This singular mode of concealing jewels—into which Asiatics still very commonly convert their wealth—is said to have been formerly, and perhaps is yet occasionally, adopted by travellers. We have another instance in the story of the Young Man who fell in love with a Picture, which occurs only in the Breslau printed Arabic text of the “Thousand and One Nights,” where the hero has luckily some jewels in the flesh of his forearm.— And in the Toldoth Jeshu (already cited in connection with the conflict between the white and black serpents—p. 475) is the following most veracious narrative:

“Now at this time the unutterable Name* of God was engraved in the temple on the corner-stone. For when King David dug the foundations he found there a stone on which the Name of God was engraved, and he took it and placed it in the Holy of Holies. But as the wise men feared lest some ignorant youth should learn the Name and be able to destroy the world— which God avert!—they made by magic two brazen lions, which they set before the entrance of the Holy of Holies, one on the right, the other on the left. Now if any one were to go within and learn the holy Name, then the lions would begin to roar as he came out, so that from alarm and bewilderment he would lose his presence of mind and forget the Name.

“And Jeshu left Upper Galilee and came secretly to Jerusalem, and he went into the Temple and learned there the holy writing; and after he had written the incommunicable Name on parch­ment he uttered it, with intent that he might feel no pain, and then he cut into his flesh and hid the parchment with its inscription therein. Then he uttered the Name once more, and made so that his flesh healed up again. And when he went out at the door the lions roared and he forgot the Name. Therefore he hasted outside the town, cut into his flesh, took the writing out, and when he had sufficiently studied the signs he retained the Name in his memory.”*

If there ever was a deliberately trumped-up story, this assuredly is one—it is altogether absurd and inconsistent. When, I wonder, did King David dig the foundation of the Temple? Moreover, the temple referred to by this miserable, malignant scribbler was not that built by the son of David, but the gorgeous pile erected by King Herod. But indeed nothing more is needed to show that this idle tale was written for one sole purpose than the words “lest some ignorant youth should learn the Name.” Why “some youth” only? Was there not any danger of ignorant, or curious, or evil-minded grown men attempting to acquire this knowledge?—Then we have the magic lions of brass that were placed on either side of the entrance of the Holy of Holies! The only “graven images” we read of as being in the Temple are the cherubim, whose wings canopied the Ark. It is very evident that this most wretched tract—of which it is said the Jews themselves are now ashamed—was written during the later Middle Ages, when belief was so rife in magic images of metal as guardians of treasure or of some other magical contrivance.

The classical story is well known of Zeus, dreading the wrath of Hera when Semele gave premature birth to Dionysus (Bacchus), sewing up the infant in his thigh, where he came to maturity. And we have an interesting example of the prevalence in India—mutatis mutandis—of Greek and Roman legends, known to every schoolboy, in a folk-tale contributed to the Indian Antiquary for 1886, p. 367, by (Miss?) Putlabi D. H. Wadia, in which seven brothers go on a trading voyage, leaving their little sister, Sunábaí Jái, with their wives, who in their absence ill-treat her shamefully and appoint her tasks very similar to those which Venus gave Psyche to do, the last being to bring them some sea-foam. The poor little maid goes to the shore, and observes her brothers' ship coming in, and runs to meet them. One of the brothers, when she has told her story, cuts open his thigh and having placed her inside the opening sews it up. When they reach home they ask for their sister and the wives give an evasive reply, upon which they are threatened with dire punishment should any accident have happened to the little one, and the women having confessed their wickedness, the brother draws Sunábaí Jái out of his thigh.

In the Tamil romance entitled Madnakámarájankadai, which has been translated by my friend Pandit Natésa Sástrí, of Madras, under the title of Dravidian Nights Entertainments, a prince one day sees the daughter of Indra bathing in a tank, and having purloined her garment takes it home, cuts open his thigh and puts the celestial robe inside, and then sews the flesh together. The nymph, like others of the Bird-Maiden class, had no resource but to follow the hero and become his wife.

From the East, doubtless, the idea was brought to Europe and utilised in the romance of Huon of Bordeaux, where we read that the beard and molars of the Saracen amír—the procuring of which was the condition of the hero's pardon by Charlemagne— were sewed up by Oberon, King of the Fairies, in the side of Gerames, the uncle of Duke Huon.*