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Title: The Baitâl Pachchisi - Or, The Twenty-Five Tales of a Sprite; Translated From The - Hindi Text of Dr. Duncan Forbes
Author: Platts, John, Forbes, Duncan
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE BAITÂL PACHCHISI

Or, The Twenty-Five Tales Of a Sprite

By John Platts

Translated From The Hindi Text of Dr. Duncan Forbes

(One of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools in the Central Provinces of
India)

London: Wm. H. Allen & Co.

1871

[Illustration: 0006]



TRANSLATORS PREFACE.

The English translation of these tales has been made by special
request, to meet repeated demands for a translation of the text as
edited by the late Dr. Duncan Forbes. The aim of the Translator has been
to produce a work which would enable the student to study the original
with facility and accuracy. It being considered that few save students
who are compelled to study the Hindi original would be likely to peruse
the work, the translation has been made as literal as it was possible
to make it without doing unpardonable violence to English idiom. All
difficulties have been boldly, if not successfully, met; and explanatory
and other notes have been added, wherever the text appeared to call for
such. The study of the translation must not be supposed to dispense with
that of the Grammar of the language; it will be found, however, to prove
of the highest utility to a student who has mastered the elementary
principles of Grammar, and uses it--not as a mere “crib” but--for the
purpose of discovering what light it sheds on the application of those
principles.



PREFACE

THE origin of these tales is as follows:--In the reign of the Emperor
Muhammad Shah, Rajã Jaisinh Sawãr (who was the ruler of. Jainagar)
ordered the eminent poet, named Sürat, to translate the Baitãl Pachisi
(which was in the Sanskrit) into the Braj dialect. Thereupon he
translated it into the dialect of Braj, in accordance with the king’s
command. And now, during the reign of the Emperor Sfãhi ’Alam, and
in the time of the lord of lords, the cream of exalted princes, the
Privy-Counsellor of the Monarch of England, whose court stands as high
as Saturn; the noblest of the noble, the Governor-General, Marquis
Wellesley (may his government be perpetuated!); and in accordance with
the bidding of His Honour, Mr. John Gilchrist (may his good fortune
endure!); to the end that illustrious gentleman may learn and
understand, the poet Mazhar Ali Khan (whose _nom de plume_ is Vila),
with the aid of the poet Shrï Lallü Lãl, rendered the same into easy
language, such as high and low use in speaking, and which the learned
and the ignorant, the talented and the obtuse, would all comprehend, and
which would be easy to the mind of every one, no difficulty of any kind
presenting itself to the intellect, and wherein the dialect of Braj
frequently occurs.

Now, in conformity with the command of the Professor of Hindi, the
bounteous patron, His Honour, Captain James Mouat, (may his prosperity
last long!) Tãrinïcharan Mitra, (in preparing the work) for the press,
has struck out such Sanskrit and Braj words as seldom occur in the Urdu
dialect, and introduced words in current use. Some words, however, in
use among the Hindus, the exclusion of which he regarded as detrimental,
he has preserved intact. He trusts that the work may meet with a
favourable reception.



THE BAITÂL PACHCHISI.



INTRODUCTORY TALE.

There was a city named Dhãrãnagar, the king of which was Gandharb Sen.
He had four queens, and by them six sons, one more learned and more
powerful than another. Fate ordaining, after some days the king died,
and his eldest son, Shank by name, became king in his stead. Again,
after some days, a younger brother, Vikram, after slaying his eldest
brother, himself became king, and began to govern well. Day by day his
dominion so increased that he became king of all India; * and, after
fixing his government on a firm basis, he established an æra.

     * Jambudwip is the name of one of the seven divisions of the
     world, and implies, the central division, or the known
     world; according to the Bauddhas, it is confined to India.

After some time the king thought to himself that he ought to visit those
countries of which he had heard. * Having determined on this, he made
over his throne to his younger brother Bharthari, and himself assuming
the guise of a devotee, set out to wander from land to land and forest
to forest.

     * Lit.--The king thought in his mind, “I should travel over
     those countries whose names I am hearing.”

A Brahman was practising austerities in that city. One day a deity
brought and presented to him the fruit of immortality. He then took the
fruit home and said to his wife, “Whoever shall eat this will become
immortal; the deity told me this at the time of giving, the fruit.”
 Hearing this, the Brahman’s wife wept excessively, and began to say,
“This is a great evil we have to suffer! For, becoming immortal, how
long shall we go on begging alms? Nay, to die is better than this;
(for) if we die, then we escape from the trials of the world.” Then the
Brahman said, “I took the fruit and brought it; but, hearing your words,
I am bereft of understanding. Now I will do whatever you bid.” Then his
wife said to him, “Give this fruit to the king, and in exchange for it
take wealth, whereby we may enjoy the advantages of this world as well
as that to come.”

Hearing this speech, the Brahman went to the king and gave him his
blessing; (and) after explaining the circumstances of the fruit, said,
“Great king! do you take this fruit and give me some wealth; there is
happiness for me in your being long-lived.” Theking having given
the Brahman a lakh of rupees and dismissed him, entered the female
apartments, and giving the fruit to the queen whom he loved most, said,
“O queen! do thou eat this, for thou wilt become immortal, and wilt
continue young for ever.” The queen, hearing this, took the fruit from
the king, (and) he came out into his court.

A certain kotwãl was the paramour of that queen: to him she gave the
fruit. It so happened that a courtesan was the kotwãl’s mistress; he
gave the fruit to her and described its virtues. That courtesan
thought to herself that the fruit was a fitting present for the king.
Determining this in her mind, she went and presented the fruit to the
king. His majesty took the fruit and dismissed her with much wealth; and
contemplating the fruit, and pondering within himself, he became sick of
the world, and began to say, “The perishable wealth of this world is
of no use whatever; for through it one must ultimately fall into hell.
Preferable to this is the practising of religious duties and the biding,
in the remembrance of the Deity, whereby it may be well in the future.”

Coming to this determination, he entered the female apartments and asked
the queen what she had done with the fruit (he gave her). She replied,
“I ate it up.” Then the king showed the queen that fruit. She, on the
instant of setting eyes on it, stood aghast, and was unable to make any
reply. After that, the king having come forth, had the fruit washed, and
ate it, and abandoning his kingdom and throne, assumed the guise of
a devotee, and betook himself unaccompanied, and without holding
communication with a soul, to the jungle.

The throne of Vikram became vacant. When this news reached king Indra,
he sent a demon to guard Dhãrãnagar. He kept watch over the city day
and night. To be brief, the report of this matter spread from country to
country, that king Bharthari had abandoned his government and gone away.
King Vikram, too, heard the news, and immediately came to his country.
It was then midnight: he was entering the city at that hour, when that
demon called out, “Who art thou? and whither goest thou? Stand still
(and) mention thy name.” Then the king said, “It is I, king Vikram; I
am entering my own city: who art thou, to challenge me?” Then the demon
replied, saying, “The deities have sent me to guard this city: if you
are really king Vikram, first fight with me, and then enter the city.”

On hearing these words the king girt tight his waist-cloth and
challenged the demon. Thereupon the demon, too, stood up to him. The
battle began. At last the king threw the demon and sat upon his breast.
Then he said, “O king! thou hast thrown me; I grant thy life as a boon.”
 Upon this the king, laughing, said, “Thou art gone mad; whose life
dost thou grant? Did I will, I could slay thee; how canst thou grant me
life?” Then the demon said, “O king! I am about to save thee from death;
first attend to a tale of mine, and thereafter rule over the whole
world free from all care.” At length the king set him free, and began to
listen attentively to his tale.

Then the demon addressed him thus: “There was in this city a very
liberal king, named Chandrabhãn. One day he went forth casually into
the jungle; when, what should he behold but an ascetic hanging, head
downwards, from a tree, and sustaining himself by inhaling smoke
alone--neither receiving anything from any one, nor speaking to any
one. Perceiving this state of his, the king returned home, and seating
himself in his court, said, ‘Whoever will bring this ascetic (here),
shall receive a lakh of rupees.’ A courtesan bearing these words, came
to the king and spake thus: ‘If I obtain your majesty’s leave, I will
have a child begotten by that ascetic, and bring it here mounted on his
shoulder.’”

“The king was astonished at hearing this speech, and binding the
courtesan to (the fulfilment of her contract to) bring the ascetic by
giving her a flake of betel-leaf, * dismissed her. She went to that
wild, and reaching the ascetic’s place, perceived that he was really
hanging head-downwards, neither eating nor drinking anything, and that
he was withered up. In short, that courtesan prepared some sweetmeat,
and put it into the ascetic’s mouth: he, finding it sweet, ate it up
with zest. Thereupon the courtesan applied more (to his mouth). Thus for
two days did she continue feeding him with sweetmeat, by eating which
he gained a certain degree of strength. Then, opening his eyes, and
descending from the tree, he inquired of her, ‘On what business hast
thou come hither?’”

     * I am obliged to render thus periphrastically the words
     tapasvi ke lane ke, waste bïrã dekar. The birã is a betel-
     leaf, made up with a preparation of areca-nut, chunara,
     cloves, &c. It is given and accepted as a pledge for the
     performance of an act.

“The courtesan replied, ‘I am the daughter of a god; I was practising
religious austerities in heaven; I have now come into this wild.’
The devotee said again, ‘Where is thy hut? Show me it.’ Thereupon the
courtesan brought the ascetic to her hut, and commenced feeding him
with savoury (_lit._ six-flavoured) viands, so that the ascetic left
off inhaling smoke; and took to eating food and drinking water daily.
Eventually Cupid troubled him; upon which he had carnal intercourse with
her, (and) vitiated his austerities; and the courtesan became pregnant.
In ten months a boy was born. When he was some months old, the woman
said to the devotee, ‘O saint! you should now set out on a pilgrimage
whereby all the sins of the flesh may be blotted out.’”

“Deluding him with such words, she mounted the boy on his shoulder, and
started for the king’s court, whence she had set out, after taking up
the gage to accomplish this matter. When she came before the king, his
majesty recognised her from a distance, and seeing the child on the
shoulder of the devotee, began saying to the courtiers; ‘Just see!
this is the very same courtesan, who went to bring the devotee!’ They
replied, ‘O king! you are quite right; this is the very same; and
be pleased to observe that all that she had stated in your majesty’s
presence ere she set forth, has come to pass.’”

“When the ascetic heard these remarks of the king and courtiers, he
perceived that the king had adopted these measures to disturb his
religious meditations. With these thoughts in his mind, the devotee
returned from thence, and getting out of the city, slew the child,
repaired to another jungle, and began to perform penance. And after some
time that king died, and the devotee completed his penance.”

“The short of the story is this, that you three men have been born under
one asterism, one conjunction, and in one moment. You took birth in
a king’s house; the second was an oilman’s (child); the third, the
devotee, was born in a potter’s house. You still govern here, while the
oilman’s son _was_ the ruler of the infernal regions; but that potter,
bringing his religious meditations to thorough perfection, has killed
the oilman, turned him into a demon in a burning-ground and placed him
hanging head-downwards on a siris-tree, and is intent on killing you.
If you escape him, you will rule. I have apprised you of all these
circumstances; do not be careless with respect to them.” Having narrated
thus much, the demon departed. He (the king) entered his private palace.

When it was morn the king came forth, and took his seat (on the throne),
and gave the order for a general court. As many servants as there were,
great and small, all came and made their offerings in the presence,
and festive music burst forth. An extraordinary gladness and rejoicing
possessed the whole city, such that in every place, and every house,
dance and song arose. After this the king began to govern justly.

It is related that one day an ascetic named Shãnt-shil appeared at the
king’s court with a fruit in his hand, and, presenting the fruit to the
king, spread a cloth, and sat down there. After a short time he went
away again. On his departure the king thought to himself that this
was probably the person of whom the demon had spoken. Habouring this
suspicion, he did not eat the fruit, and, summoning the steward, he gave
it to him, with instructions to keep it carefully. The devotee, however,
came constantly in this same manner, and left a fruit every day.

It so happened that one day the king went to inspect his stable,
accompanied by some attendants.

During that interval the ascetic, too, arrived there, and presented the
king with a fruit in the usual manner. He began tossing it in the air,
when all of a sudden it fell from his hand on the ground, and a monkey
took it up and broke it in pieces. So exquisite a ruby came out of it
that the king and his attendants were astonished at the sight of its
brilliance. Thereupon the king said to the devotee; “Why hast thou given
me this ruby?”

On this he said, “O great king! it is written in the Shastra that one
should not go empty-handed to the following places, viz., those of
kings, spiritual teachers, astrologers, physicians and daughters, for at
these places one obtains benefit for benefit. Sire! why do you speak
of a single ruby? As many fruits as I have given you, every one of them
contains a jewel.” Hearing these words, the king told the steward to
bring all the fruits he had given to him. On receiving the king’s order,
the steward immediately brought them; and, having had the fruits broken
open, he found a ruby in each. When he beheld so many rubies the king
was excessively pleased, and, summoning a tester of precious stones,
began having the rubies tested, saying the while, “Nothing will
accompany one (from this world); integrity is the great essential in the
world; tell me honestly, therefore, the exact value of each gem.”

Hearing these words the jeweller said, “O king! you have spoken the
truth. He whose integrity is safe, his all is safe: integrity alone
accompanies us, and that it is which proves of advantage in both worlds.
Hear, O king! each gem is perfect as to colour, stone, and form. Were
I to declare the value of each to be a crore of rupees, even that would
not come up to the mark. Of a truth, each gem is worth a clime.” Hearing
this, the king was pleased beyond measure, and conferring a robe of
honour on the jeweller, dismissed him; and taking the devotee’s hand, he
brought and seated him on the throne, and began thus: “My whole realm
is not worth even one of these rubies; tell me, then, what is the
explanation of this, that you, a religious mendicant, have presented me
with so many gems?”

The ascetic said, “Your majesty! it is not proper to speak publicly of
the following things, viz., magic and incantations, drugs employed in
medicines, religious duties, family affairs, the eating of impure meats,
evil speech which one has heard--all these things are not spoken of in
public; I will tell you in private. Attend! it is a rule, that whatever
is heard by three pairs of ears remains no secret; the words which reach
two pairs of ears no man hears; while the contents of one pair of ears
are unknown to Brahma himself, not to speak of man.” On hearing these
words, the king took the devotee apart and began to say, “O holy man!
you have given me so many rubies, and have not once partaken of food
even; you have put me to great shame! Let me know what it is you
desire.” The ascetic said, “Sire! I am about to practice magical arts in
a large body-burning-ground on the bank of the river Godavari, whereby I
shall acquire supernatural powers, and so I beg of you to pass one whole
night with me; by your being near me my magic arts will succeed.” Then
the king said, “Very well; I will come: leave word with me of the day.”
 The ascetic said, “Do you come to me, armed and unattended, on the
Tuesday evening of the dark half of the month Bhãdon.” The king replied,
“You may go; I will assuredly come, and alone.”

Having thus exacted a promise from the king and taken leave, he, for
his part, went into a temple and made preparations, and taking all
necessaries with him, went and fixed himself in a place for burning
bodies; while here the king began to ponder (over what had happened). In
the meantime the moment (for him to depart) too, arrived. Upon this
the king there and then girt on his sword, tightened the cloth he wore
between his legs, and betook himself alone to the devotee by night, and
greeted him. The devotee requested him to be seated, whereupon the king
sat down, and then perceived goblins, evil spirits, and witches, in
various frightful shapes, dancing around; while the ascetic, seated in
the centre, was striking two skulls together by way of music. The king
felt no fear or alarm on beholding this state of things; but said to the
devotee, “What command is there for me?” He replied, “O king! now that
you have come, do this;--at a distance of two _kos_ south of this place
is a burning-ground, wherein is a siris-tree, on which a corpse is
suspended; bring that (corpse) to me at once to this place, where I
shall be performing my devotions.” Having despatched the king thither,
he himself settled down in devotional attitude and began muttering
prayers.

For one thing, the darkness of the night was in itself terrifying; more
than this, the downpour of the rain was as unceasing as if it would rain
for once and all that night; whilst the goblins and ghosts, too,
were creating such an uproar, that even daring heroes would have been
agitated at the spectacle;--the king, however, went on his way. The
snakes, which kept coming and twining themselves about his legs, he used
to disentangle by repeating incantations. At length, when after
passing somehow or other over a perilous road, the king reached the
burning-ground, he perceived that goblins were constantly seizing
men and destroying them; witches continually munching the livers of
children; tigers were roaring, and elephants screaming. In short, when
he noticed the tree, he perceived that every leaf and branch of it, from
the root to the topmost twig, was burning furiously, while from all four
sides arose a tumultuous cry of “Kill him! kill him! Seize him! seize
him! Take care he does not escape!”

The king had no fears on beholding that state of things; but he said to
himself, “It may or may not be so, but (I am convinced) this is the same
devotee about whom the demon spoke to me.” And having gone close and
observed, he perceived a corpse fastened by a string, and hanging head
downwards. He was glad to see the corpse, thinking his trouble had been
rewarded. Taking his sword and shield, he climbed the tree fearlessly,
and struck such a blow with the sword that the rope was severed and
the corpse fell down, and instantly began to weep aloud. On hearing his
voice the king was pleased, and began to say to himself, “Well! this man
at least is alive.” Then, descending, he enquired of him who he was.
He burst out laughing as soon as he heard (the question). The king was
greatly astonished at this. Again the corpse climbed up the tree and
suspended himself. The king, too, that instant climbed up, and clutching
him under his arm, brought him down, and said, “Vile wretch! tell me
who thou art.” He made no reply. The king reflected and said to himself,
“Perhaps this is the very oilman whom the demon said the devotee had
deposited in the place where bodies are burnt.” Thus reflecting, he
bound him up in his mantle and brought him to the devotee. The man who
displays such courage will (be sure to) succeed in his under-takings.

Then the sprite * said, “Who art thou? and whither art thou taking
me?” The king replied, “I am king Vikram, and am taking thee off to a
devotee.” He rejoined, “I will go on one condition,--if thou utterest
a word on the way, I will come straight back.” The king agreed to his
condition and went off with him. Then the sprite said, “O king! those
who are learned, discerning, and wise--_their_ days are passed in the
delight of song and the shãstras, while the days of the unwise and
foolish are spent in dissipation and sleep. Hence, it is best that this
long road should be beguiled by profitable converse: do you attend, O
king! to the story I relate.”

     * Betal or baitãl, is a sprite haunting cemeteries, or,
     rather, places where bodies are burned and animating dead
     bodies.



TALE I.

There was a king of Banãras, named Pratãpmukut; and Bajra-mukut was the
name of his son, whose queen’s name was Mahãdevï. One day the prince,
accompanied by his minister’s son, went to the chase, and advanced far
into a jungle, in the midst of which he beheld a beautiful tank; on the
margin of which wild geese, brãhmanï ducks, male and female, cranes and
water-fowl were, one and all, disporting on all four sides _ghats_ of
solid masonry were constructed: within the tank, the lotus was in full
bloom: on the sides were planted trees of different kinds, under the
dense shade of which the breezes came cool and refreshing, while birds
were warbling on the boughs; and in the forest bloomed flowers of varied
hues, on which whole swarms of bees were buzzing;--(such was the scene)
when they arrived by the margin of that tank, and washed their hands and
faces, and reascended.

“On that spot was a temple sacred to Mahãdeva, Fastening their horses,
and entering the temple, they paid adoration to Mahãdeva, and came out.
While they were engaged in adoration, the daughter of a certain king,
accompanied by a host of attendants, came to another margin of the tank
to bathe; and, having finished her ablutions, meditations and prayers,
she, with her own maidens, began to walk about in the shade of the
trees. On this side the minister’s son was seated, and the king’s son
was walking about, when, suddenly, his eyes, and the eyes of the king’s
daughter, met. As soon as he beheld her beauty, the king’s son was
fascinated, and began saying to himself, ‘You wretch, Cupid! why do you
molest me?’ And when the princess beheld the prince, she took in
her hand the lotus-flower which she had fixed on her head after her
devotions, placed it to her ear, bit it with her teeth, put it under
her foot, then took it up and pressed it to her bosom, and, taking her
maidens with her, mounted (her chariot) and departed home.”

“And the prince, sinking into the depths of despair, and overwhelmed
with grief on account of her absence, came to the minister’s son, and
with a feeling of shame laid before him the actual, state of affairs,
saying, ‘O friend! I have seen a most beautiful damsel; (but) I know
neither her name nor her abode: should I not possess her, I will give
up my life: this I am firmly resolved upon in my mind.’ Hearing these
circumstances, the minister’s son caused him to mount, and brought
him home, it is true; but the king’s son was so restless from grief
at separation, that he entirely abandoned writing, reading, eating,
drinking, sleeping, the business of government--everything. He used to
be constantly sketching her portrait and gazing at it and weeping; not
speaking himself, nor listening to what others said.”

“When the minister’s son saw this state of his, the result of separation
from his flame, he said to him, ‘Whosoever treads the path of love
doth not survive; or if he survive, he suffers great sorrow. * On this
account the wise avoid treading this path.’ The king’s son, on hearing
his words, replied, ‘I, in sooth, have entered upon this path, be there
joy in it or be there pain.’ When he heard so determined a speech from
him, he (the minister’s son) said, ‘Great king! at the time of leaving
did she say anything to you, or you to her?’ Upon this he made answer,
saying, ‘I said nothing, nor did I hear anything from her.’ Then the
minister’s son said, ‘It will be very difficult to find her.’ He said,
‘If she be secured, my life will be preserved; otherwise, it is lost.’”

     * Lit.--Whosoever has placed his step in the path of love
     has not survived after it; or if he has survived, then he
     has experienced great affliction.

“He enquired again, ‘Did she make no signs even?’ The prince said,
‘These are the gestures she made,--suddenly seeing me, she took the
lotus-flower from her head, put it to her ear, bit it with her teeth,
placed it under her foot, and pressed it to her bosom.’ On hearing this,
the minister’s son said, ‘I have comprehended her signs, and discovered
her name, habitation, and all about her.’ He (the prince) replied,
‘Explain to me whatever you have discovered.’ He began to say, ‘Attend,
O king! Her having taken the lotus-flower from her head and put it
to her ear, is equivalent to her having informed you that she is an
inhabitant of the Karnãtak (Carnatic); and in biting it with her
teeth, she intimated that she is the daughter of king Dãnta-vãt; and by
pressing it under her foot, she declared that her name is Padmãvati;
and in again taking it up and pressing it to her bosom, she informed you
that you dwell in her heart.’ When the prince heard these words, he
said to him, ‘It is advisable that you take me to the city in which she
dwells.’ No sooner had he said this than both dressed themselves, girt
on their arms, and taking some jewels with them, mounted their horses
and took the road to that quarter.”

“Having reached the Kamãtak after several days, and having arrived below
the palaces of the king in their stroll through the city, what do
they see there but an old woman sitting at her door and plying her
cotton-wheel. The two, dismounting from their horses, approached her,
and began to say, ‘Mother! we are travelling merchants, our goods are
following us; we have come on ahead to seek a lodging; if you will give
us a place, we will abide.’ On looking at their faces and hearing their
words, the old woman took compassion on them and said, ‘This house
is yours; remain here as long as you please,’ In short, they took
possession of the house on hearing, this; and after some delay the old
woman came and kindly sat with them, and began chatting with them. On
this, the minister’s son enquired of her, ‘What family and relations
have you got? and how do you subsist?’ The old woman said, ‘My son is
very comfortably provided for in the king’s service, and your humble
servant is the wet-nurse of Padmãvatï, the king’s daughter; in
consequence of old age having overtaken me I remain at home, but the
king provides for my maintenance. Once a day, however, I go regularly to
see that girl; it is on my return from thence, in my home, alone, that I
give vent to my woe.’”

“Hearing these words, the prince rejoiced at heart, and said to the old
woman, ‘When you are starting to-morrow, please carry a message from
me too.’ She replied, ‘Son! what need to defer it till tomorrow? I will
this moment convey any message of yours that you communicate to me.’
Then he said, ‘Do you go and tell her this,--The prince whom you saw on
the margin of the tank on the fifth day of the light half of the month
Jeth has arrived here.’”

“On hearing these words the old woman took her stick and went to the
palace. When she got there she found the princess sitting alone. When
she appeared before her, she (the princess) saluted her.

“The old woman gave her, her blessing, and said, ‘Daughter! I tended you
in your infancy, and suckled you. God has now caused you to grow up:
what my heart now desires is, that I should see you happy in your
prime, then should I, too, receive comfort.’ Addressing her in such
affectionate words as these, she proceeded to say, ‘The prince whose
heart you took captive on the fifth day of the light half of Jeh, by
the side of the tank, has alighted at my house, (and) has sent you this
message, for you to perform the promise you made him, now that he has
arrived. And I tell you, for my part, that that prince is worthy of
you, and is as excellent in disposition and mental qualities as you are
beautiful.’”

“On hearing these words she became angry, and applying sandal to her
hands, and slapping the face of the old woman, began to say, ‘Wretch!
get out of my house!’ She rose annoyed, and went, in that very
condition, straight to the prince, and related all that had happened to
her. The prince was astounded at these words. Then the minister’s son
spoke, saying, ‘Great king! feel no anxiety; this matter has not come
within your comprehension.’ Hereupon he said, ‘True; do you then explain
it, that my mind may obtain rest.’ He said, ‘In smearing sandal on the
ten fingers, and striking the (woman on the) face, she intimated, that
when the ten nights of moonlight shall come to an end, she will meet you
in the dark.’”

“To be brief, after ten days the old woman again went and announced him;
then she tinged three of her fingers with saffron, and struck them on
her cheek, saying, ‘Get out of my house!’ After all, the old woman moved
from thence in despair, and came and related to the prince all that had
occurred. He was engulfed in an ocean of sorrow as soon as he heard
it. Seeing this state of his, the minister’s son said again, ‘Be not
alarmed, the purport of this matter is something else.’ He replied,
‘My heart is disquieted; tell me quickly.’ Then he said, ‘She is in the
state which women are in every month, and hence has stipulated for three
days more; on the fourth day she will send for you.’ In short, when the
three days elapsed, the old woman made enquiries after her health on
the part of the prince. Then she brought the old woman angrily to
the western wicket, and turned her out. Again the old woman came and
informed the prince of this event: he became cast-down at hearing it.
On this the minister’s son said, ‘The explanation of the affair is,
that she has invited you to-night by way of that wicket.’ He was pleased
beyond measure at hearing this. To be brief, when the hour arrived,
they took out brown suits of clothes, arranged them, fastened on their
turbands, dressed themselves, placed their weapons in order about
them, and were ready; by this time midnight had passed. At that time
an universal stillness prevailed, when they, too, pursued their way in
unbroken silence.”

“When they arrived near the wicket, the minister’s son remained standing
without, and he (the prince) entered the wicket. What does he perceive,
but the princess, too, standing there expecting him! Thus their eyes
met. Then the princess laughed, and, closing the wicket, took the prince
with her into the festive chamber. Arrived there, the prince beheld
censers filled with perfume alight in different parts of the room, and
maidens dressed in garments of various colours standing respectfully,
with hands joined, each according to her station; on one side a couch
of flowers spread; atr-holders, pan-boxes, rose-water bottles, trays
and four-partitioned boxes arranged in order; on another side, compound
essences, prepared sandal-wood, mixed perfumes, musk, and saffron filled
in metal cups; here, coloured boxes of exquisite confections laid out;
there, sweetmeats of various kinds placed in order; all the doors and
walls adorned with pictures and paintings, and holding such faces, that
the beholder would be enchanted, at the very sight of each single one.
In short, everything that could contribute to pleasure and enjoyment was
got together. The whole scene was one of an extraordinary character, of
which no adequate description can be given.”

“Such was the apartment to which the princess Padmãvatï took the prince
and gave him a seat, and having his feet washed, and applying sandal
to his body, and placing a garland of flowers round his neck, and
sprinkling rose-water over him, began fanning him with her own hands.
Upon this the prince said, ‘At the mere sight of you I have become
refreshed; why do you take so much trouble? These delicate hands are not
fit to handle a fan; give me the fan; you be seated.’ Padmãvatï replied,
‘Great king! you have been at great trouble to come here for my sake,
it behoves me to wait upon you.’ Then a maiden took the fan from the
princess’s hand, and said, ‘This is my business; I will attend on
you, and do you both enjoy yourselves.’ They began eating betel-leaf
together, and engaging in familiar conversation, when, by this time, it
became morning. The princess concealed him; (and) when night came on,
they again engaged in amorous pleasures. Thus several days passed away.
Whenever the prince showed a wish to depart the princess would not
permit him. A month passed thus; then the prince became much disturbed,
and very anxious.”

“Once it happened that he was sitting alone by night and thinking thus
to himself, ‘Country, throne, family,--everything had already been
separated from me; but such a friend as mine, by whose means I found all
this happiness, even him have I not met for a whole month! What will he
be saying in his heart? and how do I know what may be happening to
him?’ He was sitting occupied with these anxious thoughts when, in the
meanwhile, the princess too arrived, and seeing his predicament, began
to inquire, ‘Great king! what grief possesses you that you are sitting
so dispirited here? Tell me.’ Then he said, ‘I have a very dear friend,
the son of the minister; for a whole month I have received no accounts
of him: he is such a clever, learned friend, that through _his_ talents
(it was that) I obtained thee, and _he_ (it was who) explained all thy
secrets.’ The princess said, ‘Great king! your soul is really there;
what happiness can you enjoy here? Hence, this is best,--I will prepare
confections and sweetmeats, and all kinds of meats, and have them sent;
do you, too, go there and feast and comfort him well, and return with
your mind at ease.’”

“On hearing this the prince rose up and came forth; and the princess had
different kinds of sweetmeats, with poison mixed, cooked and sent. The
prince had but just gone and sat beside the minister’s son when the
sweetmeats arrived. The minister’s son enquired, ‘Great king! how did
these sweetmeats come here?’ The prince replied, ‘I was sitting there
anxious concerning you, when the princess came, and looking at me,
asked, ‘Why do you sit cast-down? Explain the reason of it.’ On this I
gave her a full account of your skill in reading secrets. * On hearing
this account, she gave me permission to come to you, and had these sent
for you; if you will partake of them, my heart, too, will be rejoiced.’
Then the minister’s son said, ‘You have brought poison for me; it is
well, indeed, that _you_ did not eat of it. Sire! listen to a word from
me,--a woman has no love for her lover’s friend: you did not act wisely
in mentioning my name there.’ On hearing this the prince said, ‘You talk
of such a thing as no one would ever do: if man have no fear of man, it
is to be presumed he fears God at least.’”

     * In thus translating, I take bhed-chaturãï as a compound:
     other translators render it, “the secrets of your
     cleverness,” which seems to me to be grammatically
     inadmissible, and to lose the sense.

“With these words he took a round sweetmeat from among them and threw it
to a dog. As soon as the dog ate it he died convulsed. Seeing this
turn of affairs, the prince became incensed, and began to say, ‘It is
unbecoming to associate with so false a woman; up to this hour her love
has found place in my heart; now, however, it is all over.’ * On hearing
this the minister’s son said, ‘Your majesty! what has happened, has
happened (i.e., let bygones be bygones); you should now act in such a
manner that you may be able to get her away to your home.’ The prince
said, ‘Brother! this, too, can be accomplished by you alone.’ The
minister’s son said, ‘To-day do this one thing,--go again to Padmãvati,
and do just what I tell you,--first go and display much regard and
affection for her; (and) when she falls asleep, take off her jewels, and
strike her on the left thigh with this trident, and instantly come away
from thence.’”

     * This translation may seem rather free, but it is not wide
     of the sense, which is, “I know well that I have no lore for
     her now.” This peculiarly idiomatic use of the word mdlum
     occurs in the Bagh-o-bahãr, Arãyishi Mahfil, and many other
     Urdu works, and has ever proved a stumbling-block to
     translators.

“Having received these instructions, the prince went to Padmãvati at
night, and after much affectionate conversation, they both lay down
together to sleep; but he was secretly watching his opportunity..To be
brief, when the princess fell asleep, he took off all her ornaments,
struck her on the left thigh with the trident, and came to his own
house. He recounted all the occurrences to the minister’s son, and laid
the jewels before him. He then took up the jewels, took the prince with
him, and, assuming the guise of a devotee, went and sat in a place for
burning bodies. He himself took the part of a spiritual teacher, and
making him (the prince) his disciple, said to him, ‘You go into the
market and sell these jewels; if anyone should seize you while doing
this, bring him to me.’”

“Receiving his instructions, the prince took the jewels with him to the
city, and showed them to a goldsmith in close proximity to the king’s
palace-gate. As soon as he saw them he recognised them, and said, ‘These
are the princess’s jewels; tell me truly, where did you get them?’ He
was saying this to him when ten or twenty more men gathered round. To
be brief, the kotwãl, hearing the news, sent men and had the prince,
together with the jewels and the goldsmith, seized and brought before
him, and inspecting the jewels, asked him to state truly where he had
got them. When he said, ‘My spiritual preceptor has given them to me
to sell, but I know not whence he got them,’--then the kotwãl had the
preceptor also apprehended and brought before him, and taking them both,
together with the jewels, into the presence of the king, related all the
circumstances.”

“On hearing the narrative the king addressed the devotee, saying,
‘Master! whence did you obtain these jewels?’ The devotee said, ‘Your
majesty! on the fourteenth night of the dark lunar fortnight I visited a
burning-ground to perfect some spells for a witch: when the witch came,
I took off her jewels and apparel, and made the impression of a trident
on her left thigh; in this way these ornaments came into my possession.’
On hearing this statement of the devotee’s, the king went into his
private apartments, and the devotee to his seat * (in the
burning-ground). The king said to the queen, ‘Just see if there is a
mark on Padmãvati’s left thigh or not, and (if so) what sort of a mark
there is.’ The queen having gone and looked, found the mark of a
trident. She returned and said to the king, ‘Your majesty! there are
three parallel marks; indeed, it appears as if some one had struck her
with a trident.’”

     * The ãsan is, generally, the skin of a deer, or leopard, or
     tiger, which religious mendicants carry with them to sit
     upon. The hide of a black antelope is commonly preferred.
     Some of the gods are fabled to use the lotus-flower for the
     purpose.

“On hearing this account, the king came out and sent for the kotwãl, and
told him to go and bring the devotee. The kotwãl set off to bring
the devotee on the instant of receiving the order; and the king began
reflecting thus,--‘The affairs of one’s household, and the intentions of
one’s heart, and any loss which has befallen one--these it is not right
to disclose to anyone;’ when, in the interval, the kotwãl brought the
devotee into the presence. Then the king took the devotee aside and
questioned him, saying, ‘Spiritual guide! what punishment is laid down
in the scriptures for a woman?’ On this the devotee said, ‘Your majesty!
if a Brahman, a cow, a wife, a child, or any one dependent on us,
be guilty of a disgraceful act, it is prescribed that such should be
banished from the country.’”

“On hearing this the king had Padmãvati conveyed away in a litter and
left in a jungle. Thereupon both the prince and the minister’s son
started from their lodging on horseback, went to that jungle, took the
Princess Padmãvati with them, and set out for their own country.
After some days each reached his father’s house. The greatest joy took
possession of all, high and low; and these (i.e., the prince and the
princess,) entered upon a life of mutual happiness.”

After relating so much of the tale the sprite asked King Vikramãjït, “To
which of those four does guilt attach? If you do not decide this point,
you will be cast into hell.” King Vikram said, “The guilt attaches to
the king.” The sprite replied, “How does the sin fall on the king?”
 Vikram answered him thus, “The minister’s son simply did his duty to
his master; and the kotwãl obeyed the king’s command; and the princess
attained her object; hence, the guilt falls on the king for having
inconsiderately expelled her from the country.”

On hearing these words from the king’s mouth, the sprite went and
suspended himself on that same tree.



TALE II.

On looking about him, the king perceived that the sprite was not
present; so he went straight away back, and, reaching that place,
climbed up the tree, bound the corpse, and placing him on his shoulders,
set off. Then the sprite said, “O king! the second story is as
follows:--”

“On the bank of the Yamunã (Jamnã) is a city named Dharmmasthal, the
king of which is named Gunãdhip. Moreover, a Brahman named Kesava lives
there, who is in the habit of performing his devotions and religious
duties on the banks of the Jamnã; and his daughter’s name was
Madhumãvati. She was very beautiful. When she became marriageable,
her mother, father, and brother, were all three intent on getting her
married. It happened that while her father had gone one day, with one of
his supporters, * to a marriage ceremony somewhere, and her brother to
his teacher’s in the village, for instruction, in their absence a
Brahman’s son came to the house. Her mother, seeing the youth’s beauty.
and excellent qualities, said, ‘I will give my daughter in marriage to
thee.’ And there the Brahman had agreed to give his daughter to a young
Brahman; while his son had given his word to a Brahman at the place
where he had gone to study, that he would give him his sister.”

     * Jafman, from the Sanskrit Yajamãna is a person who
     institutes a sacrifice, and pays for it. In a village where
     there is a hereditary priest, the priest’s fees are paid by
     the villagers (who constitute his jajmãn), and that whether
     they choose to employ his services, or those of any other
     priest. I object, therefore, to the meaning of “employer” as
     being inexact, and to that of “customer” as being both
     inexact and inelegant.

“After some days those two (i.e., the father and son) arrived with the
two youths, and here (at home) the third youth was stopping from the
first (awaiting them). One’s name was Tribikram, the other’s Bãman; the
third’s Madhusüdan; they were all on a par in point of good looks, moral
excellence, learning, and age. On seeing them, the Brahman began to
reflect thus, ‘One girl, and three suitors-elect! To whom shall I give
her, to whom not? And we have all three given our words to the three of
them: this is a strange piece of business that has happened! What shall
I do?’”

“He was sitting reflecting thus when in the meantime a snake bit the
girl, (and) she died. On hearing the news, her father, brother, and
the three youths, all five ran off in a body, and, after much toil
and trouble, brought all the snake-charmers, conjurers, and as many
practisers of magic arts for the purpose of expelling poison, as there
were (in the place). They all looked at the girl, and said she could
not be restored to life. The first said, ‘A man bitten by a snake on the
fifth, sixth, eighth, nine, or fourteenth day of the lunar month does
not survive.’ A second said, ‘One who has been bitten on a Saturday or
Tuesday, too, does not live.’ A third said, ‘Poison which has ascended
(into the system) when the moon is in the fourth, tenth, ninth,
sixteenth, nineteenth, and third asterisms of its path, does not
descend.’ * A fourth said, ‘One bitten in any of the following members,
viz., an organ of sense, the lips, the cheek, the neck, the abdomen, or
the navel, cannot escape.’”

     * Any one who has seen the conjurers at work will know that
     the operator always pretends to work the poison ont of the
     system downwards, from the head towards the feet; hence the
     expressions “ascending” and “descend” in connection with the
     action of the poison.

“A fifth said, ‘In this instance even Brahma could not restore to life;
of what account are we then? Do you now perform her funeral rites; we
are off.’ Having said this, the conjurers went away; and the Brahman
took the corpse away, burnt it in the place for such rites, and went
off.”

“Now, after he had gone, those three youths acted in this wise:--One of
them picked up and fastened together her charred bones, and becoming a
religious mendicant, went forth to wander from forest to forest.

“The second, having tied her ashes up in a bundle, built a hut, and began
living on that very spot. The third became a devotee, furnished himself
with a wallet and neck-band, and set out to wander from land to land.
One day he went to a Brahman’s house in some country for food. The
resident * Brahman, on seeing him, began to say. ‘Very well; eat food
here to-day.’ On hearing this he sat down there. When the food was
ready, he had his hands and feet washed, and took and seated him in the
square place where the food was cooked, and himself sat down near him;
and his wife came to serve out the food. Some was served, some remained,
when her youngest son cried, and seized the border of his mother’s
mantle. She was trying to make him let it go, but he would not; and as
much as she tried to soothe him, he but cried the more, and became more
obstinate. On this the Brahman’s wife, becoming angry, took up the
child and threw him into the burning fire-place; the child was burnt to
ashes.”

     * The word grihasti means properly a Brahman who is settled
     in a house and performs the duties of the father of a
     family.

“When the Brahman (the guest) witnessed this occurrence, he rose up
without eating anything. Then the master of the house said, ‘Why do you
not eat?’ He replied, ‘How can one partake of food in his house where
a diabolical deed has been perpetrated.’ On hearing this the householder
arose, and going to another part of his house, brought a book on the
science of restoring to life, took a charm from it, muttered some
prayers, and brought his son back to life. Then that Brahman, seeing
this wonder, began to ponder in his mind, ‘If this book were to fall
into my hands I, too, could restore my beloved to life.’ Having made up
his mind on this point, he ate the food, and tarried there. To be brief,
when night came on, after some time all partook of supper, and went and
lay down in their respective places, and were chatting together on one
subject or another. The Brahman, too, went and lay down apart, but kept
lying awake. When he thought that the night was far advanced, and all
had gone to sleep, he arose quietly, softly entered his (host’s) room,
took that book, and decamped; and in the course of several days he
arrived at the place where he (the father) had burnt the Brahman’s
daughter. He found the other two Brahmans there also, sitting and
conversing together. Those two also, recognising him, approached and met
him, and inquired, saying, ‘Brother! you have wandered from land to
land, it is true; but, tell us, have you learned any science as well?’

“He said, ‘I have learned the science of restoring the dead to life.’ As
soon as they heard this, they said, ‘If you have learned this, restore
our beloved to life.’ He replied, ‘Make a heap of the ashes and bones,
and I will restore it to life.’ They gathered together the ashes and
bones. Then he took a charm out of the book, and muttered prayers; the
girl rose up alive. Thereupon Cupid so blinded the three of them that
they began wrangling among themselves.”

Having related so much of the tale, the sprite said, “O king! tell me
this; to whom did that woman (by right) belong? (or, whose wife was
she?).” King Vikram replied, “To him who built the hut and stayed
there.” The sprite said, “If he had not preserved the bones, how could
she have been restored to life? And if the other had not returned
instructed in the science, how could he have restored her to life?” The
king made answer thus:--“He who had preserved her bones, occupied the
place of her son; and he who gave her life, became, as it were, her
father; hence, she became the wife of him who built a hut and remained
there with the ashes.” On hearing this answer, the sprite went again
and suspended himself on that tree. The king, too, arrived close at his
heels, and, having bound him, and placed him on his shoulder, started
off with him again.



TALE III.

The sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Bardwãn, wherein is a
king named Rüpsen. It happened one day that the king was seated in an
apartment adjoining the gate (of his palace), when, from without the
gate, the loud voices of some people reached him. The king said, ‘Who
is at the gate? and what noise is that taking place?’ Upon this the
gatekeeper replied, ‘Great king! you have asked a fine question! Knowing
this to be the gate of a wealthy personage, numbers of persons of
all kinds come and sit at it for the sake of money, and converse on a
variety of topics; this is _their_ noise.’”

“On hearing this the king kept silent. In the meanwhile a traveller,
named Birbar, a Rajput, came from the south to the king’s gate, in
the hope of obtaining service. The gate-keeper, after ascertaining his
circumstances, said to the king, ‘Your majesty! an armed man has come
in the hope of entering your service, and stands at the door: with your
majesty’s leave he shall come before you.’ Having heard this, the king
gave the order to bring him in. He went and brought him. Then the king
asked, ‘O Rãjpüt! How much shall I allow thee for daily expenses?’ On
hearing this Birbar said, ‘Give me a thousand _tolas_ (about 833 oz.)
of gold daily, and I shall be able to subsist.’ The king enquired, ‘How
many persons are there with you (dependent on you)?’ He replied, ‘First,
my wife; second, a son; third, a daughter; fourth, myself: there is no
fifth person with me.’ Hearing him speak thus, all the people of the
king’s court turned away their faces and began laughing; but the king
began to consider why he had asked for a large sum of money. Ultimately
he thought it out in his own mind, that a vast sum of money given away
will some day prove of advantage. Coming to this conclusion, he sent
for his treasurer and said, ‘Give this Birbar a thousand _tolas_ of gold
daily from my treasury.’

“On hearing this order, Birbar took a thousand _tolas_ of gold for that
day, and brought it to the place where he was staying, and dividing
it into two parts, distributed one half among the Brahmans; and again
dividing the remaining half into two parts, distributed one portion
thereof among pilgrims, devotees, the worshippers of Vishnu, and
religious mendicants; and of the one part which remained he had food
cooked and fed the poor, and what remained over he consumed himself. In
this way he, with his wife and children, used regularly to subsist. And
every night he used to take his sword and shield and go and mount guard
over the king’s couch; and when the king, roused from sleep, used to
call out, ‘Is any, one in waiting?’ then he used to answer, ‘Birbar is
in attendance; what may be your commands?’ Thus answered he whenever
the king called out, and thereupon, whatever he (the king) ordered to be
done, he executed.”

“In this way, through eagerness for wealth, he used to keep awake the
whole night long; nay, whether eating, drinking, sleeping, sitting
still, or moving about (that is to say) during the whole twenty-four
hours (_lit._ eight watches), he used to keep his lord in mind. The
practice is, that if one person sells another, this one becomes sold;
but a servant, by entering service, sells _himself_; and, when sold, he
becomes a dependant; and once dependant, he has no prospect of peace. It
is notorious, that however clever, wise, and learned he may be, still,
when he is in his master’s presence, he remains quite silent, like a
dumb person, through fear. So long as he is aloof from him, he is at
rest. On this account it is that the learned say, ‘To perform the duties
of a servant is more difficult than to perform religious duties.’”

“(To) the story: It is related, that one day the weeping voice of a
woman chanced to come at night-time from the burning-ground. On hearing
it the king called out, ‘Is any one in waiting?’ Birbar instantly
answered, ‘I am here; your commands.’ Thereupon the king gave him this
order,--‘Go to the spot whence yon weeping voice of a woman proceeds,
and enquire of her the cause of her weeping, and return quickly.’
Having given him this order the king began to say to himself, ‘Whosoever
desires to test his servant should order him to do things in season and
out of season; if he execute his order, know that he is worth something;
and if he object, be sure that he is worthless. And in this same
way prove brethren and friends in days of adversity, and a wife in
poverty.’”

“In fine, on receiving this order, he took the direction whence the
sound of her weeping proceeded; and the king also, after dressing
himself in black, followed him secretly, for the purpose of observing
his courage. In this interval Birbar arrived there. What does he behold
in the burning-ground, but a beautiful woman, lavishly decked with
jewels from head to foot, crying aloud and bitterly! At one moment she
was dancing, at another leaping, at another running; and not a tear in
her eyes! And while repeatedly beating her head, and crying out,
‘Alas! alas!’ she kept dashing herself on the ground. Seeing this her
condition, Birbar asked, ‘Why art thou crying and beating thyself so
violently? Who art thou? and what trouble has befallen thee?’”

“On this she said, ‘I am the royal glory.’ Birbar said, ‘Why art thou
weeping?’ Upon this she began relating her case to Birbar, saying,
‘Impious acts (_lit_. acts such as a Shüdra performs) are committed in
the king’s house, whence misfortune will find admission therein, and
I shall depart thence; after the lapse of a month the king will suffer
much affliction and die; this is the sorrow which makes me weep.
Further, I have enjoyed great happiness in his house, and hence this
regret: and this matter will in nowise prove false.’”

“Birbar then asked, ‘Is there any such remedy for it, whereby the king
may escape, and live a hundred years?’ She said, ‘Towards the east, at
a distance of four _kos_ (eight miles), is a temple sacred to (the
goddess) Devi; if you will cut off your son’s head with your own hand,
and offer it to that goddess, then the king will reign a hundred years
precisely as he now reigns, and no harm of any kind will’ befall the
king.’”

“As soon as he had heard these words, Birbar went home, and the king
also followed him. To be brief, when he got home, he awoke his wife, and
minutely related the whole story to her. On hearing the circumstances,
she roused the son alone; but the daughter also awoke. Then that woman
said to her boy, ‘Son! by sacrificing your head the king’s life will be
saved, and the government, too, will endure.’ When the boy heard this,
he said, ‘Mother! in the first place, it is your command; in the second,
it is for my lord’s service; thirdly, if this body come of use to a
deity, nothing in the world is better for me; in my opinion, than this:
it is not right to delay any longer now in this business. There is a
saying, ‘If one have a son, to have him under control,--a body, free
from disease,--science, such that one benefits thereby,--a friend,
prudent,--a wife, submissive,--if these five things are obtainable by
man, they are the bestowers of happiness and the averters of trouble: if
a servant be unwilling, a king parsimonious, a friend insincere, and a
wife disobedient, these four things are the banishers of peace and the
promoters of misery.’”

“Birbar again addressed his wife, saying, ‘If thou wilt willingly give
up thy child, I will take him away and sacrifice him for the king.’
She replied, saying, ‘I have no concern with son, daughter, brother,
kinsfolk, mother, father, or any one; from you it is that my happiness
proceeds; and in the moral Code, too, it is thus written,--‘A woman
is purified neither by offerings nor by religious offices; her religion
consists in serving and honouring her husband, no matter whether he be
lame, maimed in the hands, dumb, deaf, blind of both eyes, blind of one
eye, a leper, hunch-backed,--of whatever kind he be, if she perform any
description of virtuous action in the world, while she does not obey
her husband, she will fall into hell.’ His son said, ‘Father! the man by
whom’ his master’s business is accomplished--_his_ continuing to live in
the world is attended with advantage; and in this there is advantage in
both worlds.’ Then his daughter said, ‘If the mother give poison to the
daughter, and the father sell the son, and the king seize everything,
then whose protection shall we seek?”’

“The four, deliberating with one another somewhat after the above
fashion, went to the temple of Devi. The king also secretly followed
them. When Birbar arrived there, he entered the temple, paid his
adoration to Devi, and joined his hands in supplication, and said,
‘O Devi! grant that by the sacrificing of my son the king may live a
hundred years.’ Saying so much, he struck such a blow with the sword
that his son’s head fell upon the ground. On witnessing her brother’s
death, the daughter struck a blow with the sword on her own neck, so
that her head and body fell asunder. Seeing her son and daughter dead,
Birbar’s wife struck such a stroke with the sword on her own neck, that
her head was severed from her body. Further, seeing the death of those
three, Birbar, reflecting in his mind, began to say, ‘When my _son_ is
dead, for whose sake shall I retain service? and to whom shall I give
the gold I receive from the king?’ Having reflected thus, he struck such
a blow with the sword on his own neck, that his head was severed from
his body. Again, beholding the death of these four, the king sajd to
himself, ‘For my sake the lives of his family have perished; accursed is
it any longer to govern a realm for which the whole family of one is
destroyed, while one holds sovereignty; it is no virtue thus to reign.’
Having deliberated thus, the king was on the point of killing himself
with the sword; in the meantime, however, Devi came and seized his hand,
and said, ‘Son! I am well pleased at thy courage, and will grant thee
whatever boon thou mayest ask of me.’ The king said, ‘Mother! if thou
art pleased, restore all these four to life.’ Devi said, ‘This same
shall take place,’ and on the instant of saying it, Bhawãni brought the
water of life from the nether regions, and restored all four to life.
After that the king bestowed half his kingdom on Birbar.”

Having related so much, the sprite said, “Blessed is the servant who did
not grudge his life, and that of his family, for his master’s sake! And
happy is the king who showed no eagerness to cling to his dominion and
his life. O king! I ask you this,--Whose virtue, of those five, was the
most excellent?” Then King Vikramãjït said, “The king’s virtue was the
greatest.” The sprite asked, “Why?” Then the king answered, saying, “It
behoves the servant to lay down his life for his master, for this is his
duty; but since the king gave up his throne for the sake of his servant,
and valued not his life at a straw, the king’s merit was the superior.”
 Having heard these words, the sprite again went and suspended himself on
the tree in that burning-ground.



TALE IV.

The king, having gone there again, bound the sprite and brought him
away. Then the sprite said, “O king! there is a town named Bhogwati, of
which Rüpsen is the king, and he has a parrot named Chürãman. One day
the king asked the parrot, ‘What different things do you know?’ Then the
parrot said, ‘Your majesty! I know everything.’ The king rejoined, ‘Tell
me, then, if you know where there is a beautiful maiden equal to me in
rank.’ Then the parrot said, ‘Your majesty! in the country of Magadh
there is a king named Magadheshwar, and his daughter’s name is
Chandrãvatï; you will be married to her. She is very beautiful, and very
learned.’”

“On hearing these words from the parrot, the king summoned an astrologer
named Chandrakãnt, and asked him, ‘To what maid shall I be married?’
He also, having made the discovery through his knowledge of astrology,
said, ‘There is a maiden named Chandrãvatï; you will be married to her.’

“Hearing these words, the king summoned a Brahman, and after explaining
all, said to him at the moment of despatching him to King Magadheshwar,
‘If you return, after placing the arrangements for my marriage on a firm
basis, I will make you happy.’ Having heard these words, the Brahman took
leave.”

“Now, in the possession of King Magadheshwar’s daughter was a _maina,_
whose name was _Madanmanjari._

“In the same way the princess, too, one day asked Madanmanjari, ‘Where is
there a husband worthy of me?’ On this the _maina_ said, ‘Rüpsen is the
King of Bhogwati; _he_ will be thy lord.’ To be brief, unseen (of one
another), the one had become enamoured of the other, when, in the course
of a few days, the Brahman also arrived there, and delivered his own
sovereign’s message to that king. He too consented to his proposal, and
summoning a Brahman of his own, entrusted to him the nuptial gifts and
all customary things, sent him along with that Brahman, and gave him
this injunction, ‘Do you go and present my compliments to the king, and
having marked his forehead with the usual unguents, return quickly: when
you return I will make preparations for the wedding.’”

“The short of the story is, the two Brahmans set out thence. In the
course of some days they arrived at King Rüpsen’s, and related all the
occurrences of that place. On hearing this the king was pleased, and
after making all (necessary) preparations, set out to be married.
Reaching that country after some days, he married, and after receiving
the bridal gifts and dowry, and bidding adieu to the king, started for
his own kingdom. When leaving, the princess took Madanmanjari’s cage
with her too. After some days they arrived in their own country, and
commenced living happily in their palace.”

“It happened one day that the cages of both the parrot and the _mainã_
were placed near the throne, and the king and queen entered into
conversation, saying, ‘No one’s life passes happily without a companion;
hence it is best for us to marry the parrot and _mainã_ to one another,
and put them both in one cage; then will they also live happily.’ After
conversing together thus, they had a large cage brought, and put both
into it.”

“Some days after, the king and queen were seated conversing with each
other, when the parrot began to talk to the _mainã_, saying, ‘Sexual
intercourse is the essence of all bliss in this world; and he who, on
being born into the world, has not enjoyed sexual intercourse--his life
has been passed in vain. Hence, do thou let me copulate with thee.’ On
hearing this the _mainã_ said, ‘I have no desire for a male.’ Thereupon
he inquired ‘Why?’ The _mainã_ said, ‘The male sex are sinful,
irreligious, deceivers, and wife-killers.’ Hearing this, the parrot
said, ‘The female sex, too, are deceitful, false, stupid, avaricious
creatures, and murderesses.’”

“When the two commenced wrangling in this manner, the king asked, ‘Why
are you two quarrelling with each other?’ The _maina_ replied, ‘Great
king! the male sex are evil-doers and wife-killers, and hence I have no
desire to have a male partner. Your majesty! I will tell you a tale, do
you be pleased to hearken; for such (as I describe them) are men.’”


THE MAINA’S STORY.

“‘There was a city named Ilãpur, and a merchant named Mahãdhan dwelt
there, who could not get a family. On this account he was continually
making pilgrimages and keeping fasts, and always hearing the Purãnas
read, and he used to give gifts largely to the Brahmans. In fine, after
some considerable time, by God’s will, a son was born in that merchant’s
house. He celebrated the event with great pomp, and gave large gifts to
the Brahmans and bards, and also gave away a good deal to the hungry,
thirsty, and indigent. When he reached the age of five years, he placed
him (in school) for instruction. He used to leave home for the purpose
of learning, but used to gamble with the boys when he got there.”

“‘After some time the merchant died, and he (the son) becoming his
own master, used to spend his days in gambling and his nights in
fornication. Thus he dissipated his whole wealth in a few years, and
having no alternative, quitted his country, and proceeding from bad to
worse, arrived at the city of Chandrapur. In that place dwelt a merchant
named Hemgupt, who possessed much wealth. He went to him, and mentioned
his father’s name and circumstances. He (the merchant) felt instant
pleasure on hearing these accounts; and rising and embracing him,
inquired, ‘How came you here?’ Then he said, ‘I had engaged a vessel,
and set out for an island to trade, and having arrived there, and sold
the goods, had taken in other goods as cargo, and left with the vessel
for my own land, when suddenly so violent a storm arose that the ship
was wrecked, and I was left seated on a plank; and so, drifting on, I
have reached this shore. But I feel a sense of shame at having lost
all my property and wealth. How can I now return and show my face to my
fellow-citizens in this state?’”

“‘To be brief, when he uttered such words in his presence, he (the
merchant) too began to think to himself, ‘God has relieved me of any
anxiety without any effort of my own (_lit_. I sitting at home); now, a
coincidence like this occurs through the mercy of God alone; it behoves
me to make no delay now. The best thing to be done is to give my girl in
marriage * to him; whatever is done now is best; as for the morrow--who
knows what it may bring forth!’ Forming this grand design in his mind,
he came to his wife and began to say, ‘A merchant’s son has arrived; if
you approve, we will give Ratnãvati in marriage to him.’ She, too, was
delighted on hearing (this), and said, ‘Sir merchant! when God brings
about a coincidence like this, then alone does it occur; for the desire
of our hearts has been obtained without our bestirring ourselves in the
least (_lit_., we sitting quietly at home); hence, it is best not to
delay, but quickly send for the family priest, have the auspicious
moment determined, and give her away in marriage.’ Hereupon the merchant
sent for the priest, had the fortunate planetary conjunction determined,
and gave his daughter away, bestowing a large dowry upon her. In fine,
when the marriage had taken place, they commenced living together
there.”

     * Lit. “make the girl’s hands yellow.” Among the Hindus, for
     some days before marriage, the hands of a betrothed couple
     are stained yellow with turmeric.

“‘To proceed:--After some days, he said to the merchant’s daughter, ‘A
long time has passed since I arrived in your land, and no news of my
household has reached me, and my mind remains troubled in consequence. I
have told you my whole case; you should now so explain matters to your
mother that she may, of her own free will, allow me to depart, that I
may return to my own city. If it be your wish, do you also come.’ On
this, she said to her mother, ‘My husband desires permission to depart
to his own land; do you, too, act in such a manner now that his mind may
receive no pain.’”

“‘The merchant’s wife went to her husband, and said, ‘Your son-in-law
asks leave to return home.’ On hearing this, the merchant said, ‘Very
well; we will let him go, for we can exercise no authority over a
stranger’s son; we will, do that alone wherein his pleasure consists.’
Having said this, he sent for his daughter, and asked, ‘Will you go to
your father-in-law’s, or remain at your mother’s? Speak your own mind.’
At this she blushed, and gave no answer, (but) returned to her husband,
and said, ‘My parents have declared that they will do that wherein your
pleasure consists; don’t you leave me behind.’ To be brief, the merchant
summoned his son-in-law, loaded him with wealth, and dismissed him,
and allowed his daughter to accompany him in a litter, together with a
female servant. After this, he set out from thence.”

“‘When he reached a certain jungle, he said to the merchant’s daughter,
‘There is great danger here; if you will take off your jewels and give
them to me, I will fasten them round my waist; when we come to a town
you can put them on again.’ She no sooner heard this than she took off
all her ornaments, and he having taken them, and sent away the bearers
of the litter, killed the woman-servant and threw her into a well, and
pushing her (his wife) into a well also, went off to his own country
with all the jewels.”

“‘In the meantime, a traveller came along that road, and hearing the
sound of weeping, stopped, and began to say to himself, ‘How comes the
weeping voice of a human bring (to be heard) in this jungle?’ Having
reflected thus, he proceeded in the direction of the sound of the
crying, and perceived a well. On looking into it, what does he
behold but a woman weeping! Then he took out the woman, and commenced
questioning her on her circumstances, saying, ‘Who art thou, and how
didst thou fall into this (well)?’ On hearing this, she said, ‘I am the
daughter of Hemgupt, the merchant, and was accompanying my husband to
his country, when thieves waylaid us, killed my servant and threw her
into a well, and bound and carried off my husband together with my
jewels. I have no intelligence of him, nor he of me.’ When he heard
this, the traveller took her along with him, and left her at the
merchant’s door.”

“‘She went to her parents. They, at the sight of her, began enquiring,
‘What has happened to thee?’ She said, ‘Robbers came and plundered us
on the road, and after killing the servant and casting her into a
well, pushed me into a dry well, and bound and carried off my husband,
together with my jewels. When they began demanding more money, he said
to them, ‘You have taken all I possessed, what have I now left?’ Beyond
this, whether they killed him or let him go, I have no knowledge.’ Then
her father said, ‘Daughter! feel no anxiety; thy husband lives, and,
God willing, will join thee in a few days, for robbers take money, not
life.’”

“‘In fine, the merchant gave her other ornaments in place’ of all
that had disappeared, and comforted and consoled her greatly. And the
merchant’s son, also, having reached home, and sold the jewels, spent
his days and nights in the company of loose women, and in gambling, so
much so, that all his money was expended. Then he came to want bread.
At last, when he began to suffer extreme misery, he one day bethought
himself of going to his father-in-law’s, and pretending that a grandson
had been born to him, and that he had come to congratulate him on the
event. Having determined on this in his mind, he set out.”

“‘In the course of several days he arrived there. When he was about to
enter the house, his wife saw from the front that her husband was coming
(and said to herself), ‘He must not be allowed to turn back through
any apprehension he may feel.’ Upon this she approached him and said,
‘Husband! be not at all troubled in mind; I have told my father that
robbers came and killed my servant, and after making me take off all my
jewels, and casting me into a well, bound and carried off my husband.
Do you tell the same tale; feel no anxiety; the house is yours, and I am
your slave.’ After speaking thus she entered the house. He went to the
merchant, who rose and embraced him, and questioned him on all that had
befallen him. He related everything precisely as his wife had instructed
him to do.”

“‘Rejoicings took place throughout the house. Then the merchant, after
providing him with the means of bathing, and placing food before him,
and after ministering much comfort, said, ‘This house is yours, abide
(here) in peace.’ He commenced living there. In brief, after several
days the merchant’s daughter came and lay with him one night with her
jewels on, and fell asleep. When it was midnight, he perceived that she
had fallen into a sound sleep. He then inflicted such a wound on her
neck, that she died; and after stripping her of all her jewels, he took
the road to his own country.”

“‘After narrating so much the _maina_ said, ‘This, your majesty! I saw
with my own eyes. For this reason I have no wish to have anything to
do with a male. You see, your majesty! what villains men are! Who would
love such, and so cherish a serpent in her own home? Will your
majesty be pleased to consider this point,--What crime had that woman
committed?’”

“Having heard this, the king said, ‘O parrot! do you tell me what faults
there are in women.’ Thereupon the parrot said, ‘Attend, O king!’”


THE PARROT’S STORY.

“‘There is a city (called) Kanchanpur, where (dwelt) a merchant, named
Sãgardatt, whose son’s name was Shridatt. The name of another city
is Jayshripur, where there was a merchant, named Somadatt, and his
daughter’s name was Jayshri. She had married the son of that merchant,
and the son had gone to a certain country to trade. She used to live at
her parents’ house. In fine, when he had spent twelve years in trading,
and she arrived at woman’s estate here, she one day addressed a
companion of hers thus: ‘Sister! my youth is being wasted; up to this
moment I have tasted none of the world’s joys.’ On hearing these words,
her companion said to her, ‘Be of good cheer! God willing, thy husband
will soon come and join thee.’”

“‘She got vexed at these words, and ascending to the upper chamber, and
peeping through the lattice, saw a young man coming along. When he drew
near her, his eyes and hers suddenly met. The hearts of both went forth
to one another. Then she said to her companion, ‘Bring that man to
me.’ On hearing this, the companion went and said to him, ‘Somadatt’s
daughter wishes to see you in private; but do you come to my house.’ She
then put him on the track to her house. He said, ‘I will come at night.’
The companion came and informed the merchant’s daughter that he had
promised to come at night. When she heard this, Jayshri said to her
companion, ‘You go home; when he arrives, let me know, and I will also
come when free to leave home.’”

“‘On hearing her words, her companion went home, and seating herself at
the door, began watching for his coming. In the meantime he arrived.
She seated him in the doorway, saying, ‘You sit here; I will go and
give notice of your arrival.’ And she came to Jayshri and said, ‘Your
sweetheart has arrived.’ On hearing this she said, ‘Wait awhile; let the
household go to sleep, and then I will come.’ And so, after some delay,
when it was near midnight, and all had gone to sleep, then she arose
softly and accompanied her, and arrived there in a very short time; and
the two met in her house without restraint. When nearly an hour and a
half * of night remained, she rose and returned home, and went quietly
to sleep; and he also went to his house at daybreak.”

     * Lit,--“Four gharis.” A ghari is equal to twenty-four
     minutes; and hence the exact time would be six minutes more
     than “an hour and a half.”

“‘Many days passed thus. At last her husband, too, returned from foreign
parts to his father-in-law’s house. When she beheld her husband she
became troubled in mind, and said to her companion, ‘Such is my anxiety,
what shall I do? whither shall I go? Sleep, hunger, thirst, all are
forgotten; nothing is agreeable to me (_lit_. neither hot nor cold
pleases me). And she told her the whole state of her heart. To be brief,
she got through the day somehow or other; but at night, when her husband
had finished supper, his mother-in-law had a bed made for him in a
separate building, and sent word to him to go and take repose, while she
said to her daughter, ‘You go and do your duty to your husband.’”

“‘She turned up her nose and knitted her brows on hearing this, and
remained silent. On this her mother rebuked her sharply, and sent her
off to him. Being powerless, she went there, but lay on the bed with
her face turned away. The more he kept addressing her in words of
tenderness, the more vexed would she become. On this he presented her
with all the various descriptions of apparel, and the jewels which he
had brought for her from different places, and said, ‘Wear these.’ Then,
in truth, she became still more vexed, and frowned and turned away her
face. And he, too, went to sleep in despair; for he was fatigued with
the journey. To her, however, thinking of her lover, sleep came not.”

“‘When she thought that he was in an unconscious sleep, she arose
softly, and leaving him asleep, went fearlessly in the dark night to
the abode of her lover; and a thief seeing her on the way, thought to
himself ‘Where can this woman be going, alone, with her jewels on, at
this midnight hour.’ Thus soliloquising, he followed her. In short,
she managed somehow to reach her lover’s house. Now, there, a snake had
bitten and left him; he was lying dead. She thought he was sleeping.
Being, as it was, consumed with the fire of separation, she clasped him
to her without restraint, and began caressing him; and the thief from a
distance was watching the fun.”

“‘An evil spirit, too, was seated on a pipal tree there, looking on at
the scene. All at once it came into his mind to enter his (dead) body
and have carnal intercourse with her. Having resolved on this, he
entered the body, and after having intercourse with her, bit off her
nose with his teeth, and went and sat on the same tree. The thief
observed all these occurrences. And she, in despair, went as she was,
all stained with blood, to her companion, and related all that had
happened. Whereupon her companion said, ‘Go quickly to thy husband ere
yet the sun rise, and, arrived there, weep aloud and bitterly. If any
one should question thee, say, ‘He has cut off my nose.’”

“‘She went thither on the instant of hearing her companion’s words,
and commenced weeping and wailing excessively. Hearing the noise of her
weeping, all her relations came, and lo! she had no nose,--was sitting
noseless! Then they exclaimed, ‘O you shameless, wicked, pitiless, mad
wretch! Why have you bitten off her nose without any fault on her part?’
He, too, became alarmed on witnessing this farce, and began to say to
himself, ‘Trust not a wanton-minded woman, a black snake, an armed man,
an enemy,--and fear the wiles of a woman. What can an eminent poet not
describe? What does he not know who has acquired supernatural power?
What absurd nonsense does a drunkard not chatter? What can a woman not
accomplish? True it is, that the defects of horses, the thunder of the
clouds, the wiles of woman, and the destiny of man,--these things even
the gods do not comprehend; what power has man, then (to understand
them)?’”

“‘In the meantime her father gave information of the occurrence to the
city magistrate. Policemen came from the station there, and bound and
brought him before the magistrate. The magistrate of the city gave
notice to the king. The king having sent for him, and questioned him
about the case, he declared he knew nothing. And on his summoning the
merchant’s daughter, and interrogating her, she replied, ‘Your majesty!
when you see plainly (what has happened), why do you question me?’ Then
the king said to him, ‘What punishment shall I inflict on thee?’ On
hearing this, he replied, ‘Do unto me whatever you deem just.’ The king
said, ‘Away with him, and impale him!’ On receiving the king’s order the
people took him away to impale him.”

“‘Observe the coincidence;--that thief was also standing there, looking
on at the scene. When he was convinced that this man was about to be
unjustly put to death, he raised a cry for justice. The king summoned
him, and asked, ‘Who art thou?’ He said, ‘Great king! I am a thief; and
this man is innocent; his blood is about to be unjustly shed; you have
not given judgment at all wisely.’ Hereupon the king summoned him (the
husband) also, and questioned the thief, saying, ‘Declare the truth
on thy honour! What are the facts of this case?’ The thief then gave a
detailed account of the circumstances; and the king, too, comprehended
them thoroughly. Ultimately he sent attendants, and had the woman’s nose
brought from the mouth of her lover, who was lying dead, and inspected
it. Then he was assured that the man was guiltless, and the thief
truthful. Hereupon the thief said, ‘To cherish the good, and punish
evil-doers, has from of old been a duty of kings.’”

“After relating so much of the tale, the parrot Chürãman said, ‘Great
king! such embodiments of all crime are women! The king having had the
woman’s face blackened and her head shaved, had her mounted on an ass,
and taken round the city, and then set at liberty; and after giving
betel-leaf to the thief and the merchant’s son, he allowed them to
depart.’”

Having related so much of the story, the sprite said, “O king! to which
of these two does the greater guilt attach?” Then King Bir Vikramãjit
said, “To the woman.” On this the sprite said, “How so?” On hearing
this, the king said, “However depraved a man may be, still some sense of
right and wrong remains in him; but a woman does not give a thought to
right and wrong; hence great guilt attached to the woman.” Hearing these
words, the sprite went again and hung himself on the same tree. The king
went again and took him down from the tree, tied him up in a bundle,
placed him on his shoulder, and carried him away.



TALE V.

The sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Ujjain, of which
Mahãbal was king. Now, he had an envoy named Haridãs. The name of that
envoy’s daughter was Mahãdevï. She was extremely beautiful. When she
became marriageable, her father thought that he ought to seek a husband
for her, and give her in marriage. In short, the girl one day said to
her father, ‘Father! give me in marriage to some one who is possessed of
all accomplishments. On this, he said, ‘I will give thee to one who is
acquainted with all science.’”

“One day subsequent to this, the king summoned Haridãs, and said, ‘There
is in the south a king named Harichand; go and ask after his health
and welfare for me, and bring me news thereof.’ On receiving the king’s
command he took leave, and arriving at that king’s after some days,
delivered to him the whole message of his royal master, and took up his
permanent abode near that monarch.”

“To be brief, it happened one day that the king questioned him, saying,
‘Haridãs! has the Iron Age (i.e. the fourth age of the world, or the age
of vice) begun yet or not?’ On this he put his hands together and said,
‘Your majesty! we are already in the Iron Age (_lit_. the Iron Age is
present); for falsehood is rife in the world, and truth has decreased;
people utter soft words to one’s face, while they harbour deceit in
their hearts; virtue has vanished; vice has increased; the earth has
begun to yield less fruit; kings have begun levying contributions by
violence; Brahmans have become covetous; women have abandoned modesty;
the son obeys not the father’s command; brother trusts not brother;
friendship has departed from amongst friends; faith is no longer found
in masters, and servants have cast aside the duty they owe to masters,
and every description of impropriety meets the eye.’”

“When he had said all this to the king, his majesty arose and went into
the private apartments, and he (the envoy) came and sat down in his own
place. In the meantime a Brahman’s son came to him and said, ‘I have
come to solicit something of you.’ On hearing this, he said, ‘What
request have you to make? Mention it.’ He replied, ‘Give me your
daughter in marriage.’ Haridãs said, ‘I will give her to him in whom all
accomplishments exist.’ Hearing this, he rejoined, ‘I am acquainted
with all the sciences.’ Then said the envoy, ‘Show me something of thy
knowledge; I shall thus be able to judge whether thou art versed in
science.’ Hereupon the Brahman’s son said, ‘I have made a car which has
this marvellous property, that it will convey you in a moment to any
place you may wish to go to.’ Then Haridãs replied, ‘Bring the car to me
in the morning.’”

“In fine, he brought the car to Haridãs early in the morning. Then the
two mounted the car, and arrived in the City of Ujjain. Here, however,
it so happened that, previous to his arrival, another Brahman’s son had
come, and said to his eldest son, ‘Give me your sister in marriage and
he also had replied, saying, ‘I will give her to one who is learned
in all the sciences;’ and that Brahman’s son, too, had said, ‘I am
acquainted with all knowledge and science.’ On hearing this, he had
said, ‘To you will I give her.’ Another Brahman’s son had said to the
girl’s mother, ‘Give me your daughter.’ She, too, had given him the same
answer; viz., ‘I will give my girl to him who is acquainted with all
science.’ That Brahman’s son also had replied, ‘I am acquainted with
the whole body of science contained in the _Shãstras_, and can shoot an
arrow which will hit an object which is merely heard, and not seen.’
On hearing this, she, too, had said, ‘I consent, and will give her to
thee.’”

“In short, all the three suitors had come and met together in this way.
Haridãs began to think to himself, ‘One girl and three suitors! to whom
shall I give her, and to whom not?’ He was troubled with this thought,
when a demon came at night and carried off the girl to the summit of a
mountain in the Vindhyã range. It is said that too much of anything is
not good. Sïtã was exceedingly beautiful, and Rãvan carried her off;
King Bali gave gifts largely,--he became indigent; Rãvan utterly ruined
his family by his excessive pride.”

“In brief, when mom arrived, and none of the household found the girl,
they began to fancy all sorts of things; and the three suitors, too,
on bearing of the matter, came there. One of them was a wise man,--him
Haridãs questioned, saying, ‘O wise man! tell me whither the girl has
gone?’ He considered for a moment or so, and said, ‘A demon has carried
off your daughter, and lodged her on a mountain.’ On this, the second
said, ‘I will kill the demon and bring her back.’ Then, again, the third
said, ‘Mount my car and bring her back.’ On the instant of hearing this,
he mounted the car, reached the place, slew the demon, and forthwith
brought her back. And then they began quarrelling with one another.
Thereupon the father pondered over the matter in his mind, and said,
‘All of them have conferred obligations on me, to whom shall I give her,
and to whom not?’” Having related so much of the story, the sprite said,
“Now, king Vikram! whose wife, out of the three, did the maiden become?”
 He replied, “She became the wife of him who slew the demon and brought
her back.” The sprite said, “The good qualities of all were on a
par,--how came she to become his wife?” The king replied, “The other two
simply conferred favours, for which they were recompensed; but this one
fought with and slew him (the demon) and brought her away, hence she
became his wife.” On hearing this the sprite went again to the same
tree, and suspended himself on it, and the king, too, went immediately,
bound the sprite, placed him on his shoulder, and carried him off as
before.



TALE VI.

Again the sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Dharmpur, of
which Dharmshil was king; and his minister’s name was Andhak. He said
one day to the king, ‘Your majesty! build a temple, and place an image
of Devi therein, and pay constant adoration thereto, for this is said in
the _Shãstra_ to possess great merit.’ Thereupon the king had a temple
built and (the image of) Devi placed in it, and began offering adoration
after the manner prescribed by the Vedas; and he would not drink water
without having worshipped.”

“When a considerable time had passed thus, the minister said one day,
‘Great king! the saying is well known,--The house of a sonless man is
empty, a fool’s mind is empty, and everything pertaining to an indigent
person is empty.’ On hearing these words, the king went to the temple of
Devi, and joining his hands in supplication, began to extol her, saying,
‘O Devi! Brahma, Vishnü, Rudra, Indra await thy bidding the livelong
day; and thou it was who didst seize the demons Mahish-aspr, Chand
Mund, Raktbij, and slaying the evil spirits, relieved the earth of its
burthen; and wheresoever trouble has befallen thy worshippers, there
thou hast gone and aided them; and in this hope I have approached thy
threshhold; fulfil now the desire of my heart also.’”

“When the king had celebrated the praises of the goddess to this extent,
a voice issued from the temple of Devi, saying, ‘King! I am well
pleased with thee; ask any boon that thou may’st desire.’ The king said,
‘Mother! if thou art pleased with me, grant me a son.’ Devi replied,
‘King! thou shalt have a son (who shall be) very powerful and very
glorious.’ Then the king made offerings of sandal, unbroken rice,
flowers, incense, lamps and consecrated food, and paid adoration.
Moreover, he made it a practice of worshipping thus daily. To be brief,
after some days a son was born to the king. The king, with his family
and kindred, proceeded with music and song, and worshipped at the shrine
of Devi.”

“In the meantime, it happened one day that a washerman, accompanied by a
friend of his, was coming from a certain town towards this city, and the
temple of Devi met his eye. He resolved on prostrating himself (before
the shrine). At that moment he beheld a washerman’s daughter, who was
very handsome, coming towards him. He was fascinated at the sight of
her, and went to worship Devi. After prostrating himself, he joined his
hands in supplication, and said in his heart, ‘O Devi! if, through thy
favour, my marriage to this beautiful being should take place, I will
devote my head as an offering to thee.’ After making this vow, and
prostrating himself, he took his friend with him, and went to his own
city.”

“When he arrived there, the separation (from his love) so troubled him
that sleep, hunger, thirst--all were forgotten. He spent the whole day
in thoughts of her. On perceiving this woful state of his, his friend
went and told his father all the circumstances. His father also became
alarmed on hearing these things, and reflecting on the matter began to
say, ‘From observing his state it seems (to me) that if his betrothal to
that maiden does not take place, he will grieve to death; wherefore it
is better to marry him to the girl, that thus he may be saved.’”

“Having thus considered, he took his son’s friend with him, and on
reaching that town, went to the girl’s father and said, ‘I have come to
solicit something of you; if you will grant my request, I will make it
known.’ He replied, ‘If I possess the thing, I will give it; speak
out.’ Having secured his promise thus, he said, ‘Give your daughter in
marriage to my son.’ On hearing this, he too agreed to the proposal; and
having had a priest called in, and the day, the auspicious conjunction,
and the moment determined, said, ‘Bring your son; I, for my part, will
stain my daughter’s hands yellow.’ * On hearing this, he arose, returned
to his own house, got ready all the requisites for the marriage, and set
out for the ceremony; and on reaching the place, and having the marriage
ceremony performed, he took his son and daughter-in-law with him and
returned home; and the bride and bridegroom commenced a happy life
together.”

     * Lit. “make the girl’s hands yellow.” Among the Hindus, for
     some days before marriage, the hands of a betrothed couple
     are stained yellow with turmeric.

“Again, after some time, an occasion of rejoicing arose at the girl’s
father’s, and so an invitation came to these (the bride and bridegroom)
also. The wife and husband got ready, and taking their friend with them,
set out for that city. When they arrived near the place, the temple of
Devi came in sight, and then, his vow came to his mind. Thereupon
he reflected and said to himself, ‘I am a great liar, and a very
irreligious wretch, for I have lied to Devi herself!’ Having said this
to himself, he spoke to his friend, saying, ‘Do you tarry here while I
pay a visit to Devi.’ And to his wife he said, ‘Do thou also stay here.’
Having said this and gone to the temple, he bathed in the pool,
went before Devi, joined his hands in supplication, addressed her
reverentially, and raised a sword and struck himself on the neck His
head was severed from his body, and fell upon the ground.”

“To be brief, after some delay, his friend thought that as he had been
gone a very long while and had not yet returned, he ought to go and see
(what had happened); so he said to the wife, ‘Stay here; I will soon
hunt him up and bring him here.’ Having said this, he went into the
temple of Devi, and lo! his (friend’s) head was lying apart from his
body! On beholding this state of things there, he began to say to
himself, ‘The world is a hard place! No one will suppose that he, with
his own hand, offered his head as a sacrifice to Devi; on the contrary,
they will say, that, as his wife was very beautiful, he (the friend), in
order to possess her, killed him, and is practising this artful trick.
Therefore it is preferable to die here; whereas to obtain an evil
reputation in the world is not desirable.’”

“Having said this, he bathed in the pool, came into the presence of
Devi, joined his hands and made obeisance, and taking up the sword,
struck himself on the neck, so that his head was severed from his body.
And she, weary of standing there alone, and watching for their return
till she quite despaired, went in quest of them into the temple of
Devi. Arrived there, what does she behold but the two lying dead! Then,
seeing them both dead, she thought to herself, ‘People will not believe
that these two have voluntarily offered themselves as sacrifices to
Devi. Everybody will say that the widow was a wanton wretch, (and)
that she killed them both and left them that she might indulge in her
depravity. It is better to die than to endure such infamy.’”

“Alter reflecting thus, she plunged into the pool (and bathed), and
coming into the presence of Devi, bowed her head in obeisance; (then)
taking up the sword, was about to strike herself on the neck, when
Devi descended from the throne, and came and seized her hand, and said,
‘Daughter! ask a boon; I am well-pleased with thee.’ On this she said,
‘Mother! if thou art pleased with me, restore these two to life.’ Then
Devi said, ‘Unite their heads to their bodies.’ In the tumult of her joy
she changed the heads in putting them on. And Devi brought the water
of life and sprinkled it upon them. The two rose up alive, and began
disputing one with another; one saying, ‘She is my wife;’ the other,
‘She is mine.’”

Having related so much of the story, the sprite said, “Now king
Vikramãjit! of which of these two is she the wife?” The king said,
“Hearken! The guiding principle for this is laid down in the book of
law, thus: ‘The Ganges is the best of rivers, and Sumeru is the most
excellent of mountains, and Kalpavriksh * is the most excellent of
trees, (and) the head is supreme among all the members of the body.
According to this judgment she becomes the wife of him who possesses the
superior member.’” On hearing these words the sprite went and again
suspended himself on that tree; and the king having gone and bound him,
placed him on his shoulder and carried him off.

     * Kalpavriksh is a fabulous tree, yielding all wishes, said
     to exist in the paradise of India.



TALE VII.

The sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Champãpur, the king
of which is Champakeshwar. And the queen’s name is Sulochanã, and the
daughter’s Tribhuvan-sundari. She is an eminently-beautiful woman, whose
face is like the moon, hair like black clouds, eyes like a gazelle’s,
eyebrows (arched) like a bow, nose like a parrot’s (beak), neck like a
pigeon’s, teeth like the grains of a pomegranate; the redness of whose
lips resembles that of the _kandüri_, * whose waist is like a leopard’s,
hands and feet like the tender lotus, complexion like the champa-flower;
in short, the bloom of her youth was daily on the increase.”

     * The kandüri is a cucurbitaceous plant with red fruit, or
     the gourd of the momordica monadelpha. Its Hindi name is
     bimb.

“When she became marriageable, the king and queen began to feel anxious
in their minds. And the news spread among the monarchs of the different
countries (round about) that so beautiful a girl had been born in the
palace of king Champakeshwar that, at a mere glance at her beauty, gods,
men, and holy sages, remain fascinated. Thereupon the kings of the
different countries had each his likeness painted, and sent it by the
hands of a Brahman to king Champakeshwar.

“The king received and showed the portraits of all the monarchs to his
daughter, but none of them suited her fancy. Thereupon the king said,
‘Do thou, then, make a public choice of a husband.’ To this, too, she
did not agree, but said to her father, ‘Father! give me to him who
possesses the three qualities of beauty, strength, and superior
knowledge.’”

“In fine, when several days had elapsed, four suitors came from four
different countries. Then the king said to them, ‘Do each of you
set forth clearly before me the superior qualities and knowledge
he possesses.’ One of them said, ‘I possess such knowledge that I
manufacture a cloth and sell it for five rubies. When I realise the
price, I give one of the rubies to Brahmans, of another I make an
offering to the gods, a third I wear on my own person, a fourth I
reserve for my wife, the fifth I sell, and constantly support myself
with the money so obtained. No one else possesses this knowledge. And as
to the good looks I possess,--they are open to view.’ The second said,
‘I am acquainted with the languages of both land and aquatic beasts
and birds; have no equal in strength; and my beauty is before you.’ The
third said, ‘So well do I comprehend the learned writings that no equal
of mine exists; and my beauty is before your eyes.’ The fourth said,
‘I stand alone in my knowledge of the use of weapons; * there is no
one like me; I can shoot an arrow which will strike an object which is
heard, but not seen; and my beauty is famous in the world,--you, too,
must surely see it.’”

     * I suspect an error in the text here; viz., shãstra for
     shastra; for the third suitor had already claimed the
     possession of unrivalled excellence in the shãstras, while
     the fourth boasts of his superior shill in archery, which
     would certainly seem to accord better with shastra than
     shãstra. Moreover, the judgment of King Vikram shows
     satisfactorily, I think, that shastra is the word intended.

“On hearing the statements of the four of them, the king began to think
to himself, ‘All four are on a par as to excellences; to which should I
give the girl?’ Having reflected thus, he went to his daughter and set
forth the virtues of the whole four of them, and said, ‘To which of them
shall I give thee (in marriage)?’ On hearing this, she hung down her
head through modesty, and kept silent, making no answer.”

After relating so much of the story, the sprite said, “Now, King Vikram!
for which of them is this woman suited?” The king replied, “He who makes
cloth and sells it is a _südra_ by caste; and he who knows the languages
is a _bais_ by caste; he who has studied the learned writings is a
_Brahman_; and he who hits with an arrow an object which is simply,
heard, and not seen, is of _her_ caste: the woman is suitable for him.”
 On hearing these words, the sprite went again and hung himself on that
tree; and the king, too, went thither, bound him, placed him on his
shoulder, and carried him off.



TALE VIII.

Then the sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Mithalãvatï, the
king of which is Gunãdhip. A young rãjpüt, named Chiramdeva, came from
a distant land to enter his service. He used to go daily to pay his
respects to the king, but did not obtain an interview. And in the course
of a year he consumed all the money he had brought (with him) while
tarrying here without employment, and there (in his native land), his
home went to ruin.”

“It happened one day that the king mounted his horse for the chase,
and Chiramdeva also joined his cavalcade. The king became accidentally
separated from his followers in a forest, and the attendants lost
themselves in another jungle; one, however, Chiramdeva, was following
the king. At length, he called out, and said, ‘Your majesty! all the
attendants have remained behind, while I am accompanying you, making
my horse keep pace with yours.’ On hearing this, the king reined in
his horse, and so he came up (to the king). The king looked at him, and
asked, ‘How hast thou become so emaciated?’”

“Then he replied, ‘If I live with a master, such that he cherishes
thousands of people, while he takes no thought of me, no blame
(attaches) to him for this, but rather my own fate is to blame. As, for
example, by daylight the whole world is clearly visible; yet it is not
visible to the owl;--what blame can be imputed to the sun for this? It
is astonishing to me that he who caused the means, of subsistence to
reach me in my mother’s womb, should take no thought of me now, when I
have been born, and am capable of enjoying worldly aliment. I know
not whether he sleeps or is dead. And, in my opinion, it is better to
swallow deadly poison and die, than to ask for goods and money from a
great man who, while giving the same, makes a wry face, and turns up his
nose (in contempt), and raises his brows. Now these six things render
a man contemptible,--first, the friendship of a perfidious man; second,
causeless laughter; third, altercation with a woman; fourth, the serving
a bad master; fifth, riding a donkey; sixth, unpolished (or uncouth)
speech. * And the following five things the Creator records in a man’s
destiny at the time of his birth,--First, length of life; second, acts;
third, wealth; fourth, know-ledge; fifth, reputation. O king! so long as
a man’s virtues ** are conspicuous, all continue to be his servants; but
when his virtues decrease, his very friends become his enemies.”

     * Lit.--A dialect without Sanskrit.

     ** I should much prefer translating “so long as a man’s
     fortunes are in the ascendant,” were it not that none of the
     lexicons I have seen sanctions the sense of “fortunes” for
     punya.

“This one thing, however, is certain; by serving a good master one
derives benefit sooner or later; he does not remain unbenefited.’”

“On hearing this, the king pondered over all these words, but did not
then make any reply. He said this to him, however, ‘I feel hungry; bring
me something to eat from somewhere.’ Chiramdeva said, ‘Your majesty!
bread ** is not to be obtained here.’ Having said this, he went into
the jungle, killed a deer, took out a flint and steel from his pocket,
kindled a fire, broiled some slices of meat, and served up a plentiful
meal to the king, and partook of it himself as well. To be brief, when
the king was quite satisfied, *** he said, ‘Now, Rãjpüt I conduct me to
the city, for the road is not known to me.’ He conducted the king into
the city, and brought him to his palace. Then the king appointed him to
an office, and bestowed many robes and jewels upon him. After that, he
continued in close attendance upon the king.”

     ** Lit.--“Grain-food,” which might mean boiled rice, or
     cakes of bread and boiled pulse.

     *** Lit.--When the king’s belly was filled.

“In short, the king one day sent that Rãjpüt on some business to the
seaside. When he reached the sea-shore, he beheld a temple (dedicated)
to Devi. He entered it, and worshipped Devi. But, on the instant of his
coming out thence, a beautiful damsel came up to him from behind, and
began questioning him, saying, ‘O man! why hast thou come here?’ He
replied, ‘I have come in quest of pleasure, and at the sight of thy
beauty I am fascinated.’ She said, ‘If thou hast any design on me, first
go and bathe in this pool; after that I will listen to whatever thou
shalt say to me.’”

“On the instant of hearing this, he took off his clothes, entered the
pool and dipped, and came out, and lo! he was standing in his own city!
On beholding this marvel, he was filled with fear, and returning home in
his helplessness, clothed himself, and went and related the whole story
to the king. The king no sooner heard it than he said, ‘Show me this
wonder also.’ This said, he ordered the horses, and both mounted and
set off. After several days, they reached the sea-shore, and entered
the same temple of Devi, and paid adoration. Farther, when the king came
out, the very same damsel, accompanied by a female friend, came and
stood beside the king, and on beholding the king’s handsome appearance,
became fascinated, and said, ‘O king! I will execute any command you
may give me.’ The king replied, saying, ‘If thou wilt obey my command,
become the wife of my servant.’ She said, ‘I have become the slave of
thy beauty, how then can I become his wife?’ The king replied, ‘It was
but this instant thou saidst to me, ‘I will obey any command you may
give me.’ Now, whatever the good promise they perform. Keep thy plighted
word, (and) become the wife of my servant.’ On hearing this, she said,
‘Your word is law to me.’ Thereupon the king married his servant to her
without the usual ceremonies, * and brought them both with him to his
palace.”

     * A gandharb marriage is one where the usual formalities are
     dispensed with, and the parties become man and wife by
     mutual consent.

Having related so much of the story, the sprite said, “Tell me, O king!
Of master and servant, whose was the greater virtue?” The king said,
“The servant’s.” The sprite said again, “Was not the merit of the king
greater, who obtained so beautiful a woman, and bestowed her on his
servant?” Thereupon king Bir Vikramãjït said, “What superior merit is
there in their conferring favours, whose office it is to do so? But he
who, while having his own, interests to attend to, promotes the
interests of another--_he_ is the greater. For this reason, the
servant’s merit was the greater.” On hearing these words, the sprite
went and hung himself on that same tree; and the king went and again
took him down from thence, placed him on his shoulder, and carried him
away.



TALE IX.

The sprite said, “O king! there-is a city named Madanpur, where was a
king named Birbar. Now, in that same country there was a merchant
named Hiranyadatt, whose daughter’s name was Madansenã. One day, in
the spring-time, she went, with her female friends, into her garden, to
stroll about and enjoy the scene. It so happened that, previous to her
coming out, Somdatt, the son of a merchant named Dharmdatt, had come,
with a friend, to take a stroll in the forest. On his return thence,
he came into that garden; (and) on beholding her, became enamoured, and
began to say to his friend, ‘Brother! Should she ever be united to me,
then my living will be to some purpose; and if not, then my living in
the world is in vain.’”

“Addressing these words to his friend, (and) being distracted by the
pangs of separation, he involuntarily approached her, and seizing her
hand, began to say, ‘If thou wilt not love me, I will sacrifice my life
on thy account.’ She replied, ‘Act not thus; that would be a sin.’ Then
he said, ‘Thy amorous glances have pierced my heart, and the fire of
separation from thee has consumed my body; my whole consciousness and
understanding have been destroyed by this pain; and at this moment,
through the overpowering influence of love, I have no regard for right
or wrong; but if thou wilt give me thy word, new life will enter my
soul.’ She said, ‘On the fifth day from this day my marriage will take
place; but I will first have intercourse with thee, and afterwards abide
at my husband’s.’ After giving him this promise, and taking her oath (to
keep it) she departed to her home, and he to his.”

“To be brief, on the fifth day her marriage took place. Her husband
brought her to his home after the marriage. After some days the wives
of her husband’s younger and elder brothers compelled her to go to her
husband at night. She entered the nuptial chamber, and sat quietly down
in a corner. In the meantime, her husband seeing her, took her hand, and
made her sit on the bed. In fine, as he was about to embrace her,
she; shook him off with her hand, and related to him all that she had
promised the merchant’s son. On hearing this her husband said, ‘If thou
really desirest to go to him, go.’”

“Having received her husband’s permission, she started for the
merchant’s place. A thief seeing her on the road, came up to her in
delight, and said, ‘Whither goest thou alone, at this midnight hour,
in this pitch-darkness, bedecked with such garments and jewels?’ She
replied, ‘To the place where my dearly beloved dwells.’ On hearing this
the thief said, ‘Who is thy protector here?’ She began to say, ‘Cupid,
my protector, with his bow and arrows, is with me.’ Having said this,
she then related her whole story to the thief, from beginning to end,
and said, ‘Do not spoil my attire; I give thee my word that, when I
return thence, I will deliver my jewels to thee.’”

“On hearing this, the thief said to himself, ‘She leaves me, in truth,
with a promise to deliver up her jewels to me; then why should I spoil
her attire?’ Thus reflecting, he let her go. (He) himself sat down
there, while she went to the place where Somdatt was lying asleep.
She having suddenly roused him as soon as she got there, he arose
bewildered, and commenced saying, ‘Art thou the daughter of a god, or
sage, or serpent? * Tell me truly, who art thou? and whence art thou
come to me?’ She replied, ‘I am the daughter of a man--the daughter
of the merchant Hiranyadatt; Madansenã is my name; and dost thou not
remember that thou didst forcibly seize my hand in the grove, and didst
insist on my giving thee my oath; and I swore, at thy bidding, that I
would leave the man I was married to and come to thee? I have come
accordingly; do unto me whatever thou pleasest.’”

     * Nig is the name of the fabulous serpents (said to have a
     human face), inhabiting Pãtala, or the infernal regions.

“On this he asked, ‘Hast thou told this story to thy husband, or not?’
She replied, saying, ‘I have mentioned the whole affair, and after
becoming acquainted with everything, he has allowed me to come to thee.’
Somdatt said, ‘This matter is like jewels without apparel, or food
without clarified butter, or singing out of tune--all these things are
alike. Similarly, dirty garments mar beauty, bad food saps the strength,
a wicked wife deprives of life, a bad son ruins the family. Whereas a
demon takes life on his being enraged, a woman, either as a friend or a
foe, is in both cases the occasion of sorrow. What a woman does not do
is of little moment; for she does not give utterance to the thoughts of
her mind; and what is at the tip of her tongue she does not reveal;
and what she does, she does not tell of. A wonderful creature has God
created in the world in woman.’”

“After uttering these words, the merchant’s son answered her, saying, ‘I
will have nothing to do with another’s wife.’ On hearing this she took
her way back home again. On the way she met the thief, (and) told him
the whole story. The thief, on hearing it, applauded her highly, and let
her go. She came nigh her husband and told him all the circumstances;
but her husband evinced no affection for her, and said, ‘The beauty of
the cuckoo consists in its note alone; a woman’s beauty consists in her
fidelity to her husband; and the beauty of an ugly man is his knowledge;
the beauty of a devotee is his patient suffering.’”

Having related so much of the story, the sprite said, “O king! whose is
the highest merit of these three?” King Vikramãjït replied, “The thief’s
merit is the greatest.” The sprite said, “How?” The king replied,
“Seeing her heart set on another man, her husband gave her up; through
dread of the king, Somdatt let her alone; whereas there was no
reason for the thief’s leaving her unmolested. Hence the thief is the
superior.” On hearing this, the sprite went again and suspended himself
on that tree; and the king also went there, took him down from the tree,
bound and placed him on his shoulder, and once more carried him away.



TALE X.

The sprite said, “O king! in the country of Gaur there is a city called
Baradmãn, and the king of that place was named Gunshekhar. His minister
was a follower of the Jain persuasion, Abhaichand by name. Through his
persuasion, the king, too, entered the pale of the Jain religion. He
prohibited the worship of Shiva, as also that of Vishnu, and offerings
of cattle, grants of land, oblations * to deceased ancestors, gambling
and intoxicating liquors--all these he interdicted: no one was allowed
to practise them in the city, and no one could carry away bones to
the Ganges. And the minister, too, with the king’s sanction for these
matters, had it proclaimed in the city, that whoever performs these
acts, the king will confiscate all his property, and inflict punishment
on him, and expel him from the city.”

     * These oblations consist of balls (pind) of meat, or rice
     mixed up with milk, curds, flowers, &c., and offered to the
     manes at the several Shraddhas (or funeral ceremonies and
     worship of the manes) by the nearest surviving relations.

“Thereafter the minister said one day to the king, ‘Attend, O king! to
an exposition of the sacred law Whosoever takes the life of any one,
this same takes his life also in another state of existence. It is on
account of this sin that living and dying are inseparable from man on
his entering this world. He is born again and again, and again he dies.
Hence, it behoves man, on his being born into the world, to treasure up
virtuous deeds. Observe (how) Brahmã, Yishnü, Mahãdeva, in one form or
another, become incarnate in the world under the influence of love,
anger, covetousness, or infatuation! A cow, forsooth, is superior to
them, for she is free from passion, hatred, pride, anger, covetousness,
infatuation; moreover, she sustains the subjects. And the sons which are
born to her also impart the utmost ease to the living things of the
earth, and cherish them. It is for this reason that all the deities and
holy sages hold the cow sacred. Therefore, to worship the gods, is not
well: worship the cow in this world. And it is a duty to protect the
life of every animal, from the elephant to the ant; including beasts,
birds, &c., up to man; there is no duty equal to that in the world.
Those who add to their flesh by eating the flesh of other creatures,
ultimately suffer the torments of hell. Hence it is incumbent on man to
preserve life. Those who regard not the sufferings of others, but go on
destroying the life of other creatures, and eating them--their lives are
shortened on the earth, and they are born cripples, or lame, or blind of
one eye, or blind of both eyes, or dwarfs, or hunch-backed, or with some
such bodily defect. According to the limbs of beasts and birds which
they devour, they eventually lose similar members of their own. Further,
the drinking of intoxicating liquors is a great sin. Hence the
consumption of flesh and intoxicating drinks is not right.’”

“Thus unfolding to the king the wisdom stored up in his mind, the
minister made him so sound a convert to the Jain faith, that whatever
he advised the king did; and he paid no respect to any Brahman, ascetic,
itinerant devotee, or religious mendicant; * and governed his kingdom
according to this religion. One day, coming under the power of death, he
died. Thereupon his son, Dharm-dhwaj by name, ascended the throne, and
began to reign. One day, having had the minister, Abhaichand, seized,
and seven plaits made of the hair on his head, and his face blackened,
and (the minister) himself seated on a donkey, and a drum beaten and
hands clapped (in derision) after him, he then banished him from the
kingdom, and carried on his government free from all anxiety.”

     * The sewra, sanyasi, and darwesh, are all religious
     mendicants; the first is of the Jain religion, the second a
     Brahman, and the third a Muhammadan.

“One day, in the spring-time, the king, accompanied by his queens, went
to take a stroll in a garden. There was a large tank in that garden, and
the lotus was in full bloom therein. On beholding the beauty of the
tank, the king stripped off his clothes, and went down to bathe. Having
plucked a flower, and come to the side, he was handing it to one of the
queens, when it slipped from his hand and fell on the queen’s foot; and
by the blow it inflicted the queen’s foot was broken. On this the king
became alarmed, and forthwith coming out from the tank, began applying
remedies; and in the meantime night came on, and the moon shone forth.
No sooner did the moon’s beams fall, than blisters arose on the body of
the second queen. Farther, just then the sound of a wooden pestle
from some householder’s suddenly reached the third queen, and she was
instantly attacked with so severe a headache, that she fainted away.”

After narrating so much, the sprite said, “O king! which of these three
was the most delicate?” The king replied, “The one who got the pain in
the head and fainted away, she was the most delicate.” On hearing these
words, the sprite again went and suspended himself on that tree; and the
king went there and took him down, and, making a bundle of him, placed
him on his shoulder, and walked off with him.



TALE XI.

The sprite said, “Your majesty! there is a city named Punyapur,
the king of which was named Ballabh, and his minister’s name was
Satyaprakash, (and) the name of the minister’s wife was Lakshmi. One
day the king said to his minister, ‘If one who is a king does not enjoy
himself with beautiful women, his holding sovereignty is in vain.’
Having said this, and made over the burthen of government to the
minister, he himself gladly entered upon a course of amorous pleasures.
He abandoned all cares of the state, and commenced spending his days and
nights in enjoyment.”

“It so happened that, one day, the minister was sitting dejected at
home, when his wife asked him, ‘Husband! you seem to me to be very
weak?’ He replied, saying, ‘Night and day the cares of government weigh
heavily on me, and hence my body has become feeble; while the king is
the whole day long occupied with his own pleasures and enjoyment.’ The
minister’s wife said, ‘O husband! you have carried on the government for
a long time, now take leave of the king, and undertake a pilgrimage for
few days.’”

“He remained silent on hearing this speech of hers. Afterwards, when
he stirred out (_lit_. when he rose thence), he went to the king at the
time of his holding a court, and, obtaining his permission to go, set
out on a pilgrimage. Journeying on, he reached Setband Rãmeshwar, * on
the sea-coast. As soon as he arrived there, he visited the shrine of
Mahãdeva, and came out (of the temple), when, his gaze happening to
stray towards the sea, what does he behold, but a (marvellous) tree of
gold come up out of it, the leaves of which were emeralds, the blossoms
topazes, the fruits corals,--it presented a most beautiful sight! And
seated on the tree was a very beautiful woman, holding a lute in her
hands, and singing in most soft and sweet strains. After a few minutes
the tree disappeared in the ocean.”

     * etband (from the Sanskrit setu-bandha) signifies a dike or
     bridge, and is applied to the ridge of rooks between the
     Coromandel coast and Ceylon. This dike or bridge is said to
     have been built by the allies of Rama (i.e., the monkey army
     under the leadership of Hanuman), when he invaded Ceylon to
     recover his wife Sltã, who had been carried off thither by
     Bãvan. It is said that, as fast as the monkeys built up the
     dike, Bãvan destroyed it; so, to prevent his doing this,
     Bãma erected a temple to Shiva (the god adored by Bavan) at
     the extremity of the dike. Thenceforth Setband Rãmeshwar
     became a place of pilgrimage.

“After beholding this spectacle there, the minister turned back and came
to his own city, and, proceeding to the king, made obeisance, and
joining his hands, said, ‘Your Majesty! I have witnessed a marvellous
sight!’ The monarch said, ‘Describe it.’ The minister said, ‘Your
majesty! men of olden time have said that one should not speak of such
things as are beyond the comprehension of any one, and which no one
would credit. But this thing I saw plainly with my eyes, and hence I
speak of it. Your majesty! at the place where the Lord Raghunãth has
bridged the ocean, lo! a golden tree came up out of the sea, which was
so splendidly loaded with emerald leaves, topaz flowers, and coral
fruit, that a description of it is impossible! And upon it was a very
beautiful woman, with a lute in her hands, singing the sweetest of
strains. But after a few minutes that tree was lost to sight in the
ocean.’”

“On hearing these words, the king entrusted the government to the
minister, and set out alone for the sea-shore. After several days he
arrived there, and entered the temple to pay adoration to Mahãdeva; and
having bowed down and worshipped, he came out, when lo! the same tree,
woman, and all, rose up (out of the sea). As soon as the king saw her,
he leaped into the sea, and went and sat on the same tree. She, together
with the king, descended to the nether regions. ** She looked at him
(the king) and said, ‘Valiant man! Why hast thou come hither?’ The king
replied, ‘I have come, attracted by thy beauty.’ She rejoined, ‘If thou
wilt not have intercourse with me during the dark fortnight of the lunar
month, I will marry thee.’ The king consented to this arrangement.
Notwithstanding this, however, she took the king’s solemn promise, and
then married him.”

     * Raghunãth (i.e., the lord of the family of Raghu,) is a
     title of Rama, who, as an incarnation of Vishnu, was born in
     the family of Raghu.

     ** Pãtãla is one of the seven Hindu hells, and the region
     under the earth which is the abode of the Nagas, or serpents
     with human faces.

“To be brief, when the dark nights set in, she said, ‘Your majesty is
not to remain near me today.’ On hearing this, the king left her, taking
his sword with him; and going apart, kept secret watch. When it was
midnight, a demon came, and, on the instant of arriving, folded her in
his arms. No sooner did the king witness this, than he rushed forward
with his sword, and said, ‘Foul fiend! lay not thy hand on my wife
before my eyes! First fight with me. It was only ere I had set my eyes
on you that fear possessed me; now I have no fear.’”

“This said, he drew his sword, and struck such a blow, that the head (of
the demon) was severed from the body, and lay quivering on the ground.
On beholding this, she said, ‘O gallant man! thou hast done me a great
kindness!’ After saying this, she spoke again, saying, ‘It is not every
mountain that contains rubies, nor every city that holds true men, nor
does the sandal-tree grow in every forest, nor do pearls exist in the
head of every elephant.’ Thereupon the king enquired, ‘Why did this
demon come to thee on the fourteenth night of the waning moon?’”

“She said, ‘My father’s name is Vidyãdhar. I am said Vidyãdhar’s
daughter. Sundari is my name. Now it was an established custom for my
father not to partake of food without me. One day I was not at home at
meal-time; thereupon father became angry and pronounced a curse on me,
saying, ‘A demon will come and embrace thee every fourteenth night of
the waning moon.’ On hearing this, I said, ‘Father! you have indeed
given me your curse; but now have mercy on me!’ He replied, ‘When an
intrepid man shall come and slay that demon, thou wilt escape from this
curse.’ Now, therefore, I have escaped from that curse; and I will now
go and pay my respects to my father.’”

“The king said, ‘If thou appreciatest the kindness I have done thee,
come at once and visit my dominions; after that, go and visit thy
father.’ She said, ‘Very well; I consent to what you say.’ Thereupon the
king brought heir with him to his capital. Festive music and rejoicing
began to take place. The news spread throughout the city that the king
had arrived. Then songs of congratulation and merry-making commenced in
every house; and after that, all the musicians and singers of the city
came and offered their congratulations at the court. The king gave away
many presents, and performed many pious acts.”

“Again, after some days that fair one said, ‘Now, your majesty! I will
go to my father’s.’ The king said in sadness, ‘Very well: go.’ When she
perceived the king to be sad, she said, ‘Your majesty! I will not go.’
The king said, ‘Why hast thou given up the idea of going to thy father?’
She replied, ‘I have now become one of the human race, and my father is
a demi-god; * were I to go now, he would show me no respect: this is my
reason for not going.’ On hearing this the king was highly delighted,
and gave away lacs of rupees in presents and religious offerings.
Hearing of these matters touching the king, the minister died
broken-hearted.”

     * The Gandharvas are demi-gods inhabiting Indra’s heaven,
     and serving as celestial musicians.

Having told so much of the tale, the sprite said, “O king! why did the
minister die?” Then king Bïr Vikramãjït said, “The minister perceived
that the king had taken to sensual enjoyments, and banished all the
cares of government from his mind; that the subjects had lost their
master (or protector); and so, no one would heed what he (the minister)
said. This is the anxiety of which he died.” Having heard this, the
sprite went again and hung himself on that tree. The king went again, as
on previous occasions, and placed him on his shoulder, and carried him
away.



TALE XII.

The sprite said, “O king Bir Vikramãjit! There is a city named
Chürãpur, where a king named Chürãman ruled, whose spiritual teacher’s
name was Devaswãmi, and he had a son named Hariswãmï. He was as
beautiful as Cupid, equalled Brihaspati * in his knowledge of scientific
and religious treatises, and was as wealthy as Kuvera. He wedded and
brought home a Brahman’s daughter, whose name was Lãvanyavatï.”

     * Brihaspati is the regent of the planet Jupiter, and the
     preceptor of the gods. Kuvera is the god of wealth.

“To be brief, one night in the hot season they were both sleeping
soundly on the flat roof of a summer house. The woman’s veil
accidentally slipped off her face, while a demi-god, seated on a car,
was proceeding somewhere through the air. His gaze suddenly falling upon
her, he lowered the car, and placing her, asleep, on the car, flew off
with her. After some time the Brahman also awoke, and lo! his wife was
not (beside him). On this he became alarmed, and coming down from
thence, searched throughout the house. When he did not find her there
either, he went about seeking her through all the streets and lanes of
the city, but did not find her. Thereupon he began to say to himself,
‘Who has carried her off? and whither has she gone?”’

“In short, when his efforts were of no avail, he returned home helpless
and regretful, and searched for her there a second time, but did not
find her. When the house appeared desolate to him without her, he lost
all self-control in his disquietude and misery, and began crying
out, Oh, darling of my soul! oh, darling of my soul! Further, being
exceedingly agitated by her separation from him, he gave up the position
of a householder, renounced the world, girt a simple waist-cloth round
his loins, rubbed the ashes of burnt cow-dung on his body, put on
a necklace of beads, quitted the town, and set out on a pilgrimage.
Proceeding on his pilgrimage from town to town, and village to village,
he reached a certain town at midday.”

“When extreme hunger left him no alternative, he made a cup-shaped
vessel of the leaves of a dhãk-tree, and carrying it to the house of a
Brahman, said to him, ‘Give me some food in alms.’ (The fact is, when a
man comes under the influence of love, he has no thought of duty, caste,
or food; and, regardless of everything, he eats food wherever he can
obtain it.) When he begged alms of the Brahman, he (the Brahman) took
the cup-shaped vessel from him and entered the house, and brought it
(back) to him filled with rice boiled in milk. He took the cup, and came
to the margin of a tank. There was a large banyan-tree there. He placed
the cup at the root of that, and went to wash his face and hands in the
tank.”

“A black snake came out from the roots of the tree, and having dipped
its mouth into the cup, went away; and so the whole contents of the
cup had become poisoned, when, in the meantime, he also returned after
washing his hands and face. This matter, however, was unknown to him;
while hunger, on the other hand, beset him sorely. (Thus) he ate the
rice and milk as soon as he came, and the poison instantly entered his
system. Thereupon he went to the Brahman and said, ‘Thou hast given me
poison, and I am now dying of it.’ Having said so much, he reeled and
fell, and died. Again, the Brahman, seeing him dead, turned his own
wife out of the house, and said, ‘Go thou hence, thou murderess of a
Brahman!’”

Having told so much of the tale, the sprite said, “O king! to which
of these does the guilt of killing a Brahman attach?” The king said,
“Poison exists in a snake’s mouth as a matter of course; therefore no
guilt attaches to it. Again, the Brahman gave him alms, considering him
to be hungry; (therefore) guilt does not attach to him. Further, the
Brahman’s wife had given him alms at the bidding of her husband; she,
too, is without sin. And he ate the milk and rice unwittingly, and
hence he also is guiltless. In short, whoever imputes guilt to anyone of
these, is himself a sinner.” On hearing this, the sprite went again and
hung on to that tree; and the king also went there, and taking him down
and binding him, placed him on his shoulder, and carried him away from
there.



TALE XIII.

The sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Chandra-hriday, and a
king named Randhir ruled there. There was in the city a merchant named
Dharmdhwaj, whose daughter’s name was Shobhani; and indeed she was
very beautiful. Her youthful prime was daily developing itself, and her
beauty was each moment increasing.”

“It so happened that robberies became a nightly occurrence in that
city. When the merchants experienced much vexation at the hands of the
thieves, they all went to the king in a body and said, ‘Your majesty!
thieves have committed great outrage in the city; we can no longer dwell
in the place.’ The king replied, saying, ‘Well; what has happened is
beyond remedy (_lit._, what has happened, has happened); but henceforth
you shall suffer no annoyance; I will take vigorous measures against
them.’ After saying this, the king summoned a number of people and
told them off to keep guard, and directed them how to keep watch, and
commanded them to slay the thieves wherever they found them, without
asking any questions.”

“People began to keep watch over the city, by night, and yet robberies
took place. All the merchants proceeded in a body to the king, and said,
‘Your majesty has sent watchmen, and yet the thieves have not decreased
in number, and thefts occur daily.’ The king replied, ‘Do you take your
leave now; from to-night I will go forth to watch over the city.’ On
hearing this, they left the king, and went each to his own home. Now,
when it was night, the king took his sword and shield, and, on foot and
alone, began his watch over the city. Having advanced some distance in
the course of his watch, and looked closely, he perceived a thief coming
towards him. On seeing him, the king called out, ‘Who art thou?’ He
replied, saying, ‘I am a thief; who art thou?’ The king said (in reply),
‘I also am a thief.’ He was pleased on hearing this, and said, ‘Let us
commit a robbery together.’”

“Settling this matter between them, the king and the thief, conversing
with one another, entered one of the quarters of the city, and after
committing thefts in several houses, carried off the articles, and came
to a well without the city, and having gone down into it, ultimately
reached the chief city of the nether regions. The thief stationed the
king at the gate, and took the money and treasures to his own house.
In the meantime a woman-servant came out of his house, and, seeing the
king, began to say, ‘Your majesty! what a place you have come to with
that miscreant! Well will it be if, ere he return, you fly hence as fast
as you possibly can; otherwise he will kill you as soon as he arrives,’
The king replied, ‘But I do not know the road! In which direction should
I go?’ Then the servant showed him the road, and the king came to his
palace.”

“In fine, on the following day the king, with all his forces, went to
the chief city of the nether regions by the road down the well, and
surrounded the entire household of the thief; but the thief, escaping
by some other road, went to the ruler of that city, who was a demon, and
said, ‘A king has led an attack against my house with the view to kill
me; at this moment, either you must aid me, or I will give up dwelling
in your city, and take my abode in some other place.’ On hearing this,
the demon said, graciously, ‘You have supplied me with food; I am well
pleased with you.’ Having said this, the demon went where the king was
with his army, surrounding the house, and began devouring the men and
horses. And the king fled on beholding the form of the demon; and
all such as were able to run away, escaped; and the rest the demon
devoured.”

“To be brief the king was running off alone, when the thief came and
cried out, ‘Art thou, a Rajpüt, flying from the battle?’ On the instant
of hearing this, the king halted again, and the two confronted one
another, and began to fight. At length the king overcame him, and bound
his hands behind his back, and brought him into the city. After that,
having had him bathed and washed, and clothed in fine apparel, and
mounted on a camel, he sent him all round the city, accompanied by a
crier, and ordered the impaling stake to be erected for him. Whoever
among the people of the city saw him said, ‘This same thief has
plundered the whole city, and the king will now impale him.’”

“When the thief arrived near the house of the merchant Dharmdhwaj, the
merchant’s daughter hearing the sound of the crier’s drum, asked her
handmaid, ‘What is this proclamation about?’ She replied, ‘The king has
brought captive the thief who used to commit robberies in the city.
Now he will impale him.’ On hearing this, she also came running (to the
lattice) to see. No sooner did she behold the thief’s comeliness and
manly form than she became fascinated; and, coming to her father,
said, ‘Do you go to the king this moment, and return with that thief
released.’ The merchant said, ‘How can it be expected that, at my
request, the king will release the thief who has robbed his whole city,
and on whose account his whole army has been destroyed?’ She again
urged, ‘If you have to give up even all you possess for the king to
release him, do you bring him away free; and should he not come, I too
will sacrifice my life.’”

“On hearing this, the merchant went to the king, and said, ‘Your
majesty! receive five lacs of rupees from me, and set the thief at
liberty.’ The king said, ‘This thief robbed the whole city, and my whole
army was swallowed up through him. I will not on any account let
him go.’ When the king did not heed his request, he returned home in
despair, and said to his daughter, ‘I said all that it was right to say,
but the king did not consent.’”

“In the meantime, having had the thief taken round the city, they
brought him to a stand-still near the impaling stake. Now, the thief
having heard of the predicament of the merchant’s daughter, first
laughed aloud, and then wept bitterly. The people the while pulled him
down on the stake. And the merchant’s daughter, receiving intimation
of his death, came to the same place to devote herself to death for his
sake. She had a funeral pile constructed, and sitting thereon, had
the thief taken off the stake, placed his head on her lap, apd quietly
seated herself to be burnt. She was on the point of having the torch put
to it (the pile), when (a temple sacred to Devi happening to be on the
spot) Devi instantly came out of her temple and said, ‘Daughter! I am
pleased with thy courage; request a boon.’ She said, ‘Mother! if thou
art pleased with me, restore this thief to life.’ Thereupon the goddess
said, ‘Even so shall it be.’ Having said this, she brought nectar from
the under-world, and restored the thief to life.”

Having told so much of the story, the sprite inquired, “Say, O king!
why the thief first laughed, and why he afterwards wept?” The king said,
“I know the reason why he laughed, and I know also why he wept. Attend,
O sprite! The thief thought within himself,--‘Now that she is giving up
all that she possesses to the king for my sake, what return can I make?’
He wept at the thought of this. Again, however, he reflected, ‘She loved
me when I was about to die: the ways of God are altogether inscrutable;
He bestows wealth on the unlucky, knowledge on one of low origin, a
beautiful wife on a fool, and He causes rain to fall in showers on the
mountains.’ Thinking of such things, he laughed.” On hearing this, the
sprite went again and hung on to that tree. The king returned there,
and unloosing him, made a bundle of him, placed him on his shoulder, and
took him away.



TALE XIV.

The sprite said, “Attend, King Vikram! There is a city named
Kusmavati, of which one Subichãr was king, whose daughter’s name was
Chandra-prabhã. When she became marriageable, she went out one spring
day, along with her companions, to stroll about in the garden. Now,
before arrangements had been made for the ladies to come out (i.e.,
before the garden had been cleared of all strangers and others not
permitted to set eyes on the women), a Brahman’s son, named Manswi,
of twenty years or so, very handsome, had come into the garden in the
course of his wanderings, and meeting with cool shade under a tree, had
fallen asleep there. The king’s attendants came and made arrangements
for the ladies of the seraglio in the garden, but it so happened that
none of them saw the Brahman’s son sleeping there; and so he continued
sleeping under that tree, and the princess entered the garden with her
attendants. Strolling about with her companions, where does she come but
to the place where the Brahman’s son was sleeping! She no sooner arrived
there than he also awoke at the sound of the people’s footsteps. The
eyes of both met; and to such a degree did they come under Cupid’s
power, that on the one side the Brahman’s son fell upon the ground in a
swoon, on the other, she too was so beside herself, that her legs began
to tremble. Her companions, however, quickly laid hold of her on the
very instant. At last, they laid her down in a litter, and brought
her home. And the Brahman’s son was lying in so complete a state of
insensibility here, that he had no consciousness whatever of his body or
mind.”

“During this interval two Brahmans, named Shashi and Müldeva, from the
country of Kanvrü, where they had studied the (occult) sciences,
happened to pass by there. Müldeva, seeing the Brahman’s son lying,
said, ‘Shashi! how is it that he is lying in such utter
unconsciousness?’ He replied, ‘A damsel has shot forth the arrows of her
eyes from the bow of her eyebrows; hence he is lying insensible.’
Müldeva said, ‘We ought to rouse him.’ He replied, ‘What need is there
for you to rouse him?’ He did not heed Shashi’s words, but sprinkled
water over him, and restored him to consciousness, and asked, ‘What has
been the matter with thee?’ The Brahman said, ‘One should relate his
troubles to him who can remove them; for what is to be gained by
relating your sorrows to him who, on hearing of them, is unable to
remove them?’ He said, ‘Well, tell me your troubles; I will remove
them.’”

“On hearing this, he said, ‘It was but now that the princess came here
with her companions; and it was through seeing her that I have fallen
into this state. Should I obtain possession of her, I will preserve
my life; otherwise I will abandon life.’ Then he replied, ‘Come to my
abode; I will exert myself to the utmost to obtain her; and, if I should
not succeed, I will bestow great wealth upon thee.’ Thereupon Manswi
said, ‘God has created many a jewel in the world; but the jewel, woman,
surpasses all; and for her sake it is that man treasures up wealth. When
I have lost the woman, what will I do with the wealth? Brute beasts
are better off in the world than those who do not possess themselves
of handsome wives. The fruit of merit is wealth, and the advantage of
wealth is ease, and the consequence of ease is (the taking) a wife; now,
what happiness can there be where there is no wife?’ On hearing this,
Müldeva said, ‘I will give thee whatsoever thou may’st ask for.’ Then
he said, ‘O Brahman obtain that same maiden’s hand for me.’ Müldeva
thereupon said, ‘So be it; come along with me; I will have that very
maiden bestowed on thee.’”

“In short, ministering much comfort to him, he took him to his house;
and when he reached there, he prepared two magic pills. One pill he gave
to the (young) Brahman, saying, ‘When thou puttest this into thy mouth,
thou wilt be turned into a girl of twelve years; and when thou takest it
out of thy mouth, thou wilt become the self-same man thou wert before.’
He said further, ‘Put this into thy mouth.’ On his putting it into his
mouth, he became a girl of twelve years. And he, (Müldeva) having put
the other pill into his own mouth, became transformed into an old man of
eighty years; and taking that young girl with him, he proceeded to the
king.”

“The king, seeing the Brahman, saluted him, gave him a seat, and another
to the young girl also. Then the Brahman gave him his blessing in verse,
saying, ‘May he whose glory pervades the three worlds; and who, taking
the form of a dwarf, deceived * King Bali; and who, taking monkeys with
him, bridged the ocean; ** and who, supporting the mountain (Go
vardhan) on his hand, *** protected the cowherds from the bolts of
Indra,--may the same Vasudeva protect you!’ On hearing this, the
king inquired, ‘Whence has your highness come?’ The Brahman, Mãldeva,
replied, ‘I have come from the other side of the Ganges, and my home is
there; and I had gone to bring away my son’s wife, (and) in my absence,
a general flight from the village took place; and so I know not whither
my wife and son have fled to. And now, with this girl with me, how shall
I seek them? It is, therefore, advisable that I leave this (girl) with
your majesty. Keep her with the greatest care until I return.’”

     * Ball was a powerful king, who, by his austerities and
     devotion, overcame Indra in battle, and obtained power over
     heaven and earth. The gods became alarmed at this, and
     sought the aid of Vishnü, who visited the earth in the form
     of a dwarf, and went before Bali, who, according to custom,
     offered him presents. These the dwarf, affecting utter
     contempt for worldly wealth, declined, saying he merely
     wanted as much territory as could be comprised in three of
     his paces. Bali laughed, and granted his request; whereupon
     the dwarf increased his stature to prodigious dimensions,
     and, at one step, placed his foot on the heavens; at the
     next, on the earth; and, no room remaining for the third
     step, he placed his foot on Bali’s head, and so pressed him
     down to the region of Nãga-loka, beneath the earth, where he
     was kept in confinement, and bound with bonds made of
     twisted serpents.

     ** etband (from the Sanskrit setu-bandha) signifies a dike
     or bridge, and is applied to the ridge of rooks between the
     Coromandel coast and Ceylon. This dike or bridge is said to
     have been built by the allies of Rama (i.e., the monkey army
     under the leadership of Hanuman), when he invaded Ceylon to
     recover his wife Sltã, who had been carried off thither by
     Bãvan. It is said that, as fast as the monkeys built up the
     dike, Bãvan destroyed it; so, to prevent his doing this,
     Bãma erected a temple to Shiva (the god adored by Bavan) at
     the extremity of the dike. Thenceforth Setband Rãmeshwar
     became a place of pilgrimage.

     *** This allusion to the exploits of Krishna the curious
     reader will find fully explained in the 26th chapter of the
     “Prem Sãgar.”

“On hearing these words of the Brahman’s, the king began thinking to
himself, ‘How shall I take charge of a very beautiful young woman? And
if I do not take her, this Brahman will curse me, (and) my dominion will
be overthrown.’ Having thought this over in his mind, the king said,
‘Your highness! the command you have given me shall be obeyed.’ On this,
the king summoned his daughter, and said, ‘Daughter! take this Brahman’s
daughter-in-law and keep her with you, with all care and attention; and,
whether sleeping or waking, eating or drinking, or moving about, do not
let her be away from you for a moment.’ On hearing this, the princess
took hold of the hand of the Brahman’s daughter-in-law, and led her away
to her own apartment. At night, the two slept in one bed, and began
conversing with each other. In the course of conversation, the Brahman’s
daughter-in-law said, ‘Tell me, O princess! to what trouble is it owing
that you have become so worn and feeble?”’

“The princess said, ‘I went one day in the spring, accompanied by my
female friends, to stroll about in the garden, and there beheld a very
handsome, Cupid-like Brahman, and our eyes met. He swooned away on one
side, and I became unconscious on the other. Then my companions, seeing
my predicament, brought me home. And I am totally ignorant of both his
name and his abode. His image fills my eyes, and I have not the least
desire for food and drink. It is through this trouble that my body
has been reduced to the state you see.’ On hearing this, the Brahman’s
daughter-in-law said, ‘What wilt thou give me if I bring thy beloved and
thee together?’ The princess said, ‘I will remain thy slave for ever.’
Hearing this, he took the magic pill out of his mouth and became a man
again; and she was abashed at beholding him. After that, the Brahman’s
son married her after the fashion of Gandharb marriages; and used
constantly to convert himself thus into a man at night, and to remain
a woman by day. At length, after six months, the princess became
pregnant.”

“They say that, one day, the king went with his whole family to a
marriage festival at his minister’s house. There the minister’s son
beheld that Brahman’s son disguised as a woman, and fell in love as soon
as he saw her (or him), and began to say to a friend of his, ‘If this
woman does not become mine, I will sacrifice my life.’ In the interval,
the king having partaken of the feast, returned to the palace with his
family. But the condition of the minister’s son became most painful
through the anguish of separation from his beloved, and he gave up food
and water. Seeing this state (of his), his friend went and informed the
minister. And the minister, on hearing the story, went and said to the
king, ‘Your majesty! love for that Brahman’s daughter-in-law has brought
my son to a wretched state. He has given up eating and drinking. If you
would kindly give the Brahman’s daughter-in-law to me, his life would be
saved.’”

“On hearing this, the king said angrily, ‘Thou fool! It is not the
nature of kings to do such a wrong. Hearken! Is it right to give away
to another that which is given in trust, without the permission of the
person making over the trust, that you mention this matter to me?’ On
hearing this, the minister returned home in despair. But perceiving the
suffering of his son, he also gave up meat and drink. When three days
passed without the minister’s eating and drinking, then, indeed, all the
officials combined, and said to the king, ‘Your majesty! the minister’s
son is in a precarious state, and in the event of his dying, the
minister, too, will not survive. And on the minister’s dying, the
affairs of the state will come to a stand-still. It is better that
you consent to that which we state.’ Hearing this, the king gave them
permission to speak. Then one of them said, ‘Your majesty! it is long
since that old Brahman left this, and he has not returned; God knows
whether he is dead or alive. It is therefore right that you give that
Brahman’s daughter-in-law to the minister’s son, and so uphold your
kingdom; and should he return, you can give him villages and wealth.
Should he not be satisfied with this, get his son married (to another
maiden) and let him depart.’”

“On hearing this, the king sent for the Brahman’s daughter-in-law, and
said, ‘Go thou to the house of my minister’s son.’ She said, ‘The virtue
of a woman is destroyed by her being gifted with excessive beauty, and
a Brahman’s character is lost by his serving a king, and a cow is ruined
by grazing in remote pastures, and wealth vanishes on meeting with
abuse.’ After saying so much, she added, ‘If your majesty would give me
to the minister’s son, settle this matter with him, viz., that he will
do whatever I tell him; then will I go to his house.’ The king said,
‘Say! what should he do.’ She replied, ‘Your majesty! I am a Brahman
woman, and he is a Kshatri by caste; hence it is best that he first
perform all the prescribed pilgrimages; after that I will cohabit with
him.’”

“When he heard this speech, the king sent for the minister’s son and
said to him, ‘Go thou, first, and visit all the places of pilgrimage;
after that I will give the Brahman’s girl to thee,’ On hearing these
words from the king, the minister’s son said, ‘Your majesty! let her go
and take up her abode in my house, and then I will go on pilgrimage.’
After hearing this, the king said to the Brahman’s girl, ‘If thou
will first go and take up thy abode in his house, he will set out on
pilgrimage.’ Having no alternative, the Brahman’s girl went at the
king’s bidding and took up her abode in his house. Then the minister’s
son said to his wife, ‘Do you both live together in one place, on terms
of the greatest affection and friendliness, and on no account quarrel
and fight with each other, and never go to a strange house.’”

“Having given them these instructions, he, for his part, set out on
a pilgrimage; and here (at home), his wife, whose name was
Saubhagya-sundari, lying at night on one bed along with the Brahman’s
daughter-in-law, began conversing on various topics. After some time the
wife of the minister’s son spake as follows:--‘O friend! at this
moment I am consumed with the flame of love; but how can my desire be
attained?’

“The other said, ‘If I accomplish thy desire, what wilt thou give me?’
She replied, ‘I will be thy humble and obedient slave for ever.’ On this
he took the magic pill out of his mouth and became transformed into a
man. Thus he regularly transformed himself into a man by night, and into
a woman by day. After that, indeed, great love existed between the two
of them.”

“In short, six months passed away in this manner, and the minister’s son
returned. On the one hand, the people hearing of his arrival, began to
rejoice; and on the other, the Brahman’s daughter-in-law, having taken
the magic pill out of her mouth and transformed herself into a man, came
out from the house by way of the wicket, and went off. Again, after some
time, he came to the same Brahman, Müldeva, who had given him the magic
pill, and told him his whole story from beginning to end. Then Müldeva,
after hearing all the circumstances, took the magic pill from him and
gave it to his companion, Shashi, and each of them put the pill (he had)
into his mouth. One was transformed into an old man, and the other a
young man of twenty. After this the two went to the king’s.’”

“The king saluted them on the instant of seeing them, and gave them
seats. And they, too, gave (the king) their blessings. After inquiring
after their health and welfare, the king spake to Müldeva, saying,
‘Where have you been detained for so many days?’ The Brahman said, ‘Your
majesty! I went to search for this son of mine, and having discovered
him, I have brought him to you. If you will now give up his wife, I will
take both daughter-in-law and son home.’ Then the king related the whole
story to the Brahman. The Brahman became very angry on hearing it, and
said to the king, ‘What proceeding is this, for thee to give my son’s
wife to another? Well! thou hast acted as thou pleasedst; but now
receive my curse.’ Thereupon the king said, ‘O holy man! be not angry;
I will do whatever you bid me.’ The Brahman said, ‘So be it; if, through
fear of my curse, thou wilt do as I say, then give thy daughter in
marriage to my son.’ On hearing this, the king summoned an astrologer,
and after having the auspicious conjunction and moment determined, gave
his daughter in marriage to the Brahman’s son. Then he took leave of the
king and came to his own village, bringing the princess, together with
her dowry, along with him.”

“On hearing this intelligence, the Brahman Manswi also came there, and
commenced quarrelling with him, saying, ‘Give me my wife.’ The Brahman
named Shashi said, ‘I have married her before ten witnesses and brought
her home; she is my wife.’ He replied, ‘She is with child by me; how
can she become thy wife?’ And they went on wrangling with each other.
Müldeva reasoned much with both of them, but neither heeded what he
said.”

After relating so much of the story, the sprite said, “Say, king Bir
Vikramajit! whose wife was she?” The king replied, “She became the wife
of the Brahman Shashi.” Then the sprite said, “Pregnant by the other
Brahman, how could she become the wife of this one?” The king said, “No
one was aware of her being with child by that Brahman; whereas this one
married her in the presence of ten arbitrators; therefore she became his
wife. And the child, too, will have the right to perform his funeral
obsequies.” On hearing this, the sprite went and hung on to the same
tree. Again did the king go, and, after binding the sprite, and placing
him on his shoulder, carry him away.



TALE XV.

The sprite said, “O king! there is a mountain named Himachal, where
there is a city of the demi-gods (or celestial musicians); and king
Jïmütketu ruled there. Once upon a time he worshipped Kalpãbriksh a
great deal for the sake of a son. Thereupon Kalpabriksh was pleased, and
said, ‘I am pleased at perceiving thy services to me; ask any boon thou
desirest.’ The monarch replied, saying, ‘Grant me a son, so that my
kingdom and my name may endure,’ It (the tree) stud, ‘Even so shall it
be.’”

“After some time the king had a son. He experienced extreme joy, and
held rejoicings with much noise and display. After making numerous
presents and charitable gifts, he summoned the priests and fixed on a
name for him. The priests named him Jïmüt-bãhan. When he became twelve
years of age he began to worship Shiva; and having completed the study
of all the learned writings, became a very intelligent, meditative,
resolute, intrepid, and learned man; there was no equal of his in those
times. And as many people as dwelt under his sway, all were alive to
their respective duties.”

“When he attained to manhood, he, too, worshipped Kalpabriksh
assiduously; whereupon Kalpabriksh was pleased, and said to him, ‘Ask
whatsoever thou desirest, I will give it to thee.’ On this, Jïmüt-bãhan
said, ‘If you are pleased with me, take away all poverty from my
subjects, and let all those who dwell in my dominions become equal in
point of possessions and riches.’ When Kalpabriksh granted the boon, all
became so well off by the possession of wealth, that no one would obey
the order of any person, and no one would do work for any one.”

“When the subjects of that realm became such as has been described,
the brothers and kinsfolk of the king began to reason together, saying,
‘Both father and son are completely under the influence of religion, and
the people do not obey their commands; it is therefore best to seize and
imprison the pair of them, and take their kingdom from them.’ In fine,
the king was not on his guard against them; and they having plotted
together, went with an army and surrounded the king’s palace.”

“When this news reached the king, he said to his son, ‘What shall we do
now?’ The prince said, ‘Your majesty! you be pleased to abide here in
peace; I will away and destroy them this instant.’ The king said, ‘O
son! this body is frail, and riches, too, are unabiding; when a man is
born, death, too, attends him; hence we should now give up dominion, and
practise religious duties. It is not right to commit a heinous sin for
the sake of such a body, and for the sake of a kingdom; for even king
Yudhishthir experienced remorse after his great war with the descendants
of Bharat.’ On hearing this, his son said, ‘So be it! make over the
government to your kinsmen, and you yourself depart and practise
religious austerities.’”

“Having resolved on this, and summoned his brothers and nephews, and
handed over the government to them, father and son both ascended the
mountain Malayãchal, and on reaching the summit, built a hut and dwelt
there. A friendship arose between Jïmüt-bãhan and a holy sage’s son.
One day the king’s son and the son of the sage went out together for a
stroll on the top of the mountain. A temple, sacred to Bhawãnï, came in
sight there. Within the temple, a princess, with a lute in her hands,
was singing in front of the goddess. The eyes of the princess and
those of Jïinüt-bãhan met, and both became smitten with love. But the
princess, restraining her feelings, and stricken with shame, turned her
steps homeward; and he, too, for his part, being put to shame by the
presence of the sage’s son, came to his own place. That night was passed
by both the lovers (_lit._ rosecheeked ones) in extreme restlessness.”

“As soon as morn appeared, the princess set out from her quarter, for
the temple of Devi, and the prince, too (starting from this side), no
sooner arrived than he perceived that the princess was there. Then he
asked her female companion, ‘Whose daughter is she?’ The companion said,
‘She is the daughter of king Malayketu; her name is Malayãvatï, and
she is a virgin as yet.’ After saying this, the companion (spoke) again
(and) asked the prince, ‘Say, handsome man! whence have you come? and
what is your name?’ He replied, ‘I am the son of the monarch of the
demi-gods, whose name is Jïmüt-ketu; and my name is Jïmüt-bãhan. In
consequence of our Government being overthrown, we, father and son, have
come and taken up our abode here.’”

“Again, the companion, after hearing these words, related all to the
princess. She was much pained at heart on hearing them, and returned
home; and at night she lay down with a load of care on her mind. But
her companion perceiving this state of her’s, disclosed the story to her
mother. The queen, on hearing it, mentioned it to the king, and said,
‘Your majesty! your daughter has become marriageable; why do you not
seek a husband for her?’ On hearing this, the king thought the matter
over in his mind, and that very moment summoned his son Mitrãvasu, and
said, ‘Son! seek a husband for your sister and bring him here.’ Then he
spoke, saying, ‘The king of the demi-gods, Jïmüt-ketu by name, and whose
son is named Jïmüt-bãhan, having abandoned his kingdom, has, I hear,
come here with his son.’ On hearing this, king Malay-ketu said, ‘I will
give the girl to Jiraüt-bãhan.’”

“Having said this, he bade his son go and bring Jimüt-bãhan from the
king’s. He, on receipt of the king’s command, set out for that house,
and, on arriving there, said to the father, ‘Let your son accompany
me, as my father has sent for him to bestow his daughter upon him.’ On
hearing, this, king Jïmüt-ketu sent his son along with him, and he came
here (to King Malay-ketu’s house). Then King Malay-ketu celebrated his
marriage Gandharb fashion. When his marriage had taken place, he brought
the bride and Mitrãvasu with him to his own house. Then the three of
them paid their respects to the king, and the king also gave them his
blessing. Thus did that day pass.’”

“On the morrow’s mom, however, the two princes went out, as soon as they
rose, to take a walk on that mountain of Malayãgir. * On reaching the
place, what does Jïmüt-bãhan perceive but a very lofty heap of something
white. Thereupon he questioned his brother-in-law, saying, ‘Brother! how
is it that this white heap is seen here?’ He replied, ‘Millions of young
_nags_ (or serpents with human faces) come here from the infernal
regions; these _Garur_ ** comes and devours; this heap is composed of
their bones.’ On hearing this, Jïmüt bãhan said to his brother-in-law,
‘Friend! you go home (alone) and take your food; for I always engage in
worship at this hour, and the time for me to worship has now arrived.’”

     * This mountain has already been called Malayachal; the
     change of name is merely apparent, however, for achal and
     giri both signify Mil or mountain; Malaya is the actual
     name. It is a mountain south of the Narbada, and is made
     famous in Sanskrit poetry for the cool southerly breeze
     which always prevails there.

     ** Garur is a gigantic bird with a human face, said to be
     the vehicle of Vishnu. He is the elder brother of Indra,
     being the produce of the second egg laid by Banitã. This
     will account for Garur’s possessing the power to bring
     nectar from the nether regions.

“On hearing this, he did go; and Jïmüt-bãhan having advanced further,
the sound of weeping began to reach him. When, continuing his advance in
the direction of the sound of the voice, he reached the spot, what does
he behold but an old woman weeping with the burden of her trouble. He
went up to her and asked, ‘Why weepest thou, mother?’ Thereupon she
said, ‘To-day comes the turn of the serpent Sankhchür, who is my son;
Garur will come and eat him up; it is on account of this trouble that I
weep.’ He said, ‘O mother! weep not; I will give up my life in lieu of
thy son’s.’ The old woman said, ‘Pray do not so! _thou_ art my (son)
Sankhchür.’”

“She was saying this, when, at that moment, Sankhchür arrived; and
hearing (her words), said, ‘Your majesty! worthless wretches like myself
are born and die in vast numbers; but a just and compassionate being
like you is not born every day (_lit_. every hour); do not, therefore,
sacrifice your life for mine; for, thousands of human beings will be
benefited by your remaining alive; whereas it makes no difference
whether I live or die.’ Then Jïmüt-bãhan said, ‘It is not the way of
true men to say (that they will do a thing) and (then) not to do it. Go
thou whence thou camest.’”

“When he heard this, Shankhchur, for his part, went to pay adoration
to Devi, and Garur descended from the sky. In the meantime, the prince
perceived that each leg of his was as long as four bamboos, and his beak
was as long as a palm-tree, his belly like a mountain, his eyes like
gates, and his feathers like clouds. All at once he rushed with open
beak upon the prince. The first time the prince saved himself; but the
second time he flew off with him in his beak, and began wheeling upwards
in the air. While this was going on, a bracelet, on the jewel of which
the prince’s name was engraved, became unfastened, and fell, all covered
with blood, before the princess. She fell down in a swoon at the sight
of it.”

“When, after a few minutes, she recovered her senses, she sent word of
all that had happened to her father and mother. They came (to her) on
hearing of this calamity, and on seeing the ornament covered with blood,
burst into tears. Now, the three of them set out in quest (of him), and,
on the road, Shankhchür too joined them, and advancing beyond them,
went to the place where he had seen the prince, and began calling out
repeatedly, saying, ‘O Garur! let him go! let him go! He is not thy
food. _My_ name is Shankchür. I am thy food.’”

“On hearing this, Garur descended in alarm, and thought to himself, ‘I
have eaten either a Brahman or a Kshatri; what is this I have done!’
After this, he said to the prince, ‘O man! tell me truly; why art thou
giving up thy life?’ The prince replied, ‘O Garur! trees cast their
shade over others; and while they themselves stand in the sun, blossom
and bear fruit for the benefit of others. Such is the character of good
men and trees. What is the advantage of this body if it do not come
of use to others? The saying is well known that, The more they rub
sandal-wood, the more it gives out its perfume; and the more they go on
peeling the sugar-cane, and cutting it up into pieces, the more does its
flavour increase; and the more they pass gold through the fire, the more
surpassingly beautiful does it become. Those who are noble do not give
up their natural qualities even on losing their lives. What matters it
whether men praise them or blame them? What matters it whether riches
abide with them or not? What does it signify whether they die this
moment, or after a length of time? The men who walk in the path of
rectitude place not their feet in any other path, happen what may. What
matters it whether they are fat or lean? In fact, his living is bootless
whose body proves of no benefit (to anyone); while those who live for
the good of others--their living is advantageous. To live for the mere
sake of living, is the way in which dogs and crows, even, cherish life.
Those who lay down their lives for the sake of a Brahman, a cow, a
friend, or a wife, nay, more, for the sake of a stranger, assuredly
dwell in paradise for ever.’”

“Garur said, ‘Everyone in the world cherishes his own life; and scarce,
indeed, are those in the world who lay down their own lives to save
the lives of others.’ After saying this, Garur added, ‘Ask a boon; I am
pleased with thy courage.’ On hearing this, Jïmüt-bãhan said, ‘O god!
if you are pleased with me, then henceforth eat no more serpents, and
restore to life those you have eaten.’ On hearing this, Garur brought
the water of life from the infernal regions, and sprinkled it over the
bones of the serpents, so that they rose up alive again. And he said to
him (the prince), ‘O Jimüt-bãhan, by my favour thy lost kingdom will be
restored to thee.’”

“After granting this boon, Garur departed to his own abode, and
Sankhchür also went home; and Jïmüt-bãhan too left the place, and met
his father-in-law and mother-in-law and wife on the road Then he came in
their company to his father. When they heard of these circumstances, his
uncle and cousins, and indeed all his kinsfolk, came to visit him, and
after falling at his feet (to implore forgiveness), took him away, and
placed him on the throne.”

After relating so much of the story, the sprite asked, “O king!
whose virtue was greatest among these?” King Bïr Vikramãjït replied,
“Sankhchür’s.”

“How so?” asked the sprite. The king said, “Sankhchür, who had gone away
(and so, got safe off,) returned to give up his life, and saved him (the
prince) from being eaten by Garur.” The sprite said, “Why was not the
virtue of him greatest, who laid down his life for another?” The king
replied, “Jïmüt-bãhan was a _Kshatri_ by caste. He was accustomed to
holding his life in his hand, and hence he found it no hard matter to
sacrifice his life.” On hearing this, the sprite went again and hung on
to that tree; and the king, having gone there and bound him, placed him
on his shoulder, and carried him off.



TALE XVI.

The sprite said, “Ô King Bir Vikramãjït! there is a. city named
Chandra-shekhar, and a merchant named Ratandatt was an inhabitant
thereof. He had one only daughter, whose name was Unmãdinï. When she
attained to womanhood, her father went to the king of the place, and
said, ‘Your majesty! I have a daughter (_lit_. there is a girl in my
house); if you desire to possess her, take her; otherwise I will give
her to some one else.’”

“When the king heard this, he summoned two or three old servants,
and said to them, ‘Go and inspect the appearance of the merchant’s
daughter.’ They came to the merchant’s house at the monarch’s bidding,
and all became fascinated at the sight of the girl’s beauty,--such
beauty, as if a brilliant light was placed in a dark house; eyes like
those of a gazelle; plaits of hair like female snakes; eyebrows like a
bow; nose like a parrot’s; a set of teeth (_lit_. the set of thirty-two)
like a string of pearls; lips like the _kandüri_ throat like a pigeon’s;
waist like the leopard’s; hands and feet like a tender lotus; a face
like the moon, a complexion of the colour of the _champã_, a gait like
that of a goose, and a voice like the cuckoo’s; at the sight of her
beauty the female divinities of Indra’s paradise would feel abashed.”

“On beholding beauty of this kind, so abundantly rich in all graces,
they decided among themselves, (saying), ‘If such a woman enter the
king’s household, the king will become her slave, and will not give a
thought to the affairs of government. Hence, it is better to tell
the king that she is ill-favoured, (and) not worthy of him.’ Having
determined thus, they came thence to the king, and gave the following
account:--‘We have seen the girl; she is not worthy of you.’ On hearing
this, the king said to the merchant, ‘I will not wed her.’ Thereupon
what does the merchant do on returning home, but give his daughter in
marriage to one Balbhadra, who was the commander in-chief of the king’s
army. She took up her abode in his house.”

“It is said that, one day, the royal cavalcade passed by that way; and
she too was standing, fully attired, on her house-top, at the moment;
(and) her eyes and those of the monarch chanced to meet. The king began
to say to himself, ‘Is this the daughter of a god, or a female divinity,
or the daughter of a human being?’ The short of it is, he was fascinated
at the sight of her beauty, and returned thence to his palace in a state
of extreme agitation. The warder, on beholding his countenance, said,
‘Your majesty! what bodily pain are you suffering from?’ The monarch
replied, ‘While coming along the road to-day I saw a beautiful woman on
a house-top. I know not whether she is a houri, or a fairy, or a human
being; but her beauty drove my mind distracted all at once; and hence
(it is that) I am agitated.’”

“On hearing this, the door-keeper said, ‘Your majesty! she is the
daughter of that same merchant (who offered his daughter to you).
Balbbadra, your majesty’s commander-in-chief, has brought her home as
his wife/ The king said, ‘Those whom I sent to see her appearance have
deceived me,’ After saying this, the king ordered the mace-bearer to
bring those persons before him without delay. On receiving this order
from the king, the mace-bearer went and brought them. In short, when
they came before the king, his majesty said, ‘The errand on which I sent
you, and that which was the desire of my heart--these things you failed
to accomplish; on the contrary, you fabricated a false story, and gave
it to me as an answer. Now, to-day, I have seen her with my own eyes.
She is so beautiful a woman, rich in all distinguishing qualities, that
it would be difficult to meet with her equal in these times.’”

“On hearing this, they said, ‘What your majesty says is true; but
graciously listen to the object we had in view in representing her to
your majesty as ill-favoured. We decided among ourselves that, if so
beautiful a woman enter the royal household, your majesty would become
her slave on the instant of beholding her, and would neglect all the
affairs of the State, and so the kingdom would go to ruin. It was in
consequence of this apprehension that we invented such a story, and laid
it before you.’”

“When he heard this, the king _said_ to them, ‘You speak the truth;’ but
he experienced the greatest uneasiness thinking of her. Now, the king’s
distress of mind was known to everyone, when, at the moment, Balbhadra,
too, arrived, and putting his hands together (in humble supplication),
stood before the king, and said, ‘O lord of ‘the earth! I am your
servant, she is your hand-maid, and you to suffer so much pain on
her account! Be pleased, therefore, to give the order that she may be
brought before you.’ On hearing these words, the king said very angrily,
‘It is a grievous wrong to approach another’s wife! What is this thou
hast said to me? What! am I a lawless wretch, that I should commit an
infamous deed! The wife of another is as a mother, and the wealth of
another is on a par with mud. Hear me, brother! As a man regards his own
heart, so should he regard the hearts of others.’ Balbhadra spoke again,
saying, ‘She is my servant. When I give her to your majesty, how can she
any longer be the wife of another?’ The king replied; ‘I will not
commit an act whereby reproach would attach to me in the world.’ The
commander-in-chief said again, ‘Your majesty! I will turn her out of the
house, and place her somewhere else, and after making a prostitute of
her, will bring her to you.’ Thereupon the monarch said, ‘If thou makest
a harlot of a virtuous woman I will punish thee severely.’”

“After saying this, the king pined at the recollection of her, and, in
the course of ten days, died. Then the commander-in-chief, Balbhadra,
went and asked his spiritual teacher, ‘My master has died for the sake
of Unmadini; what is it right for me to do now? Favour me with your
commands in this matter.’ He said, ‘It is the duty of a servant to give
up his life also after his master’s.’ This servant gladly went to the
place where they had conveyed the king for cremation. During the time
in which the king’s funeral pile was got ready, he, too, had quitted
himself of his ablutions and devotions; and when they lighted the pile,
he too drew near the pile, and raising his joined hands to the sun,
began to say, ‘O Sun-deity! in thought, word and deed, I solicit the
gratification of this desire, viz., that at every successive birth I may
meet with this same master, and (for this) hymn your praises.’ Having
uttered this, he bowed in adoration, and leaped into the fire.”

“When Unmãdini received this intelligence, she went to her spiritual
teacher, and telling him all, asked, saying, ‘Your highness! what is the
duty of a wife?’ He replied, ‘It is by doing her duty to him to whom
her father and mother have given her that she is termed a woman of good
family; and it is thus written in the book of law, viz.--The woman who
in her husband’s lifetime practises austerities and fasting, shortens
the life of her husband, and is finally cast into hell-But the best
thing is this, that a woman by doing her duty to her husband, no matter
how wanting he may be, secures her own salvation. Moreover, the woman
who entertains the desire to sacrifice herself for her husband in the
burning-ground, most undoubtedly derives as much benefit from as many
steps as she takes towards this as would be derived from an equal number
of horse-sacrifices. * Further, there is no virtue equal to that of a
woman’s sacrificing herself for her husband on the funeral pile.’ On
hearing this, she made her salutation, and returned home; and after
bathing, and performing her devotions, and giving large gifts to
Brahmans, went to the funeral pile, and going once round to the right
in adoration, said, ‘O Lord! I am Thy servant in each succeeding birth.’
Having said this, she, too, went and seated herself in the fire, and was
consumed.”

     * The ashwamedha, or horse-sacrifice, is one performed by
     powerful kings alone, as it involves a vast expense. It is
     regarded as of the highest efficacy, and as far excelling
     all ordinary sacrifices.

After relating so much of the story, the sprite said, “O king! whose
virtue was greatest of these three?” King Bir Vikramãjït replied, “The
king’s.” The sprite said, “How so?” The king replied, “He left alone
the wife given to him by the commander-in-chief, while he sacrificed his
life on her account, and yet preserved his virtue. It behoves a servant
to lay down his life for his master; and it is right for a wife to
sacrifice herself for her lord. Therefore the virtue of the king was
greatest.” Having heard these words, the sprite went and hung on to that
same tree. The king, too, followed him, and again bound him, and placed
him on his shoulder, and carried him away.



TALE XVII.

The sprite said, “Your majesty! there was a king of Ujjain, named
Mahãsain; and an inhabitant of that place was a Brahman, Devasharmã,
whose son’s name was Gunãkar. He (the son) turned out a great gambler;
so much so that he lost at play all the wealth the Brahman possessed.
Thereupon all the members of the family turned Gunãkar out of house and
home. And he could not help himself in any way; (so) having no other
resource, he took his departure from the place, and in several days’
time came to a certain city. What does he see there but a devotee
sitting over a fire, and inhaling smoke by way of penance. After
saluting him, he, too, sat down there. The devotee asked him, ‘Wilt thou
eat anything?’ He replied, ‘Your highness! of course I will eat, if you
give me (something).’ The devotee filled a human skull with food and
brought it to him. On seeing it he said, ‘I’ll not eat food out of this
skull.’”

“When he did not partake of the food, the ascetic repeated such an
incantation, that a fairy * appeared before him with joined hands, and
said, ‘Your highness! I will execute any command you may give me.’ The
ascetic said, ‘Give this Brahman whatever food he desires.’ On hearing
this, she built a very fine house, and furnishing it with all comforts,
took him away with her from that place, and seating him on a stool,
placed various kinds of condiments and meats, by dishfuls, before him.
He ate whatever he liked to his heart’s content. Again, after this, she
placed the pãn-box before him, and after rubbing down saffron and sandal
in rose-water, applied (the mixture) to his body. Farther, she clothed
him in garments scented with sweet perfumes, threw a garland of flowers
round his neck, and bringing him away thence, seated him on a bed. Now
while this was taking place it became evening, and she, too, having
first decked herself out, went and sat on the bed, and the Brahman
passed the whole night in pleasure and enjoyment.”

     * Yakshani is a female Yakshã, or kind of demi-god,
     attendant on Kuvera, the god of wealth.

“When morn arrived, the fairy went away to her own place, and he came
to the devotee and said, ‘Master! she’s gone away; what shall I do now?’
The ascetic said, ‘She came through the power of magic art, and abides
near him who possesses the art.’ He replied, ‘Impart this art to me,
your highness! that I may practise it.’ Then the devotee gave him a
charm, and said, ‘Practise this charm for forty days, at midnight,
sitting in water, and with a steadfast mind.’ Thus used he to go to
practise the charm, while many and various frightful objects appeared
in view; but he felt no alarm at any of them. When the time expired,
he came to the devotee and said, ‘Your highness! I come from practising
(the charm) for the number of days you prescribed.’ He said, ‘Now
practise it for that number of days, sitting in fire.’ He replied,
‘Master! I will go and pay a visit to my family, and then return and
practise it.’”

“After saying this to the devotee, he took leave and went home; and when
his relations saw him, they embraced him and commenced weeping; while
his father said, ‘O Gunãkar; where have you been so many days, and why
did you forget your home! O my son, it is said that, he who leaves a
faithful wife and lives apart, and turns his back on a youthful woman,
or he who does not care for one who loves him, is on a level with the
lowest * of the low. It is said, farther, that no virtue equals the
domestic virtues, and no woman in the world imparts happiness equal to
that which the mistress of one’s house imparts; and those who slight
their parents are impious men, and their future state will never, never
be one of salvation; thus has Brahma declared.’”

     * Lit,--Is equal to a chandil, or man of the lowest of the
     mixed tribes.

“On this _Gunãkar_ spoke, saying, ‘This body is composed of flesh and
blood, which same is food for worms; and its nature is such that, if you
neglect it for a day, a fetid smell proceeds from it. Fools are they who
feel affection for such a body, and wise are they who set not their
heart on it. Further, it is of the nature of this body that it is
repeatedly born and destroyed. What dependence can one place on such a
body! Cleanse it ever so much, it does not become clean; just as an
earthen vessel, filled with filth, does not become clean by washing the
outer surface; or however much one washes charcoal, it does not become
white. Again, by what means can that body become clean, in which the
fount of impurity is never-failing?’ Having said so much, he spoke
again, saying, ‘Whose father (is one)? Whose mother? Whose wife? Whose
brother? * The way of this world is such, that numbers come and numbers
depart. Those who offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings consider Agni
(fire) their god; while those who are deficient in understanding make an
image and worship it as god; but the class of ascetics regard god as in
their very bodies. I will not practise such domestic duties (as those
you have mentioned), but will practise religious meditation.’” **
“Having said this, he bid adieu to his kindred, and came where the
devotee was, and practised the charm, seated in fire. The fairy,
however, did not come. Then he went to the devotee, and the devotee said
to him, ‘Hast thou not acquired the art?’ Thereupon he said, ‘Just so,
Master! I have not acquired it!’”

     * This may also be rendered, “Who has a father,” &c.

     ** Yogãbhyãs may mean, either “the particular practice of
     devotion by which union with God is supposed to be
     obtained,” or “the practice of the magic art.”

“Having related so much of the story, the sprite said, ‘Say, O king! why
did he not acquire the art?’ The king replied, saying, ‘The practiser
was of two minds, (i e., did not give his undivided attention to the
task), and hence he failed to acquire it. And it is said that a spell
is perfected by (the operator’s) being of one mind (or by his giving his
entire mind to it), and does not succeed on his thoughts being divided.
Further, it is also said that those who are wanting in liberality do
not obtain celebrity; and those who lack truthfulness are without shame;
those who are wanting in justice do not acquire wealth; and those who
lack meditation do not find God.”

“When the sprite heard this he said, ‘How can the operator who sat in
fire to work his spell be termed two-minded?’ The king replied, ‘When,
at the time of practising the spell, he went to visit his family, the
devotee said to himself in vexation, ‘Why did I teach the magic art to
so vacillating an operator?’ and it was in consequence of this that he
did not acquire the art. And it is said, that however much a man may
exert himself, destiny attends him all the same; and whatever number
of things he may achieve by force of his intellect, he, nevertheless,
obtains that alone which fate has recorded.” On hearing this the sprite
went again and hung on to that tree; and the king, too, followed him,
and having bound him, and placed him on his shoulder, took him away.



TALE XVIII.

The sprite said, “Your majesty! There was a city named Kubalpur, the
name of the king of which was Sudakshi. Now, a merchant named Dhanãkshi
used also to live in that city, and he had a daughter whose name was
Dhanvati. He gave her in marriage in her childhood to a merchant named
Gauridatt. After a considerable time she had a girl, whom she named
Mohani. When she attained to some years, her father died, and the
merchant’s kinsfolk seized all his property. She, in her helplessness,
left the house in the darkness of the night, and taking her daughter
with her, set out for the house of her parents.”

“After proceeding but a short distance, she lost the road, and came upon
a burning-ground, where a thief was stretched upon an impaling-stake.
Her hand quite unexpectedly came in contact with his foot. He called
out, ‘Who is it that put me to pain just now?’ On this she replied, ‘I
have not willingly inflicted pain on you forgive my fault.’ He said, ‘No
one gives either pain or pleasure to another; according as the Creator
decrees one’s fate shall be, so he experiences; and those who affirm
that they did such and such things, are very unwise; for men are fixed
to the cord of fate, which draws them after it whithersoever it pleases.
The ways of the Creator are utterly inscrutable; for men propose a thing
to themselves, and He brings something quite different to pass.’”

“On hearing this, Dhanvati said, ‘O man! who art thou?’ He replied, ‘I
am a thief; this is my third day on the impaling-stake, and life will
not quit the body.’ She said, ‘For what reason?’ He replied, saying, ‘I
am unmarried; if thou wilt give me thy daughter in marriage, I will give
thee ten millions of gold-mohurs.’ It is notorious that greediness of
gain is the root of all evil, pleasure the source of pain, and love the
source of sorrow. Whoever keeps clear of these three lives happy. It
is not every one, however, who can give them up. Eventually, Dhanvati,
through greed, became willing to give him her daughter, and asked, ‘It
is my desire that thou shouldst have a son; but how can this be?’ He
replied, saying, ‘when she attains to womanhood, send for a handsome
Brahman, and give him five hundred gold-mohurs, and place her with him;
thus will she have a son.’”

“When she heard this, Dhanvati married the girl to him by giving her
four turns round the stake. Then the thief said to her, ‘There is
a banyan-tree near a large well of masonry to the east of this; the
gold-mohurs lie buried beneath it; go thou and take them.’ He said this,
and died. She went in the direction indicated, and on arriving there,
took a few gold-mohurs from those buried» and came to her parents’
house. After relating her story to them, she brought them with her to
her husband’s land. Then she built a large house and began living in it;
and the girl increased in stature daily.”

“When she had become a woman, she was standing one day with a female
companion on the house-top, and casting her eyes along the road, while
just at that moment a young Brahman passed that way, and she, at the
sight of him, was smitten with love, and said to her friend, ‘O my
friend! bring this man to my mother.’ On hearing this, she went and
brought the Brahman to her mother. She said, on seeing him, ‘O Brahman!
my daughter is young; if thou wilt lie with her, I will give thee a
hundred gold-mohurs for a son.’ On hearing this, he said, ‘I will do
so.’”

“Whilst they were conversing thus, evening came on. They gave him food
to his mind, and he supped. It is a well known saying that enjoyment is
of eight kinds,--1. Perfume; 2. Woman; 3. Apparel; 4. Song; 5. _Pan_; 6.
Food; 7. The couch; 8. Ornaments. All these existed there. To be brief,
when the first watch of the night was at hand (or, was nigh passed),
he repaired to the nuptial chamber, and spent the whole night in
pleasure and enjoyment with her. When it became morning, he went home,
and she arose and came to her companions. Then one of them enquired,
‘Say! What pleasures did you enjoy with your love in the night?’ She
replied, ‘When I went and sat near him, a kind of tremour made itself
felt in my heart; (but) when he smiled and took hold of my hand, I was
quite overcome, and no consciousness of what took place remained to me.
And it is said that if a husband be--1. possessed of renown; 2. brave;
3. clever; 4. a chief; 5. liberal; 6. endowed with good qualities; 7.
a protector of his wife,--such a man a wife never forgets even in the
world to come, much less in this world.”

“The gist of the story is, that on that very night she conceived. When
the full time came, a boy was born. On the sixth night, the mother saw
in a vision an ascetic, with matted hair on his head, a shining moon on
his forehead, ashes of burnt cow-dung rubbed over him, wearing a white
Brahminical thread, seated on a white lotus, wearing a necklace of white
snakes, with a string of skulls thrown round his neck, and with a skull
in one hand and a trident in the other, thus assuming a most terrifying
appearance, come before her, and begin to say, ‘To-morrow, at midnight,
place a bag of one thousand gold-mohurs in a large basket, and enclosing
this boy therein, leave it at the gate of the palace.’”

“As soon as she saw this, her eyes opened. And on its becoming morning,
she told all the circumstances to her mother. When her mother heard
this, she, on the following day, put the boy in a basket in the very
manner directed, and left him at the king’s gate. Now, here (at the
palace) the king saw an apparition with ten arms, five heads, each head
having three eyes in it, and a moon upon it, very large teeth, a trident
in his hand--a most terrifying form, which came before him and said, ‘O
king! a basket is placed at thy door; bring away the child that is in
it; he it is who will maintain thy dominion.’”

“As soon as the king heard this, his eyes opened. He then related the
whole affair to the queen. After that, rising up thence, and coming
to the door, he perceived the basket placed there. On the instant of
opening the basket and peering into it, he beheld a boy and a bag of one
thousand gold-mohurs in it. He took up the child himself, and told
the door-keepers to bring in the bag. He then went into the female
apartments, and placed the child on the queen’s lap.”

“By this time the day broke. The king came out, and summoning the sages
and astrologers, questioned them, saying, ‘Tell me, what marks of
royalty are perceptible in this child?’ Thereupon one of the sages, who
was acquainted with the science of interpreting the spots on the human
body, spoke, saying, ‘Your majesty! three marks are distinctly perceived
on this child; 1. a broad chest; 2. a high forehead; 3. a large face; in
addition to these, your majesty! the whole thirty-two marks which are
assigned to man exist in this one. Have no apprehensions on his account;
he will rule over the kingdom.’ On hearing this, the king was pleased,
and taking off a chaplet of pearls from his own neck, presented it to
that Brahman; and after giving large gifts to all the Brahmans, he bade
them name the child. Then the sages said, ‘Your majesty! be pleased to
sit down with the queen fastened to you; let her majesty sit with the
child in her lap; and summon all the musicians, singers, and others
employed on festive occasions, and cause rejoicings to take place; then
will we give him a name after the manner prescribed by the sacred
writings.’”

“When the monarch heard this, he ordered his minister to do whatever
they bid him. The minister had rejoicings for the birth of the child
forthwith proclaimed throughout the city. On hearing this, all the
professional rejoicers were in attendance, and congratulatory songs rung
forth from every home; festive music began to strike up in the king’s
palace, and rejoicing to take place. Then the king and the queen, with
the child in her lap, came and sat within a square filled with coloured
meal, perfumes, and sweetmeats, and the Brahmans began reading the
scriptures. An astrologer from among the Brahmans, having first
determined the auspicious planetary conjunction and time, named the
child Hardatti After that, he grew daily. At length, at the age of nine
years, he finished the study of the six learned volumes, and fourteen
sciences, and became a profound scholar. In the meantime, according to
what was willed by God, it happened that his father and mother died. He
ascended the throne, and began to govern justly.”

“After, several years, the king one day thought to himself, ‘What have I
done for my parents in return for being born in their family? The saying
is that,--Those who are compassionate, deal compassionately with all;
they it is who are wise, and to them it is that Paradise is allotted.
And the gifts, worship, religious penances, pilgrimages, and listening
to the scriptures of those who are not pure of heart, is all in vain.
And those who perform the funeral ceremonies and worship of the Manes
without faith, and in pride, derive no advantage thereby, and so, their
fathers go with their desires unfulfilled.’ Reflecting and pondering on
this matter, the king decided that he ought now to perform the funeral
ceremonies of his fathers. Thereupon King Hardatt proceeded to Gayã, and
on arriving there, invoked the names of his fathers, and began offering
oblations * to them on the bank of the River Phalgü, when the hands of
all three ** came up out of the river. He was troubled in mind on seeing
this, wondering to which of the hands he should give (the oblations),
and to which not.”

     * These oblations consist of balls (pind) or lumps of meat,
     or rice mixed up with milk, curds, flowers, &c.

     ** That is the thief’s, the Brahman’s who begat him, and the
     king’s who adopted him. The Hindus believe that when a son
     performs the ceremony in question, the father is permitted
     to come from the other world and receive the oblation.

Having reached this stage of the story, the sprite said, “O King Vikram!
to which of the three was it right to give the oblations?” Then the
king said, “To the thief.” The sprite said again, “For what reason?”
 Thereupon he (the king) said, “The seed of the Brahman had been bought;
and the king took a thousand gold mohurs and brought up the boy; and
therefore neither of these two had any right to the oblation.” On
hearing these words, the sprite went again and hung on to that tree, and
the king carried him away bound from thence.



TALE XIX.

The sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Chitraküt, the king of
which was Rupdatt. One day he mounted his horse and went forth alone to
hunt; and, having lost his way, got into a great forest. What does he
see on going there but a large tank, in which lotuses were flowering,
and various kinds of birds were sporting. On all four sides of the tank
cool and perfume-laden breezes were blowing under the shade of the dense
foliage of the trees. He, for his part, was overcome with the heat, (so)
he tied his horse to a tree, and spread the saddle-cloth, and sat down.
A half-hour or so had passed when the daughter of a holy sage, very
beautiful, and in the prime of youth, came to gather flowers. Seeing
her plucking the flowers, the king became deeply enamoured. When she
was returning to her abode, after gathering the flowers, the king said,
‘What conduct is this of yours, for you not to attend to me when I have
come as a guest to your abode?’”

“On hearing this she stood still again. Then the king said, ‘They say
that if one of low caste come as a guest to the house of one of the
highest caste, even he is entitled to respect; and whether he be a
thief, or an outcast, or an enemy, or a parricide,--if such a one even
comes to one’s house, it is right to show him honour; for a guest is
more to be honoured than anyone else.’ When the king spoke thus, she
stood still. Then, in truth, the two began to ogle one another. In the
meantime the holy sage also came up. The king saluted the devotee
on seeing him, and he (in return) blessed him, saying, ‘May you live
long.’”

“Having said so much, he asked the king, ‘Why have you come here?’ He
replied, ‘Your holiness I I have come a hunting.’ He said, ‘Why dost
thou commit a great sin? It is said that one man commits a sin and many
men reap the fruits thereof.’ The king said, ‘Your holiness! kindly
favour me with your judgment of right and wrong.’ Thereupon the sage
said, ‘Attend, your majesty! A great wrong is done in killing an animal
that lives in the forest, supporting itself on grass * and water; and
it is a very meritorious act in man to cherish beasts and birds. It
is said, moreover, that those who render unapprehensive the timid and
refuge-seeking, receive the reward of those who are most liberal givers.
It is also said, that no religious austerity equals forbearance, and no
happiness equals that of contentment, and no wealth equals friendship,
and there is no virtue like mercy. Moreover, those men who are
conscious of their duties, and show no pride on acquiring riches,
accomplishments, learning, renown, or supremacy; and those who are
content with their own wives, and are truth-speakers--such men obtain,
final salvation hereafter. And those who kill ascetics with matted hair,
and without clothes and arms, experience the torments of hell at the
last. And the king who does not punish the oppressors of his subjects,
he also experiences the torments of hell. And those who have carnal
intercourse with a king’s wife, or the wife or daughter of a friend, or
with a woman eight or nine months advanced in pregnancy--they are cast
into the (lowest and) greatest hell of all. Thus is it declared in the
book of law and religion.’”

     * The text has tant by mistake, for trin.

“On hearing this, the monarch said, ‘The sins which I have heretofore
committed in ignorance are done, and are beyond recall; henceforth, God
willing, I will not commit such again.’ The holy sage was pleased at the
king’s speaking thus, and said ‘I will grant thee any boon thou may’st
ask for; I am highly pleased with thee.’ Then the king spoke, saying,
‘Your holiness! if you are pleased with me, give me your daughter.’
When the sage heard this, he married his daughter to the king, after the
manner of Gandharb marriages, and departed to his own place. Then the
king took the saint’s daughter and set out for his capital. On the road,
about mid-way, the sun set and the moon rose. Then the king, seeing a
shady tree, alighted beneath it, and tying the horse to its root, spread
his saddle-covering and lay down along with her. Thereupon, at the hour
of midnight, a Brahman-devouring demon came and awoke the king, saying,
‘O king! I will devour thy wife.’ The king said, ‘Act not so; whatever
thou askest for, I will grant.’ Then the demon said, ‘O king! if thou
wilt cut off the head of a Brahman’s son seven years’ old, and give it
to me with thine own hand, I will not eat her.’ The king replied, ‘Even
so will I do; but do thou come to me seven days hence in my capital, and
I will give it thee.’”

“Having bound the king by a promise thus, the demon departed to his
own place; and on the morn arriving, the king also left and came to his
palace. The minister hearing of it (i e., the king’s arrival) made great
rejoicings, and came and presented gifts; and the king, after telling
the minister of the adventure (with the demon), asked, ‘Say, what
expedient shall we adopt in the matter, for the demon will come on
the seventh day?’ The minister said, ‘Your majesty! feel no anxiety
whatever; God will make all right.’ After saying so much, the minister
had an image made of a maund and a quarter of gold, and jewels studded
therein, and having it placed on a cart, and (conveyed away, and) set up
at a point where four roads met, he said to the keepers thereof, ‘If
any persons come to look at this, say to them that any Brahman who will
allow the king to cut off the head of a seven-year-old son of his may
take possession of this.’ Having said this, he came away. Thereupon the
keepers used to say this to those who came to look at it (the image).”

“Two days passed away without any result. On the third day, however, a
weakly Brahman, who had three sons, hearing of this matter, came home
and began saying to his wife, ‘If thou wilt give a son of thine to the
king for a sacrifice, an image of a maund and a quarter of gold, and
studded with jewels, will come into the house.’ On hearing this, his
wife said, ‘I will not give the youngest son.’ The Brahman said, ‘The
eldest I will not part with.’ When the second son heard this, he said,
‘Father! give me up.’ He replied, ‘Very well.’ Then the Brahman spoke
again, saying, ‘Wealth it is which is the source of all happiness in
this world. Now, what happiness can reach him who lacks wealth? and if
one be poor, his coming into the world is useless.’”

“Having said this, he took the second son, and gave him up to the
guards, and brought away the image to his house; and the people, for
their part, took the boy to the minister. Further, when seven days
passed away, the demon, too, came. The king took sandal, unbroken rice,
flowers, perfumes, lamps, food for the deity, fruits and betel-leaf,
and paid adoration to him; and, summoning the boy, took his sword in his
hand, and stood ready to sacrifice him. Thereupon the boy first laughed,
and then wept. While he was doing this, the king struck him a blow with
the sword, so that his head was severed (from his body). True it is, as
the sages have said,--Woman is the source (_lit_. mine) of misery in
the world, the abode of imprudence * (or immorality), the destroyer
of courage (or daring), and the occasioner of infatuation, (and) the
bereaver of virtue. Who has pronounced such a source (_lit_, root)
of venom to be the highest good? Again, it is said,--Store up wealth
against adversity, and disburse wealth to guard your wife, and give up
wealth and wife to save your own life.”

     * The only meanings assigned to binti in the vocabulary are,
     “submission,” “respects,” “solicitation,” none of which seem
     to apply here. Deriving the word from the Sanskrit vi-nïti,
     I prefer giving it the signification I have done.

Having related so much of the story, the sprite said, “Your majesty! a
man weeps at the moment of dying; will you account for this,--Why did he
(the boy) laugh?” The monarch replied, “He laughed at the thought of
this,--viz., That in infancy a mother protects (her child), and on his
growing up the father cherishes him; (and) in both good and bad times a
king befriends his subjects,--Such is the way of the world; whereas, my
predicament is such that my father and mother have delivered me over to
the king through greed of wealth, and he stands, sword in hand, ready to
slay me, and the demon desires a sacrifice; no single one of them feels
(a spark of) pity.” On hearing this, the sprite went and hung on to that
same tree; and the king also speedily arrived there, and binding him,
placed him on his shoulder, and carried him off.



TALE XX.

The sprite said, “O king! there is a city named Bishalpur, the king of
which was named Bipuleshwar. In his city lived a merchant whose name was
Arthdatt, and his daughter’s name was Anaug-manjari. He had married her
to a merchant of Kanwalpur, named Munni. Some days after, the merchant
crossed the ocean on a mercantile venture; and when she attained to
womanhood here (at home), she was standing one day in the pavilion, and
observing what was going on in the road, when at that moment a Brahman’s
son named Kamalãkar was coming along. The eyes of the pair met, and they
became enamoured of each other at first sight. Again, after a quarter
of an hour or so, recovering self-possession, the Brahman’s son, in the
restlessness consequent on separation from his beloved, proceeded to the
house of his friend; and here she, too, was in extreme distress through
the pain of separation from him, when, in the meantime, a female
companion came and took her up; she had, however, no self-consciousness
remaining. Then she (the companion) sprinkled rose-water (over her) and
made her smell perfumes, and while so doing, her senses returned, and
she said, ‘O Cupid! Mahãdeva burnt thee to ashes, * and yet thou wilt
not desist from thy knavish tricks, but comest and inflictest pain on
innocent, feeble women.’”

     * Mahãdeva, or hiva, was once engaged in religious
     meditation, when Kamdeva, or Cupid, excited amorous desires
     within his breast; whereupon the angry god reduced him to
     ashes by a fiery glance. The curious reader will find a
     detailed account of the circumstance in the fifty-sixth
     Chapter of the Prem Sagar.

“She was uttering these words, when evening came on, and the moon
appeared. Then she said, while gazing at the moonlight, ‘O moon! I used
to be told that the water of life is in you, and that you shed it in
your beams; to-day, however, even you have begun to pour down venom.’
She then said to her companion, ‘Take me up, and lead me away from this
place, for I am being burnt to death by the moonlight.’ Thereupon she
raised her and took her to the pavilion, and said, ‘Dost thou feel no
shame at uttering such words?’ Then she said, ‘O friend! I am fully
aware of all; but Cupid has wounded me, and rendered me void of shame;
and I make great efforts to be patient, but the more I continue to be
consumed with the fire of separation, the more venom-like does home
appear to me.’ The companion said, ‘Keep thy mind at ease; I will
relieve thee of all thy suffering.’”

“Having said thus much, the companion went home, and she (the love-lorn)
determined in her mind that she would quit this body for his sake, and,
being born again, enjoy life well with him. With this longing in her
mind, she threw a noose on her neck, and was about drawing it tight,
when the companion arrived, and instantly taking the rope off her neck,
said, ‘Everything can be attained by living, not by dying.’ She replied,
‘Better is it to die than suffer such pain.’ The companion said, ‘Repose
awhile, and I will go and bring him.’”

“Having said this, she went to the place where Kamalãkar was, and taking
a secret look at him, perceived that he also was much disturbed by the
separation from his beloved, while his friend was rubbing down sandal
in rose water and applying it to his body, and fanning him with tender
leaves of the plantain-tree; despite which, he was crying out all aflame
(with passion) and saying to his friend, ‘Bring me poison, I will
sacrifice my life and be released from this suffering. Observing
this state of his, she said to herself, ‘However courageous, learned,
sagacious, discreet, and patient a man may be, Cupid reduces him to a
state of distraction all the same.’ These thoughts having passed through
her mind, the companion said to him, ‘O Kamalãkar! Anangmanjari has sent
word to thee to come and bestow life on her.’ He replied, ‘She, indeed,
has given life to me.’”

“After saying this, he rose up, and the companion went to her (the
love-sick maiden), taking him along with her. When he got there, lo!
she was lying dead! Thereupon he also uttered a cry of anguish, and
therewith his spirit fled. And when it became morning, her household
took both of them to the burning-ground, and arranging the pile, placed
them thereon and set fire to it, when, in the meantime, her husband also
arrived at the burning-ground, on his return from abroad. Then, hearing
the sound of the people’s weeping, he went there, and what does
he behold but his wife burning with a strange man! He, also, being
distracted with love, burnt himself ta death in the same fire. The
people of the city, hearing this intelligence, began saying one to
another, ‘Neither has eye seen, nor ear heard of so wonderful an
event!’”

After relating so much of the story, the sprite said, “O king! whose
love, of these three, was greatest?” The king said, “Her husband was the
deepest lover.”

“Why?” said the sprite. The king replied, “He, who, on seeing his wife
dead for another’s sake, put aside anger, and cheerfully laid down
his life through love for her--he is the deepest lover.” Hearing these
words, the sprite went again and hung on to that tree. The king, too,
went there, bound him, placed him on his shoulder, and carried him off.



TALE XXI.

The sprite said, “Your majesty! there is a city named Jaysthal, the
king of which was named Varddhamãn. In his city was a Brahman named
Vishnuswami, who had four sons; one a gambler, the second a lover of
women, the third a fornicator, the fourth an atheist. The Brahman was
one day admonishing his sons, saying, ‘Wealth abides not in the house
of him who gambles.’ The gambler became greatly annoyed at hearing this.
And he (the father) spoke again, saying, ‘It is said in the Rãjnit (or
book of policy), Cut off the nose and ears of a gambler, and expel him
from the land, so that others may not gamble; and although the gambler
may have a wife and family in his house, do not consider them as in the
house, for there’s no knowing when he may lose them (at play). Again,
those who are attracted by the wiles of courtesans purchase suffering
for their own souls, while they part with their all under the influence
of harlots, and take to stealing in the end. It is said, further, that
wise men keep far away from such women as ensnare their hearts in a
moment; whereas the unwise give up their hearts, and so lose all their
honesty, good disposition, reputation, conduct, judgment, piety, and
moral character. Moreover, the exhortation of their spiritual preceptors
is unpalatable to them. It is also said that--When one has lost his own
sense of shame, why should he fear to dishonour any one else? And there
is a proverb to the effect that--When will the cat that devours its
own young allow a rat to escape!’ He went on to say, ‘Those who do not
acquire knowledge in their childhood, and who on attaining to manhood
become engrossed in amorous pleasures, and continue to pride themselves
on their youth,--those persons, in their old age, are consumed with
regretful longings (for that which they have neglected in their
youth).’”

“On hearing these words, all four of them came mutually to the decision
that it was better for an ignorant man to die than live; and hence,
it was best for them to visit some other land and study science.
Determining on this, they went to another city, and after some time,
having studied and become learned, they set out for their home. What do
they see on the road but a Kanjar, * who, after skinning and cutting up
a dead tiger, and making a bundle of its bones, was about to take them
away. Thereupon they said to one another, ‘Come, let each of us put his
knowledge to the proof.’ Having determined on this, one of them called
him (the Kanjar) and gave him something, and taking the bundle, sent him
away; and, quitting the road, they opened the bundle. One of them
arranged all the bones in their proper places, repeated an incantation
and sprinkled something over them, so that they became united. In the
same way the second brought the flesh together on the bones. The third,
in the same manner, fixed the skin on the flesh. The fourth, in the same
way, raised it to life. Thereupon it devoured the whole four of them as
soon as it arose.”

After reaching this point of the story, the sprite said, “Your majesty!
who was the greatest fool of those four?” King Vikram replied, “He who
restored it to life was the greatest fool. And it is said, that
knowledge without wisdom is of no use whatever; on the contrary, wisdom
is superior to learning; and those who lack wisdom die just as he who
raised the tiger to life died.” When the sprite heard these words, he
went and suspended himself on that same tree. Again did the king bind
him, place him on his shoulder, and carry him away as before.

     * Kanjar is the name of a low caste of people generally
     employed in mean offices, such as carrying away carcasses,
     &c. The snake-charmers are of his caste.



TALE XXII.

The sprite said, “Your majesty! there is a city named Biswapur, the
king of which was named Bidagdha. A Brahman, named Nãrãyan, dwelt in his
city. He one day began thinking to himself, ‘My body has become old, and
I am acquainted with the science which enables one to enter another’s
body; it is therefore better that I quit this old body, and enter the
body of some young man and enjoy life.’ When he had determined on this
in his mind, he set about entering a youthful body; but first he wept,
and then he laughed, and after that he entered it and came home. All his
kinsfolk, however, were aware of what he had done, and thereupon he said
to them, ‘I have now become an ascetic.’”

“Having said this, he began to recite (as follows): ‘He who dries up the
fountain of hope with the fire of austere devotion, and placing his soul
therein, (thus) deadens his senses--he may be termed a wise devotee. But
the way of the people of this world is (such), that the body may waste
away, the head shake, the teeth drop out, and they walk about with a
stick in their old age, yet, even then, desire is not quenched. And thus
it is that time passes away--day comes, night arrives, a month is over,
a year is completed; one is a child, then an old man, while nothing is
known as to who one himself is (_lit_. I am), and who others are, and
why one grieves for another. One comes, another goes, and ultimately all
life must depart--not one of these will remain. Many and various bodies
are there, and many and various minds, and many and various affections,
and various kinds of delusions has Brahma created; but the wise escape
these, and quenching hope and desire, shaving their heads, taking a
staff and water-pot in their hands, subduing the passions of love
and anger, become ascetics, and wander barefooted from one place of
pilgrimage to another; these same find eternal salvation. This world,
moreover, is as a dream; to whom can you impart pleasure in it, to
whom pain? It is even like the new leaf shooting from the centre of
the plaintain tree, wherein is no pith whatever. And those who pride
themselves on riches, youth, or knowledge, are unwise. Again, they who
turn devotees, and, taking a water-pot in hand, beg alms from door
to door, and nourishing their bodies with milk, clarified butter, and
sugar, become lustful, and have sexual intercourse with women, they
nullify their religious meditations.’ After repeating so much, he
proceeded, saying, ‘I will now go on a pilgrimage.’ On hearing these
words, his relations were much pleased.”

Having told so much of the story, the sprite said, “Your majesty! why
did he weep, and why did he laugh?” Then the king said, “Calling to mind
his mother’s love in his infancy, and the happiness of his youth, and
from a feeling of affection in having remained so many days in that
body, he wept; and having succeeded in his art, and entered a new body,
he laughed with pleasure.” On hearing these words, the sprite went and
hung on to the same tree; (and) again did the king bind him as before,
place him on his shoulder, and carry him away.



TALE XXIII.

This sprite said, “Your majesty! there was a city named Dharmpur, where
a king named Dharmaj ruled. In his city was a Brahman named Govind,
versed in the whole four Vedas and all the six learned treatises, and
a careful observer of all his religious duties; and Haridatt, Somdatt,
Yagyadatt and Brahmadatt were his four sons. They were very learned,
very clever, and at all times obedient to their father. After some time
his eldest son died, and he, too, was at the point of death through
grief for him.”

“At that time, Vishnusharma, the king’s family priest, came and began
reasoning with him, saying, ‘When this (being) man enters the mother’s
womb, he first suffers pain there; secondly, falling under the influence
of love in youth, he endures the anguish of separation from his beloved;
thirdly, becoming old, he is involved in suffering through his body
being feeble. In brief, many are the sorrows attendant on (man’s) being
born in the world, and few (are) the joys; for the world is the source
of sorrow. If a man were to climb to the top of a tree, or go and sit
on the summit of a mountain, or remain hiding in water, or sneak into an
iron cage and remain therein, or go and conceal himself in the infernal
regions--even then death would not let him escape. Moreover, whatever
one may be--whether learned or a fool, rich or poor, wise or unwise,
strong or weak--still, this all devouring death lets no one escape. The
full duration of a man’s life is a hundred years; of this, half passes
away in night, and half of the half in childhood and old age; the
remainder is spent in contention, the (distress arising from)
separation from those we love, and affliction. Further, the soul that
is, is as restless as a watery wave; how, then, can it yield man
any peace? And now, in this Iron Age, to meet with truthful men is
a difficult matter; while countries are daily laid! waste, kings are
avaricious, the earth yields little fruit, thieves and evil doers
commit violence on the earth; and but little of religion, devotion, and
truth remain in the world; kings are tyrannical, Brahmans covetous, men
have fallen under the influence of women, wives have become wanton, sons
have begun reviling their fathers, and friends (have begun to display)
enmity. Observe, further, that death did not even spare the great
Chimanyu, whose maternal uncle was Kanhaiya, and father Arjun. And when
Yama * carries off a man, wealth remains behind in his house, and
father, mother, wife, son, brothers and kindred--no one proves of any
avail; his good and evil deeds, his vices and his virtues alone
accompany him; while those same kinsfolk take him to the burning-ground
and burn him. And see (how) the night comes to an end on one side, while
day dawns on the other; here the moon sets, there the sun rises. In the
same way youth departs, old age comes on; thus, also, time goes on
passing away, and yet, even while perceiving this, man does not learn
wisdom. Observe, again, in the First, or Golden Age, Mandhãta, a great
king, who filled (_lit_. covered) the whole earth with the fame of his
virtue; and in the Second, or Silver Age, the glorious monarch
Rãmchandra, who, bridging the sea, destroyed such a fortress as Lanka,
and slew Rãvan; and in the Third Age, Yudhisthir reigned in such a
manner that people sing of his renown to this day--yet death did not
spare even these. Moreover, the birds which fly in the air, and the
animals which dwell in the sea, when the hour arrives, even these fall
into trouble. No one has escaped sorrow on coming into this world. To
grieve on this account is folly. It is best, therefore, to practise
religious duties.’”

     * Yama is the judge of the deceased, and ruler of the
     infernal regions: also, the god of death.

“When Vishnusharmã had reasoned with him in this manner, it came into
the Brahman’s mind that he would thenceforth perform meritorious and
pious acts. Having thought this over in his mind, he said to his sons,
‘I am about to sit down to a sacrifice; you go and bring me a turtle
from the sea.’ On receiving their father’s command, they went to a
fisherman, and said, ‘Take a rupee, and catch a turtle for us.’ He took
it, and caught one, and gave it to them. Then the eldest of the brothers
said to the second, ‘Do thou take it up.’ He said to the youngest,
‘Brother! do thou take it up.’ He replied, saying, ‘I will not touch
it; a bad smell will cling to my hands, and I am very nice * in (my)
eating.’ The second said, ‘I am very particular in my intercourse with
women.’ The eldest said, ‘I am particular in (the matter of) sleeping on
a bed.’”

     * I hazard this meaning for chatur in the teeth of the
     vocabulary and the dictionaries, as, the meanings contained
     therein do not seem to me to apply. The student, however,
     may, if he pleases, substitute “sharp” or “clever” for
     “nice.”

“Thus did the three of them begin wrangling; and leaving the turtle
where it was, they proceeded, quarrelling the while, to the king’s gate,
and said to the gatekeeper, ‘Three Brahmans have come seeking justice;
go thou and tell this to the king.’ On hearing this, the doorkeeper went
and informed the king. The king summoned them, and asked, ‘Why are you
quarrelling one with another?’ Then the youngest of them said, ‘Your
majesty! I am very particular as to food.’ The second said, ‘Lord of the
earth! I am very particular as to women.’ The eldest said, ‘Incarnation
of justice! I am particular in the matter of beds.’”

“When the monarch heard this, he said, ‘Each of you submit to a trial.’
They said, ‘Very well.’ The king sent for his cook, and said, ‘Prepare
various kinds of condiments and meats, and give this Brahman a
thoroughly good repast.’ On hearing this, the cook went and prepared
food, and taking with him the one who was nice in the matter of food,
seated him in front of the dishes. He was on the point of taking up a
mouthful and putting it into his mouth, when an offensive smell came
from it. He let it go, washed his hands, and came to the king. The king
asked, ‘Didst thou enjoy thy repast?’ Then he said, ‘Your majesty! I
perceived a disagreeable smell in the food, (and) did not eat.’ The king
said again, ‘State the cause of the offensive smell.’ He replied, ‘Your
majesty! it was rice which had been grown on a burning-ground; the smell
of corpses proceeded from it, and hence I did not eat it.’”

“On hearing this, the king summoned his steward, and asked, ‘Sirrah!
from what village does this rice come?’ He replied, ‘From Shibpur,
your majesty!’ The king said, ‘Summon the landholder of that village.’
Thereupon the steward had the landholder brought before the monarch. The
king asked him, ‘On what land was this rice grown?’ He replied, ‘On a
burning-ground, your majesty!’ When the king heard this, he said to that
Brahman, ‘Thou art indeed a connoisseur in the matter of food.’”

“After this, he had the one who was nice in the matter of women sent
for, and having a bed laid out in an apartment, and all the requisites
for enjoyment placed therein, had a beautiful woman brought and placed
near him, and the two while lying down began conversing with each other.
The king was secretly looking on through a lattice. Now, the Brahman was
about to give her a kiss, when smelling her breath, he turned away his
face, and went to sleep. The king having witnessed this conduct, entered
his palace and sought repose. Rising early in the morning, he came into
the court, and summoned that Brahman, and asked, ‘O Brahman! didst
thou pass the night pleasantly?’ He replied, ‘Your majesty! I found no
pleasure.’ ‘Why?’ asked the king again. The Brahman replied, ‘The smell
of a goat proceeded from her mouth, and my mind was much distressed in
consequence.’ When the king heard this, he summoned the procuress, and
inquired, ‘Whence didst thou bring this (woman)? and who is she?’ She
said, ‘She is my sister’s daughter; her mother died when she was three
months old, and I brought her up on goat’s milk.’ On hearing this, the
monarch said, ‘Thou art indeed a connoisseur in respect of women.’”

“After that he had a very fine bed prepared, and caused the Brahman who
was a nice judge of beds to sleep thereon. On its becoming morning, the
king sent for him, and asked, ‘Didst thou sleep comfortably through
the night?’ He replied, ‘Your majesty ‘I had no sleep the whole night
long.’ ‘Why?’ asked the king. He replied, ‘Your majesty! in the seventh
fold of the bedding there was a hair, which was pricking my back, and I
had no sleep in consequence.’ On hearing this, the king looked into the
seventh fold of the bedding, and lo! a hair was found. Thereupon he said
to him, ‘Thou art indeed a nice judge of beds.’”

After relating so much of the story, the sprite asked, “Who was the
greatest connoisseur of those three?” King Bir Yikramajit replied, “He
who was the connoisseur in the matter of beds.” When the sprite heard
this, he went again and hung on to that tree; (and) the king also went
there on the instant, and bound him, placed him on his shoulder, and
carried him away.



TALE XXIV.

The sprite said, “Your majesty! in the country of Kaling there was a
Brahman named Yagya Sharmã, whose wife’s name was Somadattã. She was
very beautiful. The Brahman began offering sacrifices, whereupon his
wife had a beautiful boy. When he attained the age of five years, his
father began teaching him the _Shãstras_. At the age of twelve years he
had finished the study of all the Shãstras, and become a great scholar;
and he began to be in constant attendance upon, and to help his father.”

“After the lapse of some time the boy died, and in their sorrow for him
his parents uttered loud cries of lamentation and wailing. On receiving
this news all his kinsfolk hastened thither, and fastening the boy
upon a bier, took him away to the burning-ground; and when there, began
repeatedly gazing at him, and saying to one another, ‘See! even in
death he appears beautiful!’ They were uttering words like these, and
arranging the pyre, while an ascetic was also seated there engaged in
religious austerity. He hearing these words began to think to himself,
‘My body has become very old; if I enter this boy’s body, I can practise
religious meditation with ease and comfort.’”

“Having thought thus, he entered the body of the child, turned round,
and pronouncing the names of Rãm (Balarãm) and Krishn, sat up as one
sits up from sleep. When the people witnessed this, they all returned
to their homes in astonishment; while his father lost all desire for the
world on witnessing this marvel; first he laughed, then he wept.”

After relating so much of the story, the sprite said, “Say, your
majesty! why he laughed, and why he wept.” Thereupon the king said,
“Seeing the ascetic enter his body, and so learning the art (of changing
one’s own body for another) he laughed; and through regret at having to
quit his own body he wept, thinking, ‘Thus shall I too some day have to
abandon my own body.’” Hearing this, the sprite went again and suspended
himself on that tree; and the king, too, arriving close at his heels,
bound him, put him on his shoulder, and carried him away.



TALE XXV.

Then the sprite said, “Your majesty! there is a city in the south named
Dharmpur, a king of which was named, Mahãbal. Once upon a time another
king of that same region led an army against and invested his capital.
He continued fighting for several days. When his army went over (in
part) to the enemy, and a portion was cut to pieces, then, having no
help for it, he took his wife and daughter with him, and went forth by
night into the jungle. After he had penetrated several miles (_lit_.
kos) into the jungle, the day broke, and a village came in view. Then,
leaving the queen and princess seated beneath a tree, he went himself
towards the village to get something to eat, and in the meantime (a body
of) Bhils came and surrounded him, and told him to throw down his arms.”

“On hearing this, the king commenced discharging arrows, and they did
the same from their side. Thus did the fight last for three hours, and
several, of the Bhils were slain. In the meantime an arrow struck the
king’s forehead with such force that he reeled and fell, and one of them
came up and out off the king’s head. When the queen and princess saw the
king dead, they took their way back to the jungle weeping and beating
their breasts. After having proceeded a _kos_ or two thus, they got
tired and sat down, and began to be troubled with many an anxious
thought.”

“During this time a king, named Chandrasen, together with his son, while
pursuing the game, came into that jungle, and the king noticing the
foot-prints of the two (women), said to his son, ‘Whence have the
foot-prints of human feet come in this vast forest?’ The prince replied,
‘Your majesty! these are women’s foot-prints; a man’s foot is not so
small.’ The king observed, ‘True, man has not got such delicate feet.’
The prince said again, ‘They have just this moment passed.’ The monarch
said, ‘Come, let us seek them in the jungle; if we find them, I will
give her whose foot this large one is to thee; and I will take the
other.’ Having entered into this mutual compact, they went forward,
and perceived the two seated. They were delighted on seeing them, and
seating them on their horses in the manner agreed upon, they brought
them home. The prince took possession of the queen, and the king of the
princess.”

Having related so much of the story, the sprite said, “Your majesty!
what relationship will there be between the children of these two?” On
hearing this, the king held his tongue through ignorance.

Then the sprite said in great glee, “Your majesty! I have been highly
pleased at witnessing your patience and courage; I tell you one thing,
however; do you attend thereto,--viz.: one, the hairs of whose body are
like thorns, and whose body (itself) is like wood, and whose name is
Shãntshïl, has come into your city, and he it is who has deputed you to
fetch me, (while) he himself is seated in the burning-ground working his
spells, and desires to kill you. I therefore forewarn you, that when he
has finished his devotions, he will say to you, ‘Your majesty! prostrate
yourself so that eight parts of your body may touch the ground.’ You
should then say, ‘I am the king of kings, and all potentates bow low in
salutation before me; up to this hour I have not bowed in adoration
to any one, and I know not how to do so; you are a spiritual teacher,
kindly show me how to do so, and then will I do it.’. When he bows down,
give him such a blow with your sword that his head may become severed
(from his body); then will you reign uninterruptedly; whereas, if you
will not do this, he will slay you, and reign permanently.”

Having warned the king in these words, the sprite came out of that
corpse, and went his way; and while somewhat of night still remained,
the king brought the corpse and placed it before the ascetic. The
ascetic became glad on seeing it, and lauded the king greatly. After
that, he repeated incantations and raised the corpse to life, and
offered up a ‘burnt-offering in sacrifice: and sitting with his face
southwards, offered to his god all the materials he had pre? pared; and
after offering up betel leaf, flowers, incense, lamps, and consecrated
food, he said to the king, “Make obeisance; very glorious will thy
dignity become, and the eight supernatural faculties * will always abide
in thy house.”

     * These powers are--1. Mahima, or the faculty of making
     one’s self as bulky as one pleases. 2. Laghims, or the
     faculty of making one’s self as light as one pleases. 3.
     Anima, or the power of making one’s self infinitely small.
     4. Prakamya, or the power of gratifying one’s desires. 5.
     Vashita, or power of subjecting all things to one’s will. 6.
     Ishita or supreme sway. 7. Prãpti, or the power of obtaining
     everything. 8. Kãmãvasãÿitwam, or the power of subduing and
     quenching natural desire.

On hearing this, the king called to mind the words of the sprite, and
joining his hands, said with the utmost humility, “Your reverence! I
know not how to bow in adoration; you, however, are a spiritual teacher;
if you will kindly teach me, I will do it.” As the ascetic, on hearing
this, lowered his head to prostrate himself, that instant the king
struck him such a blow with his sword that his head was severed; and
the sprite came and showered down flowers. It is declared that there is
nothing unlawful in slaying him who would himself slay another.

At that time Indra and the rest of the gods, having witnessed the king’s
courage, mounted their cars and began to raise shouts of victory and
exultation. And king Indra said in pleasure to king Bïr Vikramãjït, “Ask
a boon.” Then the king joined his hands and said, “Your majesty! Let
this story concerning me become famous in the world.” Indra replied, “So
long as the moon, sun, earth and sky endure, this story shall be famous;
and thou shalt be ruler over the whole earth.”

After saying this, king Indra went to his place, and the king took those
two corpses and threw them both into the oil-cauldron. Thereupon the two
heroes came and presented themselves, and began to say, “What command
is there for us?” The king replied, “When I remember you, then do you
come.” Taking from them their promise to do this, the king returned
home, and began to attend to his government. It is said that,--Whether
one be learned or a fool, a child or a man, he alone who is wise will
win success.





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