raised [his crook] to smite them, and his hand remained aloft. And I looked to the torrent and saw kids, and their mouths were applied to the water and not drinking, and all things astounded."

The incident of Mary and the palm-tree as related above (Surah XIX., Maryam, 23-6) is apparently taken from the apocryphal work entitled "History of the Nativity of Mary and the Infancy of the Saviour," although, as we shall see, we can trace both accounts to a probably more ancient source. In the book to which we have just referred, the event is connected with the Flight into Egypt. The tale records how the Holy Family started on the journey and for two days travelled on quietly. It then continues:—

"But 1 on the third day after he had set out, it came to pass that Mary became exhausted in the desert through the excessive heat of the sun. When therefore she saw a tree, she said unto Joseph, ‘Let us rest a little while under the shadow of this tree.’ And Joseph hasted and brought her to that palm-tree, and took her down off her beast. When Mary sat down, she looked up to the top of the palm-tree, and seeing it full of fruit said to Joseph, ‘I desire, if it be possible, to take of the fruit of this palm-tree.’ And Joseph said unto her, ‘I marvel that thou speakest thus, since thou seest how high the branches of this palm-tree are. But

1 Hist. Nativitat. Mariae, cap. 20.

I am extremely anxious about water, for it has now been exhausted in our skin-bottles, and we have nowhere whence we can fill them and quench our thirst.’ Then the Child Jesus, who with joyful countenance lay in His mother the Virgin Mary's bosom, said to the palm-tree, ‘O tree, lower thy branches and refresh My mother with thy fruit.’ Instantly the palm-tree at this word bowed its head to the sole of Mary's feet: and they plucked the fruit which it bore, and were refreshed. And afterwards, when all its fruit had be plucked, the tree still remained bent, since it was waiting to rise up at the command of Him, whose command it had bowed down. Then Jesus said unto it, ‘O palm-tree, arise and be of good cheer, and be thou a companion of My trees that are in My Father's Paradise. But with thy roots open the spring that is hidden in the ground, and let water flow forth from that spring to quench our thirst.’ And the palm-tree instantly stood erect, and streams of very clear, cool, and very sweet water began to come forth from amid its roots. And when they beheld those streams of water, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy; and they with all their quadrupeds and attendants were satisfied and thanked God."

Instead of connecting the palm-tree and the stream that flowed from beneath it with the account of the Flight into Egypt, the Qur'an, we have seen, connects them very closely with