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Title: Oral Tradition From The Indus - Comprised In Tales To Which Are Added Explanatory Notes
Author: McNair, John Frederick Adolphus, Barlow, Thomas Lambert
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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------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration: Scale 1 In: = 24 Miles.]

[Illustration: (_Frontispiece_). THE VILLAGE HÛJRÂ, OR GUEST HOUSE.]


                          COMPRISED IN TALES.

                 TO WHICH ARE ADDED EXPLANATORY NOTES.

                                   BY

                 MAJOR J. F. A. M^cNAIR, R.A., C.M.G.,

 _Author of_ “_Perak and the Malays_,” “_Prisoners their own Warders_,”
                              _&c., &c._,

                                  AND

                         THOMAS LAMBERT BARLOW,

            _Late Superintendent, Chief Salt-range, India_.

                         REVISED AND CORRECTED,
                                 1908.

                  ILLUSTRATIONS DRAWN BY MISS L. FENN,

                     FROM SKETCHES BY THE AUTHORS.

                               BRIGHTON:
               PRINTED AT THE CRANBOURNE PRINTING WORKS,
                             BY R. GOSDEN.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               CONTENTS.

                                -------


                                                         PAGE

                   Introduction                           ix.

                I. The Guru and his Greedy Disciple         1

               II. The Donkey-man and the Precious         10
                     Stone

              III. The Fakir and the Bhânds                17

               IV. The Miserly Moslem Priest and his       22
                     Wife

                V. The King’s Son, his Friend, and the     35
                     Fakir

               VI. Secundur Zulf-Kur-Nain                  43

              VII. The Farmer, the Crocodile, and the      54
                     Jackal

             VIII. Faith Opposed to Magic                  61

               IX. The Fakir and his Quarrelsome Wife      70

                X. The Farmer and the Revenue Sowar        76

               XI. Mūltān as Hot as Fire                   79

              XII. Shāitān and his Savage Wife             84

             XIII. Sakhi, the Generous Moslem              91

              XIV. The Priest, the Washerman, and the     104
                     Ass

               XV. Akbar and his Minister                 112

              XVI. The Rajah, his Minister, and the       121
                     Shepherd

             XVII. The Banjāra, his Dog, and the          128
                     Banker

            XVIII. How an Evil Spirit was Exorcised       138

              XIX. Bahadūr Singh and the Blind Beggar     144


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                     PAGE

               Map of the Indus                       Map

               Frontispiece                            iv

               The Guru and his Greedy Disciple         2

               The Miserly Moslem Priest and his       22
                 Wife

               A Monkey Temple in India (copied)       40

               Secundur Zulf-Kur-Nain                  44

               The Farmer, the Crocodile, and the      54
                 Jackal

               The Farmer, the Crocodile, and the      57
                 Jackal

               Faith Opposed to Magic                  62

               Shāitān and his Savage Wife             84

               Sakhi, the Generous Moslem              92

               Sakhi, the Generous Moslem              94

               Akbar and his Minister                 112

               The Banjāra, his Dog, and the          128
                 Banker

               Bahadūr Singh and the Blind Beggar     158


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                             INTRODUCTION.


It was in the remote and little known village of “Ghazi,” situated on
the left bank of the stately and classical Indus, and at the distance of
about thirty miles from the ancient city of “Attock” (Atak) that most of
this Folk-lore was collected.

Ghazi in itself is not what would be called a picturesque village in
those parts. Its straggling huts and houses are built on a rocky, unkind
sort of soil, so that fine forest trees which would make a pleasing
picture of the place will not grow there; indeed the vegetation is
almost entirely restricted to scrub and brushwood. There are, however,
here and there, thickets of the “Phoolai” and “Vahekur” plants, and a
stunted variety of the Plum tree, known by the natives as “Jhâr Bayri.”

At some little distance inland, however, the soil improves; and the
farmers are able there to cultivate both wheat and barley, and to plant
the oil and cotton seeds from which they obtain very fair crops.

The view, however, looking from the village has a distinct charm of its
own, owing to the wild, mountainous, and well-wooded country which
encircles it. Within a few miles to its rear are the Hills of
“Gundghur,” the highest peak of which is by the natives of the place
called “Pir Than,” and is the scene of many of their local legends.

Far away towards the north and west are lofty ranges of mountains,
running, as it were, in graduated succession to join the distant line,
which is in point of fact but an extreme western extension of the
Himalayas.

Immediately at the foot of the village, runs as I have already said, the
river Indus, and as its banks are somewhat narrowed at this point the
stream becomes more rapid, but the river broadens out again a little
further down, until it reaches the city of Attock, where its volume is
increased by the waters of the Kabul River.

The natives who dwell in the village are of that mixture of races
usually to be found in most of the towns and villages in the “Hazara”
district in which Ghazi is situated.

The Head men are Pathans of the “Thar” tribe, commonly called “Thar
Kheyles.” They are believed to be the descendants of Afghan soldiers who
came into India with the armies of Timur Baber and Nadir Shah.

Then there are two or three divisions of the farmer class known as
“Awans,” good soldiers and no better people in all India, and
“Ghurkās”—fine, tough men. Also the barber class, or “Naies,” also
called “Napit”; the shoemakers, or “Mochīs”; the potters, or “Koobhars”;
the weavers, or “Powlees”; the blacksmiths, or “Lohars;” and so on, with
a sprinkling of “Merasis,” or “Dooms,” who fill the post of Genealogists
and Bards to the community, and who are the reciters of warlike poetry.

These last are for the most part the receptacles and custodians of the
old village folk-lore, though sometimes amongst the farmers living as
they do a simple and rustic life, many tales of the remote past have
been retained, and the barbers, too, have been occasionally known to
relate them.

Above Ghazi, and at a distance of about twelve miles on the same side of
the river, are the villages known by the general name of “Thorbela.” The
word locally means “Black Island,” after an island which was situated in
front of them, but was washed away in the floods of 1842. Since that
date many of the huts have been erected at some distance from the banks.
The village is an important one, and contains a thriving and industrious
community. To get to “Thorbela” the traveller has to pass through the
small village of “Mohat,” between which and Ghazi is the ferry across
the Indus to the populous town of “Topi.” This town contains the same
admixture of races as at Ghazi, but in addition a larger proportion of
the “Juddoon” tribe who speak the “Pushtu” language, which has some
similarity to the Semitic.

The whole of this district will well repay a visit at any time, and the
interest is greatly enhanced when one calls to mind the many historical
events that have taken place, in and around it, in years long gone by.

It was at Attock (Atak) that Alexander the Great is believed to have
crossed the Indus B.C. 326. The ancient name of this city was said to be
“Taxila,” so named after a petty king who joined his forces with those
of Alexander in the attack and defeat of King Porus, and it was here
that Alexander rested his army for three days, and was royally
entertained by its reigning Sovereign.

It is, however, quite foreign to my purpose here, to dwell at any length
on the ancient history of this part of India and the Punjâb generally,
called by the Greeks the “Pente Potamia.” I will not either touch upon
the supposed route taken by Alexander across the “Paropamisus” Mountains
(Hindu Kush), which is still a very disputed point.

My purpose in referring to this old history, is to draw attention to the
fact that in the traditions that these non-recording Ghazi folk have
handed down of their gods, their heroes, and preternatural beings, they
appear to have kept ever in their memories this visit of Alexander to
India, in the legend of “Secundur Zulf Kurnain,” which forms one of the
tales of this series.

It was at this little village of Ghazi, and in the districts adjoining
it, remote at the time from all European influence, that Mr. Thomas
Lambert Barlow resided for over thirty years. He was employed by our
Government in the Salt Revenue Department, and in the execution of these
arduous duties, he was as a matter of course thrown into almost daily
contact with all classes of the natives. He found it necessary to
acquaint himself with their various dialects, and it was not long before
he was able to communicate freely with every caste and tribe.

No European could have had a better opportunity of getting at the
thoughts and feelings of the people than he had, and being on friendly
terms with most of them, they would talk to him, and before him, with
perfect freedom, and altogether with an absence of that kind of
restraint, which I can say from my own knowledge, is felt more or less
by most natives of India when in the presence of a European.

It has been said, and perhaps with some justice, that many folk tales
have to be received with a certain amount of misgiving; and doubtless
also each narrative as it descends in successive generations loses some
of the force of the original. It is also very clear that the Folk-lore
of a long-established and independent community such as that of Ghazi,
or other out-of-the-way village of India, is not to be got at all of a
sudden, for it lies deep down in the memories of only a certain few of
the people, and these not always willing to impart it unto strangers to
their country.

It was not surprising therefore that it was only by degrees, and by very
slow degrees, that Mr. Barlow, though always a welcome guest at their
village “Hûjrâs” or meeting places, was able to collect the lore of this
interesting, this semi-religious, and warlike people. Many of their
tales he repeated to the Rev. Mr. Swynnerton, F.S.A., who in 1892
published them in his popular work entitled the “Indian Nights,” and
again with others in a later volume.

Mr. Barlow had not, however, exhausted all his store, and he has been
good enough to place these few more at my disposal, and to permit me to
send them to the Press in our joint names.

He has given them to me both orally and from notes, and it has been my
task to throw them into a readable form, avoiding as far as possible all
modification or undue colouring. In making together the translation into
English we were conscious sometimes of missing the native expression or
idiom. When any such difficulty arose we found help in transposing the
original words into the “Hindustani” language, a native tongue familiar
to us both. By this means, and with general care we were able to get
pretty near to the thought and combination of thought of the native
narrators, and the homeliness of their style.

It is perhaps matter for regret that in publishing these rural tales, I
am not in a position to add the names of those people in Ghazi from whom
Mr. Barlow heard them, nor, of course, can I give their antecedents. It
might perhaps have afforded some clue to the source from whence the
tales had been received, and it would certainly have been an additional
evidence of their authenticity.

Mr. Barlow, however, made no note of these particulars at the time, and
he cannot even now trust his memory on these points. He gathered the
tales more to obtain a better insight into the character of the people,
and to strengthen his knowledge of the language, and with no ulterior
view to their publication. He, however, can say with all truth, that
most of them were related in his presence by the farmers and “Merasis”
or bards of the people, and that they are from the original stock
transmitted to them by their forefathers.

I have thought it better not to encumber this volume with any elaborate
analysis of the Tales. They are very simple and descriptive, and
folk-lorists more able than myself, can readily arrange an analysis
according to their own system.

It has been necessary, however, with these Indian Folk-tales to attach a
few explanatory notes, chiefly to elucidate the text, but also with the
view of bringing our readers more into touch with the people of the
district.

The Tales gain a great advantage from the drawings of Miss L. Fenn,
which will be found to be full of expression and spirit, and are at the
same time faithful representations of the general characteristics of the
people of this part of Northern India.

I am indebted also to the late Mr. John W. N. Barlow for much assistance
to us in describing the native costumes, and for other information
connected with the Ghazi community.

These Tales under a different form and style, were re-printed in 1902,
from the “Indian Antiquary,” by the Education Society’s Press, Bombay;
and later were kindly edited by W. Crooke, of the Bengal Civil Service
(retired), the author of the “N.W. Provinces of India,” and other
valuable works.

They are now re-produced by the Original Writers, with some corrections
and emendations, together with the illustrations to the text referred to
above.

                                    J. F. A. M^CNAIR, Major R.A., C.M.G.

BELGRAVE HOUSE,

        PRESTON PARK, BRIGHTON.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                   THE GURU AND HIS GREEDY DISCIPLE.


In former years there lived a very learned old “Guru,” or spiritual
teacher, and he had five very earnest disciples who had become so imbued
with his knowledge, and so attached to his person that they agreed to
follow him wherever he led the way, even if it were to travel all the
country round.

“Well,” he replied, “if I do leave this enamoured spot where I have
spent most of my life, we shall all have to undergo many privations, and
perhaps hardships, but I confess I have now a thirst for seeing more of
the world: so will you go with me under the prospect of such
circumstances?”

“Yes,” they said, “we certainly will, and no matter what frowns of
fortune come upon us we shall at least gain knowledge every hour that we
are in your company.”

He then proposed that they should visit the various Hindu shrines and
the places that had been hallowed by old associations connected with the
founders of their Faith.

To this they readily consented, and having sought for a propitious day,
they set forth on their travels.

They had visited many holy places consecrated by age and sanctity, and
as they were everywhere made welcome by devotees of their religion, they
had few deprivations to encounter.

One day they were approaching a very populous city where a devout Hindu
King resided, and the “Guru” said to his disciples, “I am much fatigued
by the journey; go you all into the city and buy bread, and return to me
here,” for he had determined to rest under a large clump of trees just
outside the city walls.

It was not long before they all returned to the “Guru” with a wonderful
account of the city, “For,” said they, “we have never known so
remarkable a place, for, strange to relate, every article of merchandise
is of the same price. In every shop and market all the goods are of one
and the same value: gold, silver, precious stones, wheat, fruit,
vegetables, and, indeed, everything that man can wish for and want, can
be had for the same sum.”

The “Guru” said, “You much surprise me; and although I am very tempted
to see for myself such a wonderful place, yet I am convinced that such a
state of things must bring about great laxity and vice, and that justice
there must be at a very low ebb, for that too I suppose is classed with
the other commodities. No! let us at once quit this city and make the
best of our way to some other more inviting place.” Whereupon they all
agreed to accompany the “Guru”; but one disciple, a tall strapping
fellow, and fond of the good things of this life, said that on second
thoughts he would like to spend two or three days in that city, and that
he would join them some marches off if they would only promise to go by
easy stages.

[Illustration: THE GURU AND HIS GREEDY DISCIPLE.]

It was in vain that the “Guru” tried to dissuade him from his purpose;
he had made up his mind, so he parted company with his fellows, and went
off alone into the city.

He had not been there more than two or three days when a burglary,
attended with murder, was committed in the city, and the “Kotwal,” or
chief Police officer, began to set on foot enquiries as to the
whereabouts of the perpetrators of the crime. He came across this
disciple of the “Guru,” and finding that he was a strong powerful
fellow, and a stranger to boot, he was at once taken up on suspicion,
and very soon witnesses were found who had seen him loafing about the
place, and he was there and then tried for the crime, condemned and
sentenced to death and the sentence was confirmed by the King in due
course.

This avaricious, this greedy disciple, was then cast into prison to
await his execution, and bitterly did he repent that he had not followed
the advice of his “Guru.” Thus mourning over his fate, he aroused the
sympathy of his gaoler, who good-naturedly offered to send a messenger
to tell his “Guru” what had happened to him, and to bid him return.

This messenger went off in great haste, and managed to come up with the
“Guru” and his party at no very great distance from the city. He gave
them a full and distinct account of all that had passed, and how that
his disciple had been tried and sentenced to death; “But,” he added,
“the day of execution was not fixed when I left the city.” He told the
“Guru” moreover, that the King always made it his business to be present
at all times when there was capital punishment to be carried out.

The “Guru” and his disciples then hurriedly returned with the messenger
to the city, and when they entered the walls they ascertained that the
execution had been arranged for the day following.

When the morning broke they hastened to the place of execution, and all
the city turned out to witness it. The “Guru” shortly after saw his
disciple, surrounded by a number of police, being brought from the
prison. He at once accosted the Chief Officer and asked his permission
to say just a word or two to the prisoner before his death. It was not
usual to allow this, but as he was a “Guru” and a spiritual teacher and
held in great reverence by all Hindus, leave was granted him to do so.

He had only just time to say to his disciple, “See what you have brought
on yourself by your greediness and avarice; and now do as I tell you.
When you see me prostrate myself before the King, call out at the top of
your voice, ‘No, I will not suffer my holy “Guru” to die for me; I must
and will die, so go on with the execution.’ Mind you do this, for I
intend as I prostrate myself to offer my life in exchange for yours.”

He had scarcely spoken the words when there was a stir amongst the
people, for the King was approaching; and now the King had reached the
spot prepared for him, and with him was a large concourse of nobles and
courtiers, indeed a goodly retinue, accompanied with all the pomp and
display so essential to all Oriental potentates when they move from
their Palaces in State and on Public occasions. As soon as the tumult
had ceased the “Guru” approached as near the Presence as he dared, the
people making way for him as he was a “Guru.” He then bowed in
submission and made the usual obeisance, and asked leave to speak.

When the Prisoner saw his “Guru” prostrating himself before the King, he
called out in a loud voice the very identical words that he had been
instructed by his “Guru” to pronounce. The King was beyond all measure
astonished, for he heard the Prisoner’s words distinctly, and motioning
to the “Guru” to come nearer, His Majesty said, “This is a most
remarkable thing; I have never known anything before like this to take
place at an execution. You, a learned “Guru” of our Faith, offer your
life as a substitute for the Prisoner’s, and the Prisoner asks to die at
once, and seeks no mercy! It is usual rather for one condemned to death
to solicit pardon at my hands. Can anyone solve this mystery?” And
turning to his nobles and courtiers he sought for a reply, but none was
then given. Then, appealing to the “Guru,” His Majesty said, “Can you
interpret this wonderful procedure, for it passes man’s understanding?”
Whereupon the “Guru” said, “Yes, oh King! I can; for is not this the
very day, and almost the very hour of the day, when, by our ancient
Sanscrit “Vedas” it has been foretold that whosoever on this day and
hour shall suffer death, or die in a public place, shall in very truth
be transported to endless happiness and bliss?”

“Is it so?” responded the King, and then summoning to his side his own
learned “Gurus,” who in his belief could work miracles and forgive sins,
he demanded of them if such had been predicted. Quite oblivious as to
what was passing in the King’s mind at the time, they one and all
replied, “True, oh King! such is the record.”

Then turning to his Vizier he commanded that the Prisoner should at once
be set free, “For,” said His Majesty, “I now see that fate has reserved
for me this propitious opportunity, that I myself should obtain the
spiritual rewards promised in our sacred writings. Behold _me_ then, all
of you, the substitute, and not the “Guru.” Whereupon he drew his
“Kuttan,” or dagger, from his belt, and plunged it into his breast.

So died the devout King of this wonderful City, and was gathered to his
fathers, to the unutterable grief of all his Court and people.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Guru._”—A Hindu spiritual director or guide. It is a Sanscrit word and
was originally applied to a saint or holy man. The disciples of a “Guru”
are termed “Chelah,” also a Sanscrit word, and meaning pupil, servant,
slave.

Amongst the Mahomedans a “Guru” would be termed a “Pir,” a Persian word,
and in some parts “Murshud,” from the Arabic, and their disciples
“Mureed,” also from the Arabic.

All communities, either Hindu or Mahomedan, have their “Gurus” or
“Pirs.” The disciples usually attend their “Gurus” to the Shrines in the
case of Hindus, and to the Mosques and Shrines in the case of Moslems.

“_Clump of Trees._”—It is usual round good sized towns to build walls,
and outside the walls to plant groups of trees, and to cultivate
gardens, and to provide wells for general use.

“_Kotwal._”—An important Officer, holding in native towns authority
under the Rajah; and the idea conveyed by the name is that of an
official appointed to look after others and to see that they obey the
laws. It is a Persian word, and the office is of ancient date, but owing
to British intercourse is now almost superseded by the term Chief of
Police.

“_Police._”—In days long gone by it was customary for native kings and
princes to attend executions, and the word translated Police here was in
the original “Burkundaz,” literally, a match-lock man, because these men
had charge of prisoners in native States.

“_Kuttan._”—This is a Sanskrit word, and literally means a dagger with a
protected handle. Another name, from the Persian, is “Peshkubz,” but the
handle is different.

The sacrifice of human life to the gods prevailed amongst the early
Aryans of India, and there is evidence of expiatory sacrifices to
“Chandika” to save the life of a king. In this Folk Tale it is the King
who gives his life, in hope of reward from the gods.

                                           —_Temple_, _Frere_, _Crooke_.

“_The number Five._”—Amongst the Ghazi folk there is no actual popular
superstition as to this number being lucky or unlucky; but they glory in
the fact that they were born in the country of the Five Rivers, or
Punjab, these rivers descending from the Himalayas and on into their
parent river, the Indus. Some Mahomedans set rather a special value on
the number Seven, possibly from the number of points that the body
touches the ground in prostration in prayer, viz., the forehead, the
elbows, the knees, and the feet.

In China both the figures Five and Seven are in everything felicitous.
They say that all the forces and phenomena of Nature are based upon the
number Five (their primitive idea).

Hence, Five active organs of the body: the stomach, the lungs, the
liver, the heart, and the kidneys. Five primary colours: red, yellow,
green, black, and white. Five varieties of taste: sweet, acrid, sour,
bitter, salt. Five elements: earth, metal, wood, fire, and water. Five
primary planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Five regions
of the heavens: Centre, North, South, East, and West.

Similarly, as sounds belong to the phenomena of Nature, they must
invariably resolve themselves into Five.

                                                  “_Dennys’ Folk-Lore._”

_Note._—In the sacred poetical writings in the Sanskrit tongue
(“Purana,” literally old) “Siva” as the third person in the Hindu Triad
is the “Destroyer,” as “Brahma” was the “Creator,” and “Vishnu” the
“Preserver.” Siva is always represented with a third Eye, and the number
“Five” is a mystical and powerful number with him.

_Note._—Again, all initiated Sikhs who have taken the oath, or pahal,
have Five Kukkahs, or conventional marks of distinction, viz.—

             Kukkah Kase     The long hair.

             Kukkah Kurd     The small iron knife kept in
                             the hair.

             Kukkah Kurrah   The iron bangle.

             Kukkah Kunghah  The comb kept in the hair.

             Kukkah Kachah   The loose drawers to the knee.

_Note._—Also the native jury of Hindu communities is confined to Five,
and is called a “Punchayet.” Indeed, the number is very generally met
with in India as of special significance, both with Mahomedans and
Hindus.

_Note._—In dealing with these numbers our thoughts will naturally recur
to the well-known sayings in the Scriptures:

“Five of them were wise, and Five of them were foolish.” And again, in
the religion of the Jews, how the number Seven is used as a number of
perfection; and again, the number Five in the appeal of Abraham, “Wilt
thou destroy all the city for lack of five?”

_Note._—Sectarian marks are usual amongst Hindus: It indicates
difference of religious sects, not of castes. These are daily renewed on
the forehead after the bath. The worshippers of Siva are known by the
horizontal position of the mark, the worshippers of Vishnu by the
vertical. The customary substances used are earths or white ashes from a
sacred fire, saffron, sandal-wood, and white clay. Circlets are also
used to distinguish sects as alluded to in Ezekiel ix. 4. Rosaries are
universally used in India and elsewhere among Hindus and Moslems, and
are composed of various kinds of wild seeds as “rudrakhs,” or of glass
and amber, and with the Hindus pictures of Vishnu and Siva are often
held in the hand with the beads to be counted.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                 THE DONKEY-MAN AND THE PRECIOUS STONE.


The sun had gone down one day in the Mahomedan village of “Huzro,” in
the Hazara district, and it had become too late to work and too early
for sleep, when the young men and others in the village congregated
together to while away the time by narrating tales of the past.

Though really a Mahomedan village, there were several Hindu shops there,
and some of the Hindus joined the company.

It was not long before one of the number was encouraged to tell a tale,
and he began by saying “Yek vella: Once upon a time,” and then he
stopped; then there was a general laugh, and he made bold to begin
again, and then said:

Many years ago there was a Donkey-man, a poor man, who used to carry
grain from place to place somewhere in the Punjab. One day as he was
crossing a small river he picked up a stone of a reddish colour, and as
it looked pretty and out of the common he thought he would keep it; and
so to preserve it he tied it on to the neck of his best donkey, and
there it hung as a sort of ornament. He did not know it was a gem, you
see, but only thought it was a nice-looking stone, and that he had never
seen one like it before.

As he journeyed on with his donkeys he had to cross the “Chenâb” river,
and went down to the ferry, where he got into conversation with the
Ferryman while they were all waiting for sufficient passengers and goods
to cross the stream. Looking at the donkeys the Ferryman came at last to
the donkey with the ornament on his neck, and he said to the
grain-carrier, “Where did you find this pretty stone?” He told him that
he was crossing the bed of a little river and saw it. The Ferryman
looked at it again, but he did not know that it was a precious stone,
yet he wanted it to decorate one of his oars; so he said to the
Donkey-man, “You do not seem to care much for the stone; give it to me,
and I will take you and your donkeys across for nothing.” So the
Donkey-man agreed, and the Ferryman tied it on to his oar, and kept
looking at it as he went on with his work, singing his usual song,
“Chiko bhâyo, Chiko bhâyo, Chik!” and beating time with his feet.

Some days after this a Jeweller, or “Johari,” was crossing by the ferry,
and his eye at once caught sight of the stone on the Ferryman’s oar, and
taking a look at it (for the Ferryman was rather proud to exhibit it),
he in a moment became convinced that it was a ruby of a very large and
unusual size, and he made up his mind that before he left the ferry he
would get it into his possession in some way or another. He was, in
fact, quite excited about it, and feared that at any moment it might
drop into the water and be lost; but he was a cunning man and did not
show his feelings, but said quietly to the Ferryman, “That is a very
pretty sort of a stone you have on your oar; are you not afraid to lose
it? Will you sell it to me?” Now, the Ferryman was not quite sure that
he was a jeweller, or he might have been on his guard, but thought him
to be only an ordinary traveller, and he too was almost as ignorant as
the Donkey-man. The Jeweller said to him, “You might turn it into
rupees!” “Well, some day I shall, perhaps, when I want money,” said the
Ferryman, “but it is not worth very much, and I got it from an old
Donkey-man for taking him across the stream one day.” When they got to
the opposite shore the Jeweller said before leaving, “I will give you
five rupees for that stone.” “No!” said the Ferryman, “I don’t want
money now,” “But,” said the Jeweller, “If I give you ten rupees? and I
am not coming this way again, you had better take it.” To this the
Ferryman agreed, and the Jeweller obtained possession of this precious
and valuable ruby for so small a sum as ten rupees, and he went away
very rejoiced at his bargain.

When the Jeweller got home he handled it over and over again and felt
sure that he had got a great prize; so he folded it in several rags,
folds of rag, as the custom of lapidaries, or jewellers is, as you know,
and put it very carefully by in a little box where he kept his best
jewels.

It happened a year or two after this that the Rajah of the country not
far from where the Jeweller lived, wanted some precious stones for a new
Chair of State, or “Takht,” and he sent his trusted messengers to all
the jewellers round about the neighbourhood to make enquiries for gems,
and especially for rubies.

The messengers came to the Jeweller who had the stone I have been
telling you about, and they asked him whether he had any fine stones to
sell. At first the Jeweller said, “No, my friends,” for he feared that
the Rajah might take his jewels by force; but when they told him not to
be afraid, for the Rajah was very rich but was in need of precious
stones for his Chair of State, the Jeweller went to his little box, and
bringing to them the stone that he had set such value upon, he proceeded
to untie and unwind the soiled rags one by one, in the presence of the
messengers.

When he had untied the last rag, what was his grief and agony of soul to
find that the precious ruby was in two distinct pieces!

He gazed in amazement for a little, when suddenly, in the hearing of
them all, a voice came from the broken ruby, saying, “Now, behold! I
have on purpose made myself of no value or service to you! When I was on
the donkey’s neck I was in the hands and charge of one who knew not my
real value; when, again, I was on the Ferryman’s oar, he was just as
ignorant of his treasure; when I came into your hands, who knew well my
worth, you estimated my price at five to ten rupees only! Learn,
therefore, not to undervalue what is good for a mean and selfish object;
nor to disparage your best friend, or you will live to rue the day, and
repent as bitterly as you now do and will do, for the remainder of your
life.”


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Once upon a time._”—The original words are “Tek vella,” and this is
the best, almost the only interpretation.

“_Carry Grain._”—The carriers of grain are generally called in the
district “Bunniâs” or corn chandlers, The word “Bunniâ” is of Sanscrit
derivation. Usually they are very intelligent Hindus. The Donkey-man in
this tale would more probably be one of the Farmer class, and a
Mahomedan. Other grain carriers are Farmers and Banjāras.

Their best oxen or donkeys are held in high esteem, and they decorate
them with all kinds of ornaments, such as shells, tassels of silk or
wool of different colours, and frequently with bells.

The sacks used for carrying grain are usually made from goats’ hair,
“Jutt,” and are woven by the Barber class, or “Nais.” Two are united
over the back of the animal, and fitted so that when full the weight
shall be balanced and carried with ease. A good donkey will carry from
two to three “maunds,” after the Arabic word “mun.” A “maund” is equal
to about 80 lbs.

“_You see._”—The original word is “Velcho,” really “Dekho,” the “V”
being used instead of the “D” by some dwellers in this district.

“_Oar._”—The native word is “Chuppa,” “Chuppū” in Hindustani, requiring
two or three men to use it.

“_Chiko bhâyo._”—“Chiko” is a corruption from the Hindustani word
“Kheincho,” pull.

“_Jeweller._”—The translation would be perhaps better rendered by
“lapidary.” A jeweller would be more correctly construed by the Sanscrit
word “Sonar.”

In days gone by, though in some parts of India it is still the custom
for lapidaries to wrap up their stones in bits of soiled rag, the more
warily to secrete them from the agents of Rajahs and others, who might
wish to despoil them.

“_Takht._”—The Persian word for a Throne, which it is usual with Rajahs
to adorn with precious stones.

_Note._—In the Punjab, Hindu Farmers worship their oxen and plough,
Shepherds their sheep, Bankers and Clerks their books, Grain-sellers
their weights, at certain stated festivals.—_Crooke_.

“_Chenâb._”—One of the five great rivers of the Punjaub. In the basins
of the Chenâb and Jhelum are four distinct races. The Dogra, Pahari,
Kashmiri, and Chaibati.

“_Nai._”—This class of Barber combines also Surgical practice, and in
some places Priestly offices are assigned to them.

“_Ruby._”—The best rubies come from India, Burmah, and Ceylon; and the
sapphire, topaz, and the emerald, though different in appearance, are
chemically the same substance, or “Corundum.” A rose-red stone is
distinguished as Balas-ruby. (_See Balfour and Chambers._) The largest
Oriental ruby is now a jewel in the Imperial Crown of Russia.

_Note._—Precious stones have mystic virtues, and the belief of the
narrator was so much hurt at its value being appraised so low, that it
could not contain itself, and broke into two pieces.

_Note._—In the district there are the usual jokes amongst the people on
the “Nais,” or Barbers, who, as it is said above, weave the sacks for
the donkeys.

                        Naie nay sunâh
                        Sorray graunt nay sunâh.

The Barber has heard the news, so no fear but that all the village has
heard it too.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                       THE FAKIR AND THE BHÂNDS.


Many years ago there lived in a village on the banks of the Indus River
an old Fakir, by the name of Shah Bilâwal. Like most of his class he was
living a life of mortification, frequently torturing himself; and the
few garments that he wore were rotten and dirty. This old Fakir was one
day crossing the River Chenâb in a boat with a number of other persons
who were also bound for the other side.

After the boatmen had pushed off and had got well into the stream, they
all fixed their eyes on the Fakir, who they thought was a mad man; for
his appearance made him look like one.

Some of the company in the boat belonged to a class called “Bhânds,” and
the boatman said to them “Cannot some one of you perform some act that
will please the Spirit of the River “Kwaja Khizr,” so that we may reach
the opposite shore in safety?”

Upon this, some of the Bhânds began to snigger and laugh at the Fakir,
and tried to ridicule him in every possible way; but Shah Bilâwal, who
was a devout man after his class, passed all their sneers away and took
no notice of them.

Mockery, however, in Oriental philosophy, and in the traditions of all
people, we know is looked upon with contempt.

A voice came to the Fakir, “Are these mockers to be destroyed?” and he
replied audibly, “No! make them sensible people to respect their Allah,”
the Almighty.

Before they had arrived at the opposite shore they desisted from their
fun and frolic, and paid all due respect to the Fakir, and became his
followers ever afterwards.

In the course of time they all died, and their graves are to be seen in
the village of “Lalliân,” in the district of Jang.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Fakir._”—So often described that little new can be really said. There
are both Mahomedan and Hindu Fakirs. They are indeed ascetics and
recluses, or monks who have retired from the world in all its temporal
concerns, and have devoted themselves to a religious life.

Ordinarily they are poor men, and so they are mostly represented to be;
but some of them are known to possess great wealth, and many are even
landed proprietors. Some live in solitude, others in communities under a
leader or ruler, and the house they congregate in is called a “Guddi,”
literally, a seat or cushion, on which the head of the community sits.

The Mahomedan Fakirs in the district may be divided into, say four
leading sects, viz., the Chishti, Nuksh-Bhudee, Kadria, and Malang.
There is also a sub-division denominated “Majzub,” from the Arabic word
“juzb,” which means absorbed. These latter, however, do not keep to the
strict rules of Mahomed, and are known to take intoxicants to a great
degree, and are called by the natives, “Ghair Sherrah,” or outside the
pale. In the case of the Malang it was customary for them to go about in
a state of nudity, but this has been prohibited for some time, and they
now go about with hair loose and uncombed.

The Hindu Fakirs may be said to be sub-divided into three prominent
sects, viz., the Sunyāsīs, the Byrâgis, and the Jogis. These three
classes, and other sub-divisions also, have much in common, being all
ascetics, and striving to attain a command over all elementary matter,
while also endeavouring to effect a junction between the spirit in the
body and the spirit pervading all Nature. The Sunyāsīs are followers of
Siva, and the Byrâgis of Vishnu, while the Jogis, who also worship Siva,
are close followers of the “Yoga” school of philosophy, which was
introduced into India about the eighth century, under the name of the
“Palanjula” school.

There is a peculiarity about the garments of the latter class, which are
dyed with red ochre (geyrū). Their body is smeared with the ashes of
burnt cow-dung, as are indeed the bodies of most of the other two
classes.

There is a sub-division of the Jogis named “Kānpathay,” or “ear-torn,”
from the fact of their ears being pierced at their initiation, in which
they place sometimes a ring made from rhinoceros horn, or at other times
a prickly seed, called a “Moodma.” Those who do not bore the ear are
often called “Ongur.”

The Byrâgis, or more correctly Virāgis, use a short stick, on which they
lean to support themselves when reclining on the ground. The stick is
mostly crooked, and they place it beneath the arm-pits. It is called a
Byrâga, by some a “Zafr-tukeea.”[1]

Many of the Jogis bury their dead in a sitting posture, and place rock
salt round the body. Some of these Hindu Fakirs carry medicines, and
others again, water from the Ganges for sale. One may meet with many
also with a dry gourd slung over their shoulders, with the upper part
cut to act as a sort of handle. These gourds are frequently covered with
the ashes of cow-dung when in growth, and are allowed to remain until
they are ripe with seed, so that they may be as hard as possible in the
rind.

The “Gosains” are also a numerous sect of Hindu mendicants. The
etymology of the word is from the Sanskrit, and means “Master of the
senses and passions.” They are to be found mostly in Southern India. A
complete Gosain is a celibate, and will only eat with a Brahman or
Rajpoot. Some of them have considerable property, and keep elephants and
horses.

“_Bhând._”—Literally a clown or buffoon, employed often to make sport at
festivals and other assemblages of the people.

“_Spirit of the River._”—River worship is common amongst most Aryan
tribes, and nearly every river has its tutelary divinity who presides
over it. The voice would, in the belief of the Fakir, have come from
this Spirit.

Footnote 1:

  Literally a Pillar of Victory. See “Qanoon Islam” for tribes of
  Fakirs.

The practice of religious veneration for rivers by these races no doubt
preceded that given to them by the ancient Greeks and Romans. We read of
Xerxes of Persia offering sacrifices to the River Strymon, on his way to
Greece.

Kwaja Khizr, a Mahomedan Saint, is acknowledged to be the special god of
water, with whom it is well to keep on the best of terms. In one of
their trite sayings they express themselves thus:

                         Khuddhee thay vusnah
                         Thay Khawja hat baiyr!

“What! live on the River bank, and be at enmity with Kwaja!”

Opposite to Rohri, on the Indus, is the Island of Khawja Khizr, and
there is now a Mosque on it, with an inscription dated 952 A.D.

                                   —(_See Crooke, Murray, and Balfour_).

The Mahomedans, on Thursdays in the month “Bhādon,” float little lamps
on rafts called Bērah, as an offering to this Saint. Sometimes they have
the face of a female, and the crest and breast of a peacock at the prow.

Kwaja Khizr is thought by Moslems to be immortal, and to perambulate the
earth in a green garment, and to appear to different people. By some he
is supposed to be St. George of England, and they term him Khizr Elias.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                THE MISERLY MOSLEM PRIEST AND HIS WIFE.


In a village situated on the banks of the Indus, the “Abaseine,” or
Father of Rivers as it is called, there dwelt many years ago, an Imam,
or “Mullah,” a President of the Mosque, who had come to be much
respected by the people for the constant and regular manner in which he
officiated, and walked closely in the ways of the Prophet. In his time
many used to go to Mosque who never went before. This Imam had his fees
of course, for the performance of Nikahs, or marriages, and other rites
of the Mahomedan faith, some of which he bestowed on the sick and poor.
On festival days, besides an increase of fees, he generally received
clothes and other articles from the faithful, so that in point of fact
he made a rich harvest.

Towards the latter end of his days, however, this Imam contracted habits
of stinginess, yet he never failed to preach liberality to others, and
above all, the giving of alms to the sick and poor.

[Illustration: THE MISERLY MOSLEM PRIEST AND HIS WIFE.]

He would tell the faithful, “You must always give what you can, and if
you have no money, give them of the food you prepare for yourselves, and
ever remember” he said, “that those who do this the most exactly will
obtain the best blessings, and if you give them dishes of a savoury
nature, so much the greater merit, and so much the better for you.”

This Imam had but one wife, devoted to his interests in every way, and
with the strongest belief in her husband’s sanctity and sincerity, and
she looked up to him as her spiritual guide and teacher.

She had noticed for some time, however, how niggardly he was becoming,
and her neighbours had also remarked this to her, “But,” they said, “he
never ceases to preach to us to give dainty dishes to the poor.”

All this distressed the wife, so she made up her mind that she would try
one day to hear what the Imam actually did preach to the people.

Now, the Mosque was situated on the road-side, and there was an open
window to that side, and as his wife knew that she could not be admitted
to the Mosque, she made up her mind to listen at the window.

One day when she got there quite unperceived, she saw the Imam with his
face toward Mecca, and he was telling the people just as the neighbours
had told her, viz., “That whatever you do, give alms to the poor, and
nice dishes when you can, for this will bring you a blessing at the
last.”

When she heard this she said to herself, “If this is so, and I believe
it, I make a vow from this day forward to send nice dishes to the poor,
for I am not going to be behind others in this duty.” Whereupon she at
once prepared and cooked daily such dishes as she could, and then sent
them to the poor living round about her; and sometimes she would spend a
good deal of money in the purchases she made for the cooking of “Pulāo”
and “Parātha” (sweet pudding and cake).

This she had continued to do for some time, when one day her husband
returned from the Mosque a little earlier than usual, and she was
herself a little late, and coming into the house and seeing the dishes
ready and on a tray, he thought that they had been sent as a gift.
Opening the covers he exclaimed, “Oh! Mother of Mahomed! we are indeed
in luck’s way. Who, in the name of fortune, can be the blessed of the
faithful who has sent us such a savoury meal? Why! here is Pulāo! and
cakes! and I do not know what beside! What a delicious feast!”

“No one, sir,” replied the wife, “has sent this, but I have prepared it
for the poor!”

“What!” said he, “of our money? And what have you spent, pray?” He
became very angry, and she could only wait till he was quiet; then she
said, “Did you not preach to the people, and I dare say do so still,
that those who give dainty dishes to the poor shall be blessed
hereafter? Did you not say that prayer carries us halfway to Allah,
fasting to His palace gates; but only alms-giving gets us in? Yes, I
have heard you say so myself!” He replied, “You wretched woman, how and
when did you hear this? And if you did hear it, my advice was for
others, not for ourselves; I never meant that we were to send to others,
but that others were to send to us, and you must stop this waste at
once; do you hear me?” “Yes, I hear you, but I cannot stop it now, for I
have made a solemn promise and vow that I will continue this to my dying
day. You have said, and I always believe what you say, that the best
blessings attend those who give dainty dishes to the poor; and you don’t
want me to be blessed, eh?”

The Imam then said, “If you go on in this way, and spend my money, I
shall be ill.” And sure enough, he did not rise the next morning in time
to go to the Mosque, a duty he had not failed in for years. His wife
went to rouse him, but he would not get up. At last she said, “All the
people will be waiting for you.” “I cannot help that,” he replied, “but
if you will break your wicked vow, I will at once get up and go to the
Mosque.” “No,” she said, “I have already told you I will on no account
break my vow, and all your talking will never shake my purpose,” “Well,
then,” said the Imam, “I shall certainly take to my bed and die.” “Then
die you must,” said she, “but remember that if you do not go to the
Mosque, they will put in some other man instead of you, and you will be
the loser.”

This, however, had no effect upon him, and when she went again to see
him he once more asked her to break her vow, and she as steadily
refused. She then left him for the night, and the next morning when she
went to see him he was to all appearances dead, and failing to get any
response, she called in her friends and neighbours, who pronounced that
he had truly passed away; and then they sent up the usual cries and
lamentations in such cases. The day following, according to custom, the
body was washed (ghussal), covered with a shroud, and laid ready on a
bier, and shortly after carried to the Cemetery, or “Kaburistān,” under
a chorus of mournful voices, saying, “There is no Deity but Allah, and
Mahomed is his prophet,” or in their own words, viz., La-il-la-ha.
Illul-la-ho. Mahommadoor Rassool-oolahe.

The wife contrived to secrete herself in the procession, for she well
knew that no woman could go to the graveside, and when the bier was
waiting after the funeral prayers of “takbir” and “dua” had been said,
she came to the front, and asked to have one more look at her husband.
The funeral service contains four Tukbeers (creeds) and the Dua
(blessing). (See Funeral Obsequies in Jaffur Shurreef’s
“Qanoon-e-Islam.”) Those round about the body were for moving her away,
but others cried, “Let her be! Let her be!” Going near the bier she
whispered, “You are just going into the grave; you had better think
better of it.” “So I will,” he replied softly, “if you will break your
vow.” Drawing her lips tightly together, she gave a final “No!” and then
called out at the top of her voice, “Friends and neighbours, this is the
time for charity; you see my husband is dead; now go to my house, and
take away what things you like. I shall not want them any more, and they
are of no further use to your old Imam.”

She had scarcely uttered these words when the Imam rose from the bier
like a ghost, scaring away many of the sorrowing mourners near by.
“Wait!” he cried out; “release me; I am not dead, but only in a trance.
Hear ye! all of you, what this wretched woman says, and mark well her
extravagance and waste. When I lived with her she squandered my money,
and now, when I was on the point of being buried, she gives away my
possessions. She shall not, however, have her way now with what I
possess at my death, do what she will with the money-bag while I am
alive.”

It was some time before the people could be reconciled to the belief
that their old Imam had come to life again, but when they were, he was
taken back amid much wonder and rejoicing. He appeared again at Mosque,
and lived for some time afterwards, determined to defy his wife as to
the disposal of his goods after death, while she gained her wicked will
in regard to his property while alive, and continued to send her savoury
dishes to the poor.

So you see, my friends, it was the woman, after all, who won the day.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Aba-seine._”—The river Indus is so termed in the Pushtu language, and
the word comes from the Arabic: Aba, father, and Seine, a river. Pushtu
is spoken in the region of Kandahar Kafiristan, and round about Attock,
and is said to bear a similarity to the Semitic and Iranian languages.

“_Imam._”—From the Arabic, a leader in religious affairs; a priest of
the Mahomedan faith; answers to “Mullah,” or “Mulwanah.” In the district
round about Ghazi, and in other parts of India, the “Imam,” or “Mullah,”
performs many religious offices. He often calls to prayer as a
“Muezzin,” from the Arabic word “Izn,” and generally this is done from a
minaret of the Mosque. After prayers, where with his face to Mecca he
leads the worshippers, he collects the boys of the village and teaches
them the Koran. He also bathes and washes the deceased male members of
the faith, and prepares the body for burial, and puts on the “Kuffun,”
or shroud. This Kuffun or shroud consists of three pieces of cloth if
for a man, and five if for a woman, and must be white. After shrouding
the body, they tie one band above the head, a second below the feet, and
a third about the chest. He is present at all marriages, or “Nikahs.”

“_Pulāo._”—From a Persian word, and means a kind of sweet pudding of
meat with flour, ghee, and sugar, and sometimes raisins mixed with it.

“_Parata._”—Or “Parātha,” a kind of bread or cake made from wheaten
flour mixed with butter or ghee, and of several layers like pie-crust,
and put on a griddle over a slow fire.

“_Moslem Grave._”—This is dug down for about five feet or so, north and
south. For a woman the depth should be to the height of a man’s chest,
if for a man to the height of the waist. At the base a recess is cut out
from the soil for the reception of the body, which is laid on its back,
and the head is so turned as to be facing Mecca. In ordinary soils after
the body has been put in the recess, slates or stones are placed to
prevent the filled-in soil from coming in contact with the body. If the
soil is sandy it is kept up by the use of chatties, or earthenware
vessels, in lieu of slates or stones. There is always a stone placed on
the surface at head and foot, to indicate the position of the body.
These are called “Moonee.” The grave of a female is indicated by a third
stone, placed between the others.

In the Ghazi district some of these head-stones are very high, often of
five or six feet in height, and of slate, which is readily obtained in
the neighbourhood.

On some of these slates used as tombstones it is customary to delineate
over the graves of important Mahomedan personages, and known to have
been devout men, sketches of the Rosary, or “Thusbee,” the goblet, or
“Kooza,” and the tooth-stick, or “Miswak.” This stick, used as a
dentifrice, is made here from the root of the “Pilvo” tree. In the
village of “Kazeepur,” the names of the deceased are sometimes painted
on the slates.[2]

Footnote 2:

  Some people make various kinds of niches for lamps near the head of
  the grave called Churagdān.

Generally the graveyards of the Mussulmen are near the road-side, that
the deceased may receive the benefit of the “Dua Khair,” or solemn
prayers of devout passers-by.

_Note._—Kazeepur has its local sayings also. Once a very devout man, and
a born poet, visited this village and also that of Ghazi; his name was
“Peeloh,” and it is currently said that before he quitted the district
he ascended the Gundghur Hills, opposite to Harripur, and left the
following lines with one of the bards of the village.

              Peeloh! cheriya Gundgurh thay
                Kias kureh khalo
              Agê vagê Sinde Rani
                Pichê vagê Haro.
              Chach binah Summundur dhay
                Jo gudhê soho
              Dhunnie gurray Rungaree
                Bhummy baithê ro.

              TRANSLATION.

              Peeloh ascended the Hills of Gundgurh
                Was wrapped in deepest thought.
              Before him was the Indus,
                Behind him the Haro.
              The plains of Chach like a sea are there
                Where to plant ’tis sure to sprout,
              But to sow your field in the soil of Dhunnie
                You may well sit by its side and weep.

Another of their poets, a Pathan, and a man of “Huzro,” beholding
Cashmere from the Mountains and the vale of the country stretched out
before him, burst, it is said, into the following stanzas:

          Kashmere to ajub ja hai
          Juthay âp Khudâ râza hai
          Kea kishtee! kea howa hai
          Yek seir hai Huzrut “Bul” key
          Vo tâkht-l-Suleemâni
          Kashmere ka thanda pâni.

          TRANSLATION.

          Cashmere is a wonderful place
          Where even God finds pleasure.
          Behold the boats! and how sublime is the air!
          One excursion is to the Shrine of Huzrut “Bul,”
          Another to the Mountain, the “Throne of Solomon.”
          Cashmere too! how cool and refreshing is your water!

“_Musjid._”—The word is Arabic and from the root Sijdah, to bow; musjid,
place of bowing; in the original a corrupted pronounciation is used, as
“musseeth.”

_Note (see “Imam”)._—The natives of the district have a rather pithy
saying when referring to an incompetent Imam, or Mullah.

                 Neem Mullâhn Kuthray iman,
                 Neem Hakeem Kuthray ijan.

                 TRANSLATION.

                 Half a Priest endangers your salvation;
                 Half a Doctor imperils your life.

“_Miserly._”—-The word for miser is in the original “Shūm,” an Arabic
word. Misers are held in great detestation by the people, and they have
many sayings about them. One is the soliloquy of a stingy man to a
copper coin which he had held tightly in his hand on a hot day until a
drop of perspiration fell from it.

                  Paisa ne rô
            Merah pallay buddhay rô
            Mungee, pinnee, Khansâhn
              Thookee, na kurchay sânh.

            TRANSLATION.

                Weep not! my beloved Pice!
            You shall not leave the hem of my garment.
            I will ask, I will beg, and thus maintain my lot,
            And never suffer you to be paid away.

Stories of misers are to be found in every country, and in Chinese
Folk-lore it is told of a mean and stingy king that in peace time he
caused his cavalry to dismount, that their horses might be used in the
Government mills. War came; the horses were returned to the men, but
they kept to their habit, and still persisted in going in a
circle.—_Dennys._

There is a saying also amongst the Punjabis that all misers are
wretched, and collect money only for others to enjoy. They tell a tale
of a miser who was once visited by some friends, and he advanced to meet
them, and said:

             “Aoo bow sujjeenâh
         Ghur bar Toomhâhrâ
         Khur. Peeoh apnâh
         Burthun Khumbiarrâh
         Rul mil Charreeay ‘Kicheree,’
         Purr ‘Ghee’ Toomhâhrâ
         Heeahn juggâh tung hai
         Bâhair Thakur Dhivarrâh.”

         TRANSLATION.

         “Come in; pray sit down, my friends,
          The house and all its contents are yours.
          You must, however, provide your own meats and drinks,
             and perhaps we’ll share in making some ‘Kicheree,’
             though you must contribute the Ghee.
          See how narrow, too, my home is, so let us adjourn
             outside to the enclosure of the Idol house, where
             you can do all the cooking for me.”

_Note._—The Rosary[3] is, as has been said, (remarked under “Moslem
grave,”) called a “Thusbee” by the Mahomedans; it is also called
“Mâllânh” by the Hindus. The aimless counting and turning over of the
beads by some is thus denounced by the people of the district:

Footnote 3:

  The name comes from the Latin word “Rosarium,” a garden or chaplet of
  roses.

         Dhil dhâ minkâh aik nâh sattaynn
         Thay gyn sattaynn panj Veeânh.

         You turn not one of the beads of your heart, though you
         repeat Five score of them on your rosary.

_Note._—It may not be generally known that the “Thusbee” or Rosary
consists of 100 beads separated by a long bead called “Shumshah” (from
the Arabic, meaning “tassels” on a rosary) over which there are ten
beads called “Shummâr” (from the Persian, meaning “counting”). When one
round of prayers is completed a special short prayer is often added, or
the name of Allah is repeated on it one thousand times.

At the completion of the 100 beads, one bead is separated on the
Shummâr, and so on each time, in order to count the 1,000 epithets of
Allah if it should be so desired. To comprehend the mystic sound of the
beads are matters of “Marifat,” or knowledge of Allah!

The beads are made mostly from the “Kaoo” wood, or wild olive, which in
some places is called “Zythoon.” Walking sticks are often made of it.
There are, however, beads made from the sacred clay found near Mecca and
called “Khaka sharreef”; some are also made of glass or agates. Some
prefer to have coloured glass beads after every 33 of the wooden beads.
In early times frequently almonds and nuts were used for counting.

The Mâllânh of the Hindus consists of 108 beads, independent of one at
the top called “Sumer.” As in the Hindu Ghastra there are 108 special
letters, 54 of which are written upright and 54 downward, so this number
has been fixed for the Mâllânh. The top bead is to indicate the
completion of the 108. The special worshippers of “Krishna” (the eighth
incarnation of Vishnu) have rosaries made from the “Tulsi” wood (O’cymum
Sanctum or Holy Basil). Tulsi was a nymph beloved by Krishna, and by him
metamorphosed into this plant. The wood is held in high veneration by
all Hindus. Much of this wood comes from Mathra, India. The large bead
in a Hindu rosary called a “Sumeru” after a high mountain, on the summit
of which is supposed to reside the Hindu deities of Vishnu, Siva, and
several others of lesser note. This bead remains fixed in the hand, and
is not turned over in counting.

The Brahmins, when they repeat their prayers on a rosary, designate them
under the term “Gayathri,” the mother of the Vedas, and of which there
are five, according to the number of the principal deities. Gayathri is
a form of metre, and is repeated inaudibly in the daily morning worship
of the Brahmins.

“_Nikah._”—This is the name given to marriages amongst Moslems, as
“Nikah namah” is the marriage certificate.

The Nikah is the form of words used by the Kazi or Priest, and the Shadi
or rejoicings are additional at the will of the relatives. Nikah is the
binding ceremony, and Shadi is considered a more respectable form, and
is attended with rejoicings,

Nikah is an Arabic word, and Shadi a Persian, meaning pleasure and
delight.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



               THE KING’S SON, HIS FRIEND, AND THE FAKIR.


In another Hûjra in the village of “Thuvee,” on the left bank of the
Indus, the young men of the place had collected one day, as was their
custom, when one of their number called for a tale, and very shortly the
well-known narrator of the village began by saying: There was once a
great King, a very great King, an earthly King, for this great King has
gone to his dust long ago, but the greatest King of all is above. The
King I am going to tell you about lived in ancient times, and he looked
after his country very well, and had about him some clever Ministers,
but he was not happy in his home. He had two sons, the younger being
very fair and good-looking, and the King had them trained in all manner
of learning that they might succeed him in the kingdom.

Unfortunately, this younger son became at times very riotous, and
offended his father on many occasions, and though only a youth he became
so disobedient and troublesome that his father decided on banishing him
from his Palace. One morning when the son arose he found that his shoes
were “apoota,” or turned the wrong way, so he knew from that, that he
was to be turned away from home.

At a loss to know what to do, he went to his best friend and told him
what had happened, and after consulting together they said, “We must at
once fly this country, and seek our fortune in another country.” So
providing themselves with money and horses and provisions for a few
days, they mounted their horses and set off on their journey, not
knowing where to go. They took the high road for some miles, and then,
lest they might be pursued, they struck off into the jungles, and night
coming on they picketed their horses under a tree and slept up the tree
themselves for fear of wild beasts. This they continued to do for
several nights, wandering through the jungles in the daytime. One
evening they noticed at some little distance what they thought to be
smoke, so they pushed on in the hope of finding some assistance and
welcome in the dreary woods of the forest.

All of a sudden they came upon a hut surrounded with trees and
brushwood, and hearing no sound they thought that it had been deserted,
but listening very attentively they overheard the groans of a man as if
in pain. Dismounting, they opened the little door of the hut, and there
they saw a very old Fakir, bent almost double, and like to a bundle of
rags, and lying on a sort of raised place in the corner. “Arrah! Kaun
hai?” he called out, which means “Who is there?” They then told him that
they were benighted in the jungles, had consumed all their food for
themselves and their horses, and were about to seek their fortune in the
King’s country which was somewhere here-about, they thought. “Can you
please give us first some food, and then point us out the way to the
King’s country?” Upon this the old Fakir scrambled off his bed place,
and by the light of the small fire he looked at them very narrowly, and
at last he said to the King’s son, “Bucha (son), I will see what I can
do for you.” Presently he went a little distance outside his hut and
blew a sort of whistle, and in less than no time a whole troop of
Lungoors (large monkeys) came hurriedly down from the trees, chattering
amongst themselves, and looking up into his face. “Go! ten of you, at
once,” he said, “to the nearest village, loot it, and bring food for
these travellers and corn for their horses.” Without more ado, off went
a party of them in great haste, and in a very short space of time back
they came with food and corn, and put it down at the feet of the Fakir,
who seemed to speak a word of encouragement, and they departed.

After feeding their horses and refreshing themselves with a little food
the travellers were about to take their leave of the old Fakir, and
trust themselves again to their wanderings, when the Fakir said “No! you
must not go without protection.” So saying, he gave another whistle, and
more “Lungoors” came, and detaching about twenty of them he told them to
go before the travellers and to put them on the high road leading to the
King’s country, and then slightly raising his voice he said, “And mind
you do not go beyond your boundary.”

Taking a kindly leave of the Fakir, the travellers left the hut, guarded
with this escort of “Lungoors,” who, first on the ground, and then on
the trees in front, seemed to point out to them a way through the
jungles. After they had threaded their way for a considerable distance,
until it was about the dawn of the morning, the “Lungoors” began to
pause, and then all of a sudden they came to a dead stop, so the
travellers knew that they must have come as far as their boundary.

Shortly afterwards they heard a great stampede amongst the trees, and
all their “Lungoors” dispersed in an instant; then there seemed to be a
great fight going on amongst them everywhere about, and screams of the
most unearthly nature, such as they had never heard in their lives
before. Morning then coming on, they pressed their steeds towards an
opening in the jungle, and soon reached the high road. And so, on they
went at an easy pace until they saw in the distance the walls and smoke
of a great city, and the towers of a great palace. Arriving at the gates
they went in, and proceeded at once to the Palace, and asked to be taken
into the Royal presence. Ere long they were ushered before the King, and
narrated their adventures, which both interested and amused him very
much.

The King was pleased to give them service under him, and they remained
at his Court for some years. Not receiving any news of their own
country, they obtained leave from the King to visit it.

Upon their return thither, they went at once in some fear to the Palace,
expecting that the anger of the King might still be poured out upon
them; but when they told their story the King received them back into
favour, and gave to his son an office in the State, and promoted the
friend who had been his companion through their travels.

The son then bethought him of doing something in return to the kind old
Fakir who had befriended them in the jungles, and he sent a party to
persuade him to come to the Palace to live near him. The Fakir declined
to leave his hut, so the party returned. At last the King’s son went
himself, and took with him a Palkee, or covered carriage, and brought
off the Fakir to his Palace. He gave him a beautiful room, with Persian
carpets on the floor, and all other luxuries, and hoped that he might
spend the few more years he might have to live, in every possible
comfort. But the old Fakir felt everything very distasteful to him, and
the more the King’s son tried to make him at his ease, the more
distressed the old man became, so that in the end the Prince had to
allow him to return to his hut in the jungle where he had spent nearly
all his life, with the “Lungoors” as his friends.

In course of time the news was brought to the King’s son that the old
Fakir was dead, so he and his friend had him conveyed to the city, where
he was buried in great pomp; and afterwards a noble Shrine was erected
to his memory, and a yearly visit was ever afterwards paid to it by the
King’s son and his devoted friend.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Apoota._”—Possibly from the Hindustani word “poot,” meaning upside
down, inverted, or from the Sanscrit word “Apoot,” meaning an undutiful
son. The son’s shoes, which he left the night before as he withdrew his
feet from them, were found by him the next morning turned round, an
understood custom to indicate dismissal, or banishment.

“_Bucha._”—A Persian word, signifying son, or child, and often used as a
term of affection from old to young.

[Illustration: A MONKEY TEMPLE IN INDIA. (_Copied_).]

“_Lungoor._”—The word is Sanscrit and means baboon, but baboons
generally inhabit Africa, but there is a Bengal Langūr (Presbitis
entellus) and to these large monkeys the tale would no doubt refer.
Monkeys play an important part in many folk-tales, and naturally so, for
they are held in high respect by all Hindus, and indeed are objects of
worship by most of that faith. “Hanuman” is the name of the “monkey god”
of the Ramayana, who assisted Rama in his campaign against the giant
Ravana to recover Sita. (See Crooke’s “Popular Religion and Folk-lore of
Northern India.”) It is a belief with many that they were once human
beings, and that they refrain from using the voice of man lest they
should be compelled to work. In Northern India these “Lungoors” are
called “Ghunee.” The story is told of a “Gujuri,” or milk seller, that
she got married and left her own village. After some time, by an adroit
habit of adding half water to her milk, she put together a good sum of
money. The husband died, so she determined to return to her village, and
she put her rupees in a bag, or what is called a “humyāni” (made of
cloth or netting, and arranged to tie round the waist). Passing through
the town of Ajudhya, where is a great Shrine to the monkey god Hanuman,
and where many monkeys live in the trees that overhang the tank near the
Shrine, she made up her mind to bathe in the holy water. Divesting
herself of her clothes, she placed them on the bank, and the “humyani”
she hid beneath them. Occupied with her bathing and praying, she did not
perceive that the monkeys had come down, and were overhauling her
garments. At last to her surprise and regret, she saw her “humyani” in
the hands of a big monkey, and that he was off up the trees with it. “Oh
Hanuman! Oh Hanuman!” she besought him, “restore to me my money.” But
there he was, opening the bag, and soon he threw down one rupee to her
on the bank, and the next rupee into the water, and thus he continued to
do until he had emptied the bag. Then he called out, “See! I have given
you the half for your milk, and the other half has gone to the water, to
which it rightly belongs, and not to you.”

Hanuman is a Hindu deity, and said to be a son of Siva. He is set up in
temples, and supplicated on birth-days to obtain longevity.

_Note._—Monkeys, we know, chatter and gibber, and are celebrated for
tricks. A voice is produced by most mammals, birds, and reptiles, by
which they make known their wants and feelings; but to speak with the
human voice by imitation merely, is given only to birds, and to very few
of those. The power of the lower creation to speak and to understand the
human language passes, however, through the folk-tales of every country.
On the hill Jako, near Simla, it is well known that the Monkeys are fed
by a Fakir, who has taken up his abode amongst them, and they come down
in troops at his well known call. (See page 114, Royal Natural History,
edited by Richard Lydekker, F.G.S., F.Z.S., etc., etc.

“_Shrines._”—In many towns and villages there are shrines of celebrated
Saints which are called “Chillas” and in some places “Astanas.” They are
also termed “Karbala,” after the place where Hussain, the son of Ali,
was killed and buried. Throughout the whole of India the common belief
is that the spirit of their ancestors is, in some form or another, in
many animals and birds, and that when they choose they can speak to man
and understand what he says.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                        SECUNDUR ZULF-KUR-NAIN.


Secundur (Alexander the Great) of curly locks like horns and fiery eyes,
for such is the translation of Zulf-kur-nain, came to India, you know, a
great many years ago.

He came to conquer, but his principal reason for leaving his country was
in order that he might drink of the Ab-Hyātt, or Water of Life, which he
had been told was to be found in the hills of India.

For a very long time he wandered about in Northern India, but could not
discover any tidings about this Water of Life, till one day after
conquering a special tribe of people, he demanded of them where the
spring could be found.

They replied that they had heard about it as somewhere in the hills
above where they resided, but that they had never been there, and they
added that no one could get there, for that the spring could only be
approached through a number of winding passages in the jungle, and there
was the fear of never getting back, if even you could succeed in
reaching it.

Secundur said to them, “Well then, cannot you tell me what I can do, for
I have come all this way to drink of this water?” They replied they
could only suggest to him that if he could procure a mare that had
recently foaled, and could picket the foal at the entrance to the
winding paths, he might ride the mare to the spring, and that she would
be sure, from the love for her foal, to bring him safely back to the
entrance.

This plan Secundur adopted, and eventually reached the spring from
whence was bubbling up the Water of Life. He stooped down, and had taken
up some of the water in his two hands joining them together like a cup,
and was about to raise the water to his lips, when he heard a noise like
_kurr! kurr!_ several times repeated, and looking up he saw a large
Raven perched on a rock and shaking its head and crying out in a human
voice, “Don’t drink! Don’t drink! Look at my piteous plight! See what a
state I have come to by drinking this water; only a mass of skin and
bone and not a feather left, and so I have been for many years, and
shall never die!”

Upon hearing this Secundur threw back the water into the spring and
cried out, “Ya! Nuseeb! Ya! Nuseeb! Oh, my fate! and so I am not to
drink the Water of Life after all my efforts to do so. What shall I do?
and I _must_ believe this Raven, the bird of fate and omen.”

Secundur then remounted the mare and retraced his steps, and as the
villagers said, true enough she had no difficulty in wandering in and
out amongst the paths till she came again to her foal.

He then returned to his camp, very sorrowful, and in order to relieve
his mind he used to take long walks alone, and always dressed in the
plainest garb.

[Illustration: SECUNDUR ZULF-KUR-NAIN.]

He had gone a long distance from the camp when one day he met some
villagers, and found out from them that there were two wonderful “Trees”
near their village which had the magic power to answer questions put to
them, and that their replies were always quite correct. They said, “But
we must get old men to go with you, for they do not understand young
men, nor do young men understand them,”

This they did, and when Secundur was approaching the “Trees” there was a
voice heard, “Here comes Secundur! the great king Secundur!” Whereupon
the villagers fell down at his feet to ask his pardon, for they had
thought him all along as a common traveller.

Secundur at once allayed their fears and said, “Never mind! put to the
‘Trees’ the questions I ask you.” And he said, “Ask how long I have to
live.” And the reply came, “Seven years!” “Ask again, How long it will
take me to return to my country.” And the reply came again, “Seven
years!” “Oh sorrow upon sorrow!” said Secundur: “It was not my “Kismut”
(fate) to drink the Water of Life, and now it is not my “Kismut” to see
again my mother, for I am sure to be delayed on my way back to my native
land.”

Upon return to his camp he ordered that it should be moved the next day,
and march in the direction of his own country. He had not made many
marches when he came to a town, and the people came out to meet him,
asking him to deliver them out of the hands of “Freebooters” who were
continually raiding upon them.

Secundur remained with them for some time, and taught them how to build
a wall round the town, but all this delayed him on his way back, as he
thought it would.

Being still very sorrowful, he sent one day for two or three of his
Ministers and said to them, “My home is yet a long way off, and who can
tell whether I shall live to return to it? so I am going to give you a
command, and you are to write down what I say; and should I die suddenly
the letter which you shall write at my dictation, and which I will sign,
and which you will keep, shall be at my death sent to my mother and
delivered into her hands. Now write as follows:

“From your son Secundur:

“I am near dying, and have had this letter written to you and have
signed it myself. It is the custom of this country that when a person
dies in a family, cooked bread is always given away in charity to the
poor, for it is supposed to do good to the deceased. Now, I am going to
ask you when you hear of my death, only to give cooked bread in charity
to those who have never lost a relation. Again, should you ever come to
the place of my burial and call out, ‘Secundur, Zulf-kur-Nain,’ I will
reply to you from my grave.”

Now the first request was so designed because Alexander knew that his
mother could not find a family that had not to mourn some loss or other;
and she would thus come to see that she was not alone in her grief, and
that all human beings were afflicted with the death of relatives.

As the tale goes, said the narrator, Secundur did die, and was buried,
and the letter was sent to his mother.

Just prior to his death, however, he called before him all his Ministers
and said, “When you are carrying my corpse to the grave let all my
troops of every arm of the force follow me, and outside of my shroud let
one of my hands be placed with the palm uppermost.”

Of course in those days Ministers never said “No” to the commands of the
King, so they all exclaimed, “Your commands, Sire, shall be obeyed!”

When they had come out from the Presence, however, they said one to
another, “That is a singular command of the King! Whoever heard of
troops following a dead General? We must really again go and enquire if
these are his precise instructions.” But they feared to go all together,
so deputed the favourite Minister to go into the Presence, who made his
salaam, and repeating the King’s commands, asked if these were to be
carried out.

“Send for them again,” said the King, “Send for all these ignorant
Ministers!” When they came he taxed them with their want of sense and
said, “Do you not see that by ordering all my troops to follow me to the
grave I wanted to show to you and to all the world that ‘Secundur’
though he conquered with such troops, they could not save him from
death; and by placing my hand out of the shroud, that you and all else
might know that empty were my hands when I came into the world, and
empty are they when I go out of it.” “Oh King!” said they all, “now we
truly comprehend the meaning.”

This all happened just before he died, and everything was done as the
King commanded; and the letter was given into the hands of a Minister to
convey to the mother, as I told you.

Upon receiving the letter the mother, though borne down with her great
sorrow, did not long delay before she set out to visit the grave of her
son. Now there were many graves and many tombs in the graveyard, and she
wandered up and down for a long time, calling out, “Secundur! Oh my
Secundur! my beloved Secundur!” but no reply came from any of the tombs.

Then the thought crossed her mind that the letter had said that she was
to call out, “Secundur Zulf-kur-Nain.” So this she did, and was at once
replied to by her son who said, “Did I not tell you to call out”
Secundur Zulf-kur-Nain’ for there are many Secundurs here?” “Yes, alas!”
she replied, and the voice then ceased to speak, and though she waited
it never spoke again.

Now the design of Secundur by this, was also to give his mother another
reason for pacifying her grief in knowing that there were many
“Secundurs” who had died and had been buried, and that she was not the
only mother in the world who had lost a Secundur.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Zulf-kur-Nain._”—A compound of the two words “Zulf” and “Kernain.” The
first in Persian represents a curl, and the latter is from the Arabic
word “Kernai,” a horn. It is supposed that “Secundur” or Alexander the
Great had two curls on his forehead like horns, so he was given the
surname of “He of the two Horns.” (_See Hughes._)

“_Ab-Hyātt._”—-Ab, Persian for water; Hyātt, Arabic for life. The
incident of Alexander’s search for the Water of Life is referred to by
Crooke in these words: “According to the ‘Sikandar-Nama’ (written A.D.
1200 by Abu-Mahomed) Kwaja Khizr was a saint of Islam who presided over
the well of immortality, and directed Alexander of Macedon in his vain
search for the blessed waters. The fish is his vehicle, and hence its
image is painted over the doors of both Hindus and Mahomedans, while it
became the family crest of the late Royal House of Oudh.” As to
Alexander, it is generally the result of a great name to be enshrined in
fables, and as it has been said, to become the basis of mythopœic
fiction as in this tale.

“_Raven._”—The word used for this bird by the narrator was Dhur-Kōwa;
Kōwa, literally meaning a crow, answering to the word Kawwâ in
Hindustani.

The natives of the district draw a great contrast between the raven and
the crow. With them the former is an emblem of greed and rapacity; the
latter, of quickness and cunning. They hold the raven to be a bird of
ill omen, and are not singular in their belief. In some of our own
country-sides they are said to forbode death.

        “The boding _raven_ on her cottage sat
        And with hoarse croakings warned us of our fate,”—_Gay._

The raven is often, in the legends of other countries, referred to as a
bird which causes disappointment. Apollo sent a raven on a message, but
he perched on a fig-tree and there waited until the fruit was ripe.
There is also the memorable instance recorded in Holy Writ of the Raven
sent out from the Ark. There are traditions too, about other birds, but
that which is considered the most ominous is the “Ghoo Ghoo” owl, Ghoo
Ghoo being the Hindustani word for this peculiar owl, whose sound is
dreaded as a devil-bird. Of the smaller owls they have no such fear.

_Note._—There is a native saying in the district in regard to the habits
of the crow, which may _appear_ to be asleep, but is ever on the alert.

  Kânh kirrar khutâh dhâh
  Vyssâh nah karreeay sathrydhâh

  TRANSLATION.

  Put little trust in a sleeping crow, a bunniah, or a dog; their eyes
  are open though they appear to sleep.

It is as well to add here under this tale of “Secundur” the words they
apply to the uncertainty of his great life.

            Saddhânh nâh Baghay “Bulbul” bolaynh
            Saddhânh nâh Bâgh Baharânh
            Saddhânh nâh Raj khusheedhâ hondhâh
            Saddhânh nâh Mujlio Tarrânh.

           TRANSLATION.

           For ever the Bulbul in the garden warbles not;
           For ever the garden is not green and flourishing;
           For ever kings do not reign in unalloyed happiness;
           For ever friends each other’s society enjoy not.

_Note as to owl omens._—Certain physical infirmities in man are reckoned
inauspicious, and forbode evil, such as to be blind of one eye. It is
very unlucky to look at a one-eyed man, and even if he should be in a
high position, as was the case a long while ago with a celebrated
chieftain in the North of India, he does not escape a sneer.

When he put an increased tax on the weavers, it is said they taunted him
in the following rhyme:

 Jowahur Singh kanah
 Thray rupeea khuddee. Panj rupeea tana

 TRANSLATION.

 Jowahur Singh, the one-eyed man,
 Fixes a tax of three rupees on the hole we sit in, and five rupees on
    the warp besides.

Again, they have a saying as to those to be avoided:

              Kurria Brâhman
              Gorâ Soodh
              Kotay gurduniah
              Kunjah Rajpoot.

              TRANSLATION.

              A black Brahmin,
              A fair-coloured Soodh (Soodhra, or low caste)
              A short-necked person
              A blue or grey-eyed Rajpoot.

There are many other evil omens too numerous to mention; such as,
meeting a corpse being carried to burial; an oil seller; or a woman with
an empty water-pot; a crow sitting on a dry tree with no water near. The
reverse of the picture is lucky; so it would be a piece of good fortune
to see a crow sitting on a tree near where there _was_ water.

With some Hindus it is unfortunate when setting out on a journey for one
of the party to sneeze, and they generally get down for a while until
the evil spell, supposed to be from an evil bird is believed to be over.
Men of the sweeper caste are often called “Kal-jibha,” or black-tongued,
and whose curses always prevail.

“_Trees._”—There is a universal belief amongst Hindus that in most trees
certain spirits take up their abode, and that to destroy a tree is to
disturb the spirits, who have to be appeased by offerings of grain and
oil to keep off evil consequences to the village.

There are certain special trees in addition to the two oracular trees of
Alexander, called by the natives Mather and Emaüsae, notably the Ficus
religiosa, or “Pepul” tree, towards which their veneration shews itself
in devotional acts which may be termed “Tree worship.” In the Hazara and
other districts it is not an uncommon thing to see small hollow shrines
placed beneath this particular class of tree, containing a small lamp,
and sprinkled over with yellow ochre and oil, while the tree itself is
encircled by a white thread.

One such tree was planted years ago in the jail for Indian transports at
Singapore; the charge of which was for years under Major M^cNair, one of
the authors of this volume. It was called by the Hindus “Aswatha,” and
it was currently believed that it spoke and sang through the points of
its heart-shaped leaves. They looked upon it as the abode of their
principal deities.

The “Tulsi” shrub, or “Holy basil,” as before said, is also held in
great veneration, and has over and over again formed the subject of
verse. Here is one example:

          Tulsi birwa bagh men
          Seencht hay komlahay
          Rahê bhurlosa Ram kay
          Purbuth pur hurriayi.

          TRANSLATION.

          The Tulsi tree that grows in the garden
          Droops even when well watered;
          But where it grows dependent only on God,
          There, even on mountain tops, it is green and fresh.

The famous fabulous tree, “Pari Jatamu,” which one reads of in the
Puranas, (old Sanscrit records,) a sort of jasmine; and the Vata
fig-tree of “Orissa,” were said to be endowed with knowledge and speech
like the oak of Dodona. By approaching them in a respectful manner you
obtain from them knowledge, riches, and everything you can wish for, but
they are difficult of access.—_Wilford._

_Note._—In many parts of India it is well known that to make an offering
to a deity offended, and to pacify his wrath, five twigs of the
following sacred trees are put into a jar of water and invoked.

          1. Aswatha (Ficus religiosa).
          2. Vata (Ficus Indica).
          3. Adumbar (Ficus glomerata).
          4. Sami (Mimosa albida).
          5. Amra (Mango) (Spondias Mangifera).


------------------------------------------------------------------------



               THE FARMER, THE CROCODILE, AND THE JACKAL.


There was once a wily old Crocodile who dwelt in a tank hard by a
village, and he was sometimes so ferocious that he would seize children
who used to go for water there, then drown and eat them. He had become,
in fact, the terror of the place.

One year there was a very great drought, and the tank by degrees began
to dry up, and at last it got quite dry, and the Crocodile was to be
seen grilling and roasting in the sun.

He used to call out to the passers-by, “Oh! pray take pity upon me and
shew me where I can go for water, for I am dying in this heat.” “No,
indeed!” they all said; “we are glad to see you suffering, for have you
not often made us suffer by taking our goats, and sometimes even our
children? We shall not help you in any way.”

[Illustration: THE FARMER, THE CROCODILE, AND THE JACKAL.]

At last an old man passed by, and the Crocodile appealed to him, and at
first he replied as the others did, but afterwards he relented and said,
“Well, if you will follow me I will take you to a tank which is never
dry.” So the Crocodile followed him, and he shewed him a tank no great
distance off, which was filled with water.

The old man went first into the tank himself, and calling to the
Crocodile, he said, “See here, how deep it is!” No sooner had the
Crocodile had a good drink, than he made a grab at the old man’s leg.
“Ah-ho! Ah-ho!” said the old man; “What are you doing? What are you
doing?” “Well,” replied the Crocodile, “I have had a good drink, thanks
to you, and as I have had no food for many days I am going to make a
meal of you. That is what I am going to do.” “You wretched and
ungrateful brute!” said the old man; “is this the way you reward me?”

At that moment a Jackal hove in sight, coming for a drink (the Jackals
we know are the most cunning of all animals), and the old man said, “I
will put my case before him, and if he says you are to eat me, very
good, so you shall.”

The old man then beckoned to the Jackal to come close up to the tank,
and telling him all the facts of the case, the Jackal said, “You know I
am always a just judge, and if you want me to decide, you must shew me
the place from whence you brought the Crocodile.”

So they all three wended their way back to the tank near the village,
and the Jackal said, “Shew me the exact spot where you first found the
Crocodile;” and when they got there the Jackal said, “Now I am going to
give you my judgment, so prepare to listen.” Then turning to the old
man, he said quietly, “You silly old idiot! What made you ever help a
Crocodile? Now, you run one way, and I will run the other.”

The Jackal gave a skip, and was soon off out of sight, and the old man
took to his heels also, and soon got away. The wily old Crocodile, now
baulked of his prey, said to himself, “I know my way back to that water
tank, and I will some day have my revenge on that Jackal, for he is sure
to come there to lap water.”

So back he went, and as there were many trees near the tank, some of
whose roots went beneath the water, the Crocodile lay in ambush there.
By-and-by the Jackal came to drink water, and the Crocodile made a
sudden snap at his leg, and held it. “Oh, you foolish Crocodile!” the
Jackal said; “You think you have got hold of my leg, do you? but it is
only the root of a tree.” So saying, the Crocodile released his hold,
and the Jackal jumped off in high glee out of his reach.

The Crocodile then determined that he would try some other plan of
entrapping him; so, as there were great numbers of a small fruit falling
from one of the trees, which he knew the Jackal came to eat, he one
night piled up a heap and hid himself beneath it, leaving only his eyes
uncovered.

Presently the Jackal came prowling along, and noticing the pile of fruit
he felt inclined to partake of some, but he drew near very cautiously,
and in a moment he caught sight of the two eyes of the Crocodile
glistening in the moon-light, when he called out, “Oh, I see you!” and
scampered off.

[Illustration: THE FARMER, THE CROCODILE, AND THE JACKAL.]

After this, the Crocodile saw that it was no use to try himself to catch
the Jackal, “for,” said he, “he is too cunning for me; I must employ
someone who comes to get water here.” So one day he saw a Farmer, and
said to him, “If you will catch a Jackal for me, I will make you a rich
man, for I will give you several jewels which people have dropped in
this tank for years and years, and they are lying here at the bottom.”

“Oh!” replied the Farmer, “that is easily done;” so that very night he
went into the jungle and lay down as if dead. Presently the Jackal made
his appearance, and smelling along he came close up to the body. Then he
hesitated and said, “I wonder if this is really a dead body or not.” He
then called out audibly, “If it is really dead it will shake its leg,
and if it is alive it won’t do so.” This he said so quickly and so
artfully that the Farmer was taken aback, and to make him believe he
_was_ dead he at once stupidly shook his leg, and off skipped the
Jackal, saying, “I caught you there,” and was lost to view in an
instant.

The Farmer, who was very avaricious, and wanted the jewels badly, made
up his mind that he would by hook or by crook make sure of the Jackal on
the next occasion; so this time he prepared of the softest wax a doll of
the size of a child, and digging a small grave and covering it over with
leaves and mud, he waited in hiding to see the result.

Shortly after sunset the Jackal began to prowl about as usual, and
coming on the new grave he said to himself, “Ah! this is someone lately
buried; I will try my luck here.” He then began to scratch with his paw,
and presently one paw got caught in the wax, and in trying to get that
away, all four became stuck with the wax, when in a moment out came the
Farmer from his hiding-place and said, “Ah! at last I have got you, and
you are my prisoner!” The Jackal yelled and howled, and endeavoured to
escape, but was hindered by the wax on his feet; so then he took to
frightening the Farmer, and said, “If you do not get me out of this
scrape I will call all the Jackals in a moment of time, and they will
destroy you for ever, for do you not know that I am the ‘king’ of the
Jackals?”

“What am I to do?” asked the Farmer. “Go!” he said; “go and get some
oil, and rub it all over me; then get a fowl, and tie it about fifty
yards away, and bring two men with hatchets to stand over me, so that if
I attempt to get away they may chop me to pieces!”

This being done by the Farmer, the Jackal while being held in his hands
sought his opportunity, and being well greased all over, he made a
violent spring and so got clear of the Farmer; then he dashed between
the legs of the men with hatchets, when they made a plunge at him, but
they only succeeded in hurting their own legs, so the Jackal got finally
off, and picking up the fowl he was soon lost to view, and so won the
day.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Crocodile._”—The word used in the original Punjabi was “Sainsar,”
literally the “Gavial,” or rather “gharial.” This animal is called
“Timsah” in Arabic, but as this class of the Crocodiles lives usually on
fish, the saurian in the tale must have been unusually ferocious. The
seizure of the leg of the Jackal by the Crocodile is common to many
folk-tales throughout India, and is an indication of the general
groundwork of many Aryan tales.

“_Jackal._”—So often described, it is not necessary to do more here than
to refer to the fact that they usually hunt in packs. When a jackal is
heard to cry without a response, the natives know that he is a lone
animal and what they call “Yekaria,” and by some “yeklota,” meaning in
Sanscrit “single.” This, with them, is an evil omen, and thugs and
thieves give up their thoughts of plunder and pillage in the district
where he is known to be.

Some of the people believe that in packs of jackals the one who gives
the first cry is possessed of a small horn in his forehead, and this is
termed by them “Seeâr Singhi,” (possibly from the Persian word “Seah”
black, and “Singh” a Hindu title,) or the jackal’s horn. This so-called
horn is much prized by the people, and is often mounted by them in
silver and placed as a charm round the necks of their children. This
forehead projection of the jackal is generally hawked about for sale by
a low-caste set of people who are sellers also of certain oils, such as
the porpoise, or “Sūs” oil, the pelican, or “Rak-ham” oil, which is in
the Sanscrit language called “Gagun-bhir.” Crooke thinks that the “Seeâr
Singhi” is a jungle plant which resembles a horn; others think it is
really the velvety prominence from the deer, but is sold to the
credulous as from the jackal.

Our saying of the “grapes are sour” is rendered by the people as the
“grapes are bitter,” and the expression is used in connection with the
jackal and not of the fox.

                 Dahkânh hâth nâh up ree
                 Thooay kouree.

                 TRANSLATION.

                 The grapes do not come within my reach,
                 So spit them out; they are bitter,

“_Tanks._”—In the Persian the word is “Talâb,” and in the original in
Punjabi it is “Surr,” a Sanscrit word signifying a large pond or tank. A
small tank in Punjabi is called a “Bunni.”

There is hardly a tank in India that is not more or less associated in
the minds of the people with some legend, and many are held sacred to
one or other of their titulary gods and goddesses.

Some tanks are supposed to contain treasure which is reserved under the
custody of a Yaksha, or sprite.

                                                              —_Crooke._

In Hindu mythology “Yaksha” is an attendant upon “Kuvēra,” the god of
wealth. The name is said to be derived from “Yaksha” to worship. As with
the Brownies in Scotland they are called “Punya-jana” or good people,
but they are sometimes imps of evil.

                                     —_Williams’_ “Nala”; also _Dowson_.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                        FAITH OPPOSED TO MAGIC.


There is a hill in the Hazara district of the Punjab known to all by the
name of “Gundghur,” which in days gone by was a stronghold of Banditti.
It was well elevated above the plain, and on its crest there were
several projecting rocks, and there were caves among the rocks. In one
of these caves dwelt a Hindu Fakir of the begging mendicant class, who
had for a long time established himself there, and used to come out and
sit on a large rock called “Pīr Thân.”

This Fakir had the reputation of being able to produce wonderful effects
by the aid of his magic and enchantments, could cure serious diseases,
and when he liked he would say his Ram! Ram! song; for Rama was among
the avatara of Vishnu, and he would then ascend into the skies, and go
completely out of sight.

Such a Fakir was in consequence much feared by the people of the place,
and indeed in many villages round about. Most of the people living near
the Hill were “Gujors,” or Mahomedan keepers of Cattle, and from whom
the province of Gujerat was named, and it sometimes happened that their
milk did not set properly; so they used to go to the Fakir who soon made
everything right, and though he was a Hindu and they Mahomedans, yet
they went to consult him.

It so happened that one day another Fakir, a Mahomedan, who was on his
round visiting various shrines and the relics of departed Saints, came
to this “Ghazi” village, which was situated at the foot of the hill.

It was not long before he was told by the people of the wonderful doings
of the Hindu Fakir who dwelt on the “Pīr Thân”; how that he could cure
all diseases, and above all, that he could by his magic go up into the
air and depart out of sight.

“He is very good too,” they said, “to us, for when our milk refuses to
set, he soon makes matters right for us, and so we are going to him
to-morrow morning about this very thing.”

“You are! are you?” said the Mahomedan Fakir; and he was very angry with
them and said, “Now you wait, and you will see that this very night your
milk will be all as it should be.” True enough, when the morning broke
the milk was properly set.

“Now,” said the Fakir, “why do you put your faith in this “pagan” and
“idolater” who does not believe in Allah? And as for the stories you
tell me, they are not to be credited, and what he does is by trickery
and deceit.” With many other words he exhorted his followers not to be
imposed upon. Turning to the Hindus he said, “If _you_ choose to ruin
yourselves that is your affair and not mine.”

[Illustration: FAITH OPPOSED TO MAGIC.]

His followers, however, besought him just for once to come and see if
what they said was not true. He replied, “Well! you may all go, and if I
come at all, it will be later on.”

So all the people from the village, and from the villages round about,
went up to the Gundghur Hill, to see the wonders that this Hindu Fakir
could do. There was a large concourse of people, so the Mahomedan Fakir
thought that he might slip in unperceived; and overcome too with
curiosity, he had determined to see what sort of a man the Hindu Fakir
was who had carried off so many people as his followers.

They had all gone to the Gundghur Hill, and the Mahomedan Fakir thought,
“I will go now and see what is to be seen.” On arrival there he noticed
that there was a vast assemblage of people. Looking round he saw a knot
of his own followers seated together, so he joined himself to them, and
waited to see what would take place.

He was not, however, unobserved by the Hindu Fakir, who, after receiving
an ovation from all his adherents, addressed himself in a loud voice to
the multitude around, and pointing to the Mahomedan Fakir he said, “I
see here a Mahomedan Fakir of a false and wicked faith, and I tell him,
as I tell you all, that as two swords cannot go into one scabbard, so
neither can two Fakirs live in one and the same spot, and he that proves
himself to be master, let him hold the hill.”

The enthusiasm was very great when he had uttered these words, and his
own people called out, “Ascend, oh! Fakir, and put this new man to
shame.” He replied, “I will; and if he can surpass me in that, I will
give place to him and go away and leave you.”

Whereupon, divesting himself before them all of his garments, with the
exception of his waist-cloth, and repeating audibly his “Junthur
Munthur” (two Sanscrit words meaning “incantation,”) and some other
words of enchantment, and then kindling a small fire he made some passes
over it, and in the smoke that it made he gradually rose and vanished
out of sight.

“Ah! there goes our wonderful Fakir!” said all the Hindus; “and as for
this other wretched man, he does not look as if he could do anything
wonderful.”

In a measure they were right, for the Mahomedan Fakir when he witnessed
his ascent, was at his wits’ end to know how to prevail against such a
rival. Collecting, however, a few of his own followers around him, he
drew out his “Qoran” from its case. Then opening it with great caution
and solemnity, he took off the shoe from his right foot, and threw it
into the air with all his might. To the bewilderment of all, the shoe
did not return, but seemed to go also into the skies whither the Hindu
Fakir had gone. The Hindus then raised a cry: “What is a shoe compared
to a man! Go up yourself, and we will believe in you!” In patience did
the Mahomedan Fakir bear their reproaches, when suddenly there was a
sound heard in the air as if someone was beating a door with the palm of
his hand, and very shortly afterwards the body of the Hindu Fakir came
in sight, and as it descended, there was seen over his head the shoe of
the Mahomedan Fakir, which in some unaccountable way was slapping the
head of the Hindu Fakir, and beating him down to the earth, and when he
came to the ground he fell at the feet of the Mahomedan. Stunned and
confused the Hindu made a rush for his cave, and holding up his hands he
repeated audibly some words of enchantment, and then fled precipitately
into the jungle, and left that country-side for ever.

This story is told by the Mussulmen in their Hûzrâhs, as a proof that
faith will always in the long run crush and destroy the power of myth
and magic; and the moral is that Allah is pure and spotless, and there
is none righteous as He, or, as they have it in their own language:

                  Khudâ pâk sub sê bhullâh.

                  God is pure and righteous above all.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Fakir._”—It might be added here that the word itself is derived from
the Arabic “Fūkhr,” really three Arabic letters, F, K, and R.

    From the F is Fâkâh, fasting.
    From the K is Kanāat, contentment.
    From the R is Rizzāat, devotion.

Three qualities that all Fakirs should possess; and the formidable
nature of the pursuit is somewhat tersely told in the following Punjabi
lines:

   Fakira. Fakiri dur hai
   Jitna lumba Kujoor hai
   Chur jai tho piay
   Prami. Rus
   Girjai tochuk nā choorhai.

   THUS TRANSLATED.

   It is as difficult to become a true Fakir as it is to ascend a date
   palm. When you reach the summit it is there only that you
   drink the love juice, but if you are timid as you rise you are
   sure to fall and be dashed to atoms.

In Akbar’s reign the followers of a seceder from the strict tenets of
Islam, one Pir Roshan, when given to austere devotion, had, it is said,
to pass through the several gradations of the external ordinances, or
“Sheriat,” viz., reality, or “Hakikat,” true knowledge, or “Marifat,”
proximity, or “Kurbut,” union, or “Wasalut,” the Arabic for mediation,
and the indwelling in God, or “Sakūnut,” the Arabic for tranquility.
These terms were peculiar to that sect.

“_Gujur._”—Originally a brave people of pastoral habits, inhabiting
Afghanistan. A term also applied to a low class of Hindus, from Gujerat.
Now used here to designate cattle owners and sellers of milk, many of
whom are also Mahomedans.

In regard to a low caste of cow-herd, called “Ahīr,” the natives have a
saying:

            Jummay oouth ke Seengh
            Têl reth sê nikklay
            Gudhâ purhay Korân
            Gungâ lout Poorub sê.
            Puchhim by hay
            Toh Aheer say Kooch
            Goon nikklay.

            TRANSLATION.

            If horns grew on a camel,
            If oil could be extracted from sand,
            If a donkey could read the Korân,
            If the Ganges would flow from east to west,
            Then some good might be expected from an “Ahīr,”

And another saying yet:

         Aheer zuduryâ Pâsee
         Teenon Satyâ Nâsee.

         TRANSLATION.

         An Ahīr, a shepherd, and a Pâsee (low caste);
         If these three get together, mischief is sure to come.

Ahīr is a general term for a pastoral race noticed by Ptolemy. They are
distinguished as three tribes, viz., the Nand bansa, Yadu bansa, and
Goala bansa. (_See Wilson and Elliott._)

“_Two Swords in one scabbard._”—Appeals to the sword are very common
with natives of Northern India, indeed many of the warlike tribes
worship their weapons.

When sharpened for service by a “Sikligur,” a man who makes it his
business to give a keen edge to swords, he applies two tests. One is
that the edge shall be sharp enough to cut through a ball of teazed
cotton, balanced on the blade, and the other that it shall, with a light
touch, lift a copper coin off a table.

A Punjabi Sipahi, referring to this, was overheard to say,

      Wudday Uar thay
      Nam Talwar dhâ
      Birreh Sipahi thây
      Nam Sirdar dhâ

      TRANSLATION.

      The edge of the sword cuts, and the sword gets the credit; so
      the soldier fights, but his officer gets the fame.

“_Junthur Munthur._”—Sanscrit words, literally meaning enchanting by
figures and incantations.

“_Ram Ram Song._”—The appeal of Hindus is invariably to “Ram,” as the
god ready to help in difficulties, and probably an incarnation of
Vishnu.

The Fakir’s song would likely be:

       Ram jerôka bait-kur
       Sabka mujra lay
       Jaisa jiski chakri
       Taiko Thysa dhay.

       TRANSLATED THUS:

       Ram was sitting at his window, beholding before him a vast
       multitude and waiting to render to each according to the
       amount of work in his cause.

“_Faith opposed to Magic._”—The occult sciences have no doubt found a
congenial soil in India and the far East; but is a belief in them
restricted to the East? or rather, are not these relics of the middle
ages still found to be lurking amongst the most enlightened of Western
nations?

According to “Holwell’s Mythology,” magic and its accompaniments were
first taken to the Indus by the Cuseans, descendants of Cush, the son of
Ham, who is credited with being the first inventor of the black art. He
quotes Eusebius as his authority.

Up to this day on the Indus there is no doubt that many believe in the
power of some specially devout Fakirs to ascend into the air by the aid
of an invisible rope. The laws of gravity forbid, of course, our belief
in the capability of any man so to control and overcome them; but the
wonder is that some of these Fakirs are still able to surprise and
deceive so many, and that the riddle is as yet unsolved.

In China also the power to ascend is not unknown. Conjurors from amongst
the Taoist priests ascend to a height of twenty or thirty feet. Of this
class are those who in Manchuria call down fire from the sky.—Dr.
Denny’s “China Folk-lore.”

The wandering jugglers and conjurors on the Indus and other parts of
India have a singular refrain used as an invocation before exhibiting
their skill. The burden of their song seems to be:

          Ya! Allimas! Ya! Kulloowar Pir! Ya! Malim da Bir!

          TRANSLATED THUS:

          Oh! Elymas![4] Oh! black hero! Oh! powerful demi-god!

_Note._—Asked to explain a meteor, or shooting-star, the natives say,
“You see! Shāitān ever since he has been expelled from Heaven is trying
to get back, and these balls of fire, or ‘Chawathas’ which some call
“Shâb” from the Arabic, are hurled at him to keep him off, and so they
do, and he never succeeds.”

Footnote 4:

  Acts xiii. 8.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                  THE FAKIR AND HIS QUARRELSOME WIFE.


In a somewhat out-of-the-way village in the Punjâb there dwelt for many
years an old Fakir who was renowned for his wonderful self-denial and
abstemious habits. He was not one, you know, who assumed their garb
merely, but he preached to others of truth and morality, and his
character bore out all he taught. He did not wander about, but took up
his residence in this village, and so, being always there, he came to be
well known, and was often visited by many people from distant parts.

One day another Fakir of the same branch and order as himself, and who
was journeying north, came and claimed friendship with him, and finding
him in a special place where he usually spent his day, sat down near to
him, and talked of the things that concerned them both.

It being near night-fall the old Fakir asked his brother of the same
faith to come as his guest for the night, and to pursue his journey on
the morrow. So they trudged together until they arrived at his hut; but
when the wife saw the guest, and knew that he was going to stay the
night, she grew much displeased with her husband, and very abusive. It
was in vain for the old Fakir to say that his friend was a traveller,
and of his own avocation; the wife refused to be appeased. The guest
finding himself in an awkward position, asked his host whether he had
not better go on his journey at once, or find a refuge somewhere else in
the village for the night, for it gave him great pain to listen to the
angry words of a woman.

“Oh, no!” said the host, “I know she is very ill-tempered and cross, and
frequently gets put out, but I have a great respect for her all the
same, and I must tell you the reason.

“Do you not know that I am widely known as a good man? and in
consequence of this, and of the advice I give, I am visited by people
far and near, and they all flatter and praise me to the skies. Sometimes
I have thought to myself that if this were to continue, I should be in
danger of being proud and puffed up, and so be ruined not only here, but
hereafter. Now this wife of mine, when she fans herself into a passion,
does me real good, and I become quite subdued; and the more turbulent
she becomes the more I control myself and am quiet. So you see there is
a balance established between us, and the effect on me is that it
softens my nature, and I am made more and more what we Fakirs aim to be;
so what I lose in one way, I gain in another and a better way.”

The guest remained the night, and went away the next day deeply
impressed with the wisdom of his friend and brother.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Fakir._”—Much has been previously said under this heading, but it is
well to give here a few of the sayings of the noted Fakir known by the
name generally of “Baba Farīd,” whose shrine is still to be seen in the
town of “Pak Pattan” in the Montgomery district, not far from Mūltān. He
was one of the “Chisti class” and a Shiah, belonging to a tribe of Arab
descent. The Shiahs differ from the Sunnis in the belief that Ali ought
to have succeeded the Prophet, instead of Abubakr, Omar, and Osman.

The shrine is an extensive one, but in order to enter it, it is
necessary to pass in by a small doorway about four feet high and two
feet broad, closed by a door made of sandal wood, to which three locks
are attached, and the key of each is in the custody of a responsible
person. On festival days, however, which happen once a year, the locks
by some magic power fall off of themselves into a cloth held to catch
them.

The devout worshippers enter by the door, and pay each one rupee for the
privilege, and as it is calculated that over 100,000 visit the shrine
each year, the gain to some one class must be enormous. So infatuated do
the devotees become, that it is commonly believed by them that the
parrots cry out “Farīd! Farīd!” as they fly over the shrine.

There are piles of stones near “Ajmere,” arranged in a line, and the
story is that a string of camels carrying bags of sugar were going into
the city, and “Baba Farīd” meeting them enquired of the drivers what the
camels were burdened with. The drivers turned upon him with a sneer and
said, “Stones! Stones!” “Is it so?” replied Farīd, “then let it be
stones!” and lo, and behold, when they came to unload their beasts they
found that the sugar had been really turned into stones, and emptying
all their bags, they left the stones by the road-side, which are to be
seen to this day.

Several verses, or quatrains, have been ascribed to Baba Farīd, and here
are two or three:

                    Oot! Farīda suthia
                    Mumm ka deva bââl
                    Sahib jinnadhay jagthay
                    Nufferan keah sona nââl

                    TRANSLATION.

                    Rise, Farīda, from your sleep,
                    Light the candle of your soul;
                    Thy God who is ever wakeful
                    His servants should not slumber.

Again, when seeing a woman grinding at a mill (one well known):

                    Chukki phirtay veyk kay
                    Farīda dhitar ro
                    Do purrân vitch
                    Akay khan na chulley koh

                    TRANSLATION.

                    Seeing the mill going round
                    Farīda began to cry.
                    Between two stones he saw
                    The grain that comes is crushed.

And further, thinking on the mill, Farīda added:

    Jo loor eveng salaam thêê
    kol kili dhâ ho.

    TRANSLATION.

    To be in safety keep close to the centre peg, which is God, where
    some grains escape the mill, we know.

Again, and this shall be the last:

                   Oot Farīda suthia
                   Darhi Ayah boor
                   Agê Ayah nairay
                   Piche saha dûr.

                   Farīda aisa ho-raho
                   Jaisa kukh musseeth
                   Luthee pyree latharia
                   Tera Sahib nââl purreeth.

                   TRANSLATION.

                   Arise, Farīda, from your sleep;
                   Your beard is getting grey.
                   That which is to come is near;
                   That which has passed is far away.

                   Strive, oh, Farīda! to be
                   As the Musjid trodden grass,
                   Humble and self-abased,
                   Yet in friendship with your God.

Crooke says of Baba Farīd, that he was called also, Shakkarganj, or
Fountain of Sweets. Shakkar being the Persian for sugar; but more
probably from the Arabic word “Shookur,” thanksgiving. He was a disciple
of Qutub-ud-din, who lived near Delhi, who again sat at the feet of
Imam-ud-din of Ajmere, also a great name to swear by. Baba Farīd is said
to have had the “Hidden hand” (dast-i-ghaib), a sort of magic bag which
gave him anything he wished.

Every devotee who contrives to get through the door of his mausoleum is
assured of a free entrance into Paradise, and the crowds are immense.

Pak Pattan was called the “Ferry of the Pure One,” and the latter days
of Farīd-ud-Din were spent at Adjudhan, a very ancient city in the
Punjâb. This Fakir was instrumental in the conversion of the whole of
the Southern Punjâb to the faith of Islam.

_Note._—The self-inflicted penances of both Hindu and Mahomedan Fakirs
are well known, but perhaps the “Measurement Affliction,” or “Kusht,”
from the Persian word “Kusht,” meaning “killing,” will be new to some.
It consists in making an approach to the shrine from a considerable
distance, and measuring that distance by so many lengths of the body,
foot after head, until the shrine is reached. But few can go through
this extreme torture in the sun, and then only with the assistance of
relatives and friends, who supply sherbet and drinks to the devotee, and
keep his body cool with fans.

_Note._—In relation to this Folk-tale, it is said in the district:

                         Burri jungul ki wassar
                         Burri khullachnee nââr
                         Burri moorick ki hassa

There are three things that are bad:

                   Perpetual seclusion in the jungle;
                   A quarrelsome and peevish wife;
                   The rough horse-play of a boor.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                   THE FARMER AND THE REVENUE SOWAR.


You all know that in certain parts of our country the farmers are in the
habit of shifting their hamlets from time to time, according to the
seasons.

In winter time they go to live in the big villages, and in the summer
they dwell in the fields near to their crops.

One summer-day a Farmer was ploughing his ground, which was situated not
far from a “kuburistan” or burial ground, and a Revenue Sowar came up
and accosted him, and asked if the Farmer would direct him to a village
where the people were altogether, in order that the rents might be
collected. “The only place that I know of,” said the Farmer, “where they
keep together, is in that place,” pointing to the burial ground. “This,”
said the Sowar, “is no answer, sir, to my question. What do you mean?”
and roundly abused the Farmer, and struck him with his “chabūk” or whip.

“Well,” said the Farmer, “it is quite true; whenever anyone goes to that
place he never moves again, but we farmers always move from place to
place, according to the seasons.” The Revenue Sowar was a little
impressed by his attempt at wit, and was about to ride off, but
overhearing the Farmer saying something audibly, he listened, and these
were his words:

                Hurri thi mun bhurri thi
                Motian se jhuri thi
                Rajah ji ke bâgh men
                Dushalla orêe khurri thi.

                TRANSLATION.

                It was green and full
                And set with pearls.
                In the Rajah’s garden
                She stood, and was covered with a shawl.

The Sowar said to the Farmer, “I overheard what you were repeating, but
what can possibly be the meaning of it, for it is a riddle surely, so
please enlighten me.”

The Farmer replied, “I gave you one piece of knowledge, and you became
angry and violent; however, I will return you no ill-will, so here is
the answer to take away with you.

“Don’t you see that it refers to the ‘Bhūtta’ or ear of the ‘Indian
corn’? Its stem is green, its grain like pearls, and its covering sheath
like a beautiful shawl.”

Farmers, you see, have their bits of wit; and then he added to the
Sowar:

“Sow gullân thay hait hullânh.”

“I may tell you one hundred tales, but all are inferior to the ‘plough,’
for by it the State gets its revenue, and the people are supplied with
food.”

The Sowar left him, and went away impressed with his quickness and
mother-wit.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Sowar._”—In former days it was usual in Native States for those
responsible for the Land Revenue to send round “Sowars” or horsemen, to
prepare the farmers for the arrival of the tax-gatherers.

_Note._—The Mahomedan Sowar of that day was presumed to be very
scrupulous in adhering to the truth, and to say everything in exact
accordance with that which is, has been, or shall be. “How can I do
otherwise?” said one Sowar, “when my Prophet sets me the example?” Asked
to explain, he replied:

“Once Mahomed was riding on his ass, and was accosted by a ‘perdêsi,’ or
stranger, who asked him how many legs his donkey had. Mahomed
dismounted, counted, and replied, ‘Four.’ ‘Could you not have told me,’
said he, ‘without dismounting?’ ‘No,’ replied Mahomed. ‘Who was to know
whether, while I was talking to you, Allah might not have given him
either one leg more or less?’”

“_Chabūk._”—A Persian word for a whip, hence “Chabūk-Sowar,” a jockey,
literally a whip rider.

“_Bhūtta._”—This is from the Hindustani language, and means the Maize,
or Indian corn (the Zea Mays). It is one of the noblest of Grasses, of
which perhaps the Japanese variety is the most handsome.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                         MŪLTĀN AS HOT AS FIRE.


There was once a Fakir of the name of Shams-i-Tabriz, his first name
being that for “Sun” in the language of the Persians, and his second
being that of a great city.

This Fakir was a very noted man, and wherever he went to reside the
people flocked to see him, and he collected in every place a large
number of followers and disciples.

His fame was spread abroad far and wide, and he lived so long ago that
it was about the time of Shah Jehan, the Emperor of Delhi.

His custom was to visit the Shrines and sacred places of various
countries, and one day he made up his mind to go to Mūltān. Now, when
the Fakirs of Mūltān heard that he was approaching their city they
became much alarmed, and concerted together to keep him out of the
place, for fear that many of their disciples should run after him, and
forsake them.

They arranged, therefore, to send a messenger to meet “Shams,” and when
the envoy came to greet him just outside the city walls, he filled to
the very brim, with milk, a brass cup that he had in his hand, and then,
addressing himself to “Shams,” he said, “As is this cup full to the brim
with milk, so is Mūltān choke-full with Fakirs, and there is no room for
you there, and I am deputed by all the Fakirs so to tell you.”

“Shams” then turned about him, and noticing a jasmine flower growing on
a bush hard by, he plucked it, and using great care he managed to
balance it on the top of the milk without spilling a drop out of the
vessel. “Now go,” he said to the messenger, “and tell all the Fakirs
that as the flower was above the milk, so will “Shams” be over all the
Fakirs of the city; yet he will not disturb them, even as you see the
flower has not upset the milk.”

So off went the messenger and gave the message to the Fakirs, and they
then hastily called a meeting of their disciples, and gave command that
no one should give “Shams” aught to eat, nor prepare or cook any food
that he might bring with him.

On reaching the city “Shams” found to his dismay that he could obtain no
sustenance of any kind from the people, and though he besought many of
them, for pity’s sake, to save him from starvation, the reply was always
the same, “We would do so ourselves, but are in fear of the Fakirs.”

At last when almost perishing with hunger, “Shams” went to a butcher,
who so far relented that he gave “Shams” a piece of meat, but refused to
cook it for him.

“Shams” in despair then turned his eyes to the skies and made a bitter
appeal to the Sun, saying, “You are ‘Shams,’ and I am ‘Shams’; we are
both called the Sun, so I beseech you to come to my aid and cook for me
this piece of meat, that I perish not with hunger.”

In a moment the Sun heard his request; and lo! and behold! he approached
nearer to Mūltān by a spear and a half’s length, and the meat was cooked
by the greater heat, and the hunger of the Fakir appeased.

Owing to this remarkable heat, the occurrence of which the Fakirs and
people attributed to “Shams,” they all came and asked his pardon, which
he readily granted, but declined to alter the position of the Sun over
the city; so Mūltān has remained, from that day to this, the notoriously
hot place that it is known to be.

It is celebrated, said the narrator, for four things: its heat, its
dust, its beggars, and its graveyards; and this Mūltān has had three
names already, viz., Huss-pur, Bhag-pur, and Mūltān, and will
eventually, before the end of the world, be called Trah-pur Sultān.

“Shams” continued to remain in the city, gathering together numbers of
disciples, and eventually died there. A magnificent tomb was erected to
his memory, which may be seen to this day.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Shams-i-Tabriz._”—To this day the Shrine of this saint is to be seen
in Mūltān. He lived in the time of the Emperor Shah Jehan, who had a
passion for building tombs and palaces. The well-known “Taj Mahal” was
erected in his reign, A.D. 1627 to 1657.

This tale can hardly be classed as “Folk-lore,” but it was given as
tradition, and it is interesting as indicating the element of
superstition which has come to be embodied with what is actual matter of
fact.

Shams-i-Tabriz was a Sufi philosopher, and the leader of Jalal-ud-din,
and tradition says that he was flayed alive at Mūltān.

The Sufi doctrines are well known both in India and Turkey, and are
followed to this day, and they rest all their system of morality upon
the practice of Divine love, and the Fakirs are their exponents.

Sufis have laid down the following rules for their disciples:

    Hear, attend, but speak little.

    Never answer a question not addressed to you, but if asked answer
        promptly, and never be ashamed to say “I know not.”

    Do not dispute for disputation’s sake.

    Never boast before your elders.

    Never seek the highest place, nor even accept it if offered to you.

    Do not be over ceremonious.

    Observe in all cases the etiquette appropriate to the time, place,
        and persons present.

    In indifferent matters conform to the practice and wishes of those
        with whom you are associating.

    Do not make a practice of anything which is not either a duty or
        calculated to increase the comfort of your associates, otherwise
        it will become an “idol” to you, and it is incumbent on everyone
        to break his “idols,” and renounce his habits.

                                    (See Hughes’ “Dictionary of Islam.”)

It has been said by Major Osborne in his “Islam under the Khalifs of
Baghdad,” that the spread of this Pan-theistic spirit has done harm to
the Mahomedans; and that the true function of religion is to vivify and
illuminate all the ordinary relations of life with light from a Higher
world. The weakness to which religious minds are peculiarly prone is to
suppose that this world of working life is an atmosphere too gross and
impure for them to live in. They attempt to fashion a world for
themselves where nothing shall soil the purity of the soul, or disturb
the serenity of their thoughts.

“_Tabriz._”—Is the chief town of the Persian province of Azerbijān, or
as some call it Adebaijan, the ancient city “Media Atropotene,” so
called from Atropates who after the death of Alexander made himself
independent. Mount Ararat rises on the N.W. border, or as the Persians
call it “Koh-e-Nuh,” or Noah’s Mountain.

“_Bhāgpūr._”—Bhāg is the Sanscrit for “destiny,” and Pūr is the Sanscrit
for a City, as also is Pūra.

“_Sultān._”—This is the Arabic title for a King or Emperor, but
sometimes is applied to saints and martyrs, as for instance, Sultān
Surwar, an eminent Mahomedan Saint whose shrine is at Baluch, not far
from Mūltān, and who was distinguished for his purity of manners. At his
tomb it is narrated several miracles were performed. (See
“Araesh-e-Muhfil.”)

It may be added here that several sayings are attributed to
Shams-i-Tabriz such as the following:

                 Badshâh noonh bheek mangâwânh
                 Mangla noonh takht Bahâwânh
                 Pul vich “oolut pullut” kurr sathân
                 Dhun Hookum merah sirdahi dhâh

                 TRANSLATION.

                 Kings I can bring to beggary;
                 Beggars I can place upon a throne.
                 In a moment I can dissolve all things;
                 For mine are the orders of supremacy.

Burton says that the people of Mūltān slew him in order to keep his body
with them, but we can trace no local tradition as to this.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                      SHĀITĀN AND HIS SAVAGE WIFE.


Once upon a time “Shāitān,” or the Devil, who, as we dwellers in India
know, has the power to transform himself into man or animal whenever it
pleases him, one day took it into his head that he would go round the
world in the garb and appearance of an ordinary traveller; and so
admirably disguised was he, that one day he visited one of the villages
in the Punjâb, and finding two men seated at one of their places of
meeting, or “Hûzrâhs,” talking and smoking their “hookah,” he approached
them as if to speak.

Believing him to be some traveller wearied by his journey, the two young
men asked him to sit down, and then they offered him a smoke and a drink
of water.

As they were talking and chatting, they heard a great noise in the
village, and suddenly they saw a farmer who was being pursued and beaten
by his wife. The young men recognised the woman, and at once said to the
stranger, “We know the character of that wretched woman; she is worse
than ‘Shāitān’ himself.” Whereupon “Shāitān” said, “No! there I cannot
agree with you, for how can any woman be more hateful than ‘Shāitān,’
who is the accursed one, and wears on his neck the necklace of evil?”

[Illustration: SHĀITĀN AND HIS SAVAGE WIFE.]

The young men said, “Well my friend, if ever you get married, and have a
wife like that woman; you will remember what we have said, and you will
then think her not merely as wicked as ‘Shāitān,’ but a thousand times
worse.”

After taking some refreshment he pondered over these words, and bidding
them “salaam” “Shāitān” went on his way.

It was some little time after this when “Shāitān” did take unto himself
a wife, and as it happened, she turned out to be a most violent woman,
and used to abuse and maltreat him on every occasion, and would even go
so far as to kick and beat him and torture him in a variety of ways.

Their youngest and best child was a son, and she would even chastise
him, and if the father remonstrated or interfered with her, he would
always come in for a large share of her ire and abuse. When “Shāitān”
had pondered over the sad plight he was in, his thoughts reverted to the
saying of the young men in the village, and he said to himself, “Tobâh!
Tobâh! Oh tush! fie! why certainly this wife of mine is worse than the
woman in the village, yes a thousand times worse.”

Now this son began to grow up a bit of a demon in nature, and as time
wore on, it was necessary that he should be given something to do, so
his father one day called him aside and said, “I want you to hear some
advice from me,” but the son replied, “I know you are my father, but I
could never be advised by you, for you are ‘Shāitān,’ and you never did
give good advice to anyone.” “That is true,” said the father, “but
though I know it is my way to give bad advice to all, I could not do so
to my son: come to me at all events, and hear what I have got to say,”
“Say on!” replied the son, “and I will listen.”

“You know,” “Shāitān” said, “how you and I are maltreated by your
mother, so that life is wellnigh unbearable to both of us: now, my
advice to you is that you go on earth as a ‘Hakīm,’ or doctor.”

The son replied, “I know nothing of medicine, and how could I be a
physician?” “That is of no consequence,” said his father; “you do as I
tell you, and all will go right. When, for instance, you are called to
see a patient, as soon as you enter the room, the first thing you do
should be to look at the head of the bed or ‘charpai,’ (literally a
sleeping place with four legs, ‘char’ meaning four and ‘pai” legs, in
Persian). Should you see my shadow there, you should at once say to the
people of the house, ‘Do not I pray you spend any more money on the
patient, for he is sure to die.’ The people will then say, ‘What a
marvellous doctor is this, for he tells us before-hand that he knows the
patient will die, and will not receive any fees!’ By this means your
fame will become great all over the country.

“But if you should not see my shadow at the head of any patient’s bed,
then you should prescribe any simple thing which is known to the common
people round about, and of course you will know from the absence of my
shadow that the patient will get well, and your renown will go on
increasing in this way.”

The son listened to this counsel, and, thinking for a little, he said,
“Very good! I agree,” and it was not long ere he began to practise his
profession amongst men. True enough, in an incredibly short space of
time his fame became noised abroad, and he found himself in an extensive
practice.

One day it happened that the Nawab of the country where he was, had a
near relation very ill, and hearing of the skill of this doctor, he sent
off servants and horses and carriages to bring the doctor in great pomp
to the Palace.

Thither he went without delay, and he was received by the Nawab at the
door of the Palace, and after they had partaken of sherbet and had
smoked a “hookah,” the Nawab showed the way to the room where the sick
relative was.

The Hakīm, or doctor, followed very thoughtfully and anxiously, and he
kept cogitating to himself, “I sincerely hope that my father’s shadow
will not appear to-day over the bed-head of this most important patient,
for it is everything to me that it should not, and that the patient
should recover.” He was taken along passages and corridors, and at last
they reached the room where the sick man lay, and to his horror there
was the shadow and no mistake, and he almost collapsed on the spot.

After sitting a while near the patient, feeling his pulse and asking
questions in the usual way, he requested all persons to quit the room,
in order that he might be alone with the patient for a little while.

All this time he was thinking to himself how he could possibly expel and
get rid of the shadow, this father’s “shadow” which now stood between
him and his fortune; when all of a sudden the thought rushed in upon
him, “I know what I will do!” So raising his voice to its highest pitch
he shrieked out, “Father! Father! Mother is coming!” Whereupon the
“shadow” vanished with one rapid jump, and never again returned.

As the tale runs, the patient got quite well very shortly after this,
and the Hakīm was advanced to high honour and position in the dominions
of the Nawab.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

“_Shāitān._”—From the Hebrew word “Shuttun,” to be hostile; hence the
Arabic “Shāitān,” opposition. According to Mahomedan tradition, he has
four lieutenants, viz., Muleeqa, Hamoos, Nabloot, and Yoosoof.

By some he is known as “Iblis” from the Arabic word “despair,” and the
wife of a “Shāitān” would be termed “Bhutnī” in Sanscrit. In Persian the
leader of evil is called “Ahurmun,” (Burhān-i-kāti), or the evil
principle.

Crooke classes “Shāitān” with Jinn, or Genii. Divided into the Janii,
who are the least powerful of all, the Jinn, the “Shāitān” or devils,
the “Ifrit” and the “Marīd,” or rebellious ones, the last of whom rule
the rest, Jan is sometimes identified with the Serpent, and sometimes
with “Iblis,” which has been imported direct from the Greek “Diābolos.”
Some have wings and fly; others move like snakes and dogs; others again
like men. (Vide “Folk-lore of Northern India.”)

Dennys, in his “Folk-lore of China,” says that the belief in the
existence of demon monsters is in full force in China. One of the
Emperors who flourished about A.D. 700, having been taken ill, dreamt he
saw a blue half-naked demon coming into his Palace.

He stole the Empress’s perfume bag, and also the Emperor’s flute inlaid
with precious stones, and flew off with them to the Palace roof.
Suddenly there appeared another blue devil, but of giant stature,
wearing a black leathern high boot on one foot, the other being bare,
and he had on a blue gown. One arm was like his foot bare, with which he
wielded a massive sword. His mouth was like that of a bull. This
fierce-looking monster seized the little one, and with a blow made an
end of him. The Emperor asked this monster demon what his name was. He
said his name was “Tsung Kivei,” and that he was a Colonel Commandant
over all imps, ogres, wraiths, hobgoblins, and the like, under heaven.
The Emperor was greatly flattered at the visit, and awoke to find his
illness gone. He called a painter to paint for him what he had seen, and
it was so faithfully executed that he ordered two hundred ounces of gold
to be given to him, and that copies of the painting should be
distributed through the Empire, so that all the people might know and
respect this blue bull-headed demon. To this day he holds a conspicuous
place in the temples of the people. According to other tradition the
name of the wife of “Shāitān” was Aw-wa, and she bore him nine sons, and
their names are given in Burton’s “Arabian Nights,” but as Crooke says,
which of these was the worthy of the text does not appear.

“_Tobâh! Tobâh!_”—From the Arabic, meaning penitence; when coupled
together it carries the signification of “Oh fie! I promise to sin no
more.”

“_Sick room._”—It is usual in the native palaces when anyone is sick to
have men waving a fan and a “chauri” over the head, to drive away evil
spirits who may be fluttering in the air, as well as to act as a
preventive to further disease. They are often seen in the hands of
attendants upon the gods. “Chauri” is the Hindustani for a whisk or
fly-flapper of hair.

“_Hookâh._”—The Hookâh as shewn in the illustration is the Indian pipe
and apparatus for smoking. The tobacco, or in the Hindustani language,
the “gurakoo” is put into the tobacco holder or “chillum,” and the smoke
is passed through the water in the Hookah and becomes cold and purified.
The flexible tube which conveys it to the mouth is called the “naicha,”
and the mouth-piece is of silver or amber. Hookhâs were much improved in
the reign of Akbar.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                      SAKHI, THE GENEROUS MOSLEM.


In a certain village in the Punjâb there lived a long while ago, a very
charitable old Mahomedan of the name of “Sakhi,” which being interpreted
from the Arabic tongue means “liberal.” This faithful and patient old
Mussulman was famed through all the country round for his repeated deeds
of charity, and he was visited by many mendicant folk, who profited not
a little from his kindness and hospitality.

The result of all this almsgiving was that in the end, he himself became
very poor, or as the native translation more nearly renders it, he
“became as dry as a fish baked in the sun.”

One day, as the tale goes, two Fakirs, “Kallundars,” or begging monks as
they are sometimes called, were on their way to Mecca to perform that
pilgrimage which is obligatory on every devout Moslem once in his life,
and on their way thither they had to pass through the village in which
“Sakhi” resided, so they made up their minds to pay him a visit, and
obtain his blessing on their journey.

As they entered the village they accosted the first man they met, and
asked him to direct them to the house of the famous “Sakhi.” This man,
who was no other than “Sakhi” himself, replied, “The name of names is
the name of Allah, and I am named ‘Sakhi.’” Whereupon, according to his
custom, he invited them to his abode, and when they entered it they were
at once struck with the signs of poverty that were to be seen on every
side; the hut, for such it literally was, was almost devoid of
furniture, and the place was quite comfortless.

“Sakhi’s” wife rose at their entrance, and he then told her, under a
breath, to set food before the travellers, but she replied “You have
given all your substance away and nothing is left. ‘Kyâ Kuren!’ she
said, or what is to be done?” “Sakhi” replied, “These are holy men and
must be entertained, so pray borrow of our neighbours.” “Sakhi” then
followed his wife for a brief period, which gave time for the travellers
to say one to another, “How poor he is; and though we are hungry let us
eat sparingly, and leave some on the dish for him and his family.”

Meanwhile the wife had procured some “ātā,” or flour, and in a short
time placed before them some “chapāties,” or thin cakes, and they all
began to eat, and “Sakhi’s” daughter had a portion taken to her.

After they had all eaten, the travellers rose to go, and with many
salaams, and wishing peace and safety to the house, they were just on
the point of starting when “Sakhi” said, “I must go with you a little
way to put you on the right road, for there are many cattle tracks about
the village, and you might miss your way.” So saying he accompanied them
very nearly to the main road, when they finally bid him “adieu,”
wondering most of all that though he was so very poor he seemed to be so
happy and contented.

[Illustration: SAKHI, THE GENEROUS MOSLEM.]

“Sakhi” now turned to go back, when to his astonishment he saw a column
of smoke ascending from the village, and he quickened his pace, when he
met a man running to tell him that his hut had been burnt down, and that
both his wife and daughter had perished in the flames.

“Sakhi” on reaching the spot, found this to be only too true, and when
he could safely venture near, he saw to his horror, only their charred
remains, and at once cried out “It is the will of Allah; he is One, and
Mahomed is his prophet. I shall leave this place and go into the City,
and seek service under the King.” So off he went on his journey feeling
much distressed, but confident that something good would turn up. His
way lay through a rather dense jungle where there were in some parts of
it, patches of very high grass. In one of these he thought he would rest
himself, and as it was time for the mid-day prayer, he performed his
regular devotions, and holding out his hands as usual to receive the
blessing, he spoke out rather more audibly than he was wont to do, when
to his utter amazement he heard a voice calling out, “Rescue us, save us
from this misery!” He then groped about in the long grass, and
discovered that the sound came from a deep, dry well, and looking down
he saw a man in great trouble, who must have fallen in by accident he
thought, and then peering closer he descried also a jackal and a snake.

The jackal roared out, “Take me out of this place, and take out the
snake, but do not take out this bad man.” “Sakhi” replied with the usual
generosity of his nature, “No, if I take out one I shall take you all
out.” So saying, he undid his “kummerbund,” or waistband, and finding
that it was not long enough to reach to the bottom of the well, he bent
his turban on to it, and lowered it down, telling the man to tie his
turban on to it also. By this little contrivance he managed to get them
all up to the surface in safety. The snake to evince its gratitude,
vomited from its mouth a small lump of gold, which Indian snake-charmers
quite believe that certain snakes can do; and asking “Sakhi” to follow
him, he shewed him some wonderful herbs that would cure most of the ills
that flesh is heir to, and which no man was yet acquainted with.

[Illustration: SAKHI, THE GENEROUS MOSLEM.]

On his return to the well, the jackal expressed his thanks for his
deliverance by saying that whenever “Sakhi” was in trouble, if he
thought of him, he would come to his relief; “but beware,” he said, “of
the man, for he will get you into distress.” The man was not much
concerned about thanking “Sakhi,” but as he was very weak and faint
“Sakhi” felt for him, and they journeyed on together very leisurely.
“Sakhi” found out that he was going to the same city that he had set out
for, and that he was in very truth the son of the King. When they neared
the city, the Prince said, for such he was of course, “Give me that
piece of gold I entrusted to your charge.” “Sakhi” replied, “You never
gave me any gold, and how can I return to you what I never received?”
“We will see about that,” said the Prince, and they had no sooner
entered the streets than the Prince, who was at once recognised by the
people, called out to one of the “Burkandâzis” or armed Police, “Seize
this man and search him for a piece of gold he has robbed from me.” This
they did, the gold was found upon him, and “Sakhi” was taken before the
executive, found guilty, and sentenced to the torture peculiar to that
country.

This punishment consisted in stripping the body, and placing over it the
skin of a newly killed heifer, the head only of the victim being
exposed. The prisoner was then put into the hot sun so that the skin
might dry upon his flesh and gradually eat into it. “Sakhi” was so
treated, and bore all his pains with patience, and recited to himself
for his comfort, portions of the Koran which he had committed to memory.
He was daily under the charge of a guard, whose duty it was to take him
to and from his prison-house, and to watch over him during the day. One
day “Sakhi” observed that the sentry was muttering to himself, and
apparently in grief, so “Sakhi” asked him what was the matter, and he
replied, “Our King is very ill, and none of the doctors can cure him.”
“Oh,” said “Sakhi,” “I am a medicine man, and I can cure the King, I do
not doubt.” This news soon reached the ears of the people about the
Court, and “Sakhi” was taken before the Vizier, and there repeated what
he had said to the sentry.

The Vizier ordered that the skin should be taken off “Sakhi” which
caused him much physical pain, and indeed could only partially be
removed. “Sakhi” was then put into clothes again, and leave was given
him to prepare his remedies. “Sakhi” then went at once into the jungle,
procured the herbs pointed out to him by the snake, and made from them a
draught which he gave to the King. The King believed in his skill,
continued to follow the treatment, and in a very short time he became
quite cured of the disease from which he was suffering. “Now,” said the
King to “Sakhi,” “you have been the means of restoring me to health, and
as I made an oath at the point of death, that whoever cured me should
have my daughter in marriage, and be possessor of half of my kingdom, so
now I shall proceed to keep my word.” The King accordingly commanded
that the proper document should be made out, and upon a fortunate day
being fixed by the astrologers, the royal marriage was celebrated with
every pomp and display. So the poor and patient “Sakhi” was thus greatly
rewarded and enriched.

But he was not spoilt by splendour, for he never neglected as the proper
hours came round, to say his prayers five times a day, as the custom is
of every devout Mahomedan.

The morning prayer was said at the river side, near the Palace, where he
prostrated himself in worship on an open green sward.

One morning, the jackal whom he had rescued from the well came to him
with a beautiful flower in its mouth, and he said to “Sakhi,” “Take this
flower; I found it on this green bank after five Fakirs, or ‘Panj Pir,’
had been worshipping here. It has a most fragrant smell, but one thing I
must tell you: let no one know you possess it.” So “Sakhi” thanked the
jackal, tied the flower in his waistcloth, and went home.

The perfume of the flower was so strong that his wife at once perceived
it, and asked what he had about him that smelt so sweet. “Sakhi” for a
long time evaded the question, for he had in his mind the warning of the
jackal, but at last, in a weak moment, he drew it from his waistbelt and
handed it to his wife, saying, “I have yielded to your entreaties, but
you must tell no one else about it.” One day her mother came to visit
her, as she often did, and by some accident “Sakhi’s” wife dropped the
flower on the floor, which her mother picked up unperceived, and took
away with her, when it at once dried up. The wife had no sooner lost the
flower than she became depressed and like a mad thing, and at last told
“Sakhi” that she should die unless it could be recovered; so distressed
indeed was she, that she quite worried him out of his life. “Sakhi,” one
morning when he was at his usual place of prayer by the riverside,
thought of the jackal, and he was not long before he made his
appearance. He then told him all about the flower, and what misery and
suffering it had brought upon his wife since the day she had lost it.
The jackal remonstrated, and said he could not get another, for it was
left on the bank by the five holy men who had never been seen again, but
he felt sure that there was some talisman about it. “Sakhi” said, “Oh!
If you could only tell me whither they went, so that I might follow them
and get them to take the spell off my wife!” The jackal replied, “They
dived into that deep pit in the river, that I am sure of, and never rose
again.”

Then “Sakhi” bethought him that he would also dive in there at the same
spot, and see what fate and fortune might have in store for him.

Thereupon he made a plunge from the bank, and oh! wonder of wonders! He
found himself in a glorious place, and mid bowers of bliss, and precious
stones shining in every direction, so that he was quite bewildered. This
was indeed to him rapture and enjoyment, and while he was trying to
collect himself, he felt a touch from someone near, and he recognized
the voice of the daughter he had lost in the fire, who welcomed him with
all affection, saying, “Mother also is here; I will go and call her.”

So “Sakhi” felt that this was true happiness indeed, to be in such a
place with his first wife and daughter, and he decided to remain where
he was, and which he now knew must in very truth be the Paradise of
Mahomed. Never more did he wish to return to earth again, to be worried
by his second wife who was under the spell of that enchanted flower.

And so ends the Story of “Sakhi the Generous,” and may we all learn to
bear our troubles with the same patience and resignation that “Sakhi”
did.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

This is one of the tales, says Crooke, of the grateful Animal cycle, for
which see Köhler and Crooke.

“_Sakhi._”—From the Arabic word, “sakhi,” meaning liberal, generous.

“_Kallundar._”—From the Arabic word, “kallundar,” a kind of monk who
deserts the world, wife, and friends, and travels about with a shaven
head and beard. They belonged to a sect of the Kadiri Fakirs, akin to
the Sufis, and do not refuse to take “murids” or followers; but the
Sufis only tolerate them.

“_Ātā._”—A Hindustani word, meaning flour, or meal.

“_Chāpāti._”—Also a Hindustani word, meaning thin cakes of unleavened
bread.

“_Snake and small lump of gold._”—“Old Folk-lore.” See Crooke’s
reference to Pipa the Brahmin, who gave offerings of milk to a serpent
on the banks of the Sampu, or “Snake Lake,” and was rewarded daily by
the serpent with two pieces of gold. In “Chinese Folk-lore” (Dennys) the
Emperor Hoti found a wounded serpent in his path, and having cured and
released it, was rewarded by a carbuncle of exceeding brightness which
the snake brought to him. The belief is, however, common to many races,
and the superstition has been extended to toads and fish, and even to
horses. Serpent worship is akin to this, but this subject is too
elaborate to refer to here.

“_Panj Pir._”—“Panj” is the Persian for Five, as the five fingers, and
with the Shiah Mahomedans it is a standard, and the extended hand is
carried on a pole during the Mahomedan Mohurrum Festival. As also the
Panjutun which are the five holy persons amongst Moslems, viz., Mahomed,
Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Hussain. Sentences from the Qorān are repeated
at this festival, and the Fakirs and others call out in chorus, “Yahoo!
Yahoo!” the Arabic for “Jehovah,” He who is; He who exists. (See
Qanoon-i-Islam.)

“_Dwelling beneath the River._”—This prevails widely through the
folk-lore of many countries. Moore in his “Manx Folk-lore” has a long
article upon “Dwellings under the Sea,” splendid cities, towers, gilded
minarets, and so forth.

“_Wells._”—In the original it is “Kooh,” in Sanscrit “Kooā,” in Persian
“Chāh.” These are wells from whence the water has to be obtained by
lowering a cord or rope. A well into which people descend by steps to
get water is termed “Bāolī,” from the Hindustani language.

In some of the “Koohs” it is a practice to place during winter, frozen
snow, and when this melts in the summer months, it is drawn out and sold
as “Aseah” water, and is much appreciated.

It is considered by the people to be a good action to build a well for
the general use of travellers, and a still further work of merit to
build a tank, for then both animals and birds can also enjoy the
benefit.

There are many witty sayings in regard to wells, but one or two must
suffice from this district.

In giving advice to another about to take an important step, the saying
is:

    Têk thrup nâl kooh deh vitch viso
    Hazah thrup nal na asô.

    TRANSLATED THUS:

    One jump will take you into a well, but a thousand will not take
    you out of it.

If one wishes to say that another has laid a trap and got caught
himself, the saying is:

     Châ Khundah, Châ derpesh.

     TRANSLATED THUS:

     If you dig a well for another, you will fall into it yourself.

_Note._—In the 12th century there actually lived a saint called “Sakhi
Sarwar,” whose real name was Sayyid Ahmad. His father is said to have
been a native of Baghdad. In another legend he is represented as a
disciple of the celebrated Pir Dastagir of Baghdad. Close to the tomb of
this saint is a shrine to Baba Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and a
temple to Vishnu.—_Crooke._

It may be that the “Sakhi” of this tale refers to this saint.

“'_Sakhi’s’ grief under torture._”—A common saying amongst the people to
express the fact that no one is without suffering is thus given in part
Persian:

     Darin duneâh kussay bê ghrun nebashad Agar barhad, to bunsie
     Adam nabashad.

     THUS TRANSLATED:

     In this world no living mortal is without grief; if such an one
     perchance there should be, then he is not of the sons of
     Adam.

_Further Note as to Snakes._—There are several kinds of snakes known in
the district by snake-charmers, but some of the most important are as
follows. First and foremost is the well-known Cobra; one is called
Kooruj; another Mushkee, of a black colour; a third Chujlup, or hooded,
from the hood being like Chuj, or a winnowing basket; a fourth is termed
Kukkur, also a hooded snake, but of a light colour.

Of miscellaneous snakes there are Batung, Bhullard, and the Theer-Maâr,
a small snake found in the roofs of houses. Another has a spotted body,
is small, and has a broad head; this is called Phissee, or Kurnndâwah.
Another is the Sangchūr, a snake of most rapid movement, having a dark
body, very glossy skin, with white spots here and there. Of this snake
the charmers stand in great dread, for it is instant death to be bitten
by it.

To show how deadly this is, they say that the snake calls out, “Get out
of my way, for fall you must at once, and I don’t want you to fall on
me.”

Snakes, as has been already said, are worshipped by Hindus, and the
Cobra is a special object of worship, as being intimately connected with
many of their idols and deities, especially by the worshippers of the
Lingam, the form under which Siva is worshipped, the most bigoted
perhaps of all Hindu sects.

When the child of a Hindu is suffering from a disease called Sokrâh, or
Sūkh-Chari (atrophy), or wasting away, it is usual to have it washed
under a Cobra, and the water thus falling over the snake on to the child
is believed to have healing properties.

The well-known “Bezoar” stone (from the Persian words “zahr,” poison,
and “pād” against, a concretion found in the stomachs of goats or
antelopes), for the cure of snake poison, and is called in the district
“Zahr Muhra”; and again to cure dogs of distemper it is a common
practice to wash them with the cast skins of snakes, called
Khainchillee. It may be added here that snakes, it is said, can be
killed with snuff thrown into their eyes and mouth.

Some have doubted whether it could be possible for snakes to be charmed,
especially as many naturalists have asserted that the greater part of
them are deaf. The Authors can, however, certify to the fact that hooded
snakes can be brought under the spell of a shrill musical pipe even when
in concealment. The pipe the Indian snake-charmers use is called a
“Tunbi;” or by some a “Banshī” or flute is used.

However, to continue this subject might as we have before said, lead us
into Ophiolatry, which is outside the scope of these Explanatory Notes;
but we may say this, that the change of skin by the Serpent has no doubt
been easily associated by some minds, with the springing up of a fresh
life, or an endless existence; and so has been one of the means towards
the worship of this Reptile.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                THE PRIEST, THE WASHERMAN, AND THE ASS.


There lived, many years ago, in the city of Azimgurh, in the north-west
of India, a Moslem Priest, or “Moola,” who, as is usual with that class,
added to his income by teaching the Mahomedan youths of the place.

By chance an old Washerman, or “Dhobī,” and his wife while travelling
homewards came to the city, and put up under a tree adjoining the Mosque
where the Priest lived, and tied their ass to the tree. The old couple
were rich, but were unfortunately childless.

Some time during the day of their arrival, they caught a glimpse of a
man who was gesticulating before the Priest in a tone of violent
complaint, and they could not help hearing all that he said: “You are
the Priest,” he called out, “and I have paid you all the fees you asked,
but you have taught my son nothing at all, and every day he is either
idling or playing about in the dusty roads with other worthless
urchins.” Upon this the Priest became greatly enraged, and retorted,
“Not taught him anything! It is false; he has been educated like the
rest.”

                       “Yah Yah ka kulma partraya
                        Gudhê sê admi bunaya.”

Which means, “I have taught him the creed of Yah Yah, or of the
righteous ones, and though he came to me an Ass I have made him into a
man. You ungrateful wretch! I will have nothing further to say to him,
and you may take him out of the school.” Upon this the man left the
Priest and went away down the road.

The ignorant old Washerman and his equally old and ignorant wife having
been silent listeners of all this conversation, put their heads
together, and began to talk of what they had heard. The Washerman said
to his wife, “Did you not hear the Priest say that he had changed an
‘ass’ into ‘a man,’ and you know Priests can do wonderful things! I am
just thinking that if he could work a change in our ‘ass’ and make out
of him a ‘son’ for us, what a blessing it would be! For we have only
this one thing short of being completely happy.” The old wife eagerly
caught at the idea, and replied, “Yes! Allah has given us much wealth,
but what good will it be to us when we die; strangers will get it; but
if we had a son he would inherit it, and our cup of joy on earth would
be full to the brim. Let us go to the Priest, and make a bargain with
him, that the curse of having no son may no longer rest upon us.”

Whereupon they both sought an audience of the Priest, and approaching
him, said, “Oh Sir! we are both very old, as you see, but we have plenty
of money; but Sir, saddest of all things to tell you is that we are
childless. Now Sir, we overheard you say that you had transformed an ass
into a man. We have an ass, but we have not a son; would you be so good
as to change him for us, and we will give you any sum that you like to
name.”

The Priest was struck all of a heap with surprise and astonishment at
this preposterous request, he said nothing for some minutes, but simply
stared at the aged old couple while he collected his thoughts. “These
people must clearly have heard me speaking angrily to the father of the
worthless scholar, and have taken my words altogether in a literal
sense, but here is evidently a run of luck for me which must not be
thrown away.” Thus he soliloquised, and the old couplet fixed itself in
his thoughts,

                  Gân kê pooreh-get muth ki heenay
                  Khuda tujhê deta-mai leta keunnahin.

                  TRANSLATION.

         These are rich in purse but weak in intellect;
         Allah gives you the chance, why should you not take it?

 Then after this little pause he turned to them and said, “I have been
 considering what is best to be done for you. To comply with your
 request is indeed a difficult task, though not impossible. If you will
 tie your ass to that tree, and come to me a year hence, you shall have
 a son, for it will take all that time to make so complete a
 transformation. Give me now therefore one thousand rupees, and go back
 to your home, and be sure you return to me punctually in a year’s
 time.”

 The old people were only too pleased to close with the Priest, so they
 paid him the money, tied the ass to the tree, wished him a hearty
 farewell, and went on their journey homewards.

 When a year had elapsed the old Washerman and his wife, with their
 hearts bounding with delight at the prospect of welcoming a son and
 heir, started on their travels again to meet the Priest, and in due
 time arrived at the Mosque.

 “We have come, Sir,” they said, “according to promise, to claim our
 son.” The Priest replied, “You are indeed a couple of old fools; if you
 had been true to your time and had come a week ago you would have seen
 him; but now, owing to his great learning, he has been appointed the
 “Kazi” (Doctor of Mahomedan Law) at Jaunpūr.”

 The Priest had hit upon this ruse, and had determined to play off a
 joke on this Kazi of whom he was extremely jealous.

 “But,” replied the old couple, getting alarmed, “how is it possible
 that he will recognise us unless you accompany us?” “Don’t distress
 yourselves; I cannot go, but if you will take this rope with which you
 always tethered your ass, and the ‘Tobrâ’ or nose-bag in which the ass
 had his grain, and go to Jaunpūr all your difficulties will vanish.
 Time your arrival in the city on a Friday at the hour of prayer in the
 Mosque. You will see a large concourse of people being addressed by
 your son, who was, you know, your ‘ass.’ Put yourselves in a position
 where the Kazi can plainly see you, then keep shaking the rope and the
 nose-bag, and he will soon discover who you are, and come and claim you
 as his father and mother.

 So off they went to the city of Jaunpūr, reached it on a Friday, and
 went straight to the Mosque, placed themselves in a conspicuous part of
 the outer building within sight of the Kazi, and began, with a
 vengeance, to whisk before him the nose-bag and the rope.

 In a very short time the Kazi noticed this strange proceeding, and sent
 one of the congregation to find out the cause, but they told him to
 tell the Kazi that they had a profound secret which could only be told
 to the Kazi himself and to no other mortal.

 The Kazi, impelled by curiosity, asked permission of his audience for a
 few moments of leave, and then taking the old couple aside, he begged
 of them to tell him the reason of their strange behaviour. With bated
 breath, and with the deepest earnestness did the old Washerman and his
 wife pour into the Kazi’s ears the whole of the strange story of his
 having once been their ass: how for years they had overloaded him with
 kindness, and never spared the cudgel when he had been obstinate; how
 they deeply regretted their conduct towards one now so exalted as they
 saw their son to be; how, but for the wonderful power of the Priest of
 Azimgurh such a blessing would never have come to them; and how their
 cup of happiness was now complete.

 The Kazi at once took in the situation, and saw the plot that his arch
 enemy had so cleverly planned against him, and being a wise man he
 thought to himself, “If I repudiate this absurd story, in the belief of
 which these ignorant people have bound up their lives, it will be sure
 to be published abroad, to my own annoyance, and from being respected I
 shall be mocked and turned into ridicule, and in fact be the
 laughingstock of the place. I am resolved what to do; I will quietly
 acquiesce in what they say, and so get rid of them.” Turning to the old
 couple he said, “Yes; it is all too true, and from henceforth your
 interests are my interests, your good name is identical with mine, and
 I will carry it on. But let me bind you by all that you hold sacred
 that you never breathe a word of this marvellous change that has taken
 place in my being and existence. If you never reveal this secret, I
 will be a dutiful son to you all my life.”

 This the old Washerman and his wife agreed to abide by in every iota,
 only stipulating that when they died, which in the course of nature was
 not far off, he would be present to see them interred according to
 Mahomedan rites. This the Kazi on his part faithfully promised to do,
 and the old couple took their departure to their own home with every
 expression of joy and delight, and left all their money to him when
 they died.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

 “_Azimgurh._”—“Azim” is the Arabic for great, and is used wherever
 Moslems have spread, in names of towns and in titles, such as Azimgurh,
 Azimpur, or Azim-us-Shan, meaning splendid.—_Balfour._

 “_Kazi._”—From the Arabic, and means a judge or justice—one who
 determines and decrees in Mahomedan law.

 In days long gone by the ruling of the Kazi was thought more absolute
 than it is now, and there was then no appeal from his judgment. As a
 class they were greatly respected, though some were believed to be able
 to read the law pretty much as it suited them.

 The natives tell a story of one of these old Kazis who had two
 favourite sons, named Juttoo and Juttal, and during a severe famine
 these lads were seen to be eating the flesh of an animal that had died
 a natural death, which is strictly contrary to the Mahomedan law. The
 complaint was made to the Kazi of the evil example they had set to the
 people, but he, willing to screen them, enquired of the deputation what
 the animal was. They replied, “Kotha” (an ass). “And what colour might
 it have been?” he further asked. They replied, “Chitta” (white). Then
 making a pretence of hunting up several of his law books, he said, “I
 find an exception here in the case of a white ass, and I therefore thus
 decree:

                     Julloo and Jullal
                     Chitta kotha Hullal.

                     TRANSLATION.

                     To Julloo and Jullal
                     The white ass is judged lawful.”

 From the earliest times, the White Ass (Albino) has been reserved for
 the use of those who might be highly honoured. In Hindustani the Ass is
 termed a Gudhā and is of the same breed as those domesticated from the
 original African Ass. They are used in India mostly by Dhobī's, and a
 homeless race called the “Yerkala,” and it is said they cripple their
 hind legs to prevent them straying. Most of these Asses have one
 disposition, that they are averse to crossing a stream of water.

 For the transformation of men into animals and vice-versâ, see Crooke’s
 “Popular Folk Lore of Northern India.” This metamorphosis is common
 throughout the whole range of Folk-lore: thus, in one of Somadeva’s
 tales, a man is turned into an Ox, in another his wife transforms him
 into a Buffalo, in a third the angry hermit turns the King into an
 Elephant.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                        AKBAR AND HIS MINISTER.


 In the great and glorious days of the Badshah Akbar (Emperor), he had a
 very favourite minister of the name of Bīrbal. This minister was
 without doubt the ablest statesman at the Court, and no State question
 was decided without reference to him.

 Some say he was also a general in the army, and that by his skill he
 greatly assisted Akbar to extend his dominions. Bīrbal was, however, a
 Hindu, a Brāhman of the tribe of Bhât, and his real name was Mahes Dās,
 but so tolerant was “Akbar Badshah” to all religious sects that if a
 man were wise and skilful he cared not of what faith he might happen to
 be. Bīrbal was also full of wit and humour, and had such a pleasing way
 of putting things, that he could talk to the Badshah in a manner that
 other ministers would not dare to do.

 It so happened, however, that one day he unwittingly gave offence to
 the Badshah, and so enraged did Akbar become that Bīrbal, fearing his
 wrath, fled the country. Disguising himself as a Fakir, he begged his
 way from village to village, and at last settled down on the extreme
 frontier of the Badshah’s empire.

 [Illustration: AKBAR AND HIS MINISTER.]

 Days and months passed by, and the Badshah began to feel more and more
 the loss of his once favourite minister, and though himself searching
 in the villages near at hand, and making diligent enquiries everywhere,
 he failed to discover the slightest trace of him.

 Crushed by grief and broken-hearted, he at last called a council of his
 ministers, and stated to them how much he missed the presence about him
 of his old attached friend Bīrbal. They, perhaps somewhat jealous of
 his pre-eminence in the mind of the Badshah, seemed to be callous and
 indifferent as to his fate. Whereupon the Badshah became as enraged
 with them as he had before been with Bīrbal, and threatened to
 decapitate them if his hiding-place were not soon discovered, and the
 runaway brought back to him.

 The ministers and nobles in their alarm, at last hit upon an expedient
 which they submissively laid before the Badshah.

 They said, “Oh Badshah! If an order is given throughout the Empire of
 so senseless and foolish a nature that it will be impossible for any of
 your Majesty’s subjects to comply with it, there is just a chance that
 we may be able to find out the place of concealment of the ever terse
 and humorous Bīrbal.”

 The Badshah listened to their suggestion, told them to act up to it,
 but under any circumstances, and at the cost of their heads if they
 failed, Bīrbal must be brought ere long into the Presence.

 Accordingly an edict went forth calling upon the “Headman” of every
 village in the Dominions, on pain of death, to bring the principal
 “well” of the village to do obeisance to the King’s “well” at the
 Palace. The edict was entrusted to horsemen who conveyed it to every
 village in the Empire.

 The whole country was filled with lamentation and distress, for it was
 seen to be impossible to conform to the order of the Badshah.

 When the proclamation reached the village where Bīrbal was in hiding,
 he shared in the sorrow around him, and bethought him of a way of
 escape for the people, but he was known to them only as a Fakir.

 At last he said to the Headman of his village, “Take with you some of
 your principal tenants, and go to the outside of the Badshah’s Palace;
 then send a messenger within the Palace, to say that in obedience to
 the order of the Badshah you have brought your ‘well’ without the
 walls, and that it is ready to do obeisance to the King’s ‘well.’ Say
 also that as it is the custom of the country for the elder brother to
 advance to meet the younger, that as soon as your ‘well’ sees the
 King’s ‘well’ approaching to it through the gates of the city, it will
 without delay rise to pay its respect, and accompany it back to the
 Palace.”

 This they did exactly as the disguised Fakir, Bīrbal, had told them.
 Arriving at the outside of the city walls they deputed the most
 intelligent man of their party to present himself before the Emperor.

 The Emperor was seated on his “Peacock Throne,” or “Takht-e-Taoos,”
 having on the right of the Throne a courtier carrying the “Golden Hand”
 to keep off the Evil Eye, and known as “Punjah,” from its having five
 fingers extended; and upon the left another courtier, bearing the
 emblem of the Fish, termed in Arabic the “Mahee-Moorâtib,” the badge of
 dignity and success.

 The Messenger advanced to the Throne and stated his mission to the
 Emperor, and ended by saying that the “well” of his village was without
 the city walls, waiting to receive the King’s “well.”

 The Emperor was baffled for the time, and then turning to one of his
 ministers, he directed him to visit the delegates beyond the walls. The
 minister went, and at once returned, saying that the reply to the
 Badshah’s order and to the proclamation, given with such sagacity and
 wit, could come, he thought, from no other than the absent minister.
 This the Emperor was ready to credit, and a clue being thus obtained,
 the ministers formed a party and proceeded to the village, where after
 some little time, they succeeded in discovering Bīrbal in the austere
 garb of a mendicant Fakir.

 Surprised and powerless, he was conveyed back to the city, and to the
 Royal Presence, and the Emperor came forward to receive him; and then
 after a few formal greetings the Emperor ordered a robe of honour to be
 brought and put upon him, and he was again promoted to his position and
 rank at the Court.

 It was not long after this that the country was at war again with the
 Pathans and tribes in the “Bunēr” Mountains. Bīrbal was given the chief
 command, and here in one of the first engagements he was unfortunately
 killed, but his name still lives amongst us as the most able and witty
 minister that the Badshah Akbar had ever called to his councils.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

 “_Akbar and Bīrbal._”—Both Akbar and Bīrbal have their place in
 history, about A.D. 1586, and doubtless this tale is told amongst many
 others current in India in order to keep in memory the wit and humour
 of Akbar’s most favourite minister. It is not old folk-lore, but finds
 a place here as oral tradition on the Indus, in the valley of which
 river Akbar was born.

 “_Bīrbal._”—Another tale is told of the same minister who when
 tauntingly asked by the Emperor Akbar why he did not make an effort to
 turn all Moslems into Hindus, replied, “Oh King! that is too serious a
 question to answer off-hand, but give me time and I will tell you why.”

 Hearing some days afterwards that the Emperor was going down to the
 riverside Bīrbal contrived to have a man vigorously washing and
 lathering a donkey with soap. “See here,” said the Emperor, “here is a
 novel sight!” “Yes,” replied Bīrbal, “and a very good reply too to the
 question your Majesty put to me the other day. We believe that Hindus
 are to Mahomedans as horses are to jackasses, and you see, your
 Majesty, that all the washing and lathering in the world will not make
 the donkey into a horse, neither can I by any power that I possess
 transform a Moslem into a Hindu.”

 Yet another tale is current on the Indus, intended to perpetuate the
 wit and wisdom of Bīrbal.

 One day the Emperor begged of his minister to solve the problem of
 there being so many religious sects in the Kingdom, such as the
 “Roshan.”[5] Bīrbal, it is said, took the Emperor to a large hall,
 supported by many pillars all similar, but one of which only was of
 fine gold. There was but a dim light in the hall, and without it, was a
 large concourse of people. Bīrbal addressed them and said, “You know
 that all the pillars are much of a shape, but one is of gold; who shall
 discover this? Let me see.”

Footnote 5:

   A Heresy under “Bayazid,” who set aside the Qorān, and the many
   divisions amongst the Hindus.

 In an instant there was a rush for the hall, and in a little time when
 light was thrown on the scene, each pillar had its man clutching it in
 strong embrace, but only Bīrbal knew that which was of gold.

 “Behold, oh King!” he said “the scramble for the prize; so it is in the
 world around us: all rush and divide off into sects to lay hold of the
 prop and support of immortal happiness, each in the firm belief of
 exclusive possession. It will only be when the true Light shines, that
 the Deity who alone has the secret shall pronounce the reward.”

 There is a class of Hindu boatmen of Attock who keep themselves
 entirely apart from the other boatmen who are Mahomedans.

 They are called Mullâhs, from the Arabic and meaning boatmen, and their
 tradition is that their ancestors were brought up to Attock by Akbar
 from further south, as being skilful oarsmen.

 Another local legend at Attock is that the native engineer who made the
 plans for the old fort had his hands cut off by the native Rajah, lest
 he should design another for an enemy; and this is current in Ghazi to
 this day.

 With reference to the extended hand to keep off the Evil Eye, and
 carried as an emblem on the right of Akbar’s throne, it should be
 stated here also that it is often carried on a pole by Mahomedans of
 the Shiah sect during the Maharram. It is often imprinted too on huts
 and houses for the same purpose.

 The standard of the fish, or in the Persian, “Mahee-Moorâtib,” conveys
 special honours to princes and nobles. “Mahee” in Persian means Fish;
 the Fish on which the earth is supposed to rest. The word “Moorâtib” is
 from the Arabic “Martibah” and means Dignity and Honour.

 “The Fish is the vehicle of “Kwâja Khizr,” the water god, and hence has
 become a sort of totem of Shiah Mahomedans, and the crest of the late
 Royal Family of Oudh.”—_Crooke._

 Pictures of fish are often drawn on houses as a charm against
 demoniacal influence, and we know, that the “Matse Avatar,” represents
 the incarnation of Vishnu in the form of a Fish; and emblematic also of
 the Deluge.

 There are many expedients resorted to, to keep off the Evil Eye,
 amongst others, iron rings, precious stones, colours (particularly red
 and yellow), the triangle of equal sides, and pots and chattis, or
 earthenware pots, smeared with lime. The triangle might possibly be
 traced to the three Genii, or Hindu Triad, seated in a triangle, or
 “Tricuta.”[6]

Footnote 6:

   In the abode of the departed, said to have been seen by Thespesius of
   Soli.—Purânâs. When the apex of the triangle points downwards Kishnu
   is symbolized, if upwards it is the symbol of Siva.

 Armlets to the same intent, and called “Tawiz,” from the Arabic word,
 Auz, “fleeing to God for protection,” are in constant use, as a charm,
 and it would seem that the Jews recognized the same practice, possibly
 from the command in Deuteronomy xi. 18.

 To speak in praise of a child to its face before the parent is to call
 up the Evil Eye, and is a cause of much alarm. If unwittingly done by a
 friend, the parent will ask him to spit in his hand in order to take
 off the spell.

 A particular woodpecker, called the Babeeâh, has an evil spell and is
 dreaded on account of its bringing heavy rains, to the injury of
 agriculture, and in a village called Vasnal the farmers and villagers
 all turned out and drove it from the district, and the rain, they say,
 at once stopped.

 Very often, in a large melon field there are placed one or two black
 chattis, so that the eye of passers-by may rest on these first, before
 they see the melons, and so take off any evil spell.

 We may add here what is not generally known, that the Emperor Akbar,
 who gave the greatest encouragement to literary accomplishments,
 appointed Bīrbal to be the Royal poet under the name of “Katrāe.” None
 of the poems he wrote have, as far as we know, been preserved by
 Abul-Fazl or others, but we presume that they would have been of the
 usual figurative type of those days, as for instance the comparing of
 the narcissus flower to the eye, and the feeble stem of that plant
 bending over with the weight of the flower, to the languor of the eyes.
 Pearls again signifying tears or teeth, and the lips to carnations or
 rubies, while the gums are said to be as the flower of the pomegranate
 tree, and the dark foliage of the myrtle, is thought to be like the
 dark hair of the one beloved; or again the eye is said to be like a
 sword, and the eyelids scabbards, the white complexion to be like
 crystals of camphor, while the musk plant is said to betoken a beauty
 spot on the face. (See _Hughes_.)

 “_Peacock Throne._”—This was studded with valuable diamonds and
 precious stones, and was considered to be worth seven millions of
 money.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



               THE RAJAH, HIS MINISTER, AND THE SHEPHERD.


 There lived many years ago a great Rajah in a country far away from our
 village; and he was a very enlightened and clever man, and used to
 travel about to add to his information and knowledge.

 On one of his journeys he met a man who told him that there was at no
 very great distance off, a city where everyone was wise, from the King
 on the throne to the poorest beggar in the street.

 “That is impossible,” said the Rajah, but the man persisted in the
 truth of his statement, and said, “If you do not believe me go and see
 for yourself.” This the Rajah had determined in his own mind to do, but
 for the present he returned to his own Palace.

 Calling for his favourite minister he told him of what he had heard,
 and said, “I should much like to visit that city, and acquire some
 further experience and wisdom; for knowledge, I find, can only come
 from what one sees; and you must accompany me on my travels;” to which
 the minister readily assented.

 Conversing again together some few days afterwards, they began to
 arrange about the time and manner of going. “It will not do, oh King!”
 said the minister, “for your rank and title to be known, nor indeed for
 me to appear as your Vizier. We must throw a veil over all this, and go
 in disguise, or we shall never succeed in getting to know the wisdom of
 this wonderful people and city. Let us go as respectable travellers
 only; then we shall be able to go in and out of the streets without
 anyone molesting us.”

 This idea pleased the Rajah, so they had some dresses secretly
 prepared, and on a propitious day they took their departure from the
 Palace. The Rajah knew the road, and in a few days they reached the
 spot where he had met the man who gave him this piece of news. “From
 hence,” he said to his Vizier, “the city cannot be far, for the man
 assured me it was at no great distance from where we are now standing.”

 They pushed on, and in two or three days a city, surrounded by a high
 wall, was in full view before them. “This,” said the Rajah, “is sure to
 be the place, for it has an air of solidity about it. See! there are
 gates to go in and out of it!”

 Before, however, venturing into the city, the travellers sat down to
 rest on a little mound of grass just outside the walls. They got into
 conversation together, and observed a shepherd, or “Ajuree,” who was
 grazing his goats and sheep very close to where they had sat down. The
 Rajah said to his minister, or Vizier, “I should like to put to you
 four questions, just to sharpen our wits a bit.”

 The narrator of the tale then turned, and said to his hearers, “You
 know that the shepherd is of all classes the most stupid and ignorant;
 he takes his goats and sheep each morning into the jungles, tends and
 feeds and guards them, and before night-fall he returns with them to
 the city; so he hears no information, and has no means of picking up
 knowledge of any kind.”

 The Rajah then, within hearing of the Shepherd, of whom he took no
 apparent concern, propounded his questions as follows to the minister:

 “My first question is: Of all lights, which, say you, is the best
 light?” “Well,” replied the minister, “that is not difficult to answer,
 for there is no light equal to that of the sun which is indeed the
 centre of all light.” “Now for my second question,” said the Rajah. “Of
 all waters, which is the best water?” “That again is of simple
 solution, for what water can be compared to that from the Ganges? for
 in life we Hindus worship it, and at death, when put into our mouths,
 it insures to us mercy at the last.” “Very good: now I come to my third
 question. Of all sleep, which is the best sleep?” to which the minister
 replied, “What sleep can be more refreshing than to recline on a soft
 couch after a fatiguing day?” “Now,” said the Rajah, “for my fourth and
 last question. Of all flowers, which is the best flower?” “This,”
 replied the minister, “requires little thought, for the “Gul,” or rose,
 has been the favourite flower from all ages; it is beautiful to look
 at, and has the sweetest of all perfumes.”

 After the Rajah had finished his interrogations he overheard the
 Shepherd laughing aloud, and he thought he caught the word “fool,” so
 he turned to him and asked, “What was that you said?” To which the
 Shepherd replied, “I was talking to my goats, and not to you.” “But you
 did say something referring to us; what was it?”

 “Well,” returned the Shepherd, “I do not mind telling you that I heard
 the questions you put to that man, whoever he is, and the silly replies
 he gave you. You asked him which was the best light, and he said the
 Sun. No, sir; the best light is that of your eyes, for what use is the
 Sun to you if you are blind? Again, you asked him which was the best
 water, and he replied, that from the Ganges, the beloved Ganges; but he
 should have said, the little store of water in a dry and thirsty land
 when the far-off Ganges would be of no avail. Then you asked him of the
 best sleep, and how foolish his reply! He should have said, the sleep
 of health, which will come to refresh you on whatever you may recline;
 and as to the last question, of the flower, he praised the “Gul” as the
 best of all, whereas he should have said, the flower of the cotton
 plant, for the rose fades and leaves no useful trace behind, but with
 the cotton plant we have both a beautiful and fragrant flower, and when
 that falls off, there succeeds a pod which supplies a substance from
 which we weave our cloth, to provide us and our descendants after us
 with necessary garments.”

 As soon as the Shepherd had concluded this little speech the Rajah
 turned and thanked him; and then looking at his minister he said
 quietly, “What think you of that for an ignorant shepherd caught
 hap-hazzard near the place? And if he can make such fools of us both,
 who knows what may happen to us when we enter the city? What think you?
 Have we not had evidence enough of the wisdom of this people? So my
 advice is that we retrace our steps to our own country, and try and
 educate and improve our people, even as they have done.” To this the
 Vizier at once consented, and they journeyed homewards, wiser men than
 when they set out upon their expedition.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

 “_Vizier._”—From the Arabic word, “Wuzir,” literally, a bearer of a
 burden. A Grand Vizier is the highest temporal dignitary in Mahomedan
 States. The title of “Wuzir” dates from the 8th Century and was
 conferred on the Chief Minister of the first Abbaside Califs, a dynasty
 which reigned at Baghdad from about A.D. 740 to 1,250, and they derived
 their name and descent from a paternal uncle of Mahomed.

 “_Shepherd._”—The Hindustani word, and that in frequent use, is
 “Gadryā,” from “Gādar,” a sheep, but in the original the local word is
 “Ajuree,” Ajur being the term for flocks and herds, and “Ajuree” the
 caretaker.

 The shepherds of this and many other districts are a simple-hearted set
 of men, owing not a little to the rustic kind of life they lead. In
 this district they possess some few sheep and goats of their own, but
 more frequently they graze the flocks of the neighbouring farmers. The
 dogs they have, usually two or three to each shepherd, are bred and
 trained in the district.

 They are fierce and savage to strangers, but docile and obedient to
 their own masters, clever in protecting the flocks from wild animals,
 and in controlling their movements from place to place. They do not
 come at the call of a whistle, but at the shrill cry of “Toh! Toh!”
 several times repeated. The names they give them are generally after
 the colour of their hair. A black dog would be called “Kaldo” or
 “Kulwa.” A spotted dog would be “Dubboo.” A yellowish grey dog would be
 called “Gaindar,” and a reddish coated dog “Loha.” For dogs of a dark
 grey the term would be “Sauah,” and a white dog “Bugla,” after a crane
 of that colour. It is not an uncommon thing for a dog to be called
 “Motee,” a pearl. Some fine dogs, and standing over three feet in
 height, shaggy in coat, bushy tail, small ears and eyes, not fleet but
 powerful, are bred in the hills in the Kangra district. They are called
 “Gudhi” dogs, after a Hindu shepherd tribe.

 These dogs will not live long in the plains. There is another fine hill
 dog bred in the country round about Chitral, as large as a good-sized
 Newfoundland, with a head like a mastiff, and long hair.

 These Gudhi shepherds in the extreme winter come down to the lower
 ranges of hills, together with all their sheep and goats. The farmers
 are glad to let them pen their flocks on their fallow land for a few
 nights, the shepherd and his dogs being fed by the farmer, who receives
 more than his equivalent in the manure afforded by the flocks.

 The shepherds for the most part carry a staff, with or without a crook,
 and by way of a solace they have a wind instrument, of music called an
 “Alghūza.” It is something in the shape of a piccolo, and usually to
 obtain the double notes they put two in the mouth at the same time.
 They also have sometimes a fife, called a “Bānsli” These are all made
 out of a hard wood, and sometimes from bamboo.

 If you ask a shepherd why he grazes goats and sheep together, he
 replies that but for the nimble goats he would never get the sheep
 along. When a murrain breaks out amongst the goats, which it sometimes
 does, there is a class of men called “Unga” who inoculate the healthy
 goats behind the ear with a portion of the caul of the liver of one
 diseased, and this has the effect generally of stopping the spread of
 the disease.

 To protect the flocks and herds at nights from the depredation of wild
 animals, the shepherds in the summer time raise a high ring fence of
 thorny bushes; in the winter they are housed at nights in the closed
 sheds.

 The Indian Shepherds have a custom which is purely Asiatic, of
 preceding their flocks to pasture, as in the words of the Psalmist “He
 shall lead me beside the waters of comfort.” Most of the Nomad races in
 India are shepherds, and in Asia generally they were so. Moses herded
 the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, and David tended his father’s
 sheep.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                 THE BANJĀRA, HIS DOG, AND THE BANKER.


 Once upon a time there was a Banker, or “Sait,” who lived in a large
 city in Northern India, and being a man of great wealth was held in
 high repute by the Rajah and people of the place.

 He had all the cunning of his class, and had amassed the most of his
 fortune by lending money at a high rate of interest, and by giving
 credit to men engaged in commerce.

 [Illustration: THE BANJĀRA, HIS DOG, AND THE BANKER.]

 One of his debtors was a “Banjāra,” or grain merchant who had owed him
 some money for a considerable time, and had paid neither interest nor
 any portion of that which he had borrowed. These Banjāras are
 well-known people all over India, where they are scattered in large and
 small communities. They are the possessors, you know, of herds of
 cattle, which they employ as pack animals to convey their goods and
 grain from place to place. It is interesting to meet them as they wend
 their way from one camping ground to another, headed by the leading
 bullock, which is called the “Guru Bail,” or “Sainted Bullock.” This
 bullock is ornamented in every direction; the horns and pack-saddle
 with cowry shells, bits of scarlet cloth, peacock’s feathers, and
 tassels of various colours, while its neck is encircled by a band of
 leather carrying tinkling bells of different sounds.

 The Banjāra of this story was one day again obliged, on matters of
 business, to go to the city where his creditor, the banker, lived; so,
 to avoid meeting him, he encamped some distance off and then went
 singly and alone to the city, in the hope that he might not come across
 him; still he was haunted with the old native saying, oft repeated, “If
 you have not seen a tiger, then look at a cat, and if you do not want
 to see the Angel of death, then keep out of the way of your creditor.”

 As ill luck would have it, however, he had no sooner got into the
 streets of the town than upon turning a corner he came face to face
 with the Banker, who instantly recognised him, and carried him off to
 his house, and demanded that immediate payment should be made. It was
 quite in vain for the poor Banjāra to sue for pity and forbearance, for
 the debt was an old one, and the Banker was both hard and unmerciful.

 At last the Banjāra bethought him of an expedient and said, “Permit me
 to go to my encampment, and I will beg and borrow from my friends, and
 return to you with the money without fail in three days’ time.” “No,
 no,” said the Banker; “I cannot trust you again out of my sight, and by
 my influence here I could, you know, get you thrown into prison. If
 indeed I were merciful enough to let you go to your encampment for the
 money, I should require the very best security.” “I know no one in the
 city,” replied the Banjāra; “What can I do? Oh dear! what can I do? But
 wait a moment. Here is my best friend, my faithful dog, “Kaloo” (Kala
 is “black” in Sanscrit); “take him as my pledge and security that I
 will return and pay you all I owe.”

 Now a Banjāra’s dog is of a breed well known in India; he is ready of
 resource and of wonderful sagacity, and obedient to the voice and
 gesture of his master in a very marked degree.

 After some considerable demur the Banker at last consented to take the
 dog as security, and bringing a collar and chain to the Banjāra, he bid
 him tie up the dog in the yard of his house.

 This the Banjāra did; then patting and caressing his dog he said, “Now,
 ‘Kaloo,’ remember you are not to leave this house until I come back to
 fetch you; if you run away you will disgrace my name, and I will never
 forgive you.”

 After thus addressing his dog he made a hasty “salaam” to the Banker,
 and took his departure.

 When the Banjāra had returned to his encampment he found the packs as
 he had left them, still under their awning of blankets, and as it was
 sun-down the cattle were being picketed in a circle round the packs,
 and the fires were ready for the night, while the dogs were roaming
 about outside on their usual guard over the camp.

 Saluting his friends he said, “Now give me, please, a draught of water
 to drink,—not like the sweet water of the Sāgar Lake, my friends, where
 you know the firstborn of our race was sacrificed to the goddess
 ‘Devi,’ to appease her wrath for drying up the lake,—but the pure
 crystal stream from the hills.”

 He had soon refreshed himself with a draught, and then went round the
 encampment in order to collect the money due to the Banker, and by
 early the next morning he had got together enough to liquidate the
 debt.

 In the meantime strange things were happening at the Banker’s house,
 for on the night of the very day when the Banjāra had gone for the
 money the house was attacked by some “badmāshes,” or thieves, who
 carried off several bags of rupees.

 “Kaloo” gave tongue, and barked loudly, but he failed to rouse the
 inmates, and the thieves made off with their booty. At last “Kaloo”
 succeeded in breaking his chain, and he followed the thieves along the
 road, who finding that the dawn of day was rapidly coming on, hastily
 deposited the money bags in a tank, intending at some future time to
 come again and remove them.

 “Kaloo” noticed all this, gave up all further chase, and returned to
 the Banker’s house. When the household rose in the morning it was soon
 found out what had happened during the night, and in very quick time a
 large concourse of friends and neighbours came round about the house,
 and condoled with the Banker and his family at the loss they had
 incurred. There were offers of help on every hand, the police were sent
 in pursuit, and all that could be done was done to help the great
 Banker of the city.

 While all this stir was going on some of the friends noticed that the
 dog was much agitated, and was every now and then pulling at their
 garments. Many drove him off, and even the Banker said, “As if I had
 not worry enough without being annoyed by a dog which does not belong
 to me!”

 Then the Banker told all his friends how he came to be possessed of the
 dog which belonged to a Banjāra. Shortly afterwards an old man of the
 party, who knew the quick intelligence of these Banjāra dogs, said, “I
 think the dog knows more than you give him credit for; look! he has
 come to me, and I shall go where he leads me.” Soon others followed in
 the train, and the dog went knowingly along the road until he came to a
 dead stop near a tank, and went in. The old man said, “There is
 something here, depend upon it; let some young man go into the tank and
 make a search.”

 This was done, and lo and behold! one bag of rupees was brought up out
 of the tank, and then another, and another, until all had been
 recovered that the Banker had lost.

 Then came shoutings and congratulations from all the people upon this
 wonderful discovery, and loud praises were lavished on the Banjāra’s
 dog who had found out the hiding-place of the thieves. The Banker
 himself was so overcome with delight that he gave presents to his
 friends all round, and then looking at “Kaloo” he said, “You faithful
 dog! you most blessed of all securities! I shall now write out a
 receipt in full for the money your master owes me, and tell him all
 that you have done, and you yourself shall be the bearer of the good
 news to him.”

 This he at once did, and tied the receipt and the letter on to the
 collar of the dog, and giving him a good feed he dismissed him to his
 master with many smiles and blessings.

 “Kaloo,” thus released by authority, and proud of having done his duty,
 ran off with great joy to seek his master.

 It was not long ere he saw his master hurriedly returning to the city,
 and running up to him he began to play round about him, and to show
 every sign of interest and affection. To “Kaloo’s” dismay, however, his
 master did not respond, but on the contrary, was in great anger, and
 much disappointed that his hitherto faithful dog had, as he thought,
 broken his chain and run away from the Banker’s house, where he had
 lodged him as security. In a loud voice he said, “Kaloo,’ you are a
 ‘Namak Harram’ (traitor to your salt); did I not tell you to wait till
 I released you? But instead of that you have disobeyed me, disgraced my
 name, and I can no longer have any confidence in you, and you are not
 fit to live.” Whereupon he at once drew his “talwār” (sword) from its
 scabbard, and at one cut severed poor “Kaloo’s” head from his body.
 “Wretched dog!” he said, “This is the first time I have known you to
 deceive me, and you richly deserve your fate.” Stooping down, his eye
 suddenly caught sight of a piece of paper tied to the dog’s collar, and
 hastily opening it he discovered to his utmost dismay that it was the
 Banker’s receipt in full for all the money that he owed him, and with
 the receipt was a letter, yes! a letter, describing how that the
 faithful dog had been the means of his recovering all the property that
 some thieves had stolen from his house on the same night of his
 departure from the city.

 Plunged at once into the direst horror and grief at what he had done,
 and alone on the road with his faithful friend dead before his eyes, he
 could not resist the impulse, and seizing the open talwār he thrust it
 into his own body, and so perished by the side of his favourite. In
 this state were they found, and the story of the Banjāra and his dog,
 and the spot where they died, have ever since been treasured up in the
 memories of the people.

 Moral, or “Nasihut”: Keep always a steel-plate upon your temper, and a
 “Rothâs” bridle on your tongue, which you know is the strongest of all,
 and never give way to rash and impulsive acts.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

 “_Sait._”—This is a Sanscrit word for a banker, and is pronounced
 “Seth.” The word “Chetty” is derived from this, as applied to “Tamil”
 traders in Burmah and the Straits Settlements. Those who take up purely
 financial matters are astute men of business; lending money at
 exhorbitant rates of interest they get many of the farmers into
 complete subjection to them. They are wise enough to keep in with the
 people generally, and often build masonry tanks and dig wells for
 general use. Sometimes in the very hot weather they will employ a high
 caste Brahmin to provide drinking water to passing travellers, and will
 keep them in their pay for a whole hot season.

 The natives of the district have their saying about this, as they have
 about every class, and it runs as a proverb from mouth to mouth:

       Paisah ourrâh cheez
       Sub noo kurdhâh yar uzeez.

      TRANSLATED THUS:

      Money is a great and rare article, and quite a marvel,
      For it makes everyone claim for you the strongest friendship.

 “_Banjāra._”—Derived either from the Sanscrit word “Banj,” meaning
 Trade, or from the Persian word “Brinj,” Rice, and “Ar,” Carrying.

 The Banjāras are wandering tribes, leading a sort of gipsy life. They
 possess many valuable pack animals, and carry their own grain, and that
 also of farmers, from one part of the country to another. As a rule
 they are well-to-do.

 They are divided into several “Gôts,” or original races, some of them
 children of the stock of “Thurkee,” “Baidh,” and “Subanna,” and many
 claim “Gour Brahman” as their ancestor. Nearly every community has a
 Chief, or “Naik,” or “Tanda,” who lives a life of asceticism, and to
 whom they yield implicit obedience. Some Banjāras are known to engage
 in gang robberies, but this is rare with most of the tribes.

 They are to be found both amongst the Mahomedans and Hindus. Amongst a
 particular class of them “bull worship” is said to exist. When sickness
 occurs the sick man is led to the feet of the bullock “Hatadiya,”
 devoted to the god “Balaji,” a Hindu deity of Gujerat. On this animal
 no burden is ever laid, but he moves steadily at the head of the
 convoy, and the place he lies down on when tired, _that_ they make
 their halting-place for the day.

 At his feet they make their vows when difficulties overtake them; and
 in illness, whether of themselves or cattle, they trust to his worship
 for a cure.—_Crooke._

 They are believed to have been originally the grain-carriers for the
 old Moghul armies, and had many privileges given to them in
 consequence. Distance and climate do not stand in the way of their
 conveying grain from one part of the country to the other, and being
 held in fear by other natives, they are never molested or interfered
 with. They are gradually dying out, as the traffic in grain is being
 carried on by other means.

 “_Faithful Dog._”—Dogs play a prominent part in the Folk-tales of most
 countries, and in India they have ever been the cherished companions of
 many tribes. With the Banjāras they are the sentinels of their
 encampment; as it is so well known they are equally so to the Bedouins
 in the desert. It is believed by many that they are in touch with the
 spirits of their dead, and a sure protection from evil influences.

 There are many legends and omens about them in the district, too
 numerous to mention here.

           It is not lucky for a dog to lie on its back.
           It is not lucky for a dog to be given to howl.
           It _is_ lucky for a strange dog to follow one home.

 And so on.

 When the natives see the wild dog in the jungles, (and they are still
 existing there) they marvel at the triumph that man has had over them,
 to bring them from such a fierce and savage state to be so close a
 friend and companion.

 Crooke says there is an old bit of folk-lore from the Mirzapoor
 district, where the merchant kills his faithful dog near a tank.

 Our thoughts will also take us to the old Welsh tradition of Prince
 Llewellyn’s hound, still kept in memory in the name of the village,
 Beddgelert, or grave of “Gelert.”

 These are but further instances of the common groundwork of all
 folk-lore.

 There are two breeds of the Banjāra dogs known in the district. They
 are not unlike the “Gudhi” dogs bred in the Kangra district, but devoid
 of their woolly and shaggy coat. The ears with one of the breeds are
 carried erect, and they stand over two feet in height. They are devoted
 to their individual master, and remain attached to him till death. They
 seem to anticipate his every wish and thought, and almost to assume a
 certain likeness to him.

 An unfaithful dog is spoken of as:

            Khandhâh peendhâh saeent-dha ghur
            Vungh Bhonkdhâh kassâe dha ghur.

            THUS TRANSLATED.

            He eats and drinks at his master’s house,
            But he barks for and protects the butcher’s shop.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



                   HOW AN EVIL SPIRIT WAS EXORCISED.


 Once upon a time there lived in the city of Peshawar, not very long
 ago, an old Priest who had obtained a reputation for the power he
 possessed over malignant spirits. This Priest usually had under his
 tuition two or three boys who were “Jinns,” and to whom as it pleased
 him from time to time he communicated the knowledge he possessed of the
 black art.

 This old Priest came to dwell in the village of Haji Shah, and took up
 his abode near to the Mahomedan mosque there. This mosque was in close
 proximity to the quarters of the “Chuprassies,” who you know, are
 employed by the Sirkar or Government in the suppression of salt
 smuggling.

 The Chief of these “Chuprassies” had in his household a man of the name
 of Gopee, whose brother Shivedas was one of the “Chuprassies,” and
 lived with the others in the quarters provided for them.

 Shivedas was occasionally seized with violent fits, and when under
 their influence would rave like a maniac. All kinds of medicine had
 been tried to relieve him of the disorder, but it was all in vain; so
 at last his friends left him to himself, and only sought to prevent his
 doing any injury to himself when the fits came upon him.

 One day when Shivedas was returning to his quarters he was again
 attacked by his old malady, and so violent was he on this occasion that
 it took four men to hold him down on his “charpai,” or bed. His brother
 Gopee was at once sent for, and he found him in one of the severest
 fits he had ever had. On reaching his bedside, Shivedas cried out,
 “Save me, Gopee; save me!”

 Those round the bed, and the four holding him, said, “Why do you not do
 something for your brother?” He replied, “I have done all I can, but
 there is no cure for his disease.” They said, “Then why do you not send
 for the Priest here, who would soon expel this evil spirit, which comes
 now and again to torment him?” Now Gopee did not believe in the power
 of the Priest. At last one of the “Chuprassies” went to their European
 Chief’s house, and begged him to come up to the quarters to see what
 could be done. When he arrived there and saw the state that Shivedas
 was in, and Gopee, his brother, in such great distress, he said, “What
 can be done to relieve this man?” They all said, “Send for the Priest,
 the old Peshawar man, and he will soon put him right.” The Chief said,
 “Well, do so if you like.” They replied, “He will not come for us, for
 he is a grumpy old man; but he will come for you.” So the Chief, to
 relieve the sufferer, and perhaps to satisfy his own curiosity, sent to
 ask the Priest to come.

 In a short time he made his appearance, just when Shivedas was in one
 of his worse struggles, and looking at him for some time, he all of a
 sudden seemed to make up his mind, and drawing his “Qorân” from his
 pocket went close to the bedside and called out, “Are you going to
 leave this man, or not?” And a voice came from Shivedas, “No! I will
 not.” Now, many present heard the voice, but it was not the voice of
 Shivedas.

 The Priest then asked for some rag, and many ran to get a piece of an
 old “Chudder,” or cloth, but he said, “No! this will not do; it must be
 blue rag.” And in very quick time someone ran and brought a piece from
 the Bazaar.

 When the Priest took it into his hand he called for a light, and then
 proceeded to burn it in the flame. Then, again advancing to the
 bedside, with the burning rag in one hand and the open Qorân in the
 other, he called out in a louder tone than before, “Are you going to
 leave this man, or are you not? If not I will burn you out and all your
 generation.” The same voice then uttered the words, “I will not leave
 him; and who are you?”

 The old Priest then placed the smouldering rag to the nose of Shivedas,
 and again threatened the evil spirit; and then, to the astonishment of
 all, the voice said, “I will go away this time if you will not trouble
 nor worry me.”

 After this Shivedas became still and tranquil, and went off into a
 profound sleep.

 Some hours afterwards, when he awoke, and was questioned as to what had
 occurred, he could call nothing to his remembrance.

 The “Chuprassies” believed that the evil spirit had been exorcised by
 the Priest, and it is certainly true that Shivedas had no return of his
 fits; and I tell you this tale, for it is believed by many of us to
 this day.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

 “_Jinns._”—Before referred to, and meaning that which is internal, and
 cannot be seen. The word is spelt sometimes Djinns, or Ginns. They are
 supposed by some to be deities of the ancient pagans. By the Greeks
 believed to be spirits never engaged in matter, nor ever joined to
 bodies, subdivided into good and bad, every man having one of each to
 attend him at all times.

 The Mahomedans believe in several divisions of them, and that they
 inhabited the world many thousands of years before Adam. Falling into
 corruption, they were consigned to the Mountains of Kâf; the mountains
 which in Moslem legends surround the world. They still believe that
 they interest themselves in the affairs of men; that, if assuming human
 shape their eyes are placed longitudinally in their face. In Arab
 mythology Solomon is supposed to have possessed special power over
 them. There are forty troops of them, it is stated, with 600,000 in a
 troop. Crooke, in referring to them, says, they are believed to have
 been resplendently handsome, and sometimes horribly hideous.

 They are not confined to any part of the earth in which we live, but
 are to be found in every region.

 In Hungary, it is said that many years ago the miners were visited by
 them in the shape of little negro boys who did no mischief, merely on
 occasion blowing out their lamps.

 The Malays, who are Mahomedans, have the same beliefs as their
 co-religionists in India, their beneficent spirits being styled Dawā,
 with supernatural powers.

 The Chinese idea of Jinns and Genii, as given by one of their writers,
 is that they will live upon air, or even give up breathing the outer
 air, and carry on the process of breathing inwardly, as they say, for
 days together as in a catalepsy (like an Indian Fakir). They will
 become invisible; they will take the form of any bird, beast, fish or
 insect; they will mount up above the clouds; dive into the deepest sea;
 or burrow into the centre of the earth.

 The chief Jinn will command spirits and demons of all sorts and sizes
 and hold them at his beck and call. Finally, after living in the world
 for perhaps several hundred years, he does not die (for a Jinn or Genii
 is immortal, though a spirit may not be so), but he rides up to heaven
 on the back of a dragon, where he becomes a ruler of spirits.

 The strict “Confucians” deny their existence. One of the most
 celebrated of Genii is in Chinese history named “Chang Kwoh,” who
 possessed a white mule which could transport him thousands of miles in
 a single day, and which when he halted he folded up and hid away in his
 wallet.

 The Isles of the Genii San Shên Shan were supposed to be pretty much
 where “Formosa” actually now exists; vide Deny’s exhaustive work on the
 Folk-lore of China.

 “_Chuprassies._”—From the Hindustani word “Chuprās,” a buckle or badge
 worn to show authority, and generally on a belt over the shoulder.

 “_Exorcism._”—The so-called art of Divination, or the foretelling of
 events, past and future by other than human means, together with the
 conjuring of spirits both good and evil, and the wearing of charms and
 amulets as a preservative against evils and witchcraft, have all been
 in habitual use from remote ages, and are still resorted to in many
 parts of the world.

 India is full of it, where the evil spirits are called “Bhût,” and so
 is Persia, where necromancers examine for marks and signs the blade
 bone of a newly killed sheep, very much as is done in the art of
 Palmistry which by marks and signs professes to discover the character
 of any person from the palm of his hand.

 Exorcism soon followed in the train of most of these superstitions, and
 a class of people supposed to be possessed of devils, and called
 “energumens,” sought out those who professed to drive them away with a
 magical form of words. The Moslems term all these systems of belief
 “Kahānah,” or a “causing to tell,” and deem them such as to call for
 disapproval, as indeed also do most Christians in these days.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                  BAHADŪR SINGH AND THE BLIND BEGGAR.


 There lived once in the Punjaub many years ago an old Seikh soldier who
 had gained much renown amongst his fellow-countrymen for the many acts
 of bravery he had shown in the tribal wars that in those days used
 often to take place between the chieftains of the various independent
 states thereabout. We all know that the Seikhs belong to a sect whose
 founder was one “Nanak,” who lived in the beginning of the sixteenth
 century, and that the word Seikh means in the Sanscrit language a
 “disciple.”

 This old soldier had for his first name the distinguished appellation
 of “Bahadūr,” which in the Persian language means “brave,” so he was
 brave by name as well as by nature.

 At the time the incident occurred which I am now about to relate to you
 all, he had retired from active service and had settled down on a small
 competence for a native, in the village of Shumshabad.

 In this village, as indeed may be found in many towns and villages of
 Upper India, there was a little colony of blind men who subsisted on
 the alms of the benevolent, and they were generally to be found near
 the markets or bazaars, or along the thoroughfares leading to them.
 They had moreover, a little settlement of their own situated on the
 confines of the town.

 One of these blind men at Shumshabad, a wizen-faced, attenuated, old
 fellow, clad in poor garments, and wearing a “Kummul,” or native
 blanket, thrown about him, used to sit daily by the wayside begging,
 and ever in the same spot. This old blind man had the habit of calling
 out in a piteous tone, “Friends have pity on the blind, and let him
 only feel and handle a hundred gold mohurs and he will be made happy
 for ever.”

 Now, as few people who passed that way had even one coin of that value,
 his wish never seemed likely to be gratified, but he made a pile of
 money for all that, as the sequel of the story will show.

 Bahadūr Singh used to hear this plaintive cry almost daily when he went
 to the Bazaar, and being kind as well as brave, he often thought to
 himself, I should much like to satisfy that old blind man’s wish, but I
 suppose I shall never be able to do so, for the little I have scarce
 supplies my own daily wants; so he contented himself, with others round
 him, in casting a pice into the blind man’s wallet.

 Months, nay years had passed by, when Bahadūr Singh had occasion to
 visit a sister who resided at some little distance from Shumshabad, on
 the high road to Jhelum.

 Upon his return he stopped to rest near a Tank, as natives often do,
 and upon the bank his eye caught sight of a small dark object, and when
 he had picked it up he found it was very heavy. His curiosity was now
 greatly aroused, and what was his surprise on opening it, but to
 discover that it was full of gold mohurs, and when he had counted them
 over, lo, and behold! there were exactly one hundred.

 He was in quite a whirl of delight, and one might have thought that he
 would have kept the money and not have disclosed the secret to anyone,
 but as there were just the very one hundred gold mohurs that by their
 feeling and handling might make the old blind man of his village happy
 for ever, the first idea that entered his head was to go straight to
 the spot where he knew he always asked for alms, to let him run his
 fingers over them.

 So without any further ado off he went, and upon reaching the old blind
 man who was calling out in his usual strain; Bahadūr Singh said, “Here,
 good old man, this is a lucky day for you, for I have brought you one
 hundred gold mohurs to feel, and to handle, and to be happy for ever.”

 Whereupon Bahadūr Singh handed the gold mohurs one by one into the old
 blind man’s hand, and he handled them and put them one by one into his
 wallet, repeating after every one, “Oh! you blessed and good man.” By
 the time the whole hundred had been counted out a very considerable
 crowd began to collect, so that Bahadūr Singh thought it better to
 recover his money and be off. He then asked the old blind man to give
 it back to him, but who would have thought it? the old villain set up
 quite another cry, howling, and saying at the top of his voice,
 “Friends, help me; help the poor blind man who is being robbed of his
 little all!” And laying fast hold of Bahadūr Singh’s “dhotee” or cloth,
 he made it appear as if some of his money had already been robbed from
 him.

 Of course the crowd took the side of the blind man, so it was all in
 vain for Bahadūr Singh to try to get a hearing, and more than that, the
 crowd set upon him, and would have thrashed him unmercifully had he not
 made his escape, so he hurriedly left the scene and his money too.

 But he was in a fearful rage, and vowed he would have his revenge, and
 going by a back way to his hut (for he found he was being pursued), he
 reached it unperceived.

 Taking down his sword from the wall, he said to himself, “I know the
 place where the blind men live, and I know too that the old blind
 villain will be going home about dusk; I will lie in wait for him and
 cut him down.”

 Bahadūr Singh’s heart, however, began to fail him, “for,” said he, “Is
 he not a blind man?” Yet the feelings of revenge had so worked him up,
 that he was furious at being so cunningly deceived and robbed.

 In partial hiding he took up his post by the road-side, and he had not
 long to wait, for very soon the old blind villain hove in sight,
 tottering along and leaning on his staff. Bahadūr Singh drew his sword
 from its scabbard and looked first at it, and then at the old blind
 villain who was drawing nearer and nearer to him.

 In an instant the brave feelings of his nature rose uppermost, for was
 he not Bahadūr? and addressing his sword, as the custom of Orientals
 often is, he said, “Oh! sword! thou hast been with me in many an
 honourable fight, and shall I now tarnish thy fair fame by using thee
 thus? No. I ask pardon, and return you to your scabbard without a
 stain.” And so saying he let the blind man pass.

 But he determined upon following him, and if possible, to recover his
 money; whereupon he crept stealthily behind him and close upon his
 heels, and when the old blind villain arrived at his hut, Bahadūr Singh
 saw him open the door, and before he had time to close and fasten it
 from the inside, the brave soldier had managed to slip in too, and
 quite unheard. Keeping very silent, he watched the old villain take off
 his “kummul” and his wallet, and then make his way to a corner of the
 hut. He there took up a tile flush with the floor, and removed from a
 hole beneath it a “chattie,” or earthenware vessel, in which he was
 proceeding to put in from his wallet the money he had collected during
 the day. Bahadūr Singh saw his own hundred gold mohurs going in one by
 one, and then overheard the old blind villain say, “I have done well to
 day. I have here four hundred gold mohurs, and with this further one
 hundred, I shall have five hundred gold mohurs, and who so rich as I?”
 And then he carefully returned the “chattie” and put back the tile,
 feeling it over and over again to be sure that it was in its right
 place. He then returned to his “charpai,” or cot, and sat down,
 apparently to think a bit.

 [Illustration: BAHADŪR SINGH AND THE BLIND BEGGAR.]

 It was now Bahadūr Singh’s turn to try his luck at recovering his
 money; so moving very noiselessly, he crept to the money corner, lifted
 the tile, took out the “chattie,” and was getting back to a spot he had
 selected behind the “charpai,” when as ill-luck would have it, he
 struck against a shelf projecting from the wall, and the noise at once
 aroused the old blind villain, who rushed to the money corner, only to
 find that his store had vanished. He howled, he shouted at the top of
 his voice, he brandished about him his staff, smashing the water-pots,
 and deluging the hut with water, and it was only by great dexterity
 that Bahadūr Singh could keep behind him, and so avoid coming in
 contact either with him or his staff.

 In a very short time, however, there came a knock at the door, and the
 old blind villain let in a stranger, who, to Bahadūr Singh’s relief,
 was, he noticed, also a blind man. The stranger called out, “What is
 all this noise about?” “Hai, Hai! Booh, Booh!” said the old blind
 villain; all my money is gone, and I am ruined for ever.” “Your money
 gone” he replied, “How can that be? Where did you put it?” “Here,
 here,” he said, pulling the stranger to the money corner. “But what a
 fool you were to keep it there! Why didn’t you do as I always do? When
 I get enough together to make up a gold mohur I sew it up into my
 turban.”

 Bahadūr Singh, hearing this, at once by a quick and quiet movement
 reached forward and took off the turban of the stranger and put it
 aside, whereupon the stranger rushed at the old blind villain and said,
 “Why did you take my turban off and where is it?” “I didn’t,” he
 replied. “But you must have done so, for there is no one else here, and
 you want to take my money now, do you?” So saying, he went for the old
 blind villain, knocked him down on to the slushy floor, and pummelled
 him until he cried hard for mercy.

 Bahadūr Singh, with something like a smile at seeing his enemy
 punished, then quitted the hut, leaving them to fight it out. He took
 with him the “chattie” and the gold mohurs, and left the turban behind.

 He went straight to the village police, told the story, claimed only
 his own one hundred gold mohurs, and left with them the four hundred
 belonging to the old blind villain, which were there and then
 confiscated to the State.

 So this old blind villain not only lost his money, but got a terrible
 thrashing into the bargain, and this tale is often told in the
 “Hûjrâhs,” or places of meeting of the village story-tellers, as a
 capital instance of how best to retaliate, and how cleverly the biter
 was bit.


                         ---------------------

                           EXPLANATORY NOTES.

 “_Nanak._”—This founder of the religious and warlike commonwealth of
 the Sikhs is so fully referred to by the able historians, “Hunter” and
 “Elphinstone,” that there is little new to tell of him beyond the
 folk-lore of the district to which these tales refer.

 He flourished about the end of the fifteenth century, was a disciple of
 “Kabir,” and was a sort of Hindu deist, with universal toleration to
 all sects.

 He is said to have ridiculed the religious washings and ablutions of
 the Brahmins by telling his hearers that if water will take you to
 Heaven, then what holy creatures the fish and frogs must be who are for
 ever in the water.

 The religious divisions of the Sikhs are many, the principal being the
 Oodhāssee, Baydhee, Thayun, Bhullay, Sodhee, Akālis, Nahung, Giannee,
 Soothra, Ghoee, Bhaie, Nirmale, Naga, Mujbee, or Rung, Raytay, Guru ki
 bētah. In the time of their Gurus, Har Govind and Govind Singh Govind,
 the Sikhs assumed the title of “Singh,” signifying a champion or lion.

 A tale is told in the Hazara district that “Nanak” once went in
 disguise to Mecca. Absorbed in his reflections, he lay down to rest for
 the night, and quite forgot that his feet were turned towards the
 “kaaba,” which is an insult to the Moslems.

 He was aroused by a devout follower of the Prophet, and at once taxed
 with his breach of reverence and respect, and asked who and what he
 was.

 “Nanak” replied,

             Hindu kahen to marianh
             Mussulman bhi na
             Panj tutt ka pûthlâ
             “Nanak” mera nâm.

             Which translated will read,

             If I say I am a Hindu you will kill me straight,
             Though Mahomedan I cannot call myself;
             I am rather a personation of the Five elements,
             And my name is “Nanak.”

 Another anecdote is given, viz., that when he visited the Chenāab on
 his way to Mūltān, he very much enraged some “Jogis,” a description of
 recluse penitents, who by means of mental and corporeal mortifications
 acquire the command over the powers of nature, as stated in previous
 notes.

 These men did all they could by their powers of enchantments to terrify
 him. They assumed the shape of wild beasts and snakes, fell from Heaven
 in a shower of fire, and tore away the stars.

 “Nanak” remained tranquil, and said, “A holy man needs no defence from
 such things; his defence is in the purity of his doctrine, and though
 the world may change, the Creator of it is immutable.”

 These words brought them to his feet, and caused their miracles and
 enchantments to cease as if by magic.

 “_Blind beggar._”—Many of the blind amongst the Mahomedans are styled
 “Hafiz,” which literally signifies in Arabic those of retentive memory,
 and who know the Qorân, or Furkān, by heart: “Furkān” meaning the book
 which distinguishes truth from falsehood.

 These men live upon the alms of the faithful, and on festival days are
 employed to repeat the Qorân, being fed from day to day, and at the
 conclusion of the festival they are presented with a whole suit of
 clothes, from head to foot.

 Occasionally they are known to earn money by lacing “charpais” with
 string or tape, which is quite an industry with them.

 A blind man from the village of “Sheerka” used to be able to wander
 about in the jungle, and find his way back to his hut. He was familiar
 with the cries of many beasts and birds, and would imitate them most
 correctly.

 If asked to thread a needle this man would place the needle and cotton
 beneath his tongue, and in a very short time pass the thread through
 the eye of the needle.

 “_Kummul._”—From the Sanscrit word “Kammal,” meaning literally a
 blanket. It is made of coarse wool, loosely woven and soft in texture;
 the word in its second signification meaning “soft.” A small blanket is
 called a “Kumli.” In the winter, farmers and others in the district,
 wear them over their other clothes.

 In days long gone by, when the district was under a native yoke, anyone
 found wearing a blanket, or as it was then locally called, a “Bhūra,”
 was liable to be pressed to labour for the State; so the farmers had a
 saying amongst themselves which ran thus:

   Vassay meenh thay Bhoorah sheenh
   Pavay Pallâh thay Bhoorah Shâllah
   Yekho gul Bhoorah dhee marree
   Thruth nappoundhâ Veegaree

   TRANSLATION.

   In the rains the blanket is as tough as a tiger;
   In the cold the blanket has the place of a shawl;
   It has, alas, but one reproach:
   Seen on, whether far or near, ’tis the signal to be seized for work.

 “_Wallet._”—In the original, the word is “Jhūli,” from the Hindustani
 language. It is carried over the arm by Fakirs and others.

 “_Sword._”—In the original, “Tulwar,” from the Sanscrit, and sometimes
 as “Turwar,” a scimitar or sword. It is said that excellent swords used
 to be made at a place called Bunnū. To be wounded by one of them was
 thus expressed:

     Lage Bunnoo Thaypah kanoo Bunnoo.

     TRANSLATED THUS:

     “Cut with a Bunnoo sword, of what use then to strap the wound?”

 _Note._—The natives of the East often worship their swords and weapons,
 and it is known especially to be common in the Northern districts of
 India, and also among the Mahomedans in the Malay Peninsula (vide
 Crooke, and M^cNair’s “Perak and the Malays”, page 247). It is indeed a
 sort of fetish, and a belief that some mysterious power lurks within
 them.

 In a village in the Jhelum district, there lived a noted ironsmith of
 the name of Aruf, who was famed for his sword blades, and the blades
 were termed Arfi, after his name.

 Before anyone purchased a sword from him he would take a ramrod from a
 matchlock, and by a particular cut he would sever it in two, saying,
 “If it will cut iron, surely it will kill any man.”

 He was so proud of his power that his daughter thought to humble him,
 so she asked if he would demonstrate to her how he made the wonderful
 cut. He agreed, and she, secreting behind her a small cane sought
 occasion to balk him. Just as he was making the cut she reached forth
 the cane, and he missed the correct angle of the cut and failed, “See,”
 she said, “it is easy to be proud of your sword-blades and to say that
 they will kill anyone, but how if an enemy should balk you as I have
 done? Then behold the result!”

 In the district they have many kinds of swords, but some of the
 principal are the “Foulâdee,” the “Taygâ,” the “Sirôhhee,” and the
 “Sikaylâh.” These are all curved in the blade. They have a straight
 sword which they call a “Saif.”

 The “Sirôhhee” is of polished steel, and rather brittle.

 _Note._—There is a story told in the district that when “thuggism” was
 at its height, young men used to be decoyed to a retired spot in the
 jungles, where a most fascinating and beautiful “Thugin” resided. She
 had a native sort of seat, placed over a deep dry well; and though to
 all outward appearance it was firm and reliable, yet when any weight
 was put upon it, it suddenly gave way, and the unfortunate victim was
 sent to the bottom, where he was afterwards killed and robbed. Part of
 the proceeds went to the goddess “Kali,” and the remainder was divided
 amongst the gang.

 Once a young Sipahi succeeded in evading the trap, and recovering
 himself he was attacked on all sides by thugs. Drawing his “Sirôhhee”
 he made a cut or two at them, but it suddenly snapped in his hand. He
 was, however, fleet of foot, and managed to escape.

 Telling his friends of his adventures, he said, by way of caution,

        Bandh Sirôhhee Bandho do
        Bandh Sikaylâh to phir akela.

        TRANSLATION.

        If you carry a Sirôhhee, carry two;
        If you carry a Sikaylâh, you may venture fearlessly alone.

 The scabbards are made from thin wood, and covered with black or green
 leather. The woods used are sometimes the “Baid,” or willow, and the
 “Bakāyun,” one of the Meliaceæ of botanists. The hilts are frequently
 inlaid with gold and silver.

 “_Bahadūr in a rage._”—He was ordinarily a quiet man, and when enraged
 his anger was relentless, according to their saying:

             Murdhâ boleh nahin
             Boleh thay kuffun paray.

             TRANSLATION.

             A corpse certainly cannot utter a word,
             But if it should, it would cast away its shroud.

 “_Gold Mohur._”—Also called “Ashrufee”—a gold coin worth about fifteen
 rupees.

 “_Dhotee._”—Is a Sanscrit word, and is a cloth worn round the waist,
 and fastened by being tucked in behind, and the appearance becomes that
 of wide or narrow trousers. One of yellow silk, and made chiefly at
 Benares, is called a “Pīt-ambar,” also from the Sanscrit.

 “_Kāāba._”—This is referred to under “Nanak” in these Notes, but it
 should be added, that it is the square building in Mecca, about 35 feet
 in height, and 40 feet square, making almost a “cube,” which “kābāh”
 means in Arabic. At the S.E. corner of this building is the famous
 black stone, or “Hajr-as-Saih” set in silver, which has to be touched
 with the right hand of the pilgrim, but Captain Burton said it was
 often kissed.

 “_Kabir._”—Under this same heading also of “Nanak” in these Notes is a
 reference to this Fakir “Kabir.” The “Kabir-panthī” are a sect of
 Hindus numerous in Upper and Central India. They have quite a
 Quaker-like spirit, and have an abhorrence of all violence. Their
 commandments are limited to Five:

       I.—Life must not be violated, for it is the gift of God.

      II.—The blood of man or beast must not be shed.

     III.—Man must never lie.

      IV.—Man must practise asceticism, and do the duties of piety and
         devotion.

       V.—Man must obey the spiritual guide, the great “Kabir,” and sing
         hymns in his praise.

“Kabir” died at Gorakhpūr, and both Moslems and Hindus claimed the right
to bury him.


------------------------------------------------------------------------



 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected.
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).





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