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(Read on 29th September 1920).

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Mr. G. F. Kunz in his charming work entitled "The Magic of Jewels and Charms has remarked that Jewels, gems, stones, superstitions and astrological lore are all so interwoven in history that to treat of either of them alone would mean to break the chain of association linking them one with the other."

Precious stones were in earlier ages supposed to be never failing healers and protectors. Poetic fancy seems to have brought out the inherent power, real or supposed, into prominence. Fancy generated by sentiment, as the present generation might understand it, made our early ancestors happy enough; happiness includes health, or rather a happy man becomes healthy in most cases.

Now it is well known that "amber necklaces protect children from cold;" and pearl necklaces as well, according to other authorities. Amulets and talismans of certain stones are worn as magical charms. An occult power is supposed to be underlying all these. Moreover, it is worth while to remember that there are mythical stones. For example, the "Vocal Memnon of Thebes" produced a musical note with the rising of the Sun. The Greeks believed that Memnon one of the Gods, greeted his mother, the Dawn. Still further is the peculiarity of the mineral statue mentioned that when Emperor Hadrian presented himself there, he heard the same sound thrice that common mortals heard but once. Rosenfeld in his "Singing and Speaking Stones," has tried to put a rational construction on this phenomenon with which the present purpose has nothing to do.

It is said that the river Hydaspes furnished a musical stone. When the moon was waxing, this stone used to give out a musical sound. The Moonstone-which is the convention of Sanskrit poets melted at the sight of the moon.

Again it has been remarked that :-" An old Mahommedan tradition cited by Ibn Kadho Shobah in his Tarik-al-Jafthi, relates that Naoh, after the deluge, on setting out with the members of his family to settle and populate the regions to the Eastward and Northward of the Mt. Ararat, confided to their care a miraculous stone known to the Turks as Jinde-tash, to the Persians as Senkideh, and to the Arabs as Hajer-al-mathar, or the rain stone." On it was impressed the word Aadhem or Aazem, the great name of God, by virtue of which whosoever possessed this stone could cause rain to fall whenever he pleased.”

Some of these rain making stones are found in Karmania, South of Khorassan; and it is also believed that similar stones are found near Toledo in Spain. It has been observed that "the rain makers of the African tribe of Wahumas dwelling in the region bordering on the great Albert Nyanza Lake in Central Africa use a black stone in the course of their magic rites. This is put into a vessel and water poured over it; the pulverized roots of certain herbs and some blood drawn from the veins of a black goat are then mixed with water, and the resulting liquid mixture is thrown up into the air by the rain maker.”

Shamir is a word signifying a mysterious stone, and it occur thrice in the old Testament. Its sense is both "Diamond" and "Adamant." Some have taken it to be the same as GreekEmery; and an Arab legend concerning this very fabled Shamir stone runs thus:-" When King Solomon set about building the temple in Jerusalem, he commanded Satan to dress the stones that were to be used, but the work was performed with such demoniac energy that the people round about complained bitterly of the dreadful noise. To remedy this trouble, Solomon sought the council of the leading scribes and also of the evil spirits known as Ifrites and Jinus. None of them, however, was able to help him in this difficulty, but one of them advised him to question an apostate named Sahr, who declared that he knew of a stone that would do the work required, but did not know where it could be found. Nevertheless, he believed that by a stratagem, he could

secure possession of it. He thereupon ordered that an eagle's nest with its eggs should be brought to him, and also a bottle shaped vessel made of very strong glass. Into this he stipped the eggs, put them back into the nest, and had nest and eggs replaced where they had been found. When the eagle returned to the nest, it encountered this obstacle. In vain it struck at the vessel with claws and beak; after repeated efforts it flew away, but came back on the second day holding a piece of stone in its beak, which it let fall upon the vessel, breaking the latter into two halves, without producing any sound. Upon this, Solomon, who knew the language of beasts and birds, asked the eagle where it had secured the stone. The bird answered: "O Prophet of God, in a mountain in the West called the Samur Mountain. This was indication enough to the wise King who summoning the Jinus to his aid, soon had in Jerusalem a plentiful supply of Shamir Stones, with which the work of shaping and polishing the blocks for the temple was noiselessly performed."

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Cornia" is another stone with similar properties. It is said that: "on the calends, or first day of April, eggs are to be taken out of a crows' nest, and boiled until they are quite hard; they are then to be allowed to cool off, and are replaced in the nest. The female bird notes that the eggs have been tampered with, and flies away in search of the cornia stone. When she has found it, she bears it to the nest, and as soon as it touches the eggs, they become fresh and fertile again." At this moment, the stone can be taken from the nest. It promises increase of wealth and honours and the power to read the future.

India, moreover, is known for her gem bearing dragons. It is said that "certain mystic characters were woven in threads of gold on a scarlet cloth, and this cloth was spread by the hunters before the dragon's den. When the creature emerged, his eyes were fascinated by the strange letters in which the enchanter had infused a wonderful soporific power. Hypnotized by the sight, the dragon would fall into a deep slumber and the hunters would

rush upon him and sever his head from his body.

Within the

head were found gems of brilliant hue some of these possessing the power of rendering the wearer invisible.

There is another legend that is current in respect of the Dragon's gem-it is called Mani-and no diamond howsoever brilliant it be, has been known to equal it in magical charms. The Mani appeared to have greater efficacy and dazzling splendour than any number of Kohinoors, for instance, can be supposed to have. The Dragon-Manidhar—literally meaning gem-bearing on a dark night always would come out of its den; and placing the Mani in a certain spot, would move about for free airing and searching food. The light was capable of reaching twelve miles all round, in four directions. Now, if by accident, a traveller or way-farer happened to come across it, and to touch it, the Dragon's speed was capable of placing him by the side of the gem in a twinkling of the eye. Consequently to save himself from death and at the same time to take possession of the Mani, a wary and circumspect magician would climb up a very high tree, and would first cover from there the gem by means of an iron vessel with steel spikes pointed and sharp-something like a helmetand then watch how the exasperated dragon would arrive there, dash his gigantic hood against the iron cover, get it ultimately split up and finally die over it with ineffectual efforts. Then in the next morning, after ascertaining that he was dead, the magician might descend, and take possession of the priceless gem. These are fabulous stones known to possess the power shedding light over regions twelve Kos i.e., in all 25 Miles all around.

In connection with this gem which is traditionally called the Gem of Sovereignty T. W. Rhys Davids, in his sacred Books of the East Vol. 36th has put forth the following:-To King Milinda the question that was put ran thus:-Suppose that on the disappearance of a Sovereign overlord, the mystic gem of Sovereignty lay concealed in a cleft on the mountain peak and that on another sovereign overlord arriving at the supreme

dignity, it should appear to him, would you say, "O King that the gem was produced by him." "Certainly not Sir," replied the monarch the gem would be in its original condition. But it has received, as it were a new birth through him.

In the river Meander, it is related that a stone was found in ancient times; and its efficacy was that if it was placed on the breast of a human being, he or she became enraged, and killed one of his parents; and then he had to appease the mother of the Gods as a consequence of which he was cured of his temporary madness.

Konrad Von Megenberg has described in his book a singular stone which was prepared from the heart of a man who had been poisoned. It was believed that if the heart was kept for nine years in fire, this kind of stone was produced. "It gave protection from lightning," and could guard the wearer from sudden death i.e., prolonged his life. It had a bright red colour. Volmar is another writer dealing in this subject, and he remarks that there is a stone which produces blindness another stone that enables the wearer to understand the language of birds; a third that saves people from drowning and finally one stone that brings back the dead to life. But it was also a belief that God hides them such stones so that no man can obtain them.

Clouston in his " Group of Eastern Romances" describes a royal stone taken out of the head of a certain kind of eagle; this saves the wearer from the attacks and poison of venomous reptiles. Again, the well known book "Hatim Tai" and the Benevolent Lady recites the marvellous virtues of a stone called "Shah Muhra."

Moreover it has been ably pointed out by Mr. Kunz that the Philosopher's Stone, the fond dream of so many who delved into Nature's mysteries in the past, does not seem so improbable to-day as it did twenty years ago. The recent discovery of the element Radium which is produced from the element Uranium,

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