The Binding of a God. 347
gentleman who sent me these cases writes : " These three gods covered with lids were said to be very sensitive and always disturbed the equilibrium of Nature. It is still a horror to swear by touching them."^
There are also many instances throughout folklore of imprisoned gods and ghosts. We have the familiar case of the Jinni who was confined under the seal of the Lord Solomon in the bottle of the Arabian Nicr'iits? The same idea appears in Grimm's tale of the "Spirit in the Bottle." ^ Virgilius the mighty sorcerer shut up the fiend in a hole in the mountain ; in fact a whole cycle of folktales clusters round the binding of the Evil One."* There are numerous tales of the shutting up of ghosts and demons in this way.^ For some of the following instances from the folktales I am indebted to the encyclopaedic knowledge of Mr. E. Sidney Hartland. A Norse tale given by Dasent from Asbjornsen represents the devil as getting into a worm- eaten nut through a worm-hole to gratify a boy's curiosity and being kept there. ^ The form of the story universally current in this country seems to be that of ghost-laying, where the ghost is consigned to a bottle or other small
' North Indian Notes and Queries, vol. iii. p. 148.
- Burton, Arabian Nights, vol. i. p. 40 ; Lib. ed. p. 37. For demons enclosed in a bottle also refer to Clouston, Popular Tales ajtd Fictions, vol. i. pp. 381, 395 ; Giles, Strange Stories from- a Chinese Studio, vol. i. p. 81. In the Spanish novel El Diablo Cojuelo, a student accidentally enters the house of a conjurer and delivers a demon from a bottle, an idea on which Le Sage based Le Diable Boitetix ; Clouston, Booh of Sindibad, p. 19, note. Among the Bijapur Ambigs or Kabligers, on the fifth or other odd month after a death, if the dead be a man a mask, or if a woman a top-like vessel is brought out, laid among the house-gods and worshipped. Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xxiii. p. 117.
' Household Tales, Mrs. Hunt's translation, vol. ii. p. 401, where numerous parallels are quoted.
- Dunlop, History of Prose Fiction, vol. i. p. 434 ; Grimm, Teutonic Mytho-
logy, vol. iii. p. loii ; Hazlitt, National Tales, p. 40.
^ Miss Burne, Shropshire Folklore, chap. xi.
- Popular Tales, 3rd edition, p. 377.