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SHOOKDEO JEE said,--Raja! Shree Krishnù Chund, having thus inspired the brahmin with confidence, said, "As a burning flame comes forth from wood by rubbing it, so will I bring away the beauteous Rookmunee, having destroyed the army of wicked demons."

Having thus spoken, and arrayed himself in an elegant and handsome dress, covered with jewels, Krishnù went to the Raja Oogursen, and said with joined hands, "O great king! Bheekmuk, the Raja of Koondulpore, has written me a letter, offering his daughter, which he has sent by the hand of his family priest, and has invited me to come alone; with your permission I will go, and, having married his daughter, bring her here." Oogursen said in reply, "Why have you fixed your affections in so distant a country? You are going there alone, Moorari; avoid entering into quarrels, or wrangling with any one; who will send us intelligence here of you?" Oogursen afterwards added, "Well, if you must go there, take all your army with you, and go accompanied by your brother, and return quickly after the marriage; do not fight or quarrel with any one there; because you will live long and will be able to obtain many very beautiful women." On receiving his permission, Shree Krishnù Chund said to Oogursen,

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[paragraph continues] "O great king! you have spoken truly, but I will proceed in advance; and please send Bulram Jee after me with the army." With these words, Huri took leave of Oogursen and Basoodeo; and, having gone to the brahmin, sent for his ruth, and Daruk, his charioteer. On receiving Krishnù's order, he immediately harnessed a chariot with four horses, on which Shree Krishnù ascended; and, having seated the brahmin by his side, proceeded from Dwarka to Koondulpore. On emerging from the city, he saw herds of deer running on his right hand; and lions and lionesses, rushing roaring from opposite him, with their food.

Upon observing this good omen, the brahmin reflected and said, "O great king! from beholding this omen, I am of opinion, that you will obtain a full accomplishment of your wishes, just as these animals have obtained the object of their desires." Shree Krishnu Chund replied, "By your favour it will happen so." Having then spoken, Huri advanced thence; and beholding new countries, cities and villages arrived at Koondulpore; and observed, on his arrival, that the beauty of the city had been very much increased by the marriage preparations, which were being everywhere made. The lanes were swept clean, and the cross-roads spread over with cloths, and sprinkled with perfumes and sandal wood. There were clusters of betelnut and vegetables, in the midst of which, cocoanuts of gold were distributed. There were innumerable garlands in each house, composed of green leaves, fruits and flowers; flags, banners and wreaths were waving in the air, and elegant golden spires were attached to the tops of domes, and there was rejoicing in each house. O great king! such was the beauty of the scene in the city; but it is impossible to give a description of the festivities inside the palace, which required to be seen to be properly appreciated. Shree Krishnù Chund having, in the course of his progress, seen all the city, encamped in an enclosed ground, belonging to the Raja Bheekmuk, and seated in the refreshing shade, having cooled

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himself after his journey, said to the Brahmin, "O divinity! go first of all, and inform Rookmunee Jee of my arrival, that she may acquire confidence, and banish her sorrows. Afterwards acquaint me with all that has transpired there, that I may arrange my plans accordingly." The brahmin said, "O lord of mercy! to-day is the first day of the marriage; and there is great confusion and bustle of preparation in the palace, I will go and take an opportunity of mentioning your arrival to Rookmunee Jee, when I find her alone." With these words the brahmin went thence. O great king! Huri thus arrived quietly and alone; whilst on the other hand, Raja Sissoopal, accompanied by Joorasindhoo and armies of demons, arrived with boundless show and splendour, and brought such a crowd with him, that the king of the serpent race, the snake Sheshù, on one of the heads of which the world rests, began to totter from the weight, and the earth to be upset. Having received information of their arrival, Raja Bheekmuk advanced with his ministers and relations to receive them: and having met the bridegroom with great honour and dignity, robing all the party in robes of honour, and presenting them with arms studded with jewels, and ornaments, elephants, and horses, brought them into the city; and having fixed upon a place in the bride's house for the reception of the bridegroom and his train, entertained them with deferential respect.

Having proceeded thus far in the narrative, Shree Shookdeo, the sage, said,--O lord of the earth! I will now narrate an intermediate story, to which be pleased to listen with attention. When Shree Krishnù Chund left Dwarka, all the descendants of Judoo went to Raja Oogursen, and said, "O great king! we have heard, that Raja Sissoopal has got to Koondulpore with Joorasindhoo and all his army of evil spirits to the marriage; and Huri has gone alone. From this "we are certain, that there will be fighting between them and Shree Krishnù Jee. With this opinion, firmly fixed in our mind, how can we remain here, pretending ignorance, and abandon Huri? Our

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own wishes are averse to this, and we are ready to act according to your instructions."

On hearing these words, the Raja Oogursen was greatly alarmed and frightened; and having sent for Bulram Jee, explained to him and said, "Go quickly with all my army to Koondulpore, so as to reach the city before Shree Krishnù's arrival, and bring him back with you." On receiving the Raja's order, Buldeo Jee took with him to Koondulpore fifty-six crores of the descendants of Judoo. The elephants of the army of all colours, black, white and purple, appeared like clouds, and their white tusks appeared like rows of cranes. The large kettle-drums sounded like thunder, and their arms shone like lightning. Troops of horsemen, dressed in red and yellow, were seen scattered here and there: whole ranges of chariots advanced, glittering with splendour; on beholding the beauty of which, the gods were delighted, and with the greatest . joy rained down flowers from the sky, seated in their cars and expressed wishes for Krishnù's success and victory. In the mean while, and about the time of Huri's arrival, Bulram Jee arrived also at Koondulpore. After this, Shree Shookdeo Jee added, O great king! Shree Krishnù Chund, the sea of beauty and light of the world, arrived thus at Koondulpore; but Rookmunee, not having been informed of his coming, was displeased, and gazed in every direction, like the moon, which is dimmed on the approach of morning. Her elegant mind was greatly overwhelmed by excess of anxious thought; and she stood gazing and looking in every direction from a lofty balcony. She peeped through the windows and doors, tears streaming from her eyes. Dissatisfied, and greatly depressed in mind, she sighed deeply, weeping from agitation, and oppressed with sad thoughts she said, "Why has Huri not come yet, whose name is 'the acquainted with the secrets of the heart?' What fault have I committed, that he has not yet thought of me? Has the brahmin not gone to him, or does he think me ugly,

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and not wish to return my affection, or has he been prevented by the arrival of Joorasindhoo? To-morrow is the marriage-day, and the demon has come. If he should take my hand to-morrow, how can this sinful soul survive without Huri? Prayers, penance, vows and acts of charity have been no protection to me. What shall I do? Whither shall I go? Sissoopal has come with his marriage procession; why has the merciful Krishnù delayed coming so long?"

When Rookmunee had thus spoken, one of her companions said, "How can Huri come to such a distant country, without permission from his father and brother?" Another said, "He, whose titles are 'acquainted with the secrets of the heart and merciful to the poor,' will certainly not fail in coming. Be of good cheer, Rookmunee; be not agitated, I have a firm belief, that some one will come presently, and announce Huri's arrival." O great king! whilst these two were thus engaged in discourse, the brahmin arrived; and having pronounced a blessing said, "Shree Krishnù Chund Jee has arrived, and is encamped in one of the royal enclosures; and Buldeo Jee is following with all the army."

On seeing the brahmin, and hearing what he had said, Rookmunee Jee's spirits were revived; and then she was as happy as a devotee, who leas obtained the fruit of his penance. After a short time, Shree Rookmunee Jee, with joined hands, and bowing her head, began to say in presence of the brahmin, "By coming to-day, and mentioning the arrival of Huri, you have restored me to life; what return shall I make you for this? If I were to give the wealth of the universe, I should still be in your debt."

Having thus spoken, she remained fearful, and abashed. The brahmin being highly gratified, and pronouncing a benediction, rose and went thence to the Raja Bheekmuk, and explained all the circumstances of Shree Krishnù's arrival. On hearing this authentic account, the Raja Bheekmuk rose up and

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proceeded to the enclosure where Shree Krishnù and Bulram, the abodes of pleasure, were living; prostrating himself on his arrival so as to touch the ground with the eight principal parts of his body, he appeared before them, and with joined hands said, "You are the root of my mind, Huri; how shall I explain to you what our wicked enemies have done? My desires have been accomplished by your coming here."

Having thus spoken, and having had Krishnù comfortably housed, Raja Bheekmuk returned to his own palace, and reflecting began to say, "Every one knows the exploits of Huri; who can say, how his arrival here has been brought about?" And all the inhabitants of the city, male and female, came to where Shree Krishnù and Buldeo were, and sung of their renowned actions, and celebrated their praises, saying to each other, "Rookmunee is a fit bride for Shree Krishnù. Bruhmù grant that this match may take place, and last long." In the mean while, upon a sudden thought the two brothers went to look at the city; crowds of men and women were collected at every market, road and cross-road, to which the two brothers went; who sprinkling perfumes and sandal, and rose-water, and raining down flowers on them stretched out their hands, and pointed out the two brothers to each other: "Bulram is dressed in blue, and Krishnù in yellow silk, they have crowns on their heads, and tremulous ear-rings; their lotus eyes, wish to steal away our hearts." The two brothers went on viewing the city; at length, having seen all the city and the forces of Raja Sissoopal, they returned to their own army.

On hearing of their arrival, Raja Bheekmuk's eldest son was exceedingly wroth, and going to his father began to say, Say, truly, at whose invitation has Shree Krishnù come here? I cannot understand how he can have come, without being invited. A marriage is an occasion and affair of pleasure, what business has he here? Wherever these two

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deceitful, perverse creatures go, they occasion injury. If you value your own welfare, tell me, truly, by whom were they invited?"

O great king! Rookum having thus endeavoured to terrify his father, rose and went thence, uneasy and disturbed in mind, to the court of Sissoopal and Joorasindhoo, and said to them, "Bulram and Krishnù have come here; inform all your people of this, that they may be on their guard."

On hearing the names of the two brothers, Raja Sissoopal looking back upon the exploits and history of Huri became low-spirited, and began to be very thoughtful, and Joorasindhoo said, "Wherever these two come they commit some violence or other, they are very powerful, and treacherous. In Bruj they have slain with ease Kuns and other mighty demons; do not look upon them as children, they have never been defeated in any encounter. Shree Krishnù destroyed my army seventeen times; when I attacked the eighteenth time, he ran away, and climbed up a mountain, which I set on fire, and he, by some trick, escaped to Dwarka. No one understands Krishnù's nature, he has come hereto commit violence. He is very deceitful, and will practise great deceit, and no one will be able to understand him. Arrange, therefore, your plans, so that our characters maybe preserved." When Joorasindhoo had thus spoken Rookum replied, "What things are they, that you are so apprehensive about them? I know them well; they wander about the jungles, singing and dancing, and playing the flute, and tending herds. What do those village children know of the science of war? Banish all anxiety from your mind, I will in a second repel and slay Shree Krishnù and Bulram, and all the descendants of Judoo."

Shree Shookdeo Jee said, O great king! Rookum returned home that day after having entered into explanations with Joorasindhoo and Sissoopal, and inspired them with confidence, and they spent the night in uneasiness.

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In the morning Rajas Sissoopal and Joorasindhoo, considering it the marriage-day, were engaged in all the bustle and preparation of bringing forth the marriage procession: and there were festive rejoicings also at the palace of the Raja Bheekmuk. In the mean while Rookmunee Jee sent a message to Shree Krishnù Chund by a brahmin, saying, "O abode of kindness! this is the marriage-day; when two ghurees of the day are left, I will go to perform poojah at a temple of Dewee, eastward of the city. My modesty and good name have been entrusted to you; act, so that they may be preserved."

Afterwards, when the day was somewhat advanced, her female friends and companions, and relatives arrived; on coming there, having first filled up a square place in the courtyard with large pearls, and arranging upon it a golden chair, studded with ornaments, they seated Rookmunee upon it, and had her rubbed with oil by the hands of seven married women. Afterwards, having applied perfumes and scented paste, and bathed and washed her, they decked her out completely with jewels and ornaments; and arraying her in a red boddice, they placed her in her full bridal dress on the chair. When about four ghurees of the day remained, the youthful Rookmunee, accompanied by her female friends and companions, went forth in musical procession to perform poojah to Dewee; and Raja Bheekmuk sent some of his people to protect her. On hearing that the Raja's daughter had gone outside the city to worship Dewee, Raja Sissoopal, through dread of Shree Krishnù Chund, summoned some of his mighty heroes, and powerful warlike attendants; and, having given them most minute instructions, sent them to guard Rookmunee Jee. They came, bringing with them their arms and weapons of all kinds, and accompanied the Raja's daughter. At that time Rookmunee, accompanied by crowds of her female companions, proceeding veiled under the guard and protection of black demons, appeared as beautiful as the moon surrounded by stars, in the

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midst of a black cloud. At length, after proceeding some distance, she reached the temple of Dewee. Having gone to the temple, she washed her feet and hands, and sipping water from the palm of her hand, became purified. The Raja's daughter having made an offering of sandal, rice, flowers, perfumes, lamps and consecrated food, went through the ceremony of worshipping Dewee with great faith, and according to the injunctions of the Vedas. Having afterwards prepared food agreeable to female brahmins, she arrayed them in elegant dresses, and making sectarial marks on their foreheads, and fastening thereon the unbroken rice used in the oblation, made them presents, and received their blessing. Having afterwards offered adoration to Dewee by going round to the right, that lovely creature, with a face like the moon, of the colour of the flower chumpa, with deer-like eyes, a voice like the kokila, and the gait of an elephant, taking her companions with her, was occupied with the thought of meeting Huri. And as she was on the point of returning, after having finished all the necessary rites and ceremonies, Shree Krishnù Chund, seated on his ruth, arrived alone at the spot where the warlike attendants of Rookmunee were standing fully armed.

Having recited thus much, Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--When she was returning, after having worshipped Dewee one of her companions said, in a state of agitation, "O beautiful Rookmunee! Huri has arrived: behold his waving banner." Having heard this speech of her companions, and beholding the flag attached to Krishnù's ruth, the Raja's daughter was so overjoyed, that her body could not contain her. Placing her hand in that of her companion, she advanced amongst them all in the hope of meeting Huri, with such a fascinating look, smiling, and at such an easy, composed pace, that all description is impossible of the beauty of her appearance. The guards on seeing Shree Krishnù Chund all seemed to be deprived of sense, and stood still; and the screen of cloth, behind which

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[paragraph continues] Rookmunee was concealed, dropped from their hands. And on beholding the beautiful and fascinating face of Rookmunee, they were more distracted, and were so upset, that they lost all thought and recollection. She raised her eye-brow, in the form of a bow, and having shot forth the arrows of her eyes from the bowstring of her darkened eye-lashes, in the act of killing them, restored them to life.

O great king! at that time all the demons stood gazing like painted pictures; and Shree Krishnù Chund, having advanced his chariot amongst them, stopped near Rookmunee, who, on beholding her soul's lord, was suffused with blushes; and, as she stretched out her hand to meet Krishnù, he raised her up with his left hand, and seated her on his ruth; she trembled and was greatly abashed; and, having abandoned all others, went off with Huri. Like a religious ascetic who abandons his home, and fixes his affections on the feet of Krishnù.

O great king! Rookmunee Jee obtained the fruit of all the prayers, penance, fasts and acts of charity she had performed, and forgot all her former sorrows. Her enemies seized their arms, and stood gazing at her. Krishnù carried off Rookmunee from the midst of them, just as a lion would spring amongst large troops of jackals, and seizing its prey, go off fearless and roaring. After Shree Krishnù Chund's departure, Bulram Jee, sounding the kettle-drum, joined him with all his army.

Next: Chapter LV