AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA. 3! taken from their parents in return for a compensation and brought up under the care of silent nurses in a remote spot in which no word should be spoken. After four years it was proved that as many of these unhappy children as were still alive were entirely dumb and possessed no trace of a predisposition for Islam.35 Later the children are said to have learned to speak with extraordinary difficulty as was to be expected. Akbar's repugnance to Islam developed into a complete revulsion against every thing connected with this narrow religion and made the great Emperor petty-souled in this particular. The decrees were dated from the death of Mohammed and no longer from the Hejra (the flight from Mecca to Medina). Books written in Arabic, the language of the Koran were given the lowest place in the imperial library. The knowledge of Arabic was prohib- ited, even the sounds characteristically belonging to this language were avoided.36 Where formerly according to ancient tradition had stood the word Bismillahi, "in the name of God," there now appeared the old war cry Alldhu akbar, "God is great/' which came into use the more gen- erally—on coins, documents, etc.— the more the courtiers came to reverse the sense of the slogan and to apply to it the meaning, "Akbar is God/' Before I enter into the Emperor's assumption of this 85 J. T. Wheeler, IV, I, 174; Noer, I, 511, 512. A familiar classical paral- lel to this incident is the experiment recorded by Herodotus (II, 2) which the Egyptian king Psammetich is said to have performed with two infants. It is related that after being shut up in a goafs stable for two years separated from all human intercourse these children repeatedly cried out the alleged Phrygian word jSe/efo, "bread," which in reality was probably simply an imita- tion of the bleating of the goats. Compare Edward B. Tyler, Researches into the Early History of Mankmd. 2d edition, (London, 1870), page 81: "It is a very trite remark that there is nothing absolutely incredible in the story and that Bek} bek is a good imitative word for bleating as in /3\i?x*oA«u, wKdottat, bloken, meckern, etc." Farther on we find the account of a similar attempt made by James IV of Scotland as well as the literature with regard to other historical and legendary precedents of this sort in both Orient and Occident. *8Noer, II, 324, 325. Beards which the Koran commanded to be worn Akbar even refused to allow in his presence. M. Elphinstone, 525; G. B. Malleson, 177.