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Title: Nil Darpan; or, The Indigo Planting Mirror - A Drama. Translated from the Bengali by a Native.
Author: Mitra, Dinabandhu
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Nil Darpan; or, The Indigo Planting Mirror - A Drama. Translated from the Bengali by a Native." ***

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                          Transcriber’s Note:

This version of the text cannot represent certain typographical effects.
Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_.

Footnotes have been moved to follow the Scene in which they are

Minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected. Please
see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details regarding
the handling of any textual issues encountered during its preparation.


                              NIL DARPAN,
                      THE INDIGO PLANTING MIRROR,

                           =A Drama.=

                      TRANSLATED FROM THE BENGALI


                               A NATIVE.



                      WESTON’S LANE, COSSITOLLAH.






The original Bengali of this Drama—the NIL DARPAN, OR INDIGO PLANTING
MIRROR—having excited considerable interest, a wish was expressed by
various Europeans to see a translation of it. This has been made by a
Native; both the original and translation are _bonâ fide_ Native
productions and depict the Indigo Planting System as viewed by Natives
at large.

The Drama is the favourite mode with the Hindus for describing certain
states of society, manners, customs. Since the days of Sir W. Jones, by
scholars at Paris, St. Petersburgh, and London, the Sanskrit Drama has,
in this point of view, been highly appreciated. The Bengali Drama
imitates in this respect its Sanskrit parent. The evils of Kulin
Brahminism, widow marriage prohibition, quackery, fanaticism, have been
depicted by it with great effect.

Nor has the system of Indigo planting escaped notice: hence the origin
of this work, the NIL DARPAN, which, though exhibiting no marvellous or
very tragic scenes, yet, in simple homely language, gives the “annals of
the poor;” pleads the cause of those who are the feeble; it describes a
respectable ryot, a peasant proprietor, happy with his family in the
enjoyment of his land till the Indigo System compelled him to take
advances, to neglect his own land, to cultivate crops which beggared
him, reducing him to the condition of a serf and a vagabond; the effect
of this on his home, children, and relatives are pointed out in
language, plain but true; it shows how arbitrary power debases the lord
as well as the peasant; reference is also made to the partiality of
various Magistrates in favor of Planters and to the Act of last year
penally enforcing Indigo contracts.

Attention has of late years been directed by Christian Philanthropists
to the condition of the ryots of Bengal, their teachers, and the
oppression which they suffer, and the conclusion arrived at is, that
there is little prospect or possibility of ameliorating the mental,
moral, or spiritual condition of the ryot without giving him security of
landed-tenure. If the Bengal ryot is to be treated as a serf, or a mere
squatter or day-labourer, the missionary, the school-master, even the
Developer of the resources of India, will find their work like that of
Sisyphus—vain and useless.

Statistics have proved that in France, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium,
Sweden, Denmark, Saxony, the education of the peasant, along with the
security of tenure he enjoys on his small farms, has encouraged
industrious, temperate, virtuous, and cleanly habits, fostered a respect
for property, increased social comforts, cherished a spirit of healthy
and active independence, improved the cultivation of the land, lessened
pauperism, and has rendered the people averse to revolution, and friends
of order. Even Russia is carrying out a grand scheme of
serf-emancipation in this spirit.

It is the earnest wish of the writer of these lines that harmony may be
speedily established between the Planter and the Ryot, that mutual
interests may bind the two classes together, and that the European may
be in the Mofussil the protecting Ægis of the peasants, who may be able
“to sit each man under his mango and tamarind tree, none daring to make
him afraid.”

                         THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE.


I present “The Indigo Planting Mirror” to the Indigo Planters’ hands;
now, let every one of them, having observed his face, erase the freckle
of the stain of selfishness from his forehead, and, in its stead, place
on it the sandal powder of beneficence, then shall I think my labour
successful, good fortune for the helpless class of ryots, and
preservation of England’s honor. Oh, ye Indigo Planters! Your malevolent
conduct has brought a stain upon the English Nation, which was so graced
by the ever-memorable names of Sydney, Howard, Hall, and other great
men. Is your desire for money so very powerful, that through the
instigation of that vain wealth, you are engaged in making holes like
rust in the long acquired and pure fame of the British people? Abstain
now from that unjust conduct through which you are raising immense sums
as your profits; and then the poor people, with their families, will be
able to spend their days in ease. You are now-a-days purchasing things
worth a hundred rupees by expending only ten;—and you well know what
great trouble the ryots are suffering from that. Still you are not
willing to make that known, being entirely given up to the acquisition
of money. You say, that some amongst you give donations to schools, and
also medicine in time of need—but the Planters’ donations to schools are
more odious than the application of the shoe for the destruction of a
milch cow, and their grants of medicine are like unto mixing the
inspissated milk in the cup of poison. If the application of a little
turpentine after being beat by Shamchand,[1] be forming a dispensary,
then it may be said that in every factory there is a dispensary. The
Editors of two daily newspapers are filling their columns with your
praises; and whatever other people may think, you never enjoy pleasure
from it, since you know fully the reason of their so doing. What a
surprising power of attraction silver has? The detestable Judas gave the
great Preacher of the Christian religion, Jesus, into the hands of
odious Pilate for the sake of thirty rupees; what wonder then, if the
proprietors of two newspapers, becoming enslaved by the hope of gaining
one thousand rupees, throw the poor helpless people of this land into
the terrible grasp of your mouths. But _misery and happiness revolve
like a wheel_, and that the sun of happiness is about to shed his light
on the people of this country, is becoming very probable. The most
kind-hearted Queen Victoria, the mother of the people, thinking it
unadvisable to suckle her children through maid-servants, has now taken
them on her own lap to nourish them. The most learned, intelligent,
brave, and open-hearted Lord Canning is now the Governor-General of
India; Mr. Grant, who always suffers in the sufferings of his people,
and is happy when they are happy, who punishes the wicked and supports
the good, has taken charge of the Lieutenant-Governorship, and other
persons, as Messrs. Eden, Herschel, etc., who are, all well-known for
their love of truth, for their great experience and strict impartiality,
are continually expanding themselves lotus-like on the surface of the
lake of the Civil Service. Therefore, it is becoming fully evident that
these great men will very soon take hold of the rod of justice in order
to stop the sufferings which the ryots are enduring from the great giant
_Rahu_, the Indigo Planter.


Footnote 1:

  _Shamchand_ is an instrument made of leather, used by the Planters for
  beating the ryots.


                         PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.


      NOBIN MADHAB }  _Sons of Goluk Chunder_.
      SADHU CHURN—_A neighbouring Ryot_.
      RAY CHURN—_Sadhu’s brother_.
      GOPI CHURN DAS—_The Dewan_.
      J. J. WOOD } _Indigo Planters_.
      P. P. ROSE }
      A KHALASI, _a Tent-pitcher_.
      TAIDGIR—_Native Superintendent of Indigo Cultivation_.

      Magistrate, Amla, Attorney, Deputy Inspector, Pundit, Keeper of
      the Gaol, Doctor, a Cow-keeper, a Native Doctor, Four Boys, a
      Latyal or Club-man, and a Herdsman.


      SABITRI—_Wife of Goluk Chunder_.
      SOIRINDRI—_Wife of Nobin_.
      SARALOTA—_Wife of Bindu Madhab_.
      REBOTI—_Wife of Sadhu Churn_.
      KHETROMANI—_Daughter of Sadhu_.
      ADURI—_Maid-servant in Goluk Chunder’s house_.
      PODI MOYRANI—_A Sweetmeat Maker_.

                         FIRST ACT—FIRST SCENE.


               GOLUK CHUNDER BASU _and_ SADHU CHURN _sitting_.

      _Sadhu._ Master I told you then we cannot live any more in this
      country. You did not hear me however. _A poor man’s word bears
      fruit after the lapse of years._

      _Goluk._ O my child! Is it easy to leave one’s country? My family
      has been here for seven generations. The lands which our
      fore-fathers rented have enabled us never to acknowledge ourselves
      servants of others. The rice which grows, provides food for the
      whole year, means of hospitality to guests, and also the expense
      of religious services; the mustard seed we get, supplies oil for
      the whole year, and, besides, we can sell it for about sixty or
      seventy rupees. Svaropur is not a place where people are in
      want.—It has rice, peas, oil, molasses from its fields, vegetables
      in the garden, and fish from the tanks;—whose heart is not torn
      when obliged to leave such a place? And who can do that easily?

      _Sadhu._ Now it is no more a place of happiness: your garden is
      already gone, and your relatives are on the point of forsaking
      you. Ah! it is not yet three years since the Saheb took a lease of
      this place, and he has already ruined the whole village. We cannot
      bear to turn our eyes in the southern direction towards the house
      of the heads of the villages (Mandal). Oh! what was it once, and
      what is it now! Three years ago, about sixty men used to make a
      daily feast in the house; there were ten ploughs, and about forty
      or fifty oxen; as to the court-yard, it was crowded like as at the
      horse races; when they used to arrange the ricks of corn, it
      appeared, as it were, that the lotus had expanded itself on the
      surface of a lake bordered by sandal groves; the granary was as
      large as a hill; but last year the granary not being repaired, was
      on the point of falling into the yard. Because he was not allowed
      to plant Indigo in the rice-field, the wicked Saheb beat the
      _Majo_ and _Sajo_ Babus most severely; and how very difficult was
      it to get them out of his clutches; the ploughs and kine were
      sold, and at that crisis the two Mandals left the village.

      _Goluk._ Did not the eldest Mandal go to bring his brethren back?

      _Sadhu._ They said, we would rather beg from door to door than go
      to live there again. The eldest Mandal is now left alone, and he
      has kept two ploughs, which are nearly always engaged in the
      Indigo-fields. And even this person is making preparations for
      flying off. Oh, Sir! I tell you also to throw aside this
      infatuated attachment (_maya_) for your native place. Last time
      your rice went, and this time, your honour will go.

      _Goluk._ What honor remains to us now? The Planter has prepared
      his places of cultivation round about the tank, and will plant
      Indigo there this year. In that case, our women will be entirely
      excluded from the tank. And also the Saheb has said that if we do
      not cultivate our rice-fields with Indigo, he will make Nobin
      Madhab to drink the water of seven Factories (_i. e._ to be
      confined in them).

      _Sadhu._ Has not the eldest Babu gone to the Factory?

      _Goluk._ Has he gone of his own will? The pyeadah (a servant) has
      carried him off there.

      _Sadhu._ But your eldest Babu has very great courage. On the day
      the Saheb said, “If you don’t hear the Amin, and don’t plant the
      Indigo within the ground marked off, then shall we throw your
      houses into the river Betraboti, and shall make you eat your rice
      in the factory godown;“ the eldest Babu replied, “As long as we
      shall not get the price for the fifty bigahs of land sown with
      Indigo last year, we will not give one bigah this year for Indigo.
      What do we care for our house? We shall even risk (pawn) our

      _Goluk._ What could he have done, without he said that? Just see,
      no anxiety would have remained in our family if the fifty bigahs
      of rice produce had been left with us. And if they give us the
      money for the Indigo, the greater part of our troubles will go

      NOBIN MADHAB _enters._

      O my son, What has been done?

      _Nobin._ Sir, _does the cobra shrink from biting the little child
      on the lap of its mother on account of the sorrow of the mother_?
      I flattered him much, but: he understood nothing by that. He kept
      to his word, and said, give us sixty bigahs of land, secured by
      written documents, and take 50 Rupees, then we shall close the two
      years’ account at once.

      _Goluk._ Then, if we are to give sixty bigahs for the cultivation
      of the Indigo, we cannot engage in any other cultivation whatever.
      Then we shall die without rice crops.

      _Nobin._ I said, “Saheb, as you engage all your men, our ploughs,
      and our kine, every thing, in the Indigo field, only give us every
      year through our food. We don’t want hire.” On which, he with a
      laugh said, “You surely don’t eat Yaban’s[2] rice.”

      _Sadhu._ Those whose only pay is a belly full of food are, I
      think, happier than we are.

      _Goluk._ We have nearly abandoned all the ploughs; still we have
      to cultivate Indigo. We have no chance in a dispute with the
      Sahebs. They bind and beat us, it is for us to suffer. We are
      consequently obliged to work.

      _Nobin._ I shall do as you order, Sir; but my design is for once
      to bring action into Court.

      ADURI _enters._

      _Aduri._ Our Mistress is making noise within; the day is far
      advanced; will you not go to bathe, and take your food. The boiled
      rice is very near become dry.

      _Sadhu._ (_Standing up._) Sir, decide something about this, or I
      shall die. If we give the labour of one-and-a-half of our ploughs
      for the cultivation of nine bigahs of Indigo-fields, our boiling
      pots of rice will go empty. Now, I am going away, Sir, farewell,
      our oldest Babu.

                                                    (_Sadhu goes away._)

      _Goluk._ We don’t think that God will any more allow us to bathe
      and to take food in this land. Now, my son, go and bathe.

                                                        (_All go away._)


Footnote 2:

        The Mahomedans and all other nations who are not Hindus, are
        called by that name.



                        FIRST ACT—SECOND SCENE.
                       THE HOUSE OF SADHU CHURN.


                     RAY CHURN _enters with his plough_.

      _Ray._ (_Holding his plough._) The stupid Amin is a tiger. The
      violence with which he came upon me! Oh my God! I thought that he
      was coming to devour me. That villain did not hear a single word
      and with force he marked off the ground. If they take five bigahs
      of land, what will my family eat. First, we will shed tears before
      them; if they don’t let us alone, as a matter of course, we shall
      leave the country.

      KHETROMANI _enters_.

      Is my brother come home?

      _Khetra._ Father is gone to the house of the Babu’s and is coming
      very soon. Will you not go to call my aunt? What were you talking

      _Ray._ I am talking of nothing. Now, bring me a little water, my
      stomach is on the point of bursting from thirst. I told my
      brother-in-law[3] so much, but he did not hear me.

                 SADHU _enters, and_ KHETROMANI _goes away_.

      _Sadhu._ Ray, why did you come so early?

      _Ray._ O my brother, the vile Amin has marked off the piece of
      ground in Sanpoltola. What shall we eat; and how shall I pass the
      year? Ah, our land was bright as the golden champah.[4] By the
      produce of only one corner of the field, we satisfied the
      mahajans. What shall we eat now, and what shall our children take?
      This large family may die without food. Every morning two _recas_
      (nearly 5 lbs) of rice are necessary. What shall we eat then? Oh,
      my Ill-fortune! Ill-fortune (burnt forehead)! what has the Indigo
      of this white man done?

      _Sadhu._ We were living in the hope of cultivating those bigahs of
      land; and now, if these are gone, than what use is there of
      remaining here any more. And the one or two bigahs which are
      become saltish, they yield no produce. Again, the ploughs are to
      remain in the Indigo-field; and what can we do. Don’t weep now;
      to-morrow we shall sell off the ploughs and cows, leave this
      village, and go and live in the Zemindary of Babu Basanta.

                 KHETROMANI _and_ REBOTI _enter with water_.

      Now, drink the water, drink the water; what do you fear? He who
      has given life, will provide also food. Now, what did you say to
      the Amin?

      _Ray._ What can I say? He began to mark off the ground, on which
      it seemed as if he began to _thrust burnt sticks_ _into my
      breast_, I entreated, holding him by his feet, and wanted to give
      him money; but he heard nothing. He said, go to your eldest Babu;
      go to your father. When I returned, I only punished him with
      saying, “I shall bring this before the Court.”

                      (_Seeing the Amin at a distance._)

      Just see, that villain (_Shálá_) is coming; he has brought
      servants with him, and will take us to the Factory.

                   _The_ AMIN _and the two Servants enter_.

      _Amin._ Bind the hands of this villain.

                             (_Ray Churn is bound by the two Servants._)

      _Reboti._ Oh! What is this? Why do they bind him? What ruin! What
      ruin! (_to Sadhu_) Why do you stand looking on? Go to the house of
      the Babus, and call the eldest Babu here.

      _Amin._ (_To Sadhu._) Where shalt thou go now? You are also to go
      with me. To take advances is not the business of Ray. We shall
      have much to bear with if we are to make signature by cross marks.
      And because you know how to read and to write, therefore you must
      go and make the signatures in the Factory Account-book.

      _Sadhu._ Sir, do you call this giving advances for Indigo; would
      it not be better to call it the _cramming down_ Indigo?[5] Oh! my
      Ill-fortune, you are still with me. That very blow through fear of
      which I fled, I have to bear again. This land was as the Kingdom
      of Rama before Indigo was established; but the ignorant fool is
      become a beggar, and famine has come upon the land.

      _Amin._ (_To himself observing Khetromani._) This young woman is
      not bad-looking; if our younger Saheb can get her, he will, with
      his whole heart, take her. But while I was unable to succeed in
      getting a peshkar’s (overseer’s) post by giving him my own sister,
      what can I expect from getting him this woman; but still she is
      very beautiful; I will try.

      _Reboti._ Khetra, go into the room.

                                               (_Khetromani goes away._)

      _Amin._ Now, Sadhu, if you want to come in a proper manner, come
      with me to the Factory.

                                                      (_Going forward._)

      _Reboti._ Oh Amin! have you no wife nor children? Have you kept
      only the plough and this beating (_márpit_)? Did he not want to
      drink a little water? By this time he ought to take a second meal,
      how can he then, without taking any food, go to the Saheb’s house
      which is at such a distance. I ask for the Saheb’s grace; just let
      him have some food; and then take him away. Oh! he is so very much
      troubled for his wife and his children. Oh! he is shedding tears,
      his face is become dry. What are you doing? To what a burnt-up
      land am I come? Destruction has come upon me both in life and
      money. Oh! Oh! Oh! I am gone both in life and money. (_Weeps._)

      _Amin._ Oh, stupid woman! Now stop your grunting. If you want to
      give water, bring it soon; else I shall take him away. (_Ray Churn
      drinks water; exit all._)


Footnote 3:

        Here the word is used sarcastically; and is taken to mean the
        brother of the wife.

Footnote 4:

        The name of a beautiful yellow flower.

Footnote 5:

        There is a play here an the words _Dádan_ and _Gádan_.



                         FIRST ACT—THIRD SCENE.


            _Enter_ J. J. WOOD _and_ GOPI CHURN DAS, _the Dewan_.

      _Gopi._ What fault have I done, my Lord? You are observing me day
      by day. I begin to move about early in the morning, and return
      home at three o’Clock in the afternoon.

      Again, immediately after taking dinner, I sit down to look over
      papers about Indigo advances; and that takes my time to twelve and
      sometimes to one o’Clock in the night.

      _Wood._ You, rascal, are very inexperienced. There are no advances
      made in Svaropur, Shamanagar, and Santighata villages. You will
      never learn without Shamchand, (the leather strap).

      _Gopi._ My Lord I am your servant. It is through favour only that
      you have raised me from the _peshkári_ business to the Dewani. You
      are my only Lord, you can either kill me or can cut me in pieces.
      Certain powerful enemies have arisen against this Factory; and
      without their punishment, there is no cultivation of Indigo.

      _Wood._ How can I punish without knowing them? As for money,
      horses, latyals (club-men), I have a sufficiency; can they not be
      punished by these? The former Dewan made known to me about those
      enemies. You do not. I have scourged those wicked people, taken
      away their kine, and kept their wives in confinement, which is a
      very severe punishment for them. You are a very great fool; you
      know nothing at all. The business of the Dewan is not that of the
      Kayt caste; I shall drive you off, and give the business to a

      _Gopi._ My Lord, although I am by caste a Káystha, I do my work
      like a Keaot (a shoe-maker). The service which I have rendered in
      stopping the rice cultivation and making the Indigo to grow in the
      field of the Mollahs, and also to take (_lákhraj_) his rent-free
      lands of seven generations from Goluk Chunder Bose, and to take
      away the iron crow[6] from the Government; the work I have done
      for these, I can dare say, can never be done by a Keaot (a
      shoemaker). It is my ill-fortune only (evil forehead) that I don’t
      get the least praise for doing so much.

      _Wood._ That fool, Nobin Madhab, wants the whole account settled.
      I shall not give him a single cowrie. That fellow is very well
      versed in the affairs of the Court; but I shall see, how that
      braggart takes the advances from me.

      _Gopi._ Sir, he is one of the principal enemies of this Factory.
      The burning down of Polasapore would never have been proved, had
      Nobin no concern in the matter. That fool himself prepared the
      draft of the petition; and it was through his advice and intrigues
      that the Attorney so turned the mind of the Judge. Again, it was
      through his intrigues that our former Dewan was confined for two
      years. I forbade him, saying, “Babu Nobin, don’t act against our
      Saheb; and, especially as he has not burnt your house.” To which
      he replied, “I have enlisted myself in order to save the poor
      ryots. I shall think myself highly rewarded, if I can preserve one
      poor ryot from the tortures of the cruel Indigo Planters; and
      throwing this Dewan into prison, I shall have compensation for my
      garden.” That braggart is become like a Christian Missionary; and
      I cannot say what preparations he is making this time.

      _Wood._ You are afraid. Did I not tell you at first, you are very
      ignorant? No work is to be done through you.

      _Gopi._ Saheb, what signs of fear hast thou seen in me? When I
      have entered on this Indigo profession, I have thrown off all
      fear, shame, and honor; and the destroying of cows, of Brahmins,
      of women, and the burning down of houses are become my ornaments,
      and I now lie down in bed keeping the jail as my pillow (_thinking
      of it_).

      _Wood._ I do not want words, but works.

          SADHU RAY, _the_ AMIN, _and the two Servants enter, making

      Why are this wicked fool’s hands bound with cords?

      _Gopi._ My Lord, this Sadhu Churn is a head ryot; but through the
      enticement of Nobin Bose he has been led to engage in the
      destruction of Indigo.

      _Sadhu._ My Lord, I do nothing unjust against your Indigo, nor am
      I doing now, neither have I power to do any thing wrong; willingly
      or unwillingly I have prepared the Indigo, and also I am ready to
      make it this time. But then, every thing has its probability and
      improbability; if you want to make powder of eight inches’
      thickness to enter a pipe half-an-inch thick, will it not burst? I
      am a poor ryot, keep only one-and-a-half ploughs, have only twenty
      bigahs of land for cultivation; and now, if I am to give nine
      bigahs out of that for Indigo, that must occasion my death, but my
      Lord, what is that to you, it is only my death.

      _Gopi._ The Saheb fears lest you keep him confined in the godown
      of your eldest Babu.

      _Sadhu._ Now, Sir Dewanji, _what you say is striking a corpse_
      (useless labor). What mite am I that I shall imprison the Saheb,
      the mighty and glorious.

      _Gopi._ Sadhu, now away with your high flown language; it does not
      sound well on the tongue of a peasant; it is like a sweeper’s
      broom touching the body.

      _Wood._ Now the rascal is become very wise.

      _Amin._ That fool explains the laws and magistrate’s orders to the
      common people, and thus raises confusion. His brother draws the
      ploughshare, and he uses the high word _pratápsháli_ “glorious.”

      _Gopi._ The child of the preparer of cow-dung balls is become a
      Court Naeb (deputy). My Lord, the establishment of schools in
      villages has increased the violence of the ryots.

      _Wood._ I shall write to our Indigo Planters’ Association to make
      a petition to the Government for stopping the schools in villages;
      we shall fight to secure stopping the schools.

      _Amin._ That fool wants to bring the case into Court.

      _Wood._ (_To Sadhu_) You are very wicked. You have twenty bigahs,
      of which, if you employ nine bigahs for Indigo, why can’t you
      cultivate the other nine bigahs for rice.

      _Gopi._ My Lord, the debt which is credited to him can be made use
      of for bringing the whole twenty bigahs within our own power.

      _Sadhu._ (_To himself_) O oh! _the witness for the spirit-seller
      is the drunkard?_ (_Openly_) If the nine bigahs which are marked
      off for the cultivation of the Indigo were worked by the plough
      and kine of the Factory, then can I use the other nine bigahs for
      rice. The work which is to be done in the rice-field is only a
      fourth of that which is necessary in the Indigo-field,
      consequently if I am to remain engaged in these nine bigahs, the
      remaining eleven bigahs will be without cultivation.

      _Wood._ You, dolt, are very wicked, you scoundrel (_háramjádá_);
      you must take the money in advance; you must cultivate the land;
      you are a very scoundrel (_kicks him_). You shall leave off every
      thing when you meet with Shamchand (_takes Shamchand from the

      _Sadhu._ My Lord, _the hand is only blackened by killing a fly_,
      _i. e._, your beating me only injures you. I am too mean. We—

      _Ray._ (_Angrily_) O my brother, you had better stop; let them
      take what they can; our very stomach is on the point of falling
      down from hunger. The whole day is passed, we have not yet been
      able either to bathe or to take our food.

      _Amin._ O rascal, where is your Court now? (_Twists his ears_).

      _Ray._ (_With violent panting_). I now die! My mother! my mother!

      _Wood._ Beat that “bloody nigger,” (_beats with Shamchand, the
      leather strap_).

                            _Enter_ NOBIN MADHAB.

      _Ray._ O thou Babu! I am dying! Give me some water. I am just

      _Nobin._ Saheb they have not bathed, neither have they taken the
      least food. The members of their family have not yet washed their
      faces. If you thus destroy your ryots by flogging them, who will
      prepare your Indigo? This Sadhu Churn prepared the produce of
      about four bigahs last year with the greatest trouble possible;
      and if with such severe beatings you make such cruel advances to
      them, that is only your loss. For this day give them leave, and
      to-morrow I myself shall bring them with me, and do as thou do’st
      bid me.

      _Wood._ Attend to your own business. What concern have you with
      another’s affairs. Sadhu, give your opinion quickly, as it is my
      dinner time.

      _Sadhu._ What is the use of waiting for my opinion? You have
      already marked off the four bigahs of the most productive land;
      and the Amin has, to-day, marked off the remaining part. The land
      is marked without my consent, the Indigo shall be prepared in the
      same way; and I also agree to prepare it without taking any

      _Wood._ Do you say my advances are all fictitious you cursed
      wretch, bastard and heretic, (_beats him_).

      _Nobin._ (_Covers with his hand the back of Sadhu_). My Lord, this
      poor man has many to support in his family. Owing to the beating
      he has got, I think, he will be confined in bed for a month. Oh!
      What pains his family is suffering? Sir, you have also your
      family. Now, what sorrow would affect the mind of your wife if you
      were taken prisoner at your dinner-time?

      _Wood._ Be silent thou fool, braggart, low fellow, cow-eater.
      Don’t think that this Magistrate is like that one of Amaranagara,
      that you can, for every word, lay complaints before him, and
      imprison the men of the Factory. The Magistrate of Indrabad is as
      death to you. You rascal, you must first give me a hand-note to
      state you have received the advance for sixty bigahs of land, or
      else I shall not let you go this day. I shall break your head with
      this Shamchand, you stupid. It is owing to your not taking
      advances, that I have not been able to force advances on ten other

      _Nobin._ (_With heavy sighs._) O my Mother Earth! separate
      yourself that I may enter into you. In my life I never suffered
      such an insult. O, oh!

      _Gopi._ Babu Nobin, better go home, no use of making fuss.

      _Nobin._ Sadhu, call on God, He is the only support of the

                                             (_Nobin Madhab goes away._)

      _Wood._ Thou slave of the slave. Take him to the Factory, Dewan,
      and give him the advance according to rule.

                                                     (_Wood goes away._)

      _Gopi._ Sadhu, come along to the Factory. Does the Saheb forget
      his words?

      Now _ashes have fallen on your ready-made rice_; the Yama[7] of
      Indigo has attacked you, and you have no safety.


Footnote 6:

        An instrument made use of for breaking down buildings.

Footnote 7:

        Yama is Death, the king of terror.



                        FIRST ACT—FOURTH SCENE.
                       GOLUK CHUNDER BASU’S HALL.


                 _Enter_ SOIRINDRI _preparing a hair-string_.

      _Soirindri._ I never did prepare such a piece of hair-string. The
      youngest Bou[8] is the most fortunate, since whatever I do in her
      name proves successful. The hair-string I have made, is the
      thinnest possible. According to the hair, the hair-string is made.
      Oh! how beautiful the hair is; it is like unto that of the Goddess
      Kali. The face is as the lotus, always smiling. People may say
      whatever they choose to one whom they do not like. I don’t attend
      to that. For my part, I feel pleasure when I see the face of the
      youngest Bou. I consider the youngest Bou in the same light, as I
      do Bipin. The youngest Bou loves me as her own mother.

      SARALOTA _enters with a braid in her hand_.

      _Saralota._ My sister, just see whether I have been able to make
      the under part of this braid? Is it not made?

      _Soirindri._ (_Seeing the braid._) Yes, now it is well made. O! my
      sister, this part is made somewhat bad; the yellow does not look
      well after the red colour.

      _Saralota._ I wove it by observing your braid.

      _Soirindri._ Is the yellow after the red in that?

      _Saralota._ No; in that the green is after the red. But because my
      green thread is finished, therefore I placed the yellow after

      _Soirindri._ You were not able, I see, to wait for the market-day.
      I see, my sister, every thing is in haste with you. As it is said,
      “_Hurry is in Brindabun; but as soon as the desire rises, there is
      no more waiting._”[9]

      _Saralota._ Oh! What fault have I committed for that? Can that be
      got in the market? At the last market-day, my mother-in-law sent
      for it; but that was not got.

      _Soirindri._ When they write a letter this time to my husband’s
      brother, we shall send to ask for threads of various colours.

      _Saralota._ Sister, how many days are there still remaining of
      this month?

      _Soirindri._ (_Laughingly._) On the place where the pain is, the
      hand touches. As soon as his[10] College closes, he shall come
      home, therefore you are counting the days. Ah! my sister, your
      mind’s words are come out.

      _Saralota._ I say truly, my sister; I never meant that.

      _Soirindri._ How very good-natured our Bindu Madhab is? His words
      are honey. When we hear his letters read, they _rain like drops of
      nectar_. I never saw such love towards one’s brother as his; and
      also his brother shows the greatest affection for him. When he
      hears the name of Bindu Madhab, his heart overflows with joy, and
      it becomes, as it were, expanded. Also, as he is, so our Saralota
      is, (_pressing Saralota’s cheek_) Saralota is _as honesty itself_
      (_Saralota_). Have I not brought with me my huká? I see, that as I
      cannot remain without it for a moment, that is the first thing
      which I have forgotten to bring along with me.

                                _Enter_ ADURI.

      Aduri, will you just go and bring me some ashes of tobacco?

      _Aduri._ Where shall I now seek for it?

      _Soirindri._ It is stuck on the thatched roof of the cook-room, on
      the right side of the steps leading into the room.

      _Aduri._ Then, let me bring the ladder from the threshing floor;
      else how can I reach to the roof?

      _Saralota._ Very well.

      _Soirindri._ Why can she not understand our mother-in-law’s word?
      Don’t you understand what steps are, and what Dain[11] signifies?

      _Aduri._ Why shall I become a Dain; it is my fate. _As soon as a
      poor woman becomes old and her teeth fall out_ _she is immediately
      called a Dain._ I shall speak of this to our mistress; am I become
      so old as to be called a Dain?

      _Soirindri._ (_Rising up._) Youngest Bou, sit down, I am coming;
      to-day we shall hear the Betal of Vidyeasagar.

                                                (_Soirindri goes away._)

      _Aduri._ That Sagar allows marriage to the widows; fie! fie! Are
      there not two parties to that? I am of the Ajah’s[12] party.

      _Saralota._ Aduri, did your husband love you well?

      _Aduri._ O young Haldarni, do not raise that word of sorrow now.
      Even up to this day, when his face comes before my mind’s eye, my
      heart, as it were, bursts with sorrow. He loved me very much. And
      he even wanted to give me a daughter-in-law. He even did not give
      me time to sleep. Whenever I felt drowsy, he said, “O my love, are
      you sleeping.”

      _Saralota._ Did you call him by his name?

      _Aduri._ Fie! fie! fie! The husband is one’s Lord. Is it proper to
      call him by his name?

      _Saralota._ Then, how did you call him?

      _Aduri._ I used to say, “O! do you hear me.”

                          _Enter_ SOIRINDRI _again_.

      _Soirindri._ Who has irritated this fool again?

      _Aduri._ She was inquiring after my husband, therefore I was
      speaking with her.

      _Soirindri._ (_Laughing._) I never saw a greater fool than this
      our youngest Bou. While having so many subjects of talk, still you
      are exciting Aduri in order to hear from her about her husband.

                       _Enter_ REBOTI _and_ KHETROMANI.

      Welcome, my dear sister, I have been sending for you for these
      many days; still I see, you don’t get time to come. O our youngest
      Bou, here take your Khetra; here she is come. She was troubling me
      for these days, saying, My sister Khetra, of the Ghose family, is
      come from her father-in-law’s house; then, why is she not yet
      coming to our house?

      _Reboti._ Yes, such is your love towards us. Khetra, bow down
      before your aunt.

                                               (_Khetromani bows down._)

      _Soirindri._ Remain with your husband for life; wear vermillion
      even in your white hair; let your iron circlet[13] continue for
      ever, and the next time you go to your father-in-law’s house, take
      your new-born son with you.

      _Aduri._ The young Haldarni speaks most fluently before me; but
      this young girl bowed down before her; and she spoke not a single

      _Soirindri._ Oh! what of that. Aduri, just go and call our
      mother-in-law here.

                                                     (_Aduri goes out._)

      The fool knows not what she says. For how many months is she[14]
      with child?

      _Reboti._ Did I yet express that? The bad turn of my fortune
      (_broken forehead_) is such, that I yet cannot say whether that is
      actually the case or not? It is because that you are very familiar
      with us, that I tell it you: at the end of this month she will be
      in her fourth month.

      _Saralota._ Khetra, why did you cut off the curls of your hair?

      _Khetro._ The elder brother of my husband was much displeased at
      seeing the curls in my hair. Our mistress said, that curls agree
      best with prostitutes and women of rich families. I was so much
      ashamed at hearing his words, that from that very day I cut off my

      _Soirindri._ Youngest Bou, the shades of evening are spreading
      about; just go, my sister, and bring the clothes.

                            _Enter_ ADURI _again_.

      _Saralota._ (_Standing up._) Aduri, come with me; let us go up,
      and bring down the clothes.

      _Aduri._ Let young Haldar first come home, ha! ha! ha!

                                        (_Ashamed, Saralota goes away._)

      _Soirindri._ (_With anger, yet laughing._) Go thou unfortunate
      fool; at every word, you joke. Where is my mother-in-law?

                              _Enters_ SABITRI.

      Yes, she is come.

      _Sabitri._ Ghose Bou, art thou come, and hast thou brought your
      daughter with you? Yes, you have done well. Bipin was making
      noise, therefore, I sent him out and am come here.

      _Reboti._ My mother, I bow down before you. Khetra, bow down
      before your grand-mother. (_Khetromani bows down._)

      _Sabitri._ Be happy, be the mother of seven sons. (_Coughing
      aside._) My eldest Bou, just go into the room, I think my son is
      up. Oh! my son has no regular time for bathing, neither for taking
      food. My Nobin is become very weak by mere vain thoughts—(_aside_,
      “Aduri”) Oh! my daughter, go in soon, I think, he is asking for

      _Soirindri._ (_Aside, to Aduri._) Aduri, calling for you.

      _Aduri._ Calling for me, but asking for you.

      _Soirindri._ Thou burnt-faced. Sister Ghose meet me another day.

                                                     (_Exit Soirindri._)

      _Reboti._ O my mother, here is none else. Some great danger has
      fallen upon me, that Podi Moyrani came to our house yesterday.

      _Sabitri._ Rama! Rama! Rama! who allows that nasty fool to enter
      his house? What is left of her virtue? She has only to write her
      name in the public notices.

      _Reboti._ My mother, but what shall I do! My house is not an
      enclosed one. When our males go to take dinner outside, the house
      is no more a house; but you may call it a mart. That strumpet says
      (I do shrink at the thought), she says, that the young Saheb is
      become, as it were, mad at seeing Khetromani; and wants to see her
      in the Factory.

      _Aduri._ Fye! fye! fye! bad smell of the onion! Can we go to the
      Saheb. Fye! fye! bad smell of the onion! I shall never be out any
      more alone. I can bear every other thing, but the smell of the
      onion I can never bear. Fye! fye! bad smell of the onion!

      _Reboti._ But, my mother, is not the virtue of the poor actual
      virtue? That fool[15] says, he will give money, give grants of
      lands for the cultivation of rice; and also give some employment
      to our son-in-law. Fie! fie! to money. Is virtue something to be
      sold? Has it any price? What can I say? That fool was an agent of
      the Saheb, or else I would have broken her mouth with one kick. My
      daughter is become thunder-struck from yesterday; and now and
      then, she is starting with fear.

      _Aduri._ Oh, the Beard! When he speaks, it is like a he-goat
      twisting about its mouth. For my part, I would never be able to go
      there as long as he does not leave off his onions and beard. Fie!
      fie! fie! the bad smell of the onion.

      _Reboti._ Mother, again that unfortunate fool says, if you do not
      send her with me, I shall take her away by certain latyals.

      _Sabitri._ What more is the Burmese (Mug) power? Can anyone take
      away a woman from a house in the British Dominion?

      _Reboti._ O my Mother! Every violence can be committed in the
      ryot’s house. Taking away the women, they bring the men under
      their power. In giving advances for Indigo they can do this; only
      they cannot commit this before one’s eyes. Don’t you know, my
      mother, the other day, because certain parties did not agree to
      sign a fictitious receipt of advances, they broke down their house
      and took away by force the wife of one of the Babus.

      _Sabitri._ What anarchy is this! Did you inform Sadhu of this?

      _Reboti._ No, my mother. He is already become mad on account of
      the Indigo; again, if he hear this, will he keep quiet? Through
      excessive anger he will rather smite his head with the axe.

      _Sabitri._ Very well, I shall make this known to Sadhu, through my
      husband; you need not say anything. What misfortune is this! The
      Indigo Planters can do anything. Then why do I hear it generally
      said, that the Sahebs are strict in dispensing justice. Again, my
      son Bindu Madhab speaks much in praise of them. Therefore I think
      that _these are not Sahebs_; no, _they are the dregs_, (_Chandál_)
      _of Sahebs_.

      _Reboti._ Respecting another word which Moyrani has said, I think
      the eldest Babu has not heard of it—that a new order has been
      proclaimed, by which the wicked Sahebs, by opening a communication
      with the Magistrate, can throw any one into prison for six months;
      again, that they are making preparations for doing the same with
      the Babus.

      _Sabitri._ (_Sighing deeply._) If this be in the mind of God it
      will be.

      _Reboti._ Many other things she said, my mother; but I was not
      able to understand her. Is it the fact, that there is no appeal
      when once a person is imprisoned?

      _Aduri._ I think, the wretch has aggravated this imprisoning.

      _Sabitri._ Aduri, be silent a little, my child.

      _Reboti._ Moreover, the wife of the Indigo Planter, in order to
      make her husband’s case strong (_pakka_), has sent a letter to the
      Magistrate, since it is said that the Magistrate hears her words
      most attentively.

      _Aduri._ I saw the lady; she has no shame at all. When the
      Magistrate of the Zillah (whose name occasions great terror) goes
      riding about through the village, the lady also rides on
      horseback, with him.—The Bou riding about on a horse! Because the
      aunt of Kesi once laughed before the elder brother of her husband,
      all people ridiculed her; while this was the Magistrate of the

      _Sabitri._ I see, wretched woman, thou wilt occasion some great
      misfortune one day. Now it is evening, Ghose Bou, better go home.
      There is Durga.

      _Reboti._ Now, I go my mother. I shall buy some oil from the shop;
      then there will be light in the house.

                                         (_Exit Reboti and Khetromani._)

      _Sabitri._ Can’t you remain without speaking something at every

                 _Enter_ SARALOTA _with clothes on her head_.

      _Aduri._ Here, our washerwoman is come with her clothes.

      _Sabitri._ Thou fool, why is she a washerwoman? _She is my Bou of
      gold, my Goddess of good Fortune_ (_patting her back_). Is there
      no one in my family excepting you to bring down the clothes? Can’t
      you, for one dunda[16] sit quiet in one place? Art thou born of
      such a mad woman? How did you tear off your cloth. I think you
      bruised yourself. Ah, her body is, as it were, a red lotus; and
      this one bruise has made the blood to come out with violence. Now,
      my daughter, I tell you, never move up and down the steps in the
      dark, in such a manner.

                              _Enter_ SOIRINDRI.

      _Soirindri._ Now, our young Bou, let us go to the ghát.

      _Sabitri._ Now, my daughters, while the evening light continues,
      you two together go and wash yourselves.

                                                           (_Exit all._)


Footnote 8:

        This is a term which is applied to one’s son’s wife; but
        sometimes, though rarely, it means wife.

Footnote 9:

        This is only a quotation, explaining, by an example, the
        eagerness of the mind when the desire in once excited.

Footnote 10:

        This pronoun “his” refers to the husband of Saralota.

Footnote 11:

        This is a Bengali term signifying sometimes _right_ and
        sometimes _a witch_.

Footnote 12:

        The word Rajah is here pronounced in an odd form; and it has
        reference to those rajahs who were against widow marriage. As
        the word is pronounced by a woman of the lower class, it is
        spelt here incorrectly.

Footnote 13:

        The iron circlet worn by a woman on her left hand, is the mark
        or sign of the husband being alive.

Footnote 14:

        Referring to Khetromani.

Footnote 15:

        Referring to Podi Moyrani (sweet-meat maker).

Footnote 16:

        A dunda is equal to 24 English minutes.



                        SECOND ACT—FIRST SCENE.


                    _Torapa and four other Ryots sitting._

      _Torapa._ Why do they not kill me at once? I can never show myself
      ungrateful. That eldest Babu, who has preserved my caste; he
      through whose influence I am living here; he, who by preserving my
      plough and the cows, is preserving my life,—shall I by giving
      false evidence throw the father of that Babu into prison? I can
      never do that; I would rather give my life.

      _First Ryot._ _Before sticks there can be no words_; the stroke of
      Shamchand is a very terrible thrust. Have we a film on our eyes;
      did we not serve our eldest Babu? But, then, what can we do? If we
      do not give evidence they will never keep us as we are. Wood Saheb
      stood upon my breast and blood began to fall drop by drop. _And
      the feet of the horse were, as it were, the hoofs of the ox._

      _Second Ryot._ Thrusting in the nails; don’t you know the nails
      which are stuck under the shoes worn by the Sahebs?

      _Torapa._ (_Grinding his teeth with anger._) Why do you speak of
      the nails? My heart is bursting with having seen this blood. What
      do I say? If I can once get him in the Vataramari field, with one
      slap I can raise him in the air; and at once put a stop to all his
      “gad dams” and other words of chastisement.

      _Third Ryot._ I am only a hireling, and keep men under me. When I
      heard about the plan which our master formed, I immediately
      refused to take any Indigo business on my hand, saying I shall
      never work for that. Why was I then confined in the godown? I
      thought that serving under him at this time, I shall be able to
      make a good collection and shall be able to attend to my friend;
      but I am rotting here in this place for five days, and again I am
      to go to that Andarabad.

      _Second Ryot._ I went to that Andarabad once or twice; as also to
      that Factory of Bhabnapore, every one speaks good of the Saheb of
      that place; that Saheb once sent me to the Court, then I saw many
      things pleasant in that place.

      _Torapa._ Did he find any fault with you? The Saheb of Bhabnapore
      never raises a false disturbance. “_By speaking the truth, we
      shall ride on horseback._” Had all Sahebs been of the same
      character with him, then none would have spoken ill of the Sahebs.

      _Second Ryot._ My heart over-flows with joy.

      Now his torturing is all put a stop to. In his godown there are
      now seven persons; one of them a child. The vile man has filled
      his house also with kine and calves. Oh, what robbery is he
      carrying on!

      _Torapa._ As soon as they get a Saheb who is a good man they want
      to destroy him. They are holding a meeting to drive off the

      _Second Ryot._ I cannot understand whether they have found fault
      with the Magistrate of this or the other Zillah?

      _Torapa._ He did not go to dine in the Factory. They prepared a
      dinner for the Magistrate, in order to get him within their power,
      but the Magistrate _concealed himself like a stolen cow_; he did
      not go to dinner. He is a person of a good family. Why should he
      go to the Indigo Planters? We have now understood, these Planters
      are the low people of Belata.[17]

      _First Ryot._ Then how did the late Governor Saheb go about all
      the Indigo Factories, being feasted like a bride-groom just before
      the celebration of the marriage.[18] Did you not see that the
      Planter Sahebs brought him to this Factory well-adorned like a

      _Second Ryot._ I think he has some share in this Indigo Company.

      _Torapa._ No! can the Governor take a share in Indigo affairs? He
      came to increase his fame. If God preserve our present Governor,
      then we shall be able to procure something for our sustenance; and
      the great burden of Indigo shall no more hang on our shoulders.

      _Third Ryot._ (_With fear._) I die. If the ghost of this burden
      once attack a person, is it true that it does not quit him soon?
      My wife said so.

      _Torapa._ Why have you brought this my brother here? For fear of
      the Sahebs, people are leaving the village; and my uncle
      Bochoroddi has formed the following sentence:

      “The man with eyes like those of the cat, is an ignorant fool;
      “So the Indigo of the Indigo Factory is an instrument of

      Bochoroddi is very expert in forming such sentences.

      _Second Ryot._ Did not you hear another sentence which was
      composed by Nitá Atai?

                “The Missionaries have destroyed the caste;
                 The Factory monkeys have destroyed the rice.”

      _Torapa._ Aola Nochen has composed “Destroyed the Caste,” what is

      _Second Ryot._

                “The Missionaries have destroyed the caste;
                 The Factory monkeys have destroyed the rice.”

      _Fourth Ryot._ Ha! I do not know what is taking place in my house;
      I am become the inhabitant of three villages at once. I came away
      to Svaropur, and through the advice of Bose, I threw away the
      advance which was offered me. When my young child was sick I came
      to Bose to get from him a little sugar-candy. Ah! how very kind he
      was; how agreeable and good-looking in countenance I found him;
      and sitting as solemn as an elephant.

      _Torapa._ How many bigahs have they given this year?

      _Fourth Ryot._ Last year I prepared ten bigahs; but as to the
      price of that, they raised great confusion. This year again, they
      have given advances for fifteen bigahs; and I am doing exactly as
      they are ordering me; still, they leave not off insulting me.

      _First Ryot._ I am laboring with my plough for these two years,
      and I have cultivated a little piece of ground. That piece of
      ground which I prepared this year, I kept for sesamum; but one
      day, our young Saheb, riding on his horse, came to the place, and
      waiting there himself, took possession of the whole piece. How can
      the ryots live if this is to continue?

      _Torapa._ This is only the intrigue of the wicked Amin. Does the
      Saheb know every thing about land? This fool goes about like a
      revengeful dog: when he sees any good piece of land, he
      immediately gives notice of it to the Saheb. The Saheb has no want
      of money, and he has no need for borrowing money on credit. Then,
      why is it that the fool does so; if he have to cultivate Indigo,
      let him do so; let him buy oxen; let him prepare ploughs; if he
      cannot guide the plough himself, let him keep men under him. What
      want have you of lands? If you can cultivate the whole village;
      and we do not refuse to give the village. In that case the land
      can overflow with Indigo in two years. But he will not do it.

      —(_Aside, ho! ho! ho! má! má!_) Gazi-Saheb! Gazi-Saheb! Durga!
      Durga![19] call your Rama. Within this there are ghosts. Be
      silent, be silent.

      (_Aside_, Oh Indigo! You came to this land for our utter ruin. Ah!
      I cannot any more suffer this torture. I cannot say how many other
      Factories there are of this Concern. Within this one
      month-and-a-half, I have already drunk the water of fourteen
      Factories; and I do not know in what Factory I am now; and how can
      I know that, while I am taken in the night from one Factory to
      another, with my eyes entirely shut. Oh! my mother where art thou

      _Third Ryot._ Rama! Rama! Rama! Kali! Kali! Durga! Ganesha! Ashra!

      _Torapa._ Silence, silence.

      (_Aside_, Ah! I can make myself free from this hell, if I take the
      advance for five bigahs of land. Oh! my uncle, it is now proper to
      take the advance. Now, I see no means of giving the notice; my
      life is on the point of leaving the body. I have no more any power
      to speak. Oh my Mother, where art thou now? I have not seen thy
      holy feet for a month-and-a-half.)

      _Third Ryot._ I shall speak of this to my wife; did you hear now?
      Although these are become ghosts after death, still have they not
      been able to extricate themselves from the Indigo advances.

      _First Ryot._ Art thou so very ignorant?

      _Torapa._ A person of a good family; I have understood that by the
      words. My uncle Prana, can you once take me up on your shoulders,
      then I can ask him where his residence is?

      _First Ryot._ Thou art a Musulman.

      _Torapa._ Then, you had better rise on my shoulders and see—(_sits
      down_) rise up—(_sits on the shoulders_) take hold of the wall;
      bring your face before the window—(_seeing Gopi Churn at a
      distance_) come down, come down, my uncle, Gopi is coming (_first
      Ryot falls down_).

       _Enter_ GOPI CHURN _and_ MR. ROSE _with his Ramkanta[20] in his

      _Third Ryot._ Dewan, there is a ghost in this room. Now, it was
      crying aloud.

      _Gopi._ If you don’t say as I teach you, you must become a ghost
      of the very same kind. (_Aside, to Mr. Rose_) These persons have
      known about Mojumdar’s confinement, we must no more keep him in
      this Factory. It was not proper to keep him in that room.

      _Rose._ I shall hear of that afterwards. What ryot has refused;
      what rascal is so very wicked? (_Stamps his feet_).

      _Gopi._ These are all well-prepared. This Musulman is very wicked;
      he says, I can never show myself ungrateful, (_nimak harámi_).

      _Torapa._ (_Aside._) O my father! How very terrible the stick is!
      Now I must agree with them; as to future considerations I shall
      see what I can do afterwards. (_Openly_) Pardon me, Saheb! I,
      also, am become the same with you.

      _Planter._ Be silent, thou child of the sow! This Ramkant is very
      sweet. (_Strikes with Ramkant and also kicks him_).

      _Torapa._ Oh! oh! my mother, I am now dead! My uncle Prana, give
      me a little water; I die for water. My father, father!

      _Rose._ Shall not filth be discharged into your mouth? (_Strikes
      with his shoes_).

      _Torapa._ Whatever thou shalt say, I shall do. Before God, I ask
      pardon of thee, my Lord.

      _Rose._ Now the villain has left his wickedness. To-night all must
      be sent. Just write to the Attorney, that as long as the evidence
      is not given, not one of these shall be let out. The Agent shall
      go with them. (_To the Third Ryot_). Why art thou crying? (_Gives
      a kick_).

      _Third Ryot._ Bou, where art thou? These are murdering me. O my
      mother! Bou! my mother! I am killed, I am killed. (_Falls upside
      down on the ground_).

      _Rose._ Thou, stupid, art become (_bonra_) mad.

                                                      (_Exit Mr. Rose_).

      _Gopi._ Now, Torapa, have you got your full of the onion and the

      _Torapa._ Oh Dewanji, preserve me by giving a little water. I am
      on the point of death.

      _Gopi._ The Indigo ware-house and the steam-engine room—these are
      places where the sweat shoots forth and water is drunk. Now, all
      of you, come with me, that you may at once drink water.

                                                           (_Exit all._)


Footnote 17:

        Belata means England.

Footnote 18:

        This refers to a certain practice in India of the Bride-groom
        going to the houses of relatives amid great feasting, before the
        celebration of the marriage.

Footnote 19:

        These are all words used by Mahomedans in times of great alarm;
        and here it is used to express the fear of ghosts.

Footnote 20:

        It is very like Shamchand.



                        SECOND ACT—SECOND SCENE.
                     THE BED-ROOM OF BINDU MADHAR.


                _Saralota sitting with a letter in her hand._

      _Saralota._ Now, my dear love with an honest tongue is not come,
      and an elephant, as it were, is treading on the lotus-like heart.
      I have become hopeless amid very great hope. In expectation of the
      coming of the Lord of my life, I was waiting with greater
      disquietude of mind than the swallow (_chátak_) does when waiting
      for the drops of rain at the approaching rainy season. The way in
      which I was counting the days exactly corresponded with what my
      sister said, that each day appeared, as it were, a year, (_deep
      sigh_). The expectation as to the coming of my husband is now of
      no effect. The course of his life itself will prove successful, if
      the great action in which he is now engaged, can prove so. Oh,
      Lord of my life! We are born women, and cannot even go out to walk
      in the garden; we are unable to walk out in the city; can by no
      means form clubs for general good; we have no Colleges nor Courts,
      nor Brahma Samajs of our own; we have nothing of our own, to
      compose the mind, when it is once disturbed; and, moreover, we can
      never blame a woman when she feels any disquietude. O my Lord, we
      have only one to depend upon,—the husband is the object of the
      wife’s thought, of her understanding, her study, her acquisition,
      her meeting, her society; in short, this jewel—the husband—is all
      to a virtuous woman. O thou letter! thou art come from the hand of
      the dear object of my heart, I shall kiss thee, (_kisses it_); in
      thee is the name of my Lord; I shall hold thee on my burnt heart,
      (_keeps it on her breast_). Ah! how sweet are the words of my
      Lord; as often as I read it, my mind is more and more charmed

      MY DEAR SARALA,—_In my letter I cannot express what anxiety my
      mind feels, to see your sweet face. O what inexpressible pleasure
      do I feel when I place your beautiful (moonlike) face on my
      breast! I thought that that moment of happiness is come; but pain
      immediately overtook pleasure. The College is closed, but a great
      misfortune has come upon me; through the grace of God, if I be not
      able to extricate myself from it, I shall never be able any more
      to show my face to thee. The Indigo Planters have secretly brought
      an accusation against my father in the Court; their main design
      being, in some way or other, to throw him into Jail. I have sent
      letters, one after another, to my brother, giving him this
      information; and I myself am remaining here with the greatest care
      possible. Never disturb yourself with vain thoughts? The merciful
      Father must certainly make us successful. My dear, I have not
      forgotten the Bengali translation of “Shakespeare;” it cannot be
      got now in the shops; but one of my friends, Bonkima by name, has
      given me one copy. When I come home, I shall bring it with me. My
      dear, what a great source of pleasure is the acquisition of
      learning! I am conversing with you, although at such a great
      distance, Ah! what great happiness would my mind have enjoyed if
      my mother did not forbid you to send letters to me._

                                             “_I am, yours_,

                                                         “BINDU MADHAR.”

      As to myself—I have a full confidence as to that. If there be any
      fault in your character, then who should be an example of good
      conduct? Because I am fickle; cannot sit, for some time quietly in
      one place, my mother-in-law calls me the daughter of a mad woman.
      But, where is my fickleness now. In the place, where I have opened
      the letter of my dear Lord, I have spent nearly a fourth part of
      the day. The fickleness of the exterior part has now gone into the
      heart. As, on the boiling of the rice, the froth rising up makes
      the surface quiet, but the rice within is agitated; so am I now. I
      have not that smiling face now. A sweet smile is the wife of
      happiness; and so soon as happiness dies, the sweet smile goes
      along with it. My Lord, when thou shalt prove successful, every
      thing shall be preserved; if I am to see your face disquieted, all
      sides will be dark unto me. O my restless mind, wilt thou be not
      quieted? If you remain unquiet, that can be suffered. As to your
      weeping, none can see it, nor can hear it; but my eyes! you shall
      throw me into shame, (_rubbing her eyes_); if ye are not pacified,
      I shall not be able to go out of doors.

                                _Enter_ ADURI

      _Aduri._ What are you doing here? The elder Haldarni[21] is not
      able to go to the tank-side. All whom I see are of a disturbed

      _Saralota._ (_A deep sigh._) Let us then go.

      _Aduri._ I see you have not yet touched the oil. Your hairs are
      yet dusty, and you have not yet left the letter. Does our young
      Haldar write my name in the letter?

      _Saralota._ Has the Bara Takur (the eldest brother of the husband)
      finished his bathing?

      _Aduri._ The eldest Haldar is gone to the village. A law-suit is
      being carried on. Was that not written in your letter? Our master
      was weeping.

      _Saralota._ (_Aside_) Truly, my Lord! Thou shalt not be able to
      show thy face, if thou can’st not prove successful. (_Openly_) Let
      us now rub ourselves with oil in the cook-room.

                                                          (_Exit both._)


Footnote 21:

        Referring to Soirindri, the wife of Nobin Madhab.



                        SECOND ACT—THIRD SCENE.
                      A ROAD POINTING THREE WAYS.


                            _Enter_ PODI MOYRANI.

      _Podi._ It is the degenerate Amin who is ruining the country. Is
      it through my own choice that I am levelling the axe at my
      feet,[22] by giving the young woman to the Saheb? As to that
      preparation which Ray made, had it not been caught[23] by Sadhu,
      she would have been provided with food and clothing for life. Ah,
      it bursts my heart when I see the face of Khetromani. Have I no
      feelings of compassion, because I have made a paramour my
      companion? Whenever she sees me still, she comes to me, calling me
      Aunt! Aunt! Can the mother, with a firm heart, give such _a golden
      deer into the grasp of the tiger_? How detestable is this, that
      for the sake of money, I have given up my caste and my life; and
      also am obliged to touch the bed of a Buno (rude tribe). That
      libertine, the elder Saheb, has made it a practice to beat me
      whenever he finds me, and has also said, he will cut off my nose
      and ears;—that vile man is come to an old age, can keep women in
      confinement, and can kick them; such a vile man, I have not seen
      in the present day. Let me go to the black-mouthed Amin and tell
      him that shall not be effected by me. Have I any power to go out
      in the town? Whenever the nasty fellows of the neighbourhood see
      me, they follow me as the Phinga (a kind of bird) does the crow.

      (_Aside, a song._) Whenever I sit down to reap the rice in the
      field, his eyes immediately come before my sight.

                             _Enter a Cow-herd._

      _Cow-herd._ _Saheb_, have not insects attacked thine Indigo-twigs?

      _Podi._ Let them attack thy mother and sister, thou degenerate
      fool. Leave off thy mother’s breast, go to the house of Death; go
      to Colmighata, to the grave.[24]

      _Cow-herd._ I have also sent orders to prepare a pair of weeding

                        _Enter a Latyal or Club-man._

      Oh! the Latyal of the Indigo Factory.

                      _The Cow-herd flies off swiftly._

      _Latyal._ Thou, Oh lotus-faced, hast made the tooth-powder very

      _Podi._ (_Seeing the silver chain round the waist of the Latyal._)
      Your chain is very grand.

      _Club-man._ Don’t you know, my dear, the clothing of the bailiff
      and the dress of the dancer?

      _Podi._ I wanted a black calf from you a long while ago, but yet
      you did not give it me. My brother, I shall not ask from thee any

      _Club-man._ Dear lotus-faced, don’t be angry with me. To-morrow,
      we shall go to plunder the place called Shamanagara; and if I can
      get a black calf, I shall immediately keep that in your cow-house.
      When I shall return with my fish, I shall pass by your house.

                                                  (_Exit the Club-man._)

      _Podi._ The Planter Sahebs do nothing but rob. If the ryots be
      loaded in a less degree with exactions they can preserve their
      lives; and you[25] can get your Indigo. The Munshies of
      Shamanagara entreated most earnestly to get ten portions of land
      free. “_The Thief never hears the instructions of Religion._” The
      wretched elder Saheb remained quiet, having burnt his wretched

                   _Enter four Boys of a Native Patshala._

      _Four Boys._ (_Keeping down their mats, and expressing great mirth
      with the clapping of their hands._)

                    My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo?
                    My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo?
                    My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo?

      _Podi._ My child Kesoba, I am your aunt. Never use such words to

      _Four Boys._ (_Dance together._) My dear Moyrani; where is your

      _Podi._ My dear Ambika, I am your sister; don’t use me in this

      _Four Boys._ (_Dance round Podi._)

                    My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo?
                    My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo?
                    My dear Moyrani, where is your Indigo?

                            _Enter_ NOBIN MADHAB.

      _Podi._ What a shame is this, that I exposed my face to the elder

                            (_Exit Podi, covering herself with a veil._)

      _Nobin._ Wicked and profligate woman. (_To the children_) You are
      playing on the road still; it is now too late, go home now.

                                                     (_Exit four boys._)

      Ah! I can within five days establish a school for these boys, if
      only the tyranny of the Indigo be once stopped. The Inspector of
      this part of the country is a very good man. How very good a man
      becomes, if only learning be acquired. He is young; but in his
      conversation he has the experience of years. He has a great desire
      that a school be established in this country. I am also not
      unwilling to give money for this purpose; the large Bungalow which
      I have, can be a good place for a school; moreover, what is more
      happy than to have the boys of one’s own country to read and
      write, and study in his own house, this is the true success of
      wealth and of labour. Bindu Madhab brought the Inspector with him,
      and it is his desire, that all with one mind try to establish the
      school. But observing the unfortunate state of the country, he was
      obliged to keep his design to himself; how very mild, quiet,
      good-natured, and wise is he become now! Wisdom in younger years
      is as beautiful as the fruits in a small plant. In reading of the
      sorrow which my brother has expressed in his letter even the hard
      stone is melted and the heart of the Indigo Planter would become
      soft. I cannot now rise up to go home, I do not see any means; I
      was not able to bring one of the five to my side, and I cannot
      find where they are taken away.[26] I think Torapa will never
      speak a lie. It shall be a great loss to us, if the other four
      give evidence; especially as I was not able to make the least
      preparation; and again the Magistrate is a great friend of Mr.

      _Enter a Ryot, two Peadas or Bailiffs of the Police, and a Taidgir
                           of the Indigo Factory._

      _Ryot._ My elder Babu, preserve my two children; there is no one
      else to feed them. Last year, I gave eight carts’ load of Indigo,
      and I did not get a single pice for that, and also I am bound, as
      with cords, for the remainder. Again, they will take me to

      _Guard._ The advance-money of the Indigo and the marking nut of
      the washer-man, as soon as they come in contact, become mostly
      joined. You villain come; you must first go to the Dewanji; your
      elder Babu also shall come to this.

      _Ryot._ Come, I don’t fear this. I would rather have my body rot
      in the Jail than any more prepare the Indigo of that white man. My
      God! my God! none looks on the poor (_weeps_). My elder Babu, give
      my children food; they brought me to the field; and I was not able
      to see them once.

                                      (_Exit all, except Nobin Madhab._)

      _Nobin._ What injustice! These two children will die without food
      in the same way as the new-born young of the hare suffer when the
      hare is in the hand of the savage hunters.

                              _Enter_ RAY CHURN.

      _Ray._ Had not my brother caught hold of us, I would have put a
      stop to her breathing. I would have killed her; then, at the
      utmost, I had been hanged within six months.[27] That villain!

      _Nobin._ Ray Churn, where art thou going?

      _Ray._ Our mistress ordered me to call Putakur. The stupid Podi
      told me that the bailiff will bring the summons to-morrow.

                                                     (_Exit Ray Churn._)

      _Nobin._ Oh! oh! oh! That which never took place in this family,
      has now come to pass. My father is very peaceful, honest, and of a
      sincere mind; knows not what disputes and enmities are; never goes
      out of the village; trembles with fear at the name of Court
      affairs, and even shed tears when he read the letter. If he is to
      go to Indrabad, he will turn mad; and if, to the jail, he will
      throw himself into the stream. Ah, such are the misfortunes that
      are to fall on him, while I, his son, am living! My mother is not
      so much afraid as my father is; she does not lose hope at once;
      with a firm mind, she is now invoking God. My deer-eyed is become,
      as it were, the deer in my volcano[28]; she is become mad with
      fear and anxiety. Her father died in an Indigo Factory; and her
      fear, now, is lest the same happens to her husband. How many sides
      am I to keep quiet? Is it proper to fly off with the whole family;
      or, is it not right that to do good unto others is the highest
      virtue? I shall not turn aside hastily. I see, I am not able to do
      any good to Shamanagara; still, what work is there which is beyond
      the power of exertion? Let me see what I can do.

                             _Enter two Pundits._

      _First P._ My child, is the house of Goluk Chunder Bose in this
      quarter? I heard from my uncle, that person is very honest—the
      grandeur of the Bose family.

      _Nobin._ (_Bowing before him._) Sir, I am his eldest son.

      _First P._ Yes! yes! very honest! To have such a son is not the
      result of a little virtue.

      _Second P._ We had been invited by Babu Arabindu, of Sougandha.
      To-day, we remain in the house of Goluk Chunder; and shall do good
      unto you.

      _Nobin._ This is my great fortune. Sirs, come by this way.

                                                           (_Exit all._)


Footnote 22:

        This expression “striking the axe on my feet” signifies ruining

Footnote 23:

        That is, had the intrigue used by Ray not been detected, it
        would have proved very advantageous.

Footnote 24:

        All these signify that let Death come upon thee.

Footnote 25:

        The word “you” refers to the Indigo Planters.

Footnote 26:

        This number, five, here referred to, are the persons whom he was
        trying to bring on his side for the law-suit.

Footnote 27:

        This expression “had been hanged for six months,” is only used

Footnote 28:

        That is, as the deer feels disquieted when exposed in a volcano,
        so is my mate troubled by the many anxieties in my mind.



                         THIRD ACT—FIRST SCENE.


                  _Enter_ GOPI CHURN _and a Native Jailor_.

      _Gopi._ As long as your share is not less, don’t bring anything to
      my notice.

      _Jailor._ Can that filth be digested by one person eating the
      whole? I told him, if you eat, give a part to the Dewanji; but he
      says what power has your Dewan? He is not so much the son of a
      Keát, (_shoemaker caste_) that he shall direct the Saheb like unto
      one leading a monkey.

      _Gopi._ Very well, now go; I shall show that Kaot (what a club)
      how strong he is.

                                                       (_Exit Khálási._)

      The fellow has got so much power through the authority of the
      younger Saheb. I shall also say it is a very easy thing for one to
      carry on his work, if his master be the husband of his sister; the
      elder Saheb becomes very angry at this word. But the fellow is
      very angry with me; at every word, he shows me the Shamchand. That
      day he kicked me with his stockings on. These few days, I see that
      his temper is become somewhat mild towards me; since Goluk Bose is
      summoned, he has expressed a little kindness. A person is
      considered very expert by the Saheb, if he can bring about the
      ruin of many. “_One becomes a good Physician by the death of one
      hundred patients._”

                             (_Seeing Mr. Wood._)

      Here he is coming; let me first soften his mind by giving him some
      information about the Boses.

                              _Enter_ MR. WOOD.

      Saheb, tears have now come out of the eyes of Nobin Bose. Never
      was he punished more severely. His garden is taken away from him;
      the small pieces of land he had are all included among the lands
      which are given to Gada, Poda (_low castes_); his cultivation is
      nearly put a stop to; his magazines are all become empty, and he
      was sent into Court twice; in the midst of so many troubles, he
      still stood firm; but now he has fallen down.

      _Planter._ That rascal was not able to do any thing in

      _Gopi._ Saheb, the Munshis came to him; but he told them, my mind
      is not at rest now, “my limbs are become powerless through weeping
      for my father, and I am, as it were, become mad.” On observing the
      wretched condition of Nobin, about seven or eight ryots of
      Shamanagara have all given up, and all are doing exactly as your
      Honour is ordering them.

      _Planter._ You are a very good Dewan, and you have formed a very
      good plan.

      _Gopi._ I knew Goluk Bose to be a coward, and that if he were
      obliged to go to Court, he would turn mad. As Nobin has a great
      affection for his father, he will of course be punished; and it
      was for this reason that I gave the advice to make the old man the
      defendant. Also, the plan which your Honour formed was not the
      less good. Our Indigo cultivation has been newly made on the sides
      of his tank; thus laying the snake’s eggs in his heart.

      _Planter._ _With one stone two birds have been killed_; ten bigahs
      of land are cultivated with Indigo, and also that fool is
      punished. He shed much tears, saying that if Indigo be planted
      near the tank we shall be obliged to leave our habitation; but I
      said, to cultivate Indigo in one’s habitation is to the best

      _Gopi._ And the fool brought an action in the Court, on hearing
      that reply.

      _Planter._ That will be of no effect; that Magistrate is a very
      good man. If the case turn into a civil one it will never be
      concluded in less than five years. That Magistrate is a great
      friend of mine. Just see, by the new Act, the four rascals were
      thrown into prison only by making your evidence strong. _This Act
      is become the brother of the sword._

      _Gopi._ Saheb, in order that those four ryots might not suffer
      loss in their cultivation, Nobin Bose has given his own plough,
      kine, and harrow for the ploughing of their lands; and he is
      trying his utmost that their families might not suffer great

      _Planter._ When he is required to plough this land, for which
      advances are allowed, he says, my ploughs and kine are less in
      number. He is very wicked; and now he is very well punished.
      Dewan, now you have done very well, and now I see work may be
      carried on by you, without loss.

      _Gopi._ Saheb, it is your own favour. My desire is, that advances
      should be increased every year. But that cannot be done by me
      alone; some confident Amin and Khalasis are necessary. Can the
      Indigo cultivation be improved by those who, for the sake of two
      rupees, occasioned the loss of the produce of three bigahs of

      _Planter._ I have understood it, the rascally Amin occasioned this

      _Gopi._ Saheb, the new habitation, and the taking of advances of
      Chunder Goladar are not allowed here. The Amin once, according to
      regular custom, threw one rupee on his ground as an advance. That
      person, in order to be allowed to return that rupee even shed
      tears and came along with the Amin as far as Ruthtollah, begging
      him earnestly to take it back. There he met with Nilkanta Babu,
      who has chosen the profession of an Attorney immediately after
      leaving the College.

      _Planter._ I know that rascal; he, it is, who writes every thing
      concerning me in the newspapers.

      _Gopi._ Their papers can never stand before yours, can by no means
      bear a comparison; and, moreover, they are as _the earthen bottles
      for cooling water compared to the jars of Dacca_. But, to bring
      the newspapers within your influence, great expense has been
      incurred. That takes place according to time; as is said,

          “According to circumstances, the friend becomes an enemy:
          The lame ass is sold at the price of the horse.”

      _Planter._ What did Nilkanta do?

      _Gopi._ He sharply rebuked the Amin; and the Amin with no little
      shame brought back that one rupee, with two rupees more, from
      Goladar’s house. Chunder Goladar would have been able very easily
      to supply the Indigo for three or four bigahs. Is this the work of
      a servant? If I can conduct the Dewanny and the business of the
      Amin, then this kind of ingratitude can be stopped.

      _Planter._ Great wickedness this is; evident ingratitude.

      _Gopi._ Saheb, grant pardon for this bad conduct; the Amin brought
      his own sister to our younger Saheb’s room.

      _Planter._ Yes! Yes! I know; that rascal and Podi corrupted our
      young Saheb. I must give that wicked fool some instruction very
      soon. Send him to my sitting room.

                                                      (_Exit Mr. Wood._)

      _Gopi._ Just see, _in whose hand the monkey plays best. The Khait
      is one rogue, and the Crow another._

      “_Now have you fallen under the stroke of the Khait; where even
      the grand-father of the sister’s husband loses the game._”


                        THIRD ACT—SECOND SCENE.
                     THE BED-ROOM OF NOBIN MADHAB.


                   NOBIN MADHAB _and_ SOIRINDRI _sitting_.

      _Soirindri._ Lord of my soul, what is preferable, whether the
      ornament or my father-in-law? That, for which thou art wandering
      about day and night; that, for which thou hast left thy food and
      sleep; that, for which thou art shedding tears incessantly; that,
      for which thy pleasant face has been depressed; and that which has
      occasioned thy head-ache; my dear Lord, can I not for that give
      away this my trifling ornament.

      _Nobin._ My dear, you can, with ease, give; but with what face
      shall I take it? What great troubles the husband is to undergo in
      order to dress his wife: he has to swim in the rapid stream, to
      throw himself into the deep ocean, engage in battles, to climb
      mountains, to live in the wilderness, and to go before the mouth
      of the tiger. The husband adorns his wife with so much trouble; am
      I so very foolish as to take away the ornament from the very same
      wife. O my lotus-eyed, wait a little. Let me see this day, and if,
      finally I cannot procure it, then I shall take your ornaments

      _Soirindri._ O my heart’s love! We are very unfortunate now; and
      who is there that shall give you on loan the sum of Co.’s Rs. 500
      at such a time. I am entreating you again, take my ornaments and
      those of our youngest Bou, and try to procure money from a banker.
      Observing your troubles the lotus-like young Bou is become sad.

      _Nobin._ Ah! my sweet-faced, the cruel words which you used struck
      on my heart like arrows of fire. Our youngest Bou, she is a girl;
      good clothes and beautiful ornaments are objects of pleasure to
      her. What understanding has she now? What does she know of family
      business. As our young Bipin cries when his neck-lace is taken
      from him in play, so our youngest Bou weeps when her ornaments are
      taken away. Oh, oh! am I formed so mean-spirited a man? Am I to be
      so cruel a robber? Shall I deceive a young girl? This can never
      be, as long as life exists. The worthless Indigo Planters even
      cannot commit such a crime. My dear, never use such a word before

      _Soirindri._ Beloved of my soul, that pain with which I told these
      words, is only known to me and the omniscient God. What doubt is
      there, that they are fiery arrows? They have burst my heart and
      burnt my tongue, and then having divided the lips, have entered
      your heart. It is with great pain that I told you to take the
      ornaments of the youngest Bou. Can there be any pleasure in the
      mind, after having observed this your insane wandering, this
      weeping of my father-in-law, the deep sighs of my mother-in-law,
      the sad face of the youngest Bou, the dejected countenance of
      relatives and friends, and the sorrowful mournings of the ryots?
      If by any means we can restore safety, then all shall be safe. My
      Lord, I do feel the same pain in giving the ornaments of our
      youngest Bou, as if I had to give those of Bipin; but if I give
      away the ornaments of Bipin, before giving those of the youngest
      Bou, that would prove an act of cruelty to her; since, she might
      think that my sister looks on me as a stranger. Can I give pain to
      her honest heart by doing this? Is this the work of the elder
      sister who is like a mother?

      _Nobin._ My dear love! Your heart is very sincere. There is not a
      second to you in sincerity in the female race. Is this my family
      reduced to this state! What was I, and what am I now become! The
      sum of my profits was seven hundred Rupees. I had fifteen
      warehouses for corn, sixteen bigahs of garden land, twenty ploughs
      and fifty harrows. What great feasts had I at the time of the
      Puja; the house filled with men, feasting the Brahmins, gifts to
      the poor, the feasting of friends and relations, the musical
      entertainments of the Voishnabas, and also pleasant theatrical
      representations. I have expended such large sums, and even given
      as donations one hundred Rupees. Being so rich, now I am obliged
      to take away the ornaments of my wife, and the wife of my young
      brother. What affliction? God, thou didst give these, and thou
      hast taken them again. Then, what sorrow?

      _Soirindri._ My dear, when I see you weep, my life itself weeps
      (_tears in her eyes_). Was there so much pain in my fate; am I
      thus destined to see such distress in my Lord? Do not prevent me
      any more. (_Takes out the amulet._)

      _Nobin._ My heart bursts when I see your tears (_rubbing the
      tears_). Stop my dear, of the moon-like face, stop (_taking hold
      of her hands_). Keep these; one day more, let me see.

      _Soirindri._ My dear, what further resource is left? Do, as I tell
      you now. If it be so destined, there shall be many ornaments
      afterwards (_aside, sneezing_); true, true. Aduri is coming.

                      _Enter_ ADURI _with two letters_.

      _Aduri._ I can’t say whence the letters came; but my mistress told
      me to give them to you.

                               (_Exit Aduri, after giving the letters._)

      _Nobin._ It shall be known by these letters whether your ornaments
      are to be taken or not. (_Opens the first letter._)

      _Soirindri._ Read it aloud.

      _Nobin._ (_Reads the letter._)

      “DEAR FRIEND,—_This is to make it known to you, that to give a sum
      of money to you at present is only to make a return of favours. My
      mother has taken leave of this world yesterday; and the day of her
      first funeral obsequies is very near. This have I written
      yesterday. The tobacco is not yet sold._

                                             “_I am, yours_,

                                                    “GHONOSYAM MUKERJI.”

      What misfortune is this! Is this my assistance on the funeral
      obsequies of the mother of the honorable Mukerji? Let me see what
      deadly weapon hast thou brought. (_Opens the letter._)

      _Soirindri._ My dear, it is very miserable to fall into despair
      after entertaining high hopes. Let the letter remain as it is.

      _Nobin._ (_Reads the letter._)

      “HONORED SIR,—_I received your last letter, and was much pleased
      with reading of your good fortune. I have already collected the
      sum of three hundred Rupis, and shall take that along with me to
      you to-morrow. As to the remaining one hundred, I shall clear that
      on the coming month. The great benefit which you have bestowed on
      me, excites me to give some interest._

                            “_I am, your most obdt. Servt._,

                                                 “GOKUL KRISHNA PALITA.”

      _Soirindri._ I think God has turned his face towards us; now, let
      me go, and give this information to our youngest Bou.

                                                     (_Exit Soirindri._)

      _Nobin._ (_Aside._) My life is, as it were, the idol of sincerity;
      it is a piece of a straw in a rapid stream. Let me take my father
      now to Indrabad, depending on this; as to the future it shall be
      according to Fate. With me I have one hundred and fifty Rupis. As
      to the tobacco, if I had kept it for a month more, I would have
      sold that for the sum of five hundred Rupis; but what can I do? I
      am obliged to give it for three hundred and fifty Rupis, since I
      have to pay much for the Officers of the Court; and also heavy
      expenses for going to and returning from the place. If on account
      of this false case, there be a delay, then am I certain that the
      destruction of this land is very near. What a brutal Act is
      passed? But, what is the fault of the Act; or of those who passed
      the Act? What misery can the country suffer if those who are to
      carry out the Act, do it with impartiality? Ah, by this Act how
      many persons are suffering in prison-houses without a fault! It
      bursts the heart to see the miseries of their wives and children;
      the pots for boiling rice on the hearths are remaining as they
      are; the several kinds of grain in their yards are being dried up;
      their kine in the rooms are all remaining bound in their places;
      the cultivation of the fields is not fully carried out, the seeds
      are not sown, and the wild grass in the rice fields is not cut
      off. What further prospects are there in the present year? All are
      crying aloud, with the exclamation, Where is my lord? Where is my
      father? Some Magistrates are dispensing justice with proper
      consideration; in their hands this Act is not become the rod of
      death. Ah! Had all Magistrates been as just as the Magistrate of
      Amaranagara is, then could the harrow fall on the ripe grain and
      the locusts destroy the fields? Had that been the case, would I
      ever have been thrown into so many dangers? O, thou
      Lieutenant-Governor! had’st thou engaged men of the same good
      character as thou had’st enacted laws, then the country would
      never have been miserable. O, thou Governor of the land! had’st
      thou made such a regulation, that every plaintiff, when his case
      is proved false, shall be put in prison, then the jail of
      Amaranagara would have been crowded with Indigo Planters; and they
      would never have been so very powerful. Our Magistrate is
      transferred, but our case is to continue here to the end; and that
      will occasion our ruin.

                                                      (_Enter Sabitri._)

      _Sabitri._ If you are to give up all the ploughs, is it that even
      then you are to take the advance-money? Sell all your ploughs and
      kine, and engage in trade; we shall enjoy ourselves with the
      profits that shall accrue from that. We can no longer endure this.

      _Nobin._ Mother, I, also, have the same desire. Only, I wait till
      Bindu is engaged in some service. If we leave off ploughing the
      land, it will be impossible for us to maintain the family; and it
      is for this reason, that we have still, with so much trouble, kept
      these ploughs.

      _Sabitri._ How shalt thou go with this headache? Oh oh! was such
      Indigo produced in this land! (_Places her hand on Nobin’s head_).

                                                       (_Enter Reboti._)

      _Reboti._ My mother! Where shall I go? What shall I do? They have
      done what! Why is it that through ill-fortune I brought her?
      Having brought one of a strange caste, I am become unable to
      preserve propriety. My eldest Babu! preserve me; my life is on the
      point of bursting out. Bring me Khetromani; bring me my _puppet of

      _Sabitri._ These destroyers can do all things. Ye are taking by
      force the pieces of ground of men, their grain, their kine and
      calves. By the force of clubs, ye are cultivating Indigo, and the
      people are doing your work with cries and sobbings.

      _Reboti._ My mother! I am preparing the Indigo, taking only half
      the food. Those bigahs which they had marked, on them I worked.
      When Ray works, he weeps with deep sighs; if he hear of this my
      work, he would become, as it were, insane.

      _Nobin._ Where is Sadhu now?

      _Reboti._ He is sitting outside, and is weeping.

      _Nobin._ To a woman of good family, _constancy in faithfulness to
      her husband is, as it were, the loadstone_; and how very beautiful
      does she appear (_ramaniki ramaniyá_) when she is decorated with
      that ornament. Is a woman of a good family carried off, when the
      Bhima-like Svaropur of my father is still in existence? At this
      very moment shall I go. I shall see what manner of injustice this
      is. _The Indigo frog can never sit on the white waterlily-like
      constancy of a woman._

                                                  (_Exit Nobin Madhab._)

      _Sabitri._ _Chastity is the store of gold which is given by
      Providence; it is so valuable that it makes the beggar woman, a
      queen._ If you can rescue this jewel before it is soiled, from the
      hands of the Indigo monkey, then shall I say that you have
      actually answered the purpose of my being your mother. Such
      injustice I never heard of. Now, Ghose Bou, let us go out-side.


                         THIRD ACT—THIRD SCENE.
                          MR. ROSE’S CHAMBER.


             MR. ROSE _sitting. Enter_ PODI MOYRANI & KHETROMANI.

      _Khetra._ My aunt, don’t speak of such things to me; I can give up
      my life, but my chastity never; cut me in pieces, burn me in the
      fire, throw me into the water, and bury me under ground; but as to
      touching another man that can I never do. What will my husband

      _Podi._ Where is your husband now, and where are you? This shall
      no one know. Within this night, I shall bring you back with me to
      your mother.

      _Khetra._ Very well, the husband may not know it—but God above
      will know it, and I shall never be able to throw dust in his eyes.
      Like the fire of the brick-kiln it will still burn within my
      breast, and the more my husband shall love me for my constancy,
      the more my soul shall be tortured. Openly or secretly, I never
      can take a paramour.

      _Podi._ My child, come, come to the Saheb. Whatever you have to
      say, say to him. To speak to me is like _crying in the

      _Planter Rose._ To speak to me is _throwing pearls at the hog’s
      feet_. Ha, ha, ha, we Indigo Planters, are become the companions
      of Death; can our Factories remain, if we have pity? By nature, we
      are not bad; our evil disposition has increased by Indigo
      cultivation. Before, we felt sorrow in beating one man; now, we
      can beat ten persons with the Ramkant (leather strap), making them
      senseless; and immediately after, we can, with great laughter,
      take our dinner or supper.

      _Torap._ I will swim over the stream to my house, this night. What
      more shalt thou hear of my fate; I broke down the window of the
      Attorney’s stable, and immediately ran off to the Zemindary of
      Babu Bosonto, and then in the night came to my wife and children.
      This Planter has stopped every thing; has he left any means for
      men to live by ploughing? How very terrible are the thrusts of the
      Indigo? Again, the advice is given to serve for it. Now, Sir,
      where are your kicks with your shoes on, and your beating on the
      head? (_Thrusts him with his knees_).

      _Nobin._ Torap, what is the use of beating him? We ought not to be
      cruel, because they are so; I am going.

                                        (_Exit Nobin, with Khetromani._)

      _Torap._ Do you want to show such ill-usage and bad conduct? Speak
      to your old father and carry on your business by mutual consent;
      how long shall your force of hand continue? You shall not be able
      to do anything, when I shall fly. There is no abuse more horrid
      than to say, Die! When your destiny shall decide, you shall have
      to enter the Factory of the Tomb. Just settle our eldest Babu’s
      account of the last year; and take what he consents to sow of
      Indigo in the present year. It is owing to you that they have
      fallen into a state of confusion. It is not merely to load one
      with advances, but cultivation is necessary. Good evening, our
      young Saheb. Now, I go. (_Throws him about, lying on his back, and
      flies off._)


                        THIRD ACT—FOURTH SCENE.


                               _Enter_ SABITRI.

      _Sabitri._ (_With a deep sigh._) O thou cruel Magistrate! Why
      didst not thou also give me a summons? I would have gone to the
      zillah with my husband and my child; that would have been far
      better than remaining in this desert. Ah! my husband always
      remains in the house, never goes out to another village even on
      invitation. Is he destined to suffer so much?—The peadahs taking
      him away, and he himself to go to the jail. Bhagavati, my mother!
      was there so much in thy mind? Ah! he says, that he can never
      sleep, but in a room very long and broad; he eats only the boiled
      Atapa rice;[29] he takes the food prepared by no other hand but
      that of the eldest Bou. Ah! he brought out blood out of his breast
      by severe slaps; he made his eyes swollen by tears; and at the
      same time, he took his leave, he said this is my going to the side
      of the Ganges[30] (_weeps_). Nobin says, Mother call on Bhagavati.
      I must return home having gained my object and bring him home
      also. Ah! the face of my son, like unto that of gold, is
      blackened; what great troubles for the collection of money!
      Wandering about without rest, his brain is become like a
      whirl-pool. Lest I give away the ornaments of the Bous, my son
      encourages me, saying, My mother, what want of money? What large
      sum will be necessary for this case? How shall my child grieve, if
      my ornaments be given in mortgage for our suit on small portions
      of land! He says, as soon as I get a small sum of money, I shall
      immediately bring back the ornaments. My son has courage in his
      tongue and tears in his eyes. Ah! he started with tears in his
      eyes. My dear Nobin, in this heat of the sun, went to Indrabad;
      and I, a great sinner, remained confined in my room. Is this the
      life thy mother spends!

                              _Enter_ SOIRINDRI.

      _Soirindri._ Madam, it is now too late. Now bathe. It is our
      unfortunate destiny; else, why shall such an occurrence come to

      _Sabitri._ (_With tears._) No, my daughter, as long as my Nobin
      does not return, I shall never give rice and water to my body. Who
      shall give food to my son?

      _Soirindri._ His brother has a lodging house there, and they have
      a Brahmin; there will be no disturbance. You had better come and

                    _Enter_ SARALOTA, _with a cup of oil_.

      Young Bou, you had better rub the oil on her body, and make her
      bathe, and bring her to the cook-room. Let me go to prepare the

                                                     (_Exit Soirindri._)

            (_Saralota rubs the oil on her mother-in-law’s body._)

      _Sabitri._ My parrot[31] is become silent; my daughter has no more
      words in her month; she is faded like a stale flower. Ah! ah! for
      how long have I not seen Bindu Madhab? I am waiting in expectation
      that the College will be closed, and my son will come home. But
      this danger is come (_applying her hand on Saralota’s chin_). Ah!
      the mouth of my dear one is dry, I think you have not yet taken
      any food. While I have fallen into this danger, when shall I
      examine, whether any have taken their food or not. Let me bathe
      you, go and take some food. I am also going.

                                                          (_Exit both._)


Footnote 29:

        When the rice in cleansed from its husks by being placed in the
        sun, instead of being boiled, it is called the Atapa rice.

Footnote 30:

        That is, this is his last leave.

Footnote 31:

        The word parrot here refers to Saralota. As the parrot is
        generally an object of fondness to persons, so Saralota was
        called a parrot, because she was much loved by her



                        FOURTH ACT—FIRST SCENE.


      _Enter_ MR. WOOD, MR. ROSE, _the Magistrate, and An Officer,
      Attorneys of the Plaintiff and the Defendant, the Agent, Nazir, a
      Bailiff, Servants, Ryots, &c., standing_.

      _Defendant’s Attorney._ May the prayer in this application be
      granted. (_Gives the application to the Sheristadar._)

      _Magistrate._ Very well; read it. (_Speaks with Mr. Wood, and

      _Sheristadar._ (_To the Defendant’s Attorney._) You have written
      here what equals the length of the Ramayan. Can the petition be
      read without its being in abstract? (_Turns to another page of the

      _Magistrate._ (_Having spoken with Mr. Wood, and concealing his
      laughter_). Read clearly.

      _Sheristadar._ In the absence of the defendant and his attorneys,
      the evidence is already taken from the witnesses of the plaintiff.
      We pray that the witnesses of the plaintiff be again called.

      _Plaintiff’s Attorney._ My Lord, it is true that attorneys are
      given up to lying, deceiving, and forgery; they easily forge and
      tell lies, and are incessantly engaged in immoral actions. They
      lead astray married women; and then they themselves enjoy their
      houses and every thing else. The Zemindars hate the attorneys; but
      for the effecting their special purposes, they call them, and give
      them a seat on their couch. My Lord, the very profession of the
      attorneys is a cheating one. But the attorneys of the Indigo
      Planters can never deceive. The Indigo Planters are Christians;
      falsehood is accounted a great sin in the Christian Religion.
      Stealing, licentiousness, murder, and other actions of that nature
      are also looked upon as hateful in that religion not taking evil
      actions into consideration, even forming evil designs in the mind
      dooms a man to burn in the fire of hell. The main aim of the
      Christian Religion is to show kindness, to forgive, to be mild and
      to do good unto others; so, it is by no means probable that the
      Indigo Planters, who follow such a true and pure religion, ever
      give false evidence. My Lord, we do serve such Indigo Planters; we
      have reformed our character according to theirs, and even, if we
      desire, we can, by no means, teach the witness anything false;
      since if the Sahebs, the lovers of truth, find the least fault in
      their servants, they punish them according to the rules of
      justice. The Amin of the Factory, the witness of the defendant, is
      an example of that. Because he deprived the ryot of his advances,
      the kind Saheb drove him from his office; and being angry on
      account of the cries of the poor ryot, he also beat him severely.

      _Wood the Planter._ (_To the Magistrate._) Extreme provocation!
      Extreme provocation!

      _Plaintiff’s Attorney._ My Lord, many questions were put to my
      witnesses; had they been witnesses who were prepared ones
      (perjured) they would have been caught by those very questions.
      The lawyers have said, “The Judge is as the advocate of the
      defendant,” consequently the questions to be put by the defendant,
      are already asked by your Honour. Therefore, there is no
      probability of any advantage to the defendant, if the witnesses be
      brought here again; but on the other hand, it will prove very
      disadvantageous to them. Honored Sir, the witnesses are poor
      people who live by holding the plough. By the plough they maintain
      their wives and children; their fields become ruined if they do
      not remain there for the whole day; so much so, that because it
      proves a loss to them if they come home, their wives bring boiled
      rice and refreshments bound in handkerchiefs to them in the
      fields, and make them eat that. It proves an entire loss to the
      ryots to come away from the fields for one day; and at such a
      time, if they be brought to such a distant part of the zillah by
      summons, then the labours of the whole year will go for nothing.
      Honored Sir, Honored Sir, do as you think just.

      _Magistrate._ I don’t see any reason for that (_as advised by Mr.
      Wood_). There seems no necessity for that.

      _Defendant’s Attorney._ My Lord, the ryots of no village take the
      advances of the Indigo Planters with their full consent. The
      Indigo Planter, accompanied by the Amins and servants, or his
      Dewan, goes on horse-back to the field, marks off the best pieces
      of land, and orders the preparation of the Indigo. Then the owner
      of the land brings the ryots to the Factory, and having made known
      to them the particulars of the matter, takes their signatures for
      the advances. The ryots, taking the money in advance, come home
      with tears in their eyes; and the day on which any of them comes
      home with the money, his house, becomes filled, as it were, with
      the tears of persons weeping for the death of a relative or
      friend. On the payment of the Indigo to the Indigo Planter, even
      if the latter have something still to pay to the farmers above the
      sum of the advances as the price of that article, yet they keep it
      in their Account-books that the farmers have still something to
      pay. The ryots, when they have once taken the advance, will suffer
      pain for not less than seven generations. The sorrow which the
      ryots endure in the preparation of the Indigo is known only to
      themselves and the Great God, the Preserver of the poor. Whenever
      some sit together, they converse about the advances and inform
      each other of their respective sums; and also try how to save
      themselves. They have no necessity for forming plans and mutually
      taking the advice of each other. Of themselves they are become as
      mad as the dog who received a blow on the head. The witnesses gave
      evidence that the ryots were willing to prepare Indigo; but that
      the person who has engaged me had, by advice and intimidation,
      stopped their engaging in the preparation of Indigo. This is a
      very striking and an evident forgery. Honored Sir, once more bring
      them before the Bench, and your servant will by two questions
      disclose the falsity of their evidence. I do acknowledge, that
      Nobin Madhab Bose, the son of Goluk Chunder Bose, who engaged me,
      tried his utmost to extricate the helpless ryots from the hands of
      the giant-like Indigo Planters. I do acknowledge this. He also
      proved himself successful in stopping the tyranny of Mr. Wood;
      which is known fully by the case which was brought here for the
      burning of the village of Polaspore. But Goluk Chunder Bose is of
      a very peaceful character; he fears the Indigo Planters more than
      the tigers, never engages in any quarrels; at no time injures
      another, and even is not courageous enough to save another from
      danger. My Saheb, that Goluk Chunder Bose is a man of a good
      character, is known to all persons in the zillah, and can be known
      even by enquiring of the Amlas of the Court.

      _Goluk._ Honored Sir, the whole sum due for my Indigo of the last
      year was not paid; still only through fear of coming into Court, I
      consented to take the advance for sixty bigahs of land. My eldest
      son said, “Father, we have other ways of living; the loss in
      Indigo for one year or two might stop feasts and religious
      ceremonies, but will not produce want of food. But those who
      entirely depend on their ploughs; what means have they? Losing
      this case if we be obliged again to engage in the Indigo
      cultivation, all will be obliged to do the same afterwards.” He
      said this is a wise man; and consequently I told him to make the
      Saheb, by entreaties and supplications, to agree to fifty bigahs.
      The Saheb said nothing, neither Yes nor No; and secretly made
      preparations to bring me in my old age, to gaol. I know that the
      only way to get happiness is to keep the Sahebs contented; the
      country is the Saheb’s, the Judges are their brothers and friends;
      and is it proper to do anything against them? Extricate me, and I
      make this promise, that if I cannot prepare the Indigo from want
      of ploughs and kine, I will annually give the Saheb Co.’s Rs. 100
      in the place of that. Am I a person to tutor the ryots? Do I meet

      _Defendant’s Attorney._ Honored Sir, of the four ryots who came as
      witnesses, one is of the Tikiri caste; he has no knowledge of what
      a plough is; he has no lands and no rents to pay; has no kine and
      no cow-house; and this can be best known by proper examination.
      Kanai Torofdar is a ryot of a different village; and as to our
      Babu he has no acquaintance with him. For these reasons we do pray
      that these men be brought again. The legislators have said, before
      the decision, the defendant ought to be supplied with all proper
      means. Saheb, if this my prayer be granted, I shall have no more
      reasons for complaint.

      _Plaintiff’s Attorney._ Saheb.

      _Magistrate._ (_Writes a letter._) Speak, speak; I am not writing
      from hearsay.

      _Plaintiff’s Attorney._ Saheb, if at this time, the ryots be
      brought here they will suffer great loss; else, I, also, would
      have prayed for their being brought here again, since the offences
      of the defendant which are already proved, may receive stronger
      confirmation. Sir, the bad character of Goluk Chunder Bose is
      known throughout the country; he who benefits him, in return,
      receives injuries. The Indigo Planters crossing the immeasurable
      ocean have come to this land, and have brought out its secret
      wealth; have done great benefit to the country, have increased the
      royal treasure, and have profited themselves. What place, besides
      the prison, can best befit a person who thus opposes the great
      actions of these noble men.

      _Magistrate._ (_Writes the address._) Chaprasi!

      _Chaprasi._ Sir! (_Comes to the Saheb._)

      _Magistrate._ (_Advises with Mr. Wood._) Give this to Mrs. Wood.
      Tell the Khansamah, the Saheb, who is come here, will not go

      _Sheristadar._ Sir, what orders are to be written?

      _Magistrate._ Let it remain within the _Nathi_ or Court documents.

      _Sheristadar._ (_Writes._) It is ordered that it remains within
      the _Nathi_ (_signed by the Magistrate_). Saheb, thou hast not yet
      made a signature on the orders to the reply of the defendant.

      _Magistrate._ Read it.

      _Sheristadar._ It is ordered, that the defendant is to give Co.’s
      Rs. 200, or two persons as security, and that the subpœnas be
      sent to the truthful witnesses. (_The Magistrate gives the

      _Magistrate._ Bring the case of the robbery in Mirghan to the
      Court to-morrow.

                                  (_Exit Magistrate, Mr. Wood, Mr. Rose,
                                    Chaprasi, and Bearers._)

      _Sheristadar._ Nazir, take the security-bond from the defendant

                              (_Exit sheristadar, agent, the plaintiff’s
                                attorney, the ryots._)

      _Nazir._ (_To the Defendant’s Attorney._) How can we write now,
      while it is evening; moreover, I am somewhat busy now.

      _Defendant’s Attorney._ The name is great, but in property there
      is nothing (_speaks with the Nazir._) This money they will give by
      selling the ornaments.

      _Nazir._ I have no estates, have no trade nor lands for
      cultivation. This is my whole stock. It is for your sake only that
      I have agreed to take Rupees 100. Let us go to our lodging. Be
      careful that the Dewan does not hear this. Have not they got
      something as their own.

                                                           (_Exit all._)


                        FOURTH ACT—SECOND SCENE.


              NOBIN MADHAB, BINDU MADHAB, _and_ SADHU _sitting_.

      _Nobin._ I am now obliged to go home. My mother will die as soon
      as she hears of this. What more shall I do now for you? See that
      our father does not suffer great sorrow. I have now determined on
      leaving our habitation. I shall sell off everything, and send the
      money. Whoever wants any sum, I will give him that.

      _Bindu._ The Darogah does not want money; only, for fear of the
      Magistrate, he does not allow the cooking Brahmin to be taken

      _Nobin._ Give him money and also entreat him. Ah! His[A] body is
      old; he has been without food for three days! I explained to him,
      and entreated him greatly. He says, “Nobin, let three days pass
      and then shall I think, whether I shall take food or not; within
      these three days, I shall not take any thing.”

      _Bindu._ I do not find any means, how I can be able to make my
      father take some boiled rice. The hand which he has placed on his
      eyes from the time when the Magistrate, the slave of the Indigo
      Planters, ordered him to be kept in the prison, that hand he has
      not yet removed. The hand is filled with the tears; and the piece
      where he was made to sit down at first, is still that where he now
      is. Being entirely silent, and remaining weak in body and without
      power to move, he is become like a dead pigeon in this cagelike
      prison. This day is the fourth, and to-day I must make him take
      food. You had better go home, and I shall send a letter every day.

      _Nobin._ O God, what great sorrow art thou giving to our father!
      If they do allow you, my dear Bindu, to remain day and night in
      the prison; then can I quietly go to our house.

      _Sadhu._ Let me steal, and you bring me before the Court as a
      thief. I will make the confession; they will put me in prison;
      then I will be best able to serve my master.

      _Nobin._ O Sadhu! Thou art the actual Sadhu (the honest man). Ah!
      you are now very sorry on learning the deadly sorrow of
      Khetromani; and the sooner I can take you home the better.

      _Sadhu._ (_Deep sigh._) My eldest Babu! Shall I see my daughter on
      my return. I have none other.

      _Bindu._ If you make her take that draught which I gave you, she
      must be cured by that. The Doctor heard every particular of her
      disease, and has given that medicine.

                        _Enter the Deputy Inspector._

      _D. Inspector._ Bindu Babu, Mr. Commissioner has written very
      urgently about releasing your father.

      _Bindu._ There is no doubt the Lieutenant-Governor will grant him

      _Nobin._ After what time can the notice of the release come?

      _Bindu._ It will not be more than fifteen days.

      _D. Inspector._ The Deputy Magistrate of Amaranagara gave an order
      of imprisonment for six months to a certain Mooktyar according to
      this law; but he had to remain for sixteen days in the gaol.

      _Nobin._ Shall such a time ever come, that the Governor, becoming
      friendly, destroy the evil desires of the unfriendly Magistrate?

      _Bindu._ There is a God, the Lord of the Universe; and he must do
      it. Sir, you had better start, for there is a long way to go.

                                       (_Exit Nobin, Bindu, and Sadhu._)

      _D. Inspector._ Alas! The two brothers, burnt up by these
      anxieties, have, as it were, become dead, while living. The order
      of release from the Lieutenant-Governor will be as the restoration
      of life to them. Babu Nobin Chunder is of a brave spirit, does
      good to others, is very munificent, a great improver of learning,
      and also of a patriotic mind; but the mist of the cruel Indigo
      Planters withered all his good qualities in the bud.

                      _Enter the Pundit of the College._

      Welcome, Sir!

      _Pundit._ My body is naturally somewhat of a warm nature. I cannot
      hear the sunshine. The heat of the sun makes me, as it were, mad
      in the months of March, April, and May. I had a very severe
      head-ache for a few days; and was not able to attend Bindu Madhab
      at all.

      _D. Inspector._ The Vishnu Toila (a kind of oil) can do you some
      good. The oil is prepared for Babu Vishnu, and to-morrow I shall
      send some to your house.

      _Pundit._ I am much obliged to you for that. A man of a healthy
      constitution becomes mad by teaching children; such am I.

      _D. Inspector._ Why don’t we see our elder Pundit any more?

      _Pundit._ He is now trying some means to leave this doggish
      service. While his good son is making some acquisition of
      property, the family will be maintained like that of a King. It
      does not seem good for him now to go to and come from the College
      looking with his books under his arm like a bull bound to the
      cart. He is now of age.

                           _Re-enter_ BINDU MADHAB.

      _Bindu._ The Pundit is come.

      _Pundit._ Did the sinful creature show so much injustice? You did
      not hear it; at Christmas he spent ten days continually in that
      Factory. The ryot is to have justice from him! _Can the Hindu
      celebrate his religious services before the Kazi_ (the Mahomedan

      _Bindu._ The decree of Providence.

      _Pundit._ Whom did you appoint as Muktyar?

      _Bindu._ Prandhan Mullik.

      _Pundit._ Why did you appoint him as your Muktyar? It would have
      been better if you had engaged some other person. “All Gods are
      equal. To make a separation from the wicked, the village becomes

      _Bindu._ The Commissioner has made a report to the Government
      recommending the release of my father.

      _Pundit._ _One is ashes and so is the other_; as is the Magistrate
      such is the Commissioner.

      _Bindu._ Sir, you know not the Commissioner; and, therefore, you
      spoke thus of him. The Commissioner is very impartial, and is
      always desirous of the improvement of the natives.

      _Pundit._ Whatever that be; now if, through the blessing of God,
      your father be released, then all shall be well. In what condition
      is he in the gaol?

      _Bindu._ He is shedding tears day and night, and for the last
      three days has taken no food. Just now I shall go to the gaol, and
      shall make him happy by giving him this good news.

                             _Enter a Chaprasi._

      Art thou a chaprasi of the gaol?

      _Chaprasi._ Sir, come quickly to the goal. The Darogah has called

      _Bindu._ Have you seen my father this day?

      _Chaprasi._ Come, Sir. I cannot say anything.

      _Bindu._ Come, Sir (_to the Pundit_). I don’t suppose all good. I

                                     (_Exit Bindu Madhab and Chaprasi._)

      _Pundit._ Yes; let us all go. I think some bad accident has taken

                                                          (_Exit both._)


Footnote 32:

        This is a proverb, signifying you cannot separate the tares from



                        FOURTH ACT—THIRD SCENE.
                     THE PRISON-HOUSE OF INDRABAD.


_The dead body of Goluk Chunder swinging, bound by his outer garment
  twisted like a rope; the Darogah of the Gaol and the Jamadar sitting._

      _Darogah._ Who is gone to call Babu Bindu Madhab?

      _Jamadar._ Manirodi is gone there. Till the Doctor comes, we
      cannot bring it down.

      _Darogah._ Did not the Magistrate say, he will come here this day?

      _Jamadar._ No, Sir, he has four days more to come. At Sachigunge
      on Saturday, they have a Champagne-party and ladies’ dance. Mrs.
      Wood can never dance with any other, but our Saheb; and I saw
      that, when I was a bearer. Mrs. Wood is very kind: through the
      influence of one letter, she got me the Jamadary of the Jail.

      _Darogah._ Ah! The father of Babu Bindu Madhab expressed great
      sorrow at his not getting food. When Babu Bindu sees this, he will
      quit life.

                            _Enter_ BINDU MADHAB.

      All things are by the will of God.

      _Bindu._ What is this! What is this! Ah! ah! My father is dead
      while bound above ground with a rope! I was coming to try some
      means for his release. What sorrow! (_places his own head on the
      breast of the dead body, then clasps the corpse, and weeps_). Oh
      father! Hast thou at once broken the ties of affection towards us?
      Shalt thou no more praise Bindu before other men for his English
      education? Calling Nobin Madhab by the name of “Bhima[33] of
      Svaropur;” is that now put at an end? You have now made a treaty
      with Bipin (the son of Nobin) with whom you always had a quarrel,
      saying to the eldest Bou, “My mother, my mother.” Ah! as in the
      case of a heron and its mate, with their young ones flying in the
      air, in search of food, if the heron be killed by a fowler, the
      mate with her young ones falls into great danger, so shall my
      mother be when she hears of your being put to death, while hung
      above ground by a rope.

      _Darogah._ (_Bringing Babu Bindu aside by taking hold of his
      hands._) Babu Bindu do not be so impatient now. Get the permission
      of the Doctor, and try to take the corpse soon to the Amritaghata.

                   _Enter Deputy Inspector and the Pundit._

      _Bindu._ Darogah, do not speak of anything to me. Whatever
      consultation you have to make, make that with the Pundit and the
      Deputy Inspector. Through sorrow, I have lost the power of speech;
      let me take my father’s feet once on my breast. (_Sits up, taking
      the feet of Goluk on his breast._)

      _Pundit._ (_To the Deputy Inspector._) Let me take Bindu Madhab on
      my lap; you had better unloose the rope. It is never proper to
      keep such a godly body in this hell.

      _Darogah._ It will be necessary to wait for a short time.

      _Pundit._ Are you the chowkidar of hell, else why have you such a

      _Darogah._ Sir, you are wise, you are reproaching me.

                             _Enter the Doctor._

      _Doctor._ Ho! Ho! Bindu Madhab! God’s will. The Pundit is come.
      Bindu must not leave the College.

      _Pundit._ It is not proper for Bindu to leave the College.

      _Bindu._ As to our estates and possessions, we have lost every
      thing; at last, our father has left us beggars (_weeps_); how can
      studying be any more carried on?

      _Pundit._ The Indigo Planters have taken away the all of Bindu
      Madhab and his family.

      _Doctor._ I have heard of these Planters from the Missionaries and
      also I have seen them myself. Once as I was coming from a certain
      Planter’s Factory at Matanagara, while I was sitting in a village,
      two ryots of the place were passing by the side of my palanquin;
      one of them had some milk with him, which I wanted to buy.
      Immediately, one whispered to the other, “The Indigo giant, the
      Indigo giant.” Then having left the milk, they ran off. I asked
      another ryot, and he said, that these persons ran off for fear of
      being compelled to take advances for Indigo; and as I had taken
      the advance, what reason is there for going to his godown. I
      understood, he took me for a planter; I gave the milk into that
      ryot’s hand, and went away from the place.

      _D. Inspector._ A certain Missionary was passing through a village
      within the concern of Mr. Vally. As soon as the ryots saw him,
      they began to cry aloud, “The Indigo ghost is come out, the Indigo
      ghost is come out;” and having left that path, flew into their own
      houses. But as the ryots found, by and by, the bounty, mildness,
      and forgiving temper of these gentlemen, they began to wonder; and
      as much as the Missionaries showed heartfelt sorrow for the
      tortures which the poor people suffered from the Indigo Planters,
      so much the more they began to love them, and to have faith in
      them. Now the ryots say to each other, “All bamboos are of one
      tuft; but of one is made the frame of the Goddess Durga, and of
      another the sweepers basket.”

      _Pundit._ Let us take away the dead body.

      _Doctor._ We must be sharp. You can bring it out.

       (_Bindu Madhab and the Deputy Inspector loosening the rope bring
                              out the corpse._)

                                                           (_Exit all._)


Footnote 33:

        Bhima or Brikadar was the second brother of Yudhistra and the
        second sond of Pandu.





                    _Enter_ GOPINATH DAS _and a Herdsman_.

      _Gopi._ How did you get so much information?

      _Cowherd._ We are their neighbours; day and night, we go to their
      house. Whenever we are in want of any thing, either a little salt
      or a ladle of oil, we immediately go to them and bring it; if the
      child cry, we bring a little molasses from them and give it; we
      are getting our support for nearly seven generations from the Bose
      family; and can’t we get information about them?

      _Gopi._ Where was Bindu Madhab married?

      _Cowherd._ Oh, it is in a village to the west of Calcutta. In
      which they wanted to have the Kaistas[34] wear the poita. We
      cannot satisfy all the Brahmins now in existence in a great feast,
      and still they wanted to increase the number. The father-in-law of
      our young Babu is greatly respected. The Judge or Magistrate when
      they come to him take off their hats. Do such men give their
      daughters to men of these places? Observing the improvements in
      learning made by our young Babu, they did not care about the
      village belonging to ryots. People say that the women in cities
      are showy, and that there is no distinction between those who live
      within the house and those who live in the bazar.[35] But we do
      not at all find a young woman of a mild temper as the Bou of the
      Bose family is. The mother of Goma goes to their house every day,
      still, although she has been married for nearly five years, she
      has never seen her face. We saw her only on that day when she came
      here. We thought that the Babus in the city keep company with the
      Europeans; therefore they have brought their females into public
      like English ladies.

      _Gopi._ But the Bou is always engaged in attending on her

      _Cowherd._ Dewanji, what shall I say? The mother of Goma says, I
      heard a report that, had not the youngest Bou been in the house
      when the news of Nobin being bound by the rope and thus killed
      came, the mistress of the family would have died. We heard also
      that the women in the city treat their husbands as sheep (slaves)
      and murder their parents by not giving them any support; but
      observing this Bou, I now know that it is a mere report.

      _Gopi._ I think, the mother of Babu Nobin Chunder also loves her.

      _Cowherd._ I don’t see any one in the world whom she does not
      love. Ah! She is an Annapurnah[36] (full of rice). But have you
      kept the rice that she shall be full of it?[37] The vile Planters
      have swallowed up the old man, and they are now on the point of
      swallowing up the old woman.

      _Gopi._ Thou braggart fool, if the Saheb hear this; he will bring
      out your new moon.[38]

      _Cowherd._ What can I do? Is it my desire to sit in the Factory
      and abuse the Sahebs?

      _Gopi._ I am very sorry that I have destroyed this man of great
      honour by a false law-suit. I have also felt great pain on hearing
      of Nobin’s severe head-ache and the miserable condition of his

      _Cowherd._ _It is the cold attacking a frog._[39] Dewanji, don’t
      be angry with me, I am as a mad goat; shall I prepare the tobacco?

      _Gopi._ This stupid fellow of Nanda’s family is very senseless.

      _Cowherd._ The Sahebs are doing all: _they themselves are
      blacksmiths and at the same time the cimeter; where they make one
      to fall, there they themselves also fall_. If ruin come upon these
      Saheb’s Factories, then the people of the villages save themselves
      by bathing.[40]

      _Gopi._ You are very foolish. I don’t want to hear any more? Go
      out, the Saheb will come very soon.

      _Cowherd._ Now, I am going. You must attend to my milk bill, and
      also give me one rupi to-morrow. We shall go to bathe in the

                                                       (_Exit Cowherd._)

      _Gopi._ _I think the thunder-bolt will strike this head, which is
      aching._ No one will be able to stop the Saheb in sowing the
      Indigo seed on the sides of your tank. The Sahebs did something
      improper. These persons engaged themselves to sow Indigo on fifty
      bigahs of land, although they did not get the full price for the
      last year. Yet the Sahebs are not satisfied; these disputes arose
      only for certain pieces of grounds; and it would have been good
      for Nobin Bose to have given them these—_to keep the goddess
      Sitola[41] well-pleased is the best_. Nobin will bite once more
      even after his death. (_Seeing the Saheb at a distance_). Here the
      white-bodied man with a blue dress is coming. I think, I am to
      remain as a companion with the former Dewan for some days.

                              _Enter_ MR. WOOD.

      _Wood._ There will be a great quarrel at Matanagara: and all the
      latyals will be there. Let no one hear this? For this place, make
      a collection of ten of the poda caste of (Surki) brickpowder
      makers or sellers. I, Mr. Rose, and you are to go there. The fool
      while he has taken his cacha[42] will not be able to increase the
      row greatly. He is sick; then how can he go to bring assistance
      from the Darogah.

      _Gopi._ The extreme weakness to which these are reduced, makes it
      unnecessary to bring any _surkiwallá_ among the Hindus, for a
      person to die with a rope round his neck, especially within a
      prison is very disgraceful; so he is greatly punished by this

      _Wood._ You do not understand this. The rascal is become very
      happy on the death of his father. He took the advances for a long
      time only through fear of his father; now that fear is gone, and
      he will do as he likes. The rascal has given a bad name to my
      Factory, and I will imprison him to-morrow and keep him along with
      Mojumdar. If the Magistrate be of the same character with him of
      Amaranagara, the wicked people will be able to do every thing.

      _Gopi._ With respect to what they planned about the case of
      Mojumdar, I cannot say how very terrible it would have been, had
      not Nobin Bose fallen into this great danger. I cannot say what
      they still will do? Moreover, as the Magistrate, who is coming, we
      have heard, is on the side of the ryots; and when he comes to the
      villages, he brings along with him his tents.—Observing this, we
      may say, it might occasion great confusion, and also it is
      somewhat fearful.

      _Wood._ You are always puzzling me with speaking of fear; the
      Indigo Planters, in nothing whatever, have any fear. If you don’t
      desire it, leave your business, thou great fool!

      _Gopi._ Sir, fear comes on good grounds. When the former Dewan was
      put in prison, his son came to ask for the last six months’ salary
      of his father. On which you told him to make an application. Then,
      on his making the application, you again said the salary cannot be
      given before the accounts are closed. Honored Sir, is this the
      judgment on a servant when he is put in prison?

      _Wood._ Did not I know this? Thou stupid, ungrateful creature!
      What becomes of your salaries? If you did not devour the price of
      the Indigo, would there be any deadly Commission? Would the poor
      ryots have gone to the Missionaries with tears in their eyes? You,
      rascal, have destroyed every thing. If the Indigo lessen in
      quantity, I shall sell your houses and indemnify myself; thou
      arrant coward, hellish knave!

      _Gopi._ Sir, _we are like butcher’s dogs: we fill our bellies with
      the intestines_. Had you, Sir, taken the Indigo from the ryots in
      the very same way as the (Mahajans) factors take the corn from
      their debtors, then the Indigo Factories would never have suffered
      such disgrace; there would have been no necessity for an overseer
      and the khalasis, and the people would never have reproached me
      with saying “Cursed Gopi! Cursed Gopi!”

      _Wood._ Thou art blind, thou hast no eyes.

                     _Enter an Umadar_ (_an Apprentice_).

      I have seen with my own eyes (_applying his hand to his own eyes_)
      the Mahajans go to the ricefield, and quarrel with the ryots
      (their debtors). Ask this person.

      _Apprentice._ Honored Sir, I can give many examples of that. The
      ryots say, it is through the grace of the Indigo Planters only
      that we are preserved from the hands of the Mahajans.

      _Gopi._ (_Aside, to the Apprentice._) My child, it is vain
      flattery. No employment is vacant now. (_To Mr. Wood_) It is true
      that the Mahajans go to the rice-fields and dispute with the
      ryots; but if your Honor had been acquainted with the mysterious
      intention of the Mahajans in going to the fields and raising
      disputes, you would never have compared with the going of the
      Mahajans to the fields, the punishment of the poor with Shamchand
      resembling the tortures which Lakhman, the son of Sumitra,
      suffered by the Sacti-sela,[43]—while they are without food.

      _Wood._ Very well, explain it to me. There must be some reason why
      these fools speak to us of every thing else; but of the Mahajans
      they don’t say a single word.

      _Gopi._ Honored Sir, these debtors, whatever sum of money they
      require for the whole year, they take from the Mahajans, and that
      quantity of rice which is necessary for them for that time, they
      also take from their creditors. At the end of the year, the
      debtors clear their debts either by selling the tobacco,
      sugar-cane, sesamum, and other things which they have, and then
      giving the sum collected to their creditors with the interest on
      the sum for the time; or by giving those very articles according
      to the market price: and of the corn which grows, they send to the
      Mahajans’ houses, a part half-prepared. That which remains proves
      sufficient for the expenses of the family for three or four
      months. If through famine or any improper expenses of the debtors,
      there fall any arrears in their supplies, the remainder of the
      debt is carried into the new account-book. Then, by and by, the
      remainder is filled up. The Mahajans never bring an action against
      their debtors; consequently the falling into arrears appears to
      them, as it were, a present loss. I suppose the Mahajans for that
      reason, sometimes go to the fields, observe the preparation of the
      rice and also enquire whether the extent of land for which the
      debtors have asked the revenue from them, is all cultivated with
      grain. Some inexperienced persons, taking under false pretences a
      larger sum than is necessary, and thus being burdened with heavy
      debts, cause losses on the part of the Mahajans and also
      themselves suffer great trouble. The Mahajans go to the fields for
      stopping these, and not like “Indigo Giants” (_strikes his
      tongue_).[44] Sir, the stupid, shameless Mahajans speak thus.

      _Wood._ I see, Saturn[45] has come upon you to your destruction;
      else why art thou become so very inquisitive, and why so
      presumptuous, you stupid, incestuous brute?

      _Gopi._ Sir, we are made to swallow abuse, to submit to
      shoe-beating, and also we are the men to go to the Shrighur[46]
      (the prison); the men should there be a dispensary or school in
      the Factory you get the credit; should there be murders, we are
      the men. When I come to you for advice, you, Sir, become angry.
      That anxiety which I have felt for the law-suit of the Mojumdars,
      is only known to the Lord of all.

      _Wood._ The fool is such, that whenever I tell him to do any
      action requiring courage, he brings to my ears the law-suit of the
      Mojumdar. I am saying always that thou art an ignorant fool; why
      don’t you become satisfied with sending Nobin Bose to the godown
      of Sochigunge.

      _Gopi._ Thou, Sir, art the parent of this poor man; it would be
      good, if for the benefit of thy poor servant, thou sendest him
      once to Nobin Bose to ask him about this case.

      _Wood._ Stop, thou upstart of a son. Shall I go to meet a dog for
      you? You coward son of a Kaista[47] (_throws him down with
      kicks_). Were you sent as a witness to the Commission, you would
      have ruined every thing, you diabolical niggar (_two kicks more_);
      with such a tongue you shall do your work like a Caot,[48] you
      stupid Kaet. Were it not for your work on to-morrow, I would send
      you to the jail.

                                   (_Exit Mr. Wood and the Apprentice._)

      _Gopi._ (_Rubbing his body all over and rising up_). A person
      becomes the Dewan of an Indigo Planter after being born a
      vulture[49] seven hundred times; else, how are numberless
      stockings digested?[50] Oh! what kickings! Oh! the fool is, as it
      were, the wife of a student who is out of College.[51]

      (_Aside_) Dewan, Dewan.

      _Gopi._ Your servant is present. Whose turn is it?

                     “In the sea of love are many waves.”

                                                          (_Exit Gopi._)


Footnote 34:

        The writer class among the Natives of this country.

Footnote 35:

        Signifying the distinction between the women or a good and that
        of a licentious character.

Footnote 36:

        This is one of the names of Durga, meaning the goddess of

Footnote 37:

        Signifying, have you not taken away her whole possession? Then,
        how can she show her pity by supporting the poor?

Footnote 38:

        That is, he will make every thing dark to you, as at the time of
        the new moon. In short, he will kill you.

Footnote 39:

        That is, nothing; as the cold has no effect on the frog.

Footnote 40:

        That is, purify themselves by bathing.

Footnote 41:

        Sitola is the goddess of the small-pox; and the meaning of the
        above is that if that goddess be kept satisfied, the disease of
        the small-pox cannot come; and if come, will pass away.

Footnote 42:

        This refers to Nobin Bose. The cacha signifies the piece of
        cloth kept by the sons on the death of their parents for one
        month, when the pinda or offering to the dead is made.

Footnote 43:

        Lakhman was the brother of Rama. When they were gone to make war
        with Ravana of Lunka, (Ceylon) in a certain battle Lakhman
        suffered very much by the Sacti-sela (the name of a superior
        engine in a battle).

Footnote 44:

        This is a sign of shame or fear.

Footnote 45:

        The planet Saturn is said to have a very bad influence. Whenever
        it comes upon one, the utter ruin of that person is thought very

Footnote 46:

        Ironically, the house of Prosperity.

Footnote 47:

        The Kaista is the caste of writers.

Footnote 48:

        Caot is the name of a mean caste, and the word Kaet is only a
        common form of expression for the term Kaista.

Footnote 49:

        The vulture is taken for a detestable bird.

Footnote 50:

        Signifying, else how can he bear so many kickings?

Footnote 51:

        This is said only in reference to his dress.



                        FIFTH ACT—SECOND SCENE.
                       THE BEDROOM OF NOBIN BOSE.


                  _Aduri crying when preparing Nobin’s bed._

      _Aduri._ Ah! ha! ha! where shall I go? My heart is on the point of
      bursting. They have beaten him so severely that the pulse is
      moving very slowly; our mistress will die as soon as she sees
      this. When Nobin was taken by force to the Factory, they were
      tearing themselves and weeping under the shade of that tree; but
      when brought towards our house, they did not see that.

      (_Aside._) We shall take him into the house.

      _Aduri._ Bring him into the house. None of them are here.

       _Enter_ SADHU _and_ TORAPA _bearing the senseless Nobin on their

      _Sadhu._ (_Making Nobin Madhab to lie on the bed._) Madam, where
      art thou?

      _Aduri._ They began to see, standing under the tree. When this
      person (_pointing to Torapa_) flew away with him, we thought he
      was taken to the Factory. They began to tear themselves under the
      tree. I came to the house to call certain persons. Will our
      mistress remain alive when she sees this dead son? Do you stand
      here; let me call them here.

                                                         (_Exit Aduri._)

                             _Enter the Priest._

      _Priest._ Oh God, hast thou killed such a man! Hast thou stopped
      the provision of so many men! We do not find any such symptom that
      our eldest Babu will sit up again.

      _Sadhu._ God’s will. He can give life to a dead man.

      _Priest._ On the third day, Bindu Babu, according to the Shastras,
      celebrated the offering of the funeral cake (_pindadán_) on the
      banks of the Ganges; it is only through the entreaties of his
      mother that preparations are being made for the monthly ceremony
      (_shradh_). It was determined that after the celebration of the
      ceremony, their dwelling place is to be removed; and I also heard
      that they will no more meet with that cruel Saheb; then why did he
      go there to-day?

      _Sadhu._ Our eldest Babu has no fault, nor has he any want of
      judgment. Our madam and the eldest Bou forbad him many times. They
      said, “During the days we are to remain here, we will bathe with
      the water of the well, or Aduri will bring the water from the
      tank; we shall have no trouble.” The eldest Babu said “With a
      present of 50 Rupis, I shall fall at the Saheb’s feet, and thus
      stop the cultivation of the Indigo on the side of the tank, and
      shall speak nothing of the dispute in such a dangerous time.” With
      this intention our eldest Babu took me and Torap with him, and
      going there with tears in his eyes, said to the Saheb, “Saheb, I
      bring you a present of 50 Rupis; only for this year, stop the
      cultivation of the Indigo in this place: and if this be not
      granted, take the money, and delay that business only till the
      time when the ceremony is to be performed.” There is sin even in
      repeating the answer which the wretch gave, and the hairs of our
      body stood on an end. The rascal said, “Your father was hung in
      the jail of the Yabans[52] with thieves and robbers; therefore
      keep your money for the sacrifice of many bulls which are
      necessary for his ceremony.” Then placing his shoe on one of the
      eldest Babus knees, he said “This is the gift for your father’s

      _Priest._ Narayan! Narayan.[53] (_Placing his hand on his ears_).

      _Sadhu._ Instantly the eyes of the eldest Babu became red like
      blood, his whole body began to tremble, he bit his lips with his
      teeth and then remaining silent for a short time gave the Saheb a
      hard kick on the breast, so that he fell on the ground upside down
      like a bundle of _bena_ (a certain grass). Kes Dali, who is now
      the jamadar of the Factory, and other ten surkiola immediately
      stood round him. The eldest Babu had once saved these from the
      hands of robbers; so they felt a little ashamed to raise their
      hand against him. Mr. Wood gave a blow to the jamadar, took the
      stick out of his hand and smote with it the head of the eldest
      Babu. The head was cracked, and he fell down senseless on the
      ground; I tried much, but was not able to go into that crowd.
      Torapa was observing this from a distance: and as soon as the men
      stood round the eldest Babu, he with violence rushed into this
      crowd like an obstinate buffalo, took him up, and flew off.

      _Torapa._ I was told “to stand at a distance, lest they take me
      away by force.” The fools hate me very much; do I hide myself when
      there is a tumult? If I had gone a little before, I would have
      brought the Babu safe, and would have sacrificed two of those
      rascals in the Durgah of Borkat Bibi (the temple of Benediction).
      My whole body is shrunk on observing the head of the Babu; then,
      when shall I kill these? Oh! oh! the eldest Babu saved me so many
      times, but I was not able to save him once. (_Beats his forehead
      and cries._)

      _Priest._ I see a wound from a weapon on his breast.

      _Sadhu._ As soon as Torapa rushed into the crowd, the young Saheb
      struck the Babu with the sword. Torapa saved the Babu by placing
      his hand in front of his own, which was cut, and there was the
      sign of a slight bruise on the Babu’s breast.

      _Priest._ (_Deeply thinking for some time, reads_).

      “_Man knows this for certain, that understanding and goodness are
      necessary in the friend, the wife, and in servants._” I do not see
      a single person in this large house; but a person of a different
      caste and of another village, is weeping near the Babu. Ah! the
      poor man is a day-laborer, and his very hand is cut off. Why is
      his face all daubed over with blood?

      _Sadhu._ When the young Saheb struck his hand with the sword, like
      an ichneumon making a noise when its tail is cut off, he in agony
      from the pain of his hand flew off after seizing with a bite the
      nose of the elder Saheb.

      _Torapa._ That nose I have kept with me, and when the Babu will
      rise up alive again I will show him that (_shows the nose cut
      off_). Had the Babu been able to fly off himself, I would have
      taken his ears; but I would not have killed him, as he is a
      creature of God.

      _Priest._ Justice is still alive. The Gods were saved from the
      injustice of Ravana, when the nose of Surpanaka was cut off: shall
      not the people be saved from the tyranny of the Indigo Planters by
      the cutting off of the elder Saheb’s nose?

      _Torapa._ Let me now hide myself; I shall fly off in the night.
      That fool will overturn the whole village on account of his nose.

                                  (_Exit Torapa bowing down twice on the
                                    earth near Nobin Madhab’s bed._)

      _Sadhu._ So very weak is our madam become by the death of her
      husband, that there is no doubt she will die, when she sees Babu
      Nobin in this condition. I applied so much water, rubbed my hand
      over the head so long; but nothing is bringing him to his senses
      again. You, Sir, call him once.

      _Priest._ Eldest Babu! Eldest Babu! Nobin Madhab! (_with tears in
      his eyes_) Guardian of ryots! Giver of food! moving his eyes now!
      Ah! The mother will die immediately. When she heard of his being
      bound with ropes above ground, she resolved not to take the rice
      of this sinful world for ten days. This is the fifth; this
      morning, Nobin Madhab taking hold of her shoulders shed much tears
      and said, “Mother, if thou dost not take food this day, then I
      shall never take the rice with the clarified butter; thus placing
      the sin of disobedience to the mother on my head; but shall remain
      without food.” On which the mother kissing her son Nobin, said,
      “My son, I was a queen, now am I become the mother of a king. I
      would never have been sorry, had I once been able to place his[54]
      feet on my head at the time when he departed this life. Did such a
      virtuous person die an inauspicious death? It is for this reason
      that I am remaining without food. Ye are the children of this poor
      woman; looking on you and Bindu Madhab, I shall, this day, take
      for my food the orts of our reverend priest. Do not shed your
      tears before me.”

                                             (_Aside, cries of sorrow._)


  and other women of the neighbourhood_.

      There is no fear, he is still alive.

      _Sabitri._ (_Observing Nobin on the point of death._) Nobin
      Madhab! my son, my son, my son, where, where, where art thou! Oh!

                                                    (_Falls senseless._)

      _Soirindri._ (_With tears in her eyes._) Oh young Bou! take hold
      of our mother-in-law; let me once see the Lord of my life, in the
      fulness of my heart. (_Sits near the mouth of Nobin._)

      _Priest._ (_To Soirindri._) My daughter, thou art a great lover of
      thy husband, a woman of constancy; the frame of thy body was
      created in a good moment. For one who is so entirely devoted to
      her husband, and who has every thing good on her part, Fortune may
      give life to her husband again; he is moving his eyes, serve him
      without fear. Sadhu, remain here till our madam be in her senses.

                                                        (_Exit Priest._)

      _Sadhu._ Just see and place your hand on her nose. The body is
      become stiffer than that of a dead body.

      _Saralota._ (_Speaking slowly to Reboti, after placing the hand on
      the nose._) Her breathing is full, but the fire coming out of the
      head is so very intense that my throat, as it were, burns.

      _Sadhu._ Has the Gomastah (head clerk) fallen into the hands of
      the Sahebs while he is gone to bring the physician? Let me go to
      the lodging-house of that physician.

                                                         (_Exit Sadhu._)

      _Soirindri._ Ah! Ah, my Lord! that mother for whose abstinence
      from food thou hast grieved so much; that mother, for whose
      weakness thou hadst served her feet; that mother, who for some
      days was, by no means, able to sleep without placing thee in her
      lap, that very same dear mother is now lying senseless before
      thee, and thou art not seeing her once (_seeing Sabitri_). _As the
      cow losing her young one wanders about with loud cries, then being
      bit by a serpent falls down dead on the field_; so the mother is
      lying senseless on the ground being grieved for her dear son. My
      Lord open thine eyes once more; call thy maid-servant[55] once
      more with thy sweet voice and thus satisfy her ears once. The sun
      of happiness has set at noon for me; what shall my Bipin do?
      (_With tears in her eyes falls upon the breast of Nobin Madhab._)

      _Saralota._ Ye who an here take hold of our sister.

      _Soirindri._ (_Rising up_). I became an orphan while very young;
      it is for this death-like Indigo that my father was taken to the
      Factory, and he returned no more. That place became to him the
      residence of Yama (Death). My poor mother took me to the house of
      my maternal uncle, and there through grief for her husband, she
      bade adieu to the world. My uncles preserved me; I remained like a
      flower accidently let fall from the hand of the gardener. My Lord
      took me up with love and increased my honour. I forgot the sorrow
      for my parents, and in the life of my husband my parents were, as
      it were, revived (_deep sigh_). All my griefs are rising up anew
      in my mind. Ah! If I be deprived of that husband who keeps every
      thing under the shade of his protection, I shall again become the
      same helpless orphan.

      _Nobin’s Aunt._ (_Raising her with the hands_). What fear my
      daughter? Why become so full of anxiety? A letter is sent to Bindu
      Madhab to bring a doctor. He will be cured when the doctor comes.
      (_Falls down upon the ground._)

      _Soirindri._ My aunt-in-law, while I was a girl I made a
      celebration of a certain religious observance; and placing my
      hands on the Alpana[56] (the white-washing prepared for the
      festival) prayed for these blessings: that my husband be like
      Rama, my mother-in-law like Kousalya, my father-in-law like
      Dasaratha, my brother-in-law like Lakshman. My aunt! God gave me
      more than I prayed for. My husband is as Raghunath (Rama) brave
      and a provider of his dependants; my mother-in-law is as Kousalya,
      having a sweet speech and an earnest love for her sons’ wives; my
      father-in-law is always happy in saying Badhumata, Badhumata,[57]
      and is the brightener of the ten sides.[58] Bindu Madhab, who
      surpasses the autumnal moon in purity, is dearer to me than was
      Lakshman-deva to Sita-devi. My aunt, all has taken place according
      to my desire; only there is one in which I find some
      disagreement—I am still alive. Rama is making preparations for
      going to the forests, but there is no preparation for Sita’s going
      with him.[59] Ah! he was so much grieved on the abstinence of his
      father; again, he took the cacha for the celebration of his
      funeral ceremony; but before that was done he is preparing to go
      up to heaven (to die.) (_Looking on his face with a steady sight_)
      Ah! his lips are dry. Oh! my friends and companions, call my Bipin
      at once from the school; I shall once more (_with weeping eyes_)
      through his hands pour a little water of the Ganges into his dry
      mouth. (_Places her mouth on that of his._)

      _All at once._ Ah! Ah!

      _Nobin’s Aunt._ (_Takes hold of her body and raises her._) My
      daughter, do not speak such words now (_weeps_); if my sister were
      in her senses, her heart would have been burst.

      _Soirindri._ Oh! mother, my desire is that my husband be happy in
      a future state in the same proportion as he had suffered misery in
      this. My Lord, I your bond-maid will pray to God for life; thou
      wast most virtuous, the doer of great good to others and the
      supporter of the poor. The Great Lord of the Universe, who
      provides for the helpless, must give you a place. Ah! take me, my
      Lord, with thee, that I may supply thee, with the flowers for the
      worship of God. “Ah! what loss! what ruin! I see that Rama is
      going to the wilderness leaving his Sita alone. What shall I do?
      Where shall I go? and how shall I preserve my life? Oh friend of
      the distressed, Oh Romanath! Oh Great Wealth of the woman, supply
      me some means in this distress, and preserve me. I see that Nobin
      Madhab is now being burnt in the fire of Indigo. Oh, Lord of the
      distressed! Where is my husband going now, making me unfortunate
      and without support,” (_placing her hand on the breast of Nobin,
      and raising a deep sigh_). The husband now takes leave of his
      family, having placed all at the feet of God. Oh Lord, than who
      art the sea of mercy, the supporter of the helpless, now give
      safety, now save!

      _Saralota._ Sister, our mother-in-law has opened her eyes; but is
      looking on me with a distorted countenance, (_weeping_). My
      sister, our mother-in-law never turned her face towards me with
      eyes so full of anger.

      _Soirindri._ Ah! ah! our mother-in-law loves Saralota so much,
      that it is through insensibility only that with such an angry face
      she had thrown this champa on the burning pot.[60] Oh my sister,
      do not weep now; when our mother-in-law becomes sensible she will
      again kiss you and with great affection call you “the mad-woman’s
      daughter.” (_Sabitri rises up and sits near Nobin; and looking
      steadily on him, with certain expressions of pleasure_).

      _Sabitri._ There is no pain so excessive as the delivery of a
      child, but that invaluable wealth which I have brought forth made
      me forget all my sorrows on observing its face (_weeping_). Ah! if
      Madam Sorrow did not write a letter to Yama (Death) and thus kill
      my husband, how very much would he have been pleased on seeing
      this child. (_Clasps with her hand_).

      _All at once._ Ah! ah! she is become mad.

      _Sabitri._ Nurse, put the child once more on my lap; let me pacify
      my burnt limbs. Let me once more kiss it in the name of my
      husband. (_Kisses Nobin_).

      _Soirindri._ Mother, I am your eldest Bou; do you not see me. Your
      dear Rama is senseless; he is not able to speak now.

      _Sabitri._ It would speak when it shall first get rice. Ah, ah,
      had my husband been living what great joy! How many musical
      performances! (_Weeps_).

      _Soirindri._ It is misfortune upon misfortune! Is my mother-in-law
      mad now?

      _Saralota._ Take our mother-in-law from the bed, my sister; let me
      take care of her.

      _Sabitri._ Did you write such a letter, that there is no musical
      performance on this day of joy? (_Looking on all sides and having
      risen from the bed by force, then going to Saralota_) I do entreat
      thee, falling at thy feet, madam, to send another letter to Yama,
      and bring back my husband for once. Thou art the wife of a Saheb;
      else why shall I fall at thy feet?

      _Saralota._ My mother-in-law, thou lovest me more than a mother,
      and such words from your mouth have given me more pain than that
      of death. (_Taking hold of the two hands of Sabitri_) Observing
      this your state, my mother, fire is, as it were, raining on my

      _Sabitri._ Thou strumpet, stupid woman, and a Yabana, why dost
      thou touch me on this eleventh day of the moon?[61] (_Takes off
      her own hand_).

      _Saralota._ On hearing such words from your mouth I cannot live
      (_lies down on the ground taking hold of her mother-in-law’s
      feet_). My mother, I shall take leave of this world at your feet.

      _Sabitri._ This is good, that the bad woman is dead. My husband is
      gone to heaven; but thou shalt go to hell. (_Claps with her hand
      and laughs_).

      _Soirindri._ (_Rising up_). Ah! ah! our Saralota is very
      good-natured. Now having heard harsh words from her mother-in-law,
      she is become exceedingly sorry! (_To Sabitri_) Come to me,

      _Sabitri._ Nurse, hast thou left the child alone? Let me go there.
      (_Goes to Nobin hastily, and sits near him_).

      _Reboti._ (_To Sabitri_). Oh my mother! Dost thou call that young
      Bou a bad woman, who you said was incomparable in the village; and
      without whose taking food you never took food. My mother, you do
      not hear my words; we were trained by you, you gave us much food.

      _Sabitri._ Come on the Ata Couria[62] of the child, and I shall
      give you many sweetmeats.

      _Nobin’s Aunt._ My sister, Nobin will be alive again; do not be

      _Sabitri._ How did you know this? That name is known to no one. My
      father-in-law said, when my daughter-in-law gets a child, I shall
      give it (if male) the name “Nobin Madhab.” Now the child is born,
      I shall give it that name. My husband always said, When shall the
      child be born, and I shall call him by the name “Nobin Madhab”
      (_weeps_). If he had been alive, he would have satisfied that
      desire on this day. (_Aside, a sound_). There, the musicians are
      coming. (_Claps with her hands_).

      _Soirindri._ Bou, go into that room, the physician is coming.

                   _Enter_ SADHU CHURN _and the Physician_.

                       (_Exit Saralota, Reboti, and all the neighbouring
                         women; and Soirindri, putting
                         a veil on her head, stands in
                         one side of the room._)

      _Sadhu._ Our madam has risen up.

      _Sabitri._ (_Weeps._) Is it because that my husband is not here
      that you have left your drums at home.

      _Aduri._ She has no understanding; she is become entirely insane.
      She called that dead elder Haldar “My infant child,” and chastised
      the young Haldar’s wife, calling her an European’s wife. That
      young woman is weeping severely. Again, she is calling you

      _Sadhu._ So great a misfortune has now come to pass!

      _Physician._ (_Sitting near Nobin_). It is very probable and also
      according to the Nidana[63] that while she is not taking food for
      the death of her husband, and while she has seen this miserable
      condition of her dearest son, she should become thus. It is
      necessary to see her pulse once. Madam, let me observe thy pulse
      once. (_Stretching out his hand towards her_).

      _Sabitri._ Thou vile man must be a creature of the Factory, else
      why dost thou want to take hold of the hand of the woman of a good
      family? (_rising up_). Nurse keep your eyes upon the child; I go
      to take a little water. I shall give you a silk _sarhi_.

      _Physician._ Ah! the light of the understanding will not brighten
      again. I will send the Hima Sagara Toila (a medicinal oil) which
      is now necessary for her (_observing the pulse of Nobin_). His
      pulse is only very weak, but I do not find any other bad symptom.
      The doctors are ignorant in other matters, but in anatomical
      operations they are very expert. The expense will be heavy, but it
      is of urgent necessity to call one in.

      _Sadhu._ A letter has been sent to the young Babu to come along
      with a doctor.

      _Physician._ That is very good.

                           _Enter Four Relatives._

      _First._ We never even dreamt that such an accident would come to
      pass. At noon-day, some were eating, some bathing, and some were
      going to lie down in their beds after dinner. I heard of it now.

      _Second._ The stroke on the head appears fatal. What ill-fated
      accident! There was no probability of a quarrel on this day; or
      else, many of the ryots would have been present.

      _Sadhu._ Two hundred ryots with clubs in their hands are crying
      aloud, “Strike off, Strike off,” and are weeping with these words
      in their mouths, “Ah! eldest Babu! Ah eldest Bahu!” I told them to
      go to their own houses, since if the Saheb get the least excuse,
      he will, on account of the pain in his nose, burn the whole

      _Physician._ Now, wash the head and apply turpentine to it; in the
      evening, I shall come again and try some other means. To make
      noise in a sick person’s room is to increase his disease; so, let
      there be no noise here.

                         (_Exit the Physician, Sadhu Churn and the
                            relatives in one way, and Aduri, the other;
                            Soirindri, sits down_). _The curtain falls._


Footnote 52:

        This term Yabans has reference to the Mahomedans, the Europeans.

Footnote 53:

        The name of Vishnu, God.

Footnote 54:

        This pronoun “his” stands for Goluk Chunder, the father of Nobin

Footnote 55:

        The term maid-servant here refers to Soirindri, the wife of
        Nobin Madhab.

Footnote 56:

        It is a general custom in this country to apply the alpana on
        the floor nearly in all religions observances.

Footnote 57:

        This term signifies the wife of one’s son.

Footnote 58:

        This expression, “the brightener of the ten sides” signifies
        that he did good wherever he went. The ten sides are the north,
        south, east, west, north-east, north-west, south-east,
        south-west, the top, and the under sides.

Footnote 59:

        The reference here is to the wanderings of Rama in the
        wilderness of the Deccan. The signification of the original is
        that while the husband Nobin is he on the point of death, there
        is no preparation for his wife to die with him.

Footnote 60:

        That is, she had expressed so much anger against her; or as the
        original, thrown her into the burning-pot of disgust and hatred.
        The Champa is the name of a fragrant yellow flower.

Footnote 61:

        This day in kept sacred by the widows of this country.

Footnote 62:

        A certain ceremony performed on the eighth day after the birth
        for securing its good fortune.

Footnote 63:

        A treatise on the science of medicine.



                         FIFTH ACT—THIRD SCENE.
                        THE ROOM OF SADHU CHURN.


       _On one side, Khetromani in great torment on her bed, and Sadhu;
                     on the other side, Reboti, sitting._

      _Khetro._ Sweep over my bed; mother, sweep over my bed!

      _Reboti._ My dear, dear daughter, why art thou doing so? I have
      swept on the bed; there is nothing then on the coat of shreds. I
      have placed another which your aunt gave.[64]

      _Khetro._ Thorns are pinching me, I die! I die! Oh! turn me to my
      father’s side.

      _Sadhu._ (_Silently turning her to the other side. To himself_).
      This agony is the presage to death. (_Openly_) Daughter, thou art
      the precious jewel of this poor man; my daughter, take a little
      food. I have brought some pomegranates from Indrabad, and also the
      ornamented sarhi; but you did not at all express your pleasure
      when you saw that.

      _Reboti._ How very extravagant are my daughter’s desires! She said
      once, give me a flower garland at the time of _Semonton_. What is
      that countenance now become? What shall I do! Oh oh! Oh oh!
      (_Places her mouth on the mouth of her daughter_). Ah! my Khetro
      of gold is become a piece of charcoal. Where are the pupils of the
      eye? See, see.

      _Sadhu._ Khetromani! Khetromani! Open your eyes fully my daughter.

      _Khetro._ My mother! my father! All, it is an axe! (_Turns on the
      other side_).[65]

      _Reboti._ Let me take her on my lap; she will remain quiet there.
      (_Comes to take her on her lap_).

      _Sadhu._ Do not take her up; she will faint.

      _Reboti._ Am I so very unfortunate! Ah! Ah! My Harana is as
      Kartika on his peacock.[66] How can I forget him? Dear me! my

      _Sadhu._ Raychurn is gone a long time ago; he is not yet come.

      _Reboti._ Our eldest Babu preserved her from the grasp of the
      tiger. The young Saheb killed my daughter, and the elder one
      killed the eldest Babu. Ah! Ah! there is no one to preserve the

      _Sadhu._ What virtuous actions have I done, that I shall see the
      face of my grand-child?

      _Khetro._ My body is cut off—a cracked Tangrah (a fish) Ah! ah!

      _Reboti._ I think the ninth of the moon is closed;[67] my image of
      gold is to go to the water, and what means shall I have? Who shall
      call me mother! mother! Did you bring her for this purpose.
      (_Taking hold of Sadhu’s neck, weeps_).

      _Sadhu._ Be silent, don’t weep now; she will faint.

                    _Enter_ RAYCHURN _and the Physician_.

      _Physician._ How is she now? Did you give her that medicine?

      _Sadhu._ The medicine did not act, and whatever went down
      immediately came up by a vomit. See her pulse once more now; I
      think, it is n sign of her end.

      _Reboti._ She is crying out, thorns, thorns. I have prepared her
      bed so thickly,[68] still she is tossing about. Now save her by a
      good medicine. Dear Sir, this relative is very dear unto me.

      _Sadhu._ We don’t see any sign of the pulse.

      _Physician._ (_Taking hold of the hand_). In this state, it is
      good for the pulse to be weak. “Weakness makes the pulse strong;
      to have a strong pulse is fatal.”

      _Sadhu._ At this time, it is the same thing either to apply or not
      to apply the medicine. The parents have hope to the very end;
      therefore, see, if there be any means.

      _Physician._ The water with which the Atapa (dried rice) is
      washed, is now necessary. The application of the Shuchikavaran (a
      medicine) is required.

      _Sadhu._ That Atapa which the Barah Renee sent for offerings of
      prayer is in the other room. Raychurn, bring that here.

                                                      (_Exit Raychurn._)

      _Reboti._ Is Annapurnah[69] now awake, that she shall with the
      rice in her hands come to me my Khetromani? It is through my
      ill-fate that our mistress is become mad.

      _Physician._ She is already full of sorrow for the death of her
      husband; again, her son is on the point of death; her insanity is
      on the increase. I think she shall die before Nobin; she is become
      very weak.

      _Sadhu._ Sir, how did you find our eldest Babu, to-day? I think,
      with his pure blood he has extinguished the fire of tyranny of the
      giants, the Indigo Planters. It is probable, that the Indigo
      Commission might produce to the ryots some advantages; but what
      effect has that? If one hundred serpents do bite at once my whole
      body I can bear that; if on a hearth made of bricks, a frypan
      placed full of molasses, and the same be boiling by a great fire,
      I can also bear the torments, if by accident I fall into the pan;
      if in the dark night of the new-moon a band of robbers with
      terrible sounds come upon and kill my only son who is honest and
      very learned, take away all the acquisitions made during the past
      seven generations, and then make me blind: all these also, I can
      bear; and in the place of one, even if there be ten Indigo
      Factories in the village, that also I can allow; but to be
      separated even for a moment from that elder Babu who is so much
      the supporter of his dependants, that can I never bear.

      _Physician._ The blow through which the brain has oozed out is
      fatal. I have found the pulse indicate that death is near; either
      at mid-day or in the evening, life will depart. Bipin gave a
      little water of the Ganges in his mouth, but it came out by its
      sides. Nobin’s wife is quite distracted; but she is trying her
      utmost for his safety.

      _Sadhu._ Ah! Ah! Had our mistress not been insane, her heart would
      have been burst asunder on seeing this. The doctor has also said,
      that the bruise on the head is fatal.

      _Physician._ The doctor is a very kind-hearted man: when Babu
      Bindu wanted to give him money, he said, “Babu Bindu, the manner
      in which you are already troubled makes it improbable that the
      ceremony of your father will be performed. I cannot take any thing
      from you now, and also it is not necessary for you to give money
      for the bearers who brought me and who will now take me away.” Had
      the doctor been of a hard heart, he would have taken away the
      money kept for the ceremony. I have seen that kind of doctors
      twice; he is as scurrilous as avaricious.

      _Sadhu._ Our young Babu brought along with him the doctor to see
      Khetromani; but he said nothing with certainty. The doctor
      observing my want, owing to the tyranny of the Planters, gave me
      two rupees in the name of Khetromani.

      _Physician._ Had the doctor been hard-hearted he would have taken
      hold of the hand, and said, she would die; and he would have taken
      the money by selling your kine.

      _Reboti._ I can give money by selling off whatever I have, if they
      can only cure my Khetro.

                      _Enter_ RAYCHURN _with the rice_.

      _Physician._ Having washed the rice, bring the water here.
      (_Reboti takes the rice_). Do not give much water. I see the plate
      is very beautiful.

      _Reboti._ Our mistress (Sabitri) went to Gya and brought many
      plates; and she gave this to my Khetro. Ah! the same mistress is
      now turned mad, and her hands are bound with a rope, because she
      is slapping her cheeks.

      _Physician._ Sadhu, bring the stone-mortar, I have the medicine
      here. (_Opens his box of medicine._)

      _Sadhu._ Sir, don’t bring out your medicine; just see, how her
      eyes appear. Raychurn, come here.

      _Reboti._ Oh mother! What is my fate now! Oh mother, how shall I
      forget the figure of Harana! Oh! Oh! Oh Khetro, Oh Khetro!
      Khetromoni! daughter. Wilt thou not speak any more, my daughter?
      Oh! Oh! Oh! (_Weeps_).

      _Physician._ Her end is very near.

      _Sadhu._ Raychurn take hold of her, take hold of her (_Sadhuchurn
      and Raychurn take Khetramoni from the bed, and go out-side_).

      _Reboti._ I cannot leave my Laksmi of gold to float on the water.
      Where shall I go? Had she lived with the Saheb, that would have
      been better. I would have remained at rest by seeing her face. My
      daughter, ho! ho! ho! (_Goes behind Khetra, slapping herself_).

      _Physician._ I die! I die! I die! What pains does the mother bear!
      It is good not to have a child.

                                                           (_Exit all._)


Footnote 64:

        Reboti says, My daughter, what is it that gives you so much
        pain? The bed is all over cleared, there is nothing that can
        trouble the body.

Footnote 65:

        These are words which are expressed through great grief.

Footnote 66:

        Kartika is taken to be the most lovely in appearance among the
        gods—the symbol of male beauty. He is the son of Siva and

Footnote 67:

        Here, the reference is to the last of the three days in which
        the goddess Doorgah is worshipped; and the last day is taken to
        be one of great pain, because on that day she is to take her
        departure from her parents to go to her husband Siva.

Footnote 68:

        Thickly prepared signifies many coverings of the bed placed one
        above another.

Footnote 69:

        It is one of the names of Doorgah. The term signifies “full of
        rice,” or the Goddess of Plenty.



                        FIFTH ACT—FOURTH SCENE.


          _Sabitri sitting with the dead body of Nobin on her lap._

      _Sabitri._ Let my dear child sleep; my dear keeps my heart at
      rest. When I see the sweet face, I remember that other face[70]
      (_kisses_). My child is sleeping most soundly (_rubs the hand
      over the head of the corpse_). Ah! what have the musquitoes
      done? What shall I do for the heat? I must not lie down without
      letting the curtains fall (_rubs the hand on the breast of the
      body_) Ah! Can the mother suffer this, to see the bugs bite the
      child and let drops of blood come out. No one is here to prepare
      the bed of the child; how shall I let it lie down. I have no one
      for me; but all are gone with my husband. (_Weeps_). Oh
      unfortunate creature that I am! I am crying with my child here
      (_observing the face of Nobin_). The child of the sorrowful
      woman is now making deala[71] (_kissing the mouth_). No, my
      dear, I have forgotten all distress in seeing thee; I am not
      weeping (_placing the pap on its mouth_); my dear, suckle the
      pap, my dear, suckle it; I entreated the bad woman so much, even
      fell at her feet, still she did not bring my husband for once;
      he would have gone after settling about the milk of the child.
      This stupid person has such a friendship with Yama, that if she
      had written a letter, he would have immediately given him leave
      (_seeing the rope in her hand_). The husband never gets
      salvation if on his death the widow still wears ornaments;
      although I wept with such loud cries, still they made me wear
      the shanka.[72] I have burnt it by the lamp, still it is in my
      hands (_cuts off the rope with her teeth_). For a widow to wear
      ornaments it does not look good and is not tolerable. On my
      hands there has arisen a blister (_cries_). Whoever has stopped
      my wearing the shanka, let her shanka be taken off within three
      days[73] (_snaps the joints of her fingers on the ground_). Let
      me prepare the bed myself (_prepares the bed in fancy._) The mat
      was not washed (_extends her hands a little_). I can’t reach to
      the pillow; the coat of shreds is become dirty, (_rubs the floor
      with her hands_). Let me make the child lie down (_placing the
      dead body slowly on the ground._) My son, what fear near a
      mother? You lie down peacefully. I shall spit here (_spits on
      its breast_). If that Englishman’s lady come here this day, I
      shall kill her by pressing down her neck. I shall never have my
      child out of my sight. Let me place the bow round it (_gives a
      mark with her finger round the floor, while reading a certain
      verse as a sacred formula read to a God_). “The froth of the
      serpent, the tiger’s nose, the fire prepared by the Sala’s[74]
      resin, the whistling of the swinging machine, the white hairs of
      seven co-wives[75]—_bhanti_[76] leaves, the flowers of the
      _dhuturá_, the seeds of the Indigo, the burnt pepper, the head
      of the corpse, the root of the _maddar_, the mad dog, the
      thief’s reading of the Chundi; these together make the arrow to
      be directed against the gnashing teeth of Yama.”

                              _Enter_ SARALOTA.

      _Saralota._ Where are these gone to? Ah! she is turning round the
      dead body. I think, my husband, tired with excessive travelling,
      has given himself up to Sleep, that goddess who is the destroyer
      of all sorrows and pains. Oh Sleep! how very miraculous is thy
      greatness, thou makest the widow to be with her husband in this
      world, thou bringest the traveller to his country; at thy touch,
      the prisoner’s chain breaks; thou art the Dhannantari[77] of the
      sick; thou hast no distinction of castes in thy dominions; and thy
      laws are never different on account of the difference of nations
      or castes; thou must have made my husband a subject of thy
      impartial power; or else, how is it, that the insane mother brings
      away the dead son from him. My husband is become quite distracted
      by being deprived of his father and his brother. The beauty of his
      countenance has faded by and by, as the full-moon decreases day by
      day. My mother, when hast thou come up? I have left off food and
      sleep, and am looking after thee continually; and did I fall into
      so much insensibility; I promised, that I shall bring thy husband
      from Yama, (Invisible) in order to cure thee, and therefore thou
      remainedest quiet for some. In this formidable night, so full of
      darkness, like unto that which shall take place on the destruction
      of the Universe; when the skies are spread over with the tenors of
      the clouds, the ashes of lightning are giving a momentary light,
      like the arrows of fire, and the race of living creatures are
      given up, as it were, to the sleep of Death; all are silent; when
      the only sound is the cry of jackals in the wilderness and the
      loud noise of the dogs, the great band of enemies to thieves. My
      mother, how is it possible, that in such a night as this then wast
      able to bring thy dead son from out-side the house. (_Goes near
      the corpse_).

      _Sabitri._ I have placed the circle; and why do you come within

      _Saralota._ Ah! my husband can never be able to live on seeing the
      death of this his land-conquering and most dear brother.

      _Sabitri._ You are envying my child; you all-destroying wretch,
      the daughter of a wretch! Let your husband die. Go out, just now;
      be out; or else, I shall place my foot on your throat, take out
      your tongue and kill you immediately.

      _Saralota._ Ah! such Shoranan[78] (six-mouthed) of gold, whom our
      father-in-law and mother-in-law had, is now gone into the water.

      _Sabitri._ Don’t look on my child; I forbid you—you destroyer of
      your husband. I see, your death is very near. (_Goes a little
      towards her_).

      _Saralota._ Ah! how very cruel are the formidable arms of Death?
      Ah Yama! you gave so much pain to my honest mother-in-law.

      _Sabitri._ Calling again! Calling again! (_takes hold of
      Saralota’s neck by her two hands and throws her down on the
      ground_). Thou stupid, beloved of Yama. Now will I kill thee
      (_stands upon her neck_). Thou hast devoured my husband; again,
      thou art calling your paramour to swallow my dear infant. Die,
      die, die, die now. (_Begins to skip upon the neck._)

      _Saralota._ Gah, a, a, (_death of Saralota._)

                            _Enter_ BINDU MADHAB.

      _Bindu._ Oh! She is lying flat here. Oh mother, what is that? Thou
      hast killed my Saralota (_taking hold of Saralota’s head_). My
      dear Sarala has left this sinful world. (_After weeping, kisses

      _Sabitri._ Gnaw the wretch and destroy her. She was calling Yama
      to devour my infant; and therefore I killed her. (_Standing on her

      _Bindu._ As the mother, having destroyed the child whom she was
      fondling for making it sleep on her lap, on awaking will go to
      destroy herself, so wilt thou, Oh my mother! go to kill thyself,
      if thine insanity passing off thou can’st understand, that thy
      most beloved Saralota was murdered by thee. It will be good if
      that lamp no more give its light to thee. Ah! how very pleasant it
      is for a woman to be mad, who has lost her husband and son! The
      deer-like mind being enclosed within the stone walls of madness
      can never be attacked by the great tiger Sorrow. I am thy Bindu

      _Sabitri._ What, what do you say?

      _Bindu._ Mother, I can no longer keep my life, becoming mad by the
      death of my father bound by the rope, and the death of my older
      brother; thou hast destroyed my Saralota, and thus hast applied
      salt to my wounded heart.

      _Sabitri._ What! Is my Nobin dead! Is my Nobin dead! Ah, my dear
      son, my dear Bindu Madhab! Have I killed your Saralota? Have I
      killed my young Bou by becoming mad (_embracing the dead body of
      Saralota_). I would have remained alive, although deprived of my
      husband and my son. Ah, but on murdering you by my own hands, my
      heart is on the point of being burnt. Ho! Ho! Mother, (_embracing
      Saralota, she falls down, dead on the ground_).

      _Bindu._ (_Placing his hand on Sabitri’s body._) What I said, took
      place actually. My mother died on recovering her understanding.
      What affliction! My mother will no more take me on her lap, and
      kiss me. Oh mother! the word mama will no more come out of my
      mouth, (_weeps_). Let me place the dust of her feet on my head
      (_takes the dust from her feet and places that on his own head_).
      Let me also purify my body by eating that dust. (_Eats the dust of
      her feet_).

                              _Enter_ SOIRINDRI.

      _Soirindri._ I am going to die with my husband; do not oppose me,
      my brother-in-law? My Bipin shall live happily with Saralota.
      What’s this, what’s this? Why are our mother-in-law and Bou both
      lying in this manner?

      _Bindu._ Oh eldest Bou! our mother first killed Saralota, then
      getting her understanding again, she fell into such excess of
      sorrow, that she also died.

      _Soirindri._ Now! In what manner? What loss! What is this! What is
      this! Ah! Ah! my sister, thou hast not yet worn that most pleasant
      lock of hair on the head which I prepared for thee! Ah! ah! thou
      shalt no more call me, sister (_cries_). Mother-in-law, thou art
      gone to your Rama, but did’st not let me go there. Oh my
      mother-in-law, when I got thee, I did not for a moment remember my

                                _Enter_ ADURI.

      _Aduri._ Oh eldest Haldarni, come soon; thy young Bipin is afraid.

      _Soirindri._ Why did you not call me thence? You left him there
      alone. (_Goes out hastily with Aduri_).

      _Bindu._ My Bipin is now the pole-star in the ocean of dangers!
      (_with deep sigh_). In this world of short existence, human life
      is as the bank of a river which has a most violent course and the
      greatest depth. How very beautiful are the banks, the fields
      covered over with new grass, most pleasant to the view, the trees
      full of branches newly coming out; in some places the cottages of
      fishermen; in others the kine feeding with their young ones. To
      walk about in such a place enjoying the sweet songs of the
      beautiful birds, and the charming gale full of the sweet smell of
      flowers, only wraps the mind in the contemplation of that Being
      who is full of pleasure. Accidentally, a hole small as a line is
      observed in the field, and immediately that most pleasant bank
      falls down into the stream. How very sorrowful! The Bose family of
      Svaropur is destroyed by Indigo, the great destroyer of honour.
      How very terrible are the arms of Indigo!

      The cobra de capello, like the Indigo Planters, with mouths full
      of poison, threw all happiness into the flame of fire. The father,
      through injustice, died in the prison; the elder brother in the
      Indigo-field, and the mother, being insane through grief for her
      husband and son, murdered with her own hands a most honest woman.
      Getting her understanding again, and observing my sorrow, the
      ocean of grief again swelled in her. With that disease of sorrow
      came the poison of want; and thus without attending to
      consolation, she also departed this life. Incessantly do I call,
      Where is my father? Where is my father? Embrace me once more with
      a smiling face. Crying out, Oh mother! Oh mother! I look on all
      sides; but that countenance of joy do I find no where. When I used
      to call, Mama, she immediately took me on her breast, and rubbed
      my mouth. Who knows the greatness of maternal affection? The cry
      of mama, mama, mama, mama do I make in the battle-field and the
      wilderness whenever fear arises in the mind. Oh my brother, dear
      unto the heart, in the place of whom there is not one, as a friend
      in this world! Thy Bindu Madhab is come! open thine eyes once more
      and see. Ah! ah! it bursts my heart, not to know where my hearts
      Sarala is gone to. The most beautiful, wise, and entirely devoted
      to me; she walked as the swan,[79] and her eyes were handsome as
      those of the deer. With a smiling face and with the sweetest
      voice, thou didst read to me the _Betal_. The mind was charmed by
      thy sweet reading which was as the singing of the bird in the
      forest. Thou, Sarala, hadst a most beauteous face, and didst
      brighten the lake of my heart. Who did take away my lotus with a
      cruel heart? The beautiful lake became dark. The world I look upon
      is as a desert full of corpses; while I have lost my father, my
      mother, my brother, and my wife.

      Ah! where are they gone to in search of the dead body of my
      brother? I am to prepare for going to the Ganges as soon as they
      come. Ah! how very terrible, the last scene of the drama of the
      lion-like Nobin Madhab is? (_Sits down, taking hold of Sabitri’s

                                              [_The curtain falls down._



Footnote 70:

        The face of her husband.

Footnote 71:

        It sometimes happens, that during sleep the child either cries
        or laughs; that is called, the Deala of the child.

Footnote 72:

        An ornament made of shell for the wrists of women.

Footnote 73:

        That is, let her become a widow within three days, who has made
        me so.

Footnote 74:

        The Sala is the native name of the tree _Shorea robusta_.

Footnote 75:

        The wives of the same husband.

Footnote 76:

        _Volkmeria odorata._

Footnote 77:

        Dhannantari is the Physician of the Gods.

Footnote 78:

        Shoranan is one of the names of Kartikeya. In this place, it
        refers to Nobin Madhab, on account of the great honor which he
        had acquired from the people of the country; and he is compared
        with Kartikeya, because he had much honour among the gods.

Footnote 79:

        The gait of the swan is considered in this country the most
        beautiful model of the motion of the feet.



        Calcutta Printing and Publishing Press, No. 10, Weston’s Lane.



                              Transcriber’s Note

      Errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been corrected,
      and are noted here. The references are to the page and line in the
      original, including those which occur in the footnotes. Minor
      lapses of punctuation in the formatting of the dialog itself are
      corrected without comment here.

  18.31    how many days are there still remaining of     Replaced.
           this month[./?]

  19.32    This is a Bengal[l]i term                      Removed.

  24.1     I shall take her away by certain latyals[.]    Added.

  24.15    Did you inform Sadhu of this[./?]              Replaced.

  34.19    but one of my friends[./,] Bonkima by name,    Replaced.

  42.5     like unto one leading a [,/.]                  Replaced.

  45.11    business of the Amin[;/,] then this kind       Replaced.

  46.6     My dear, you can, with [c/e]ase, give          Replaced.

  48.7     My hea[s/r]t bursts                            Replaced.

  65.13    the Kazi (the Mahomedan  judge)[./?]           Replaced.

  66.11    _Bind[a/u]._ Have you seen my father this day? Replaced.

  66.13    _Exit Bind[a/u] Madhab and Chaprasi_           Replaced.

  66.15    (_Exit Bind[a/u] Madhab and Chaprasi._)        Replaced.

  68.10    _Daroga[h]._ Sir, you are wise                 Added.

  76.34    a common [f]orm of expression for the term     Restored.

  84.18    there is no preparation for Sita’s going with  Added.

  88.30    It is necessary to see her pulse on[c]e.       Added.

  88.31    let me observe the[y] pulse once.              Removed.

  89.30    on account [of the ]of the pain in his nose    Redundant.

  90.24    How very extravagant are my  daug[th/ht]er’s   Transposed.

  95.2     take Khetramoni from the[.] bed                Removed.

  97.28    and therefore thou remainedest quiet for some[ Added.

  100.17   Why are our mother-in-law and [b/B]ou both     Capitalized.
           lying in this manner?

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Nil Darpan; or, The Indigo Planting Mirror - A Drama. Translated from the Bengali by a Native." ***

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