No. VII—pp. 50 and 150.

THE pretended damsel's account of herself differs materially in the Persian text from that in the Seven Vazīrs and other versions. In the Persian she represents herself as having become enam­oured of the prince from seeing his beauty from the terrace of her mansion; then she “points to her abode,” and they proceed “till they reach a desolate spot.” This is certainly not quite so plausible as what she says in the Arabic texts—that she fell from her litter on the way to be married to a certain prince. The conclusion, too, varies quite as much, so far as we possess it in the Persian MS.—In the old Castilian version the Damsel introduces this tale of the “female devil” by warning the king, most absurdly, that his vazīrs would kill him, “as a vazīr once killed a king,” since it relates that the son of the king was not killed, but returned in safety to his father.—In the Hebrew version the story of the Changed Sex is fused with this tale.

The Shah's own Story-teller gave Sir John Malcolm the follow­ing account of the nature and habits of ghūls, while “the Elchee” and his suite were passing through one of their favourite haunts: “The natural shape of these monsters is terrible, but they can assume those of animals, such as cows or camels, or whatever they choose, often appearing to men as their relations or friends, and then they do not only transform their shapes, but their voices also are altered. The frightful screams and yells which are often heard amid these dreaded ravines are changed for the softest and most melodious notes; unwary travellers, deluded by the appear­ance of friends, or captivated by the forms, or charmed by the music of these demons, are allured from their path, and after feasting for a few hours on every luxury are consigned to destruc­tion. The number of these ghūls,” added the worthy Hajjī, “has greatly decreased since the birth of the Prophet, and they have no power to hurt those who pronounce his name in sincerity and faith.” (Sketches of Persia, ch. xvi.)—In Russian Folk Tales the Baba Yagas perform the part of Ghūls, Rākshasas, etc. Luckily for their intended victims, they are endowed with but a small store of intellect, and are generally outwitted by the interesting heroes and heroines.