon a hare, the royal boy comes
upon a goat, and is recognised by his father; the goat, in its
capacity of steed of the lost hero, seems here to represent the moon,
as the hare does.

We have already spoken of Indras sahasrâkshas, _i.e._, of the thousand
eyes; Hindoo painters represent him with these thousand eyes, that is,
as an azure sky bespangled with stars. Indras as the nocturnal sun hides
himself, transformed, in the starry heavens; the stars are his eyes. The
hundred-eyed or all-seeing (panoptês) Argos placed as a spy over the
actions of the cow beloved of Zeus, is the Hellenic equivalent of this
form of Indras. In Chapter I. we also saw the witch's daughter of the
Russian fairy tale who has three eyes, and with her third eye plays the
spy over the cow, which protects the good maiden. In the second story of
the sixth book of _Afanassieff_, when the peasant ascends into heaven
upon the pea-plant, and enters into a room where geese, hogs, and pastry
are being cooked, he sees a goat on guard; he only discovers six eyes,
as the goat has its seventh eye in its back; the peasant puts the six
eyes to sleep, but the goat, by means of its seventh eye, sees that the
peasant eats and drinks as much as he likes, and informs the lord of the
sky of the fact. In another variation of the story, given by
_Afanassieff_,[778] the old man finds in heaven a little house guarded
in turns by twelve goats, of which one has one eye, another two, a third
three, and so on up to twelve. The old man says to one after the other,
"One eye, two eyes, three eyes, &c., sleep." On the twelfth day, instead
of saying "twelve eyes," he makes a mistake and says "eleven;" the goat
with twelve eyes then sees and secures him. The eye of God which sees
everything, in the popular faith, is a variation of Argos Panoptês, the
Vedic Viçvavedas, and the Slavonic Vsievedas, the eye of the goat which
sees what is being done in heaven. When the moon shines in the sky, the
stars grow pale, the eyes of the witch of heaven fall asleep, but some
few eyes still stay open, some few stars continue to shine to observe
the movements of the cow-moon, the fairy-moon, the Madonna-moon, who
protects the young hero and the beautiful solar maiden lost in the
darkness of night.

This spying goat's eye is perhaps connected with the constellation of
the goat and two kids. Columella writes that the kids appear in the
sky towards the end of September, when the west, and sometimes the
south, wind blows and brings rain. According to Servius, the goat
united with the two kids in the constellation of Aquarius is the same
goat which was the nurse of Zeus; he says that it appears in October,
with the sign of Scorpio. Ovid, in _De Arte Amandi_, and in the first
book _Tristium_, and Virgil in the ninth book of the _Æneid_,[779]
also celebrate the goat and the kids of heaven as bringers of rain.
Horace, in the seventh ode, elegantly calls the goat's stars insane:--

                "Ille nothis actus ad Oricum
      Post insana capræ sidera, frigidas
      Noctes non sine multis
      Insomnis lachrymis agit."

We have already seen Indras as a ram or pluvial cloud; and the goat
with only one foot (ekapâd aǵaḥ), or he who has but one goat's foot,
who supports the heavens, who lightens and thunders,[780] is a form of
the same pluvial Indras who supports the heavens in the rainy season.
We have seen the Açvinâu compared to two goats, two horns, two hoofs;
each, therefore, would seem to have but one horn, but one goat's foot
(which might perhaps explain the ekapâd aǵaḥ); hence on one side the
cornucopia, and on the other the lame goat.[781] The nymph Galathea
(the milky one), who loves a faun (or one who has goat's feet), seems
to be a Hellenic form of the loves of Esmeralda and the goat with
Quasimodo. The goat loves him who has goat's feet; the solar hero (or
heroine) in the night has goat's feet; he is a satyr, a faun, a
he-goat, an ass; he is deformed and foolish, but he interests the good
fairy, who, in the form of a she-goat (as the moon and as the milky
way), guides him in the night, and, as the dawn (white aurora) in the
morning, saves him and makes him happy. In the German legend, the poor
princess who, with her son, is persecuted in the forest, is assisted
now by a she-goat, now by a doe, which gives milk to the child; by
means of this animal, which serves as his guide, the prince finds his
lost bride. This guiding she-goat, or doe, the nurse of the
child-hero, which Servius recognised in the constellation of the goat
(with respect to Zeus, who is essentially pluvial, as the Vedic Indras
has the clouds himself for his nurses), must have generally
represented the moon. But even the milky way of the sky (the bridge of
souls) is the milk spilt by the she-goat of heaven; the white morning
sky is also the milk of this same she-goat. The horned moon,[782] the
milky way, and the white dawn are represented in the form of a
beneficent she-goat which assists the hero and the heroine in the
forest, in the darkness; whilst, on the contrary, the sun enclosed in
the cloud, the darkness, or the starry sky of night (with the insana
capræ sidera), is now a good and wise he-goat or ram, full of good
advice, like the ram who advises the king of India in the
_Tuti-Name_,[783] and now a malignant monster, a demoniacal being.
Inasmuch as the goat gives light and milk, it is divine; inasmuch as
it conceals the beauty of the young hero or heroine and opposes them,
it may be considered demoniacal.

The connection between the she-goat and the milky way can also be
proved from the name St James's Way, given by the common people to the
galaxy, or galathea, or way of milk;[784] and it is interesting to
learn from Baron Reinsberg,[785] how, in several parts of Bohemia, it
is the custom on St James's Day to throw a he-goat out of the window,
and to preserve its blood, which is said to be of potent avail against
several diseases, such, for instance, as the spitting of blood. In the
_Lezioni di Materia Medica_ of Professor Targioni-Tozzetti,[786] we
also read that the he-goat's blood was known by no less a name than
_manus Dei_, and believed to be especially useful against contusions
of the back, pleurisy, and the stone. But the disease of the stone was
supposed to be cured by the stone called _capra_ (goat), which was
said to be found in the bodies of some Indian goats. Targioni-Tozzetti
himself seriously describes the goat-stones as follows:--"These stones
are usually clear on their surface, and dark-coloured; they have an
odour of musk when rubbed and heated by the hands. In them (the stone
Bezoar[787]) analeptic and alexipharmic virtues were supposed to
exist, which were able to resist the evil effects of poison and
contagious diseases, the plague not excepted, and to save the patient
by causing an abundant and healthy perspiration to break out on his
skin. For this reason these stones were sold very dear. The same
virtues are attributed to those found in the West, but in a much less
degree." When the heavenly goat dissolves in rain or in dew, when
moisture comes from the goat-cloud, the mountain-cloud, or the
stone-cloud, these humours are salutary. When St James, who is joined
with the goat and the rain, pours out his bottle, as the Piedmontese
people say, the vapour which falls from the sky on these days is
considered by the peasants, as in fact it is for the country, and
especially for the vines, a real blessing. In the fable of _Babrios_,
the vine, whose leaves are eaten by the he-goat, threatens it, saying
that it will nevertheless produce wine, and that when the wine is made
(_i.e._, at the Dionysian mysteries), the goat will be sacrificed to
the gods. In the spring, on the other hand, or on the Easter of the
resurrection, it was the custom to sacrifice in effigy the _Agnus
Dei_, in the belief that it would serve to defend the fields and
vineyards against demoniacal wiles, thunderbolts and thunder,
facilitate parturition, and deliver from shipwreck, fire, and sudden
death.[788] In the Witches' Sabbath in Germany, it was said that the
witches burned a he-goat, and divided its ashes among themselves.[789]

The cunning she-goat is an intermediate form between the good wise
fairy and the witch who is an expert in every kind of malice. In the
same way as the hero, at first foolish, learns malice from the devil,
to use it afterwards against the devil himself, it may be presumed
that the hero, in his form of a goat, has learned from the monsters
all that cunning by which he afterwards distinguishes himself. The
Vedic ram, Indras, also uses magic against the monster magicians.

In the second of the Esthonian stories, we read that the king of the
serpents has a golden cup containing the milk of a heavenly goat; if
bread is dipped into this milk, and put into the mouth, one can
discover every secret thing that has happened in the night, without
any one perceiving how.

In the French mediæval poem of _Ysengrin_,[790] the she-goat deceives
the wolf in a way similar to that in which, in the first number of
_Afanassieff's_ stories, the peasant cheats the bear, and in the
Italian stories the same peasant defrauds the devil. The she-goat
shows a fox-like cunning, keeping for itself the leaf of the corn, and
leaving the root for the wolf. Hence, in my eyes, the origin of the
Piedmontese proverbial expression, "La crava a l'à mangià la föja"
(the goat ate the leaf), and even the simple one of "Mangé la föja"
(to eat the leaf), meaning to understand cunning.[791] I heard from a
certain Uliva Selvi, at Antignano (near Leghorn), the narrative of a
witch who sent a boy every day to take the she-goat to the pasturage,
ordering him to pay attention that it should eat well, but leave the
corn alone. When the goat returned, the witch asked it--

      "Capra, mia capra Mergolla,
       Come se' ben satolla?"
       (Goat, my goat Mergolla,
       Are you quite satiated?)

To which the goat answered--

         "Son satolla e cavalcata,
          Tutto il giorno digiunata."
      (I am satiated, and have been ridden;
      I have fasted all day.)

Then the boy was put to death by the witch. It happened thus to twelve
boys, until the thirteenth, more cunning, caressed the goat and gave
it the corn to eat; then the goat answered to the witch's question--

         "Son ben satolla e governata,
          Tutto il giorno m' ha pasturata."
      (I am quite satiated, and have been well kept;
      He has given me to eat all day.)

And the boy, too, was well treated.

The devil's pupil always outwits his master; the she-goat beguiles the
wolf to its destruction. We have seen this in the Russian story, and
it is confirmed in the legend of _Ysengrin_. The peasants of Piedmont
and of Sicily have, for this reason, so much respect for the goat,
that they consider it brings a blessing to the house near which it is
maintained; and if, by chance, they show a perverse nature, this
perversity is attributed to the devil himself, who, they believe, has
maliciously taken possession of them. A few years ago, a goatherd of
the Val di Formazza, in the Ossola in Piedmont, had two goats which he
believed to be possessed by some evil spirit, for which reason they
always wandered about, in order, as he thought, that the demon might
at last be able to throw them down some abyss. One day the two goats
were lost; the goatherd searched for them for a short time, but
finding his search bootless, he resolved to go and make a vow to the
Madonna of Einsiedlen. Chance so arranged it, that at the very moment
in which he was returning from his pious pilgrimage, his two goats
also approached the door of his house; therefore, of course, this was
declared to be a miracle in Formazza, and as such it is still believed
in that district.[792]

In the preceding chapter we saw the ass represented in two aspects, as
regards its generative capabilities; that is, it is now represented as
an ardent, insatiable, and competent fœœcundator, and now as a
ridiculous imbecile, and powerless to generate. We also saw the ass
closely connected with the satyrs with goat's or he-goat's feet. The
he-goats and rams, too, have a double and self-contradictory reputation.
We know, for instance, that the god Thor, the god of the Scandinavians,
who thunders in the cloud, is drawn by he-goats (the vessel of Thor and
Hymir, the cloud, is called in the _Edda_ a navigating ram or he-goat,
in the same way as the Vedic Indras is represented as a god-ram); he
is, moreover, the protector of marriages. Scandinavian mythology,
therefore, appears to regard the goat as essentially the one that makes
fruitful, as a pluvial cloud. In the Hindoo mythology of the brâhmanic
period, the god Indras loses, on the contrary, his divine power, becomes
stupid and obscure, and is lost in his form of a ram. In one of his
_Passeggiate nel Canavese_, Signor A. Bertolotti recently observed, at
Muraglio, a curious custom which is observed by the young men of the
country when a projected wedding falls through; they run up to the
bride's house and obstreperously demand her to give her sheep up to
them, upon which they go to the bridegroom's house and cry out, "Vente a
sarrar quist motogn" (come and shut up these rams). Here the ram
represents the husband, and the sheep the wife. In Du Cange the name of
goat (caper) is given to the "in pueris insuavis odor cum ad virilitatem
accedunt."[793] In _Apuleius_, unmeasured lasciviousness is called
"cohircinatio." According to Ælianos, the he-goat, at the age of seven
days (of seven months according to Columella), already yearns for

But in the same way as the ass is the stupid patient animal, the ram
is the stupid quiet one. The he-goat is said to be an indifferent
husband, who allows his she-goats to be covered by other goats without
showing a sign of jealousy; hence our expressions, "horned goat," and
simply "horned," to indicate the husband of an unfaithful woman, that
is, of a woman who makes him wear horns, like the goat, and the
Italian proverb, "E meglio esser geloso che becco" (it is better to be
jealous than a he-goat). This reputation, however, as assigned to the
he-goat, is contrary to all that has been said and written, and that
is known concerning the lust of the he-goat. On the contrary,
Aristotle says explicitly that two he-goats, which have always lived
together in concord at the pasturage, fall out and fight with violence
in the time of coition. Moreover, the verse of Pindaros is well known,
in which he makes he-goats unite even with women. It is also said that
Hermês, or Zeus, assuming the form of a he-goat, united himself with
Penelope, whence was born the great goat-footed satyr, Pan; that
Hêraklês (as an ass, in his lion's skin) competed with a he-goat in
phallical powers (in Athenaios he joins himself with fifty virgins in
the space of seven nights); that, in Ælianos, a jealous he-goat
punished with death the goatherd Crathis, who had incestuously joined
himself with one of his she-goats. Nevertheless, the Greeks already
called by the name of _aix_, as we Italians by that of _capra_, a
woman of an immoral life, or an adulteress. Columella gives us the key
of the enigma, observing that the he-goat, by abuse of the Venus,
which he uses too soon (like the ass), becomes powerless before the
age of six years, so that it is not out of indifference that he is
simply a spectator of his she-goat's infidelity, but only because he
cannot do otherwise. Hence the application of _hircosus_, which
Plautus gives to an old man.

It is the Hellenic tradition which, more than any other, developed to
a greater extent the myth of the goat and the sheep, under all their
aspects--demoniacal, divine, and hybrid.

The golden fleece, or the fleece of the sheep or ram which had been
transported into Colchis by Phrixos, the son of Nephêlê (the cloud)
and of Helle;[794] Jupiter Ammon (in the fifth book of Ovid's
_Metamorphoses_), who, afraid of the giants (as, in the last book of
the _Râmâyaṇam_, the gods, terrified by the monsters, transform
themselves into different animals), hides himself in Lybia in the
shape of a horned ram; the altar of Apollo in the isle of Delos,
constructed with innumerable horns; the woolly skins in which,
according to Strabo,[795] the Iberians gathered up gold, whence the
Greek geographer believed the fable of the golden fleece to have
arisen; the golden lamb kept by Atreus, which was to bring Thyestes to
the throne, and the name of Aigüsthos, born of the incestuous loves of
Thyestes with his own daughter; Pan (with goat's feet, the son of the
he-goat Zeus or Hermes), who, in the fifth book of the _Saturnalians_
of Macrobius, loves the moon and obtains its favours by means of sheep
with white but rough and coarse wool; Endymion, who, according to the
commentator Servius, induces the moon to love him by means of
exceedingly white sheep; Neptune, who, in the form of a ram, in the
sixth book of the _Metamorphoses_ of Ovid, seduces the beautiful
virgin Bisaltis; the satyrs, the fauns with goat's feet, into which
the gods transform themselves in order to seduce nymphs or maidens of
the earth, as, for instance, Jove again, in the same book of Ovid--

                "Satyri celatus imagine pulchram
      Jupiter implevit gemino Nycteida fœœtu;"

Hermês, called Krioforos, or carrier of a ram (that is, of a ram which
delivers the land from the plague, a form of St James); the two
predestined sheep which Epimenides sacrifices to make the Athenian
plague cease, in the twenty-seventh Olympiad, in Diogenes Laertês; the
bleating goats that King Priam (in the fragments of Ennius) sacrifices
to dissipate the evil threatened by sinister dreams; the black sheep
sacrificed to Pluto, Proserpine, the Furies, and all the infernal
deities; the lamb, the ram, and the he-goat sacrificed to the genital
Fates in the Sybilline verses translated by Angelo Poliziano--

      "Cum nox atra premit terram, tectusque latet Sol;"

the white lamb sacrificed to Hercules, to Mars, to Jove, to Neptune,
to Bacchus, to Pan (the goat being sacrificed to Diana), to Apollo
(_i.e._, when the sun shines), to Ceres (the goddess of the
light-coloured ears of corn), to Venus, to the gods and goddesses; to
his divine forms (similia similibus); and several other mythical
notions (not to speak of the very popular legend relating to the goat
Amalthea, who nourished Zeus with her milk, and was by Zeus translated
for this service to the stars, under the name of Aixourania, or
heavenly goat, after he had taken off one of its horns, to give, in
gratitude to the two nymphs who had protected him, the faculty of
pouring out everything that was wished for);[796] all these account,
in an eloquent manner, for the wide-spread worship that the goat and
the sheep received, even in Græco-Latin antiquity, enriching with many
episodes the mythical and legendary traditions of these nations, now
as the type of a god, now of a demon, and now of an intermediate
being, such as the satyr, for instance.

In the same way as the mythical horse has, from evening to morning,
three conspicuous moments of action--black, grey, and white or
red--and as the mythical ass throws gold from behind and has golden
ears, so the mythical goat and sheep, which are dark-coloured in the
night or in the cloud, throw gold from behind and have golden horns
which pour out ambrosia, or else have even the cornucopia itself. It
is always the same myth of the cloudy and aqueous, of the nocturnal
and tenebrous sky, with its two glowing twilights or auroras, or else
of the luminous heavenly hero who traverses the night or the cloud (or
the wintry season), disguised in the shapes of various animals, now by
his own will, now by a divine malediction or by diabolical witchcraft.

In the third book of Aristotle's _History of Animals_, we read of the
river Psikros in Thrace, that white sheep, when they drink of its
waters, bring forth black lambs; that in Antandria there are two
rivers, of which one makes the sheep black, and the other white, and
that the river Xanthos or Skamandros makes the sheep fair (or golden).
This belief involves in itself the three transformations of the
celestial hero into the three he-goats or rams of different natures,
of which we have spoken. The last transformation calls our attention
to the sheep with golden wool, the golden lamb, and the _Agnus Dei_,
the symbol of happiness, power and riches. Wealth in sheep, even more
than wealth in cows, became the symbol of universal riches. The horn
poured out every kind of treasure upon the earth, and upon the earth
itself the _pecus_ became _pecunia_.


[747] The Petropolitan Dictionary sees in the he-goat aǵas, the movable
one (agilis). To illustrate the same analogies in the case of the Greek
myth, it will be useful to repeat the words of Professor Bréal: "Le
verbe grec _aïssô_, qui signifie s'élancer, a fait d'une part le
substantif _aix_, chèvre (à cause de la nature bondissante de l'animal),
et de l'autre les mots _kataïx, kataigis, tempête_ (as it seems to me,
that which shakes, which causes to move or tremble, inasmuch as I
maintain that _aǵas_ does not mean the movable, or him that rushes, so
much as him that pushes, that butts, or causes to move). De là une
nouvelle série d'images et de fables où la chèvre joue le rôle
principal. L'égide, avant d'être un bouclier fait en peau de chèvre,
était le ciel au moment de l'orage; Jupiter aigiochos était le dieu qui
envoie la tempête; plus tard, on traduisit le dieu qui porte l'égide.
Homère semble se souvenir de la première signification, quand il nous
montre, au seul mouvement du bouclier le tonnerre qui éclate, l'Ida qui
se couvre de nuages et les hommes frappés de terreur." Mr Ralston
compares very well the Russian _ablakagragonniki_ (cloud-compellers) to
the Zeus _nephelêgeretes_. In the _Ṛigv._ i. 10, 8, it is said similarly
to Indras: ǵeshaḥ svarvatîr apaḥ saṁ gâ asmabhyaṁ dhûnuhi.

[748] Let Finnish philologists observe whether it is not possible to
refer to this their Aija, an equivalent of Ukko, their Indras, called
hattarojen hallitsia, the master of the cloud-lambs.--Cfr. Castren's
_Kleinere Schriften_, St Petersburg, 1862, p. 230.

[749] Mesham puruhûtam; _Ṛigv._ i. 51, 1.--Tad indro arthaṁ ćetati
yûthena vṛishṇir eǵati; _Ṛigv._ i. 10, 2.

[750] Tvaṁ gotram añigirobhyo 'vṛiṇor; _Ṛigv._ i. 51, 3.

[751] Tvaṁ mâyâbhir apa mâyino 'dhamaḥ--tvam pipror nṛimaṇaḥ prâruǵaḥ
puraḥ; _Ṛigv._ i. 51, 5.

[752] Mahantaṁ ćid arbudaṁ ni kramîḥ padâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 51, 6.--Arbudas
is also in Sanskṛit the proper name of a mountain and of a hell; the
cloud-mountain and the hell in the cloudy and nocturnal sky have
already been noticed in this volume.

[753] Çaphâv iva ǵarbhurâṇâ tarobhiḥ; _Ṛigv._ ii. 39, 3.

[754] Siṅhyaṁ ćit petvenâ ǵaghâna; _Ṛigv._ vii. 18, 17.--In Firdusi we
find, in the adventures of Isfendiar, two horned wolves that catch
lions; these seem to be demoniacal forms of the ram of Indras which
kills the lion.

[755] xxx. 9.--Here the horns are the sun's rays or the thunderbolts,
which come again in the Italian superstition on the _iettatura_; the
horns of the goat, it is said, and the red coral horns excel the devil
and his magic.

[756] iv. 21.

[757] iii. 18.--In the story, i. 20, we are told that the lamb fled
away into the forest with the he-goat, because its master took the
skin off one of its sides (that is, the wool). The lambs appear in the
morning and in the evening with luminous wool; they are sheared during
the night.

[758] _Afanassieff_, ii. 4; iv. 17.

[759] The walnut-tree is also found in relation with the goat in a fable
of _Afanassieff_, ii. 1, that of the accused who exculpate themselves by
inculpating others. The cock and the hen gather nuts together; the cock
throws one which strikes the hen on the ear; the hen weeps; a boiard
asks the reason; the hen accuses the cock, the cock accuses the
walnut-tree, the walnut-tree accuses the goat, the goat accuses the
shepherd, the shepherd accuses the housewife, the housewife accuses the
hog, the hog accuses the wolf, the wolf accuses God, but beyond God it
is impossible to go.--In another jest in verse, intended to exercise the
memory and loosen the tongue, and given by _Afanassieff_, iv. 16, we
find the goat in connection with hazel-nuts. The he-goat begins to
complain that the she-goat does not come back with the hazel-nuts (níet
kaszi s ariehami); the song goes on to say, that the he-goat will send
the wolf to find the she-goat, the bear after the wolf, the men after
the bear, the oak-tree after the men, the axe after the oak-tree, the
grindstone after the axe, the fire after the grindstone, the water after
the fire, and the hurricane after the water; then the hurricane sends
the water, the water the fire, the fire burns the grindstone, the stone
grinds the axe, the axe cuts down the oak-tree, the oak-tree made into a
stick (as we have already seen in Chapters I. and II.) beats the men,
the men shoot against the bear, the bear fights with the wolves, the
wolves hunt the she-goat, and here the she-goat comes back with the
hazel-nuts (vot kasza s ariehami).


      Ah vi, dietuski,
      Moi batiuski
      Vasha mat prishlá
      Malaká prinieslá
      Polni baká malaká,
      Polni ragá tvaragá
      Polni kopitzi vaditzi.

[761] _Afanassieff_, vi. 17.

[762] In the story, ii. 32 of _Afanassieff_, a similar voice has the
same effect as that of the ass; it terrifies all the other animals.
However, here, a goat that has been shorn is alone spoken of,--that
is, the goat which has lost its hair or luminous wool, the thundering
goat-cloud.--In the twenty-fifth story of the first book of the
_Narodnija iusznoruskija Skazki_ (_Popular Stories of South Russia_),
edited by Rudcenko, Kiev, 1869, the goat terrifies by its voice the
first fox and then the wolf, until she herself is terrified by the
voice of the cock. (The morning sun, personified in the cock, destroys
the she-goat of night.)

[763] _Afanassieff_, iii. 15.--She sends them to the pasturage; a young
blacksmith, who is in her power, adopts the follow mode of deliverance:
He puts his pelisse on outside-in, feigns himself a sheep, and passes
out with the other sheep, escaping thus from the witch: the young sun
comes out at morn like a shepherd-hero among the sheep. Thus Odysseus
delivers himself from the grotto of Polyphemos with his companions, by
hiding himself among the flock which comes out of it.

[764] Cfr. the eleventh of the _Novelline di Santo Stefano di
Calcinaia_, where we have the lamb instead of the kid.

[765] A very interesting variation of this is contained in another
unpublished story which I heard from a certain Marianna Nesti of
Fucecchio in Tuscany.

There was once a queen that had a son, who, at the age of seven years,
was enchanted, so that he lay constantly in bed like one deprived of
life. Only at midnight he went out of the house, returning at one
o'clock, covered with blood, and throwing himself as if dead into the
bed. A woman had to remain regularly on the watch for the purpose of
opening the door for him at midnight and at one o'clock; but no girl
had, from very fright, been able to continue in the service more than
one night. Near the city lived an old woman with three daughters; the
two eldest tried to discharge the prescribed duty, but were overcome
with fear; the youngest, more courageous, remained. The first night,
at twelve o'clock, the dead man lifts up one arm; she runs to him and
lifts the other; he tries to raise himself; she helps him to get out
of bed. At one o'clock he returns covered with blood, and the girl
asks him who has reduced him to this condition, but he answers
nothing, and throws himself on the bed as if a corpse. The second
night she follows him, and sees him enter a subterranean cavern; he
comes to the foot of a flight of stairs, puts down his mantle and
remains as naked as when he was born, a handsome youth of eighteen
years of age. At the summit of the stairs two great witches cry, "Here
he is! come, pretty one!" He ascends and is beaten by the witches for
an hour till blood flows, he crying out the while for mercy. At one
o'clock he is allowed to go, comes back to the foot of the stairs,
takes his mantle and returns home dead. The third night his attendant
again follows him, and when he puts down his mantle at the foot of the
stairs and goes up, she takes the mantle and presses it tightly; the
witches scream. The young man comes to the summit; but when they try
to beat him they cannot lift the stick. Perceiving this, the girl
presses and bites the mantle; when she does so, the witches feel
themselves bitten; then the girl runs to the palace, orders a great
fire to be lighted, and throws the mantle into it; upon its being
burnt, the two witches expire, their enchantment is destroyed, and the
prince marries his deliverer.

[766] In the eighth story of the first book of the _Pentamerone_, the
ungrateful young woman, Renzolla, is condemned by her own protecting
fairy to have the face of a horned goat until she shows her repentance.

[767] v. 25.

[768] iii. 16.

[769] i. 50; vii. 38.

[770] Çatam meshân vṛikye ćakshadânam ṛiǵrâçvam tam pitândhaṁ ćakâra
tasma akshî nâsatyâ vićaksha âdhattam dasrâ bhishaǵâv anarvan; _Ṛigv._
i. 116, 16.--Cfr. 117, 18.

[771] Esha ćhâgaḥ puro açvena vâǵinâ; _Ṛigv._ i. 162, 3.

[772] Cfr. _Afanassieff_, v. 7, where the rogue passes the she-goat
off as his sister, and lets her be killed, in order to oblige the
murderer, by threats of exposure, to give him a large sum of money in
compensation; and v. 52, where the head of a goat is cut off to
conceal the murder of a sacristan, committed by the foolish third
brother.--Cfr. _Erlenwein_, 17.

[773] The she-goat is also sacrificed, in the eighth of the Sicilian
stories collected by Laura Gonzenbach, to test the virtue of a
truthful peasant. The wife of a minister who is jealous of the peasant
Verità (Truth), who has the custody of a goat, a lamb, a ram, and a
wether belonging to the king, persuades him to believe that her life
is forfeit, and can be ransomed only by the sacrifice of the wether.
The peasant, overcome partly by love and partly by compassion, gives
way and consents to the sacrifice. The minister hopes that the peasant
will conceal his fault, but is disappointed in his expectation,
inasmuch as, on the contrary, he ingenuously confesses everything; and
he becomes, in consequence, yet dearer to the king.

[774] The devil also presents himself to do his evil deeds in the
_Bélier de Rochefort_, in Bonnafoux, _Légendes et Croyances
Superstitieuses Conservées dans le Départment de la Creuse_, Gueret,
1867, p. 17.--In a legend of Baden, too, recorded by Simrock (work
quoted before, p. 260; cfr., in the same work, p. 501), the devil
appears with the feet of a he-goat.

[775] vii. 50, 1.--In the _Classical Dictionary of Natural History of
Audouin, Bourdon_, &c., first Italian translation, Venice, Tasso, 1831,
we read: "Goat, species of ophidian reptiles, indigenous in Congo, and
also in Bengal; as yet unclassified by zoologists, and which, it is
said, throw from afar a kind of saliva causing blindness."

[776] Cfr. the lacerta cornuta of the _Pentamerone_.

[777] vi. 42.

[778] iv. 7.


      Differ opus, tunc tristis hiems, tunc pleiades instant
      Tunc et in æquorea mergitur hædus aqua.
      Sæpe ego nimbosis dubius jactabar ab hædis.
      Nascitur Oleneæ signum pluviale capellæ.

      Quantus ab occasu veniens pluvialibus hædis
      Verberat imber humum.

[780] Pâvîravî tanyatur ekapâd aǵo divo dhartâ; _Ṛigv._ x. 65, 13.--Cfr.
the aǵa ekapâd invoked after Ahirbudhnya and before Tritas, in the
_Ṛigv._ ii. 31, 6, and the aǵâikapâd, a name given to Vishṇus, in the
_Hariv_; the reader remembers also the _goat-footed races_ of Herodotus.

[781] We also find the lame goat, or he-goat, in the legend of Thor.
The god kills his he-goats, takes off their skins, and keeps their
bones, to be able to resuscitate them at pleasure. His son, Thialfi,
steals the thigh-bone of one of the goats, in order to go and sell it;
then one of the he-goats of Thor, being resuscitated, is lame.--Cfr.
for the analogous traditions the notices given by Simrock, work quoted
before, p. 260.

[782] In a Russian song we read: "Moon! moon! golden horns!"

[783] ii. 240.

[784] Cfr. Du Cange, _s. v._ galaxia.

[785] _Das festliche Jahr_, zweite Ausg., p. 216.

[786] Florence, Piatti, 1821.

[787] Concerning this stone, cfr. a whole chapter in Aldrovandi, _De
Quadrupedibus Bisulcis_, i.

[788] Cfr. Du Cange, _s. v. Agnus Dei_, where we even find the verses
with which Urban V. accompanied the gift of an _Agnus Dei_ to John
Paleologus.--In the month of October, the Thuringians celebrate the
festival of the race after the ram, which, when overtaken, is led to a
large rock and there killed. For the race after the ram, cfr. also
Villemarqué, _Chants Populaires de la Bretagne_.--In a popular song,
in which _England_ is transformed into _Engelland_ (or country of the
angels), Mary, the nurse of God, appears with the white lamb:--

      "Die Himmelsthür wird aufgehen;
       Maria Gottes Amme
       Kommt mit dem weissen Lamme."

[789] Menzel, the work quoted before.

[790] Professor Emilio Teza has published a mediæval Italian version
of this poem with notes.

[791] Cfr. the before-quoted fable of _Babrios_, in which the vine
complains of the he-goat which eats its leaves.--In the Italian
proverb, "Salvar la capra e i cavoli," the she-goat is again indicated
as an eater of leaves.--The leaves of the sorb-apple, according to the
Norwegian belief, cure sick goats, by which the god Thor is
drawn.--Cfr. Kuhn, _Die H. d. F. u. d. G._

[792] From a narrative made to me by my friend Valentino Carrera, an
intrepid Alp-climber and popular dramatist.

[793] Referred to by Martial's epigram:--

      "Tam male Thais olet, quam non fullonis avari
       Tecta vetus media, sed modo fracta via.
       Non ab amore recens hircus," &c.

[794] With this myth of the brother Phrixos and of the sister Helle,
who pass the sea or fly through the air with the sheep, is connected
the Russian story recorded above of Ivan and Helena; Ivan is changed
into a little kid or lamb. In the Italian variety of the same story,
the sister is thrown into the sea by the witch. Whilst the brother and
sister pass the Hellespont upon the golden ram, Helle falls into the
sea. We learn from Apôllonios, in the second book of the _Argon._,
that the fleece of the sheep became gold only when, on its arrival in
Colchis, it was sacrificed and suspended upon an oak-tree. The
cloud-ram becomes golden only in the morning and evening sky.--The
luminous fleece can perhaps be recognised in the bride of the
_Ṛigvedas_, who, leaning towards the relations of Kakshîvant, says:
"Every day I shall be (properly speaking, I am) like the little woolly
sheep of the gandhâri (sarvâham asmi romaçâ gandhârîṇâm ivâvikâ);"
_Ṛigv._ i. 126. As there is an etymological analogy, so there may be a
mythical analogy between the gandhâri and the gandharvâs.

[795] Book x.

[796] Ovid calls the goat "hædorum mater formosa duorum," and sings
that the goat herself broke one of her horns against a tree, which
horn the nymph Amalthea wrapped--

                        "decentibus herbis
      Et plenum pomis ad Jovis ora tulit;"

and Jupiter, when lord of heaven, in reward--

      "Sidera nutricem, nutricis fertile cornu
       Fecit, quod dominæ nunc quoque nomen habet."



Transcriber's Notes:

    Page 1 - Added a missing -- separator (... for cows.--Cavern where

    Page 24 - Removed the second "the" (... it is the third sun ...)

    Page 178 - Added missing period. (... him from danger. These were

    Page 196 - There is an unmatched round bracket starting on this
    page (... carried off. (This is the ...)

    Page 211 - There is an unmatched round bracket starting on this
    page (... perfidious persecutor. (The evening ...)

    Page 313 - There is an unmatched round bracket starting on this
    page (... called Urvâksha (a word ...)

    Page 335 - Removed an extra "the" (... seizes the branch of ...)

    Corrected misspellings throughout the text

    There are multiple spellings of many names throughout, all of
    which appear valid, left per the text.

    There are many words that are both hyphenated and unhyphenated
    in the text (i.e. cowmaid and cow-maid). Words were left to match
    the text.

    Footnotes 59 and 433 have no anchor in the text

    Added closing quotes to the end of Footnotes 395 and 436

    Footnote 167 - Superscript changed for plain text (... erster
    Theil; 2^te Aufl. S. ...)

    Footnote 518 - There is an unmatched round bracket in this
    footnote (... _attonito_ (or, properly ...)

    Footnote 558 - There is an unmatched quote in this footnote (...
    cavalli stregari;" _Prologo._ 10 ...)

    Footnote 579 - Replaced the final comma with a period.

    Footnote 612 - Replaced comma with period after "i" (_Tuti-Name_,
    i. 151.)

    Footnote 659 - Changed "lightned" to "lightninged" (... day it
    lightninged and thundered.)

    Footnote 715 - Added second period after "v" (... _Ib._ v. 12.

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