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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/372

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336 The Binding of a God.

and tended with all the respectful solicitude which would have been bestowed upon a real person, miraculous tales were often rife respecting the manifestation of real internal feeling in the wood and the marble. At perilous or critical moments the statue was affirmed to have sweated, to have wept, to have closed its eyes, or brandished the spear in its hands, in token of sympathy or indignation."

It would be easy to collect examples of images which possess the power of volition and motion. Thus, when the great iconoclast Aurangzeb attacked Mathura, the idol of Kesava Deva was removed into Rajputana, and when it arrived at what is now Nathdwara the wheels of the chariot stuck in the sand and the idol refused to move farther ; so it has remained there to this day.^ Lucian tells of a statue by Demetrios which used to play strange antics. The god used to leave his pedestal at night and wander about the house ; people often met him, and the splashing of water was heard when he was taking his bath.- Herodotus describes how the Athenians tried to get back their old imaores from Egina ; but they were unable to wrench them from their pedestals with ropes, and being terrified with thunder and an earthquake sent to punish their sacrilege, they were seized with madness and fell one on the other.^ We have a cycle of tales telling how a man put a ring on the finger of a statue which bends its finger and refuses to restore it ;"* of images turning round, walking, speaking, con-

• Growse, Mathura,^. 130.

- Miss Harrison, Mythology and Monuvients of Athens, p. 517. s Herod. , v. 85.

  • See, for instance, Burton, Arabian Nights, Lib. Ed. vol. x. p. 476. [Orig.

Ed. Suppl- Nights, vol. v. p. 506, a note by Mr. Kirby, who, however cites a story which must be received with caution (see Folk-Lore, vol. ii. p. 100, sqq. ). The locus classicus is in William of Malmesbury. It has been versified, not only by Moore, but by William Morris in The Earthly Paradise. M. Sebillot {Revue des Trad. Pop. vol. ii. p. 20) cites Bibl. Jacob for a similar story, the scene of which is laid in "the cathedral of Paris, towards 1 170," and the image, instead of being that of the impure goddess, Venus, is that of Our Lady I