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Title: Hindoo Tales - Or, the Adventures of Ten Princes
Author: Jacob, P. W. [Translator]
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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HINDOO TALES

_OR, THE ADVENTURES OF TEN PRINCES_



FREELY TRANSLATED FROM THE SANSCRIT OF THE DASAKUMARACHARITAM

BY P. W. JACOB



STRAHAN & CO. 56 LUDGATE HILL, LONDON

1873



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

The Sanscrit work entitled "Dasakumaracharitam, or the Adventures of
Ten Princes," though printed more than twenty-five years ago, has not,
as far as I can ascertain, been translated into any European language.
Many parts of it are written in such a turgid "Oriental" style, that a
close translation would be quite unsuitable to the English reader.
Such passages have therefore been much condensed; others, which are
hardly decent--or, as in the speech of the parasite in the last story,
tedious and uninteresting, have been omitted; but in general the
original has been pretty closely adhered to, and nothing has been
added to it.

The exact date of the composition of the "Dasakumaracharitam" is not
known. It is supposed to have been written about the end of the
eleventh century, and was left unfinished by the author; but as the
story of the last narrator is almost finished, not much could have
been wanting to complete the work, and the reader may easily imagine
what the conclusion would have been.

Some of the incidents correspond with those of the "Arabian Nights,"
but the stories on the whole are quite different from anything found
there, and give a lively picture of Hindoo manners and morals.
Unscrupulous deception, ready invention, extreme credulity and
superstition, and disregard of human life, are strongly illustrated.

The belief in the power of penance, which was supposed to confer on
the person practising it not merely personal sanctity, but even great
supernatural powers, was very generally entertained among the Hindoos,
and is often alluded to here; as is also transmigration, or the birth
of the soul after death in a new body, human or brute. Sufferings or
misfortunes are attributed to sins committed in a former existence,
and in more than one story two persons are supposed to recollect
having many years before lived together as husband and wife.

Much use also is made of the agency of supernatural beings; for
besides numerous gods, the Hindoos believe, or at least believed, in
the existence of innumerable beings, in some degree immortal, but
liable to be killed even by men, swarming in the air, generally
invisible, but sometimes assuming a human or a more terrible form;
occasionally beneficent, but more commonly injurious to human beings.

At the time when the original work was written, India appears to have
been divided into a large number of small kingdoms or principalities,
the rulers of which are here termed "Râja," a word almost adopted into
our language, but which. I have rendered by the equivalent and more
familiar term "King."

The numerous uncouth names, which cannot well be shortened or
translated, will, it is feared, cause some annoyance to the reader. As
many as possible have been omitted, and of those which occur a list is
given in the Appendix, together with a few terms which seemed to
require explanation. This will save the reader the trouble of,
referring, when a name recurs, to the place where it is first
mentioned in order to find out to whom it belongs.

The Appendix also contains a few pages of a very close literal
translation, which will enable the reader to form some idea of the
nature and style of the original, and to see how far it has been
departed from in the preceding pages.

P. W. J.

GUILDFORD, _December_, 1872.



PRONUNCIATION OF PROPER NAMES.

The vowel _â_, is always to be pronounced as in father.

The vowel _a_, as in America, or as u in dull, i in bird, &c.

The vowel _e_, always as a in cake.

The vowel _í_, as e in cede, or ee in reed.

The vowel _i_, as in pin.

The vowel _ú_, as in flute.

The vowel _u_, as in bull.

Pati is therefore pronounced putty, &c.



CONTENTS.


TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

ADVENTURES OF SOMADATTA.

ADVENTURES OF PUSHPODBHAVA.

MARRIAGE OF AVANTISUNDARI.

FURTHER ADVENTURES OF RÂJAVÂHANA.

ADVENTURES OF APAHÂRAVARMA.

ADVENTURES OF UPAHÂRAVARMA.

ADVENTURES OF ARTHAPÂLA.

ADVENTURES OF PRAMATI.

ADVENTURES OF MITRAGUPTA.

ADVENTURES OF MANTRAGUPTA.

ADVENTURES OF VISRUTA.

LITERAL TRANSLATIONS.

PROPER NAMES OCCURRING IN THE TALES.



There was formerly, in the most fertile part of India, a city called
Pushpapuri, the capital of Magadha, magnificent as a mine of jewels,
abounding in every kind of wealth, surpassing all other cities in
splendour and prosperity.

The sovereign of this city and country was Râjahansa, whose armies
were formidable with countless elephants and horses, whose glory was
unsullied as the moon in a cloudless sky, or the plumage of the swan,
and whose fame was sung even by celestial minstrels. Though a terror
to his enemies, he was beloved by all his subjects, and especially by
the learned and pious brahmans, who were continually employed in
prayers and sacrifices to the gods, for the welfare of the king and
his people.

The queen Vasumati was worthy of such a husband. She was of high birth
and of a sweet temper, and so great was her beauty that it seemed as
if the god of love had formed her for his own special delight, by
uniting in her single person everything that is most beautiful in the
world.

Among the king's counsellors were three appointed to the highest
offices of state, men of great probity and intelligence, who had been
long in his father's service and enjoyed his entire confidence. Their
names were, Dharmapâla, Padmodbhava, and Sitavarma.

The first of these had three sons, Sumantra, Sumittra, and Kâmapâla;
the second, two, Susruta and Ratnodbhava; and the last had also two,
Sumati and Satyavarma.

Of these sons the last-mentioned renounced worldly cares and
employments, devoted himself to religious meditation, and leaving home
as a pilgrim, travelled into many countries in order to visit the holy
places which they contained.

Kâmapâla was of an opposite character; he thought only of present
pleasure, frequented the company of gamblers and harlots, and roamed
about the world seeking amusement and dissipation.

Ratnodbhava became a merchant, and in the way of traffic made many
long journeys by land and sea. The other sons, after their fathers'
death, succeeded to their offices, according to the custom of the
country. When Râjahansa had reigned some years, war broke out between
him and the king of the adjoining country of Mâlwa, the haughty and
ambitious Mânasâra, whom he marched to encounter with a numerous army,
making the earth tremble with the tread of his elephants, and
disturbing even the dwellers in the sky with the clang of kettledrums
louder than the roar of the stormy ocean.

Both armies were animated by equal rage, and terrible was the battle;
the ground where they met was first turned to dust by the wheels of
the chariots and the trampling of men and beasts, and then into mud
through the streams of blood which flowed from the slain and wounded.

At last Râjahansa was victorious, the enemy was completely defeated,
their king taken prisoner, and all Mâlwa lay open to the conqueror.
He, however, having no wish to enlarge his dominions, released his
prisoner on very easy terms, and returning to Pushpapuri, thought only
of governing his own kingdom in peace, not expecting after such
generous treatment any further trouble from his ambitious neighbour.

Though prosperous and happy in every other respect, the King of
Magadha had one great cause of sorrow and anxiety--he had no son to
succeed him. Therefore, at this time he made many prayers and
offerings to Nârâyana the Creator of the World, who, having been thus
propitiated, signified to the queen in a dream that she would bear a
son; and not long afterwards her husband was gratified by the news of
her pregnancy.

When the proper time arrived the king celebrated the ceremony called
Simanta[1] with great magnificence, and invited several of the
neighbouring kings to be present on the occasion; among them was the
King of Mithila, with his queen, a great friend of Vasumati--to
congratulate whom she had accompanied her husband.

One day after this, when the king was sitting in council with his
ministers, he was informed that a certain venerable Yati was desirous
to see him. On his admission the king perceived that he was one of his
secret emissaries; dismissing, therefore, the rest of the counsellors,
he withdrew to a private apartment, followed by one or two of his most
confidential ministers and the supposed Yati. He, bowing down to the
ground, said in answer to the king's inquiry, "In order the better to
perform your Majesty's commands, I have adopted this safe disguise,
and have resided for some time in the capital of Mâlwa, from whence I
now bring very important news. The haughty Mânasâra, brooding over his
defeat, unmindful of your generous forbearance, and only anxious to
wipe off his disgrace, has been for a long time endeavouring to
propitiate with very severe penance the mighty Siva, whose temple is
at Mahâkâla, and he has so far succeeded that the god has given him a
magic club, very destructive of life and conducive to victory."

"Through this weapon, and the favour of Siva, he now thinks himself a
match for you. He has for some time been strengthening his army, and
will probably very soon invade this country. Your Majesty having
received this information, will decide what ought to be done."

On hearing this report the ministers consulted together and said to
the king, "This enemy is coming against us favoured by the gods, and
you cannot hope to resist him; we therefore advise that you should
avoid fighting, and retire with your family and treasure to a strong
fortress."

Although they urged this advice with many reasons, it was not
acceptable to the king, who determined to march at the head of his
army against the invaders. When, however, the enemy had actually
entered the country, the ministers succeeded in persuading their
master to send away the queen and her attendants, and a part of the
treasure, to a strong fortress in the forest of Vindhya, guarded by
veteran soldiers.

Presently the two armies met, the battle raged furiously, and
Mânasâra, eagerly seeking out his former conqueror, at last
encountered his chariot. Wielding the magic club, with one blow he
slew the charioteer and caused the king to fall down senseless.

The horses being freed from control, suddenly turned round, dashed off
at full speed from the field, and never stopped till, utterly
exhausted, they had dragged the chariot with the still insensible king
very near to the fortress to which the queen had retreated.

Meanwhile, some of the fugitives from the battle, having reached the
fortress, told the queen what had happened, and she, overwhelmed by
grief at the death of her husband, determined not to survive him.
Perceiving her purpose, the old brahmans and faithful counsellors, who
had accompanied her, endeavoured, to dissuade her, saying, "O
glorious lady, we have no certain information of the king's death:
moreover, learned astrologers have declared that the child to be born
of you is destined to become a mighty sovereign, therefore do not act
rashly or end so precious a life while the least hope remains."

Apparently influenced by these reasons, eloquently urged, the queen
remained silent, and seemed to renounce her purpose, but at midnight,
unable to sleep, and oppressed by intolerable grief, she rose up, and
evading her sleeping attendants and the guards outside, went into the
forest, and there, after many passionate lamentations and prayers that
she might rejoin her beloved husband, she formed a rope by twisting a
part of her dress, and was preparing to hang herself with it from the
branch of a tree, very near to the place where the chariot was
standing concealed by the thick foliage.

Just then the king, revived by the cool night wind, recovered
consciousness, and hearing his wife's voice, softly called her by
name. She, hardly believing her senses for joy, cried out loudly for
help, and soon brought to her assistance some of the attendants, who
carried him gently into the fort, where his wounds were dressed and
found not to be dangerous.

After a short time, more of those who had escaped joined the king; and
when he was sufficiently recovered, the charming Vasumati, instructed
by the ministers, said to him, "All your dominions are lost except
this fortress; but such is the power of fate; prosperity, like a
bubble on the water, or a flash of lightning, appears and disappears
in a moment. Former kings, Râmachandra and others, at least as great
as yourself, were deprived of their kingdoms, and suffered for a long
time the hardships of adversity; yet, through patience and
perseverance and the will of fate, they were at last restored to all
their former splendour. Do you therefore imitate them, and, laying
aside all anxiety, devote yourself to prayer and meditation."

To this advice the king gave ear, and went to consult a very
celebrated rishi, Vâmadeva, intending, under his directions, to engage
in such penance as might lead to the accomplishment of his wishes.

Having been well received by the holy man, he said to him: "O father,
having heard of your great piety and wisdom, I have come hither for
guidance and help in a great calamity. Mânasâra, King of Mâlwa, has
overcome me, and now holds the kingdom which ought to be mine. I will
shrink from no penance which you shall advise, if by such means I may
obtain the favour of the gods, and be restored to my former power."

Vâmadeva, well acquainted with all past, present, and future events,
thus answered him: "O friend, there is no need of penance in your
case; only wait patiently; a son will certainly be born to you who
will crush all your enemies and restore your fortunes." Then a voice
was heard in the air, saying, "This is true."

The king, fully believing the prophecy of the muni, thus miraculously
confirmed, returned to the forest, resolved to await patiently the
fulfilment of the promise; and shortly afterwards the queen brought
forth a son possessing all good marks,[2] to whom his father gave the
name of Râjavâhana.

About the same time also sons were born to his four ministers. They
were named severally Pramati, Mitragupta, Mantragupta, and Visruta,
and were brought up together with the young prince.

Some time after the birth of these children, a certain muni brought a
very beautiful boy to the king, and said: "Having gone lately into the
forest to collect kusa-grass[3] and fuel, I met a woman, evidently in
great distress. When I questioned her, she wiped away her tears, and
told me, with a voice broken by sobs, that she was a servant of
Prahâravarma, King of Mithila--that he, with his family, had gone to
Pushpapuri, to be present at the Simanta festival of the queen, and
had stayed there some time after the departure of the other guests;
that at that time the King of Mâlwa, furnished with a magic weapon,
had invaded the country; that in the battle which ensued, Prahâravarma
had assisted his friend with the few soldiers who accompanied him, and
had been taken prisoner, but had been liberated by the conqueror; that
on his return he had been attacked in the forest by Bheels, and had
repulsed them with difficulty. 'I and my daughter,' she continued,
'who had charge of the king's twin children, were separated from the
rest in the confusion, and lost our way in the forest. There we
suddenly came upon a tiger. In my fright, I stumbled and fell, and
dropped the child, which I was carrying, on the carcase of a cow with
which the tiger had been engaged. At that moment an arrow struck and
killed the tiger. I fainted away, and when I recovered, I found myself
quite alone; my daughter had disappeared, and the child, as I suppose,
was carried off by the Bheels, who shot the beast. After a time I was
found by a compassionate cowherd, who took care of me till my wounds
were healed; and I am now wandering about in the hope of finding the
boy, and of hearing some tidings of my daughter and the other child.'
After giving me this account, she went on her way again, and I,
distressed that the son of your majesty's friend should be in such
hands, determined to set out in search of him.

"After some days I came to a small temple of Durgâ, where a party of
Bheels were about to make the child an offering to the goddess, in
the hope of obtaining success through her favour; and they were then
deliberating in what manner they should kill him, whether by hanging
him on the branch of a tree and cutting him to pieces with swords, or
by partly burying him in the ground and shooting at him with arrows,
or by worrying him with young dogs.

"Then I went up to them very humbly, and said: 'O Kirâtas, I am an old
brahman; having lost my way in the forest, I laid down my child whom I
was carrying, while I went away for a moment to try to find an opening
out of the dense thicket; when I came back he was gone. I have been
searching for him ever since; have you seen him?' 'Is this your
child?' said they. 'O yes!' I exclaimed. 'Take him, then,' they
replied; 'we respect a brahman.' Thus I got possession of the boy,
and, blessing them for their kindness, took him away as quickly as
possible, and have now brought him here, thinking he will be best
under your majesty's protection."

The king, though grieved at the calamity of his friend, rejoiced that
the child was saved from such a death; and giving him the name of
Upahâravarma, had him brought up as his own son.

Not long after this, Râjahansa went to bathe at a holy place, and in
returning, as he passed by a group of Chandâlas, he observed a woman
carrying a very beautiful boy. Being struck by the appearance of the
child, he said "Where did you get this beautiful boy, who is like a
king's son? Surely he is not your own child! pray tell me."

She answered: "When the Bheels attacked and plundered the King of
Mithila near our village, this child was picked up and brought to me
by my husband, and I have taken care of him ever since."

The king being convinced that this was the other child of his friend,
the King of Mithila, by fair words and gifts induced the woman to give
him up, and took him to the queen, giving him the name of
Apahâravarma, and begging her to bring him up with her own son.

Soon afterwards, a disciple of Vâmadeva brought a beautiful boy to the
king, and said "As I was returning from a pilgrimage to Râmatirtha, I
saw an old woman carrying this child, and asked her how she came to be
wandering there. In answer to my questions, she told me her story,
saying, 'I was the servant of a rich man, named Kâlagupta, living in
the island of Kâlayavana, and I waited on his daughter Suvritta. One
day a young merchant, named Ratnodbhava, son of a minister of the
King of Magadha, arrived in the island, and having become acquainted
with my master, he married his beautiful daughter.

"'After some time, he was desirous of visiting his family, and being
unwilling to leave behind his young wife, who was then not far from
childbirth, he took her with him, and me as her nurse.

"'We embarked on board a ship, and had at first a favourable voyage;
but when approaching the land, we were overtaken by a storm, and a
great wave broke over the ship, which went down almost immediately. I
found myself in the water near my young mistress, and managed to
support her till we got hold of a plank, by means of which we at last
reached the shore. Whether my master was saved or not I do not know,
but I fear that he perished with the rest of those on board, whom we
never saw again.

"'The coast where we landed appeared to be uninhabited, and the poor
lady, being unable to walk far, after much suffering of mind and body,
gave birth to this child under a tree in the forest. I have just left
her, in the hope of finding some village where I may obtain
assistance; and by her wish I have brought the child with me, since
she is incapable of taking care of it.'

"The woman had hardly finished speaking when a wild elephant, breaking
through the bushes, came suddenly upon us, and she was so frightened
that she let the child fall, and ran away.

"I hid myself behind a tree, and saw the elephant take up the child
with his trunk, as if about to put it into its mouth. At that moment
he was attacked by a lion, and let the child fall. When the two beasts
had moved from the spot, I came from my hiding-place just in time to
see the child taken up by a monkey, who ran up a high tree. Presently
the beast let the child drop, and as it fell on a leafy branch, I took
it up uninjured by the fall, or the other rough treatment which it had
received.

"After searching for the woman some time in vain, I took the child to
my master, the great muni Vâmadeva, and I have now brought it to you
by his command."

The king, astonished at the preservation of the child under such
adverse circumstances, and hoping that Ratnodbhava might have escaped
from the shipwreck, sent for Susruta to take charge of his brother's
child, to whom he gave the name of Pushpodbhava.

Some days after this the queen went up to her husband with a child in
her arms, and told him, when he expressed his surprise "Last night I
was suddenly awakened from sleep and saw a beautiful lady standing
before me, holding this child. She said to me: 'O queen, I am a
Yaksha, daughter of Manibhadra, and wife of Kâmapâla, the son of your
husband's late minister, Dharmapâla; by command of Kuvera, I have
brought this my child to you, that he may enter the service of your
son, who is destined to become a mighty monarch.'

"I was too much astonished to ask her any question, and she, having
laid down the child near me, disappeared."

The king, greatly surprised, especially that Kâmapâla should have
married a Yaksha, sent for the child's uncle, Sumittra, and committed
the boy to his care, giving him the name of Arthapâla.

Not long after this another disciple of Vâmadeva brought a very
beautiful child to the king, and said: "My lord, I have lately been on
a pilgrimage to several holy places, and on my way back, happening to
be on the bank of the river Kâvari, I saw a woman carrying this child,
and evidently in great distress. On being questioned by me, she wiped
away her tears, and with difficulty told me her story, saying, 'O
brahman, Satyavarma, the youngest son of Sitavarma, a minister of the
King of Magadha, after travelling about a long time, visiting all holy
places as a pilgrim, came to this country, and here married a
Brahman's daughter, named Kâli. Having no children by her, he took as
his second wife her sister Gaurí, and by her he had one son, this
child.

"'Then the first wife, envious of her sister, determined to destroy
the child; and having, with some false pretence, enticed me, when I
was carrying the child, to the bank of the river, she pushed us in. I
contrived to hold my charge with one hand, and to swim with the other
till I met with an uprooted tree carried down by the rapid current. To
this I clung, and after floating a long distance, was able at last to
land at this place; but in getting away from the tree I disturbed a
black serpent which had taken refuge there, and having been bitten by
it, I now feel that I am dying.' As she spoke, the poison began to
take greater effect, and she fell on the ground.

"After trying in vain the power of charms, I went to look for some
herb which might serve as an antidote; but when I returned the poor
creature was dead.

"I was much perplexed at this occurrence, especially as she had not
told me the name of the village from which she came, nor could I
conjecture how far off it might be, so that I was unable to take the
child to its father.

"Therefore, after collecting wood and burning the body, I have brought
the child to you, thinking that he will be best taken care of under
your protection."

The king, astonished that so many children should have been brought in
such a wonderful manner, and distressed at not knowing where to find
Satyavarma, gave the child the name of Somadatta, and committed him to
the care of his uncle, Sumati, who received him with great affection.

These nine boys, thus wonderfully collected together, became the
associates and play-fellows of the young prince, and were educated
together with him.

When they were all nearly seventeen, their education was regarded as
complete, for they had not only been taught the vedas and the
commentaries on them, several languages, grammar, logic, philosophy,
&c., but were well acquainted with poetry, plays, and all sorts of
tales and stories; were accomplished in drawing and music, skilled in
games, sleight of hand and various tricks, and practised in the use of
weapons. They were also bold riders and drivers of horses and
elephants; and even clever thieves, able to steal without detection;
so that Râjahansa was exceedingly delighted at seeing his son
surrounded by a band of such brave, active, clever companions and
faithful followers. One day about this time Vâmadeva came to visit
the king, by whom he was received with great respect and reverence.
Seeing the prince perfect in beauty, strength, and accomplishments,
and surrounded by such companions, he said to Râjahansa: "Your wish
for a son has indeed been fully gratified, since you have one who is
all that you could desire. It is now time for him to go out into the
world and prepare himself for the career of conquest to which he is
destined.".

The king listened respectfully to the advice of the muni, and
determined to be guided by it; having therefore given his son good
advice, he sent him forth at a propitious hour, to travel about in
search of adventure, accompanied by his nine friends.

After travelling for some days, they entered the forest of Vindhya,
and when halting there for the night they saw a rough-looking man,
having all the appearance of a Bheel, but wearing the sacred cord
which is the characteristic of a brahman.

The prince, surprised at such an incongruity, asked him who he was,
how he came to be living in such a wild place, and how, with all the
appearance of a forester, he was wearing the brahminical cord.

The man, seeming to be aware that his questioner was a person of
importance, answered respectfully, "O prince, there are in this forest
certain nominal brahmans, who, having abandoned the study of the
vedas, religious obligations, and family duties, are devoted to all
sorts of sinful practices, and act as leaders of robber bands,
associating with their followers and living as they live.

"I, Matanga by name, am the son of one of these, and was brought up
to be a robber like them. Since I have been grown up I have often
assisted in plundering expeditions, when they would fall suddenly on
some defenceless village, and carry away not only all the property on
which they could lay their hands, but several of the richest of the
inhabitants, whom they would keep prisoners till a ransom had been
paid, or till, compelled by torture, they confessed where their money
was concealed.

"On one of these occasions, when my companions were ill-treating a
brahman, I was seized by a sudden feeling of compassion and
remonstrated with them. Finding words of no avail, I stood before him,
and was killed by my own men while fighting on his behalf.

"After death I went down to the regions below, and was taken before
Yama, the judge of the dead, sitting on a great throne inlaid with
jewels.

"When the god saw me prostrate before him he called one of his
attendants and said: 'The time for this man's death is not arrived,
and moreover, he was killed in defending a brahman; therefore, after
showing him the tortures of the wicked, let him return to his former
body, in which he will in future lead a holy life.'

"By him I was shown some sinners tied to red-hot iron bars, some
thrown into great tubs of boiling oil, some beaten with clubs, some
cut to pieces with swords; after which my spirit re-entered the body,
and I awoke to consciousness, lying alone, grievously wounded, in the
forest.

"In this state I was found by some of my relations, who carried me
home and took care of me till my wounds were healed.

"Shortly after this I met with the brahman whom I had rescued, and he,
grateful for the service which I had rendered him, read to me some
religious books, and taught me the due performance of religious rites,
especially the proper way of worshipping Siva.

"When he considered me sufficiently instructed, he quitted me, giving
me his blessing, and receiving many thanks from me for his kindness.

"Since then I have separated myself from all my former associates, and
have lived a life of penance and meditation in this forest,
endeavouring to atone for my past sins, and especially seeking, to
propitiate the mighty deity who has the half-moon for his crest; and
now, having told you my history, I have something to communicate
which concerns you alone, and beg you to withdraw with me to hear it
in private."

The two then went aside from the rest of the party, and the stranger
said, "O prince, last night, during sleep, Siva appeared to me and
addressed me thus: 'Matanga, I am pleased with your devotions; they
shall now have their reward. North of this place, on the bank of the
river which flows through the Dandaka forest, there is a remarkable
rock, glittering with crystal and marked with the footsteps of Gaurí.
Go thither; in the side of the rock you will see a yawning chasm,
enter it and search till you find a copper plate with letters engraved
on it; follow the directions therein contained, and you will become
King of Pâtâla. That you may know this not to be a mere dream, a
king's son will come to this place to-morrow, and he will be your
companion in the journey.'

"I have in consequence anxiously awaited your coming, and now entreat
you to go with me to the place pointed out in the vision."

The curiosity of the prince was much excited by Matanga's story, and
he readily promised to be his companion; fearing, however, that his
friends would be opposed to his purpose, he did not on his return tell
them anything of what he had heard, and at midnight, when they were
all fast asleep, he slipped away without disturbing them, and went to
join Matanga, who was waiting for him at a place which had been agreed
on, and the two walked on till they came to the rock indicated by Siva
in the vision.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party, uneasy at the disappearance of the
prince, sought for him all over the forest, and not finding him,
determined to disperse, and continue the search in different
countries; and having arranged where to meet again, took leave of each
other, and set out separately in different directions.

Matanga, entirely believing the vision, and rendered still more
confident by the companionship of the prince, fearlessly entered the
cavern, found the copper plate and read the words engraved on it.
Following the directions therein contained, they went on in darkness,
groping their way through long passages, till at last they saw light
before them and arrived at the subterranean country of Pâtâla.

After walking some distance further, they came to a small lake,
surrounded by trees, with a city in view.

Here they stopped, and Matanga begging the prince to watch and guard
against interruption, collected a quantity of wood and lighted a large
fire, into which he threw himself with many charms and incantations,
and presently came forth with a new body full of youth, beauty, and
vigour, to the great astonishment of his companion.

Hardly was this change effected, when they saw coming towards them
from the city a procession, headed by a beautiful young lady
splendidly dressed, and adorned with very costly jewels. Approaching
Matanga, she made a low obeisance, and, without speaking, put a very
precious gem into his hand. Being questioned by him, she answered,
with tears in her eyes and in a soft musical voice, "O excellent
brahman, I am the daughter of a chief of Asuras, and my name is
Kalindí; my father, the ruler of this subterranean world, was slain
by Vishnu whom he had offended, and as he had no son, I was left his
heir and successor, and suffered great distress and perplexity.

"Some time ago I consulted a very holy Siddha, who had compassion on
me, and told me, 'After a time, a certain mortal, having a heavenly
body, will come down here from the upper world; he will become your
husband, and reign prosperously with you over all Pâtâla'.

"Trusting to this prophecy, I have waited impatiently, longing for
your coming as a Châtaka longs for rain, and am now come, with the
consent of my ministers and people, to offer you my hand and kingdom."

Matanga, delighted at such a speedy fulfilment of the promise given in
the vision, gladly accepted her offer, and with the approbation of
his companion, was soon afterwards married to her amid great
festivity.

Râjavâhana was treated with great respect and kindness by Matanga and
his bride; but after seeing all the wonders of the place, his
curiosity was satisfied, and he was desirous of returning to the upper
world.

At his departure, a magic jewel was given him by Kalindí, which had
the power of keeping off from the possessor of it hunger, thirst,
fatigue, and other discomforts; and Matanga accompanied him for a part
of the way. Walking through darkness as before, the prince at last
reached the mouth of the cavern and came forth into the open air.

Having missed all his companions, he was uncertain where to direct his
steps, and wandered on till he came to a large park, outside a city,
where a great concourse of people was assembled, and he there sat down
to rest.

As he sat watching the various groups, he saw a young man enter the
park, accompanied by a lady and followed by a numerous retinue, and
they both got into one of the swings placed there for the amusement of
the festal crowd.

Presently the eye of the new-comer rested on the prince; with signs of
great joy he jumped down, exclaiming, "O what happiness! That is my
lord Râjavâhana," and, running to him, bowed down to his feet, saying
"Great is my good fortune in meeting you again." Râjavâhana, affected
by equal pleasure, warmly embraced him, saying, "O my dear friend
Somadatta, how happy I am to see you once more!"

Then they sat down together under a shady tree, and the prince
inquired: "What have you been doing all this time? Where have you
been? Who is this lady? And how did you get all these attendants?"
Somadatta, thus questioned, began the recital of what he had done and
seen.

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF SOMADATTA.


My lord, having great anxiety on your account, I wandered about in
various countries. One day, when stooping to drink from a cool, clear
stream, near a forest, I saw something bright under the water, and
having taken it up, found it to be a ruby of very great value.

Exhausted by fatigue and the scorching heat of the sun, I went into a
small temple to rest, and saw there a brahman with a number of
children, all looking wretched and half-starved. He seemed to regard
me as a possible benefactor, and when questioned, readily told me his
story; how his wife had died, leaving him with the care of all these
children, and how, having no means of subsistence, he had wandered
about in the hope of obtaining some employment; but had got nothing
better than the charge of this small temple, where the offerings were
not sufficient to support him and his family.

I asked him--"What is that camp which I see at some distance?"

He answered--"The Lord of Lâta, Mattakâla by name, hearing again and
again of the great beauty of Vâmalochana, daughter of Víraketu,
sovereign of this country, asked her in marriage, and was refused.
Being determined to obtain her, he raised an army and besieged Pâtali,
the capital city. Víraketu finding himself unable to resist the enemy,
purchased peace by giving up his daughter, and Mattakâla, thinking
that the marriage can be celebrated with greater magnificence in his
own country, has deferred it till his return. He is now on his way
home with a small part of his army, the rest having been dismissed;
and he is staying at present near this forest to enjoy the pleasures
of the chase. The princess is not with her intended husband, but under
the care of Mânapâla, one of her father's officers, who is said to be
very indignant at the surrender of the lady; you may see his camp at
no great distance from the other."

While thanking the poor man for his information, a thought came into
my mind--here is a very poor and deserving man, I will give him the
jewel which I have found; and I did so.

He received the gift with profuse thanks, and set out immediately to
try to dispose of it; while I lay down there to sleep.

After a time I was awakened by a great clamour, and saw the brahman
coming towards me with his hands tied behind him, driven along, with
blows of a whip and much abuse, by a party of soldiers.

On seeing me, he called out, "There is the thief; that is the man who
gave me the jewel."

Upon this the soldiers let him go, and, seizing me, refused to listen
to my remonstrances, or to my account of the manner in which I had
found the ruby. They dragged me along with them, and having put
fetters on my feet, thrust me into a dungeon, saying, "There are your
companions," pointing at the same time to some other prisoners
confined in that place.

When I recovered my senses--for I was half stunned by the violence
with which I had been pushed in--I said to my fellow-prisoners, "Who
are you, and what did the soldiers mean by calling you my companions?
for you are quite strangers to me."

Those prisoners then told me the story of the King of Lâta, which I
had already heard from the brahman, and further said, "We were sent by
Mânapâla to assassinate that king, and broke into the place where we
supposed him to be. Not finding him, we were unwilling to come away
empty-handed; we therefore carried off everything of value within our
reach and made our escape to the forest. The next morning there was an
active pursuit, our hiding-place was discovered, we were all captured,
and the stolen property taken from us, with the exception of one ruby
of great value, which had disappeared. The king is exceedingly angry
that this cannot be found; our assertion that we have lost it is
disbelieved, and we are threatened with torture to-morrow, unless we
say where it is hidden."

Having heard the robbers' story, I was convinced that the ruby in
question was the one which I had found and given to the brahman, and I
now understood why these men were supposed to be my accomplices.

I told them who I was, how I had found the jewel, and had been
unjustly arrested on account of it, and exhorted them to take courage
and join me in an attempt to escape that night. To this they agreed,
and at midnight we managed to overpower the jailors and knock off our
fetters; and having armed ourselves with weapons which we found in the
prison, we cut our way through the guards, and reached Mânapâla's camp
in safety. The next day, men sent by the King of Lâta came to
Mânapâla, and said--"Some robbers, who were caught after breaking into
the king's dwelling, have made their escape, and are known to have
come here; give them up immediately, or it will be the worse for you."

Mânapâla, who only wanted an excuse for a quarrel, having heard this
insulting message, his eyes red with anger, answered,--"Who is the
King of Lâta, that I should bow down to him? What have I to do with
that low fellow? Begone!"

When the men returned to their master and told him the reception they
had met with, he was in a furious rage, and, disregarding the
smallness of the force which was with him, marched out at once to
attack Mânapâla, who was quite prepared to meet him.

When I entered the camp, after my escape, Mânapâla, who received from
his servants an exaggerated account of my coolness, dexterity, and
courage, had treated me with great honour, and now I offered my
services in the approaching fight. They were gladly accepted, and I
was furnished with an excellent chariot and horses guided by a skilful
charioteer, a strong coat of mail, a bow and two quivers full of
arrows, as well as with other weapons.

Thus equipped, I went forth to meet the enemy, and seeking out the
leader, soon found myself near him. First confusing him with arrows
poured upon him in rapid succession, I brought my chariot close to
his, and suddenly springing into it, cut off his head at a blow.

Seeing the king fall, his soldiers were discouraged, and fled; the
camp was taken, much booty gained, and the princess led back, to her
father. He having received an account of the victory, and of my share
in it, through a messenger sent from Mânapâla, came forth to meet us
when we entered the city, and received me with great honour. After a
time, as I continued daily to increase in favour with him, he bestowed
on me the hand of his daughter, and declared me his successor.

Being thus arrived at the height of prosperity and happiness, I had
but one cause of sorrow--my absence from you. I am on my way to
Mahâkâla, to worship Siva there. I have stopped at this place, hoping,
at a festival so much frequented, I might at least hear some tidings
of you, and now the god has favoured his worshipper, and through this
happy meeting all my wishes are fulfilled.

Râjavâhana, who delighted in valour, having heard Somadatta's story,
while expressing his sorrow for his undeserved imprisonment,
congratulated him on the happy result of it, and told him his own
adventures.

He had scarcely finished the relation of them when a third person came
up, and the prince, warmly greeting him, exclaimed, "O, Somadatta,
here is Pushpodbhava." Then there were mutual embracings and
rejoicings, after which they all three sat down again, and Râjavâhana
said: "Somadatta has told me his adventures, but I know nothing of the
rest of my friends. What did you do when you missed me that morning in
the forest?" Then Pushpodbhava respectfully spoke as follows:--

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF PUSHPODBHAVA.


My lord, your friends being convinced that you had gone on some
expedition with the brahman, and knowing nothing of the direction
which you had taken, were greatly perplexed. At last we agreed to
separate, each going a different way, and I, like the rest, set out by
myself. One day, being unable to bear the heat of the noonday sun, I
sat down in the shade of a tree at the bottom of a mountain. Happening
to look up, I saw a man falling from the rock above, and he came to
the ground very near me.

On going up to him, I found that he was still alive, and having
revived him by throwing cold water over him, and by other means, I
found that he had no bone broken, and did not appear to have received
any serious injury.

When he was sufficiently recovered, I asked him who he was and how he
came to fall from the precipice. With tears in his eyes, and a feeble
voice, he said: "My name is Ratnodbhava; I am the son of a minister of
the King of Magadha; travelling about as a merchant, I came, many
years ago, to the island of Kâlayavana. There I married a merchant's
daughter, and going with her by sea to visit my relations, was
overtaken by a violent storm, during which the ship sank, and I was
the only person saved.

"After reaching the shore, I wandered about for some time in a strange
country, and, unable to bear my misery, was about to put an end to my
life, when I was stopped by a Siddha, who assured me that after
sixteen years I should find my wife. Trusting to this promise, I have
endured life through all these years; but the appointed time having
passed without any sign of the fulfilment of the prophecy, I could
hold out no longer, and threw myself from the top of this precipice."

At that moment the voice of a woman in distress was heard not far off,
and saying to him whom I recognised as my father, "Take courage, I
have good news for you; only wait a moment," I ran off in the
direction of the place whence the voice had proceeded, and soon came
in sight of a large fire and two women near it, the one trying to
throw herself into the flames, the other struggling to prevent her.
Going to the help of the latter, I soon got the lady away, and
brought her and her companion to the place where my father was lying.
I then said to the old woman, "Pray tell me what all this means? How
came you to be in such a place, and why did the lady wish to destroy
herself?"

With a voice broken by sobs, she answered me: "This lady, whose name
is Suvritta, is the daughter of a merchant in the island of
Kâlayavana, and the wife of Ratnodbhava. While crossing the sea with
her husband, there was a great storm, the ship sank, and this lady and
I, her nurse, were the only persons saved. A few days afterwards she
gave birth to a son in the forest; but through my ill-fortune the
child was lost, having been seized by a wild elephant. Afterwards we
two wandered about in great misery, and she would have put an end to
her life had we not met with a holy man, who comforted her with the
assurance that after sixteen years she would be reunited with her
husband and son. Relying on this prophecy, she consented to wait, and
we have spent all these years living near his hermitage; but the
sixteen years were ended some time ago, and having lost all hope, she
was about to end her wretched life by throwing herself into a fire
which she had made, when you so opportunely came to my assistance."

Hearing this story, my father was unable to speak from astonishment. I
made him known to my mother, and myself to both of them, to their very
great joy; and my mother seemed as if she would never weary of kissing
and embracing me.

After a time, when we were all more composed, my father began to
inquire about the king and his own relations, for during all these
years he had heard nothing of them. I told him everything--how the
king had been defeated, and had been living in the forest; your birth,
and the wonderful preservation of myself and my companions; how we had
all set out together; how we had lost you, and how I was now searching
for you.

As soon as my father was able to walk, I placed him and my mother
under the care of a certain muni, not very far off, and set out again
on my travels. Just at this time I had heard that under the ruins of
an ancient city, overgrown by trees, a great treasure was supposed to
be concealed; and as I possessed a magic ointment which, when applied
to the eyes, enabled me to see through the ground, I determined to
try to dig it up. I therefore got together some strong young men with
the promise of good pay, went to the place, and succeeded in finding a
large quantity of gold and silver coin. While I was thus engaged, a
caravan of merchants came to that neighbourhood, and halted there for
a day or two. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I purchased of
them sacks for holding the coin, and some strong oxen to carry them. I
then dismissed my men, well satisfied with their share, and joined the
caravan, where I soon made friends with the leader, the son of a
merchant at Oujein, to which place he was then going.

On our arrival at the city, he introduced me to his father,
Bandhupâla, by whose means I obtained permission from the King of
Mâlwa to reside there. When I had taken a house, safely deposited the
money, and established my parents in it, I was anxious to set out
again in search of you.

Bandhupâla, seeing this, said to me: "You have already spent much time
in searching for your friend, and may spend much more in the same
manner to no purpose, if you have no clue to guide you. Now I am
skilled in augury and the language of birds; it is probable that I may
obtain some indications for you; wait, therefore, patiently for the
present. Meanwhile, my house is always open to you."

To this I agreed, and having great pleasure in his society, was much
with him, and soon had other attractions there, for I fell in love
with his beautiful daughter, Bâlachandrika.

Though I had not declared my passion, I was convinced, from her looks
and from many things which I observed, that she was equally in love
with me, and therefore anxiously sought an opportunity of speaking to
her in private.

One day, Bandhupâla, wishing to obtain information about you by
listening to the voices of birds, went with me into a park near the
city, and while he waited under the trees, hearing the birds, I walked
on, and had the good fortune to see my beloved alone, in another part
of the park.

Although she was evidently pleased at seeing me, and did not reject my
suit, I observed that she was distressed and dispirited, and inquired
the cause.

She told me, "Some time ago the old king abdicated in favour of his
son Darpasâra, who is now gone on a pilgrimage to the Himâlaya
Mountains, having first appointed as joint regents the two sons of his
father's sister, Charmavarma and Dâruvarma.

"The former of these two alone has the management of affairs; for the
latter, given up to evil deeds, makes use of his power only for the
indulgence of his licentious passions.

"He has seen me during my attendance on the Princess Avantisundari,
has endeavoured to seduce me, and I am in constant fear of his
violence, for he hesitates at nothing in the indulgence of his wicked
desires."

She told me this reluctantly, and with much agitation; but I comforted
her with the assurance of my love, and the promise of finding some
means to free her from his annoyance.

After some reflection, I said to her, "This is the plan which I
propose. Your friends must give out in public that a certain Siddha
has declared--'Bâlachandrika is guarded by a demon, who will allow no
man to have intercourse with her without his consent. Whoever,
therefore, wishes to marry her, must first pass one night in company
with her and one female friend, and if he comes out uninjured, or is
able to overcome the demon, he may then safely marry her.'

"If Dâruvarma, on hearing this, shall be alarmed, and abstain from
further annoyance, so much the better; if, on the other hand, he
persists in his wicked purpose, do you appear to consent, and say, 'If
you think you can overcome the demon, I am willing to meet you, but it
must be openly, in your own house; and then, whatever happens, no
blame can fall on my family.'

"To this proposal he will be sure to agree, and you may go to his
house without fear, for I will accompany you, disguised as a woman,
and will manage to kill that wretch, without danger to you or myself,
after which there will be no obstacle to our marriage; for, when I ask
your father, he will certainly consent, seeing the great love between
us, for he has shown great regard for me, and knows my property and
connections. But you must tell him now what has been arranged between
us, that he may be induced to spread abroad the report about the
demon, and to consent to your going to Dâruvarma's house."

Bâlachandrika was delighted with my plan, and promised to do her best
to carry it out. She had full confidence in my courage and skill, and
felt sure that I should succeed in what I had undertaken. Then,
reluctantly leaving me, and looking back again and again, she walked
slowly home.

After quitting her I returned to her father, who was well satisfied
with the result of his observations, and told me that he had
ascertained that after thirty days I should meet you; and we walked
together to his house, talking over the matter.

After a few days, Bâlachandrika informed me that Dâruvarma, undeterred
by the report which was now spread about the city, that she was
haunted by a demon, had continued his importunities, and that she had
consented to go to his house that evening.

Meanwhile I had secretly made my preparations, and concealed in a
lonely place everything required for my disguise. At the proper time,
when it was quite dark, I went there, changed my dress, met the lady,
and accompanied her to the house of the prince, who received us with
great respect; and not having the slightest suspicion of my being
other than what I seemed to be, sent away all his attendants, and
conducted us to a room in a small detached building. There he seated
her on a beautiful soft couch, inlaid with jewels, and expressing his
great delight at seeing her, brought forth and offered to us both very
handsome presents of dresses, ornaments, perfumes, &c. After some
conversation--as if no longer able to restrain himself--he sat down
beside her, and, regardless of my presence, threw his arms round her,
and kissed her again and again.

This was more than I could bear; suddenly seizing him by the throat, I
threw him on the ground, and despatched him with blows of hand, foot,
and knee, before he could call out or give an alarm.

Then we both screamed out loudly, and I rushed forth, as if in a
great fright, calling out, "Help! help! the horrible demon is killing
the prince!"

Hearing this, and seeing my apparent agitation, the attendants and
guards hastened in great confusion to the room, where they found the
prince dead, and the lady so agitated that she was unable to give an
account of what had happened; the demon had of course disappeared.

Some police were in attendance, suspicious of fraud, but even they did
not imagine two women to be capable of such an act of violence, and
the general opinion was that the story of the demon was founded on
truth, and that the prince well deserved the fate he had met with.
Bâlachandrika was therefore suffered to leave: I had already escaped
in the first alarm and confusion, had changed my dress, and reached
home in safety.

No further inquiry was made, and no suspicion fell on me; I duly
married my beloved, and as no harm happened to me, the demon was
supposed to have been propitiated.

The day indicated by my wife's father having arrived, I came here,
fully expecting to see you, and now my happiness is complete.

When Râjavâhana had heard this story, he again related his own
adventures; after which he took leave of Somadatta, saying, "Come to
me as soon as possible, when you have paid your devotions at Mahâkâla,
and have taken your wife and her attendants home;" and he then
accompanied Pushpodbhava into the city of Avanti.

There he was hospitably received in the house of his friend, who
introduced him by his real name to Bandhupâla, but gave out in the
city that he was a young brahman, worthy of all honour for his
learning and ability; and the prince remained for some time in that
city, treated with great respect and consideration by all who became
acquainted with him.

       *       *       *       *       *



MARRIAGE OF AVANTISUNDARI.


During the stay of Râjavâhana at Avanti, the season of spring arrived,
when the great festival of Kâma is celebrated. The trees, breaking
into flower, were filled with the song of birds and the hum of bees,
and their branches were waved by the soft south wind, blowing, loaded
with perfume, from the sandal groves of Malaya. The lakes and pools
were thickly covered with lotus blossoms, among which innumerable
water-birds were sporting, and the feelings of all were influenced by
the charms of the season, and prepared for the worship of the god of
love.

On the day of the festival, the parks and gardens were crowded with
people, some engaged in various sports, some walking about or sitting
under the trees, looking at the players.

Among them was the Princess Avantisundari, who was sitting on a sandy
spot, under a large tree, attended by her women, especially by her
dear friend Bâlachandrika, and making offerings to the god of various
perfumes and flowers.

The prince also walked in the park with his friend Pushpodbhava; and
wishing to see the princess, of whose grace and beauty he had already
heard, contrived to approach; and being encouraged by Bâlachandrika
with a gesture of the hand, came and stood very near her.

Then, indeed, having an opportunity of observing her, he was struck by
her exceeding beauty. She seemed to him as if formed by the god of
love with everything most beautiful in the world; and, as he gazed, he
felt more and more entranced, till almost unconsciously he was deeply
in love.

She, indeed, seeing him beautiful as Kâma himself, was almost equally
affected, and, pervaded by strong feeling, trembled like the branch of
a creeping plant agitated by a gentle wind.

Then he thought, "Never have I seen anything so lovely. She must have
been formed by some singular accident, for there is no one like her in
the world."

She, indeed, ashamed to look openly at him, and half concealing
herself among her attendants, looked at him stealthily from time to
time, and while he had all his thoughts fixed on her, was saying to
herself, "Who can he be? Where does he come from? Happy the maidens
whose eyes are delighted with such beauty! happy the mother who has
such a son! What can I do? how can I find out who he is?"

Meanwhile Bâlachandrika, quick in discrimination, perceived the
impression they had made on each other; and not thinking it desirable
to declare his name and rank before the other attendants, or in such a
public place, introduced him to the princess, saying, "This is a very
learned and clever young brahman, a friend of my husband, worthy of
your notice. Allow me to recommend him to your favourable
consideration."

The princess, delighted at heart, but concealing her feelings,
motioned to the prince to sit down near her, and gave him betel,
flowers, perfumes, &c., through one of her attendants.

Then Râjavâhana, more deeply in love even than the princess, thought
to himself, "There surely must be some reason for this very sudden
attraction which I feel towards her. She must have been my beloved
wife in a former existence. Perhaps a curse was laid upon us; and now
that is removed. If so, the recognition ought to be mutual; at all
events I will try what I can do to produce the same feeling in her
which exists in my mind."

While he was considering how this might be accomplished, a swan
approached the princess, as if expecting to be fed or caressed; and in
sport, she desired Bâlachandrika to catch it.

Inspired by this circumstance with a happy thought, Râjavâhana said to
the princess, "Will you allow me to tell you a short story? There was
formerly a king called Samba. When walking one day together with his
beloved wife at the side of a small lake in the pleasure-grounds, he
saw a swan asleep, just under the bank. Having caught it, he tied its
legs together, put it down again on the ground, and saying to his
wife, 'This bird sits as quiet as a muni; let him go where he likes,'
amused himself with laughing at its awkward attempts to walk. Then the
swan suddenly spoke: 'O king, though in the form of a swan, I am a
devout brahman; and since you have thus, without cause, ill-treated me
while sitting quiet here, engaged in meditation, I lay my curse upon
you, and you shall endure the pain of separation from your beloved
wife.'

"Hearing this, the king, alarmed and distressed, bowed respectfully to
the ground, and said, 'O mighty sage, forgive an act done through
ignorance.'

"Then that holy person, having his anger appeased, answered, 'My words
cannot be made of no effect. I will, however, so far modify the curse
that it will not take place during your present existence; but in a
future birth, when you are united to the same lady in another body,
you must endure the misery of separation from her for two months,
though you will afterwards enjoy very great happiness with her; and I
will also confer on you both the power of recognising each other in
your next existence,'--I beg of you therefore not to tie this bird
which you were wishing to catch."

The princess, hearing this story, was quite ready to believe it; and
from her own feelings was convinced that it really referred to a
previous existence of herself, now brought to her recollection; and
that the love which she felt springing up in her heart was directed
towards one who had formerly been her husband. With a sweet smile, she
answered: "Doubtless Samba tied the bird in that way on purpose to
obtain the power of recognition in another birth; and it was very
cleverly managed by him."

From that moment they seemed perfectly to understand each other, and
sat without speaking, their hearts full of happiness.

Presently the mother of the princess--the queen of the ex-king
Mânasâra, who had also come with her attendants into the park, joined
her daughter; and Bâlachandrika having seen her approaching, made a
sign to the prince, upon which he and his friend slipped on one side,
and hid themselves behind some leafy bushes.

After the queen had stayed a short time talking to her daughter and
looking at the games, she set out to return, and the princess
accompanied her.

Before going, she turned round, as if addressing the swan, but
intending the speech for the prince, who was anxiously watching her
from his hiding-place, "Though you came near me so lovingly just now,
I may not stay longer with you: I must leave you and follow my mother:
do not forget me or imagine that I neglect you, for I am still fond of
you."

With these words she walked slowly away, looking with longing eyes in
the direction of her lover.

On their return to the palace, the princess heard from Bâlachandrika a
full account of Râjavâhana and his adventures, through which she was
even more in love than before; and having no opportunity of seeing him
again, became listless and indifferent to her usual occupations, lost
her appetite, wasted away, and at last lay on her bed, burning with
fever.

In vain did her devoted attendants use all their efforts to diminish
the heat by means of cold water, fanning, and other remedies; and she,
seeing their distress, said to her faithful Bâlachandrika: "Ah, dear
friend, all you can do is to no purpose; they call Kâma the god with
five arrows; but surely this is a wrong name, for I feel as if pierced
by him with hundreds of arrows. They call the wind from Malaya
cooling; but to me it only increases the fever, as if blowing up the
fire which consumes me: my own necklace, the contact of which was
formerly agreeable, now feels as if smeared with the poison of
serpents. Give up your exertions; the prince is the only physician who
can cure me; and how can he come to me here?"

Then Bâlachandrika thought to herself: "Something must be done, and
that without delay, or this violent passion of love will surely cause
her death. I will at least see the prince, and try if it is possible
to bring about a meeting."

Having thus resolved, she begged the princess to write a few lines to
her lover; and committing her to the care of the other attendants, she
went to the house of her husband. There she found Râjavâhana almost in
the same state as the princess, burning with fever, throwing himself
about restlessly on his couch, and bemoaning his hard fate to his
friend.

On seeing Bâlachandrika, he started up, saying, "Oh, how welcome is
the sight of you! I am sure you must be the bearer of good news. Sit
down here and tell me about my darling."

She answered: "The princess is suffering like yourself, longing to see
you; and has now sent me with this letter."

Eagerly opening it, he read--

"Beloved--Having seen your beauty, delicate as a flower, faultless,
unrivalled in the world, my heart is full of longing. Do you likewise
make your heart soft."

Having read this, he said: "Your coming here is refreshing to me as
water to a withered plant; you are the wife of my very dear friend,
Pushpodbhava, and I know how attached you are to my darling, therefore
I can speak freely to you. Tell her that when she left the grove that
day she carried off my heart with her, and that I long to see her even
more than she longs for me; tell her only not to despond; the entrance
to her apartments is indeed difficult, but I will contrive to see her
by some means or other. Come back soon, and, having thought over the
matter, I will tell you what is to be done." With this message,
Bâlachandrika went to rejoice her friend; and the prince, though much
comforted, could not remain quiet, but walked to the park, to have the
pleasure of seeing at least the place where he had first met his
charmer. There he stayed a long time together with his friend, looking
at her footsteps in the sand, the withered flowers which she had
gathered and thrown down, the place where she had sat, and the shrubs
from which he had watched her, and listening to the murmur of the wind
among the leaves, the hum of the bees and the song of the birds.
Presently, they saw approaching them a brahman, splendidly dressed,
followed by a servant. He, coming up to the prince, saluted him; and
the prince, returning the salute, asked who he was. He answered "My
name is Vidyeswara. I am a famous conjurer, and travel about
exhibiting my skill for the amusement of kings and nobles. I have now
come to Oujein, to show off my skill before the king." Then, with a
knowing smile, he added, "But what makes you look so pale?"

Pushpodbhava, thinking to himself this is just the man to help us,
answered, "There is something in your appearance which induces me to
look on you as a friend, and you know how sometimes intimate
friendship arises from a very short acquaintance; I will therefore
tell you why my friend is thus sad. Not long ago, he, the son of a
king, met the Princess Avantisundari on this very spot, and they fell
in love with each other. From the impossibility of meeting, both are
suffering, and the prince is brought into this condition which you
see."

Vidyeswara, in reply, looking at the prince, said, with a smile, "To
such as you, with me for an ally, nothing is impossible. I will,
through my skill, contrive that you shall marry the princess in the
presence of her father and his court; but you must follow my
directions exactly, and she must be informed of her part in the affair
through some trusty female friend."

Then, having given the necessary directions, the conjurer went his
way. Râjavâhana also returned to the house, and when he had given
Bâlachandrika, who came again in the evening, the directions received
from the conjurer, and a loving message of encouragement for the
princess, he anxiously awaited the morrow, unable to sleep from the
thought of the expected happiness, and fluctuating between alternate
hopes and fears. In the morning, Vidyeswara, having collected a large
troop of followers, went to the palace and announced himself to the
doorkeeper, saying, "Tell the king the great conjurer is arrived."
Mânasâra, who had heard of his great skill, and was desirous of seeing
it, ordered him to be immediately admitted, and, after the usual
salutations, the performance began.

First, while the band was playing, peacocks' tails were waving, and
singers imitating the plaintive notes of birds, to excite the feelings
and distract the attention of the hearers, the conjurer turned round
violently several times, with his eyes half-closed, and caused great
hooded serpents to appear and vultures to come down from the sky to
seize them.

After this, he represented the scene of Vishnu killing Hiranyakasipu,
chief of the Asuras, to the great astonishment of the spectators;
then, turning to the king, he said, "It is desirable that the
performance should end with something auspicious; I propose,
therefore, to represent a royal marriage, and one of my people will
act as your daughter, another as a prince, endowed with all good
qualities. But first I must apply to your eyes this ointment, which
will give you preternatural clearness of vision." To all this the king
consented.

Meanwhile, the princess had contrived to slip out unobserved, and
stood among the conjurer's people. Râjavâhana also stood ready, and
the performance began. Thus, under the disguise of a piece of acting,
the conjurer, being a brahman, was able to complete the marriage with
all proper rites and ceremonies without any suspicion on the part of
the king that it was his own daughter whom he saw before him; and the
others, also unsuspecting, only admired the skill of the conjurer in
making the actress so like the lady whom she represented. When the
performance was ended, the conjurer, having been liberally rewarded by
the king, dismissed his hired attendants and departed.

In the confusion and excitement caused by the conjurer's performance,
Râjavâhana and the princess slipped unnoticed into her apartments,
where he was safe, for the present at least, her attendants being all
devoted to her, and careful to keep the secret.

He was thus able to enjoy the society of his bride without
interruption; to give her a full account of his life and adventures,
and to teach her many things of which she was ignorant; so that she
became more and more attached to him, and admired his knowledge and
eloquence as much as she had before admired his beauty.

       *       *       *       *       *



FURTHER ADVENTURES OF RÂJAVÂHANA.


Thus the princess, listening with delight and astonishment to the
sweet and eloquent words of her husband, and he never tired of
contemplating her beauty and enjoying her caresses, lived for some
time in the greatest happiness, without care or anxiety for the
future.

One night, when both were sleeping, the prince had a remarkable dream.
He seemed to see an old swan, whose legs were tied together with lotus
fibre, approach the bedside; at that moment he awoke with a feeling of
pressure on his feet, and found himself bound with a slender silver
chain, bright as the rays of the moon. The princess awoke at the same
time, and seeing her husband thus fettered, screamed out loudly in her
fright. The attendants in the adjoining apartments, hearing the
scream, thought something dreadful must have happened. They rushed
into the room, added their cries to hers, and forgetting all their
former precautions, left the doors open, so that the guards outside,
hearing the clamour, entered and saw the prince.

When about to seize him, they were awed by his dignity, and contented
themselves with giving information to the regent, Chandavarma, who, on
receiving it, came immediately to the place.

Looking at the prince with eyes burning with the fire of anger, he
began to recollect him, and said, "So! this is that conceited brahman
who has been deceiving the people; making them believe that he is
wonderfully clever; the friend of that fellow the husband of the
wicked Bâlachandrika, the cause of my brother's death. How is it
possible that the princess should have fallen in love with such a
paltry wretch, overlooking a man like me? She is a disgrace to her
family, and shall soon see her husband impaled on a stake."

Then, with his forehead disfigured by a fearful frown, he continued to
abuse the prince; and having tied his hands behind him, dragged him
from the room.

Râjavâhana, naturally brave, and encouraged by belief in that former
existence the remembrance of which had so wonderfully arisen in his
mind, bore all the insults with firmness, and saying to the princess,
"Remember that speech of the swan, have patience for two months, and
all will be well," submitted quietly to the imprisonment.

When the ex-king and queen were informed of what had happened, they
were greatly distressed on their daughter's account, and exerted
themselves to save the life of their son-in-law; but the regent, in
whom all authority was vested, resisted their entreaties; and only on
condition of their resigning some of the few privileges which still
remained to them did he consent to defer the execution till he had
communicated with Darpasâra, and learned his pleasure on the subject.
He confiscated the property of Pushpodbhava, and threw him and his
family into prison; and being about to march against the King of Anga,
and unwilling to leave the prince behind, lest he should be liberated
by the old king, he caused a wooden cage to be made, in which his
prisoner was shut up and carried with the army.

Treated thus like some wild beast, roughly shaken and neglected,
Râjavâhana would have suffered greatly had he not been protected by
the magic jewel given to him in Pâtâla, and which he had contrived to
conceal in his hair.

Chandavarma had some time before this asked in marriage Ambâlika, the
daughter of Sinhavarma, King of Anga, and, indignant at a refusal, was
now marching against him, to take vengeance for the insult, and get
possession of the princess. Advancing therefore with a large army, he
prepared to besiege Champa, the capital city.

Sinhavarma, being of a very impatient and impetuous disposition, would
not wait for the arrival of the allies who had been summoned to his
assistance, and were then on the march; but throwing open the gates,
went forth to meet the enemy.

A terrible battle ensued, in which both kings performed prodigies of
valour. At last Sinhavarma was taken prisoner, and his army so
completely defeated, that the conqueror entered and took possession of
the city without opposition.

Chandavarma, having now the princess in his power, determined to make
her his wife at once: he therefore treated her father with more
consideration than he would otherwise have done, though he put him in
confinement, and caused it to be proclaimed throughout the city that
the wedding would be celebrated with much splendour the next morning.

Just then a messenger arrived from Kailâsa, bringing a letter from
Darpasâra, in which he had written, "O fool! should there be any pity
for the violator of the harem? If the old king, my father, now in his
dotage, was foolish enough to favour the criminal for the sake of his
worthless daughter, you had no need of his permission, and ought not
to have been influenced by him. Let that vile seducer be immediately
put to death by torture, and his paramour be shut up in prison till I
come."

Chandavarma, who had intended to march against the allies advancing
for the assistance of his captive, on receiving these commands, gave
orders to his attendants, saying, "To-morrow morning take that vile
wretch from his cage, and set him at the palace gate. Have ready,
also, a fierce elephant, suitably equipped, which I shall mount
immediately after the wedding, to overtake my army in march against
the enemy; and as I set out, I will make the elephant trample the
life out of that criminal."

Accordingly, the next morning, the prince was brought by the guards to
the gate of the palace, and the elephant placed near him.

While he stood there, calmly awaiting death, which now seemed
inevitable, he suddenly felt his feet free, and a beautiful lady
appeared before him.

She humbly bowing down said: "Let my lord pardon his servant for the
injury which she has unconsciously caused. I am an Apsaras, born from
the rays of the moon. One day, as I was flying through the air,
wearing a white dress, a swan, mistaking me for a lotus flower,
attacked me. While struggling to keep off the bird, the string of my
necklace broke, and the pearls fell on the grey head of a very holy
rishi, bathing, in the clear water of a Himâlayan lake.

"In his anger, he cursed me, saying: 'O wicked one, for this offence
you are condemned to be changed into a piece of unconscious metal.'

"When, however, I entreated forgiveness, he was so far appeased, that
he modified the curse, and granted that I should still retain
consciousness, and remain as a fetter on your feet for two months
only.

"The change took place immediately, and I fell to the ground, turned
into a silver chain.

"About this time, Vírasekhara, a Vidyâdhara, partly of human descent,
had become acquainted with Darpasâra, then performing penance on the
great mountain; and thinking he might get assistance from him in a
feud in which he was involved, had made an alliance with him, and
engaged to marry his sister, the Princess Avantisundari.

"Being desirous of visiting his intended bride, he flew through the
air to Avanti. On his way he saw the silver fetter, descended to the
ground, picked it up, and continued his flight.

"Having made himself invisible, he entered without difficulty the
apartment of the princess, and was astonished and enraged on finding
her lying in your arms. His first impulse was to kill you; but some
irresistible influence restrained him, so that he contented himself
with putting the silver fetter on your feet, and departed without
otherwise disturbing you.

"You have, in consequence, suffered all this misery. Now my
transformation is ended, and you are so far free; tell me what I can
do for you in atonement for the suffering which I have caused?"

The prince, not thinking of himself, said only, "Go at once to her who
is dearer to me than life, and comfort her with news of me."

At that moment a great clamour was heard, and some persons, rushing
from the interior of the palace, called out, loudly, "Help! help!
Chandavarma is murdered! killed by an assassin, who stabbed him as he
was about to take the hand of the princess; and that man is now moving
about the palace, cutting down all who attempt to seize him."

Râjavâhana, when he heard this, without losing a moment, and before
the guards had perceived his feet to be unfettered, with a sudden
spring leapt on the elephant intended for his destruction; and having
thrust off the driver, urged the beast at a rapid pace, pushing aside
the crowd right and left as he went.

Having got into the courtyard, he shouted with a loud voice, "Who is
the brave man that has done this great deed, hardly to be accomplished
by a mere mortal? Let him come forth and join me; we two united are a
match for a whole army."

The slayer of Chandavarma hearing this, came out of the palace, and
quickly mounting the elephant, who held down his trunk to receive him,
placed himself behind the prince.

Great was their mutual astonishment and joy when they recognised each
other, the prince exclaiming, "Is it possible? Is it really you, my
dear friend Apahâravarma, who have done this deed?" and the other
saying, "Do I indeed see my Lord Râjavâhana?" Having thus recognised
and embraced each other, they turned the elephant round, and passing
through the crowd in the courtyard, went into the main street, now
thronged by soldiers. Through these they forced their way, employing
with good effect the weapons placed on the elephant for the use of
Chandavarma.

Before, however, they had gone far, they heard the noise of battle at
a distance, and saw the soldiers in front of them scattered in all
directions.

Soon they saw coming towards them a very well-dressed, handsome man,
riding on a swift elephant. On reaching them, he made obeisance to the
prince, saying, "I am sure this is my Lord Râjavâhana;" and then
turning to Apahâravarma, said, "I have followed your directions
exactly, and hastened on the advancing allies. We have just now
encountered and utterly defeated the enemy, so that there is no fear
of any further resistance."

Then Apahâravarma introduced the stranger to the prince, saying, "This
is my dear friend Dhanamittra, well worthy of your respect and
consideration; for he is as brave and clever as he is handsome. With
your permission, he will liberate the King of Anga, and re-establish
the former authorities; meanwhile, we will go on to a quiet place, and
wait there for him and the princes who have come so opportunely to our
assistance."

Râjavâhana agreed to this. They went a little further, and dismounted
at a pleasant cool bank, shaded by a large banian tree, and close to
the Ganges.

When they had been for some time seated there, Dhanamittra returned,
accompanied by Upahâravarma, Pramati, Mitragupta, Mantragupta,
Visruta, Prahâravarma King of Mithila, Kâmapâla lord of Benâres, and
Sinhavarma King of Anga.

The prince, astonished and delighted at such an unexpected meeting,
warmly embraced his young friends, and very respectfully saluted, as a
son, the elder men introduced by them. Many questions were asked on
both sides. After some conversation, Râjavâhana told them his own
adventures, and those of Somadatta and Pushpodbhava, and then begged
his friends to relate theirs.

Apahâravarma spoke first.

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF APAHÂRAVARMA.


My Lord, when you had gone away with the brahman, and we were unable
to find you, I wandered about searching for you like the rest of your
friends.

One day I heard by chance of a very famous muni, living in a forest on
the banks of the Ganges, not far from Champa, who was said to have
supernatural knowledge of past and future events.

Hoping to obtain some information about you, I determined to seek him
out, and accordingly came here for that purpose. Having found the way
to his dwelling, I saw there a miserable-looking man, very unlike the
holy devotee whom I had pictured to myself. Sitting down, however,
beside this person, I said, "I have come a long way to consult the
celebrated rishi Mâríchi, having heard that he is possessed of very
wonderful knowledge. Can you tell me where to find him?"

Deeply sighing, he answered: "There was, not long ago, such a person
in this place; but he is changed--he is no longer what he was."

"How can that be?" I asked.

"One day," he replied, "while that muni was engaged in prayer and
meditation, he was interrupted by the sudden arrival of a famous
actress and dancer, called Kâmamanjari, who, with dishevelled hair and
eyes full of tears, threw herself at his feet.

"Before he had time to ask the meaning of this, a confused crowd of
her companions came up, headed by an old woman, the mother of
Kâmamanjari, apparently in great agitation and distress.

"When they were all a little quieted, he asked the girl the meaning of
her tears, and for what purpose she had come to him.

"She answered, apparently with great respect and bashfulness, 'O
reverend sir, I have heard of your great wisdom, and your kindness to
those who are willing to give up the pleasures of this world for the
sake of the next. I am tired of the disgraceful life I am leading, and
wish to renounce it.' Upon this, her mother, with her loose grey hairs
touching the ground, interrupted her, and said, 'Worthy sir, this
daughter of mine would make it appear that I am to blame, but indeed I
have done my duty, and have carefully prepared her for that profession
for which, by birth, she was intended. From earliest childhood I have
bestowed the greatest care upon her, doing everything in my power to
promote her health and beauty. As soon as she was old enough, I had
her carefully instructed in the arts of dancing, acting, playing on
musical instruments, singing, painting, preparing perfumes and
flowers, in writing and conversation, and even to some extent in
grammar, logic, and philosophy. She was taught to play various games
with skill and dexterity, and how to dress well, and show herself off
to the greatest advantage in public; I hired persons to go about
praising her skill and beauty, and to applaud her when she performed
in public, and I did many other things to promote her success, and to
secure for her liberal remuneration; yet, after all the time, trouble,
and money which I have spent upon her, just when I was beginning to
reap the fruit of my labours, the ungrateful girl has fallen in love
with a stranger, a young brahman, without property, and wishes to
marry him and give up her profession, notwithstanding all my
entreaties, and representations of the poverty and distress to which
all her family will be reduced if she persists in her purpose; and
because I oppose this marriage, she declares that she will renounce
the world, and become a devotee.'

"The muni compassionately said to the girl: 'You will never be able to
endure the hardships of such a life as you propose to lead--a life so
different from that to which you have been accustomed. Heaven may be
attained by all who duly perform the duties of their station; take my
advice then, give up all thoughts of an undertaking which you will
never accomplish, comply with your mother's wishes, return with her,
and be content with that way of life in which you have been brought
up.'

"With many tears, she replied: 'If you will not receive me I will put
an end to my wretched life.'

"Finding her so determined, the muni, after some reflection, said to
the mother and her companions: 'Go away for the present; come back
after a few days; I will give her good advice, and you will no doubt
find her tired of living here, and quite ready to return.'

"Thereupon they all went away, and she was left alone with the muni.
At first she kept at a distance from him, taking care not to interrupt
him in his meditations, but waiting on him unobtrusively, rendering
him many little services, watering his favourite trees, and gathering
sacred grass, and flowers for offerings to the gods. Then, as he
became more accustomed to her, she would amuse him with songs and
dances, and at last began to sit near him and talk of the pleasures of
love.

"One day, as if in all simplicity, she said 'Surely people are very
wrong in reckoning virtue, wealth and pleasure as the three great
objects of life?'

"'Tell me,' he answered, 'how far do you regard virtue as superior to
the other two?'

"'A very wise man like you,' she replied, 'can hardly learn anything
from an ignorant woman like me; but since you ask, I will tell you
what I think. There is no real acquisition of happiness or wealth
without virtue; but the latter is quite independent of the other two.
Without it, a man is nothing; but if he fully possesses it, he is so
purified by it that he may indulge in pleasures occasionally, and any
sin connected with them will no more adhere to him than dust to a
cloud. Look at all the stories of the amours of the gods. Are they the
less worshipped on that account? I think, therefore, that virtue is a
hundred times superior to the other two.' With many such specious
arguments as these, and by her winning ways, she contrived to make him
madly in love; so that, forgetting all his religious duties and former
austerities, he thought only how to please her.

"When she perceived this, she said to him 'Let us stay no longer in
the forest, but go to my house in the town, where we can have many
more enjoyments.' Utterly infatuated, he was ready to do her
bidding; and she, having procured a covered carriage, took him in the
evening to her own house.

"The next day there was a great festival, at which the king was
accustomed to appear in public and converse familiarly with his
subjects. On such occasions he would often be surrounded by actresses
and dancing girls.

"On that day Kâmamanjari persuaded the muni to put on a gay dress and
accompany her to the park where the festival was held; and he,
thinking only of her, and miserable if she were away from him even for
a short time, consented to go. On their arrival there, she walked with
him towards the king, who, seeing her, said, with a smile: 'Sit down
here with that reverend man.' And all eyes were directed towards him.

"Presently one of the ladies rose up, and, making a low obeisance to
the king, said: 'My lord; I must confess myself beaten by that lady; I
have lost my wager and must now pay the penalty.'

"Then a great shout of laughter arose; the king congratulated
Kâmamanjari, and presented her with handsome ornaments.

"After this she walked away with the astonished muni, followed by a
great crowd, shouting applause.

"Before reaching her own house, she turned round to him with a low
obeisance, and said: 'Reverend sir, you have favoured me with your
company a long time; it will be well for you to attend now to your own
affairs.'

"Not having his eyes yet opened, he started as if thunderstruck, and
said: 'My dear, what does all this mean? What has become of the great
love which you professed for me?'

"She smilingly answered: 'I will explain it all.'

"'One day, that lady whom you saw in the park had a dispute with me as
to which was the most attractive. At last she said: "You boast of your
powers, forsooth; go and try them on Mâríchi. If you can persuade him
to accompany you here, then indeed you may triumph; I will acknowledge
myself your inferior."

"'This was the reason of my coming to you; the trick has been
successful; I have won my wager, and have now no further occasion for
you.'

"Bowed down by shame and remorse, the unhappy man slunk back to his
hermitage, miserable and degraded, bitterly lamenting his folly and
infatuation, but resolved to atone for it by deep repentance and
severe penance.

"I am that wretched man; you see, therefore, that I am now quite
unable to assist you. But do not go away; remain in Champa. After a
time I shall recover my former power."

While he was telling me this sad story, the sun set, and I remained
with him that night. The next morning, at sunrise, I took leave of
him, and walked towards the city. On my way thither, as I passed a
Buddhist monastery, I was struck by the appearance of a man sitting at
the side of the road near it. He was extraordinarily ugly; his body
naked, with the exception of a rag round his waist; and his face so
covered with dirt, that the tears he was shedding left furrows as
they rolled down his cheeks.

Moved by compassion, I sat down near him, and inquired the reason of
his distress, at the same time adding, "If it is a secret, I do not
wish to intrude upon you."

"'My misfortunes are well known,' he answered; 'I can have no
objection to telling you if you wish to hear them.' Then he began:

"My name is Vasupâlika; but from my ugliness I am generally known as
Virúpaka,--the deformed. I am the son of a man of some importance
here, who left me a large fortune.

"Among my acquaintance there was a person called Sundaraka, remarkably
handsome, but poor. Between us two some mischievous persons strove to
excite a rivalry, pitting my money against his beauty and
accomplishments.

"One day, in a large assembly, having got up a dispute between us,
they said: 'It is not beauty or wealth, but the approbation of the
ladies, which stamps the worth of a man; therefore, let the famous
actress, Kâmamanjari, decide between you, and agree that she shall say
who is the best man.' To this we both assented, and she, having been
previously prepared for the part which she was to perform, was brought
into the room, and passing by my rival with scorn, sat down by my
side, and, taking a garland from her own head, placed it on mine.

"Greatly flattered and delighted by this preference, and blinded by a
mad love for her, which I had not ventured to express, I most readily
gave myself up to her seductions, and in a very short time she
obtained such an influence over me that everything I possessed was at
her disposal. Before long, she had so plundered me, and led me into
such extravagance, that I was reduced to the most abject poverty, and
had nothing I could call my own but this miserable rag which you now
see me wear.

"Cast off by her, blamed and reproached by the elder men, laughed at
and despised by those who had been my companions in prosperity, I knew
not where to turn; and as a last resource I entered this Buddhist
monastery, where I obtain a bare subsistence.

"Distressed by the cutting off of my long hair, and by numerous
restrictions as to eating, drinking, and sleeping, like a newly-caught
elephant; and hearing every day abuse of those gods whom I used to
worship; filled with remorse for my departure from the religion of my
ancestors; I am utterly miserable and only wish for death."

Having heard this pitiable story, I did what I could to comfort him,
and said, "Do not despair; I have heard already of that wicked woman,
and think I shall be able to find some means of making her restore to
you a part at least of your property."

After leaving him, I went into the city, and finding, from popular
report, that it was full of rich misers, I resolved to bring them to
their proper condition by taking away their useless wealth.

Occupied by this thought, I went into a gaming-house, where I was much
interested and amused by watching the players and observing their
tricks, their sleight-of-hand, their bullying or cringing behaviour to
each other; the reckless profusion of the winners, the muttering
despair of those who had lost.

While overlooking a game of chess, I smiled and made some remark about
a bad move of one of the players, upon which his opponent, turning to
me with a sneer, said "No doubt you think yourself very clever, but
wait till I have finished off this stupid fellow, and I will play you
for any stake you like."

When the game was over, accepting his challenge, I sat down to play,
and won altogether sixteen thousand dínars. Half of this sum I kept
for myself, and half I divided between the gaming-house keeper and the
players who were present. The latter were loud in praise of my
generosity, and of the skill which I had shown in beating that
boaster; the former asked me to dine with him, and I often went to
his house and became very intimate with him, and obtained from him
much information, especially such as had reference to my purpose.

One very dark night, fully directed by him, I set out, determined on
robbery, equipped with a dark dress, a short sword, a spade, a
crowbar, a pair of pincers, a wooden man's head,[4] a magic candle, a
rope and grappling-iron, a box with a bee in it,[5] and some other
implements.

Selecting a house where I knew there was much money, I made a hole in
the wall, and finding all quiet, enlarged it, entered boldly, and
carried off much booty.

As I was returning, looking cautiously about me, I came suddenly upon
a young woman, who was much alarmed at seeing me. Perceiving her
agitation, I spoke to her kindly, and assured her that I would much
rather assist than injure her.

Encouraged by my words, she told me her story: "My name is Kulapâlika;
I am the daughter of a rich merchant in this city, and was from
childhood engaged to the son of another rich man, named Dhanamittra:
he, however, being of a very generous disposition, when he had
succeeded to his father's property was preyed on by pretended friends
and reduced to comparative poverty. Seeing this, my father refused his
consent to our marriage, and, in spite of my reluctance, is determined
to give me to a rich man, called Arthapati. To escape this marriage, I
have slipped out from home by a secret passage, rarely used, and am
going to the house of my lover, who is expecting me and will take me
away to some other country; pray do not detain me, but accept this."
So saying, she put one of her ornaments into my hand. I did not refuse
it, but walked by her side, intending to escort her to her
destination.

We had, however, only gone a few steps, when I saw coming towards us,
at no great distance, a large body of the citizen guard. Without
losing a moment, I said to the trembling girl, "Don't be alarmed; say
that I have been bitten by a serpent, and I will manage the rest."

By the time they reached us I had thrown myself on the ground, and lay
as if insensible, and she stood over me, crying. On being questioned,
she answered, with many tears, and in evident distress: "My husband
and I, coming from the country, lost our way, and have only lately
entered the city. Just now he was bitten by a serpent, and is all but
dead. Is there any one among you skilled in charms who can recover
him?"

Among the guard there chanced to be a very conceited man, who had
often boasted of his skill, and was now delighted to have an
opportunity of displaying it. He stood over me while the others
waited, and, with many gesticulations, muttered various charms
supposed to be efficacious in such a case; but finding all of no
avail, said at last, "Ah! it is too late; the poor man is past all
remedies: what a pity I did not see him sooner!" Then, joining his
companions, who were impatient to be off, he turned to the sobbing
girl and said: "He was evidently fated to die; who can prevail over
fate? It is useless to lament; nothing more can be done now; wait a
little while, and when we come back we will remove the body."

As soon as they were out of sight I rose up, took her to the house of
Dhanamittra, and said to him: "I met this lady just now; I have
brought her safely here, and now restore the ornament which she gave
me in her fright; for, though I am a robber, I would not steal from
one like her."

Delighted at seeing her, he answered: "O, sir, you have indeed
rendered me a great service in bringing this dear one in safety here;
such conduct is very extraordinary in a man of your way of life, and I
am quite unable to understand your motives for acting thus. At all
events, I am under very great obligation to you; command my services
in future."

After some further talk, I asked him: "Friend, what do you now intend
to do?"

"It will be impossible," he answered, "for me to live here if I marry
her without her father's consent; I propose, therefore, to leave the
town with her this very night."

"A clever man," I replied, "is at home in any place. Wherever he goes
he may say this is my country. But, in travelling, many hardships must
be endured--hunger, thirst, fatigue, and dangers from men and wild
beasts;--how will this tender girl be able to bear them?

"You seem to be wanting in wisdom and forethought in thus abandoning
home and country. Take courage! be guided by me, and you shall marry
her and live comfortably here. But first we must take her back to her
father's house."

To this he consented without hesitation, and we set out at once.
Guided by her, we entered through the secret passage, carried off
everything of value, and got away without exciting alarm.

Having hidden our booty in some old ruins, we were going home, when we
fell in with some of the city guard. Fortunately, there chanced to be
an elephant tied up at the side of the road. We quickly, therefore,
unfastened the rope, mounted him, and urged him at full speed; and
before the watchmen could recover from their confusion, were out of
sight. Halting the elephant close to the wall of a deserted garden, we
got over it with the help of the trees growing there, escaped on the
other side, and reached home undetected, where we bathed and went to
bed.

The next day we walked out carefully dressed, and were amused at
hearing an exaggerated account of our adventures of the preceding
night, which had caused much alarm and excitement in the city.

I had hoped, by robbing the old man, to prevent the marriage of his
daughter with Arthapati. But this hope was frustrated; for the latter
was not only willing to take Kulapâlika without a dowry, but even made
presents to her father; and it was settled that the marriage should
take place at the end of a month.

Finding this to be the case, I felt that something more must be done;
and having hit upon a plan which I thought would be effectual, I gave
Dhanamittra directions how to act.

Accordingly, a few days afterwards, he went to the king, to whom he
was previously known, and having asked for a private audience, said:
"A very wonderful thing has happened to me, of which it seems right
that your majesty should be informed. You have known me as
Dhanamittra, the son of a very rich man. During my prosperity, I was
engaged to the daughter of a wealthy merchant; but when I was reduced
to poverty, he refused his consent to our marriage, and is now about
to give her to another.

"Driven to despair by the double loss of fortune and wife, I went into
a wood near the city, intending to put an end to my wretched life.

"There, when in the act of cutting my throat, I was stopped by a very
aged devotee, who asked the cause of the rash act.

"'Poverty, and contempt,' I answered.

"'There is nothing more foolish and sinful than suicide,' he replied.
'A man of sense will endure adversity rather than escape from it in
such a manner. Wealth, when lost, may be regained in many ways; but
life in none. A broken fortune may be repaired; a cut throat can never
be joined again. But why should I preach to you thus? Here is a remedy
for your misfortunes. This leather bag will give you abundant wealth.
I have used it for assisting the deserving; but now I am old and
infirm, and am not long for this world. I give it to you.

"'Go home; if you possess anything wrongfully acquired, restore it to
the right owner, and give away the rest of your property to brahmans
and the poor. When this has been done, put away the purse carefully;
and in the morning it will be found full of gold. Remember that
whoever possesses it must comply with these conditions, and that it
will yield its treasures only to a merchant like yourself, or to an
actress.'

"With these words, he handed me the purse, and immediately
disappeared.

"I have now brought the purse to your majesty, to know your pleasure
concerning it."

The king, though much astonished, believing the story, told him to
keep and enjoy it; and in answer to his entreaty, promised that any
one attempting to steal it should be severely punished.

After this, Dhanamittra, making no secret of his acquisition of the
purse, disposed of all his property somewhat ostentatiously, leaving
himself absolutely nothing but the clothes which he wore; and in the
morning, having filled the purse with gold--the proceeds of the
robbery--he showed it to his neighbours, who were fully convinced of
its magic powers.

The fame of the purse was thus spread abroad; and we were able to
account for our newly-acquired wealth, without incurring any suspicion
as to the manner of obtaining it.

At this time; for reasons which will presently appear, I induced
Vimardaka to enter the service of Arthapati; and directed him to use
all possible means to excite his master against Dhanamittra. In this
he had no difficulty; for the father of Kulapâlika, hearing of his
sudden acquisition of wealth, did not even wait to be asked, but of
his own accord renewed the former engagement, and rejected Arthapati.

About that time it was publicly announced that a younger sister of
Kâmamanjari--Râgamanjari by name--would make her first appearance as a
dancer and singer. Great expectations having been raised, a large
number of spectators, including myself and my friend Dhanamittra, were
present at the performance.

I was struck by her beauty the instant she appeared on the stage; but
when I heard her sweet voice, and saw her graceful movements, I was
perfectly enchanted, and unable to take my eyes off her for a moment.

The performance being ended, she withdrew, followed by the longing
eyes and loud applause of the spectators; and giving, as I fancied, a
significant look at me.

The next day I was anxious, restless, and unable to eat; and could do
nothing but roam about listlessly, or lie on the couch, thinking of
her, and making the excuse of a bad headache.

My friend, seeing me in this state, easily guessed the reason of it,
and said to me in private: "I know the cause of your uneasiness, and
can give you good hopes. That girl is virtuous, whatever her mother
and sister may be; and having watched her closely at the performance,
I am convinced that she was much struck with you; therefore, if you
are willing to make her your wife, there will be no great difficulties
to overcome as far as she is concerned; for, resisting all seductions
and the persuasions of her wicked mother and sister, she has declared:
'No man shall have me except as a wife; and I must be won by merit,
not by money.'

"On the other hand, her mother and sister, fearing lest she should be
withdrawn from the stage, have gone to the king, and obtained, through
many tears and entreaties, a decree that if any man shall take the
girl, either in marriage or not, without her mother's consent, he
shall be put to death like a robber. Therefore, when you have gained
her love, you must also obtain the mother's consent; and that can only
be done by means of a large bribe; she will not listen to any other
inducement."

"I am equal to all this," I answered; "I will win the young lady, and
find means to satisfy the old one." And I lost no time in
accomplishing my purpose. It was first necessary to make acquaintance
with Kâmamanjari, and to this end I found out a woman often employed
by her as a messenger, and having gained her over by bribes, sent,
through her, a number of small presents, till at last Kâmamanjari was
disposed in my favour, and received me at her house. Meanwhile I
contrived to have secret interviews with her beautiful sister, who
consented to be my wife. As soon as this was settled, I said to
Kâmamanjari, "I am desirous of obtaining your mother's consent to my
marriage with your sister, who has accepted me. I know that if she
ceases to perform, you will lose a large income; and, therefore, offer
you in return something better and more certain. Procure for me the
desired permission, and you shall have Dhanamittra's magic purse,
which I will safely steal for you."

Delighted at the thought of possessing inexhaustible wealth, she
agreed to this; the mother's consent was formally given; and on the
day of my marriage I secretly handed over the promised purse.

Very soon after, Vimardaka, by my directions, in a large assembly,
began to abuse and insult Dhanamittra, who, as if much astonished,
said: "What does all this mean? Why should you annoy me? I am not
aware that I have ever given you offence."

He answered furiously: "You purse-proud wretch, do you think I will
not take my master's part? Have you not robbed him of his intended
wife, by bribing her father? Do you think he has no cause for anger
against you? His interests are mine; I am ready to risk my life for
him, and I will pay you off. Some day you shall miss that purse, the
source of the riches with which you are so puffed up." Saying this, he
rushed out of the place in a rage; and though nothing was done at the
time, his words were not forgotten.

Then Dhanamittra went to the king, and declaring that he had lost the
purse, mentioned his suspicion of Arthapati, and the reason for it.
He, having heard nothing of what his servant had said, when summoned
and asked "Have you a confidential servant named Vimardaka?" answered
without hesitation, "Certainly; he is a very trustworthy man, entirely
devoted to my interest."

"Bring him here to me."

Thus commanded, he searched everywhere for his servant, but was unable
to find him; and for a good reason, for I had furnished the man with
money, and sent him to Oujein, to look for you.

The supposed thief having disappeared, his master was put in prison
till further evidence could be procured, for no one but those in the
secret doubted that he was the instigator of the theft.

Meanwhile Kâmamanjari, anxious to make use of the magic purse,
proceeded to fulfil the conditions attached to its use. She went
secretly to Virúpaka, and restored the money of which she had robbed
him, and then gave away all her furniture, clothes, and ornaments.
This, however, she did so incautiously, that attention was drawn to
it; upon which Dhanamittra went again to the king, saying: "I suspect
that the actress, Kâmamanjari, has got my purse; for though
notoriously avaricious, she is giving away everything she possesses,
and there must be some strong reason for such a proceeding."

In consequence of this information, she was summoned to appear the
next day, together with her mother; and the two women came in great
alarm to consult me.

I said to Kâmamanjari: "No doubt you are suspected of having the
purse. This suspicion has arisen from your own imprudence, in giving
away your property so openly. I much fear that you will have to give
it up, and you will be fortunate if you escape without worse
consequences. But you must on no account implicate me; for then I
should be put to death, all my property would be confiscated, your
sister would die of grief, and you would be utterly ruined."

She answered, with many tears: "It is indeed my own fault, but you
shall be safe. That niggardly wretch, Arthapati, is known to be
intimate with me. I will say that I received it from him; and, as he
is already suspected of stealing it, I shall probably be believed."

To this I agreed, and the next day, when questioned, she at first
denied all knowledge of the purse, then admitted having received it,
but refused to say from whom, and at last, when threatened with
torture, confessed, apparently with great reluctance, that Arthapati
was the giver; and this being considered sufficient evidence against
him, he was condemned to death.

Then Dhanamittra interceded for him, saying. "A decree was formerly
made by one of your ancestors, that no merchant or trader should be
put to death for theft. I humbly entreat, therefore, that his life may
be spared."

To this the king consented, the poor wretch was banished, and all his
property confiscated, a portion of it being given to Kâmamanjari, at
the earnest entreaty of Dhanamittra, who got back his purse, and
shortly afterwards married Kulapâlika.

Having thus performed the promise to my friend, I increased my own
wealth, and kept up the reputation of the purse by going on with my
robberies, and so impoverished the rich misers, that some of them were
glad to receive a morsel of food from the beggars to whom they had
formerly refused help, and who were now enriched by my liberality.

Still no suspicion fell on me; but fate is all-powerful, and it was
decreed that I should be caught at last.

One night, sitting with my charming wife, intoxicated, partly with
wine and partly with her sweet caresses, I was seized with madness,
and started up, saying: "All the wealth in the city is not too much
for you; I will fill the house with jewels for your sake." Then, like
a furious elephant who has broken his chain, I rushed out, in spite of
her remonstrances, with a drawn sword, and attacked a body of police,
who happened to be passing. Shouting out, "This is the robber!" they
soon overpowered me, and I fell to the ground.

The shock sobered me at once, and all the horror of the situation into
which I had brought myself by my folly came into my mind. I thought to
myself, my intimacy with Dhanamittra is well known; suspicion will
fall on him; and unless I can turn it off, he, as well as my wife,
will be arrested to-morrow; and I quickly formed a plan by which they,
and perhaps I myself, might be saved. But no time was to be lost; and
as they were about to take me away, I called out to my wife's nurse,
Sringâlika, who had followed me, "Begone, old wretch! and tell that
vile harlot your mistress, and her paramour, Dhanamittra, that she
will never see her ornaments, nor he his magic purse again. I care not
for life, if I am revenged on those two wretches."

The old woman being remarkably quick-witted, at once understood my
object in speaking thus, and very humbly accosting the police said:
"Worthy sir, I entreat you to wait a moment, while I ask your prisoner
where he has hid the ornaments of my mistress."

To, this they assented, and coming to me, she said: "O, sir, your
jealousy is without cause; whatever attentions that man may have paid
my mistress, she is not to blame. Now that you are taken from her, she
will have no means of support, and must go on the stage again. How
can she do this without her ornaments? Take compassion on her, and say
where you have hid them."

Then, as if my anger were appeased, I answered: "Why should I, who am
about to die, harbour resentment? Come close, and I will whisper where
I have put them." In this manner I managed to give her a few hurried
instructions. She went away, with many blessings on me, and thanks to
the men for their kindness; and I was taken to the king's prison.

At that time the governor of the prison was a very conceited young
man, named Kantaka, who had lately succeeded to the office by the
death of his father. When I was brought in, looking at me in a very
contemptuous manner, he said: "So you are the thief who has committed
so many robberies. If you do not give up the stolen property, and
especially the magic purse, you shall suffer every possible variety of
torture before you are put to death."

I answered, smiling, "Even though I should give up all the other
stolen property, I will never let the purse go back to that wretch
Dhanamittra, my greatest enemy. You may try all your tortures; you
will never get this secret out of me."

Finding the fear of torture to have no effect, the next day he tried
promises; and so went on from day to day, with alternate soothing and
threatening.

Meanwhile, my wounds were attended to, and I was well fed; so that I
had regained my strength when, one day, Sringâlika made her
appearance, well dressed, and with cheerful countenance.

To my surprise, she was allowed to speak to me in private. She said to
me, joyfully "Your plan has succeeded. As you directed, I went to
Dhanamittra and told him, from you: 'You must go to the king, and say,
"The magic purse so lately restored has again been stolen by one whom
I regarded as a friend--a certain gambler, the husband of the actress
Râgamanjari. He has taken it from spite, being jealous of his wife, to
whom, from kindness, I often made presents. He is now in prison for
other offences; and if, he is put to death immediately, as he
deserves, I fear that I shall never recover my purse. I pray,
therefore, that he may not be executed before he has confessed where
it is concealed. For he admits having taken it; but declares that he
will not give it up, unless his life is spared." Your friend,
admiring your ingenuity, and having full confidence in your resources,
immediately went to the king and obtained his request, so that your
life is safe for the present.'

"Meanwhile, with the help of gifts furnished by my mistress, I have
formed an intimacy with the nurse of the Princess Ambâlika, and have
been introduced by her to the princess, whose favour I have gained by
telling her amusing stories, and whom I have induced to feel an
interest in the misfortune of my mistress.

"One day, when I was standing near her in the gallery round the
court-yard of the palace, Kantaka, having some business or other,
passed through below us. Picking up a flower which the princess had
dropped, I let it fall on his head; and when he looked up to see from
whose hand it came, I managed to make the princess laugh at something
which I said; and the conceited fool, thinking that it was she who had
dropped it to attract his attention, went away looking quite pleased
and confused.

"That same evening I received a present for my mistress, a small
basket marked with the signet of the princess, and containing articles
of no great value. This I took to Kantaka; and begging him to observe
the strictest secrecy, made him believe that the princess had sent it
to him. He was even delighted when, another day, I brought him a dirty
dress, telling him that she had worn it.

"Finding him quite ready to believe this, and convinced that she was
in love with him, I kept up an imaginary correspondence, bringing
very loving messages from her, which I invented, and receiving many
from him in return, which I took care not to deliver. His presents, of
course, I kept for myself.

"In this manner I have raised his hopes very high; and to encourage
him still further, I said: 'I have heard from a learned astrologer,
with whom I am acquainted, that you have certain marks upon you which
indicate that you will one day be a king. This love on the part of the
princess tends to the fulfilment of the prediction. You are therefore
on the high road to fortune. If you have spirit enough to pursue it,
all you have to do now is to obtain a secret interview with the lady;
the rest will follow in due time.'

"'But how can I manage this?' he asked. 'The wall of the garden,' I
replied, 'communicating with the princess's apartments, is separated
from those of the gaol by a space of a few yards only. You could not
get over these walls; but you might make an underground passage, and
slip in unobserved; and I will take care that there shall be some one
to receive and conduct you to the princess. When once with her, you
are safe; for all her attendants are attached to her; not one would
betray the secret.'

"'But how can I make this underground passage?' he asked. 'I cannot
dig it myself, or employ workmen.'

"'Have you no clever thief here,' I replied, 'accustomed to such
work?'

"'Well suggested,' he answered. 'I have just the right man.'

"'Who is he?' I said.

"'That man who has stolen the magic purse,' said he. 'If he will set
to work with a good will he will soon dig his way through.'

"'Very good,' I answered. 'You must persuade him by promising to let
him go when the work is done. But it would never do for him to be in
the secret; therefore, when he has finished, put on his fetters again,
and report to the king that he is exceedingly obstinate; that you have
tried all other means to make him confess, and that nothing remains
but to put him to torture. No doubt the king will give orders
accordingly; and you can easily manage so to inflict it that he shall
die under it. When he is dead, your secret will be safe; you can visit
the princess as often as you like; and, doubtless, in the end the
king, rather than disgrace his daughter, will consent to your
marriage; and as he has no other child, will make you his successor.'

"With this proposal he was quite delighted; and has been treating you
well, that you may have strength for the work. He intends to ask you
to begin to-night; and has sent me to persuade you, believing me to be
devoted to his interests, and looking forward to some great reward
when he has got his wish."

Having heard this from the old woman, I gave her great praise, and
said: "Lose no time. Tell him I am quite ready to do the work."

After this, Kantaka came to me, told me what he wanted, and swore a
solemn oath that I should be liberated when the work was done; and I,
in return, swore to keep his secret.

Then he took off my fetters; I got a bath and a good dinner, and
presently set to work in a dark corner, under the wall. Soon after
midnight the work was done, and an opening made into the courtyard of
the women's apartments.

Before returning, I thought to myself "This man has sworn an oath
which he intends to break: for the preservation of my own life,
therefore, I shall be justified in killing him."

Having formed this resolution, I went back to the prison, where
Kantaka was waiting for me. He told me it was necessary to replace my
fetters for the present; and I appeared to acquiesce. But as he was
stooping to fasten them, I gave him a violent kick; and before he
could recover himself, I had snatched a short sword which he wore, and
cut off his head.

I then returned to Sringâlika, who had remained in the prison, and
said to her: "I am not disposed to have had all this toil for nothing.
Tell me the way into the ladies' rooms. I will go there and steal
something before I make my escape."

Having received her directions, I passed again through the tunnel
which I had made, came up into the court-yard; and from thence entered
a large, lofty room lighted by jewelled lamps, where a number of women
were sleeping.

There, on a couch ornamented with beautifully carved flowers and
resting on lions' feet, I saw the princess, covered only by a thin
silken petticoat, half sunk into a soft white feather-bed, like
lightning on an autumn cloud.

Fast asleep, as if wearied by much play, she lay in a very graceful
attitude, with her delicate ancles crossed, her knees slightly drawn
up; one lovely hand laid loosely on her side, the other beneath her
head; her full bosom, slowly heaved by gentle breathing, illuminated
by the ruby necklace strung on burnished gold; the top-knot of her
loosened hair hanging down like some graceful flower; her lips so
bright that the opening of the mouth could hardly be distinguished;
her features in calm repose, shaded by her lovely ringlets.

I had entered so softly that no one was disturbed; and I stood gazing
for some time lost in admiration of her beauty, quite forgetting the
purpose for which I had come.

I thought, she is, after all, the lady of my heart. If I do not obtain
her, Kâma will not suffer me to live; but how can I make known my love
to her? Were I now to wake her, she would start up with a cry of
alarm, and I should probably lose my life. I must think of some other
way of letting her know my love.

Then, looking round, I saw laid on a shelf a thin board prepared for
painting, and a box of paints and brushes. With these I made a hasty
sketch of the princess as she lay, and of myself kneeling at her feet,
and underneath it I wrote this verse:--

  "Of thee thy slave in humble attitude thus prays:
   Sleep on, not worn like me by pervading love."

I then painted on the wall near her a pair of chakravâkas in loving
attitude, gently took off her ring, replacing it with mine, and
slipped out without disturbing any of the sleepers.

There was at that time among the prisoners a man named Sinhaghosha,
formerly a chief officer of police, but now imprisoned through a
false accusation made by Kantaka.

With this man I had already made acquaintance, and I now went to him
and told him how I had killed Kantaka. With his consent I went forth
from the prison, and walked away with Sringâlika. We had not gone far
when we fell in with a patrol. I thought to myself I could easily run
away from them; but what would become of the poor old woman? she would
certainly be caught. Hastily determining, therefore, on what was best
to be done, I walked right up to them with unsteady gait and idiotic
look, and said: "Sirs, if I am a thief kill me, but you have no right
to touch this old woman."

She, perceiving my intention, came up, and very humbly said: "Honoured
sirs, this young man is my son. He has been for some time confined as
a lunatic; but was supposed to be cured, and I brought him home
yesterday. In the middle of the night, however, he started up, and
calling out: 'I will kill Kantaka and make love to the king's
daughter,' rushed out into the street. I have at last overtaken him,
and am trying to take him home. Will you be so good as to help me, and
tie his hands behind him that he may not get away again?"

As she said this, I called out: "O old woman, who ever bound a god or
the wind, Shall these crows catch an eagle?" and started off at full
speed. She, renewing her entreaties, begged them to pursue me; but
they only laughed at her, and said: "Do you think we have nothing to
do but to run after madmen? You must be as mad as he is to have taken
him out;" and so they went on their way.

I stopped when I found I was not pursued. She soon overtook me, and
we went to my house, to the great joy of my wife, who had scarcely
hoped for my deliverance.

In the morning I saw Dhanamittra, told him all that had happened, and
thanked him for following my directions so punctually.

After this I went to the forest, to see Mâríchi. I found him restored
to his former condition, and able to give me the desired information.
From him I learnt that you would be here about this time.

In the morning after my escape, Sinhaghosha informed the king of what
had happened, and how Kantaka had been killed when about to enter the
princess's apartments. Being found to be innocent of the crime of
which he was accused, he was appointed governor of the prison in
Kantaka's place.

Before the underground passage was filled up, he permitted me to pass
through it more than once to the princess, who was favourably disposed
towards me through the picture and verse, and still more by all that
Sringâlika had said in my favour.

No great search was made after me, and by keeping quiet and going out
only at night I escaped further arrest.

You know how Chandavarma besieged Champa, and how Sinhavarma was
defeated and taken prisoner. When I heard this, and how the conqueror
intended to force the princess to marry him, I went to Dhanamittra and
said: "Do you go about among the ministers and officers of the
imprisoned king and the principal citizens, and tell them to be ready
to attack the enemy as soon as they hear of the death of Chandavarma.
I will engage to kill him to-morrow."

How Dhanamittra has performed his part you have just seen. As to
myself, I put on a dress suitable for the occasion, and, as many
persons were going in and out of the palace, managed to slip in
unobserved and get very near the intending bridegroom. Suddenly
stretching out my arm as he was about to take the hand of the
princess, I gave him a mortal wound with a sword; then saying a few
hasty words of encouragement to her, I defended myself against those
who endeavoured to seize me, till I heard your welcome voice, deep as
the sound of thunder, and had the happiness of embracing you.

Râjavâhana, having heard this story, said "You have indeed shown
wonderful ingenuity and courage;" then he turned to Upahâravarma, and
said: "It is now your turn;" and he, having made due salutation, thus
began:--

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF UPAHÂRAVARMA.


While wandering about like the others, I cams one day into the country
of Videha. Before entering into Mithila, the capital, I stopped to
rest at a small temple, and found there an old woman, who gave me
water for my feet.

Observing that she looked at me very hard, and that tears came into
her eyes, I asked her: "O, mother, what is the cause of your grief?"

"You bring to my mind," she answered, the remembrance of my lost
foster-child, who, if he lives, is just about your age. But I will
tell you how he was lost.

"Prahâravarma was formerly king of this country. His queen was a very
dear friend of Vasumati; wife of Râjahansa, King of Magadha, and he
went with her and his twin sons to visit that king. How he was
conquered and driven from his dominions by the King of Mâlwa you have
doubtless heard. It was shortly before that invasion that the visit
was made. In the battle which was fought, Prahâravarma assisted his
friend, and was taken prisoner, but was subsequently liberated.

"When returning to his own kingdom, he heard that a rebellion had
broken out, headed by his brother's son, Vikatavarma. He therefore
turned aside through a forest road, in the direction of Suhma, hoping
to obtain assistance from his sister's son, the king of that country.
On the march, he was attacked and plundered by Bheels; and I, having
charge of one of his children, was separated from the party, and left
behind in the forest.

"There I was attacked, by a tiger, and dropped the child. The tiger
was killed by an arrow; but I fainted away, and when I recovered, the
child was gone, taken away, I suppose, by the Bheels. Having been
found and taken care of by a compassionate cowherd, I stayed at his
cottage till my wounds were healed.

"Longing to get back to my friends, and to hear some tidings of my
mistress, I was surprised one day by the appearance of my daughter,
who had been, with me, in charge of the other child.

"After mutual congratulations and embraces, she told me her story as
follows: 'After we were parted, I was wounded by the robbers, lost
the child, and was found wandering about by one of the foresters, who
took care of me, and afterwards wished to make me his wife. I was too
much disgusted with him and his way of life to consent; and, after
many threats, he would at last have killed me, but for the opportune
arrival of a young man who happened to be passing, and rescued me from
his hands. That young man has since become my husband. We have been
searching for you, and have now happily found you.'

"I asked who the man was. He answered: 'I am a servant of the King of
Mithila, to whom I am now going.' Then we all three went to Mithila,
and told the king and queen the sad news of the loss of their
children.

"The war was still going on, and at last the king was overcome and
imprisoned, together with his queen, by his wicked nephew.

"Since then I have been living as a mendicant. My daughter, whose
husband was killed in the war, being destitute like myself, has
entered the service of Kalpasundari, queen of the usurper. Ah! if
those princes had lived, they would have rescued their father from
such degradation."

She began then to weep and lament; but I comforted her, and said: "Do
you not remember speaking to a certain muni, and telling him of the
loss of the child? That boy was found by him. I am he, and I will
contrive some means for killing that wicked usurper, and setting my
parents free. No one can recognise me here, not even my own mother,
were she to see me; therefore I shall be able at my leisure to
consider what is best to be done."

Exceedingly delighted at hearing this, she kissed me again and again,
and said, with tears of joy: "O, darling! a glorious fortune is before
you. Now you are here, all will be well; you will soon lift up your
parents from the sea of sorrow which has engulfed them. Happy is Queen
Priyamvada in having such a son!"

Then she gave me such food as she had, and I stayed with her, and
passed the night in that temple.

As I lay awake, I turned over in my mind every plan that suggested
itself to me for the accomplishment of my purpose. Knowing how
ready-witted women are in general, and their fondness for tricks and
intrigues, it occurred to me that my foster-sister, from her position
near the queen, might be able to give me material assistance.

In the morning, after worshipping the gods, I began to question the
old woman as to her knowledge of the interior of the palace, and asked
whether she had frequent opportunities of seeing her daughter.
Scarcely had she begun to answer my questions when I saw some one
coming towards us, and she exclaimed: "O, Pushkarika, behold our
master's son; that dear child whom I so carelessly lost in the forest
was found and preserved, and is now restored to us."

Great was the daughter's delight at seeing me; and, when her agitation
had subsided, her mother said to her: "I was just beginning to tell my
dear son something of the arrangement of the palace, and the habits of
the inmates; but you can give him the required information much better
than I can."

In answer to this she told me all the arrangements of the palace, and
added: "The Queen Kalpasundari, the daughter of the sovereign of
Kumâra, is exceedingly beautiful and accomplished. She despises her
husband, who is exceedingly ugly; but though unkindly treated, and
neglected, she has hitherto been faithful to him."

Hearing this, I said to her: "Whenever you have an opportunity, dwell
on the king's licentiousness; find out, if possible, his scandalous
amours; make much of them; tell her how other women have behaved in
similar circumstances; in short, do everything to stir up her
indignation and jealousy against him; and, as soon as possible, let me
know what she says. You may help me greatly in this affair; therefore
be diligent and observant, and be as much as possible with your
mistress."

Then I said to the old woman: "You must also play your part. You can
be introduced to the queen as a woman skilled in charms and
fortune-telling. When you get her to listen to you, make the most of
the opportunity, and second your daughter's endeavours."

They both promised to do their utmost. After they were gone I took a
small house, close to the wall of the royal gardens, and waited
patiently for the result.

After some days the old woman came to me, and said: "Darling, we have
done exactly as you wished. The queen has taken a great fancy to me,
is very indignant with her husband, and thinks herself greatly to be
pitied. What is now to be done?"

I then painted a portrait of myself, and said: "Show this to the
queen; she will no doubt admire it, and say: 'Is this a portrait or a
fancy picture?' Then do you answer: 'Suppose it should be a portrait
of some living person; what then?' And whatever she says in reply let
me know as soon as possible."

The next day she came to me again, and said: "When I showed your
portrait to the queen, she gazed at it a long time, and seemed lost in
admiration; then she exclaimed, 'Who can have painted this? Is it
possible that such a handsome man can exist in the world? Surely there
is no one here like this!' I answered, 'O lady, your admiration is
quite natural, such a handsome man is very rarely to be found, but
still there might be such a one; and if this should be really the
portrait of a young man, longing to see you--not only thus handsome,
but of good birth, very learned, accomplished, and good-tempered
--what would you say then?' 'What would I say? I say, that if he will
be mine, all that I can give him in return, myself, my heart, my body,
my life, will be all too little. But surely you are only deceiving me;
there never can be such a charming person as this picture represents.'

"In answer to this, I said: 'I am not deceiving you. There is really
such a person, a young prince, who is staying here in disguise; he saw
you when you were walking in the public park, at the feast of Spring,
and immediately became a mark for the arrows of Kâma. Moved by his
entreaties, and seeing how suited you are to each other, I have
ventured to take this means of making his passion known to you. If you
will but consent to see him, however difficult access to you may be,
his courage, prudence, and ingenuity are so great, that he will
certainly effect it; only say what your pleasure is.' Then, finding
her quite disposed to see you, I told her your real name and birth.
After reflecting some time, she said, 'Mother, I will not conceal from
you a circumstance which his name brings to my memory. My father was a
great friend of the deposed king, and their queens were very much
attached to each other. It was settled between them, that if the one
had a son, and the other a daughter, the two children should be
engaged for marriage; but when the Queen Priyamvada had lost her sons,
my father gave me in marriage to Vikatavarma. This young prince was
really destined to be my husband, and I ought to have had him, instead
of that ugly wretch, who is stupid, ignorant of all the arts of
pleasing, brutal, rebellious, cruel, boastful, false, and, above all,
most insulting in his behaviour to me; only yesterday he ill-treated
my favourite attendant, Pushkarika, and gathered flowers from a plant
which I had especially cherished, to give to one of his paramours, a
low vulgar woman, who is trying to put herself on an equality with me.
He is in every way unsuited to me, and my misery is so great, that I
am ready to catch at any means of escape from it. It was wretched
enough while I thought on no one else, but now that I have heard of
this charming young man, and seen his portrait, I will endure it no
longer, whatever the consequences may be. Therefore, let him come
to-morrow evening to the Madhavi bower in the garden. I am impatient
to see him; even the hearing of him has filled my heart with love.'"

When the old nurse had given me this account, I determined to risk the
adventure, and obtained from her a minute description of the garden,
the direction of the road and paths, the exact situation of the
summerhouse where I was to meet the queen, and where the guards were
stationed.

Having carefully impressed all these details on my memory, I waited
impatiently for the following night, and lay down to rest. As I lay I
thought on the difficulty of the enterprise, of the sin of seducing
the wife of another, and of what Râjavâhana and my other friends would
say to such conduct. On the other hand, I seemed to be justified by
the object I had in view; the liberation of my parents.

Perplexed with these conflicting thoughts I fell asleep, and dreamed
that Vishnu appeared to me, and said: "Go on boldly, without
hesitation; what you are about to do, though it may seem sinful, is
approved of by me." Encouraged by this vision, I rose in the morning,
fully confirmed in my purpose. The tedious day came at last to an end,
and darkness set in.

When the proper time arrived, I put on a close-fitting dark dress,
girded on my sword, and set out on the dangerous enterprise.

Concealed at the edge of the ditch, I found a long bamboo, which the
old woman had procured for me. This I laid across, and so got to the
bottom of the wall. Then, cautiously raising it, I climbed to the top,
just where a large heap of bricks had been piled up inside. Using
these as steps, I got safely to the ground, and walked northward,
through an avenue of champaka trees, where, as a favourable omen, I
heard the low murmuring cry of a pair of chakravâkas. Taking an
almost opposite direction, I saw before me what appeared to be a great
building, and it was only by touching it that I found it to be a clump
of trees. Going eastward, and turning once more to the south, I passed
through some mango trees, and saw the light of a lantern shining among
the leaves. I then knew that I was right, and went straight up to the
bower, inside of which was a summer-house, with steps leading up to
it, and spread with soft twigs and flowers for a carpet. The room was
furnished with a handsome couch, a golden water-jar, trays of flowers,
fans, &c. After I had been seated a short time, I heard the tinkling
of ornaments and smelt a powerful perfume. Rising up hastily, I
slipped out, and stood concealed by the shrubs outside. Presently I
saw the lady enter; she looked about her, and not seeing me, was
evidently disappointed and distressed. I heard her say, with a sad low
voice, "Alas! I am deceived, he is not coming; O my heart, how can
this be borne? O adorable Kâma, what have I done to offend thee, that
thou thus burnest me and dost not reduce me to ashes?"

Having heard this, I made my appearance, and said: "O lovely lady, do
you ask how you have offended Kâma? You have given him great offence,
since you disparage his beloved Rati by your form, his bow by your
arched eyebrows, his arrows by your glances, his great friend, the
perfumed wind of Malaya, by your sweet breath, the notes of his
favourite bird by your voice. For all this Kâma justly torments you.
But I have done nothing to offend him; why should he so distress me?
Have pity on me, and cure the wound inflicted by the serpent of love,
with the life-giving antidote of an affectionate look."

Delighted at seeing me, she required no entreaty on my part, and
readily yielded to my embrace; and, sitting down on the couch, we
conversed as though we had been long acquainted.

At last the time for separation arrived, and I rose up to go; but she
with tears detained me, saying: "When you depart, my life seems to
follow. If you go, let me go with you."

I answered: "O my beloved, that is impossible. If you love me, be
guided by me, and we shall soon meet again, not to be parted."

This she readily promised, and I told her exactly what was to be done.
Then quitting her with reluctance, I returned safely by the way I had
come, and she went back to the palace.

The next day she showed the picture to the king, who greatly admired
it, and asked her where she had got it. She told him: "I have lately
made acquaintance with a very wonderful old woman, who has travelled
over many countries and seen many strange things; she is very skilful
in charms, and has brought me this picture, saying: 'It has very great
magical powers, and so confident am I in their efficacy that I ask for
no payment or reward until you have fully proved them.' She tells me
that if certain ceremonies are performed, and mantras which she has
taught me, are recited in a retired spot at midnight, I shall be
changed to a person exactly resembling the portrait, and shall have
the power of transferring that form to you while I regain my own
shape. I have thought it right to tell you this; but do not act
hastily: show the picture to your ministers and consult them."

The king, greatly astonished, but very desirous of obtaining such a
handsome body, asked the opinion of his counsellors and younger
brothers, and they saw no reason why the experiment should not be
tried.

The hour of midnight on the day of full moon was therefore appointed
for the ceremony, and there was much talk in the city about it.

"O the wonderful power of magic! Through the skill of the queen, the
king will obtain a new body fit for a god."

"But is there no danger?"

"How can there be danger when the ceremony is to be performed by his
own queen, in his own private gardens, where no stranger can enter?
Besides, have not the learned and clever ministers and counsellors
approved of it, and is it likely that they would be deceived?"

The city was full of such talk as this, and the people awaited with
impatience the night appointed for the working of the miracle.

When the time arrived a great heap was made in a part of the garden
where four roads met, not far from the summer-house, with large
quantities of sandal-wood, lignaloes, and other sweet-smelling woods,
camphor, silk dresses, sesamum, saffron, and various spices; and
several animals, duly slaughtered by the priests, were laid upon it;
and the fire having been lighted, every one withdrew except the king
and queen. She then said to him: "You know how faithless you have been
to me, and with this handsome body you will be a much greater
attraction to other women. I know the fickleness of your disposition.
Can you expect that I will confer on you this beauty for the sake of
my rivals?"

Then he threw himself at her feet, and said "O my darling, forgive my
transgressions. I swear by everything solemn that in future I will
keep to you only, and not even think of any other woman."

After these and many other protestations, she appeared to be
satisfied, and said: "Now withdraw to that clump of trees, and stay
there till I ring the bell; then you may come again to the fire and
see the wonderful change in me."

Meanwhile, under cover of the thick smoke arising from the burning of
all those substances, I had climbed the wall as before, and was
standing in the summer-house when the queen came in. She said:
"Everything is ready. I regard myself now as entirely yours; nothing
shall part us any more;" and, throwing her arms round my neck, she
kissed me again and again.

Saying to her, "Stay here concealed while I finish the work," I
quitted her, went to the place of sacrifice, and rang a bell hanging
on a neighbouring tree; and the sound summoned the king, like a
messenger of death.

He found me standing by the fire, throwing on it more sandal-wood,
lignaloes, and other precious things; and as he stood gazing in fear
and astonishment, and hardly believing his eyes, I said to him:
"Remember what you have promised, and now swear to me again, taking
this sacred fire as a witness, that you will renounce all other women,
and keep to me only."

He answered: "O queen, there is no deceit in me. I will do all that I
have promised," and he repeated his former oaths.

But as if not satisfied with this, I said: "I must have some other
proof of your sincerity. Tell me some of your state secrets."

Then he told me: "My father's brother, Prahâravarma, has been for a
long time in prison; with the consent of my ministers, I intend to
poison him, and give out that he has died of old age and infirmities.

"I am preparing an army, to be commanded by my brother, for the
invasion of Pundra without any declaration of war.

"There is a merchant here possessed of a diamond of immense value. I
'am contriving a plan by which I shall get it from him at a tenth of
its worth.

"There is a man of wealth and influence very displeasing to me. I have
engaged a certain person, named Satahali, the governor of the
district, to bring a false accusation against him, and by that means
to stir up the people, and so cause his death in a popular tumult,
which will take away all blame or suspicion from me."

When I had heard all these things, saying, "Die the death which your
wicked deeds deserve," I suddenly seized him by the throat, stabbed
him in a moment to the heart, and threw the body into the great fire,
where it was quickly consumed; after which I went back to the queen,
who was anxiously awaiting me. Though much agitated, she was more
relieved at having got rid of that wretch than shocked at the manner
of his death; and having quieted and consoled her without much
difficulty, I went at once with her to her apartments.

On seeing him, whom they believed to be the king, so changed, the
women and attendants who met us were evidently much astonished, but so
much had been said beforehand about the wonderful transformation to be
expected, that no one seemed to doubt that I was really the king with
a new body; and having said a few words of encouragement to them, I
was received with great respect.

The rest of the night was passed in hearing from the queen as much as
possible about the court, the ministers, &c., so that I might not
appear to be ignorant of what the king must have known, when I should
meet them on the morrow.

In the morning, after the performance of due worship of the gods, I
met the ministers in council, and they also were so convinced of the
power of magic that they did not hesitate to acknowledge me as their
master, expressing their delight at the happy change.

Then I said to them: "With this new body I have new feelings and
purposes. I repent of my cruelty to my uncle, and instead of getting
rid of him as I had intended, it is my pleasure that he shall be taken
from prison and treated with all proper respect.

"That diamond, of which I had intended to get possession, must not be
obtained by fraudulent means. If I should decide on having it, I will
pay the full price."

To the brother who had been appointed to command the army, I said:
"Dear brother, our purpose is changed with regard to that invasion.
You will only watch the frontier; and if there is any beginning of war
on the part of the Pundras, attack them vigorously; but not
otherwise."

I sent also for Satahali, and said: "You know that I wished to get
rid of Anantasíra, because he was suspected of being a partisan of the
deposed king. Now that I am reconciled to my uncle, there is no
occasion for anything to be done to him; you will therefore take no
further steps in that affair."

When the ministers heard all this, and perceived me to be acquainted
with secrets known only to the king and themselves, they were quite
confirmed in their first impression; and while congratulating me and
the queen, were loud in their praise of the power of magic.

My parents were immediately liberated from prison; and having been
informed by the old nurse of what had been done by me, were quite
prepared when I went to them in public; and afterwards, when we met
in private, were able to give way to their feelings of affection and
delight at seeing me again.

After a short time, with the consent of my wife, I resigned the crown,
and reinstated my parents in their former position; retaining for
myself the dignity of heir-apparent.

Soon afterwards, a letter arrived from Sinhavarma, an old friend of my
father's, congratulating him on his restoration, and asking for help
against Chandavarma, who was marching to attack him. Upon which I
hastily equipped an army, and marched to his assistance; and have now
had the great happiness of meeting with you, as well as of helping to
defeat the enemy.

Râjavâhana having heard this story, smiled, and said: "Truly, our
friend here has committed great sins; but how can I blame him when
his motives were so good, and he had the praiseworthy object of
liberating from a long imprisonment those who are so dear to him, and
of punishing the usurper and oppressor? His courage and ingenuity have
been great; and I congratulate him on his success."

Then turning to Arthapâla, he said: "Do you relate your adventures."
And he immediately began his story in the following manner:--

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF ARTHAPÂLA.


My Lord, having the same object as your other friends, I wandered
about over various countries in search of you. In the course of my
travels, I arrived one day at the sacred city of Benâres. There I
bathed in the pure crystal water of the river; and duly worshipped the
mighty god, the slayer of Andhaka, at his temple outside the city.
After finishing my devotions, I was going on my way, when I saw a
tall, stout man, carrying an iron club, with his eyes red and swelled
from weeping, and engaged in making a noose with his sash.

I thought to myself: "This man has fallen into some great calamity.
He is thinking of doing violence to himself or to others. I will see
if I can assist him." I therefore went up to him, and said: "This
conduct of yours seems to indicate some rash purpose. May I know the
cause of your grief? Perhaps I may be able to help you."

He hesitated for a moment, and looked very hard at me; but at last he
said: "What harm can there be in telling you? You shall know my
troubles, if you wish to learn them."

Then we sat down together under a shady tree, and he began his tale as
follows: "O, fortunate sir, I was once as happy as you appear to be.
My father was in good circumstances, and brought me up carefully; but
I preferred a wild, dissipated life, and at last became a robber. One
night I broke into the house of a rich man in this city, was caught
in the act, and condemned to death.

"My hands were fettered by being passed through holes in a heavy piece
of wood; and in this state I was led out for execution into a public
square, where a furious elephant was brought forward to trample me to
death. When he came near me, I shouted as loudly as possible, in order
to frighten him; and lifting up my arms, gave him a violent blow on
the trunk. Upon this, he turned away; and as I continued to shout out
and abuse him, all the efforts of the driver to make him attack me
were in vain.

"Again and again, with much difficulty, the driver brought him in
front of me; but each time, instead of attacking me, he turned back,
alarmed by my menacing appearance and loud shouts; and at last ran
right away, leaving me uninjured.

"The courage which I had shown was observed by the king's chief
minister, Kâmapâla, who was looking on from one of the towers of the
palace; and he sent for me, and said: 'You seem to be a very strong,
brave man. I did not think that elephant could have been so cowed by
any one. It is a pity that such qualities should not be better
employed. Are you willing, if you are pardoned, to forsake your evil
ways, and lead an honest life? If you will give me a promise to this
effect, I will take you into my service.'

"I gladly gave the promise which he required; and he obtained my
pardon, and became my protector and master; and I have served him
faithfully ever since. After some years, seeing my devotion to him, he
placed great confidence in me, and one day told me his own history.

"'There was,' said he, 'formerly at Pushpapuri a very learned and
pious man, named Dharmapâla, one of the king's ministers. His eldest
son was like him; but I, the youngest, was of a very different
disposition. I had no inclination for work or study; but thought only
of amusement, and spent my time among gamblers and disreputable
characters. My father and brother did all they could to restrain me;
but, impatient of their control, I left my home and friends, and
wandered about the world. One day I came to this city, Benâres, and
not long after my arrival, I made acquaintance with the king's
daughter, who, with her female friends, was playing at ball in a park
outside the town. We fell in love with each other; and I contrived, by
disguising myself as a woman, to enter her private apartments and to
have many secret meetings with her; the result of which was the birth
of a child.

"'The devoted attendants kept the whole affair secret, removed the
infant as soon as it was born, and telling the mother it was dead,
gave it to a savari woman, who carried it to the public cemetery and
left it there.

"'As she was returning; she was stopped by the watchmen, and in her
fright told them what she had done. Information was given to the king,
and further inquiry being made, my offence was discovered, and one
night I was arrested, while quietly sleeping unsuspicious of danger.
Being condemned to death, I was led to execution outside the city. By
a fortunate chance I got my hands free, and snatching the sword from
the executioner, laid about me so vigorously that all the men fell
back, and I made my escape to the forest. There I wandered about for
some time, subsisting on wild fruits and roots, and sleeping in the
trees.

"'While living this precarious life, I was one day astonished at
meeting a young lady, with many female attendants. She addressed me by
my name, and desired me to sit down with her, under a large tree.

"'When, with much surprise, I asked who she was, and how she came to
be in that wild forest, with such a retinue, and why I was so favoured
by her, she told me the reason of her coming, saying: My name is
Târâvali. I am the daughter of a chief Yaksha. A short time ago I
went to visit a friend, living on the Malaya Mountains, and while
flying through the air on my return, as I passed over the cemetery of
Benâres, I heard the cry of a child.

"'Moved with compassion, I alighted on the ground, took it up and
carried it to my father. He took it to our master, the god Kuvera, who
sent for me, and asked, "What induced you to bring this child?" "A
strong feeling of compassion," I answered, as if it had been my own.

"'You are right,' he replied; 'there is good reason for what you have
done;' and he showed me how, in a former existence, when you were
Sudraka and I Aryadâsi, the child, now born of the Princess Kantimati,
was ours; therefore, I am really your wife, and it was indeed a
maternal instinct which prompted me to save the infant. Kuvera,
however, would not allow me to keep the boy, but ordered me to take
him to the Queen Vasumati, that he might be brought up together with
her son, who will one day become a great monarch.

"Having performed the command of the god, I am permitted by him to
find you out, and relieve you from your present distress."

"So saying, she embraced me, and afterwards took me to a fairy palace
in the forest, furnished with all comforts and luxuries, where I
passed some time with her in great happiness.

"One day, when she was expressing her great love for me, I said: 'I
have a strong desire to take some vengeance on the king who would have
put me to death.' Upon which, with a smile, she said, 'Ah! you wish
to see Kantimati; I am not jealous, I will take you to her.'

"Then lifting me up, she bore me through the air to the palace, and
without disturbing the guards, placed me at the bedside of the king.

"Grasping a sword lying near him, I awakened him, and said: 'I am,
your son-in-law; I took your daughter without your consent, and am now
come to make submission and atone for my fault."

"Seeing the drawn sword held over him he was much alarmed, and said:
'I must have been mad to act as I did and reject such a son-in-law; I
will now acknowledge you, and you shall duly marry my daughter.'

"He kept his word, the next day announced the intended marriage to all
the court, and shortly afterwards publicly gave me his daughter.

"Târâvali remained with me, became great friends with her fellow-wife,
told her the story which she had related to me, and how her son had
been preserved and was taken care of by Queen Vasumati.

"Thus I have for some years lived happily, holding, as you know, a
very important office."

[End of the story of Kâmapâla as told to his servant.]

       *       *       *       *       *

"Some time after this, the death of the old king occurred, and as the
eldest son had died during his father's lifetime, of consumption
brought on by dissipation and debauchery; my master, together with the
other ministers, placed Sinhaghosha, a boy about five years old, on
the throne, and had him carefully educated.

"As the young king grew older, he was surrounded by companions nearer
his own age, and they not liking the restraint put upon them by the
wise and prudent Kâmapâla, endeavoured secretly to excite a prejudice
against him, saying, 'This fellow, who sets himself up to be so wise
and virtuous, is a wicked wretch, who first seduced the princess, and
then, having escaped the death he so well deserved, managed to get to
the bedside of the sleeping king, and to frighten him into compliance
with his demands. This Kâmapâla intends to make himself king; he
poisoned your eldest brother, and only spared you in order to obtain
the support of the people, knowing that the real power would remain in
his own hands. Depend on it you will not be suffered to live when you
are old enough to shake off his authority. If you wish to be safe you
should get rid of him at once.'

"With these, and other similar speeches, they so prejudiced the young
king against his guardian and minister, that he would gladly have got
rid of him at once, but was deterred by fear of the power of his
Yaksha wife.

"One day the queen, seeing the Princess Kantimati very sad, asked her
the reason of her sadness, saying, 'Tell me the truth; you cannot
deceive me; what is the cause of this depression?' 'Did I ever deceive
you?' she answered; 'my friend and fellow-wife, Târâvali, has taken
offence at something done or said by our husband, and though we tried
to soothe her, she went away, and has not returned; this is the cause
of my distress.'

"The queen hearing this, immediately told her husband, 'Kâmapâla has
quarrelled with his fairy wife, and she has left him. There is nothing
now to prevent your proceeding against him as you please.'

"Sinhaghosha, longing to be freed from restraint, caused his minister
to be arrested, when he came the next day to the palace, as usual,
unsuspicious of danger. This very day he will be led round the city,
be proclaimed a traitor, and have his eyes put out.

"I, having lost my only friend and protector, have no wish to live,
and was fastening my sash to hang myself, when you interrupted me."

When Purnabhadra had finished this story, I said to him, "I am that
child who was exposed in the cemetery, and saved by the fairy. My
coming here is indeed opportune, and with your assistance I will
engage to deliver my father. I would boldly attack the guards as they
lead him round the city, but fear, lest in the confusion he might be
killed, when all my exertions would have been in vain; some other plan
must therefore be thought of."

While I was thus speaking to him a serpent put out his head from a
hole near me, and, knowing how to charm serpents, I made it come
forth, and secured it.

Then I said to Purnabhadra: "O friend, this is just what I wanted. I
will mix with the crowd when my father is led round, let this serpent
fall on him as if by chance, and then run up to him and say that I am
skilled in charms, and can save his life. No doubt they will allow me
to try, and I will stop the effect of the poison in such a manner that
he will not die, and yet remain insensible, as if dead. Meanwhile, do
you go to my mother, ask to see her in private, and tell her that the
son whom she had lost is now here. Explain to her my plan for saving
my father, and say that when she hears of the death of her husband,
she must go to the king as if in the greatest grief, and ask for
permission to burn herself together with the dead body. When this
request is granted, as no doubt it will be, she must prepare the
funeral pile, and make ready for self-immolation, laying the
apparently dead body on a couch in a private room till I come, when I
will tell her what is further to be done."

Purnabhadra, delighted with the plan which I proposed, no longer
wished to destroy himself. He set out at once to do as I had directed
him, and I went immediately into the city. There I saw great crowds
already collected, and ascertained where the executioner would stand
when the proclamation was made.

Overhanging the place, there happened to be a large tree, with thick
foliage. Into this I climbed, and waited patiently, listening to the
talk of the people collected underneath.

Presently the executioner and his men came, bringing the prisoner, and
the proclamation was made three times.

"Know all men that this traitor, Kâmapâla, has not only poisoned the
late king and his eldest son, but has been convicted of plotting
against the life of his present majesty; he endeavoured to persuade
two of the king's faithful attendants to administer poison, but they
have given information, and his life is justly forfeited; the king,
however, in consideration of his being a brahman, and nearly
connected with himself, has spared his life, and only sentenced him to
have his eyes put out. Let all evil-doers take warning by his
punishment."

While this proclamation was being read, I climbed to a branch of the
tree just over my father, and dropped on him the poisonous serpent,
which immediately bit him. In the confusion which ensued, I slipped
down from the tree, and, having mixed with the crowd, managed, while
shouting out "This is a just punishment from heaven; so may all
traitors perish," to get close to my father, and quickly applied a
charm in such a manner that, though he fell down apparently dead, the
effect of the poison was stopped. The executioner being also bitten;
and his assistants, as well as the crowd of spectators, being alarmed
and dispersed from dread of the poisonous serpent; this act of mine
was not noticed.

Meanwhile, my mother, who had been prepared by Purnabhadra to hear of
her husband's death, went immediately to the king, attended by a large
number of friends, and said; "The gods know if my husband was your
enemy or not; I will not now attempt to defend him; but, whether he
was innocent or guilty, your anger should cease now he is dead. I pray
you to allow me to burn his body, and according to the custom of
widows of my rank, to ascend the funeral pile together with him. Were
I not to perform this duty, disgrace would fall on you and on the
whole family, as well as on myself."

The king, well pleased to have got rid of the obnoxious minister,
without incurring the sin of killing him, exclaimed: "This death is
indeed the act of fate!" And, immediately granting her request,
permitted the body of Kâmapâla to be taken to his own house, where I
had by that time arrived, and was ready to receive it.

Meanwhile, my mother prepared for death, and, resisting all the
entreaties of her friends and servants, expressed her determination to
be burnt together with her husband.

When everything for the funeral was arranged, she came into the
private room, where the body had been laid, and there saw her husband
fully recovered, and me sitting by him. Great was her delight and
astonishment at this wonderful and sudden change; and having first
embraced her husband, she threw her arms round me, and, with a voice
broken by sobs of joy, said: "O, my darling son, how can I deserve
such happiness?--I, who so cruelly abandoned you at your birth, and
suffered you to be taken away, as if dead? but your father was not to
blame for that; he, indeed, deserves to have been restored to life by
you, and to have the happiness of seeing you. Cruel, indeed, was
Târâvali, who, when she had received you again from Kuvera, did not
bring you at once to me; but what could I expect from her? It is
through her unkindness in leaving us that all this misfortune has
happened; but I must not complain; I was not worthy, without previous
suffering, to enjoy such great happiness. Come and embrace me."

Saying this, she again threw her arms round me, and kissed me
repeatedly, trembling with emotion, and shedding many tears of joy.
My father's feelings were scarcely less excited. He seemed to have
risen from the lowest depth of misery to the summit of felicity, and
esteemed himself more fortunate than even Indra the King of the Gods.

When we were all somewhat calmed, and I had explained to my father all
that had occurred, I said: "There is much yet to be done; the king
will soon find out the deception which has been practised, and send to
arrest you again; so we must consider how we can defend ourselves."

My father answered: "This house is a very large one; the walls are
strong; there are many secret passages; I have a great store of
weapons; my servants are brave and faithful, so that we could hold out
for several days. Besides this I have many friends in the city; most
of the authorities will favour me; many of the soldiers will be on my
side, and there are many persons discontented and ready to rebel
against the king. Therefore, if we act prudently, we shall have much
assistance, and be able to cut off that tyrant."

With this I entirely agreed, and we prepared for defence. As I had
expected, the king, finding how he had been deceived, sent soldiers to
take us; but, though they made many attempts, we drove them back day
after day, with very small loss to ourselves.

Meanwhile, fearing lest we should at last be overpowered, if something
more were not done, I determined, if possible, to seize the person of
the king; and, as my father's house was not far from the palace, I
began to make an underground passage inside, in order to reach his
sleeping-room, the exact position of which I had learnt from my
father. After digging for some distance, I came, to my great
astonishment, into a large, lofty, well-lighted room, occupied by a
number of women, among whom was a young lady of surpassing beauty,
resembling the wife of Kâma, or the tutelary goddess of the city, who
had hidden herself here to avoid the sight of so much wickedness
above.

The women were equally astonished at seeing me, and ran away, alarmed,
into other adjoining rooms. One old woman, however, remained behind,
and, falling at my feet, said "Have pity on us poor helpless women;
surely thou art a god, for no mortal could have thus found his way
hither. O tell us why thou art come."

"Calm yourself," I answered, "You have nothing to fear from me. I am
Arthapâla, the son of the minister Kâmapâla and the Princess
Kantimati, and have come thus unexpectedly on you while making an
underground passage from my father's house to the palace; but tell me
who you all are, and how you come to be living here."

"O prince," she answered, "I had heard of your birth, but not of your
preservation, and happy am I now to see you. Know that the young lady
whom you have just seen is the granddaughter of your maternal
grandfather, Chandasinha. The eldest son of that king died before his
father, leaving his wife pregnant, and she lost her life in giving
birth to this daughter, who was committed to my care. One day the king
sent for me, and said: 'I intend this child when grown up to be given
in marriage to Darpasâra, son of the King of Mâlwa; and, remembering
the misconduct of her aunt, I am determined that nothing of the kind
shall happen with her. I have therefore caused a spacious palace to be
made underground, and have furnished it with provisions and all other
necessaries for even a hundred years. I have great confidence in you;
you will therefore go down into this subterranean dwelling, taking
with you the princess and such attendants as you may think desirable,
and will remain there until she is grown up, when I shall fetch you
from below, and give her in marriage as I have intended.' So saying,
he lifted up a small trap-door in the court-yard close to his own
apartment, and showed me the steps leading to this place. The next day
we all came down, and have remained here ever since. Twelve years have
now passed, and the king seems to have forgotten us. I must tell you
also that the princess, though destined by her grandfather for
Darpasâra, was originally intended for you; for her mother, while the
child was as yet unborn, promised that her daughter should become the
wife of the son of Kantimati if he should ever return. Look on her,
therefore, as your intended, and do what is best for us."

Having received this account from the old woman, I told her to have no
fear on the princess's account, but to trust entirely in me, and that
I would soon liberate them from their long and tedious imprisonment.

She then took a lamp and showed me the steps leading to the trap-door,
which I forced open, and soon found my way into the king's bed-room.
There, before he was sufficiently awake to call for help, I seized,
gagged, and bound him, and dragging him along, as an ichneumon drags a
serpent, past the astonished women and through the tunnel which I had
made, I brought him, trembling with fear and bowed down by shame, to
my father's house, and showed him to my parents, telling them how I
had captured him, and how I had discovered the princess in the
subterranean palace.

When the seizure of the king was known, those who were previously
well-disposed to my father immediately joined us, and all opposition
ceased.

Soon afterwards I married the princess, who looked on me as her
deliverer from the dungeon; Sinhaghosha was deposed; and I, having
double claim to the throne, was acknowledged king in his stead.

Hearing that the King of Anga, a devoted friend of your father, was at
war, and attacked by a strong enemy, we have marched hither with an
army to his assistance, and I have had the pleasure of helping to
deliver him from his enemies, and the still greater happiness of
meeting with you. I now beg of you to decide what shall be done with
the deposed king, our prisoner, whom we have brought with us. My
mother is very anxious to liberate him, but hitherto it has not been
thought safe to do so.

The prince answered: "Let that unworthy young man be freed, on
condition of giving up all claim to the throne and leading a private
life; and let him devote himself to pious meditation, which is the
purifier of evil deeds." Then turning with a kind look to Pramati, he
said: "Do you now relate your adventures," with which request he at
once complied:--

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF PRAMATI.


My lord, while wandering like the rest of your friends in search of
you, I found myself one evening in a large forest, far from any
habitation. Thinking it useless to attempt to go further in an unknown
country and in darkness, I prepared to sleep there. Having bathed in
the water of a small lake, and made myself a bed of leaves, I lay down
under a large tree, commending myself to the deities presiding over
the place, and was very soon asleep.

Presently a strange and delightful feeling came over me, gladdening my
inmost soul; and I awoke, hardly knowing whether what I saw was a
reality or a dream, for on looking round me I saw that I was no longer
in the forest, but in a very large and lofty room, lying on a soft
couch with white muslin curtains; all around me were a number of
sleeping women. Among them my eyes were especially attracted towards a
young lady of exceeding beauty, lying in a very graceful attitude,
covered only by a silken petticoat, her bosom slowly rising and
falling, and her bud-like lower lip quivering with the soft movement
of the breath in quiet sleep.

Lost in astonishment, I said to myself; "What has become of that great
forest wrapt in darkness? How is my bed of leaves exchanged for this
soft couch? Whence is this dome above me, lofty as the great temple of
Siva? Who are all these lovely women, like a troop of Apsaras lying
down wearied with play? And who can this beautiful lady be? She
cannot be a goddess, for the gods do not sleep thus, nor do they
perspire, and I see the drops breaking forth on her forehead. She must
then be a mortal; but O how lovely! how peacefully she sleeps, as if
she had never known the anxieties of love! My heart is drawn towards
her."

With these thoughts I rose up and approached the bed where she lay,
and stood looking at her as if entranced, becoming every moment more
enamoured, longing to touch her, but held back by the fear of
disturbing her.

While I was thus gazing, she gradually awoke, and raising herself into
a sitting posture, looked at me attentively with eyes more than half
closed. At first her lips were opened, as if she were about to cry
out; but, apparently restrained by some secret power, she remained
silent, trembling all over, and showing in her countenance the signs
of mingled doubt, fear, astonishment, bashfulness, and love; till at
last, overcome again by sleep, she slowly sank down again on the bed.

Almost at the same time I felt myself irresistibly overcome by
drowsiness, and was very soon fast asleep.

When I awoke, I found myself on the bed of leaves once more, alone in
the gloomy forest, and day was beginning to appear.

When I was quite awake I had some difficulty in collecting my
thoughts, and I said to myself: "Can all this of which I have such a
vivid impression be other than a reality, or was it only a dream, a
magical delusion? Whatever it may be, I will not quit this place till
I find out the truth, and I will place myself under the protection of
the deity who sent the vision."

Having formed this resolution, I was waiting where I had slept, when I
saw approaching me a female form faded like a flower scorched by the
sun, with eyes red from weeping, lips parched by the hot breath of
sighs, wearing a scanty black dress, without ornaments, and with her
hair in a single braid, like an affectionate wife mourning for the
absence of her husband;[6] and with all this having an air of divine
dignity, which made me regard her with reverence, and think that she
might be the tutelary goddess of the place, to whom I had commended
myself; and I prostrated myself before her. But she raised me up with
her arms, and after kissing me again and again, said, with a voice
broken by tears and sobs, "O, my darling, surely you have heard from
the Queen Vasumati how one night a fairy appeared to her, and placing
the child Arthapâla[7] in her arms, told her husband's name and her
own; and how the child was brought by order of Kuvera; and then
disappeared. I am that fairy--your mother. Bewildered by unreasonable
jealousy and anger, I abandoned my husband, your father, Kâmapâla; and
for that sin I was cursed by Durgâ, who condemned me to be possessed
by an evil spirit for a year. That year, which seemed to me like a
thousand years, is ended; and I am now come from the great festival
of Siva, where I have met my relations, who had assembled there, and
have received full pardon from the goddess.

"In my way thither, I passed by this place, saw you about to lie down,
and heard your prayer to the local deity.

"Being still partly under the influence of the curse, I did not
recognise you as my son. Yet even as a stranger I felt an interest in
you, and could not bear the thought of leaving you exposed to danger
in such a wild place. I therefore waited till you were fast asleep;
and having considered where I could deposit you while I was gone to
meet the goddess, since I could not take you with me, it occurred to
me to carry you to the palace of the King of Sravasti, and leave you
to sleep there till my return. I therefore carried you through the
air, and placed you in the sleeping apartment of the Princess
Navamâlika, feeling sure that no one would disturb you there. I then
went to the temple; and after paying due worship to Siva, and
receiving the congratulations of my assembled friends, I was dismissed
by the goddess, who said: 'You are forgiven; the curse is ended; go
and be happy with your husband.' After which I returned to the palace;
and taking you up, brought you to this place, and laid you, still
sleeping, on your bed of leaves. Since then, I have been watching for
your awaking; for as soon as the curse was removed, I knew you to be
my son.

"I must now leave you, and go to your father. I know what passed in
the palace; how you have fallen in love with the princess, and her
feelings towards you. Do not despond; before long you will see her
again."

She then warmly embraced me; and saying: "I go with reluctance,
farewell for the present," she departed.

Having thus found the supposed dream to be a reality, and that the
lady whom I had seen was the Princess Navamâlika, I was confirmed in
my love, and set out for Sravasti, determined, if possible, to see her
again.

On the road, I came to a village where there was a large fair and a
great concourse of traders. Various amusements were going on; among
others, a cock-fight, which I stopped to look at, and sat down near an
old brahman, who was watching the fight with great interest. On seeing
me smile, he asked the reason; and I answered: "What simpletons some
of the breeders here must be to pit a Balâka cock against one of the
Nârikela breed, which is sure to win."

With a knowing look, he whispered to me: "Hush! these blockheads know
no better. I see you are a sharp fellow; sit quiet and say nothing."
Then he offered me betel and pawn from his box; and we got into
conversation.

Meanwhile, the birds fought furiously; and there was much vociferation
on both sides; but, as I had predicted, the Balâka cock was beaten.
The old man was delighted at the victory of the other, which was his
own. He seemed to have taken a great liking to me, though our ages
were so different, and invited me to his house, where I was very
hospitably treated, and passed the night.

The next morning he accompanied me some distance on the way to
Sravasti; and said, at parting: "Remember, I am your friend; do not
hesitate to apply to me if there is anything in which I can help you."

After he had left me, I continued my journey; and arriving late and
very tired at Sravasti, I lay down to sleep in an arbour in one part
of the park outside the city. There I slept soundly till awakened by
the noise of the swans and other birds in a lake not far off.

Soon after I had risen, I heard the tinkling of anklets, and saw a
young lady walking towards me, with a painted canvas in her hand. When
she came near, she looked first at me, and then at the painting. This
she did several times, and was evidently surprised and pleased at the
comparison On casting an eye on the picture, I also was much
surprised, finding it to be a portrait of myself.

Feeling sure that the likeness could not be accidental, and that there
must be some reason for her making the comparison and seeming so
pleased at the result, I would not at first make any inquiry of her,
but merely said: "This is a public place; we need not stand on
ceremony; pray sit down with me." This she did; and we got into
conversation about the news of the town.

At last she said to me: "You seem to be quite a stranger here, and
look as if you were travel-tired. Will you be offended if I ask you to
come and rest at my house?"

"Offended!" I answered. "You do me a very great favour; I shall be
most delighted to accept your invitation." Upon this, she rose, and I
followed her to her house, where I was most kindly entertained. When I
was refreshed with bathing and food, she said to me: "You have been
travelling about in various countries. Have you, in your travels, met
with any very extraordinary adventure?"

On hearing this question, I thought: "I have now good ground for hope.
The picture represents that very room which I saw, with its lofty
ceiling and white canopies--even the bed where the princess was lying.
Instigated by love, she has doubtless painted my portrait from
recollection; and, in the hope that I may be discovered through the
likeness, has entrusted it to this lady who has now invited me to her
house. She evidently thinks that I am the person; but hesitates to
put a direct question to me. If I am right, I will soon remove her
doubt."

I asked her, therefore: "Will you allow me to examine that picture?"
She put it into my hand; and I drew on it the princess lying as I had
seen her; and giving it back, said: "One night, while sleeping in a
forest, I had a very wonderful dream. I found myself lying in just
such a room as that which is represented in this painting; and saw
there a very beautiful young lady, such as I have painted here; could
that have been anything more than a dream?"

When she heard this, her face lighted up, and she answered: "That was
no dream, but a reality; and you are indeed the person I was looking
for." Then she told me the whole story; how the princess had seen and
fallen in love with me; and how she had painted that picture and
given it to her friend, that it might be the means of discovering me;
and how delighted she would now be to hear that I was found at last.

I begged her to assure the princess that I was even more anxious to
see her, and had come to Sravasti solely from the hope of finding her.

"If your friend is disposed to favour me," I continued, "beg her to
wait patiently a few days; I will arrange a plan which will enable us
to be together in her apartments, without danger to either of us." To
this she agreed, and having taken leave of her, I went back to the
village where the old brahman lived, whom I had met at the cock-fight.
I found him at home, and delighted to see me. After I was rested and
refreshed, he asked me, "What has brought you back so soon? is there
anything in which you require my assistance?"

"There is,"' I answered, "a very important affair, in which you can
materially assist me. The King of the Sravastans, Dharmavardhana,[8]
whose character corresponds with his name, has a very beautiful
daughter. By an extraordinary chance, I have seen and fallen in love
with her. I have reason to believe that she was equally struck by me,
but know not how to contrive a meeting between us without your help;
will you therefore assist me?"

"What is your plan?" he asked, "and how can I be of service in
carrying it out?"

"My plan is this," I replied. "I will dress as a woman, and pass for
your daughter; and you are so clever and ready-witted, that I think
you will be able to get me into the palace as a companion to the
princess, and even to manage so that she shall become my wife." Then I
told him how I thought this might be accomplished; and he quite
approved of what I proposed, entered into it with great spirit, and
promised his ready co-operation.

Accordingly, the first day that the king was sitting in public to
administer justice, the old man approached, followed by me dressed as
a woman, walking modestly behind him, and bowing down to the king, he
said: "My lord, I have heard of your great beneficence, and how you
are the father of all your subjects, the protector and friend of the
helpless; I am therefore come to ask a great favour. This girl is my
only daughter. Her mother died soon after her birth. I have brought
her up, and she has never left me; but I am desirous now to be
relieved of this charge and to see her well married. A long time ago,
she was engaged to a young brahman, who went to Oujein, to study
there, and acquire the means of supporting a wife and family. I have
been expecting his return for some time, but have heard nothing of
him; I am, therefore, very uneasy on my daughter's account, and
purpose to go to Oujein, and find out whether he is alive or dead. I
cannot leave my daughter alone, and have no friend or near relation
with whom I can place her. Will your majesty deign to allow her to
remain under your protection until my return?"

To this the king graciously assented, and I was received into the
palace, where I soon found means of letting the princess know of my
disguise, and was taken into her apartments as one of her immediate
attendants.

Thus our wishes were gratified, and we enjoyed uninterrupted
intercourse with each other. But more was yet to be done, and when the
time was nearly arrived at which it had been arranged between me and
the old brahman that he was to come to fetch me, I said to my darling:
"To-morrow, as you know, there will be a procession to a certain holy
place near the river; you and your attendants will join in it and have
an opportunity of bathing there. While we are in the water, I will
scream out, as if drowning, and, diving underneath the surface, will
come up among the bushes a long way off, without being seen. Do you
appear greatly distressed at my death; but fear nothing, I shall soon
come to you again."

Accordingly, the next day, while bathing in the Ganges, I made it
appear as if I were accidentally carried out of my depth and drawn in
by one of the eddies of the river, and screamed out loudly for help.
My cries and screams and subsequent disappearance caused a great
commotion, and long search was made for my body; but of course in
vain, for I had dived under, and come to the surface unobserved among
the thick bushes at the place which had been agreed upon. There,
having gone on shore, I soon found the old brahman, who was waiting
for me with a suit of men's clothes, and, putting them on, I walked
quietly with him into the town.

The next day, as if he had heard nothing of the loss of his pretended
daughter, he went to the king, accompanied by me, and said "My lord, I
have returned from Oujein, and have brought with me this young man,
the intended husband of my daughter, with whom I am much pleased, and
whom I can confidently recommend to your favour, for I have heard an
exceedingly good report of him there. He is not only very learned in
the vedas and commentaries, advanced in science and arts, well
instructed in politics and history, clever in reciting stories and
poetry, but is a bold and skilful rider, a good archer and swordsman.
There is scarcely anything that a young man should know, with which he
is not familiar; and, with all this, he is free from conceit,
good-tempered, gentle, and kind; in short, he seems to me almost
perfect, and more fit to marry a princess than the daughter of such a
man as I am. When I have seen my child happily married to him, I shall
not trouble them with my society, but withdraw from the world, and
end my days in a hermitage. I have now come to take back my daughter,
with the most humble and heartfelt gratitude for the gracious
protection which you have so kindly afforded her." With these words he
bowed himself to the ground in humble obeisance.

On hearing this the king was greatly perplexed, and obliged to admit
that the girl had been drowned while bathing, and that her body had
not been found.

Then the old man began to tear his hair, beat his breast, and show
signs of the most extravagant grief, calling on the king to restore
his dear daughter, and reproaching him with having caused her death.
In vain did the king make him large offers of compensation; he refused
them all, declaring it to be his firm intention to put himself to
death at the gate of the palace, and so cause the sin to fall on the
king's head.[9]

He, despairing of finding any other way of appeasing the old man,
after some consideration and consultation with his ministers, said to
him: "You have told me that your intended son-in-law is a young man of
rare abilities, and more fit to be the husband of a princess than of
your daughter, and his appearance is very prepossessing; I offer him
then my daughter in the place of yours. Will this satisfy you?" Then
at last the old man professed to be contented; I was treated with much
honour, in due time became the husband of the princess, and reached
the summit of my wishes.

After a time, an army was sent by my father-in-law to the assistance
of the King of Anga, and, thinking of the possibility of meeting you
here, I solicited and obtained the command of it, and my hopes have
been fulfilled, since I have now the great pleasure of seeing you.

Having heard this story, the prince remarked: "You have done no deeds
of blood, but have gained your ends by gentleness and ingenuity. This
is the way approved of by the wise." Then turning to Mitragupta, he
said "It is now your turn," and he immediately began his story thus:--

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF MITRAGUPTA.


My lord, I set out on my travels in search of you, like the rest, and
arriving one day at Damalipta, I saw a great crowd collected in a
large park outside the city. While looking about me to find some one
of whom I might inquire what this festival was, I espied a young man,
sitting alone in an arbour, amusing himself with playing on a lute.
Going up to him, I asked "What is this concourse of people? Why do you
sit here alone, away from the others?"

He answered: "A long time ago, the king of this country, having no
children, made many prayers and offerings to the goddess Durgâ, in
the hope of propitiating her. At last she appeared to him in a dream,
and said: 'Your prayer is granted; your wife shall bear twins--a
daughter who must be your successor, and a son who must be subject to
her and to her husband when she marries. Further, it is my will and
pleasure that, beginning from her seventh year, you shall make, every
month when the moon is in the constellation Krittika (or the
Pleiades), a great festival, to be called the Festival of the Ball
Dance, at which she shall publicly exhibit her skill before the
people. I also will, that in reference to a husband, she shall have
free choice without any pressure on your part, and that he whom she
marries shall have equal power with her, and reign after your death.'

"The promise given in the dream was fulfilled. The queen bore
twins--a son and a daughter. The king has duly obeyed the commands of
the goddess, and to-day the princess, whose name is Kandukavati, will
again perform the ball dance for the propitiation of Durgâ in the
sight of the people here assembled.

"You asked me also why I am sitting here alone. I will tell you. The
Princess Kandukavati has a dear friend and foster-sister, who is
engaged to me.

"Of late, Bhimadhanwa, the brother of the princess, has cast his eyes
on her, and persecuted her with his importunities. Knowing his
character, I have great fear lest some day he should use violence
towards her. This is why I am so anxious and uneasy, and have no
inclination to join in the festivities."

Just then I heard the tinkling of anklets, and a young lady came to
the place where we were sitting.

On seeing her, my companion started up with great delight, and, taking
her by the hand, introduced her to me, saying: "This is the lady whom
I have told you of, dearer to me than life, the thought of separation
from whom, through the wickedness of that wretch, burns me like fire,
and causes me to suffer misery greater than death. I have no loyalty
or respect towards him, and will lose my life rather than suffer him
to accomplish his wicked purpose."

But she, with tears in her eyes, said: "O my beloved, do not on my
account engage in any act of violence; whatever might be the result,
your own life would, certainly be forfeited. You have continually
professed your great love for me; be guided now by my advice. I am
ready to follow you wherever you go; let us then fly from this
country, and go where we shall be safe from my persecutor."

My new acquaintance then turned to me, and said: "You seem to have
been a great traveller; tell us in what country we may be most in
safety and best able to live."

I smiled at this, and answered: "The world is wide, and there are
plenty of countries pleasant to live in; but, after all, one's own
country is the best; why should you banish yourselves? I think I can
contrive some means by which you will be enabled to remain here in
safety and comfort. Wait then a while, and if I cannot do this I will
tell you where it will be best for you to go."

Before we had time to say more, the young girl started up, saying: "I
dare not stay a moment longer. I have stopped away from my mistress
to see you, and now I hear her coming, and must join her directly. Any
one may see the princess at this festival; I hope you will have a good
view of her." Saying this to me, she ran off, and we both followed her
to the place where the princess was to perform--an open stage which
had been erected in the park.

Presently she made her appearance, followed by a train of female
attendants, and the moment I saw her my heart was drawn towards her. I
almost doubted whether she were a goddess or a mortal; but when she
began to play, I was even more captivated by her graceful movements
than I had been by her beauty.

First she made a low obeisance in honour of the goddess; then taking
up the bright red ball with her slender fingers, she let it drop as
if accidentally, and striking it as it rebounded, caught it on the
back of her hand and sent it high into the air; then she made it rise
and fall, at first slowly, then faster, and then very rapidly, keeping
time to it by graceful movements of the feet. Sometimes it seemed to
stand still, sometimes to fly up like a bird; at one time she would
strike it alternately with her right hand and left hand; at another
send it high into the air, dancing meanwhile to her own singing; then
the ball would go quite away, and come back as if of itself. Thus she
went on a long time amidst the applause of the surrounding spectators,
performing various graceful movements, striking the ball with feet as
well as hands, and even making it whirl round and round her so rapidly
that she seemed to be enclosed in a fiery red cage; now with one hand
holding up her dress or replacing her hair which had fallen down, and
keeping the ball in motion with the other; now taking several balls
and keeping them all in the air at once.

At last the performance was ended; and, after again making a low
obeisance in honour of the goddess, she walked slowly round the stage,
leaning on the arm of her foster-sister Chandrasena, and followed by
her maidens, casting several significant glances at me, and especially
giving me one long lingering look as she withdrew.

My new friend, Kosadâsa, who had stood near me all the time, invited
me to his house, where I was most hospitably entertained.

In the evening, Chandrasena, the lady to whom he had introduced me,
came to see him. I said to her: "I promised to find some means of
freeing you from the importunities of the prince; this is what I have
thought of. I have a magic ointment, a small quantity of which applied
to your face will make you look like a monkey in the eyes of all who
see you. Your persecutor will certainly then be disgusted, and give
you no more annoyance."

"Truly I am exceedingly obliged to you," she answered, "for such a
charming proposal. But whatever I may be in a future birth, I have no
inclination to be turned into a monkey now. If you have nothing better
than this to propose, we shall not esteem your wisdom very highly.
Happily, I have thought of something much better. You have heard that,
according to the word of Durgâ, the princess is to be allowed free
choice of a husband. You are greatly in love with her, and she is
favourably disposed towards you, from your appearance. My mother, of
whom she is very fond, will do everything in her power to promote your
interests; and no doubt she will choose you. The king and queen will
of course give their consent; and the marriage once completed, there
will be no further danger, since Bhimadhanwa will be subject to you,
and you will be able easily to protect me. Wait, therefore, a few
days, and I and my mother will do our best on your behalf. But I must
not stay longer; my mistress will be waiting for me."

After she was gone, Kosadâsa and I got into conversation about that
which so greatly concerned us both; and so much interested were we,
that we never thought of going to bed, but sat up talking all the
night. In the morning, I went to the park, and stood for some time
near the stage on which I had seen the princess; and in imagination
saw her there again, in some of those graceful attitudes which she had
displayed. While I was thus deep in thought, I was accosted by
Bhimadhanwa, who introduced himself to me, appeared very friendly, sat
down with me, and, after some conversation, invited me to his house.

Having no suspicion of treachery, I accompanied him to the palace,
where I was most hospitably entertained. After dinner, not having
slept the night before, I lay down, and was soon fast asleep, and
dreaming of my beloved princess. Presently, I was suddenly awakened,
and found my arms bound with an iron chain, and Bhimadhanwa, with
angry countenance, standing near me. "Vile wretch!" he said. "You
fancied you could plot in safety; and little thought that all which
that girl said was overheard, and brought to me by one of my spies,
who heard it through the open window. My silly sister, forsooth, is in
love with you! You are to marry her, and make me your subject; and you
will order me to give up Chandrasena, that she may marry her lover!
You are much mistaken. I am not so easily managed as that. We shall
soon see how all your fine projects will end." Then calling two strong
men, his servants, at his command they lifted me up, carried me down
to the sea, and threw me in as I was.

Notwithstanding the chain which confined my arms, I managed to keep
afloat, till by a lucky chance I fell in with a piece of wood, and by
throwing myself across it, managed to hold on, and was carried out to
sea. After floating all night, in the morning I was seen from a ship
sailing that way, and taken on board.

The captain, however, who was a foreigner, had not much compassion on
me; and only thought, as I was young and strong, how much he could get
by selling me as a slave; and did not even release my hands. I had not
been long on board, however, when the ship was attacked by pirates,
who surrounded it with their boats, and poured in a shower of arrows
and other missiles.

Seeing that the crew of the merchant-ship were being defeated, I
called out to the captain: "Take off my chain; set me free; and I will
soon drive away the enemy."

He did as I asked; and furnished me with a good bow and arrows, which
I used so effectually, that a large number of the enemy were killed
or wounded; and the boats began to draw off.

Meanwhile, our ship had drifted close to the pirates' galley. I leapt
on board, and most of the crew being disabled, took prisoner the
captain, who turned out to be Bhimadhanwa, the very man who had so
treacherously ill-used me. He was utterly astonished at seeing, me;
and hung down his head ashamed, unable to answer a word, when I said
to him: "Where are all your threats and boastings? You are now as
completely in my power as I was in yours."

Then the sailors, shouting for joy at the victory, bound him with the
chain with which I had been confined; and after taking possession of
the pirate ship, we continued the voyage; but being driven out of our
course by a contrary wind, landed on an uninhabited island, to get
water and wild fruits, and attend to the wounded.

The merchant-captain and crew, delighted at my bravery, and the timely
assistance I had rendered them, treated me with the greatest respect.
While they were engaged, I walked about to explore the island; and
came to a large quantity of stones which had fallen from a high rock.
These I crossed over, and going round to the other side, found a
gentle slope, covered with trees and flowers. Walking slowly among
them, admiring the beautiful scenery and enjoying the cool shade, I
arrived, almost imperceptibly and without fatigue, at the summit,
where I found a small lake, surrounded with ruby-coloured, variegated
rocks, and partly covered with bright lotuses. In this I bathed, and
pulled up some of the lotus-plants, the young shoots of which were
unusually sweet and good.

As I came out of the water, carrying a large root on my shoulder, I
saw standing on the bank a terrible Rakshas in human form, who called
out, in an angry tone "Who are you? Where do you come from? What are
you doing here, destroying my flowers?"

Without showing any sign of fear, I walked boldly up to him, and said:
"I am a brahman, who has just escaped many dangers. I was
treacherously thrown into the sea, rescued by a merchant-ship, then
attacked by pirates; and now, after conquering them, we have put into
this island for water. I have much enjoyed my bathe, and wish you good
morning."

"Stop!" said he. "You will not get off so easily. You seem a bold
fellow, however, and I will give you a chance for life. I shall ask
you four questions. If you can answer them, you are free; if not, I
shall devour you immediately."

"Very good," I answered; "I am ready to hear them." Then he began:

"What is cruel?"

"A wicked woman's heart."

"What is most to the advantage of a householder?"

"Good qualities in a wife."

"What is love?"

"Imagination."

"What best accomplishes difficult things?"

"Cunning. Dhumini, Gomini, Ratnavati, and Nitambavati," I added, "are
examples of what I have said."

"Tell me," said he, "who they were, and how they prove the truth of
your answers?"

"Certainly," I replied; "you shall judge for yourself.

"There were formerly in the country of Trigarta three brothers, all
wealthy, having several wives, many servants and slaves, and numerous
flocks and herds. In their time it happened that there was a great
drought; no rain fell for several years; the streams and fountains
ceased to flow; the pools and lakes were turned to mud, the beds of
rivers almost dry, plants burned up, trees withered; all mirth and
festivity were at an end; bands of thieves roamed about; the dead lay
unburied or unburnt, and their bodies were scattered over the fields.
At last the famine was so great that men began to devour each other.
The three brothers, from their great wealth, were able to hold out a
long time; but when their stores of corn and rice were all consumed,
and their cattle all slaughtered, they, like the rest, were driven to
cannibalism. First they killed and ate their slaves; then, even their
wives and children, till all were gone but themselves and their three
favourite wives. The famine still continuing, they were driven to eat
them also, and drew lots which should be killed first. The lot fell on
Dhumini, the wife of the youngest brother, who, unable to bear the
thought of devouring her, escaped with her in the night. After walking
a long way, till they were quite exhausted, they came to a large
forest, where they found a well of water, and many fruits and roots,
besides deer and other animals, on which they were able to live
without difficulty; and they built a hut there.

"One day when the husband of Dhumini was going about in search of
game, he found a man who had been cruelly treated by robbers; they had
cut off his hands, feet, and nose, and left him to perish. Having
compassion on the poor wretch, he bound up his wounds as well as he
was able, and carried him with much difficulty to his hut. There he
and his wife nursed him till his wounds were healed, and took care of
him afterwards.

"Now such is the depravity of women, that Dhumini fell in love with
this poor mutilated wretch, and determined to have him whether he
would or no.

"One day her husband came home from hunting, tired and thirsty, and
asked her for water. She answered: 'I have a very bad headache, you
must go and draw for yourself.' Then walking softly behind him as he
went, she waited till he stooped down over the well, and pushed him
in.

"Having thus, as she thought, got rid of her husband, she took the
maimed man on her back and carried him till she reached an inhabited
country, where there was no famine, telling those who asked her, that
this man was her husband, and had been mutilated in that manner by a
spiteful enemy.

"She thus became the object of much compassion, and praise, for
devotion to her husband, and the king of the country bestowed on her a
small pension on which she lived in the city of Avanti. Meanwhile her
real husband had managed to climb up from the well, and wandered about
a long time, not knowing where his wife was gone. At last he came to
Avanti in great distress, and was begging for food when she chanced to
see him. Going at once to the king, she said, 'That wicked wretch who
mutilated my husband is now here; I have seen him going about as a
beggar.'

"Upon this he was immediately seized, and, notwithstanding his
protestations of innocence, condemned to death, and led away to
execution.

"On the way, with but faint hopes of saving his life, he said to the
executioner, 'I have been condemned on the evidence of one witness
only; let that man whom I am accused of injuring be questioned; if he
says I am guilty, then indeed I deserve to die.'

"The executioner saying, 'Perhaps he may be innocent--a few minutes'
delay can do no harm,' took him at once to the house of his wife, and
there the poor mutilated wretch, with many tears, declared the
kindness with which he had been treated by the supposed criminal, and
the wickedness of the woman who had forced him to live with her as her
husband.

"Thereupon the execution was stayed, and the king, having been made
acquainted with the whole affair, ordered her to be cut in pieces and
given to the dogs, and showed much favour and kindness to her husband.

"I say, therefore, there is nothing so cruel as the heart of a wicked
woman."

The Rakshas appeared to be satisfied with this story, and said: "Go
on, tell me about Gomini." I continued therefore:

"There was formerly in the country of the Dravidas a young brahman of
great wealth. Somehow he was not married when a mere boy, as is often
the case, and when he grew up he thought to himself: 'Those who have
no wives and those who have bad wives are equally unfortunate, I will
not let my friends choose for me, but travel about and look out for
myself till I find a girl who may suit me.'

"Having formed this resolution, and changed his name, he set out alone,
taking very little with him, but a small bag containing two or three
pounds of rice in the husk.

"Whenever he saw a maiden of his own caste whose appearance he liked,
either in the houses where he was admitted or elsewhere, he would say
to her: 'My dear, could you make me a good dinner with this rice?'
This he did many times, but though parents in general would have been
willing to give him their daughters, he was always laughed at, and
often treated with contempt. One day, while sitting in a public
place in a town which he had lately entered, he observed a young girl
whose parents had fallen into poverty, which was shown by her scanty
dress and slender ornaments. She passed by him accompanied by an old
woman, and stood for a time very near him.

"The more he looked at her the more he was pleased, and thought to
himself: 'This is just the wife to suit me; she is neither too tall
nor too short, too stout or too thin; her limbs are rounded and well
knit; her back is straight, with a slight hollow; her shoulders are
low; her arms plump and soft; the lines of her hands indicate good
fortune; her fingers are long and slender; her nails are like polished
gems; her neck is smooth and rounded as a slender shell; her bosom
full and well shaped; her face has a sweet expression; her lips are
full and red; her chin small and compact; her cheeks plump; her
eyebrows glossy black, gracefully curved, meeting in the middle; her
eyes are long and languishing, very black and very white; her
forehead, adorned by beautiful curls, resembles a piece of the moon;
her ears are delicately formed, and well set off by the ear-rings; her
hair is glossy black, brown at the ends--long, thick, and not too much
curled. My heart seems to be drawn towards her; if she is what she
seems to be, I will certainly marry her; but I must not act rashly; I
will first try her with my test. Then approaching her with a polite
salutation, he said: 'My dear, are you clever enough to make a good
dinner out of this bag of rice;' Without answering a word, she looked
significantly at her old nurse, and taking the rice from his hand,
signed him to sit down on a terrace close by; and sat down herself
near him. Then, first spreading out the rice in the, sun that it might
be quite dry, she rubbed it gently between her hands, so as to get off
the husk unbroken, and giving it to the nurse, she said: 'Take this to
some goldsmith; they use it when prepared in this way for polishing
their gold, and you will get a few pence for it--with them buy a
little firewood, a few cheap dishes, and an earthen pipkin, and bring
also a wooden mortar with a long pestle.' On this errand the old woman
departed, and soon returned, bringing the things required.

"Then the girl put the rice into the mortar, and very gracefully
moving the pestle up and down, separated the rice thoroughly from the
remaining particles of husk and awns; which she carefully winnowed
away.

"After this she washed the rice thoroughly, and the old woman having
meanwhile lighted a fire and placed the pipkin full of water on it,
she threw the rice into the water as soon as it boiled, in such a
manner that the grains lay loose and separate. When they began to
swell and burst, she took the pot from the fire, which she raked
together, and set it with the lid downwards near the embers, first
carefully draining off the rice liquor, and stirring the grains
several times with a spoon to prevent their sticking together.

"After this she put out the fire by throwing water on it, and taking
the charcoal, sent the old woman to sell it, and with the money to
procure some herbs, ghee, curds, tamarind fruit, spices, salt,
myrobalan, and sesamum oil. When these things were brought, she mixed
the myrobalan, finely pounded, with salt, and desired the nurse to
give it with the sesamum oil to the young brahman, and tell him to go
and bathe and anoint himself; and he having received these things,
went to bathe.

"When he was returned and comfortably seated, she gave him to drink
rice liquor, mixed with spices and cooled by fanning, and he was much
refreshed by it; afterwards, soup made with some of the liquor, a few
spoonfuls of rice, butter, and spices; and, lastly, the rest of the
rice mixed with curds, buttermilk, and several condiments, and he had
plenty, though some was left.

"When he had finished, he asked for drink. She gave him water in a new
cooler, sweetened and perfumed with lotus and other flowers; and it
looked and felt so cool, gurgled so pleasantly, and tasted so sweet,
that all his senses were gratified, and he drank eagerly again and
again.

"After waiting on him in this manner, as soon as the dishes and the
remains of the meal had been removed by the old nurse, she sat down
beside him, arranging her scanty patched dress as well as she was
able.

"The young brahman having thus satisfied himself of the capabilities
of the maiden, made known his real name and position to her parents,
and they having gladly accepted him, he married the girl in due form,
and took her home to his own house.

"Not very long afterwards, with very little consideration for her, he
took to himself another wife, a woman of bad character; yet such was
the sweetness of temper of the first, that she showed no anger at
this, but continued to treat her husband with all due honour and
respect, and so gained over her fellow-wife that she became her
dearest friend. At the same time she managed the household admirably,
keeping everything in order, yet making all the servants attached to
her. In short, she acted in such a manner that she entirely gained the
respect and affection of her husband, and he enjoyed great happiness,
and trusted and consulted her in all affairs.

"Therefore I say that the best thing for a householder is to have a
good wife."

Then, in illustration of the third answer, I related the story of
Ratnavati. "There was, in a town in the country of Surat, a rich
ship-captain who had a daughter named Ratnavati. She was married to
Balabhadra, the son of a merchant living in another town. For some
reason he took a sudden dislike to his bride on the very day of the
wedding, and though she continued to live in his house, avoided her
as much as possible, and would never speak to her, notwithstanding the
remonstrances of his friends. The rest of the family and the servants,
seeing this, treated her with neglect and contempt, so that she led a
most wretched life.

"One day, wandering about disconsolate, she met with an old woman, a
buddhist mendicant, who, seeing her weeping and looking miserable,
asked her the reason. She, thinking that this woman might possibly be
possessed of some charm capable of bringing back her husband's
affections, half unwillingly told her the cause of her grief.

"'On the very day of our marriage my husband, from some cause or
other, took a sudden dislike to me, and since then he has treated me
with neglect and contempt, so that I hardly ever see his face, and
then only by chance for a moment, for he avoids me as much as
possible; his family also, following his example, behave to me with
great unkindness. I have no comfort or happiness, and only wish for
death. But you must not tell this to any one; I would not on any
account have my misfortune talked about.'

"The old woman answered: 'Surely this must be a punishment for some
great sin committed in a former existence, or such a charming person
as yourself would never be thus treated by your husband. I recommend.
you to practise penance and prayer; perhaps the gods may be appeased,
and a favourable change produced. Meanwhile, if there is any way in
which I can help you, I will gladly do so. You seem very intelligent;
cannot you think of some stratagem which may have the desired effect?'

"After reflecting for some time, she said Though my husband so
neglects me, I know that he is very fond of women in general, and
ready to be captivated by any one, especially respectable woman who
will give him a little encouragement. Acting on this propensity, I
think, with your help, that something may be done. There is a young
lady, a neighbour, the daughter of a very rich man, in great favour
with the Rajah; she is a friend of mine, and is very like me. As my
husband hardly knows her by sight, and scarcely ever sees me, it might
be possible to pass myself off for her. Do you, therefore, go to him
and say that that young lady is in love with him, and that you will
introduce him to her, only he must not give a hint that you have told
him anything. Meanwhile I will arrange with my friend, and will be
walking in her father's garden some evening, when you can bring him
in.' The old woman was delighted with this contrivance, and promised
to perform her part. She went, therefore, soon afterwards with a
pretended message of love from the merchant's daughter to Balabhadra,
who was delighted at having attracted the attention of such a charming
young lady, and took care to be at the appointed time in the garden,
where he saw his neglected wife playing at ball. As if by accident,
she threw the ball towards him, and the old woman said: This is an
invitation; pick up the ball, and take it to her with a pretty speech,
and you will get acquainted with her.' In this way an intimacy began,
and he often met his wife in the same place in the evening without in
the least suspecting the deception. At last she gave him a hint that
she was ready to run away with him. Madly in love, he eagerly caught
at the proposal, and one night, having collected what money he could
carry, he eloped with her, saying nothing to any of his friends. They
were much astonished by his sudden disappearance; but when they found
that Ratnavati was gone also, they readily believed the story told by
the old woman, that he had fallen in love with his own wife; but was
ashamed to acknowledge this after having so long neglected her, and
was therefore gone to live in another place, where he was not known.
Believing this story, her relations and his thought it best to take no
steps in the matter, and abstained from making inquiry after him.

"Meanwhile Balabhadra went to a town at some distance, and there by
his skill and energy, though beginning with a small capital, amassed
in a few years a considerable fortune, and was much respected in the
place.

"When Ratnavati eloped under another name, she engaged a woman to
accompany her as a servant; and this woman one day having committed
some fault, was beaten by her master, who scolded her and told her she
was lazy, thievish, and impudent. Smarting under the punishment, she
determined to be revenged, and going to the magistrate told him: 'This
man, who seems to you so respectable, is a wicked wretch who has
abandoned his own wife, and run away in the night with the daughter of
one of his neighbours, with whom he is now living.'

"The magistrate having heard this, and being very covetous, thought:
'If this man is convicted, his property will be confiscated, and I
shall get a share of it.' He therefore began to take proceedings
against Balabhadra, who was greatly alarmed. But his wife said to him,
'Do not be frightened; put a good face on the matter, and say: "This
is not Kanakavati, the daughter of Niddhipatidatta; this is my own
lawful wife, the daughter of Grihagupta, who lives at Valabhi. She was
married to me with the proper ceremony and with the full consent of
her parents. This woman's accusation is altogether false; but if you
will not believe my assertion, send to Valabhi, to my wife's father,
and hear what he will say--or send to the town where I formerly lived,
and make inquiries there."'

"This was done, he was admitted to bail, and a letter was written to
the father of Ratnavati, who answered it in person, and declared that
the lady in question was really his daughter. Thus the matter was
settled; but the husband, thinking that the old man was deceived by
the likeness, held to his former belief, and continued to live happily
with his wife, without ever discovering the delusion. Therefore I say
that love is only imagination."

The Rakshas, though appearing to be satisfied with these stories,
required me to relate that of Nitambavati, which I proceeded to do.

"In a city called Madhura, there dwelt a man named Kalahakantaka, of
great strength and vigour, ready at any time to take up the quarrel of
a friend, famed for deeds of violence, and devoted to pleasures and
amusements.

"One day he saw a picture exhibited by a painter, a new-comer, and
stopped to look at it. It was the portrait of a lady so beautiful
that he fell in love with her at once. Desirous of finding out whom it
represented, he praised the picture exceedingly, and having put the
artist in good humour, got him to say who the lady was. 'Her name,'
said he, 'is Nitambavati; she is the wife of a merchant living at
Avanti or Oujein, and I was so struck by her beauty that I sought and
obtained permission to paint her portrait.'

"On hearing this, Kalahakantaka, taking another name, went to Oujein;
and there, having disguised himself as a mendicant, got admission to
the merchant's house, saw the lady, whose beauty exceeded even his
expectation, and was confirmed in his wicked purpose.

"At this time a guardian or watchman was wanted for the public
cemetery, and he applied for and obtained the office.

"With the clothes which he took from the bodies brought to be burnt
there, he bribed an old woman to take a message from him. She went to
Nitambavati, and said: 'A very handsome young man is much in love with
you--pray let him see you if only for once.' On receiving this
message, the merchant's wife was very indignant, and sent the old
woman away with angry words. Kalahakantaka, however, was not
discouraged, and said to his messenger: 'Go again, and say to the
lady: "Do you imagine that a person like me devoted to religious
meditation, who have passed so many years in pilgrimages to holy
places, would wish to lead you into sin? Far from it. I had heard that
you were childless, and wishing for children, and I know of means
through which your wish may be accomplished; but I thought it right to
find out first whether you were worthy of such a service, and now
that I have ascertained you to be virtuous and true to your husband, I
will gladly assist you."'

"With this story the old cheat went again to the lady, who, believing
her to be sincere, gladly accepted the offer, and she went on to say:
'The reason of your being childless is that a spell has been laid upon
your husband, which can only be removed by the means which I will
indicate to you. You must go at night to a clump of trees in the park.
I will come to you there, and will bring with me a man skilled in
incantations. You have only to stand for a moment, putting your foot
into his hand while he utters certain charms, then go home, and, as if
in play, strike your husband on the breast. This will dissolve the
spell, and by-and-by you will have children.' Anxious to have the
spell removed from her husband, Nitambavati consented to this, and
went at night to the appointed place. There she found Kalahakantaka
waiting, and as the old woman had directed, put her foot into his hand
while he knelt before her.

"No sooner had he got hold of it than he took off her anklet, and
slipping his hand up her leg, inflicted a slight wound above the knee,
and ran away.

"The poor lady, dreadfully frightened, blaming herself, and enraged
with the old woman, who had so cruelly deceived her, got home as well
as she could, washed and bound up the cut, and kept her bed for
several days, having taken off the other anklet, that the loss might
not be observed.

"Meanwhile the rascal took the anklet he had stolen to the husband,
saying: 'I wish to dispose of this, will you buy it?'

"Recognising the ornament as having been his wife's, he asked: 'Where
did you get this?'

"The man answered: 'I will not tell you now, but if you are not
satisfied that it is honestly mine, take me before the magistrates,
and I will then declare how I came by it.'

"Upon this the merchant went to his wife and said: 'Let me see your
anklets.'

"With some confusion and alarm, she answered: 'I have only one of
them, the other being, as I suppose, loosely fastened, dropped off a
few days ago when I was walking in the evening in the garden, and I
have not been able to find it.'

"Dissatisfied with this answer, the husband went before the
magistrates with the man who had offered the anklet for sale, and he
being there questioned, said: 'You know I was appointed not long ago
to the care of the public cemetery, and as people come sometimes after
dark to steal the clothes, or to lay a dead body on a pile prepared
for another, and so cheat me of my fees, I have lately kept watch
there at night.'

"'A short time ago I saw a woman in a dark dress dragging away part of
a half-burnt body, and ran to seize her. In the struggle her anklet
came off, and I gave her a slight wound on the leg, but she got away,
and I could not overtake her; this is how the ornament came into my
possession. I leave it to you to say whether I have done wrong or no.'

"Then the magistrates and citizens who were assembled were
unanimously of opinion that the woman was a Sâkini.[10]

"She was therefore divorced from her husband, and condemned to be tied
to a stake in the cemetery, and left there.

"In this state she was found by Kalahakantaka, who cut the cords which
fastened her, and, falling at her feet, confessed all that he had
done, alleging his great love for her as an excuse for his cruel
conduct: 'And now,' said he, 'consent to be my wife, and I will carry
you away to my own home in a distant country, where you will not be
known. I will do everything in my power to make your life happy, and
atone for the suffering which I have caused you.'

"For a long time the unhappy lady refused; but at last, overcome by
his earnest entreaties, and feeling how unjustly she had been
disgraced and ill-treated, she consented to accompany him. Thus, by
cunning, he gained his end, which he could not have accomplished by
any other means. Therefore I say cunning best accomplishes difficult
things."

Having heard these stories, the Rakshas was much pleased, and offered
me his assistance if I should require it. At that moment several
pearls fell close beside us. Looking up to see whence they came, I
perceived a Rakshas flying through the air, carrying a woman who was
struggling with him.

"Shall that monster carry off the lady before our eyes? O that I could
fly to rescue her!"

As I exclaimed thus, my new ally, without waiting to be entreated,
sprang into the air, and calling out "Stop! stop! wicked wretch!"
attacked and dragged down the other Rakshas. He, in defending himself,
when only a short distance from the ground, let the lady fall, and I
caught her with outstretched arms in such a manner that, though much
shaken and alarmed, she was not seriously injured. I held her for a
moment insensible in my arms, while I gazed at the combatants. Their
flight was of short duration, for they attacked each other so
furiously that both were killed.

Then laying my burden on the soft grass in a shady place, and
sprinkling her with water, I soon had the happiness of seeing her open
her eyes, and of recognising the beloved of my heart, the Princess
Kandukavati, who was equally delighted on finding who was her
deliverer.

When sufficiently recovered, she said to me: "On returning home after
the ball dance, longing to see you, and sad with the thought that we
might never meet again, I was filled with great happiness by the
report which Chandrasena brought me of your love; but when I heard
that you had been bound and thrown into the sea by my wicked brother,
I fell into the deepest despair, and wished for death. Wandering in
this state of mind about the gardens, I was espied by that vile
Rakshas, who, having assumed a human form, first made love to me, and
then, when rejected, forcibly carried me off. He is, happily, now
dead, and all that I have suffered is as nothing now that I am with
you; let us return as soon as possible to my parents, who will have
been greatly distressed at my disappearance."

Without delay I carried her down to the shore, embarked, set sail at
once, and the wind being favourable, we soon reached Damalipta. Here
we found great confusion and grief among the people, and were told on
inquiring: "The king and queen, utterly broken down by the loss of
their son and daughter, have determined to abandon life, and have just
set out for a holy place on the bank of the Ganges, with the intention
of fasting to death there; and several of the old citizens have
accompanied them with the same purpose."

On hearing this I immediately went after them, and having soon
overtaken them, was able to give them great happiness, by telling them
of all that had occurred, and how both their son and daughter were
safely returned; and they went back with me to the city, to the great
joy of the people. The king treated me with great honour, and not long
afterwards the princess became my wife. Her brother was reconciled to
me, and at my request, though very reluctantly, gave up all further
attention to Chandrasena, who was happily united with her lover.

When King Sinhavarma was attacked as you know, I marched with an army
to his assistance; and have thus the great pleasure of meeting with
you.

The prince having heard this story said "Your adventures have indeed
been strange, and your escape from death wonderful. Great is the power
of fate, but excellent also is courage and presence of mind such as
you have shown." Then turning to Mantragupta, he desired him to relate
his adventures, which he immediately began to do:--

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF MANTRAGUPTA.


My Lord, I also, in my anxiety to find you, wandered about like the
others.

Late one evening I came to a wood, a few miles from the city of
Kalinga, and very near a public cemetery. Seeing no dwelling near, I
made myself a bed of leaves, and lay down under a large tree, where I
was soon asleep. About midnight, when evil spirits are wont to roam,
and everything was quiet around me, I awoke, and fancied I heard a
whispering conversation going on among the branches of the tree
immediately above me. Listening very attentively, I was able to
distinguish these words: "We are powerless to resist that vile Siddha
whenever he chooses to command us; could not some person be found
powerful enough to counteract the designs of that vile magician?"

After this the voices ceased, and I thought I could hear a rustling
among the branches as if the speakers were moving from tree to tree.
This strange occurrence greatly excited my curiosity. I said to
myself: "Who are these creatures whose voices I have heard? who can
that magician be, and what dreadful thing is it which he is about to
do?" With these thoughts, I determined if possible to discover the
mystery, and followed, as well as I was able, the direction which the
demons, or whatever they were whom I had heard conversing, had taken.
Guided by the rustling sound which I still heard above me, I made my
way through the darkness, till at last I thought I saw a light in the
distance, and going a little further, I perceived a fire shining
through the thick foliage. Approaching very cautiously, I saw a Siddha
standing near it, his head covered with a large mass of tangled hair,
his body begrimed with the dust of charcoal, and a girdle of human
bones round his waist. He was throwing at intervals handfuls of
sesamum and mustard-seed into the fire, causing flickering flames to
rise up and dispel the surrounding darkness. Before him, in humble
attitude, stood two Rakshas, male and female, whom I supposed to be
those whose voices I had heard in the tree. They said to him, "We
await your commands. What are we now to do?"

"Go," he answered in a stern voice, "immediately to the palace of the
King of Kalinga, and bring here his daughter Kanakalekha." This they
did in an incredibly short time. As soon as she was brought he seized
her by the hair, and disregarding her tears and entreaties and screams
for help, was about to cut off her head with a sword.

Meanwhile I had cautiously crept nearer, and perceiving the danger of
the princess, I made a sudden rush at him, snatched the sword from his
hand and cut off his head.

Seeing this, the two Rakshas approached me, and showing great delight
at the death of their cruel master, said to me: "That wicked man has
for a long time had power over us; we have continually been compelled
to go on his vile errands, and have had no rest night or day. You have
done a truly good deed in killing him; your valour has freed us from
this slavery; he is gone to the kingdom of Yama, where he will receive
the reward of his evil deeds, and we are ready to serve you; say only
what is to be done."

I thanked them for their grateful offer, and said: "I have only done
what every good man would have done under the circumstances; but if
you are willing to serve me, all that I require of you is to carry
this lady again to her father's house, from which she was so cruelly
taken."

The princess hearing this, stood for a moment irresolute, with her
head bent down, her eyes half closed, her eyebrows quivering, her
bosom agitated by hurried breathing and wetted by tears of joy,
restlessly moving one foot, as if scratching the ground, and betraying
the struggle between bashfulness and love by alternate blushes and
paleness. Then, in a low sweet gentle voice, she uttered these words:
"O gracious sir, why do you, having just delivered me from a terrible
death, now overwhelm me in a sea of love whose waves are the
agitations of anxiety driven by the wind of passion? My life, saved by
you, is entirely at your disposal. Take pity on me; regard me as your
own. Let me be your servant, your slave; I would endure anything
rather than separation from you. Come with me to my father's palace;
you need not fear discovery; all my friends and attendants are
faithful and devoted to me; they will carefully keep the secret."

Pierced to the heart by the arrows of Kâma, tied and bound by her
looks and words as if with chains of iron, I had no power to refuse,
and turning to the two Rakshas, I said: "I have no choice here.
Whatever this fair lady commands must be done. Take us both,
therefore, to the place from which you brought her."

Bowing down in submission, they lifted us from the ground, carried us
through the air, and placed us while it was yet night in the
apartments of the princess. There she introduced me to her attendants,
assigned me a room in the upper story where I might most easily escape
detection, and appointed them to keep watch so that no one might enter
her apartments without notice. I had thus abundant opportunities of
being with the princess; but though my love daily increased, I made no
further advances to her.

One day some of her women came with tears in their eyes, and bowing
down to my feet, said, with whispering timid voice, "O gracious sir,
our lady is doubly yours, since she was gained by your own valour
when you rescued her from death, and is assigned to you by the
all-powerful God of Love. Do not let her languish in vain. Make her
your wife without delay." With this request I could not refuse to
comply, and taking the hand of the princess, I declared our solemn
union.

For a time we enjoyed the greatest happiness. It was destined,
however, to be of no long duration; our separation was at hand, for
now was the time of spring, when the trees were covered with blossoms
bent down by the eager bees, and the song of birds was resounding
among their branches waved by the soft south wind, bearing perfume
from the sandal groves of Malaya; at which season the king was
accustomed to go with all his court to the sea-shore, and there, in
tents under the shade of lofty trees, to enjoy the cool sea breezes.

My bride of course went with the rest; and as there was no possibility
of concealing me in such a place, I was obliged, though reluctantly,
to let her depart alone, consoling myself by looking forward to her
return.

The royal party had not long been gone, when news was brought to the
city that the king and all his court, thinking only of enjoyment, and
unsuspicious of danger, had been captured by Jayasinha, King of
Andhra, who, sailing with a large fleet, had suddenly landed and taken
them by surprise.

This news caused me the greatest consternation. "Jayasinha," I
thought, "will certainly be captivated by the beauty of the princess;
she will take poison rather than submit to his embraces; and I could
not long survive her, for how could I live without her?"

While perplexed with this thought, and not knowing what to do, I heard
of a brahman just arrived from Andhra, who was full of a strange event
which had lately happened there.

"The King of Andhra," he said, "has long been a bitter enemy of the
King of Kalinga, and having taken him prisoner, was about to kill him,
but he has fallen in love with the princess Kanakalekha, and wishing
to marry her, not only spares her father's life, but treats him with
kindness for her sake.

"An unexpected obstacle to the accomplishment of his wishes has,
however, arisen; the lady has suddenly become possessed by an evil
spirit, whose rage is greatest whenever the king visits her.

"Anxious for her recovery, he has offered a large reward to any one
who shall succeed in driving out the demon, but as yet no one has been
able to effect her cure."

This information filled me with hope, for I was well aware of the
nature of the princess's disease, and knew that no one but myself
could cure it. I was able, therefore, to form a plan for her
deliverance, and quickly decided on the disguise to be adopted. At the
time when I killed the magician, I had taken off his scalp, with all
the mass of tangled hair, and had hid it in a hollow tree. I now went
to the place, and taking out this scalp, fitted it on my own head;
then rubbing over my whole body with dirt and charcoal dust, and
dressing myself in old rags, I was completely disguised as an
ascetic--and when I went into the neighbouring villages I was regarded
as a very holy devotee, and had many applications from persons
wishing for advice or seeking to be cured of diseases. This belief I
encouraged to the utmost, and took care to keep up my credit by means
of various tricks and contrivances.

In this manner I was soon able to collect a number of disciples, glad
to live in idleness on the offerings continually brought to me, fully
believing in my sanctity, entirely devoted to me, and ready to obey
all my commands.

Having got together this troop of followers, I went to the side of a
tank or small lake not far from the city of Andhra, built myself a
hut, and made known that I intended to stay there for a time.

The news of my arrival was soon spread abroad by my disciples, who
were loud in their praises of my miraculous powers, and the wonderful
cures which I had effected; and great numbers of people came from the
city to see me, either from curiosity or from the hope of receiving
some benefit.

In a very short time wonderful stories about me were brought to the
Râja. "There is now a very holy devotee sleeping on the ground near
the lake; he is possessed of the most marvellous knowledge. There is
no question which he cannot answer, no difficulty which he cannot
solve. His power of healing is beyond belief; a few grains of dust
fallen from his feet, when sprinkled on the head of the sick, are more
efficacious than any medicine; and water in which his feet have been
washed has cured in a moment diseases, and driven out evil spirits
which have resisted for a long time all the efforts of physicians and
exorcists. Yet with all this he is exceedingly kind and
condescending, and free from pride."

The king, hearing all this, thought: "This is just the person I am in
need of; no doubt he will be able to cure the princess." He therefore
determined to apply to me; but so great was his respect for my dignity
and supernatural powers, that he did not venture to send for me, but
came several times to see me, distributing each time money among my
followers, before mentioning his request that I would drive out the
evil spirit from the princess.

After hearing his statement, I looked very grave, and appeared for
some time to be wrapped in profound meditation. At last I said: "Sir,
you have done very right to apply to me; I will undertake that the
lady shall be cured, but it would be useless for me to see her at
present. The case is a very peculiar one, and the cure requires much
thought and consideration; wait therefore for three days, then come
again, and I will tell you what is to be done." On receiving this
answer, the king went away very well satisfied.

That night, as soon as it was dark, telling my followers on no account
to disturb me, I went, as if for private meditation, to one side of
the tank, at some distance from the steps, and there dug a large hole
in the bank sloping upwards, with the opening partly under water and
concealed by loose stones above; taking care to throw the excavated
earth into the tank.

On the third day, at dawn, I rearranged my dress as before, and having
worshipped the all-seeing sun as he rose, returned to my followers.

I had not long been settled in my usual place when the king made his
appearance, and bowing down to my feet, he awaited my pleasure.

Having kept him a short time in suspense, I thus addressed him:
"Success does not come to the careless, but all advantages are
attainable by the energetic; being devoted to your service, I have
given my whole mind to the consideration of this difficult affair, and
can now point out a certain way to success.

"The evil spirit by whom the princess is possessed cannot bear the
sight of you in your present form, and therefore breaks out into fury
when you appear. If your body can be changed, he will no longer be
offended, and will immediately depart; there is no other way by which
he can be driven out. I have therefore so prepared this lake that if
you bathe in it in accordance with my directions, you will acquire a
new and beautiful body acceptable to the lady, and she will no more be
troubled with the evil spirit.

"You must therefore come here at midnight, and having stripped
entirely, swim out into the middle of the tank, and there float on
your back as long as possible. Presently a rushing noise will be
heard, and the water will be troubled, and dash against the bank. As
soon as the commotion has subsided, come forth; you will find that
your body has become younger, stronger, and improved in every respect;
and when you return to the palace there will be no further difficulty
or obstacle on the part of the princess, who will immediately undergo
a change in her feelings, and will long for your society as much as
she now abhors it. All this is quite certain; you need not have the
smallest doubt; but if you think proper, before deciding, consult your
ministers, and be guided by their advice. If they consent, first
worship the gods and propitiate them with offerings, make large
donations to the brahmans and the poor, and come here to-night at the
appointed time. That there may be no danger from alligators or
concealed enemies, let the tank be thoroughly dragged with nets by a
hundred fishermen, and place a line of soldiers all round it with
torches in their hands a few steps from the water; with these
precautions no possible harm can happen to you."

The enamoured king, very anxious for the expulsion of the supposed
demon, and fully believing that I had the power to perform what I had
promised, went away well pleased, and immediately consulted his
ministers. They seeing how eager he was, and not anticipating any
possibility of danger, readily approved of the proceeding.

Having obtained their consent the king returned to me, and finding
that I was about to depart, earnestly entreated me to stay, saying
that half the pleasure of success would be taken away if I were not
there to witness it; but I answered that there were urgent reasons for
my immediate departure, and that I had already remained longer than I
had intended to do, solely on his account. I assured him that I had so
prepared everything that my presence was now quite unnecessary, that I
was about to disappear from the world, and that he would see me no
more. Finding me quite determined, he took leave of me with many
expressions of respect, and went back to his palace to give orders for
the performance of all that I had directed.

Accordingly, a large number of fishermen with nets were engaged, by
whom the lake was thoroughly dragged, and large donations were made to
the brahmans and the poor. Towards evening, soldiers with torches were
placed, all round the tank, and at midnight the king, attended by a
numerous retinue, and followed by a great crowd anxious to witness the
expected miracle, came to the steps leading down to the water, and
having undressed there in a tent which had been pitched for that
purpose, plunged in and swam out to the middle.

Meanwhile I had said to my followers: "I have no further need of you;
I am about to retire to a lonely place to practise meditation; you may
now leave me; go, and my blessing be upon you." Well satisfied with
the gifts they had received, they departed; and when they were gone I
slipped unobserved into the lake, and entered the hole which I had
prepared. There I remained till I heard the noise of the crowd who
came with the king, and perceived him floating on the surface. Diving
cautiously under him, I pulled him down, strangled him, and dragged
the body into the hole; then swimming to the steps, I boldly came
forth, to the astonishment of the attendants, who, though they had
expected a miracle, were scarcely prepared for such a great change. No
one, however, doubted that I was really their sovereign, and having
dressed and mounted an elephant, I entered the city, escorted by the
soldiers and followed by a great crowd of people, who had come forth
from curiosity, and were loud in their praises of the pious man who
had wrought such a miracle.

That night I was unable to sleep. In the morning I summoned all the
ministers and counsellors, and said: "Behold the power of piety and
penance. That holy man has performed a great miracle, and bestowed on
me this new body, which you see, by means of the tank which he has
consecrated, and through the favour of the gods, whom he had long
propitiated; after such a manifestation, who shall doubt their power?
Let the faces of all unbelievers be bowed down by shame; let a great
and solemn festival be made with song and dance in honour of Brahma,
Siva, Yama, and the other deities, the rulers of the world, and
distribute much money among the poor."

This speech was received with great approbation, and all,
congratulating me and praising the gods, performed the duties imposed
upon them.

After this I went to the women's apartments, and there the first
person whom I met was a very devoted servant of the princess, who had
been especially attentive to me. She, not imagining what had occurred,
would have let me pass without especial notice; but I called her, and
said: "Have you never seen me before?"

Then indeed she opened her eyes wide with joy and astonishment,
saying: "Can it be possible? is not this a delusion? Tell me what it
all means."

I gave her a brief account of what had happened, and sent her to
prepare my wife. How glad she was to see me you may well imagine.

So well did we manage, that the secret was kept, no suspicion even
arose, and all the people were rejoiced at the favourable change, not
only in the person, but in the temper and disposition of their
sovereign.

In due time I was publicly married to the princess, and reinstated her
father in his kingdom.

I have now come here with an army to assist the King of Anga, and have
thus obtained the great happiness of seeing you again.

The prince, having heard this story, said "Your cleverness has indeed
been great, and your personation of the Siddha wonderful. May you
long continue to possess such wisdom and prudence, combined with wit
and cheerfulness." Then, looking at Visruta, he said: "It is now your
turn;" and he forthwith began:--

       *       *       *       *       *



ADVENTURES OF VISRUTA.


My Lord, as I was wandering one day in the forest of Vindhya, I met
with a very handsome boy, standing by the side of a well, crying
bitterly. When I asked what was the matter, he said: "The old man who
was with me, when trying to get water from this well, fell in, and I
am unable to help him. What will become of me?"

Hearing this, I looked down the well, which was not very deep, and saw
the old man standing at the bottom, the water not being sufficient to
cover him. By means of a long and tough stem of a creeper, I pulled
him up safely; then using it again as a rope, with a cup made from
the hollow stem of a bamboo, I drew water for the poor child, who was
half dead with thirst; and finding that he was suffering from hunger
also, I knocked down some nuts from the top of a high tree with a
well-aimed blow of a stone.

The old man was very grateful for my timely assistance; and when we
were all comfortably seated in the shade, he gave me, at my request, a
long account of the circumstances which had brought him there,
saying:--

"There was formerly a King of Vidarba remarkable for wisdom and
justice, learned in the Scriptures, a protector of his subjects (by
whom he was much beloved), a terror to his enemies, wise in political
science, upright and honest in all his actions, kind to his
dependents, grateful for even small services, and gracious to all.
Having lived the full age of man, he died, leaving a prosperous
kingdom to his son Anantavarma, a young man of great abilities, but
caring more for the mechanical arts, music, and poetry, than for his
duties as a ruler.

"One day, one of his father's old counsellors in private addressed him
thus: 'Sire, your majesty, with the advantage of royal birth, has
almost every good quality that can be desired; your intelligence is
very great; your knowledge superior to that of others; but all this,
without instruction in political science and attention to public
affairs, is insufficient for a king; void of such knowledge, he is
despised, not only by foreigners, but by his own subjects, who,
disregarding all laws, human and divine, at last perish miserably, and
drag down their sovereign in their fall. A king who has not political
wisdom, however good his eyesight may be, is regarded by the wise as a
blind man, unable to see things as they are. I entreat you, therefore,
to give up the pursuits to which you are so devoted, and to study the
art of government. Your power will then be strengthened, and you may
long reign over a happy and prosperous people.'

"To this exhortation the young king appeared to listen attentively;
and said: 'Such is the teaching of the wise; it ought to be followed.'

"After dismissing the old counsellor, the king went into the women's
apartments, and began to talk to them of the exhortation which he had
just received. His observations were attentively listened to by one of
his constant attendants, who determined, if possible, to turn the
king's thoughts in another direction, and prevent him from being
influenced by the good advice which had been given. This man had many
accomplishments; he was skilled in dancing, music, and singing; quick
at repartee; a good story-teller; full of fun and jokes; but devoid of
honour and honesty; false, slanderous, a receiver of bribes, a bad man
in every way; yet, from his wit and humour, very acceptable to the
king, whom he now thus addressed: 'Wherever there is a person of
exalted position, there are always clever rogues ready to prey upon
him, and, while degrading him, to accomplish their own base purposes.
Some, under the guise of religion, will tell him: "The happiness of
this world is shortlived and fleeting; eternal happiness can only be
obtained by prayer and penance;" and so they persuade him to shave
his head, wear a dress of skins, gird himself with a rope of sacred
grass, and, renouncing all pleasures and luxuries, to betake himself
to fasting and penance, and give away his riches to the poor, meaning,
of course, themselves; some of these religious impostors will even
persuade their dupes to renounce children, wife--nay, even life
itself.

"'But suppose a man to have too much sense to be deluded in this way,
they will try a different plan; to one they will say: "We can make
gold; only furnish us with the means, and your riches shall be
increased a thousandfold;" to another: "We can show you how to destroy
all your enemies without a weapon;" to another: "Follow our advice,
and, though you are nobody now, you shall soon become a great man."

"'If their victim is a sovereign, they will say to him: "Four
branches of study are said to be proper for kings--the vedas, the
purânas, metaphysics, and political science;--but the first three are
of very little advantage; they may safely be neglected, and he should
give up his mind to the last only. Are there not the six thousand
verses composed for the use of kings, and containing the whole
science? Learn these by heart, and you will be prepared for all
emergencies." So then he must set to work to learn all these crabbed
rules. He must; according to them, distrust every one, even wife or
son. He must rise early, take a very scanty meal, and immediately
proceed to business.

"'First he must go over accounts, and balance income and expenditure;
and while his rascally ministers pretend to have everything very
exact, they have forty thousand ways of cheating him, and take good
care of themselves.

"'Then he must sit in public, and be tired to death with receiving
frivolous complaints and petitions, and will not even have the
satisfaction of doing justice; for, whether a cause be just or not,
his ministers will take care that the decision shall be according to
their own interests.

"'Then he is allowed a short time for bathing, dressing, and dining;
if, indeed, the poor wretch can venture to dine, with the constant
fear of poison in his mind.

"'After this he must remain a long time in council with his ministers,
perplexed with their conflicting arguments, and unable to understand
even the half of them; while they, pretending to act impartially, get
everything settled as they had previously agreed and by twisting and
distorting the reports of spies and emissaries, manage to serve
themselves and their friends, and to get credit for putting down
disturbances which they themselves had excited.

"'He is now allowed to take a little amusement, but the time for this
is restricted to an hour and a half.

"'Then he must review his army; hear the reports of the commander of
his forces; give orders for peace or war; and act upon the accounts
brought by spies and emissaries.

"'However weary he maybe with all this, he must sit down and read
diligently, like some poor student, for several hours. Then at last he
may retire to rest; but before he has had half enough sleep, he will
be awaked in the early morning; and the priests will come to him, and
say: "There is an unfavourable conjunction of the planets; evil omens
have appeared; there is danger impending; the gods must be
propitiated; let a great sacrifice be made to-day. The brahmans are
continually engaged in supplicating the gods on your behalf; your
prosperity is dependent on their prayers; they are miserably poor, and
have many children to support; let large donations be made." Thus the
greedy wretches, under the pretence of religion, are continually
robbing the king and enriching themselves.

"'This is the sort of life which you will have to lead, if you give
yourself up to the guidance of those greybeards; and, after all,
though you may have studied and studied, pored over their musty
volumes, and listened to their tedious lectures, you are not sure of
doing right.

"'And who are these fellows who set themselves up for wise men? Do
they always do right? Are they not often themselves cheated by the
unlearned? Common sense is far better than all this learning; instinct
and feeling will guide us in the right way; even an infant without
teaching finds out how to draw nourishment from the mother's breast.
Cast aside, then, the rules and restrictions with which these old
fools would bind you. Follow your natural inclinations, and enjoy life
while you can. You possess youth, beauty, and strength. You have a
large army, ten thousand elephants, and three hundred thousand horses;
your treasury is full of gold and jewels, and would not be emptied in
a thousand years. What more would you have? Life is short, and those
who are always thinking of adding to their possessions, go on toiling
to the last, and never really enjoy them.

"'But why should I waste your time with needless arguments? I see you
are already convinced. Commit, then, the cares of government to your
ministers; spend your time with your ladies, and congenial friends
like me; enjoy drinking, music, and dancing, and trouble yourself no
more with affairs of state.'

"Having thus spoken, he prostrated himself in very humble attitude at
the feet of his master, who remained for a time silent, as if
undecided.

"The women, who had been listening with delight to all that was said,
seeing his hesitation, assembled round him, and, with sweet words and
caresses, easily persuaded him to follow his own inclination and
theirs.

"From that time the young king, given up entirely to pleasures and
amusements, left the affairs of the kingdom to his ministers; and,
while allowing them to manage as they pleased, provided they did not
trouble him, openly treated them with insolence and neglect, and even
took pleasure in hearing them ridiculed by the worthless parasites who
surrounded him, so that even the wisest of his ministers, while
lamenting the sad state of affairs, could only acknowledge their
inability to remedy it, and wait till some great public calamity, or
the invasion of the country by a neighbouring sovereign, who was
gradually extending his dominions by force or cunning, should bring
the young king to his senses.

"Ere long, what they had expected came to pass; for the King of
Asmaka, who had for some time coveted the country, but did not dare
openly to invade it while it was strong and prosperous, took measures
in secret to weaken the authority of Anantavarma, and diminish his
resources; and, lest he should perchance see the error of his ways and
abandon his vicious courses, he secretly gave a commission to the son
of one of his ministers, a young man of great abilities and agreeable
manners, an eloquent flatterer and amusing companion, who arrived at
the court of Anantavarma, attended by a numerous retinue, as if
travelling about for his own pleasure.

"This man soon became intimate with the king, and took care to fall in
with all his tastes, and to justify and praise every pursuit which he
engaged in.

"Thus, if he saw the king fond of hunting, he would say: 'What a fine
manly sport this is! How it strengthens the body, braces the spirits,
and quickens the intelligence! While roaming over hill and dale, you
become acquainted with the country; by destroying the deer and wild
buffaloes, you benefit the husbandmen; by killing the tigers and other
wild beasts, you make travelling safer.' And he would go on in this
way, without any allusion to the damage and destruction caused by the
king's hunting expeditions.

"If gambling was the favourite amusement, or there was excessive
devotion to women, or to drinking, he would very ingeniously bring
forward everything that could be said in favour of them, passing over
their disadvantages in silence. If the king was lavish to his
dependants, he would praise his generosity; if cruel, he would say:
'Such severity is good; you maintain your own dignity by it; a king
ought not to be like a patient devotee, submitting to insults, and
ready to forgive.

"In this manner that wicked wretch obtained great influence over the
king, and employed it to lead him into all sorts of excesses.

"With such an example before them, all classes gradually became
corrupted. The magistrates neglected their duties, and thought only
how they might enrich themselves; great criminals, who could bribe,
escaped with impunity; the weak were oppressed by the strong; violence
and robbery were rampant; disturbances broke out on all sides; and
severe and indiscriminating punishments only stirred up indignation,
without repressing crime. The revenue diminished, while expenditure
was increasing; everywhere loud complaints were heard, and great
distress prevailed.

"As if all this were not sufficient, the cruel King of Asmaka sent
emissaries in all directions to mix unsuspectedly with the inhabitants
of Vidarba, and do as much mischief as possible.

"Some would distribute subtle poisons in various ways; some would stir
up quarrels between neighbouring villages, and so cause party fights;
some contrived to let loose a furious elephant into a crowd, or get up
an alarm by other means, and so cause a sudden panic, in which the
people trampled down each other, and many lives were lost; others,
disguised as hunters, promising abundance of game, would tempt men
into some narrow valley, between high mountains, where they were
devoured by tigers, or, unable to find their way out again, perished
of hunger and thirst.

"By these and many other devices, they succeeded in destroying life
and weakening the country, so that less resistance might be offered to
the invader.

"Then, thinking the time to be arrived, the King of Asmaka prepared
for war. Meanwhile, his emissary was leading on the foolish young king
to destruction; and at this very time, as if in perfect security, he
was amusing himself with the performances of a celebrated actress and
dancer, having, at the instigation of his treacherous friend,
persuaded her, by large donations, to leave the King of Kuntala, with
whom she was a great favourite.

"Indignant at such an insult, that king was easily persuaded to join
the King of Asmaka, who had already obtained several other allies
eager to have a share in the expected conquest and plunder.

"Thus, when the country was actually invaded, no effectual resistance
was made; Anantavarma was easily defeated, and fell into the power of
his cruel enemy.

"The cunning King of Asmaka, who had gained his allies by many liberal
promises, had no intention of sharing the conquered country with any
one; he professed, however, great disinterestedness; declared that he
should be contented with a very small part; and, having desired his
allies to arrange between themselves what each should take, contrived,
by his intrigues, to make them quarrel over the division. The result
was that they fought with, and so weakened each other, that he was
able to disregard their claims, and to annex the whole of the
conquered country to his own dominions.

"After the defeat and death of Anantavarma, an old and faithful
minister escaped with the queen and her two children, this boy and his
elder sister Manjuvâdini, together with a few faithful followers,
including myself; and though the old minister was taken ill and died
on the road, the rest arrived safely at Mahishmati, where the queen
was well received by the king Amittravarma, a half-brother of her
husband, and where she devoted herself to the education of her son,
hoping that he might one day recover his father's kingdom.

"After a time, however, that king sought to marry his brother's widow;
and, having been rejected by her, determined to take revenge by
killing her son.

"The queen, having discovered his intentions, sent for me, and said:
'My life is wrapped up in this boy; I can endure any thing, so long as
he is safe; take him and make your escape at once; I know not where to
send you, but if you can find a safe refuge, let me know, and I will
come to you, if possible.'

"In obedience to her commands, I took the boy, succeeded in escaping
with him, and reached a shepherd's hut on the borders of this forest.
There we stayed a few days till I saw a man whom I suspected to be
searching for us. Fearing discovery, I left the cottage, and entered
the forest. Here, while trying to get water to quench the poor child's
burning thirst, I slipped into the well, where I should have perished
but for your timely assistance; and now, having done us this kindness,
will you add to it by protecting the boy, and helping us to reach a
place of safety?"

"Who was his mother," I asked. "Of what family was she?"

"She is the daughter of the King of Oude," he answered, "and her
mother was Sagaradatta, daughter of Vaisravana, a merchant of
Pâtaliputra."

"If so," I replied, "she and my father are cousins by the mother's
side; this boy is therefore my relation, and has a right to my
protection."

The old man was much pleased at hearing this, and I promised not only
to protect the boy, but to contrive some means for reinstating him in
his proper position, and overcoming that wicked King of Asmaka with
cunning equal to his own.

For the present, however, the most needful thing was to procure food.
While I was considering how to obtain this, two deer passed, pursued
by a forester, who shot three arrows and missed them, and, in despair,
let fall his bow and two remaining arrows. Hastily snatching up these,
I discharged the arrows in rapid succession, and killed both the deer;
one of them I gave to the hunter, the other I prepared, and roasted a
part of it for ourselves.

The forester was astonished by my skill, and delighted at the
acquisition of so much food; and it occurred to me that I might get
some information from him. I asked him therefore: "Do you know
anything of what is going on at Mahishmati?"

"I was there early this morning," he answered, "for I had a tiger skin
and other skins to sell, and great festivities were in preparation;
the Prince Prachandavarma, the king's younger brother, is about to
marry the Princess Manjuvâdini, and the rejoicings are on this
account."

After the forester was gone, I said to the old man (whose name was
Nâlijangha): "That wretch Amittravarma is trying to make it up with
his sister-in-law by promoting a good marriage for her daughter; no
doubt he thinks to persuade her to recall her son, that he may have
him in his power. Do you therefore leave the boy with me, and go back
at once to his mother. Tell her how you have met with me, and that the
child is quite safe under my protection; but give out in public that
he has been carried off and devoured by a tiger. I shall come to the
city disguised as a beggar; do you wait for me near the cemetery."

All this he promised to do, and set off immediately, having first
received further directions for the guidance of the queen.

After some days, it was generally understood at Mahishmati that the
boy who had escaped into the forest had been killed by a tiger; and
the king, secretly rejoicing, went to condole with the mother. She
appeared as if greatly distressed by the news, and said to him: "I
look upon the death of my son as a judgment upon me for not complying
with your wishes, and am therefore now ready to become your wife."

The old wretch was delighted at her compliance, and preparations were
made for the marriage.

On the appointed day, in the presence of a numerous assembly, she took
a small leafy branch, and dipping it in what appeared to be water, but
which really contained a deadly poison, struck him gently with it on
the face, saying: "If you are acting right, this will not injure you;
if you are sinning in taking me, your brother's wife, and I am
faithful to my husband, may this be like the blow of a sword to you."

Such was the strength of the poison that he fell dead almost
instantaneously. Then dipping the same branch into other water
containing an antidote, she struck her daughter in a similar manner;
and, as no injury followed, the spectators were fully convinced that
the death of Amittravarma was a punishment from heaven.

Soon after this (by my directions, and in order to throw him off his
guard), she said to Prachandavarma: "The throne is now vacant; you
should occupy it at once, and make my daughter your queen."

He listened to the suggestion; and, as the young boy, the nephew of
the late king, was supposed to be dead, no opposition was made by the
people.

Then the Queen Vasundhara (also by my directions) sent for some of the
late king's ministers, and of the elders of the city, whom she knew to
be ill-affected towards Prachandavarma, and said to them: "Last night
the goddess Durgâ appeared to me in a vision, and said: 'Your child is
safe; I myself, in the form of a tigress, carried him away, to save
him from his enemies. In four days from this time Prachandavarma will
suddenly die; on the fifth day let all the authorities assemble round
my temple on the bank of the river, and close the doors, after having
ascertained that no one is concealed inside. After waiting one hour,
the door will open and a young brahman will come forth, holding your
son by the hand. That boy will become King of Vidarba, and that
brahman is to marry your daughter.'"

After the divine manifestation in favour of the queen when
Amittravarma was struck dead, this account of the vision was readily
believed by her hearers, who promised to keep the secret and to be
guided by her directions.

When the fourth day arrived I entered the city, disguised as a beggar,
and brought the boy to his delighted mother, who introduced me to her
daughter, whom I greatly admired, and she, though agitated, was
evidently pleased with me, even under such a disguise.

I did not venture to stay long, and after receiving an alms and
assuring the queen that the imagined dream would prove true, I went
away, taking the boy with me, and at parting, in order to deceive her
attendants, she said aloud: "Your application shall not have been in
vain; I will take care to protect your boy."

Nâlijangha, the old servant whom I had rescued in the forest, met me
on my arrival, and was waiting at the place which I had appointed. I
went to him there and asked him for information as to the movements
and occupations of the new king. "That doomed man," he answered,
"thinking all obstacles removed, and rejoicing at his accession to
power, is now amusing himself in the palace gardens, with a number of
actors, tumblers, and dancing girls."

"I could not have a better opportunity," I replied; "do you therefore
stay here with the boy, and wait for me in this old ruin. I shall not
be long gone."

I then dressed myself in the clothes of a tumbler, which I had brought
with me for the purpose, went boldly into the garden, presented myself
to the king, and asked for permission to exhibit my skill before him.
This was readily granted; an opportunity was soon given me of showing
what I could do, and I obtained much applause from the spectators.
After a time I begged some of those present to lend me their knives,
and I caused much astonishment by the way in which I appeared to
balance myself on the points. Then, still, holding one of the knives,
I imitated the pouncing of a hawk and an eagle, and having by degrees
got near the king, I threw the knife with such good aim, that it
pierced him to the heart, and I shouted out at the same time, "Long
live Vasantabhânu!" that it might be supposed I had been sent by him.
After this, dashing by the guards, who tried to stop me, I suddenly
leaped over the wall, and before any of my pursuers could cross it, I
had run a long way on the other side. Doubling back, I got behind a
great heap of bricks, and from thence, concealed by the trees,
succeeded in reaching the ruins unobserved. Here I changed my clothes
and went back to the city, as if nothing had happened.

In order to have everything ready for my intended concealment, I had
gone secretly the day before to the Temple of Durgâ, and had there
made an underground chamber, communicating with the interior through
an opening in the wall, which was carefully closed with a large stone,
and now, taking the boy with me, I entered the hiding place, having
been furnished with suitable dresses and ornaments, sent by the queen,
through Nâlijangha.

The assassination of Prachandavarma was universally attributed to his
enemy, the King of Asmaka, and the first part of the prophecy of
Durgâ, as told by the queen, being thus accomplished, there was no
doubt, on the part of those who were in the secret, as to the
fulfilment of the remainder.

In the morning a great crowd was assembled round the temple; for
although the secret of the queen's vision had been kept, it was
generally understood that something wonderful was to take place there.

Presently the queen and her attendants arrived, entered the building,
and paid their devotions to the goddess, after which the whole temple
was carefully searched, to make sure that no one was concealed there,
and all having withdrawn, the doors were closed, and the people stood
without in silence, anxiously awaiting the pleasure of the goddess.

A band then began to play and the kettledrums were loudly struck, so
that the sound reached me in the hiding-place. At this, which was the
preconcerted signal, I made a great effort, moved the large stone, and
came forth with the boy into the temple. Having changed our dresses, I
placed the old ones in the hole, carefully refitted the stone, and
throwing the temple door wide open, stood in front of the astonished
multitude, holding the young prince by the hand.

While they were gazing in bewilderment, I thus addressed them: "The
great goddess Durgâ, who lately showed herself in a vision to the
queen, has been pleased to restore to his longing mother this child,
whom she, in the form of a tigress, had carried away, and she commands
you, by my mouth, to accept him as your sovereign."

Then turning to the queen, I said:--"Receive your child from the hands
of Durgâ, who will henceforth protect him as her own son; and by her
command accept me as the husband of your daughter."

To the ministers and elders I said:--"The goddess has brought me here,
not merely as a messenger of her will, but as a defender of your
country from that wicked King of Asmaka, whose cruel and unscrupulous
intrigues are well known; accept me, therefore, as your deliverer, and
as the guardian of the young king appointed by Durgâ."

Upon this all broke out into loud acclamations, saying: "Great is the
power of the glorious Durgâ! happy the country of which you are the
protector!" and I was conducted in triumph to the palace, together
with the queen, who could now openly show her joy at the recovery of
her son.

So well had I managed, that no suspicion arose of the deception which
had been practised, and all the people venerated the young king as
being especially under the protection of the goddess, and me as the
agent chosen by her for his restoration.

Thus my authority was well established. I caused, in due time, the
young prince to be formally proclaimed king, and had him carefully
educated; and I myself received the hand of the lovely Manjuvâdini, as
the reward of my services and in obedience to the commands of Durgâ.

After some time, however, I began to reflect: "Though my position now
seems quite secure, yet, after all, I am a foreigner here, and when
the first burst of admiration is over, people may perhaps begin to
ask, 'Who is this stranger who has come among us in such a mysterious
manner? and what is he that he should thus lord it over us?' And it
occurred to me that if I could make friends with an old and
much-respected minister, named Aryaketu, so as to trust him entirely,
he might be of great assistance to me."

Before, however, making any overtures to him, I desired Nâlijangha to
try him secretly and ascertain his feelings towards me.

My agent, therefore, had many interviews with him, and tried to
persuade him that it was not for the good of the country that a
stranger and foreigner should occupy such an important position,
which ought rather to be held by a native, and that it would be very
desirable to get rid of me.

To all this Aryaketu answered: "Do not speak against so good a man,
and one of such wonderful ability, endowed with such great courage,
generosity, and kindness. So many good qualities are rarely found
united in one person. I esteem the country very fortunate in having
such a ruler, and am convinced, that through him the King of Asmaka
will one day be driven out, and our prince established on his father's
throne. Nothing shall induce me to plot against such a man."

After hearing this from Nâlijangha, I tried the old minister in
various ways, and seeing no reason to doubt his fidelity and
attachment, I gave him my full confidence, and found him a most useful
friend.

With his advice and assistance, I was able to appoint efficient
officers in every department. I encouraged religion and punished
heresy; I kept each of the four castes in their proper sphere, and
without oppressing the people, I collected a large revenue, for there
is nothing worse than weakness in a ruler, and without money he cannot
be strong.

[Here the story breaks off abruptly.]

       *       *       *       *       *



LITERAL TRANSLATIONS.


Page 244.

My Lord, I, having a common cause with my friends of wandering, saw
among the Suhmans, in the outer park of a city called Damalipta, a
great festal crowd. There, in a bower of Atimukta creepers, I saw a
certain young man amusing himself with the sound of a lute. I asked
him "Worthy sir, what is this festival called? on what account is this
beginning, through what cause do you stand in solitude, accompanied
(only) by your lute, as if out of spirits, not having done honour to
the festival?"

He replied: "The King of Suhma, called Tungadhanwa, being without
offspring, begged from the feet of Durgâ, called Vindhyavâsiní,[11]
dwelling in this abode, having her love for the abode in Vindhya
forgotten, two children, and by her in a vision to him sleeping near
(her temple) direction was given: 'There shall be produced of thee one
son, and one daughter shall be born; but he shall be in subjection to
her husband. But let her, beginning from the seventh year till her
marriage, propitiate me every month while the moon is in Krittika (the
constellation of the Pleiades), with the ball-dance, for the obtaining
an excellent husband; and whom she likes, to him she is to be given
and let this festival be called the Ball Festival.' So she said.

"Then in a very short time the beloved queen of the king, named
Mediní, bore a son, and a daughter was born at the same time. That
damsel, called Kandukavati, will to-day propitiate the goddess having
the moon as a diadem.

"But her friend, Chandrasena by name, her foster-sister, was beloved
of me; and in these days she has been violently besieged by the king's
son Bhimadhanwa. Therefore I, distressed, perplexed at heart by the
pain of the arrow-darts of Kâma, somewhat consoling myself with the
soft tones of the lute, occupy a solitary place."

And at that moment there came near a certain sound of anklets, and a
certain lady came up. He indeed having seen her, with eyes opened
wide, having risen up, having been embraced by her, sat down; and he
said "This is the (lady) dear as my life, separation from whom,
burning as it were, burns me up; and by that prince the robber of
this, my life, I am brought to a state of coldness, as if by death;
and I shall not be able, saying he is the king's son, to practise
loyalty towards him; therefore, having caused myself to be favourably
regarded by her, I will abandon a life which has no remedy."

But she, with her face full of tears, said "O beloved, do not, on my
account, engage in violence. Thou, who having been born of a worthy
merchant, Arthadâsa, wast called Kosadâsa by thy parents, art called
by thy enemies Vèsadâsa (slave of a girl), from thy excessive
attachment to me. Thou thyself being dead, I should imagine the
popular saying would be (he was) Nrisansa-Vesa--the slave of a wicked
one. But now take me to any place you will."

But he said to me: "Friend, in the regions seen by you, which was
(the most) prosperous, abounding in corn, and having the greatest
number of good men?"

To him, having laughed a little, I said "Wide is this (world bounded
by) ocean and sky. There is no end of pleasant regions in one place or
another. But, indeed, if I should not be able to produce some plan
causing you to live comfortably here, then, indeed, I will show you
the way."

Meanwhile, the sounds of jewel-anklets arose. Now she, in a hurry,
said: "My lord's daughter Kandukavati is come to propitiate Durgâ with
playing at ball; and she is of unforbidden sight in this Kanduka
(ball) festival. May the eye of you going to see her be successful; I
must be keeping near her." So saying, she went away, and we two
followed her.

I first saw the red-lipped (lady) standing on the floor of a jewelled
stage; and she, seen by me a stranger and at a distance, immediately
settled in my heart. And I, having my mind occupied by astonishment,
thought: "Is this Lakshmi? for the lotus is not placed in her hand;
but in her (Lakshmi's) hand there is a lotus, and she (the goddess)
has been all enjoyed by Vishnu, and by former kings; but in this
(lady) there is unimpaired faultless youth."

While I was thus reflecting, she, faultless in every limb, touching
the ground with the tips of her stretched-out fingers, having her dark
curled locks shaken, having with agitation saluted the mighty goddess,
took hold of the ball, resembling (in colour) the god without a body
(_i.e._ Kâma) having his eye reddened by no slight passion; and having
dropped it with graceful languor to the ground, having struck it,
gently rising, with her bud-like hand having the delicate fingers
stretched out, the thumb a little bent; having thrown, it up with the
back of the hand, she caught it observed with active grace, in the air
as it fell like a bunch of flowers joined with a circle of bees; and
she discharged it in middling slow and quick musical time, throwing it
very gently; and at that moment she displayed a quick movement with
her feet; and when it stopped, she caused it to rise up with numerous
blows; and, contrarywise, she caused it to rest; and she made it rise
up like a bird, striking it regularly with her left and right hands
when it was come straight to her side, and having caught it fallen
when it had risen to a very great height, she practised a song-step;
and having caused it to go up in various directions, she made it come
back again. Thus sporting sweetly in various ways, accepting the words
of praise loudly spoken at every moment by the people with their
feelings interested come near to the stage, she stands turned towards
me (who was) leaning on the shoulder of Kosadaâsa, having just then
confidence produced in me, with flushed cheek and wide expanded eye.
Then she being caused to have a glancing look like that of Kandarpa
when first descended to earth, corresponding therewith having her
gracefully-curved creeper[12] eyebrows sportively playing; with the
network of the rays of light of her lips oscillated by the waves of
the wind of her breath, like twigs moved in sport, as if beating off
the bees eager to catch the perfume of heir lotus-face. In the
circular whirlings of the ball (caused) by very rapid striking,
entering, as it were, a flowery cage, through bashfulness at sight of
me; in the Panchavindhu movement shaking off, as if through fear, the
five arrows of Kâma simultaneously falling (on her); in the Gomuttrika
steps quivering like the brightness shown in the cloud imitating
forked lightning; in the harmonious movements of her feet, having the
time kept by the sound of the jewelled ornaments; with her lower lip
suffused with the brightness of a furtive smile; with the mass of her
locks put up again when fallen down; with her jewelled girdle-belt
sounding by knocking together; with the brightness of her muslin
dress, agitated as it rested on her gracefully prominent full hips;
with the beautiful ball, struck by the quivering, bent, and extended
arms; with the arms like a loop, turned downwards; with her graceful
hair reaching to the end of the back, rolled round upwards; with the
game continued (and) not neglected from her rapidity in putting up the
fallen-down golden leaf of the ear-ring; with the ball whirled inwards
and outwards by the feet and hands throwing it up repeatedly; with the
necklace lost to sight through bending down and rising up; the pearls
without separation in falling and rising; with the wind of the little
branch (stuck) in (or behind) the ear engaged in drying up the paint
of the cheek spoilt by the perspiration breaking forth; with one hand
engaged in holding back on the surface of her bosom the falling
muslin dress; sitting down and rising up, closing and opening her
eyes, striking on the ground or in the air, with one ball or more than
one, she showed various sorts of play worth looking at.

       *       *       *       *       *

PAGE 36.

After that, a certain damsel, adorned with a quantity of ornaments,
made of jewels, who had become the chief of the whole race of women in
the world, attended by a numerous train of modest female friends,
having the gait of a swan, having come up softly, having made an
offering to the most excellent brahman, of one jewel of the form
(colour) of flame, being asked by him: "Who art thou?"

Sorrowfully, with a low murmuring voice, very gently, in a submissive
attitude, said: "O excellent brahman, I am the daughter of a chief of
Asuras, Kalindi by name. My father, the ruler of this world, great in
dignity, in a battle in which the immortals were removed to a
distance, was made a guest of the city of Yama by Vishnu, impatient of
his own valour. Me, immersed in an ocean of grief at separation from
him, a certain compassionate perfected devotee told: 'Damsel, a
certain mortal, bearing a divine body, having become thy new husband,
shall rule over the whole of Pâtâla.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

PAGE 309.

Having propitiated with clasped hands, put together in the form of the
red lotus; the mass of rays coloured by the red sandalwood body of the
thousand-eyed elephant of the eastern quarter having a thousand
flames, the witness of things (which ought) to be done and not to be
done, the unique sea-monster leaping over the row of cloud-waves of
the celestial ocean, the graceful actor dancing on the stage of the
golden rock, the one lion the tearer of the scented elephant of
nocturnal darkness, the jewel arranged at the top of the pearl
necklace the canopy of the stars; I went to my own dwelling. And three
days being gone, when the lord of day had a splendour of colour common
to it with the red chalk side of the peak of the western mountain, and
was looking like the orb of one bosom of the Goddess of Twilight,
united with the body of Siva, under the name of atmosphere, for the
disparagement of the daughter of the king of mountains; that king also
having come, stood in humble attitude, having his diadem eclipsed by
the rays from the nails of the feet of this person placed on the
ground; and he was thus addressed:--


       *       *       *       *       *

PROPER NAMES, ETC., OCCURRING IN THE TALES.


_Alaka_, a mountain inhabited by Kuvera and the Yakshas.

_Ambâlika_, the daughter of Sinhavarma, wife of Mantragupta.

_Amittravarma_, King or Governor of Mahishmati.

_Anantavarma_, King of Vidarba.

_Apahâravarma_, son of Prahâravarma, and one of the nine companions of
  Râjahansa.

_Apsaras_, heavenly females, nearly corresponding with the houris of
  the Mahometans.

_Arthapâla_, son of Kâmapâla, one of the nine companions of Râjahansa.

_Arthapati_, a merchant at Champa, who wished to marry Kulapâlika.

_Aryaketu_, a minister and friend of Visruta.

_Asura_, a general term for various supernatural beings not regarded
  as gods, but in general hostile to them, nearly the same as the jins
  or genii of the "Arabian Nights."

_Avantisundari_, daughter of Mânasâra, wife of Râjavâhana.

_Balabhadra_, a merchant, husband of Ratnavati.

_Bâlachandrika_, wife of Pushpodbhava, and friend of Avantisundari.

_Bandhupâla_, a merchant, father of Bâlachandrika.

_Betel and pawn_, a mixture for chewing, frequently offered in
  politeness, as snuff with us.


_Bheels_, savages, wild tribes, robbers.

_Bhimadhanwa_, brother of Kandukavati.

_Buddhist_, a disciple of Buddha. Buddha was a Hindoo reformer, whose
  followers were once very numerous in India, but at the date of these
  stories had been much diminished in number, through the persecutions
  of the brahmans. They still, however, form a large part of the
  population of Ceylon, Thibet, China, and some other countries, though
  the comparatively pure religion of the founder has for the most part
  degenerated into gross idolatry and unmeaning ceremonies.

_Chakravâka_, name of a bird quoted for affection, as turtle-doves by
  us.

_Chandâla_, a pariah, outcast.

_Chandrasena_, foster-sister of the Princess Kandukavati.

_Châtaka_, a bird supposed to be very fond of rain, and to make a loud
  noise at its approach.

_Dhanamittra_, husband of Kulapâlika, friend of Apahâravarma.

_Dharmapâla_, one of Râjahansa's ministers.

_Dharmavardhana_, King of Sravasti.

_Durga_ or _Kâli_, wife of Siva, a terrific goddess, delighting in
  human sacrifices.

_Gaurí_, wife of Siva.

_Ghee_, liquid butter, or butter which has been liquefied.

_Indra_, the chief of the inferior gods, presiding over the clouds,
  rain, thunder, &c.

_Kailâsa_, a mountain, part of the Himâlaya chain.

_Kalahakantaka_, the man who fell in love with a portrait.

_Kalindí_, Queen of Pâtâla, wife of Matanga.

_Kalpasundari_, wife of Vikatavarma, afterwards of Upahâravarma.

_Kâma_ or _Kandarpa_, the God of Love.

_Kâmamanjari_, the actress who seduced the Muni.

_Kâmapâla_, son of Dharmapâla, minister and son-in-law of the King of
  Benâres.

_Kanakalekha_, daughter of the King of Kalinga, wife of Mantragupta.

_Kandukavati_, the princess who performed the ball-dance.

_Kantaka_, the gaoler killed by Upahâravarma.

_Kantimati_, the wife of Kâmapâla, mother of Arthapâla.

_Kirâta_, a savage, forester, Bheel.

_Kosadâsa_, lover of Chandrasena.

_Kusa-grass_, a scented grass, much used at sacrifices for laying
  offerings on, &c.

_Kuvera_, the God of Wealth, whose attendants were the Yakshas.

_Magadha_, the kingdom of Râjahansa.

_Mahâkâla_, a famous temple of Siva, the object of many pilgrimages.

_Mahishmati_, name of a city.

_Malaya_, a mountain, or range of mountains, having many sandal trees,
  the perfume from which was supposed to be carried a long distance by
  the wind.

_Mâlwa_, the kingdom of Mânasâra.

_Mânapâla_, the officer who guarded Vâmalochana.

_Mânasâra_, King of Mâlwa, conqueror of Râjahansa.

_Manibhadra_, a Yaksha, father of Târâvali.

_Manjuvâdiní_, daughter of Anantavarma, wife of Visruta.

_Mantra_, a verse or chapter in the vedas, any prayer or words recited
  as a charm.

_Mâríchi_, a great muni seduced by Kâmamanjari.

_Matanga_, a brahman who went down to Pâtâla together with Râjavâhana.

_Mithila_, a city or country, called also Videha.

_Mitragupta_, one of the nine companions of Râjavâhana.

_Muni_, a holy man devoted to study, meditation, and penance.

_Nâlijangha_, the old man whom Visruta rescued from the well.

_Nârâyana_, a name of Vishnu, an incarnation of the three principal
  gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva.

_Navamâlika_, daughter of the King of Sravasti, wife of Pramati.

_Padmodbhava_, one of Râjahansa's ministers.

_Pâtâla_, a fabulous subterranean country.

_Prachandavarma_, King or Governor of Mahishmati, killed by Visruta.

_Prahâravarma_, King of Mithila, father of Apahâravarma and
  Upahâravarma.

_Priyamvada_, Queen of Prahâravarma.

_Purnabhadra_, the reformed robber, servant of Kâmapâla.

_Pushpapuri_, the capital of Magadha.

_Râgamanjari_, an actress, sister of Kâmamanjari.

_Râjahansa_, king of Magadha, father of Râjavâhana, the hero of the
  story.

_Rakshas_ or _Rakshasas_, evil spirits or ogres, hostile to men, whom
  they used to devour.

_Rati_, a goddess, wife of Kâma.

_Rishi_, nearly the same as Muni, a holy man retired from the world,
  devoted to prayer and meditation.

_Satyavarma_, son of a minister of Râjahansa, and father of Somadatta.

_Savara_, fem. _Savari_, a savage, not a Hindoo.

_Siddha_ (literally perfected), a very holy devotee.

_Simanta_, a religious ceremony performed on behalf of a woman at a
  certain period of pregnancy.

_Sinhaghosha_, the deposed King of Benâres.

_Sinhavarma_, King of Anga, father of Ambâlika.

_Sitavarma_, one of Râjahansa's ministers.

_Sringâlika_, the nurse of Râgamanjari.

_Siva_, one of the three chief gods or triad of the Hindoos, Brahma,
  Siva, and Vishnu, who are sometimes regarded as one, sometimes
  confounded with each other.

_Sumantra_, son of Dharmapâla.

_Susruta_, son of Padmodbhava.

_Târâvali_, a Yaksha lady, wife of Kâmapâla.

_Vâmadeva_, a holy man consulted by Râjahansa.

_Vâmalochana_, daughter of Víraketu, wife of Somadatta.

_Vasumati_, Queen of Râjahansa.

_Vasundhara_, Queen of Anantavarma the King of Vidarba.

_Vidarba_, name of a country.

_Videha_, a country called also Mithila.

_Vidyâdhara_, one of the numerous demigods.

_Vidyeswara_, the conjuror who married Râjavâhana to Avantisundari.

_Vikatavarma_, King of Mithila, husband of Kalpasundari.

_Vimardaka_, a keeper of a gaming house, employed by Apahâravarma.

_Víraketu_, King of Pâtali, father of Vâmalochana.

_Yaksha_, a sort of demigod or fairy, a servant of Kuvera.

_Yama_, God and Judge of the Infernal Regions.

_Yati_, an ascetic, a devotee.

_Yavana_, a Greek, an Arabian--any foreigner.


THE END.

       *       *       *       *       *



FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: A religious ceremony on behalf of a woman at a certain
period of pregnancy.]

[Footnote 2: The Hindoos attach much importance to certain marks on
the body, such as the lines on the hands, &c.]

[Footnote 3: Kusa-grass, or kuskus, is used for strewing the floor of
a sacrificial enclosure, for laying offerings on, and for other sacred
uses.]

[Footnote 4: To be pushed in through opening in a wall, so as to
receive any blow which might be given.]

[Footnote 5: To be let loose that it might put out the lights.]

[Footnote 6: Hindoo women, when absent from their husbands, always
wear, or used to wear, their hair done up into a single braid.]

[Footnote 7: The author has here made a mistake which cannot be
explained. In the introductory chapter Pramati is the son of Sumati,
and there is nowhere mention of a second son of Kâmapâla. The
confusion of names is, however, of little importance, since the
adventures of Arthapâla and Pramati are quite distinct.]

[Footnote 8: Increaser of virtue.]

[Footnote 9: It was considered a very great sin to be, even
indirectly, the cause of the death of a brahman.]

[Footnote 10: An evil spirit, the ghoul of the "Arabian Nights," the
readers of which will remember the story of Amina, who goes out at
night to feast on dead bodies.]

[Footnote 11: The inhabitant of Vindhya.]

[Footnote 12: Resembling tendrils.]

       *       *       *       *       *





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