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p. 63



SCENE I.--In the street before the Palace.

(Enter the chief of police, two policemen, and a man with his hands bound behind his back.)

The two policemen (striking the man). Now, pickpocket, tell us where you found this ring. It is the king's ring, with letters engraved on it, and it has a magnificent great gem.

Fisherman (showing fright). Be merciful, kind gentlemen. I am not guilty of such a crime.

First policeman. No, I suppose the king thought you were a pious Brahman, and made you a present of it.

Fisherman. Listen, please. I am a fisherman, and I live on the Ganges, at the spot where Indra came down.

Second policeman. You thief, we didn't ask for your address or your social position.

Chief. Let him tell a straight story, Suchaka. Don't interrupt.

The two policemen. Yes, chief. Talk, man, talk.

Fisherman. I support my family with things you catch fish with--nets, you know, and hooks, and things.

Chief (laughing). You have a sweet trade.

Fisherman. Don't say that, master.

You can't give up a lowdown trade
  That your ancestors began;
A butcher butchers things, and yet
  He's the tenderest-hearted man.

Chief. Go on. Go on.

Fisherman. Well, one day I was cutting up a carp. In its maw I see this ring with the magnificent great gem. And then I was just trying to sell it here when you kind gentlemen grabbed me. That is the only way I got it. Now kill me, or find fault with me.

Chief (smelling the ring). There is no doubt about it,

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Januka. It has been in a fish's maw. It has the real perfume of raw meat. Now we have to find out how he got it. We must go to the palace.

The two policemen (to the fisherman). Move on, you cutpurse, move on. (They walk about.)

Chief. Suchaka, wait here at the big gate until I come out of the palace. And don't get careless.

The two policemen. Go in, chief. I hope the king will be nice to you.

Chief. Good-bye. (Exit.)

Suchaka. Januka, the chief is taking his time.

Januka. You can't just drop in on a king.

Suchaka. Januka, my fingers are itching (indicating the fisherman) to kill this cutpurse.

Fisherman. Don't kill a man without any reason, master.

Januka (looking ahead). There is the chief, with a written order from the king. (To the fisherman.) Now you will see your family, or else you will feed the crows and jackals. (Enter the chief.)

Chief. Quick! Quick! (He breaks off.)

Fisherman. Oh, oh! I'm a dead man. (He shows dejection.)

Chief. Release him, you. Release the fishnet fellow. It is all right, his getting the ring. Our king told me so himself.

Suchaka. All right, chief. He is a dead man come back to life. (He releases the fisherman.)

Fisherman (bowing low to the chief). Master, I owe you my life. (He falls at his feet.)

Chief. Get up, get up! Here is a reward that the king was kind enough to give you. It is worth as much as the ring. Take it. (He hands the fisherman a bracelet.)

Fisherman (joyfully taking it). Much obliged.

Januka. He is much obliged to the king. Just as if he had been taken from the stake and put on an elephant's back.

Suchaka. Chief, the reward shows that the king thought a lot of the ring. The gem must be worth something.

Chief. No, it wasn't the fine gem that pleased the king. It was this way.

The two policemen. Well?

Chief. I think, when the king saw it, he remembered

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somebody he loves. You know how dignified he is usually. But as soon as he saw it, he broke down for a moment.

Suchaka. You have done the king a good turn, chief.

Januka. All for the sake of this fish-killer, it seems to me. (He looks enviously at the fisherman.)

Fisherman. Take half of it, masters, to pay for something to drink.

Januka. Fisherman, you are the biggest and best friend I've got. The first thing we want, is all the brandy we can hold. Let's go where they keep it. (Exeunt omnes.)

SCENE II.--In the Palace Gardens.

(Enter MISHRAKESHI, flying through the air.)

Mishrakeshi. I have taken my turn in waiting upon the nymphs. And now I will see what this good king is doing. Shakuntala is like a second self to me, because she is the daughter of Menaka. And it was she who asked me to do this. (She looks about.) It is the day of the spring festival. But I see no preparations for a celebration at court. I might learn the reason by my power of divination. But I must do as my friend asked me. Good! I will make myself invisible and stand near these girls who take care of the garden. I shall find out that way. (She descends to earth. Enter a maid, gazing at a mango branch, and behind her, a second.)

First maid.

First mango-twig, so pink, so green,
  First living breath of spring,
You are sacrificed as soon as seen,
  A festival offering.

Second maid. What are you chirping about to yourself, little cuckoo?

First maid. Why, little bee, you know that the cuckoo goes crazy with delight when she sees the mango-blossom.

Second maid (joyfully). Oh, has the spring really come?

First maid. Yes, little bee. And this is the time when you too buzz about in crazy joy.

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Second maid. Hold me, dear, while I stand on tiptoe and offer this blossom to Love, the divine.

First maid. If I do, you must give me half the reward of the offering.

Second maid. That goes without saying, dear. We two are one. (She leans on her friend and takes the mango-blossom.) Oh, see! The mango-blossom hasn't opened, but it has broken the sheath, so it is fragrant. (She brings her hands together.) I worship mighty Love,

O mango-twig I give to Love
  As arrow for his bow,
Most sovereign of his arrows five,
  Strike maiden-targets low.

(She throws the twig. Enter the chamberlain.)

Chamberlain (angrily). Stop, silly girl. The king has strictly forbidden the spring festival. Do you dare pluck the mango-blossoms?

The two maids (frightened). Forgive us, sir. We did not know.

Chamberlain. What! You have not heard the king's command, which is obeyed even by the trees of spring and the creatures that dwell in them. See!

The mango branches are in bloom,
  Yet pollen does not form;
The cuckoo's song sticks in his throat,
  Although the days are warm;

The amaranth-bud is formed, and yet
  Its power of growth is gone;
The love-god timidly puts by
  The arrow he has drawn.

Mishrakeshi. There is no doubt of it. This good king has wonderful power.

First maid. A few days ago, sir, we were sent to his Majesty by his brother-in-law Mitravasu to decorate the garden. That is why we have heard nothing of this affair.

Chamberlain. You must not do so again.

The two maids. But we are curious. If we girls may know about it, pray tell us, sir. Why did his Majesty forbid the spring festival?

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Mishrakeshi. Kings are fond of celebrations. There must be some good reason.

Chamberlain (to himself). It is in everybody's mouth. Why should I not tell it? (Aloud.) Have you heard the gossip concerning Shakuntala's rejection?

The two maids. Yes, sir. The king's brother-in-law told us, up to the point where the ring was recovered.

Chamberlain. There is little more to tell. When his Majesty saw the ring, he remembered that he had indeed contracted a secret marriage with Shakuntala, and had rejected her under a delusion. And then he fell a prey to remorse.

He hates the things he loved; he intermits
The daily audience, nor in judgment sits;
Spends sleepless nights in tossing on his bed;
At times, when he by courtesy is led
To address a lady, speaks another name,
Then stands for minutes, sunk in helpless shame.

Mishrakeshi. I am glad to hear it.

Chamberlain. His Majesty's sorrow has forbidden the festival.

The two maids. It is only right.

A voice behind the scenes. Follow me.

Chamberlain (listening). Ah, his Majesty approaches. Go, and attend to your duties. (Exeunt the two maids. Enter the king, wearing a dress indicative of remorse; the clown, and the portress.)

Chamberlain (observing the king). A beautiful figure charms in whatever state. Thus, his Majesty is pleasing even in his sorrow. For

All ornament is laid aside; he wears
  One golden bracelet on his wasted arm;
His lip is scorched by sighs; and sleepless cares
  Redden his eyes. Yet all can work no harm
On that magnificent beauty, wasting, but
Gaining in brilliance, like a diamond cut.

Mishrakeshi (observing the king). No wonder Shakuntala pines for him, even though he dishonoured her by his rejection of her.

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King (walks about slowly, sunk in thought).

Alas! My smitten heart, that once lay sleeping,
  Heard in its dreams my fawn-eyed love's laments,
And wakened now, awakens but to weeping,
  To bitter grief, and tears of penitence.

Mishrakeshi. That is the poor girl's fate.

Clown (to himself). He has got his Shakuntala-sickness again. I wish I knew how to cure him.

Chamberlain (advancing). Victory to your Majesty. I have examined the garden. Your Majesty may visit its retreats.

King. Vetravati, tell the minister Pishuna in my name that a sleepless night prevents me from mounting the throne of judgment. He is to investigate the citizens' business and send me a memorandum.

Portress. Yes, your Majesty. (Exit.)

King. And you, Parvatayana, return to your post of duty.

Chamberlain. Yes, your Majesty. (Exit.)

Clown. You have got rid of the vermin. Now amuse yourself in this garden. It is delightful with the passing of the cold weather.

King (sighing). My friend, the proverb makes no mistake. Misfortune finds the weak spot. See!

No sooner did the darkness lift
  That clouded memory's power,
Than the god of love prepared his bow
  And shot the mango-flower.

No sooner did the ring recall
  My banished maiden dear,
No sooner do I vainly weep
  For her, than spring is here.

Clown. Wait a minute, man. I will destroy Love's arrow with my stick. (He raises his stick and strikes at the mango branch.)

King (smiling). Enough! I see your pious power. My friend, where shall I sit now to comfort my eyes with the vines? They remind me somehow of her.

Clown. Well, you told one of the maids, the clever painter,

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that you would spend this hour in the bower of spring-creepers. And you asked her to bring you there the picture of the lady Shakuntala which you painted on a tablet.

King. It is my only consolation. Lead the way to the bower of spring-creepers.

Clown. Follow me. (They walk about. MISHRAKESHI follows.) Here is the bower of spring-creepers, with its jewelled benches. Its loneliness seems to bid you a silent welcome. Let us go in and sit down. (They do so.)

Mishrakeshi. I will hide among the vines and see the dear girl's picture. Then I shall be able to tell her how deep her husband's love is. (She hides.)

King (sighing). I remember it all now, my friend. I told you how I first met Shakuntala. It is true, you were not with me when I rejected her. But I had told you of her at the first. Had you forgotten, as I did?

Mishrakeshi. This shows that a king should not be separated a single moment from some intimate friend.

Clown. No, I didn't forget. But when you had told the whole story, you said it was a joke and there was nothing in it. And I was fool enough to believe you. No, this is the work of fate.

Mishrakeshi. It must be.

King (after meditating a moment). Help me, my friend.

Clown. But, man, this isn't right at all. A good man never lets grief get the upper hand. The mountains are calm even in a tempest.

King. My friend, I am quite forlorn. I keep thinking of her pitiful state when I rejected her. Thus:

When I denied her, then she tried
To join her people. "Stay," one cried,
Her father's representative.
She stopped, she turned, she could but give
A tear-dimmed glance to heartless me--
That arrow burns me poisonously.

Mishrakeshi. How his fault distresses him!

Clown. Well, I don't doubt it was some heavenly being that carried her away.

King. Who else would dare to touch a faithful wife? Her friends told me that Menaka was her mother. My heart

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persuades me that it was she, or companions of hers, who carried Shakuntala away.

Mishrakeshi. His madness was wonderful, not his awakening reason.

Clown. But in that case, you ought to take heart. You will meet her again.

King. How so?

Clown. Why, a mother or a father cannot long bear to see a daughter separated from her husband.

King. My friend,

And was it phantom, madness, dream,
  Or fatal retribution stern?
My hopes fell down a precipice
  And never, never will return.

Clown. Don't talk that way. Why, the ring shows that incredible meetings do happen.

King (looking at the ring). This ring deserves pity. It has fallen from a heaven hard to earn.

Your virtue, ring, like mine,
  Is proved to be but small;
Her pink-nailed finger sweet
  You clasped. How could you fall?

Mishrakeshi. If it were worn on any other hand, it would deserve pity. My dear girl, you are far away. I am the only one to hear these delightful words.

Clown. Tell me how you put the ring on her finger.

Mishrakeshi. He speaks as if prompted by my curiosity.

King. Listen, my friend. When I left the pious grove for the city, my darling wept and said: "But how long will you remember us, dear?"

Clown. And then you said------

King. Then I put this engraved ring on her finger, and said to her-------

Clown. Well, what?


Count every day one letter of my name;
  Before you reach the end, dear,
Will come to lead you to my palace halls
  A guide whom I shall send, dear.

[paragraph continues] Then, through my madness, it fell out cruelly.

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Mishrakeshi. It was too charming an agreement to be frustrated by fate.

Clown. But how did it get into a carp's mouth, as if it had been a fish-hook?

King. While she was worshipping the Ganges at Shachitirtha, it fell.

Clown. I see.

Mishrakeshi. That is why the virtuous king doubted his marriage with poor Shakuntala. Yet such love does not ask for a token. How could it have been?

King. Well, I can only reproach this ring.

Clown (smiling). And I will reproach this stick of mine. Why are you crooked when I am straight?

King (not hearing him).

How could you fail to linger
On her soft, tapering finger,
  And in the water fall?

[paragraph continues] And yet

Things lifeless know not beauty;
But I--I scorned my duty,
  The sweetest task of all.

Mishrakeshi. He has given the answer which I had ready.

Clown. But that is no reason why I should starve to death.

King (not heeding). O my darling, my heart burns with repentance because I abandoned you without reason. Take pity on me. Let me see you again. (Enter a maid with a tablet.)

Maid. Your Majesty, here is the picture of our lady. (She produces the tablet.)

King (gazing at it). It is a beautiful picture. See!

A graceful arch of brows above great eyes;
Lips bathed in darting, smiling light that flies
Reflected from white teeth; a mouth as red
As red karkandhu-fruit; love's brightness shed
O’er all her face in bursts of liquid charm--
The picture speaks, with living beauty warm.

Clown (looking at it). The sketch is full of sweet meaning. My eyes seem to stumble over its uneven surface. What

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more can I say? I expect to see it come to life, and I feel like speaking to it.

Mishrakeshi. The king is a clever painter. I seem to see the dear girl before me.

King. My friend,

What in the picture is not fair,
  Is badly done;
Yet something of her beauty there,
  I feel, is won.

Mishrakeshi. This is natural, when love is increased by remorse.

King (sighing).

I treated her with scorn and loathing ever;
  Now o’er her pictured charms my heart will burst:
A traveller I, who scorned the mighty river,
  And seeks in the mirage to quench his thirst.

Clown. There are three figures in the picture, and they are all beautiful. Which one is the lady Shakuntala?

Mishrakeshi. The poor fellow never saw her beauty. His eyes are useless, for she never came before them.

King. Which one do you think?

Clown (observing closely). I think it is this one, leaning against the creeper which she has just sprinkled. Her face is hot and the flowers are dropping from her hair; for the ribbon is loosened. Her arms droop like weary branches; she has loosened her girdle, and she seems a little fatigued. This, I think, is the lady Shakuntala, the others are her friends.

King. You are good at guessing. Besides, here are proofs of my love.

See where discolorations faint
  Of loving handling tell;
And here the swelling of the paint
  Shows where my sad tears fell.

[paragraph continues] Chaturika, I have not finished the background. Go, get the brushes.

Maid. Please hold the picture, Madhavya, while I am gone.

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King. I will hold it. (He does so. Exit maid.)

Clown. What are you going to add?

Mishrakeshi. Surely, every spot that the dear girl loved.

King. Listen, my friend.

The stream of Malini, and on its sands
The swan-pairs resting; holy foot-hill lands
Of great Himalaya's sacred ranges, where
The yaks are seen; and under trees that bear
Bark hermit-dresses on their branches high,
A doe that on the buck's horn rubs her eye.

Clown (aside). To hear him talk, I should think he was going to fill up the picture with heavy-bearded hermits.

King. And another ornament that Shakuntala loved I have forgotten to paint.

Clown. What?

Mishrakeshi. Something natural for a girl living in the forest.


The siris-blossom, fastened o’er her ear,
  Whose stamens brush her cheek;
The lotus-chain like autumn moonlight soft
  Upon her bosom meek.

Clown. But why does she cover her face with fingers lovely as the pink water-lily? She seems frightened. (He looks more closely.) I see. Here is a bold, bad bee. He steals honey, and so he flies to her lotus-face.

King. Drive him away.

Clown. It is your affair to punish evil-doers.

King. True. O welcome guest of the flowering vine, why do you waste your time in buzzing here?

Your faithful, loving queen,
  Perched on a flower, athirst,
Is waiting for you still,
  Nor tastes the honey first.

Mishrakeshi. A gentlemanly way to drive him off!

Clown. This kind are obstinate, even when you warn them.

King (angrily). Will you not obey my command? Then listen:

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’Tis sweet as virgin blossoms on a tree,
The lip I kissed in love-feasts tenderly;
Sting that dear lip, O bee, with cruel power,
And you shall be imprisoned in a flower.

Clown. Well, he doesn't seem afraid of your dreadful punishment. (Laughing. To himself.) The man is crazy, and I am just as bad, from associating with him.

King. Will he not go, though I warn him?

Mishrakeshi. Love works a curious change even in a brave man.

Clown (aloud). It is only a picture, man.

King. A picture?

Mishrakeshi. I too understand it now. But to him, thoughts are real experiences.

King. You have done an ill-natured thing.

When I was happy in the sight,
  And when my heart was warm,
You brought sad memories back, and made
  My love a painted form. (He sheds a tear.)

Mishrakeshi. Fate plays strangely with him.

King. My friend, how can I endure a grief that has no respite?

I cannot sleep at night
  And meet her dreaming;
I cannot see the sketch
  While tears are streaming.

Mishrakeshi. My friend, you have indeed atoned--and in her friend's presence--for the pain you caused by rejecting dear Shakuntala. (Enter the maid CHATURIKA.)

Maid. Your Majesty, I was coming back with the box of paint-brushes

King. Well?

Maid. I met Queen Vasumati with the maid Pingalika. And the queen snatched the box from me, saying: "I will take it to the king myself."

Clown. How did you escape?

Maid. The queen's dress caught on a vine. And while her maid was setting her free, I excused myself in a hurry.

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A voice behind the scenes. Follow me, your Majesty.

Clown (listening). Man, the she-tiger of the palace is making a spring on her prey. She means to make one mouthful of the maid.

King. My friend, the queen has come because she feels touched in her honour. You had better take care of this picture.

Clown. "And yourself," you might add. (He takes the picture and rises.) If you get out of the trap alive, call for me at the Cloud Balcony. And I will hide the thing there so that nothing but a pigeon could find it. (Exit on the run.)

Mishrakeshi. Though his heart is given to another, he is courteous to his early flame. He is a constant friend. (Enter the portress with a document.)

Portress. Victory to your Majesty.

King. Vetravati, did you not meet Queen Vasumati?

Portress. Yes, your Majesty. But she turned back when she saw that I carried a document.

King. The queen knows times and seasons. She will not interrupt business.

Portress. Your Majesty, the minister sends word that in the press of various business he has attended to only one citizen's suit. This he has reduced to writing for your Majesty's perusal.

King. Give me the document. (The portress does so.)

King (reads). "Be it known to his Majesty. A seafaring merchant named Dhanavriddhi has been lost in a shipwreck. He is childless, and his property, amounting to several millions, reverts to the crown. Will his Majesty take action?" (Sadly.) It is dreadful to be childless. Vetravati, he had great riches. There must be several wives. Let inquiry be made. There may be a wife who is with child.

Portress. We have this moment heard that a merchant's daughter of Saketa is his wife. And she is soon to become a mother.

King. The child shall receive the inheritance. Go, inform the minister.

Portress. Yes, your Majesty. (She starts to go.)

King. Wait a moment.

Portress (turning back). Yes, your Majesty.

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King. After all, what does it matter whether he have issue or not?

Let King Dushyanta be proclaimed
  To every sad soul kin
That mourns a kinsman loved and lost,
  Yet did not plunge in sin.

Portress. The proclamation shall be made. (She goes out and soon returns.) Your Majesty, the royal proclamation was welcomed by the populace as is a timely shower.

King (sighing deeply). Thus, when issue fails, wealth passes, on the death of the head of the family, to a stranger. When I die, it will be so with the glory of Puru's line.

Portress. Heaven avert the omen!

King. Alas! I despised the happiness that offered itself to me.

Mishrakeshi. Without doubt, he has dear Shakuntala in mind when he thus reproaches himself.


Could I forsake the virtuous wife
Who held my best, my future life
And cherished it for glorious birth,
As does the seed-receiving earth?

Mishrakeshi. She will not long be forsaken.

Maid (to the portress). Mistress, the minister's report has doubled our lord's remorse. Go to the Cloud Balcony and bring Madhavya to dispel his grief.

Portress. A good suggestion. (Exit.)

King. Alas! The ancestors of Dushyanta are in a doubtful case.

For I am childless, and they do not know,
  When I am gone, what child of theirs will bring
The scriptural oblation; and their tears
  Already mingle with my offering.

Mishrakeshi. He is screened from the light, and is in darkness.

Maid. Do not give way to grief, your Majesty. You are in the prime of your years, and the birth of a son to one of your other wives will make you blameless-before your ancestors. (To herself.) He does not heed me. The proper medicine is needed for any disease.

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King (betraying his sorrow). Surely,

The royal line that flowed
  A river pure and grand,
Dies in the childless king,
  Like streams in desert sand.

(He swoons.)

Maid (in distress). Oh, sir, come to yourself.

Mishrakeshi. Shall I make him happy now? No, I heard the mother of the gods consoling Shakuntala. She said that the gods, impatient for the sacrifice, would soon cause him to welcome his true wife. I must delay no longer. I will comfort dear Shakuntala with my tidings. (Exit through the air.)

A voice behind the scenes. Help, help!

King (comes to himself and listens). It sounds as if Madhavya were in distress.

Maid. Your Majesty, I hope that Pingalika and the other maids did not catch poor Madhavya with the picture in his hands.

King. Go, Chaturika. Reprove the queen in my name for not controlling her servants.

Maid. Yes, your Majesty. (Exit.)

The voice. Help, help!

King. The Brahman's voice seems really changed by fear. Who waits without? (Enter the chamberlain.)

Chamberlain. Your Majesty commands?

King. See why poor Madhavya is screaming so.

Chamberlain. I will see. (He goes out, and returns trembling.)

King. Parvatayana, I hope it is nothing very dreadful.

Chamberlain. I hope not.

King. Then why do you tremble so? For

Why should the trembling, born
  Of age, increasing, seize
Your limbs and bid them shake
  Like fig-leaves in the breeze?

Chamberlain. Save your friend, O King!

King. From what?

Chamberlain. From great danger.

King. Speak plainly, man.

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Chamberlain. On the Cloud Balcony, open to the four winds of heaven------

King. What has happened there?


While he was resting on its height,
Which palace peacocks in their flight
Can hardly reach, he seemed to be
Snatched up--by what, we could not see.

King (rising quickly). My very palace is invaded by evil creatures. To be a king, is to be a disappointed man.

The moral stumblings of mine own,
The daily slips, are scarcely known;
Who then that rules a kingdom, can
Guide every deed of every man?

The voice. Hurry, hurry!

King (hears the voice and quickens his steps). Have no fear, my friend.

The voice. Have no fear! When something has got me by the back of the neck, and is trying to break my bones like a piece of sugar-cane!

King (looks about). A bow! a bow! (Enter a Greek woman with a bow.)

Greek woman. A bow and arrows, your Majesty. And here are the finger-guards. (The king takes the bow and arrows.)

Another voice behind the scenes.

Writhe, while I drink the red blood flowing clear
And kill you, as a tiger kills a deer;
Let King Dushyanta grasp his bow; but how
Can all his kingly valour save you now?

King (angrily). He scorns me, too! In one moment, miserable demon, you shall die. (Stringing his bow.) Where is the stairway, Parvatayana?

Chamberlain. Here, your Majesty. (All make haste.)

King (looking about). There is no one here.

The Clown's voice. Save me, save me! I see you, if you can't see me. I am a mouse in the claws of the cat. I am done for.

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King. You are proud of your invisibility. But shall not my arrow see you? Stand still. Do not hope to escape by clinging to my friend.

My arrow, flying when the bow is bent,
Shall slay the wretch and spare the innocent;
When milk is mixed with water in a cup,
Swans leave the water, and the milk drink up.

(He takes aim. Enter MATALI and the clown.)

Matali. O King, as Indra, king of the gods, commands,

Seek foes among the evil powers alone;
  For them your bow should bend;
Not cruel shafts, but glances soft and kind
  Should fall upon a friend.

King (hastily withdrawing the arrow). It is Matali. Welcome to the charioteer of heaven's king.

Clown. Well! He came within an inch of butchering me. And you welcome him.

Matali (smiling). Hear, O King, for what purpose Indra sends me to you.

King. I am all attention.

Matali. There is a host of demons who call themselves Invincible--the brood of Kalanemi.

King. So Narada has told me.


Heaven's king is powerless; you shall smite
  His foes in battle soon;
Darkness that overcomes the day,
  Is scattered by the moon.

[paragraph continues] Take your bow at once, enter my heavenly chariot, and set forth for victory.

King. I am grateful for the honour which Indra shows me. But why did you act thus toward Madhavya?

Matali. I will tell you. I saw that you were overpowered by some inner sorrow, and acted thus to rouse you. For

The spurnèd snake will swell his hood;
  Fire blazes when ’tis stirred;
Brave men are roused to fighting mood
  By some insulting word.

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King. Friend Madhavya, I must obey the bidding of heaven's king. Go, acquaint the minister Pishuna with the matter, and add these words of mine:

Your wisdom only shall control
  The kingdom for a time;
My bow is strung; a distant goal
  Calls me, and tasks sublime.

Clown. Very well. (Exit.)

Matali. Enter the chariot. (The king does so. Exeunt omnes.)


Next: Act VII