MAGIC STONES AND ELECTRIC GEMS 11
mystic characters were woven in thread of gold upon 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.18
"Gem of Sovranty," or the "Gem of the King of Kings," may have been a
purely poetic Hindu fancy, or possibly may have been the diamond. Its
surpassing quality is emphasized by the declaration that though the
earth produced the sapphire, the cat's-eye, the topaz, the ruby, and
the two mystic gems, the favorite of the sun, and the favorite of the
moon, the Gem of the King of Kings was acknowledged to be the chief of
all "for the sheen of that jewel spreads round about for a league on
every side." To King Milinda the following question was put: "Suppose
that on the disappearance of a sovran overlord, the mystic Gem of
Sovranty lay concealed in a cleft on the mountain peak, and that on
another sovran overlord arriving at the supreme dignity it should
appear to him, would you say, Ο King, that the gem was produced by
him?" "Certainly not, sir," replied the monarch, "the gem would be in
its original condition. But it had received, as it were, a new birth
through him." 18
The Arabian author, Ihn Al-Beithar (b. ca. 1197 a.D.), describes a stone called in Arabic hajer al-kelb, or "dog-stone." These stones had such attraction for dogs of a
* Philostrati, " Vita Apollonii," Lib. iii, cap. 8.
u" The Questione of Bang Milinda," trans, by T. W. Rhys Davids; Sacred Books of the East, vol. xxxvi, Oxford, 1894, pp. 14, 303.