that these stories were old traditions and dealt with subjects on which the canonical books gave little or no information. No doubt some persons gave credit to these legends, but no man of any learning can be mentioned who did so in the case of any one of the books we have named. They were not even deemed of sufficient importance to be included among the Antilegomena. Some of them may have been reconstructed on the basis of earlier works that have perished, though with the addition of many fabulous elements. But whether this be so or not, they are sometimes found to incorporate legends of considerable antiquity, if of no authority. We have seen instances in which certain stories can be traced to very ancient Buddhist fables. The tale of Jesus speaking to men when He was still an infant in the cradle is another example of somewhat the same kind, though it cannot be traced back to the Pali Canon. The same tale is told of Buddha in the Lalita Vistara in the Buddha-Carita 1, and in other Sanskrit works. In the "Romantic legend 2" we are gravely informed that, as soon as he was born, Buddha "forthwith walked seven steps towards each quarter of the horizon; and, as he walked, at each step there sprang from the earth beneath his feet a lotus flower; and; as he looked steadfastly in each direction, his mouth uttered these words,

1 Book I. § 34, ed. Cowell.
2 Beal, Rom. Legend, p. 44.

... ‘In all the world I am the very chief.’" In another 1 Chinese Sanskrit work the same story is told, with this difference that Buddha's words are there said to have been, "This birth is in the condition of a Buddha: after this I have done with renewed birth: now only am I born this once, for the purpose of saving all the world." It will be noticed that, making allowance for the difference between the non-theistic Buddhist system and the Christian one, this last quotation bears a considerable resemblance to the words attributed to the infant Christ in our quotation from the Arabic "Gospel of the Infancy": in fact the concluding words of the latter are almost a verbal translation of the former 2.

The supposed fact that our Lord spoke in His

1 Beal's version of the Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king (pp. 3, 4).
56 In the Zamyad Yesht of the Zoroastrians a somewhat similar account of speaking at birth is mentioned in connexion with the monster Snavidhka, who when still very young said: "I am still an infant, and I am not yet grown up: if I ever do grow up I shall make the earth a wheel, I shall make the heavens a chariot: I shall bring down the Good Spirit from the bright Garo-nmanem" [the highest heaven, the abode of Ahuro Mazdao, corresponding to the Muhammadan 'Arsh]: "I shall cause the Evil Spirit to rush up from miserable hell. They will bear my chariot, both the Good Spirit and the Evil Spirit, unless the manly-hearted Keresaspa slay me." The mention of the "wheel" and the "chariot" in this passage distinctly indicates Buddhist influence in Persia, and reminds us of how Buddha was said to have "turned the wheel of the Law," implying his claim to universal dominion. Hence the idea of the infant speaking at birth also is seen to be not an original Zoroastrian but a Buddhist legend.