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The Little Clay Cart [Mrcchakatika] A Hindu Drama attributed to King Shudraka, translated from the original Sanskrit and Prakrits into English Prose and Verse by Arthur William Ryder, Ph.D. (Cambridge Mass.: Harvard Univesity, 1905).
One of the earliest Indian plays written in Sanskrit. It is a comedy set in a royal court in which love and mistaken identity play a part.
The text is in the public domain.
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TO MY FATHER WILLIAM HENRY RYDER
WITH the battle of the Sea of Japan another turning-point in the brief course of recorded human history has been reached. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations for peace, one thing is sure: for better, for worse, and whether we will or no, the West must know the East, and the East must know the West. With that knowledge will inevitably come an interchange of potent influences, of influences that will affect profoundly the religion and morals, the philosophy, the literature, the art, in short, all the elements that make up the civilizations of the two hemispheres. It is a part of the responsibility resting upon the molders and leaders of the thought and life of our time, and upon our Universities in particular, to see to it that these new forces, mighty for good or for evil, are directed aright.
The fruitfulness of those scions of Western civilization which the Japanese have grafted upon their own stock is to-day the admiration of the world. In our wonder, let us not forget that that stock is the growth of centuries, and that it is rooted in a soil of racial character informed by ethical ideals which we are wont to regard, with arrogant self-complacency, as exclusively proper to Christianity, but which were, in fact, inculcated twenty-four centuries ago through precept and example by Gotama the Enlightened, or, as the Hindus called him, Gotama the Buddha. It has often been said that India has never influenced the development of humanity as a whole. Be that as it may, it now seems no less probable than strange that she is yet destined to do so, on the one hand, indirectly, through the influence of Indian Buddhism upon Japan, and, on the other, directly, by the diffusion in the West of a knowledge of her sacred writings, especially those of Vedantism and Buddhism. To judge the East aright, we must know not only what she is, but also how she has become what she is; know, in short, some of the principal phases of her spiritual history as they are reflected in her ancient literature, especially that of India. To interpret to the West the thought of the East, to bring her best and noblest achievements to bear upon our life,—that is today the problem of Oriental philology.
The Harvard Oriental Series embodies an attempt to present to Western scholars, in trustworthy texts and translations, some of the greatest works of the Hindu literature and philosophy and religion, together with certain instruments, such as the Vedic Concordance or the History of the Beast-fable, for their critical study or elucidation. Some account of the volumes completed or in progress may be found at the end of this book. Dr. Ryder, passing by for the present the more momentous themes of religion and philosophy, has in this volume attempted to show what the Indian genius, in its strength and in its weakness, could do in the field of literature pure and simple. The timeliness of the Series as a whole is an eloquent tribute to the discernment of my loved and unforgotten pupil and friend, Henry Clarke Warren. In him were united not only the will and the ability to establish such a publication as this, but also the learning and insight which enabled him to forecast in a general way its possibilities of usefulness. He knew that the East had many a lesson to teach the West; but whether the lesson be repose of spirit or hygiene of the soldier in the field, whether it be the divine immanence or simplicity of life or the overcoming of evil with good, he knew that the first lesson to be taught us was the teachable habit of mind.
C. R. L.
THE text chosen as the basis of this translation is that given in the edition of Parab, and I have chosen it for the following reasons. Parab’s edition is the most recent, and its editor is a most admirable Sanskrit scholar, who, it seems to me, has in several places understood the real meaning of the text better than his predecessors. This edition contains the comment of Pṛthvīdhara; it is far freer from misprints than many texts printed in India, and, in respect to arrangement and typography, it is clear and convenient. Besides, it is easily obtainable and very cheap. This last consideration may prove to be of importance, if the present translation should be found helpful in the class-room. For the sake of cataloguers, I note that the proper transliteration of the Sanskrit names of this title according to the rules laid down by the American Library Association in its Journal for 1885, is as follows: Mṛcchakaṭika; Çūdraka; Pṛthvīdhara; Kāçīnātha Pāṇḍuran̄ga Paraba; Nirṇaya-Sāgara.
The verse-numeration of each act follows the edition of Parab; fortunately, it is almost identical with the numeration in the editions of Godabole and Jīvānanda. For the convenience of those who may desire to consult this book in connection with Stenzler’s edition, I have added references at the top of the page to that edition as well as to the edition of Parab. In these references, the letter P. stands for Parab, the letter S. for Stenzler.
There are a few passages in which I have deviated from Parab’s text. A list of such passages is given on page 177. From this list I have omitted a few minor matters, such as slight misprints and what seem to me to be errors in the chāyā; these matters, and the passages of unusual interest or difficulty, I shall treat in a series of notes on the play, which I hope soon to publish in the Journal of the American Oriental Society. It is hardly necessary to give reasons for the omission of the passage inserted by Nīlakaṇṭha in the tenth act (Parab, 288.3-292.9). This passage is explicitly declared by tradition to be an interpolation by another hand, and it is clearly shown to be such by internal evidence. It will be noticed that the omission of this passage causes a break in the verse-numeration of the tenth act, where the verse-number 54 is followed by the number 58.
Of the books which have been useful to me in the present work, I desire to mention especially the editions of Stenzler, Godabole, Jīvānanda Vidyāsāgara, and Parab; the commentaries of Pṛthvīdhara, Lallādīkṣita, and Jīvānanda; further, the translations of Wilson, Regnaud, and Böhtlingk.
A number of friends were kind enough to read my manuscript, and each contributed something. I wish to mention especially my friend and pupil, Mr. Walter E. Clark, of Harvard University, whose careful reading of both text and translation was fruitful of many good suggestions.
But by far my greatest personal indebtedness is to Professor Lanman, whose generous interest in my work has never flagged from the day when I began the study of Sanskrit under his guidance. He has criticized this translation with the utmost rigor; indeed, the pages are few which have not witnessed some improvement from his hand. It is to him also that I owe the accuracy and beauty which characterize the printed book; nothing has been hard enough to weary him, nothing small enough to escape him. And more than all else, I am grateful to him for the opportunity of publishing in the Harvard Oriental Series; for this series is that enterprise which, since the death of Professor Whitney, most honorably upholds in this country the standards of accurate scholarship set by the greatest of American Sanskritists.
arthur w. ryder
Harvard University May 23, 1905
CONCERNING the life, the date, and the very identity of King Shūdraka, the reputed author of The Little Clay Cart, we are curiously ignorant. No other work is ascribed to him, and we have no direct information about him, beyond the somewhat fanciful statements of the Prologue to this play. There are, to be sure, many tales which cluster about the name of King Shūdraka, but none of them represents him as an author. Yet our very lack of information may prove, to some extent at least, a disguised blessing. For our ignorance of external fact compels a closer study of the text, if we would find out what manner of man it was who wrote the play. And the case of King Shūdraka is by no means unique in India; in regard to every great Sanskrit writer,—so bare is Sanskrit literature of biography,—we are forced to concentrate attention on the man as he reveals himself in his works. First, however, it may be worth while to compare Shūdraka with two other great dramatists of India, and thus to discover, if we may, in what ways he excels them or is excelled by them.
Kālidāsa, Shūdraka, Bhavabhūti—assuredly, these are the greatest names in the history of the Indian drama. So different are these men, and so great, that it is not possible to assert for any one of them such supremacy as Shakspere holds in the English drama. It is true that Kālidāsa’s dramatic masterpiece, the Shakuntalā, is the most widely known of the Indian plays. It is true that the tender and elegant Kālidāsa has been called, with a not wholly fortunate enthusiasm, the “Shakspere of India.” But this rather exclusive admiration of the Shakuntalā results from lack of information about the other great Indian dramas. Indeed, it is partly due to the accident that only the Shakuntalā became known in translation at a time when romantic Europe was in full sympathy with the literature of India.
Bhavabhūti, too, is far less widely known than Kālidāsa; and for this the reason is deeper-seated. The austerity of Bhavabhūti’s style, his lack of humor, his insistent grandeur, are qualities which prevent his being a truly popular poet. With reference to Kālidāsa, he holds a position such as Aeschylus holds with reference to Euripides. He will always seem to minds that sympathize with his grandeur the greatest of Indian poets; while by other equally discerning minds of another order he will be admired, but not passionately loved.
Yet however great the difference between Kālidāsa, “the grace of poetry,” and Bhavabhūti, “the master of eloquence,” these two authors are far more intimately allied in spirit than is either of them with the author of The Little Clay Cart. Kālidāsa and Bhavabhūti are Hindus of the Hindus; the Shakuntalā and the Latter Acts of Rāma could have been written nowhere save in India: but Shūdraka, alone in the long line of Indian dramatists, has a cosmopolitan character. Shakuntalā is a Hindu maid, Mādhava is a Hindu hero; but Sansthānaka and Maitreya and Madanikā are citizens of the world. In some of the more striking characteristics of Sanskrit literature—in its fondness for system, its elaboration of style, its love of epigram—Kālidāsa and Bhavabhūti are far truer to their native land than is Shūdraka. In Shūdraka we find few of those splendid phrases in which, as the Chinese say, “it is only the words which stop, the sense goes on,”—phrases like Kālidāsa’s “there are doors of the inevitable everywhere,” or Bhavabhūti’s “for causeless love there is no remedy.” As regards the predominance of swift-moving action over the poetical expression of great truths, The Little Clay Cart stands related to the Latter Acts of Rāma as Macbeth does to Hamlet. Again, Shūdraka’s style is simple and direct, a rare quality in a Hindu; and although this style, in the passages of higher emotion, is of an exquisite simplicity, yet Shūdraka cannot infuse into mere language the charm which we find in Kālidāsa or the majesty which we find in Bhavabhūti.
Yet Shūdraka’s limitations in regard to stylistic power are not without their compensation. For love of style slowly strangled originality and enterprise in Indian poets, and ultimately proved the death of Sanskrit literature. Now just at this point, where other Hindu writers are weak, Shūdraka stands forth preëminent. Nowhere else in the hundreds of Sanskrit dramas do we find such variety, and such drawing of character, as in The Little Clay Cart; and nowhere else, in the drama at least, is there such humor. Let us consider, a little more in detail, these three characteristics of our author; his variety, his skill in the drawing of character, his humor.
To gain a rough idea of Shūdraka’s variety, we have only to recall the names of the acts of the play. Here The Shampooer who Gambled and The Hole in the Wall are shortly followed by The Storm; and The Swapping of the Bullock-carts is closely succeeded by The Strangling of Vasantasenā. From farce to tragedy, from satire to pathos, runs the story, with a breadth truly Shaksperian. Here we have philosophy:
And nature description:
And genuine bitterness:
It is natural that Shūdraka should choose for the expression of matters so diverse that type of drama which gives the greatest scope to the author’s creative power. This type is the so-called “drama of invention,” a category curiously subordinated in India to the heroic drama, the plot of which is drawn from history or mythology. Indeed, The Little Clay Cart is the only extant drama which fulfils the spirit of the drama of invention, as defined by the Sanskrit canons of dramaturgy. The plot of the “Mālatī and Mādhava,” or of the “Mallikā and Māruta,” is in no true sense the invention of the author; and The Little Clay Cart is the only drama of invention which is “full of rascals.”
But a spirit so powerful as that of King Shūdraka could not be confined within the strait-jacket of the minute, and sometimes puerile, rules of the technical works. In the very title of the drama, he has disregarded the rule that the name of a drama of invention should be formed by compounding the names of heroine and hero. Again, the books prescribe that the hero shall appear in every act; yet Chārudatta does not appear in acts ii., iv., vi., and viii. And further, various characters, Vasantasenā, Maitreya, the courtier, and others, have vastly gained because they do not conform too closely to the technical definitions.
The characters of The Little Clay Cart are living men and women. Even when the type makes no strong appeal to Western minds, as in the case of Chārudatta, the character lives, in a sense in which Dushyanta or even Rāma can hardly be said to live. Shūdraka’s men are better individualized than his women; this fact alone differentiates him sharply from other Indian dramatists. He draws on every class of society, from the high-souled Brahaman to the executioner and the housemaid.
His greatest character is unquestionably Sansthānaka, this combination of ignorant conceit, brutal lust, and cunning, this greater than Cloten, who, after strangling an innocent woman, can say: “Oh, come! Let’s go and play in the pond.” Most attractive characters are the five conspirators, men whose home is “east of Suez and the ten commandments.” They live from hand to mouth, ready at any moment to steal a gem-casket or to take part in a revolution, and preserving through it all their character as gentlemen and their irresistible conceit. And side by side with them moves the hero Chārudatta, the Buddhist beau-ideal of manhood,
To him, life itself is not dear, but only honor. He values wealth only as it supplies him with the means of serving others. We may, with some justice, compare him with Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. There is some inconsistency, from our point of view, in making such a character the hero of a love-drama; and indeed, it is Vasantasenā who does most of the love-making.
Vasantasenā is a character with neither the girlish charm of Shakuntalā nor the mature womanly dignity of Sītā. She is more admirable than lovable. Witty and wise she is, and in her love as true as steel; this too, in a social position which makes such constancy difficult. Yet she cannot be called a great character; she does not seem so true to life as her clever maid, Madanikā. In making the heroine of his play a courtezan, Shūdraka follows a suggestion of the technical works on the drama; he does not thereby cast any imputation of ill on Vasantasenā’s character. The courtezan class in India corresponded roughly to the hetæræ of ancient Greece or the geishas of Japan; it was possible to be a courtezan and retain one’s self-respect. Yet the inherited way of life proves distasteful to Vasantasenā; her one desire is to escape its limitations and its dangers by becoming a legal wife.
In Maitreya, the Vidūshaka, we find an instance of our author’s masterly skill in giving life to the dry bones of a rhetorical definition. The Vidūshaka is a stock character who has something in common with a jester; and in Maitreya the essential traits of the character—eagerness for good food and other creature comforts, and blundering devotion to his friend—are retained, to be sure, but clarified and elevated by his quaint humor and his readiness to follow Chārudatta even in death. The grosser traits of the typical Vidūshaka are lacking. Maitreya is neither a glutton nor a fool, but a simple-minded, whole-hearted friend.
The courtier is another character suggested by the technical works, and transformed by the genius of Shūdraka. He is a man not only of education and social refinement, but also of real nobility of nature. But he is in a false position from the first, this true gentleman at the wretched court of King Pālaka; at last he finds the courage to break away, and risks life, and all that makes life attractive, by backing Aryaka. Of all the conspirators, it is he who runs the greatest risk. To his protection of Vasantasenā is added a touch of infinite pathos when we remember that he was himself in love with her. Only when Vasantasenā leaves him without a thought, to enter Chārudatta’s house, does he realize how much he loves her; then, indeed, he breaks forth in words of the most passionate jealousy. We need not linger over the other characters, except to observe that each has his marked individuality, and that each helps to make vivid this picture of a society that seems at first so remote.
Shūdraka’s humor is the third of his vitally distinguishing qualities. This humor has an American flavor, both in its puns and in its situations. The plays on words can seldom be adequately reproduced in translation, but the situations are independent of language. And Shūdraka’s humor runs the whole gamut, from grim to farcical, from satirical to quaint. Its variety and keenness are such that King Shūdraka need not fear a comparison with the greatest of Occidental writers of comedies.
It remains to say a word about the construction of the play. Obviously, it is too long. More than this, the main action halts through acts ii. to v., and during these episodic acts we almost forget that the main plot concerns the love of Vasantasenā and Chārudatta. Indeed, we have in The Little Clay Cart the material for two plays. The larger part of act i. forms with acts vi. to x. a consistent and ingenious plot; while the remainder of act i. might be combined with acts iii. to v. to make a pleasing comedy of lighter tone. The second act, clever as it is, has little real connection either with the main plot or with the story of the gems. The breadth of treatment which is observable in this play is found in many other specimens of the Sanskrit drama, which has set itself an ideal different from that of our own drama. The lack of dramatic unity and consistency is often compensated, indeed, by lyrical beauty and charms of style; but it suggests the question whether we might not more justly speak of the Sanskrit plays as dramatic poems than as dramas. In The Little Clay Cart, at any rate, we could ill afford to spare a single scene, even though the very richness and variety of the play remove it from the class of the world’s greatest dramas.
The following translation is sufficiently different from previous translations of Indian plays to require a word of explanation. The difference consists chiefly in the manner in which I have endeavored to preserve the form of the original. The Indian plays are written in mingled prose and verse; and the verse portion forms so large a part of the whole that the manner in which it is rendered is of much importance. Now this verse is not analogous to the iambic trimeter of Sophocles or the blank verse of Shakspere, but roughly corresponds to the Greek choruses or the occasional rhymed songs of the Elizabethan stage. In other words, the verse portion of a Sanskrit drama is not narrative; it is sometimes descriptive, but more commonly lyrical: each stanza sums up the emotional impression which the preceding action or dialogue has made upon one of the actors. Such matter is in English cast into the form of the rhymed stanza; and so, although rhymed verse is very rarely employed in classical Sanskrit, it seems the most appropriate vehicle for the translation of the stanzas of a Sanskrit drama. It is true that we occasionally find stanzas which might fitly be rendered in English blank verse, and, more frequently, stanzas which are so prosaic as not to deserve a rendering in English verse at all. But, as the present translation may be regarded as in some sort an experiment, I have preferred to hold rigidly to the distinction found in the original between simple prose and types of stanza which seem to me to correspond to English rhymed verse.
It is obvious that a translation into verse, and especially into rhymed verse, cannot be as literal as a translation into prose; this disadvantage I have used my best pains to minimize. I hope it may be said that nothing of real moment has been omitted from the verses; and where lack of metrical skill has compelled expansion, I have striven to make the additions as insignificant as possible.
There is another point, however, in which it is hardly feasible to imitate the original; this is the difference in the dialects used by the various characters. In The Little Clay Cart, as in other Indian dramas, some of the characters speak Sanskrit, others Prākrit. Now Prākrit is the generic name for a number of dialects derived from the Sanskrit and closely akin to it. The inferior personages of an Indian play, and, with rare exceptions, all the women, speak one or another of these Prākrits. Of the thirty characters of this play, for example, only five (Chārudatta, the courtier, Aryaka, Sharvilaka, and the judge) speak Sanskrit; the others speak various Prākrit dialects. Only in the case of Sansthānaka have I made a rude attempt to suggest the dialect by substituting sh for s as he does. And the grandiloquence of Sharvilaka’s Sanskrit in the satirical portion of the third act I have endeavored to imitate.
Whenever the language of the original is at all technical, the translator labors under peculiar difficulty. Thus the legal terms found in the ninth act are inadequately rendered, and, to some extent at least, inevitably so; for the legal forms, or lack of forms, pictured there were never contemplated by the makers of the English legal vocabulary. It may be added here that in rendering from a literature so artificial as the Sanskrit, one must lose not only the sensuous beauty of the verse, but also many plays on words.
In regard to the not infrequent repetitions found in the text, I have used my best judgment. Such repetitions have been given in full where it seemed to me that the force or unity of the passage gained by such treatment, or where the original repeats in full, as in the case of v. 7, which is identical with iii. 29. Elsewhere, I have merely indicated the repetition after the manner of the original.
The reader will notice that there was little effort to attain realism in the presentation of an Indian play. He need not be surprised therefore to find (page 145) that Vīraka leaves the courtroom, mounts a horse, rides to the suburbs, makes an investigation and returns—all within the limits of a stage-direction. The simplicity of presentation also makes possible sudden shifts of scene. In the first act, for example, there are six scenes, which take place alternately in Chārudatta’s house and in the street outside. In those cases where a character enters “seated” or “asleep,” I have substituted the verb “appear” for the verb “enter”; yet I am not sure that this concession to realism is wise.
The system of transliteration which I have adopted is intended to render the pronunciation of proper names as simple as may be to the English reader. The consonants are to be pronounced as in English, the vowels as in Italian. Diacritical marks have been avoided, with the exception of the macron. This sign has been used consistently to mark long vowels except e and o, which are always long. Three rules suffice for the placing of the accent. A long penult is accented: Maitréya, Chārudátta. If the penult is short, the antepenult is accented provided it be long: Sansthanaka. If both penult and antepenult of a four-syllabled word are short, the preantepenultimate receives the accent: Mádanikā, Sthavaraka.
Act I., entitled The Gems are left Behind. Evening of the first day.—After the prologue, Chārudatta, who is within his house, converses with his friend Maitreya, and deplores his poverty. While they are speaking, Vasantasenā appears in the street outside. She is pursued by the courtier and Sansthānaka; the latter makes her degrading offers of his love, which she indignantly rejects. Chārudatta sends Maitreya from the house to offer sacrifice, and through the open door Vasantasenā slips unobserved into the house. Maitreya returns after an altercation with Sansthānaka, and recognizes Vasantasenā. Vasantasenā leaves a casket of gems in the house for safe keeping and returns to her home.
Act II., entitled The Shampooer who Gambled. Second day.—The act opens in Vasantasenā’s house. Vasantasenā confesses to her maid Madanikā her love for Chārudatta. Then a shampooer appears in the street, pursued by the gambling-master and a gambler, who demand of him ten gold-pieces which he has lost in the gambling-house. At this point Darduraka enters, and engages the gambling-master and the gambler in an angry discussion, during which the shampooer escapes into Vasantasenā’s house. When Vasantasenā learns that the shampooer had once served Chārudatta, she pays his debt; the grateful shampooer resolves to turn monk. As he leaves the house he is attacked by a runaway elephant, and saved by Karnapūraka, a servant of Vasantasenā.
Act III., entitled The Hole in the Wall. The night following the second day.—Chārudatta and Maitreya return home after midnight from a concert, and go to sleep. Maitreya has in his hand the gem-casket which Vasantasenā has left behind. Sharvilaka enters. He is in love with Madanikā, a maid of Vasantasenā’s, and is resolved to acquire by theft the means of buying her freedom. He makes a hole in the wall of the house, enters, and steals the casket of gems which Vasantasenā had left. Chārudatta wakes to find casket and thief gone. His wife gives him her pearl necklace with which to make restitution.
Act IV., entitled Madanikā and Sharvilaka. Third day.—Sharvilaka comes to Vasantasenā’s house to buy Madanikā’s freedom. Vasantasenā overhears the facts concerning the theft of her gem-casket from Chārudatta’s house, but accepts the casket, and gives Madanikā her freedom. As Sharvilaka leaves the house, he hears that his friend Aryaka, who had been imprisoned by the king, has escaped and is being pursued. Sharvilaka departs to help him. Maitreya comes from Chārudatta with the pearl necklace, to repay Vasantasenā for the gem-casket. She accepts the necklace also, as giving her an excuse for a visit to Chārudatta.
Act V., entitled The Storm. Evening of the third day.—Chārudatta appears in the garden of his house. Here he receives a servant of Vasantasenā, who announces that Vasantasenā is on her way to visit him. Vasantasenā then appears in the street with the courtier; the two describe alternately the violence and beauty of the storm which has suddenly arisen. Vasantasenā dismisses the courtier, enters the garden, and explains to Chārudatta how she has again come into possession of the gem-casket. Meanwhile, the storm has so increased in violence that she is compelled to spend the night at Chārudatta’s house.
Act VI., entitled The Swapping of the Bullock-carts. Morning of the fourth day.—Here she meets Chārudatta’s little son, Rohasena. The boy is peevish because he can now have only a little clay cart to play with, instead of finer toys. Vasantasenā gives him her gems to buy a toy cart of gold. Chārudatta’s servant drives up to take Vasantasenā in Chārudatta’s bullock-cart to the park, where she is to meet Chārudatta; but while Vasantasenā is making ready, he drives away to get a cushion. Then Sansthānaka’s servant drives up with his master’s cart, which Vasantasenā enters by mistake. Soon after, Chārudatta’s servant returns with his cart. Then the escaped prisoner Aryaka appears and enters Chārudatta’s cart. Two policemen come on the scene; they are searching for Aryaka. One of them looks into the cart and discovers Aryaka, but agrees to protect him. This he does by deceiving and finally maltreating his companion.
Act VII., entitled Aryaka’s Escape. Fourth day.—Chārudatta is awaiting Vasantasenā in the park. His cart, in which Aryaka lies hidden, appears. Chārudatta discovers the fugitive, removes his fetters, lends him the cart, and leaves the park.
Act VIII., entitled The Strangling of Vasantasenā. Fourth day.—A Buddhist monk, the shampooer of the second act, enters the park. He has difficulty in escaping from Sansthānaka, who appears with the courtier. Sansthānaka’s servant drives in with the cart which Vasantasenā had entered by mistake. She is discovered by Sansthānaka, who pursues her with insulting offers of love. When she repulses him, Sansthānaka gets rid of all witnesses, strangles her, and leaves her for dead. The Buddhist monk enters again, revives Vasantasenā, and conducts her to a monastery.
Act IX., entitled The Trial. Fifth day.—Sansthānaka accuses Chārudatta of murdering Vasantasenā for her money. In the course of the trial, it appears that Vasantasenā had spent the night of the storm at Chārudatta’s house; that she had left the house the next morning to meet Chārudatta in the park; that there had been a struggle in the park, which apparently ended in the murder of a woman. Chārudatta’s friend, Maitreya, enters with the gems which Vasantasenā had left to buy Chārudatta’s son a toy cart of gold. These gems fall to the floor during a scuffle between Maitreya and Sansthānaka. In view of Chārudatta’s poverty, this seems to establish the motive for the crime, and Chārudatta is condemned to death.
Act X., entitled The End. Sixth day.—Two headsmen are conducting Chārudatta to the place of execution. Chārudatta takes his last leave of his son and his friend Maitreya. But Sansthānaka’s servant escapes from confinement and betrays the truth; yet he is not believed, owing to the cunning displayed by his master. The headsmen are preparing to execute Chārudatta, when Vasantasenā herself appears upon the scene, accompanied by the Buddhist monk. Her appearance puts a summary end to the proceedings. Then news is brought that Aryaka has killed and supplanted the former king, that he wishes to reward Chārudatta, and that he has by royal edict freed Vasantasenā from the necessity of living as a courtezan. Sansthānaka is brought before Chārudatta for sentence, but is pardoned by the man whom he had so grievously injured. The play ends with the usual Epilogue.
Chārudatta,a Brahman merchant
Vardhamānaka,a servant in his house
Sansthānaka,brother-in-law of KingPālaka
Another Servant ofSansthānaka
Aryaka,a herdsman who becomes king
Sharvilaka,a Brahman, in love withMadanikā
A Shampooer, who becomes a Buddhist monk
Karnapūraka } servants ofVasantasenā
Vīraka } policemen
Goha } headsmen
Bastard pages, inVasantasenā’s house
A Judge, a Gild-warden, a Clerk, and a Beadle
Another Maid toVasantasenā
The Wife ofChārudatta
Radanikā,a maid inChārudatta’s house
Ujjayinī (called alsoAvanti) and its Environs
Benediction upon the audience
Enough of this tedious work, which fritters away the interest of the audience! Let me then most reverently salute the honorable gentlemen, and announce our intention to produce a drama called “The Little Clay Cart.” Its author was a man
And yet again:
And in this work of his,
[He walks about and looks around him.] Why, this music-room of ours is empty. I wonder where the actors have gone. [Reflecting.] Ah, I understand.
I have finished the concert. And I’ve been practising so long that the pupils of my eyes are dancing, and I’m so hungry that my eyes are crackling like a lotus-seed, dried up by the fiercest rays of the summer sun. I’ll just call my wife and ask whether there is anything for breakfast or not.
Hello! here I am—but no! Both the particular occasion and the general custom demand that I speak Prākrit. [Speaking in Prākrit.] Confound it! I’ve been practising so long and I’m so hungry that my limbs are as weak as dried-up lotus-stalks. Suppose I go home and see whether my good wife has got anything ready or not. [He walks about and looks around him.] Here I am at home. I’ll just go in. [He enters and looks about.] Merciful heavens! Why in the world is everything in our house turned upside down? A long stream of rice-water is flowing down the street. The ground, spotted black where the iron kettle has been rubbed clean, is as lovely as a girl with the beauty-marks of black cosmetic on her face. It smells so good that my hunger seems to blaze up and hurts me more than ever. Has some hidden treasure come to light? or am I hungry enough to think the whole world is made of rice? There surely isn’t any breakfast in our house, and I’m starved to death. But everything seems topsyturvy here. One girl is preparing cosmetics, another is weaving garlands of flowers. [Reflecting.] What does it all mean? Well, I’ll call my good wife and learn the truth. [He looks toward the dressing-room.] Mistress, will you come here a moment?
[Enter an actress.]
Here I am, sir.
You are very welcome, mistress.
Command me, sir. What am I to do?
Mistress, I’ve been practising so long and I’m so hungry that my limbs are as weak as dried-up lotus-stalks. Is there anything to eat in the house or not?
There’s everything, sir.
For instance—there’s rice with sugar, melted butter, curdled milk, rice; and, all together, it makes you a dish fit for heaven. May the gods always be thus gracious to you!
All that in our house? or are you joking?
[Aside.] Yes, I will have my joke. [Aloud.] It’s in the market-place, sir.
[Angrily.] You wretched woman, thus shall your own hope be cut off! And death shall find you out! For my expectations, like a scaffolding, have been raised so high, only to fall again.
Forgive me, sir, forgive me! It was only a joke.
But what do these unusual preparations mean? One girl is preparing cosmetics, another is weaving garlands, and the very ground is adorned with sacrificial flowers of five different colors.
This is a fast day, sir.
The fast for a handsome husband.
In this world, mistress, or the next?
In the next world, sir.
[Wrathfully.] Gentlemen! look at this. She is sacrificing my food to get herself a husband in the next world.
Don’t be angry, sir. I am fasting in the hope that you may be my husband in my next birth, too.
But who suggested this fast to you?
Your own dear friend Jūrnavriddha.
[Angrily.] Ah, Jūrnavriddha, son of a slave-wench! When, oh, when shall I see King Pālaka angry with you? Then you will be parted, as surely as the scented hair of some young bride.
Don’t be angry, sir. It is only that I may have you in the next world that I celebrate this fast. [She falls at his feet.]
Stand up, mistress, and tell me who is to officiate at this fast.
Some Brahman of our own sort whom we must invite.
You may go then. And I will invite some Brahman of our own sort.
Very well, sir. [Exit.
[Walking about.] Good heavens! In this rich city of Ujjayinī how am I to find a Brahman of our own sort? [He looks about him.] Ah, here comes Chārudatta’s friend Maitreya. Good! I’ll ask him. Maitreya, you must be the first to break bread in our house to-day.
You must invite some other Brahman. I am busy.
But, man, the feast is set and you have it all to yourself. Besides, you shall have a present.
I said no once. Why should you keep on urging me?
He says no. Well, I must invite some other Brahman. [Exit.
end of the prologue
[Enter, with a cloak in his hand, Maitreya.]
YOU must invite some other Brahman. I am busy.” And yet I really ought to be seeking invitations from a stranger. Oh, what a wretched state of affairs! When good Chārudatta was still wealthy, I used to eat my fill of the most deliciously fragrant sweetmeats, prepared day and night with the greatest of care. I would sit at the door of the courtyard, where I was surrounded by hundreds of dishes, and there, like a painter with his paint-boxes, I would simply touch them with my fingers and thrust them aside. I would stand chewing my cud like a bull in the city market. And now he is so poor that I have to run here, there, and everywhere, and come home, like the pigeons, only to roost. Now here is this jasmine-scented cloak, which Chārudatta’s good friend Jūrnavriddha has sent him. He bade me give it to Chārudatta, as soon as he had finished his devotions. So now I will look for Chārudatta. [He walks about and looks around him.] Chārudatta has finished his devotions, and here he comes with an offering for the divinities of the house.
[Enter Chārudatta as described, and Radanikā.]
[Looking up and sighing wearily.]
[He walks about very slowly and seats himself.]
Chārudatta is here. I must go and speak to him. [Approaching.] My greetings to you. May happiness be yours.
Ah, it is my constant friend Maitreya. You are very welcome, my friend. Pray be seated.
Thank you. [He seats himself.] Well, comrade, here is a jasmine-scented cloak which your good friend Jūrnavriddha has sent. He bade me give it you as soon as you had finished your devotions. [He presents the cloak. Chārudatta takes it and remains sunk in thought.] Well, what are you thinking about?
My good friend,
Well, which would you rather, be dead or be poor?
Ah, my friend,
My dear friend, be not thus cast down. Your wealth has been conveyed to them you love, and like the moon, after she has yielded her nectar to the gods, your waning fortunes win an added charm.
Comrade, I do not grieve for my ruined fortunes. But
Oh, confound the money! It is a trifle not worth thinking about. It is like a cattle-boy in the woods afraid of wasps; it does n’t stay anywhere where it is used for food.
But just remember what a trifle money is, after all, and be more cheerful.
My friend, the poverty of a man is to him
Comrade, I have made my offering to the divinities of the house. Do you too go and offer sacrifice to the Divine Mothers at a place where four roads meet.
Because the gods are not gracious to you even when thus honored. So what is the use of worshiping?
Not so, my friend, not so! This is the constant duty of a householder.
Why then do you hesitate? Go and offer sacrifice to the Mothers.
No, I’m not going. You must send somebody else. Anyway, everything seems to go wrong with me, poor Brahman that I am! It’s like a reflection in a mirror; the right side becomes the left, and the left becomes the right. Besides, at this hour of the evening, people are abroad upon the king’s highway—courtezans, courtiers, servants, and royal favorites. They will take me now for fair prey, just as the black-snake out frog-hunting snaps up the mouse in his path. But what will you do sitting here?
Good then, remain; and I will finish my devotions.
Stop, Vasantasenā, stop!
[Enter Vasantasenā, pursued by the courtier, by Sansthānaka, and the servant.]
Vasantasenā! Stop, stop!
Shtop, Vasantasenā, shtop!
Stop, courtezan, stop!
Vasantasenā! Stop, stop!
Shtop, Vasantasenā, shtop!
Lishten to me, shir!
Mashter! a man! a man!
Don’t be a coward.
[Laughing.] Fool! She is calling her servants.
Mashter! Is she calling a woman?
Why, of course.
Women! I kill hundreds of ’em. I’m a brave man.
[Seeing that no one answers.] Alas, how comes it that my very servants have fallen away from me? I shall have to defend myself by mother-wit.
Don’t stop the search.
Shqueal, Vasantasenā, shqueal for your cuckoo Parabhritikā, or for your blosshom Pallavaka or for all the month of May! Who’s going to save you when I’m chasing you?
Sir, I am a weak woman.
That is why you are still alive.
That is why you’re not murdered.
[Aside.] Oh! his very courtesy frightens me. Come, I will try this. [Aloud.] Sir, what do you expect from this pursuit? my jewels?
Heaven forbid! A garden creeper, mistress Vasantasenā, should not be robbed of its blossoms. Say no more about the jewels.
What is then your desire?
I’m a man, a big man, a regular Vāsudeva. You musht love me.
[Indignantly.] Heavens! You weary me. Come, leave me! Your words are an insult.
[Laughing and clapping his hands.] Look, mashter, look! The courtezan’s daughter is mighty affectionate with me, is n’t she? Here she says “Come on! Heavens, you’re weary. You’re tired!” No, I have n’t been walking to another village or another city. No, little mishtress, I shwear by the gentleman’s head, I shwear by my own feet! It’s only by chasing about at your heels that I’ve grown tired and weary.
[Aside.] What! is it possible that the idiot does not understand when she says “You weary me”? [Aloud.] Vasantasenā, your words have no place in the dwelling of a courtezan,
Yet true love would be won by virtue, not violence.
But, mashter, ever since the shlave-wench went into the park where Kāma’s temple shtands, she has been in love with a poor man, with Chārudatta, and she doesn’t love me any more. His house is to the left. Look out and don’t let her shlip out of our hands.
[Aside.] Poor fool, he has said the very thing he should have concealed. So Vasantasenā is in love with Chārudatta? The proverb is right. Pearl suits with pearl. Well, I have had enough of this fool. [Aloud.] Did you say the good merchant’s house was to the left, you jackass?
Yes. His house is to the left.
[Aside.] Oh, wonderful! If his house is really at my left hand, then the scoundrel has helped me in the very act of hurting me, for he has guided me to my love.
But mashter, it’s pitch dark and it’s like hunting for a grain of soot in a pile of shpotted beans. Now you shee Vasantasenā and now you don’t.
Pitch dark it is indeed.
Mashter, I’m looking for Vasantasenā.
Is there anything you can trace her by, jackass?
Like what, for inshtance?
Like the tinkling of her jewels, for instance, or the fragrance of her garlands.
I hear the shmell of her garlands, but my nose is shtuffed so full of darkness that I don’t shee the shound of her jewels very clearly.
[To Vasantasenā. Aside.] Vasantasenā,
Have you heard me, Vasantasenā?
[To herself.] Heard and understood. [She removes the ankle-rings, lays aside the garlands, and takes a few steps, feeling her way.] I can feel the wall of the house, and here is a sideentrance. But alas! my fingers tell me that the door is shut.
[who is within the house]. Comrade, my prayer is done. Go now and offer sacrifice to the Mothers.
No, I’m not going.
And yet again:
[Betraying his embarrassment.] Well, comrade, if I must go, at least let Radanikā go with me, to keep me company.
Radanikā, you are to accompany Maitreya.
Mistress Radanikā, do you take the offering and the candle while I open the side-door. [He does so.]
It seems as if the door took pity on me and opened of itself. I will lose no time, but enter. [She looks in.] What? a candle? Oh dear, oh dear! [She puts it out with her skirt and enters.]
What was that, Maitreya?
I opened the side-door and the wind came through all in a lump and blew out the candle. Suppose you go out by the side-door, Radanikā, and I will follow as soon as I have gone into the courtyard and lighted the candle again. [Exit.
Mashter! mashter! I’m looking for Vasantasenā.
Keep on looking, keep on looking!
[Does so.] Mashter! mashter! I’ve caught her! I’ve caught her!
Idiot, you’ve caught me.
You shtand right here, mashter, and shtay where you’re put. [He renews the search and seizes the servant.] Mashter! mashter! I’ve caught her! I’ve caught her!
Master, you’ve caught me, your servant.
Mashter here, shervant here! Mashter, shervant; shervant, mashter. Now shtay where you’re put, both of you. [He renews the search and seizes Radanikā by the hair.] Mashter! mashter! Thish time I’ve caught her! I’ve caught Vasantasenā!
[In terror.] Oh, sirs, what does this mean?
You jackass! It’s another voice.
Mashter, the wench has changed her voice, the way a cat changes her voice, when she wants shome cream of curdled milk.
Changed her voice? Strange! Yet why so strange?
Look! In the gentle evening breeze the flame of the candle is fluttering like the heart of a goat that goes to the altar. [He approaches and discovers Radanikā.] Mistress Radanikā!
Mashter, mashter! A man! a man!
This is right, this is perfectly right, that strangers should force their way into the house, just because Chārudatta is poor.
Oh, Maitreya, see how they insult me.
What! insult you? No, they are insulting us.
Very well. They are insulting you, then.
But they are n’t using violence?
[Raising his staff angrily.] No, sir! Man, a dog will show his teeth in his own kennel, and I am a Brahman! My staff is crooked as my fortunes, but it can still split a dry bamboo or a rascal’s pate.
Have mercy, O great Brahman, have mercy.
[Discovers the courtier.] He is not the sinner. [Discovers Sansthānaka.] Ah, here is the sinner. Well, you brother-in-law to the king, Sansthānaka, you scoundrel, you coward, this is perfectly proper, is n’t it? Chārudatta the good is a poor man now—true, but are not his virtues an ornament to Ujjayinī? And so men break into his house and insult his servants!
[Betraying his embarrassment.] Have mercy, O great Brahman, have mercy. We intended no insolence; we merely mistook this lady for another. For
We sought an amorous maiden,
What! this one?
I pray you, accept this all-in-all of humblest supplication. [Hedrops his sword, folds his hands, and falls at Maitreya’s feet.]
Good man, rise, rise. When I reviled you, I did not know you. Now I know you and I ask your pardon.
It is I who should ask pardon. I will rise on one condition.
And that is—
That you will not tell Chārudatta what has happened here.
I will be silent.
[Indignantly.] But mashter, what makes you fold your hands sho helplesshly and fall at the feet of thish manikin?
I was afraid.
What were you afraid of?
Of Chārudatta’s virtues.
Virtues? He? You can go into his houshe and not find a thing to eat.
[Impatiently.] Who is the shon of a shlave-wench anyway?
Fool! I will tell you who Chārudatta is.
Let us be gone.
Vasantasenā has disappeared.
I’m not going without Vasantasenā.
And did you never hear this?
If you’re going, go along. I’m not going.
Very well. I will go. [Exit.
Mashter’s gone, sure enough. [To Maitreya.] Well, you man with the head that looks like a caret, you manikin, take a sheat, take a sheat.
We have already been invited to take a seat.
Shtand up, then, shtand up!
When fate is kind again.
Weep, then, weep!
We have wept.
Who made you?
Laugh, then, laugh!
Laugh we shall.
When Chārudatta is happy once more.
You manikin, give poor little Chārudatta thish messhage from me. “Thish wench with golden ornaments and golden jewels, thish female shtage-manager looking after the rehearsal of a new play, thish Vasantasenā—she has been in love with you ever shince she went into the park where Kāma’s temple shtands. And when we tried to conciliate her by force, she went into your houshe. Now if you shend her away yourshelf and hand her over to me, if you reshtore her at once, without any lawshuit in court, then I’ll be friends with you forever. But if you don’t reshtore her, there will be a fight to the death.” Remember:
Tell it to him prettily, tell it to him craftily. Tell it to him sho that I can hear it as I roosht in the dove-cote on the top of my own palace. If you shay it different, I’ll chew your head like an apple caught in the crack of a door.
Very well. I shall tell him.
[Aside.] Tell me, shervant. Is mashter really gone?
Then we will go as quickly as we can.
Then take your sword, master.
You can keep it.
Here it is, master. Take your sword, master.
[Taking it by the wrong end.]
[Shansthānaka and the servant walk about, then exeunt.
Mistress Radanikā, you must not tell good Chārudatta of this outrage. I am sure you would only add to the poor man’s sorrows.
Good Maitreya, you know Radanikā. Her lips are sealed.
So be it.
[To Vasantasenā.] Radanikā, Rohasena likes the fresh air, but he will be cold in the evening chill. Pray bring him into the house, and cover him with this mantle. [He gives her the mantle.]
[To herself.] See! He thinks I am his servant. [She takes the mantle and perceives its perfume. Ardently to herself.] Oh, beautiful! The mantle is fragrant with jasmine. His youthful days are not wholly indifferent to the pleasures of the world. [She wraps it about her, without letting Chārudatta see.]
Come, Radanikā, take Rohasena and enter the heart of the house.
[To herself.] Ah me unhappy, that have little part or lot in your heart!
Come, Radanikā, will you not even answer? Alas!
[Drawing near to Radanikā.] Sir, here is Radanikā.
Here is Radanikā? Who then is this—
[To herself.] Say rather “consecrated.”
But no! I may not gaze upon another’s wife.
Oh, you need not fear that you are looking at another man’s wife. This is Vasantasenā, who has been in love with you ever since she saw you in the garden where Kāma’s temple stands.
What! this is Vasantasenā? [Aside.]
My friend, that brother-in-law of the king says—
“This wench with golden ornaments and golden jewels, this female stage-manager looking after the rehearsal of a new play, this Vasantasenā—she has been in love with you ever since she went into the park where Kāma’s temple stands. And when we tried to conciliate her by force, she went into your house.”
[To herself.] “Tried to conciliate me by force”—truly, I am honored by these words.
“Now if you send her away yourself and hand her over to me, if you restore her at once, without any lawsuit in court, then I’ll be friends with you forever. Otherwise, there will be a fight to the death.”
[Contemptuously.] He is a fool. [To himself.] How is this maiden worthy of the worship that we pay a goddess! For now
[Aloud.] Mistress Vasantasenā, I have unwittingly made myself guilty of an offense; for I greeted as a servant one whom I did not recognize. I bend my neck to ask your pardon.
It is I who have offended by this unseemly intrusion. I bow my head to seek your forgiveness.
Yes, with your pretty bows you two have knocked your heads together, till they look like a couple of rice-fields. I also bow my head like a camel colt’s knee and beseech you both to stand up. [He does so, then rises.]
Very well, let us no longer trouble ourselves with conventions.
[To herself.] What a delightfully clever hint! But it would hardly be proper to spend the night, considering how I came hither. Well, I will at least say this much. [Aloud.] If I am to receive thus much of your favor, sir, I should be glad to leave these jewels in your house. It was for the sake of the jewels that those scoundrels pursued me.
This house is not worthy of the trust.
You mistake, sir! It is to men that treasures are entrusted, not to houses.
Maitreya, will you receive the jewels?
I am much indebted to you. [She hands him the jewels.]
[Receiving them.] Heaven bless you, madam.
Fool! They are only entrusted to us.
[Aside.] Then the thieves may take them, for all I care.
In a very short time—
What she has entrusted to us, belongs to us.
I shall restore them.
I should be grateful, sir, if this gentleman would accompany me home.
Maitreya, pray accompany our guest.
She walks as gracefully as a female swan, and you are the gay flamingo to accompany her. But I am only a poor Brahman, and wherever I go, the people will fall upon me just as dogs will snap at a victim dragged to the cross-roads.
Very well. I will accompany her myself. Let the torches be lighted, to ensure our safety on the highway.
Vardhamānaka, light the torches.
[Aside to Maitreya.] What! light torches without oil?
[Aside to Chārudatta.] These torches of ours are like courtezans who despise their poor lovers. They won’t light up unless you feed them.
Enough, Maitreya! We need no torches. See, we have a lamp upon the king’s highway.
[His voice betraying his passion.] Mistress Vasantasenā, we have reached your home. Pray enter. [Vasantasenā gazes ardently at him, then exit.] Comrade, Vasantasenā is gone. Come, let us go home.
[He walks about.] And you shall guard this golden casket by night, and Vardhamānaka by day.
Very well. [Exeunt ambo.
[Enter a maid.]
I AM sent with a message to my mistress by her mother. I must go in and find my mistress. [She walks about and looks around her.] There is my mistress. She is painting a picture, and putting her whole heart into it. I must go and speak to her.
[Then appear the love-lorn Vasantasenā, seated, and Madanikā.]
Well, girl, and then—
But mistress, you were not speaking of anything. What do you mean?
Why, what did I say?
You said, “and then”—
[Puckering her brows.] Oh, yes. So I did.
[Approaching.] Mistress, your mother sends word that you should bathe and then offer worship to the gods.
You may tell my mother that I shall not take the ceremonial bath to-day. A Brahman must offer worship in my place.
Yes, mistress. [Exit.
My dear mistress, it is love, not naughtiness, that asks the question—but what does this mean?
Tell me, Madanikā. How do I seem to you?
My mistress is so absent-minded that I know her heart is filled with longing for somebody.
Well guessed. My Madanikā is quick to fathom another’s heart.
I am very, very glad. Yes, Kāma is indeed mighty, and his great festival is welcome when one is young. But tell me, mistress, is it a king, or a king’s favorite, whom you worship?
Girl, I wish to love, not to worship.
Is it a Brahman that excites your passion, some youth distinguished for very particular learning?
A Brahman I should have to reverence.
Or is it some young merchant, grown enormously wealthy from visiting many cities?
A merchant, girl, must go to other countries and leave you behind, no matter how much you love him. And the separation makes you very sad.
It is n’t a king, nor a favorite, nor a Brahman, nor a merchant. Who is it then that the princess loves?
Girl! Girl! You went with me to the park where Kāma’s temple stands?
And yet you ask, as if you were a perfect stranger.
Now I know. Is it the man who comforted you when you asked to be protected?
Well, what was his name?
Why, he lives in the merchants’ quarter.
But I asked you for his name.
His name, mistress, is a good omen in itself. His name is Chārudatta.
[Joyfully.] Good, Madanikā, good. You have guessed it.
[Aside.] So much for that. [Aloud.] Mistress, they say he is poor.
That is the very reason why I love him. For a courtezan who sets her heart on a poor man is blameless in the eyes of the world.
But mistress, do the butterflies visit the mango-tree when its blossoms have fallen?
That is just why we call that sort of a girl a butterfly.
Well, mistress, if you love him, why don’t you go and visit him at once?
Girl, if I should visit him at once, then, because he can’t make any return—no, I don’t mean that, but it would be hard to see him.
Is that the reason why you left your jewels with him?
You have guessed it.
A voicebehind the scenes. Oh, sir, a shampooer owes me ten gold-pieces, and he got away from us. Hold him, hold him! [To the fleeing shampooer.] Stop, stop! I see you from here. [Enter hurriedly a frightened shampooer.]
Oh, confound this gambling business!
While the keeper and the gambler are looking somewhere else for me, I’ll just walk backwards into this empty temple and turn goddess. [He makes all sorts of gestures, takes his place, and waits. Enter Māthura and the gambler.]
Oh, sir, a shampooer owes me ten gold-pieces, and he got away from us. Hold him, hold him! Stop, stop! I see you from here.
[Examining the footprints.] Here he goes. And here the tracks are lost.
[Gazes at the footprints. Reflectively.] Look! The feet are turned around. And the temple has n’t any image. [After a moment’s thought.] That rogue of a shampooer has gone into the temple with his feet turned around.
Let’s follow him.
All right. [They enter the temple and take a good look, then make signs to each other.]
What! a wooden image?
Of course not. It’s stone. [He shakes it with all his might, then makes signs.] What do we care? Come, let’s have a game. [He starts to gamble as hard as he can.]
[Trying with all his might to repress the gambling fever. Aside.] Oh, oh!
My turn, my turn!
Not much! it’s my turn.
[Coming up quickly from behind.] Is n’t it my turn?
We’ve got our man.
[Seizing him.] You jail-bird, you’re caught. Pay me my ten gold-pieces.
I’ll pay you this very day.
Pay me this very minute!
I’ll pay you. Only have mercy!
Come, will you pay me now?
My head is getting dizzy. [He falls to the ground. The others beat him with all their might.]
There [drawing the gamblers’ ring] you’re bound by the gamblers’ ring.
[Rises. Despairingly.] What! bound by the gamblers’ ring? Confound it! That is a limit which we gamblers can’t pass. Where can I get the money to pay him?
Well then, you must give surety.
I have an idea. [He nudges the gambler.] I’ll give you half, if you’ll forgive me the other half.
[To Māthura.] I’ll give you surety for a half. You might forgive me the other half.
All right. Where’s the harm?
[Aloud.] You forgave me a half, sir?
[To the gambler.] And you forgave me a half?
Then I think I’ll be going.
Pay me my ten gold-pieces! Where are you going?
Look at this, gentlemen, look at this! Here I just gave surety to one of them for a half, and the other forgave me a half. And even after that he is dunning me, poor helpless me!
[Seizing him.] My name is Māthura, the clever swindler, and you’re not going to swindle me this time. Pay up, jail-bird, every bit of my money, and this minute, too.
How can I pay?
Sell your father and pay.
Where can I get a father?
Sell your mother and pay.
Where can I get a mother?
Sell yourself and pay.
Have mercy! Lead me to the king’s highway.
If it must be. [He walks about.] Gentlemen, will you buy me for ten gold-pieces from this gambling-master? [He sees a passer-by and calls out.] What is that? You wish to know what I can do? I will be your house-servant. What! he has gone without even answering. Well, here’s another. I’ll speak to him. [He repeats his offer.] What! this one too takes no notice of me. He is gone. Confound it! I’ve had hard luck ever since Chārudatta lost his fortune.
Will you pay?
How can I pay? [He falls down. Māthura drags him about.] Good gentlemen, save me, save me! [Enter Darduraka.]
Yes, gambling is a kingdom without a throne.
[He looks before him.] Here comes Māthura, our sometime gambling-master. Well, as I can’t escape, I think I’ll put on my veil. [He makes any number of gestures with his cloak, then examines it.]
Yet after all, what more could a poor saint do? For you see,
How can I pay? [Māthura drags him about.]
Well, well, what is this I see? [He addresses a bystander.] What did you say, sir? “This shampooer is being maltreated by the gambling-master, and no one will save him”? I’ll save him myself. [He presses forward.] Stand back, stand back! [He takes a look.] Well, if this is n’t that swindler Māthura. And here is the poor saintly shampooer; a saint to be sure,
Well, I must pacify Māthura. [He approaches.] How do you do, Māthura? [Māthura returns the greeting.]
What does this mean?
He owes me ten gold-pieces.
A mere bagatelle!
[Pulling the rolled-up cloak from under Darduraka’s arm.] Look, gentlemen, look! The man in the ragged cloak calls ten gold-pieces a mere bagatelle.
My good fool, don’t I risk ten gold-pieces on a cast of the dice? Suppose a man has money—is that any reason why he should put it in his bosom and show it? But you,
Ten gold-pieces may be a mere bagatelle to you, sir. To me they are a fortune.
Well then, listen to me. Just give him ten more, and let him go to gambling again.
And what then?
If he wins, he will pay you.
And if he does n’t win?
Then he won’t pay you.
This is no time for nonsense. If you say that, you can give him the money yourself. My name is Māthura. I’m a swindler and I play a crooked game, and I’m not afraid of anybody. You are an immoral scoundrel.
Who did you say was immoral?
Your father is immoral. [He gives the shampooer a sign to escape.]
You cur! That is just the way that you gamble.
That is the way I gamble?
Come, shampooer, pay me my ten gold-pieces.
I’ll pay you this very day. I’ll pay at once. [Māthura drags him about.]
Fool! You may maltreat him when I am away, but not before my eyes.
[Māthura seizes the shampooer and hits him on the nose. The shampooer bleeds, faints, and falls flat. Darduraka approaches and interferes. Māthura strikes Darduraka, and Darduraka strikes back.]
Oh, oh, you accursèd hound! But I’ll pay you for this.
My good fool, I was walking peaceably along the street, and you struck me. If you strike me to-morrow in court, then you will open your eyes.
Yes, I’ll open my eyes.
How will you open your eyes?
[Opening his eyes wide.] This is the way I’ll open my eyes.
[Darduraka throws dust in Māthura’s eyes, and gives the shampooer a sign to escape. Māthura shuts his eyes and falls down. The shampooer escapes.]
[Aside.] I have made an enemy of the influential gambling-master Māthura. I had better not stay here. Besides, my good friend Sharvilaka told me that a young herdsman named Aryaka has been designated by a soothsayer as our future king. Now everybody in my condition is running after him. I think I will join myself to him. [Exit.
[Trembles as he walks away and looks about him.] Here is a house where somebody has left the side-door open. I will go in. [He enters and perceives Vasantasenā.] Madam, I throw myself upon your protection.
He who throws himself upon my protection shall be safe. Close the door, girl. [The maid does so.]
What do you fear?
A creditor, madam.
You may open the door now, girl.
[To himself.] Ah! Her reasons for not fearing a creditor are in proportion to her innocence. The proverb is right:
That means me.
[Wiping his eyes. To the gambler.] Pay, pay!
While we were quarreling with Darduraka, sir, the man escaped.
I broke that shampooer’s nose for him with my fist. Come on! Let’s trace him by the blood. [They do so.]
He went into Vasantasenā’s house, sir.
Then that is the end of the gold-pieces.
Let’s go to court and lodge a complaint.
The swindler would leave the house and escape. No, we must besiege him and so capture him.
[Vasantasenā gives Madanikā a sign.]
Whence are you, sir? or who are you, sir? or whose son are you, sir? or what is your business, sir? or what are you afraid of?
Listen, madam. My birthplace is Pātaliputra, madam. I am the son of a householder. I practise the trade of a shampooer.
It is a very dainty art, sir, which you have mastered.
Madam, as an art I mastered it. It has now become a mere trade.
Your answers are most disconsolate, sir. Pray continue.
Yes, madam. When I was at home, I used to hear travelers tell tales, and I wanted to see new countries, and so I came here. And when I had come here to Ujjayinī, I became the servant of a noble gentleman. Such a handsome, courteous gentleman! When he gave money away, he did not boast; when he was injured, he forgot it. To cut a long story short: he was so courteous that he regarded his own person as the possession of others, and had compassion on all who sought his protection.
Who may it be that adorns Ujjayinī with the virtues which he has stolen from the object of my mistress’ desires?
Good, girl, good! I had the same thought in mind.
But to continue, sir—
Madam, he was so compassionate and so generous that now—
His riches have vanished?
I did n’t say it. How did you guess it, madam?
What was there to guess? Virtue and money seldom keep company. In the pools from which men cannot drink there is so much the more water.
But sir, what is his name?
Madam, who does not know the name of this moon of the whole world? He lives in the merchants’ quarter. He whose name is worthy of all honor is named Chārudatta.
[Joyfully rising from her seat.] Sir, this house is your own. Give him a seat, girl, and take this fan. The gentleman is weary. [Madanikā does as she is bid.]
[Aside.] What! so much honor because I mentioned Chārudatta’s name? Heaven bless you, Chārudatta! You are the only man in the world who really lives. All others merely breathe. [He falls at Vasantasenā’s feet.] Enough, madam, enough. Pray be seated, madam.
[Seating herself.] Where is he who is so richly your creditor, sir?
But to continue—
So I became a servant in his employ. And when his wealth was reduced to his virtue, I began to live by gambling. But fate was cruel, and I lost ten gold-pieces.
I am ruined! I am robbed!
There are the gambling-master and the gambler, looking for me. You have heard my story, madam. The rest is your affair.
Madanikā, the birds fly everywhither when the tree is shaken in which they have their nests. Go, girl, and give the gambling-master and the gambler this bracelet. And tell them that this gentleman sends it. [She removes a bracelet from her arm, and gives it to Madanikā.]
[Receiving the bracelet.] Yes, mistress. [She goes out.]
I am ruined! I am robbed!
Inasmuch as these two are looking up to heaven, and sighing, and chattering, and fastening their eyes on the door, I conclude that they must be the gambling-master and the gambler. [Approaching.] I salute you, sir.
May happiness be yours.
Sir, which of you is the gambling-master?
I have n’t got any money. You’ll have to look somewhere else.
You are certainly no gambler, if you talk that way. Is there any one who owes you money?
There is. He owes ten gold-pieces. What of him?
In his behalf my mistress sends you this bracelet. No, no! He sends it himself.
[Seizing it joyfully.] Well, well, you may tell the noble youth that his account is squared. Let him come and seek delight again in gambling. [Exeunt Māthura and the gambler.
[Returning to Vasantasenā.] Mistress, the gambling-master and the gambler have gone away well-pleased.
Go, sir, and comfort your kinsfolk.
Ah, madam, if it may be, these hands would gladly practise their art in your service.
But sir, he for whose sake you mastered the art, who first received your service, he should have your service still.
[Aside.] A very pretty way to decline my services. How shall I repay her kindness? [Aloud.] Madam, thus dishonored as a gambler, I shall become a Buddhist monk. And so, madam, treasure these words in your memory: “He was a shampooer, a gambler, a Buddhist monk.”
Sir, you must not act too precipitately.
Madam, my mind is made up. [He walks about.]
[Tumultuous cries behind the scenes.]
[Listening.] What is this? What is this? [Addressing some one behind the scenes.] What did you say? “Post-breaker, Vasantasenā’s rogue elephant, is at liberty!” Hurrah! I must go and see the lady’s best elephant. No, no! What have I to do with these things? I must hold to my resolution. [Exit.
[Then enter hastily Karnapūraka, highly delighted, wearing a gorgeous mantle.]
Where is she? Where is my mistress?
Insolent! What can it be that so excites you? You do not see your mistress before your very eyes.
[Perceiving Vasantasenā.] Mistress, my service to you.
Karnapūraka, your face is beaming. What is it?
[Proudly.] Oh, mistress! You missed it! You did n’t see Karnapūraka’s heroism to-day!
What, Karnapūraka, what?
Listen. Post-breaker, my mistress’ rogue elephant, broke the stake he was tied to, killed his keeper, and ran into the street, making a terrible commotion. You should have heard the people shriek,
And that rogue of an elephant dives with his trunk and his feet and his tusks into the city of Ujjayinī, as if it were a lotus-pond in full flower. At last he comes upon a Buddhist monk. And while the man’s staff and his water-jar and his begging-bowl fly every which way, he drizzles water over him and gets him between his tusks. The people see him and begin to shriek again, crying “Oh, oh, the monk is killed!”
[Anxiously.] Oh, what carelessness, what carelessness!
Don’t be frightened. Just listen, mistress. Then, with a big piece of the broken chain dangling about him, he picked him up, picked up the monk between his tusks, and just then Karnapūraka saw him, I saw him, no, no! the slave who grows fat on my mistress’ rice-cakes saw him, stumbled with his left foot over a gambler’s score, grabbed up an iron pole out of a shop, and challenged the mad elephant—
Go on! Go on!
Splendid, splendid! But go on!
Then, mistress, all Ujjayinī tipped over to one side, like a ship loaded unevenly, and you could hear nothing but “Hurrah, hurrah for Karnapūraka!” Then, mistress, a man touched the places where he ought to have ornaments, and, finding that he had n’t any, looked up, heaved a long sigh, and threw this mantle over me.
Find out, Karnapūraka, whether the mantle is perfumed with jasmine or not.
Mistress, the elephant perfume is so strong that I can’t tell for sure.
Then look at the name.
Here is the name. You may read it, mistress. [He hands her the mantle.]
[Reads.] Chārudatta. [She seizes the mantle eagerly and wraps it about her.]
The mantle is very becoming to her, Karnapūraka.
Oh, yes, the mantle is becoming enough.
Here is your reward, Karnapūraka. [She gives him a gem.]
[Taking it and bowing low.] Now the mantle is most wonderfully becoming.
Karnapūraka, where is Chārudatta now?
He started to go home along this very street.
Come, girl! Let us go to the upper balcony and see Chārudatta. [Exeunt omnes.
[Enter Chārudatta’s servant, Vardhamānaka.]
It is some time since Chārudatta went to the concert. It is past midnight, and still he does not come. I think I will go into the outer hall and take a nap. [He does so.]
[Enter Chārudatta and Maitreya.]
How beautifully Rebhila sang! The lute is indeed a pearl, a pearl not of the ocean.
Well then, let’s go into the house.
But how wonderfully Master Rebhila sang!
There are just two things that always make me laugh. One is a woman talking Sanskrit, and the other is a man who tries to sing soft and low. Now when a woman talks Sanskrit, she is like a heifer with a new rope through her nose; all you hear is “soo, soo, soo.” And when a man tries to sing soft and low, he reminds me of an old priest muttering texts, while the flowers in his chaplet dry up. No, I don’t like it!
My friend, Master Rebhila sang most wonderfully this evening. And still you are not satisfied.
But see, my friend! The very dogs are sound asleep in the shops that look out on the market. Let us go home. [He looks before him.] Look, look! The blessèd moon seems to give place to darkness, as she descends from her palace in heaven.
Well, here is our house. Vardhamānaka, Vardhamānaka, open the door!
I hear Maitreya’s voice. Chārudatta has returned. I must open the door for him. [He does so.] Master, I salute you. Maitreya, I salute you too. The couch is ready. Pray be seated. [Chārudatta and Maitreya enter and seat themselves.]
Vardhamānaka, call Radanikā to wash our feet.
[Compassionately.] She sleeps. Do not wake her.
I will bring the water, Maitreya, and you may wash Chārudatta’s feet.
[Angrily.] Look, man. He acts like the son of a slave that he is, for he is bringing water. But he makes me wash your feet, and I am a Brahman.
Good Maitreya, do you bring the water, and Vardhamānaka shall wash my feet.
Yes, Maitreya. Do you bring the water. [Maitreya does so. Vardhamānaka washes Chārudatta’s feet, then moves away.]
Let water be brought for the Brahman’s feet.
What good does water do my feet? I shall have to roll in the dirt again, like a beaten ass.
Maitreya, you are a Brahman.
Yes, like a slow-worm among all the other snakes, so am I a Brahman among all the other Brahmans.
Maitreya, I will wash your feet after all. [He does so.] Maitreya, this golden casket I was to keep by day, you by night. Take it. [He gives it to Maitreya, then exit.
[Receiving the casket.] The thing is here still. Is n’t there a single thief in Ujjayinī to steal the wretch that robs me of my sleep? Listen. I am going to take it into the inner court.
[He nods, repeating the stanza “The melody of song, the stricken strings:” page 44.]
Are you going to sleep?
Yes, so it seems.
Then let’s go to sleep. [He does so.]
[Enter Sharvilaka. ]
[He gazes at the sky. Joyfully.] See! The blessèd moon is setting.
For well I know,
I made a breach in the orchard wall and entered. And now I must force my way into the inner court as well.
But where shall I make the breach?
[He feels the wall.] Here is a spot weakened by constant sun and sprinkling and eaten by saltpeter rot. And here is a pile of dirt thrown up by a mouse. Now heaven be praised! My venture prospers. This is the first sign of success for Skanda’s sons. Now first of all, how shall I make the breach? The blessèd Bearer of the Golden Lance has prescribed four varieties of breach, thus: if the bricks are baked, pull them out; if they are unbaked, cut them; if they are made of earth, wet them; if they are made of wood, split them. Here we have baked bricks; ergo, pull out the bricks.
In this wall of baked bricks, the “bulging pot” would be effective. I will make that.
Praise to the boon-conferring god, to Skanda of immortal youth! Praise to him, the Bearer of the Golden Lance, the Brahman’s god, the pious! Praise to him, the Child of the Sun! Praise to him, the teacher of magic, whose first pupil I am! For he found pleasure in me and gave me magic ointment,
[He anoints himself.] Alas, I have forgotten my measuring line. [Reflecting.] Aha! This sacred cord shall be my measuring line. Yes, the sacred cord is a great blessing to a Brahman, especially to one like me. For, you see,
The measuring is done. I begin my task. [He does so, then takes a look.] My breach lacks but a single brick. Alas, I am bitten by a snake. [He binds his finger with the sacred cord, and manifests the workings of poison.] I have applied the remedy, and now I am restored. [He continues his work, then gazes.] Ah, there burns a candle. See!
[He returns to his work.] The breach is finished. Good! I enter. But no, I will not enter yet. I will shove a dummy in. [He does so.] Ah, no one is there. Praise be to Skanda! [He enters and looks about.] See! Two men asleep. Come, for my own protection I will open the door. But the house is old and the door squeaks. I must look for water. Now where might water be? [He looks about, finds water, and sprinkles the door. Anxiously.] I hope it will not fall upon the floor and make a noise. Come, this is the way. [He puts his back against the door and opens it cautiously.] Good! So much for that. Now I must discover whether these two are feigning sleep, or whether they are asleep in the fullest meaning of the term. [He tries to terrify them, and notes the effect.] Yes, they must be asleep in the fullest meaning of the term. For see!
[He looks about him.] What! a drum? And here is a flute. And here, a snare-drum. And here, a lute. And reed-pipes. And yonder, manuscripts. Is this the house of a dancing-master? But no! When I entered, I was convinced that this was a palatial residence. Now then, is this man poor in the fullest meaning of the term, or, from fear of the king or of thieves, does he keep his property buried? Well, my own property is buried, too. But I will scatter the seeds that betray subterranean gold. [He does so.] The scattered seeds nowhere swell up. Ah, he is poor in the fullest meaning of the term. Good! I go.
[Talking in his sleep.] Look, man. I see something like a hole in the wall. I see something like a thief. You had better take this golden casket.
I wonder if the man has discovered that I have entered, and is showing off his poverty in order to make fun of me. Shall I kill him, or is the poor devil talking in his sleep? [He takes a look.] But see! This thing wrapped in a ragged bath-clout, now that I inspect it by the light of my candle, is in truth a jewel-casket. Suppose I take it. But no! It is hardly proper to rob a man of good birth, who is as poor as I am. I go.
My friend, by the wishes of cows and Brahmans I conjure you to take this golden casket.
One may not disregard the sacred wish of a cow and the wish of a Brahman. I will take it. But look! There burns the candle. I keep about me a moth for the express purpose of extinguishing candles. I will let him enter the flame. This is his place and hour. May this moth which I here release, depart to flutter above the flame in varying circles. The breeze from the insect’s wings has translated the flame into accursèd darkness. Or shall I not rather curse the darkness brought by me upon my Brahmanic family? For my father was a man who knew the four Vedas, who would not accept a gift; and I, Sharvilaka, his son, and a Brahman, I am committing a crime for the sake of that courtezan girl Madanikā. Now I will grant the Brahman’s wish. [He reaches out for the casket.]
How cold your fingers are, man!
What carelessness! My fingers are cold from touching water. Well, I will put my hand in my armpit. [He warms his left hand and takes the casket.]
Have you got it?
I could not refuse a Brahman’s request. I have it.
Now I shall sleep as peacefully as a merchant who has sold his wares.
O great Brahman, sleep a hundred years! Alas that a Brahman family should thus be plunged in darkness for the sake of Madanikā, a courtezan! Or better, I myself am thus plunged in darkness.
Well then, I must go to Vasantasenā’s house to buy Madanikā’s freedom. [He walks about and looks around him.] Ah, I think I hear footsteps. I hope they are not those of policemen. Never mind. I will pretend to be a pillar, and wait. But after all, do policemen exist for me, for Sharvilaka? Why, I am
[Entering.] Dear me! Vardhamānaka went to sleep in the outer court, and now he is not there. Well, I will call Maitreya. [She walks about.]
[Prepares to strike down Radanikā, but first takes a look.] What! a woman? Good! I go. [Exit.
[Recoiling in terror.] Oh, oh, a thief has cut a hole in the wall of our house and is escaping. I must go and wake Maitreya. [She approaches Maitreya.] Oh, Maitreya, get up, get up! A thief has cut a hole in the wall of our house and has escaped.
[Rising.] What do you mean, wench? “A hole in the wall has cut a thief and has escaped”?
Poor fool! Stop your joking. Don’t you see it?
What do you mean, wench? “It looks as if a second door had been thrown open”? Get up, friend Chārudatta, get up! A thief has made a hole in the wall of our house and has escaped.
Yes, yes! A truce to your jests!
But it is n’t a jest. Look!
[Gazing.] What a very remarkable hole!
To think that science should be expended on a task like this!
My friend, this hole must have been made by one of two men; either by a stranger, or else for practice by a student of the science of robbery. For what man here in Ujjayinī does not know how much wealth there is in our house?
Just think of the poor fellow telling his friends: “I entered the house of a merchant’s son, and found—nothing.”
Do you mean to say that you pity the rascally robber? Thinks he—“Here’s a great house. Here’s the place to carry off a jewel-casket or a gold-casket.” [He remembers the casket. Despondently. Aside.] Where is that golden casket? [He remembers the events of the night. Aloud.] Look, man! You are always saying “Maitreya is a fool, Maitreya is no scholar.” But I certainly acted wisely in handing over that golden casket to you. If I had n’t, the son of a slave would have carried it off.
A truce to your jests!
Just because I’m a fool, do you suppose I don’t even know the place and time for a jest?
But when did this happen?
Why, when I told you that your fingers were cold.
It might have been. [He searches about. Joyfully.] My friend, I have something pleasant to tell you.
What? Was n’t it stolen?
What is the pleasant news, then?
The fact that he did not go away disappointed.
But it was only entrusted to our care.
What! entrusted to our care? [He swoons.]
Come to yourself, man. Is the fact that a thief stole what was entrusted to you, any reason why you should swoon?
[Coming to himself.] Ah, my friend,
I intend to deny the whole thing. Who gave anybody anything? who received anything from anybody? who was a witness?
And shall I tell a falsehood now?
I will go and tell his good wife. [She goes out, returning with Chārudatta’s wife.]
[Anxiously.] Oh! Is it true that my lord is uninjured, and Maitreya too?
It is true, mistress. But the gems which belong to the courtezan have been stolen. [Chārudatta’s wife swoons.] O my good mistress! Come to yourself!
[Recovering.] Girl, how can you say that my lord is uninjured? Better that he were injured in body than in character. For now the people of Ujjayinī will say that my lord committed this crime because of his poverty. [She looks up and sighs.] Ah, mighty Fate! The destinies of the poor, uncertain as the water-drops which fall upon a lotus-leaf, seem to thee but playthings. There remains to me this one necklace, which I brought with me from my mother’s house. But my lord would be too proud to accept it. Girl, call Maitreya hither.
Yes, mistress. [She approaches Maitreya.] Maitreya, my lady summons you.
Where is she?
[Approaching.] Heaven bless you!
I salute you, sir. Sir, will you look straight in front of you?
Madam, here stands a man who looks straight in front of him.
Sir, you must accept this.
I have observed the Ceremony of the Gems. And on this occasion one must make as great a present as one may to a Brahman. This I have not done, therefore pray accept this necklace.
[Receiving the necklace.] Heaven bless you! I will go and tell my friend.
You must not do it in such a way as to make me blush, Maitreya. [Exit.
[In astonishment.] What generosity!
How Maitreya lingers! I trust his grief is not leading him to do what he ought not. Maitreya, Maitreya!
[Approaching.] Here I am. Take that. [He displays the necklace.]
What is this?
Why, that is the reward you get for marrying such a wife.
What! my wife takes pity on me? Alas, now am I poor indeed!
But no, I am not poor. For I have a wife
Maitreya, take the necklace and go to Vasantasenā. Tell her in my name that we have gambled away the golden casket, forgetting that it was not our own; that we trust she will accept this necklace in its place.
But you must not give away this necklace, the pride of the four seas, for that cheap thing that was stolen before we had a bite or a drink out of it.
Not so, my friend.
Friend, I conjure you by this gesture, not to return until you have delivered it into her hands. Vardhamānaka, do you speedily
And, friend Maitreya, you must show your pride by not speaking too despondently.
How can a poor man help speaking despondently?
Poor I am not, my friend. For I have a wife
Go then, and after performing rites of purification, I will offer my morning prayer. [Exeunt omnes.
[Enter a maid.]
I AM entrusted with a message for my mistress by her mother. Here is my mistress. She is gazing at a picture and is talking with Madanikā. I will go to her. [She walks about. Then enter Vasantasenā, as described, and Madanikā.]
Madanikā girl, is this portrait really like Chārudatta?
How do you know?
Because my mistress’ eyes are fastened so lovingly upon it.
Madanikā girl, do you say this because courtezan courtesy demands it?
But mistress, is the courtesy of a girl who lives in a courtezan’s house, necessarily false?
Girl, courtezans meet so many kinds of men that they do learn a false courtesy.
But when the eyes of my mistress find such delight in a thing, and her heart too, what need is there to ask the reason?
But I should not like to have my friends laugh at me.
You need not be afraid. Women understand women.
[Approaching.] Mistress, your mother sends word that a covered cart is waiting at the side-door, and that you are to take a drive.
Tell me, is it Chārudatta who invites me?
Mistress, the man who sent ornaments worth ten thousand gold-pieces with the cart—
Is the king’s brother-in-law, Sansthānaka.
[Indignantly.] Go! and never come again on such an errand.
Do not be angry, mistress. I was only sent with the message.
But it is the message which makes me angry.
But what shall I tell your mother?
Tell my mother never to send me another such message, unless she wishes to kill me.
As you will. [Exit.] [Enter Sharvilaka.]
Well, it was for Madanikā’s sake that I did the deed of sin.
[He walks about.]
Girl, lay this picture on my sofa and come back at once with a fan.
Yes, mistress. [Exit with the picture.
This is Vasantasenā’s house. I will enter. [He does so.] I wonder where I can find Madanikā. [Enter Madanikā with the fan. Sharvilaka discovers her.] Ah, it is Madanikā.
[Discovers Sharvilaka.] Oh, oh, oh, Sharvilaka! I am so glad, Sharvilaka. Where have you been?
I will tell you. [They gaze at each other passionately.]
How Madanikā lingers! I wonder where she is. [She looks through a bull’s-eye window.] Why, there she stands, talking with a man. Her loving glance does not waver, and she gazes as if she would drink him in. I imagine he must be the man who wishes to make her free. Well, let her stay, let her stay. Never interrupt anybody’s happiness. I will not call her.
Tell me, Sharvilaka. [Sharvilaka looks about him uneasily.] What is it, Sharvilaka? You seem uneasy.
I will tell you a secret. Are we alone?
Of course we are.
What! a deep secret? I will not listen.
Tell me, Madanikā. Will Vasantasenā take a price for your freedom?
The conversation has to do with me? Then I will hide behind this window and listen.
I asked my mistress about it, Sharvilaka, and she said that if she could have her way, she would free all her servants for nothing. But Sharvilaka, where did you find such a fortune that you can think of buying my freedom from my mistress?
His face is tranquil. It would be troubled, if he had sinned.
Oh, Sharvilaka! For a mere nothing—for a woman—you have risked both things!
Your life and your character.
My foolish girl, fortune favors the brave.
Oh, Sharvilaka! Your character was without a stain. You did n’t do anything very bad, did you, when for my sake you did the deed of sin?
And so you may tell Vasantasenā this:
But Sharvilaka, ornaments that nobody may see, and a courtezan—the two things do not hang together. Give me the jewels. I want to see them.
Here they are. [He gives them to her with some uneasiness.]
[Examining the jewels.] It seems to me I have seen these before. Tell me. Where did you get them?
What does that matter to you, Madanikā? Take them.
[Angrily.] If you can’t trust me, why do you wish to buy my freedom?
Well, this morning I heard in the merchants’ quarter that the merchant Chārudatta—
[Vasantasenā and Madanikā swoon.]
Madanikā! Come to yourself! Why is it that now
[Coming to herself.] O you reckless man! When you did what you ought not to have done for my sake, you did n’t kill anybody or hurt anybody in that house?
Madanikā, Sharvilaka does not strike a terrified man or a man asleep. I did not kill anybody nor hurt anybody.
[Recovering consciousness.] Ah, I breathe again.
[Jealously.] What does this “Thank heaven” mean, Madanikā?
[With a smile.] His excitement is a little out of place.
Too true it is that
Yes, women are indeed fickle.
As some one has well said:
Accursèd Chārudatta, you shall not live! [He takes a few steps.]
[Seizing the hem of his garment.] O you foolish man! Your anger is so ridiculous.
Ridiculous? how so?
Because these jewels belong to my mistress.
And what then?
And she left them with that gentleman.
[Whispers.] That’s why.
[Sheepishly.] Confound it!
How sorry he seems. Surely, he did this thing in ignorance.
What is to be done now, Madanikā?
Your own wit should tell you that.
No. For you must remember,
Sharvilaka, if you will take my advice, restore the jewels to that righteous man.
But Madanikā, what if he should prosecute me?
No cruel heat comes from the moon.
Good, Madanikā, good!
Nevertheless, your suggestion is inconsistent with prudence. You must discover some other plan.
Yes, there is another plan.
I wonder what it will be.
Pretend to be a servant of that gentleman, and give the jewels to my mistress.
And what then?
Then you are no thief, Chārudatta has discharged his obligation, and my mistress has her jewels.
But is n’t this course too reckless?
I tell you, give them to her. Any other course is too reckless.
Good, Madanikā, good! Spoken like a free woman.
Then you must wait here a moment in Kāma’s shrine, while I tell my mistress that you have come.
[Approaches Vasantasenā.] Mistress, a Brahman has come from Chārudatta to see you.
But girl, how do you know that he comes from Chārudatta?
Should I not know my own, mistress?
[Shaking her head and smiling. Aside.] Splendid! [Aloud.] Bid him enter.
Yes, mistress. [Approaching Sharvilaka.] Enter, Sharvilaka.
[Approaches. With some embarrassment.] My greetings to you.
I salute you, sir. Pray be seated.
The merchant sends this message: “My house is so old that it is hard to keep this casket safe. Pray take it back.” [He gives it to Madanikā, and starts to leave.]
Sir, will you undertake a return commission of mine?
[Aside.] Who will carry it? [Aloud.] And this commission is—
You will be good enough to accept Madanikā.
Madam, I do not quite understand.
But I do.
Chārudatta told me that I was to give Madanikā to the man who should return these jewels. You are therefore to understand that he makes you a present of her.
[Aside.] Ah, she sees through me. [Aloud.] Good, Chārudatta, good!
Is my driver there? [Enter a servant with a bullock-cart.]
Mistress, the cart is ready.
Madanikā girl, you must show me a happy face. You are free. Enter the bullock-cart. But do not forget me.
[Weeping.] My mistress drives me away. [She falls at her feet.]
You are now the one to whom honor should be paid. Go then, enter the cart. But do not forget me.
Heaven bless you! and you, Madanikā,
[He enters the bullock-cart with Madanikā, and starts away.]
Men! Men! We have the following orders from the chief of police: “A soothsayer has declared that a young herdsman named Aryaka is to become king. Trusting to this prophecy, and alarmed thereat, King Pālaka has taken him from his hamlet, and thrown him into strict confinement. Therefore be watchful, and every man at his post.”
[Listening.] What! King Pālaka has imprisoned my good friend Aryaka? And here I am, a married man. Confound it! But no,
Good! I will get out. [He does so.]
[Folding her hands. Tearfully.] My lord, if you must, at least bring me first to your parents.
Yes, my love, I will. I had the same thought in mind. [To the servant.] My good fellow, do you know the house of the merchant Rebhila?
Bring my wife thither.
If you desire it, dear. But dear, you must be very careful. [Exit.
Now as for me,
[Entering.] Mistress, I congratulate you. A Brahman has come with a message from Chārudatta.
Ah, this is a joyful day. Show him every mark of respect, girl, and have him conducted hither by one of the pages.
Yes, mistress. [Exit.
[Enter Maitreya with a page.]
Well! Rāvana, the king of the demons, travels with his chariot that they call the “Blossom.” He earned it by his penances. Now I am a Brahman, and though I never performed any penances, I travel with another sort of a blossom—a woman of the town.
Sir, will you inspect our gateway.
[Gazes admiringly.] It has just been sprinkled and cleaned and received a coat of green. The threshold of it is pretty as a picture with the offerings of all sorts of fragrant flowers. It stretches up its head as if it wanted to peep into the sky. It is adorned with strings of jasmine garlands that hang down and toss about like the trunk of the heavenly elephant. It shines with its high ivory portal. It is lovely with any number of holiday banners that gleam red as great rubies and wave their coquettish fingers as they flutter in the breeze and seem to invite me to enter. Both sides are decorated with holiday water-jars of crystal, which are charming with their bright-green mango twigs, and are set at the foot of the pillars that sustain the portal. The doors are of gold, thickly set with diamonds as hard to pierce as a giant’s breast. It actually wearies a poor devil’s envy. Yes, Vasantasenā’s house-door is a beautiful thing. Really, it forcibly challenges the attention of a man who does n’t care about such things.
Come, sir, and enter the first court.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! Here in the first court are rows of balconies brilliant as the moon, or as sea-shells, or as lotus-stalks; whitened by handfuls of powder strewn over them; gleaming with golden stairways inlaid with all sorts of gems: they seem to gaze down on Ujjayinī with their round faces, the crystal windows, from which strings of pearls are dangling. The porter sits there and snoozes as comfortably as a professor. The crows which they tempt with rice-gruel and curdled milk will not eat the offering, because they can’t distinguish it from the mortar. Show me the way, madam.
Come, sir, and enter the second court.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! Here in the second court the cart-bullocks are tied. They grow fat on mouthfuls of grass and pulse-stalks which are brought them, right and left, by everybody. Their horns are smeared with oil. And here is another, a buffalo, snorting like a gentleman insulted. And here is a ram having his neck rubbed, like a prize-fighter after the fight. And here are others, horses having their manes put in shape. And here in a stall is another, a monkey, tied fast like a thief. [He looks in another direction.] And here is an elephant, taking from his drivers a cake of rice and drippings and oil. Show me the way, madam.
Come, sir, and enter the third court.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! Here in the third court are these seats, prepared for young gentlemen to sit on. A half-read book is lying on the gaming-table. And the table itself has its own dice, made out of gems. And here, again, are courtezans and old hangers-on at court, past masters in the war and peace of love, wandering about and holding in their fingers pictures painted in many colors. Show me the way, madam.
Come, sir, and enter the fourth court.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! Here in the fourth court the drums that maiden fingers beat are booming like the thunder; the cymbals are falling, as the stars fall from heaven when their merit is exhausted; the pipe is discoursing music as sweet as the humming of bees. And here, again, is a lute that somebody is holding on his lap like a girl who is excited by jealousy and love, and he is stroking it with his fingers. And here, again, are courtezan girls that sing as charmingly as honey-drunken bees, and they are made to dance and recite a drama with love in it. And water-coolers are hanging in the windows so as to catch the breeze. Show me the way, madam.
Come, sir, and enter the fifth court.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! Here in the fifth court the overpowering smell of asafetida and oil is attractive enough to make a poor devil’s mouth water. The kitchen is kept hot all the time, and the gusts of steam, laden with all sorts of good smells, seem like sighs issuing from its mouth-like doors. The smell of the preparation of all kinds of foods and sauces makes me smack my lips. And here, again, is a butcher’s boy washing a mess of chitterlings as if it were an old loin-cloth. The cook is preparing every kind of food. Sweetmeats are being constructed, cakes are being baked. [To himself.] I wonder if I am to get a chance to wash my feet and an invitation to eat what I can hold. [He looks in another direction.] There are courtezans and bastard pages, adorned with any number of jewels, just like Gandharvas and Apsarases. Really, this house is heaven. Tell me, who are you bastards anyway?
Why, we are bastard pages—
Show me the way, madam.
Come, sir, and enter the sixth court.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! Here in the sixth court they are working in gold and jewels. The arches set with sapphires look as if they were the home of the rainbow. The jewelers are testing the lapis lazuli, the pearls, the corals, the topazes, the sapphires, the cat’s-eyes, the rubies, the emeralds, and all the other kinds of gems. Rubies are being set in gold. Golden ornaments are being fashioned. Pearls are being strung on a red cord. Pieces of lapis lazuli are being cleverly polished. Shells are being pierced. Corals are being ground. Wet bundles of saffron are being dried. Musk is being moistened. Sandalwood is being ground to make sandal-water. Perfumes are being compounded. Betelleaves and camphor are being given to courtezans and their lovers. Coquettish glances are being exchanged. Laughter is going on. Wine is being drunk incessantly with sounds of glee. Here are men-servants, here are maid-servants, and here are men who forget child and wife and money. When the courtezans, who have drunk the wine from the liquor-jars, give them the mitten, they—drink. Show me the way, madam.
Come, sir, and enter the seventh court.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! Here in the seventh court the mated doves are sitting comfortably in their snug dove-cotes, billing and cooing and nothing else, and perfectly happy. And there is a parrot in a cage, chanting like a Brahman with a bellyful of curdled milk and rice. And here, again, is a talking thrush, chattering like a housemaid who spreads herself because somebody noticed her. A cuckoo, her throat still happy from tasting all sorts of fruit-syrups, is cooing like a procuress. Rows of cages are hanging from pegs. Quails are being egged on to fight. Partridges are being made to talk. Caged pigeons are being provoked. A tame peacock that looks as if he was adorned with all sorts of gems is dancing happily about, and as he flaps his wings, he seems to be fanning the roof which is distressed by the rays of the sun. [He looks in another direction.] Here are pairs of flamingos like moonbeams rolled into a ball, that wander about after pretty girls, as if they wanted to learn how to walk gracefully. And here, again, are tame cranes, walking around like ancient eunuchs. Well, well! This courtezan keeps a regular menagerie of birds. Really, the courtezan’s house seems to me like Indra’s heaven. Show me the way, madam.
Come, sir, and enter the eighth court.
[Enters and looks about.] Madam, who is this in the silk cloak, adorned with such astonishingly tautologous ornaments, who wanders about, stumbling and stretching his limbs?
Sir, this is my mistress’ brother.
What sort of ascetic exercises does a man have to perform, in order to be born as Vasantasenā’s brother? But no,
[He looks in another direction.] But madam, who is that in the expansive garment, sitting on the throne? She has shoes on her greasy feet.
Sir, that is my mistress’ mother.
Lord! What an extensive belly the dirty old witch has got! I suppose they couldn’t put that superb portal on the house till after they had brought the idol in?
Rascal! You must not make fun of our mother so. She is pining away under a quartan ague.
[Bursts out laughing.] O thou blessèd quartan ague! Look thou upon a Brahman, even upon me, with this thy favor!
Rascal! May death strike you.
[Bursts out laughing.] Why, wench, a pot-belly like that is better dead.
Well, I have seen Vasantasenā’s palace with its many incidents and its eight courts, and really, it seems as if I had seen the triple heaven in a nut-shell. I have n’t the eloquence to praise it. Is this the house of a courtezan, or a piece of Kubera’s palace? Where’s your mistress?
She is here in the orchard. Enter, sir.
[Enters and looks about.] Well! What a beautiful orchard! There are any number of trees planted here, and they are covered with the most wonderful flowers. Silken swings are hung under the thick-set trees, just big enough for a girl to sit in. The golden jasmine, the shephālikā, the white jasmine, the jessamine, the navamallikā, the amaranth, the spring creeper, and all the other flowers have fallen of themselves, and really, it makes Indra’s heaven look dingy. [He looks in another direction.] And the pond here looks like the morning twilight, for the lilies and red lotuses are as splendid as the rising sun. And again:
Good! Now where’s your mistress?
If you would stop star-gazing, sir, you would see her.
[Perceives Vasantasenā and approaches.] Heaven bless you!
[Speaking in Sanskrit. ] Ah, Maitreya! [Rising.] You are very welcome. Here is a seat. Pray be seated.
When you are seated, madam. [They both seat themselves.]
Is the merchant’s son well?
Tell me, good Maitreya,
[Aside.] A good description by a naughty woman. [Aloud.] They do, indeed.
Tell me, what is the purpose of your coming?
Listen, madam. The excellent Chārudatta folds his hands and requests—
[Folding her hands.] And commands—
He says he imagined that that golden casket was his own and gambled it away. And nobody knows where the gambling-master has gone, for he is employed in the king’s business.
Mistress, I congratulate you. The gentleman has turned gambler.
[Aside.] It was stolen by a thief, and he is so proud that he says he gambled it away. I love him for that.
He requests that you will therefore be good enough to accept in its place this necklace of pearls.
[Aside.] Shall I show him the jewels? [Reflecting.] No, not yet.
Why don’t you take this necklace?
[Laughs and looks at her friend.] Why should I not take the necklace, Maitreya? [She takes it and lays it away. Aside.] How is it possible that drops of honey fall from the mango-tree, even after its blossoms are gone? [Aloud.] Sir, pray tell the worthy gambler Chārudatta in my name that I shall pay him a visit this evening.
[Aside.] What else does she expect to get out of a visit to our house? [Aloud.] Madam, I will tell him—[aside] to have nothing more to do with this courtezan. [Exit.
Take these jewels, girl. Let us go and bring cheer to Chārudatta.
But mistress, see! An untimely storm is gathering.
Take the necklace, girl, and come quickly. [Exeunt omnes.
[The love-lorn Chārudatta appears, seated.]
AN untimely storm is gathering. For see!
And yet again:
[Reflecting.] It is long since Maitreya went to visit Vasantasenā. And even yet he does not come. [Enter Maitreya.]
Confound the courtezan’s avarice and her incivility! To think of her making so short a story of it! Over and over she repeats something about the affection she feels, and then without more ado she pockets the necklace. She is rich enough so that she might at least have said: “Good Maitreya, rest a little. You must not go until you have had a cup to drink.” Confound the courtezan! I hope I’ll never set eyes on her again. [Wearily.] The proverb is right. “It is hard to find a lotus-plant without a root, a merchant who never cheats, a goldsmith who never steals, a village-gathering without a fight, and a courtezan without avarice.” Well, I’ll find my friend and persuade him to have nothing more to do with this courtezan. [He walks about until he discovers Chārudatta.] Ah, my good friend is sitting in the orchard. I’ll go to him. [Approaching.] Heaven bless you! May happiness be yours.
[Looking up.] Ah, my friend Maitreya has returned. You are very welcome, my friend. Pray be seated.
Tell me of your errand, my friend.
My errand went all wrong.
What! did she not accept the necklace?
How could we expect such a piece of luck? She put her lotus-tender hands to her brow, and took it.
Then why do you say “went wrong”?
Why not, when we lost a necklace that was the pride of the four seas for a cheap golden casket, that was stolen before we had a bite or a drink out of it?
Not so, my friend.
Now look here! I have a second grievance. She tipped her friend the wink, covered her face with the hem of her dress, and laughed at me. And so, Brahman though I am, I hereby fall on my face before you and beg you not to have anything more to do with this courtezan. That sort of society does any amount of damage. A courtezan is like a pebble in your shoe. It hurts before you get rid of it. And one thing more, my friend. A courtezan, an elephant, a scribe, a mendicant friar, a swindler, and an ass—where these dwell, not even rogues are born.
Oh, my friend, a truce to all your detraction! My poverty of itself prevents me. For consider:
Then too, my friend:
[Aside. And not by virtue cold. Aloud.]
[Looks down. Aside.] From the way he looks up and sighs, I conclude that my effort to distract him has simply increased his longing. The proverb is right. “You can’t reason with a lover.” [Aloud.] Well, she told me to tell you that she would have to come here this evening. I suppose she is n’t satisfied with the necklace and is coming to look for something else.
Let her come, my friend. She shall not depart unsatisfied. [Enter Kumbhīlaka.]
Listen, good people.
[He bursts out laughing.]
My mistress Vasantasenā said to me “Kumbhīlaka, go and tell Chārudatta that I am coming.” So here I am, on my way to Chārudatta’s house. [He walks about, and, as he enters, discovers Chārudatta.] Here is Chārudatta in the orchard. And here is that wretched jackanapes, too. Well, I’ll go up to them. What! the orchard-gate is shut? Good! I’ll give this jackanapes a hint. [He throws lumps of mud.]
Well! Who is this pelting me with mud, as if I were an apple-tree inside of a fence?
Doubtless the pigeons that play on the roof of the garden-house.
Wait a minute, you confounded pigeon! With this stick I’ll bring you down from the roof to the ground, like an over-ripe mango. [He raises his stick and starts to run.]
[Holding him back by the sacred cord.] Sit down, my friend. What do you mean? Leave the poor pigeon alone with his mate.
What! he sees the pigeon and does n’t see me? Good! I’ll hit him again with another lump of mud. [He does so.]
[Looks about him.] What! Kumbhīlaka? I’ll be with you in a minute. [He approaches and opens the gate.] Well, Kumbhīlaka, come in. I’m glad to see you.
[Enters.] I salute you, sir.
Where do you come from, man, in this rain and darkness?
You see, she’s here.
Who’s she? Who’s here?
She. See? She.
Look here, you son of a slave! What makes you sigh like a half-starved old beggar in a famine, with your “shesheshe”?
And what makes you hoot like an owl with your “whowhowho”?
All right. Tell me.
[Aside.] Suppose I say it this way. [Aloud.] I’ll give you a riddle, man.
And I’ll give you the answer with my foot on your bald spot.
Not till you’ve guessed it. In what season do the mango-trees blossom?
In summer, you jackass.
[Aside.] What shall I say now? [Reflecting.] Good! I’ll go and ask Chārudatta. [Aloud.] Just wait a moment. [Approaching Chārudatta.] My friend, I just wanted to ask you in what season the mango-trees blossom.
You fool, in spring, in vasanta.
[Returns to Kumbhīlaka.] You fool, in spring, in vasanta.
Now I’ll give you another. Who guards thriving villages?
Why, the guard.
Well, I’m stuck. [Reflecting.] Good! I’ll ask Chārudatta again. [He returns and puts the question to Chārudatta.]
The army, my friend, the senā.
[Comes back to Kumbhīlaka.] The army, you jackass, the senā.
Now put the two together and say ’em fast.
Say it turned around.
[Turns around.] Senā-vasanta.
You fool! you jackanapes! Turn the parts of the thing around!
[Turns his feet around.] Senā-vasanta.
You fool! Turn the parts of the word around!
[After reflection.] Vasanta-senā.
Then I must tell Chārudatta. [Approaching.] Well, Chārudatta, your creditor is here.
How should a creditor come into my family?
Not in the family perhaps, but at the door. Vasantasenā is here.
Why do you deceive me, my friend?
If you can’t trust me, then ask Kumbhīlaka here. Kumbhīlaka, you jackass, come here.
[Approaching.] I salute you, sir.
You are welcome, my good fellow. Tell me, is Vasantasenā really here?
Yes, she’s here. Vasantasenā is here.
[Joyfully.] My good fellow, I have never let the bearer of welcome news go unrewarded. Take this as your recompense. [He gives him his mantle.]
[Takes it and bows. Gleefully.] I’ll tell my mistress.
Do you see why she comes in a storm like this?
I do not quite understand, my friend.
I know. She has an idea that the pearl necklace is cheap, and the golden casket expensive. She is n’t satisfied, and she has come to look for something more.
[Aside.] She shall not depart unsatisfied.
[Then enter the love-lorn Vasantasenā, in a splendid garment, fit for a woman who goes to meet her lover, a maid with an umbrella, and the courtier.]
[Referring to Vasantasenā.]
See, Vasantasenā, see!
Sir, what you say is most true. For
Yes, yes. That is right. Scold the night.
And yet, sir, why scold one who is so ignorant of woman’s nature? For you must remember:
But see, Vasantasenā! Another cloud,
True, true. And more than this:
Very true, Vasantasenā. And yet again:
But look, sir, look!
See, Vasantasenā, see!
And look yonder!
And here is yet another cloud.
True. For see!
True. And see!
And yet again:
O shameless, shameless sky!
O Indra, mighty Indra!
But mistress, do not scold the lightning. She is your friend,
And here, sir, is his house.
You know all the arts, and need no instruction now. Yet love bids me prattle. When you enter here, you must not show yourself too angry.
So much for that. Who is there? Let Chārudatta know, that
[Listening.] My friend, pray discover what this means.
Yes, sir. [He approaches Vasantasenā. Respectfully.] Heaven bless you!
I salute you, sir. I am very glad to see you. [To the courtier.] Sir, the maid with the umbrella is at your service.
[Aside.] A very clever way to get rid of me. [Aloud.] Thank you. And mistress Vasantasenā,
Good Maitreya, where is your gambler?
[Aside.] “Gambler”? Ah, she’s paying a compliment to my friend. [Aloud.] Madam, here he is in the dry orchard.
But sir, what do you call a dry orchard?
Madam, it’s a place where there’s nothing to eat or drink. [Vasantasenā smiles.] Pray enter, madam.
[Aside to her maid.] What shall I say when I enter?
“Gambler, what luck this evening?”
Shall I dare to say it?
When the time comes, it will say itself.
[Enters, approaches Chārudatta, and strikes him with the flowers which she holds.] Well, gambler, what luck this evening?
[Discovers her.] Ah, Vasantasenā is here. [He rises joyfully.] Oh, my belovèd,
You are very, very welcome. Here is a seat. Pray be seated.
Here is a seat. Be seated, madam. [Vasantasenā sits, then the others.]
But see, my friend,
My friend, Vasantasenā’s garments are wet. Let other, and most beautiful, garments be brought.
Good Maitreya, do you stay here. I will wait upon my mistress. [She does so.]
[Aside to Chārudatta.] My friend, I’d just like to ask the lady a question.
Then do so.
[Aloud.] Madam, what made you come here, when it is so stormy and dark that you can’t see the moon?
Mistress, the Brahman is very plain-spoken.
You might better call him clever.
My mistress came to ask how much that pearl necklace is worth.
[Aside to Chārudatta.] There! I told you so. She thinks the pearl necklace is cheap, and the golden casket is expensive. She is n’t satisfied. She has come to look for something more.
For my mistress imagined that it was her own, and gambled it away. And nobody knows where the gambling-master has gone, for he is employed in the king’s business.
Madam, you are simply repeating what somebody said before.
While we are looking for him, pray take this golden casket. [She displays the casket. Maitreya hesitates.] Sir, you examine it very closely. Did you ever see it before?
No, madam, but the skilful workmanship captivates the eye.
Your eyes deceive you, sir. This is the golden casket.
[Joyfully.] Well, my friend, here is the golden casket, the very one that thieves stole from our house.
But it is so. I swear it on my Brahmanhood.
This is welcome news.
[Aside to Chārudatta.] I’m going to ask where they found it.
I see no harm in that.
[Whispers in the maid’s ear.] There!
[Whispers in Maitreya’s ear.] So there!
What is it? and why are we left out?
[Whispers in Chārudatta’s ear.] So there!
My good girl, is this really the same golden casket?
Yes, sir, the very same.
My good girl, I have never let the bearer of welcome news go unrewarded. Take this ring as your recompense. [He looks at his finger, notices that the ring is gone, and betrays his embarrassment.]
[To herself.] I love you for that.
[Aside to Maitreya.] Alas,
But you must not grieve thus beyond reason. [He bursts out laughing. Aloud.] Madam, please give me back my bath-clout.
Chārudatta, it was not right that you should show your distrust of me by sending me this pearl necklace.
[With an embarrassed smile.] But remember, Vasantasenā,
Tell me, girl, are you going to sleep here to-night?
[Laughing.] But good Maitreya, you show yourself most remarkably plain-spoken now.
See, my friend, the rain enters again in great streams, as if it wanted to drive people away when they are sitting comfortably together.
You are quite right.
See, my belovèd, see!
[Vasantasenā betrays her passion, and throws her arms about Chārudatta. Chārudatta feels her touch, and embraces her.]
Confound you, storm! You are no gentleman, to frighten the lady with the lightning.
Do not rebuke the storm, my friend.
And oh, my friend,
Vasantasenā, my belovèd,
[He looks up.] The rainbow! See, my belovèd, see!
Come, let us seek a shelter. [He rises and walks about.]
[Enter a maid.]
IS N’T my mistress awake yet? Well, I must go in and wake her. [She walks about. Vasantasenā appears, dressed, but still asleep. The maid discovers her.] It is time to get up, mistress. The morning is here.
[Awakening.] What! is the night over? is it morning?
For us it is morning. But for my mistress it appears to be night still.
But girl, where is your gambler?
Mistress, after giving Vardhamānaka his orders, Chārudatta went to the old garden Pushpakaranda.
To have the bullock-cart ready before daylight; for, he said, Vasantasenā was to come—
Where Chārudatta is.
[Embraces the maid.] I did not have a good look at him in the evening. But to-day I shall see him face to face. Tell me, girl. Have I found my way into the inner court?
You have found your way not only into the inner court, but into the heart of every one who lives here.
Tell me, are Chārudatta’s servants vexed?
They will be.
When my mistress goes away.
But not so much as I shall be. [Persuasively.] Here, girl, take this pearl necklace. You must go and give it to my lady sister, his good wife. And give her this message: “Worthy Chārudatta’s virtues have won me, made me his slave, and therefore your slave also. And so I hope that these pearls may adorn your neck.”
But mistress, Chārudatta will be angry with you.
Go. He will not be angry.
[Takes the necklace.] Yes, mistress. [She goes out, then returns.] Mistress, his lady wife says that her lord made you a present of it, and it would not be right for her to accept it. And further, that you are to know that her lord and husband is her most excellent adornment.
[Enter Radanikā, with Chārudatta’s little son.]
Come, dear, let’s play with your little cart.
[Peevishly.] I don’t like this little clay cart, Radanikā. Give me my gold cart.
[Sighing wearily.] How should we have anything to do with gold now, my child? When your papa is rich again, then you shall have a gold cart to play with. But I’ll amuse him by taking him to see Vasantasenā. [She approaches Vasantasenā.] Mistress, my service to you.
I am glad to see you, Radanikā. But whose little boy is this? He wears no ornaments, yet his dear little face makes my heart happy.
This is Chārudatta’s son, Rohasena.
[Stretches out her arms.] Come, my boy, and put your little arms around me. [She takes him on her lap.] He looks just like his father.
More than looks like him, he is like him. At least I think so. His father is perfectly devoted to him.
But what is he crying about?
He used to play with a gold cart that belongs to the son of a neighbor. But that was taken away, and when he asked for it, I made him this little clay cart. But when I gave it to him, he said “I don’t like this little clay cart, Radanikā. Give me my gold cart.”
Oh, dear! To think that this little fellow has to suffer because others are wealthy. Ah, mighty Fate! the destinies of men, uncertain as the water-drops which fall upon a lotus-leaf, seem to thee but playthings! [Tearfully.] Don’t cry, my child. You shall have a gold cart to play with.
Who is she, Radanikā?
A slave of your father’s, won by his virtues.
My child, the lady is your mother.
That’s a lie, Radanikā. If the lady is my mother, why does she wear those pretty ornaments?
My child, your innocent lips can say terrible things. [She removes her ornaments. Weeping.] Now I am your mother. You shall take these ornaments and have a gold cart made for you.
Go away! I won’t take them. You’re crying.
[Wiping away her tears.] I’ll not cry, dear. There! go and play. [She fills the clay cart with her jewels.] There, dear, you must have a little gold cart made for you. [Exit Radanikā, with Rohasena.
[Enter Vardhamānaka, driving a bullock-cart.]
Radanikā, Radanikā! Tell mistress Vasantasenā that the covered cart is standing ready at the side-door.
[Entering.] Mistress, Vardhamānaka is here, and he says that the cart is waiting at the side-door.
He must wait a minute, girl, while I get ready.
Wait a minute, Vardhamānaka, while she gets ready. [Exit.
Hello, I’ve forgotten the cushion. I must go and get it. But the nose-rope makes the bullocks skittish. I suppose I had better take the cart along with me. [Exit.
Bring me my things, girl. I must make myself ready.
[She does so.]
[Enter, driving a bullock-cart, Sthāvaraka, servant to Sansthānaka.]
Sansthānaka, the king’s brother-in-law, said to me “Take a bullock-cart, Sthāvaraka, and come as quick as you can to the old garden Pushpakaranda.” Well, I’m on my way there. Get up, bullocks, get up! [He drives about and looks around.] Why, the road is blocked with villagers’ carts. What am I to do now? [Haughtily.] Get out of my way, you! Get out of my way! [He listens.] What’s that? you want to know whose cart this is? This cart belongs to Sansthānaka, the king’s brother-in-law. So get out of my way—and this minute, too! [He looks about.] Why, here’s a man going in the other direction as fast as he can. He is trying to hide like a runaway gambler, and he looks at me as if I were the gambling-master. I wonder who he is. But then, what business is it of mine? I must get there as soon as I can. Get out of my way, you villagers, get out of my way! What’s that? you want me to wait a minute and put a shoulder to your wheel? Confound you! A brave man like me, that serves Sansthānaka, the king’s brother-in-law, put a shoulder to your wheel? After all, the poor fellow is quite alone. I’ll do it. I’ll stop my cart at the side-door to Chārudatta’s orchard. [He does so.] I’m coming! [Exit.
Mistress, I think I hear the sound of wheels. The cart must be here.
Come, girl. My heart grows impatient. Go with me to the side-door.
Follow me, mistress.
[Walks about.] You have earned a rest, girl.
Thank you, mistress. [Exit.
[Feels her right eye twitchas she enters the cart.] Why should my right eye twitch now? But the sight of Chārudatta will smooth away the bad omen. [Enter Sthāvaraka.]
I’ve cleared the carts out of the way, and now I’ll go ahead. [He mounts and drives away. To himself.] The cart has grown heavy. But I suppose it only seems so, because I got tired helping them with that wheel. Well, I’ll go along. Get up, bullocks, get up!
Police! Police! Every man at his post! The young herdsman has just broken jail, killed the jailer, broken his fetters, escaped, and run away. Catch him! Catch him!
[Enter, in excited haste, Aryaka, an iron chain on one foot. Covering his face, he walks about.]
[To himself.] There is great excitement in the city. I must get out of the way as fast as I possibly can. [Exit.
I leave behind me that accursèd sea
King Pālaka was frightened by a prophecy, took me from the hamlet where I lived, fettered me, and thrust me into a solitary cell, there to await my death. But with the help of my good friend Sharvilaka I escaped. [He sheds tears.]
Whither shall I go with my wretchedness? [He looks about.] Here is the house of some good man who has n’t locked the side-door.
I will enter here and wait.
Get up, bullocks, get up!
[Listening.] Ah, a bullock-cart is coming this way.
[Enter Vardhamānaka with the bullock-cart.]
There, I’ve got the cushion. Radanikā, tell mistress Vasantasenā that the cart is ready and waiting for her to get in and drive to the old garden Pushpakaranda.
[Listening.] This is a courtezan’s cart, going out of the city. Good, I’ll climb in. [He approaches cautiously.]
[Hears him coming.] Ah, the tinkling of anklerings! The lady is here. Mistress, the nose-rope makes the bullocks skittish. You had better climb in behind. [Aryaka does so.] The ankle-rings tinkle only when the feet are moving, and the sound has ceased. Besides, the cart has grown heavy. I am sure the lady must have climbed in by this time. I’ll go ahead. Get up, bullocks, get up! [He drives about. Enter Vīraka.]
Come, come! Jaya, Jayamāna, Chandanaka, Mangala, Phullabhadra, and the rest of you!
Here! You stand at the east gate of the main street, you at the west, you at the south, you at the north. I’ll climb up the broken wall here with Chandanaka and take a look. Come on, Chandanaka, come on! This way! [Enter Chandanaka, in excitement.]
Come, come! Vīraka, Vishalya, Bhīmāngada, Dandakāla, Dandashūra, and the rest of you!
Chandanaka, you mercenary!
Get up, bullocks, get up!
[Discovers him.] Look, man, look!
[Discovers him.] Here, driver, stop your cart! Whose cart is this? who is in it? where is it going?
This is Chārudatta’s cart. Mistress Vasantasenā is in it. I am taking her to the old garden Pushpakaranda to meet Chārudatta.
[Approaches Chandanaka.] The driver says it is Chārudatta’s cart; that Vasantasenā is in it; that he is taking her to the old garden Pushpakaranda.
Then let it pass.
On whose authority?
Who is Chārudatta, or who is Vasantasenā, that the cart should pass without inspection?
Don’t you know Chārudatta, man? nor Vasantasenā? If you don’t know Chārudatta, nor Vasantasenā, then you don’t know the moon in heaven, nor the moonlight.
Well, well, Chandanaka! Chārudatta? Vasantasenā?
[To himself.] In a former existence the one must have been my enemy, the other my kinsman. For see!
You are a most careful captain whom the king trusts. I am holding the bullocks. Make your inspection.
You too are a corporal whom the king trusts. Make the inspection yourself.
If I make the inspection, that’s just the same as if you had made it?
If you make the inspection, that’s just the same as if King Pālaka had made it.
Lift the pole, man! [Vardhamānaka does so.]
[To himself.] Are the policemen about to inspect me?
And I have no sword, worse luck! But at least,
But the time to use force has not yet come. [Chandanaka enters the cart and looks about.] I seek your protection.
[Speaking in Sanskrit.] He who seeks protection shall be safe.
What! the herdsman Aryaka? Like a bird that flees from a hawk, he has fallen into the hand of the fowler. [Reflecting.] He is no sinner, this man who seeks my protection and sits in Chārudatta’s cart. Besides, he is the friend of good Sharvilaka, who saved my life. On the other hand, there are the king’s orders. What is a man to do in a case like this? Well, what must be, must be. I promised him my protection just now.
[He gets down uneasily.] I saw the gentleman—[correcting himself] I mean, the lady Vasantasenā, and she says “Is it proper, is it gentlemanly, when I am going to visit Chārudatta, to insult me on the highway?”
Chandanaka, I have my suspicions.
Suspicions? How so?
You gurgled in your craven throat; it seems a trifle shady. You said “I saw the gentleman,” and then “I saw the lady.”
That’s why I’m not satisfied.
What’s the matter with you, man? We southerners don’t speak plain. We know a thousand dialects of the barbarians—the Khashas, the Khattis, the Kadas, the Kadatthobilas, the Karnātas, the Karnas, the Prāvaranas, the Drāvidas, the Cholas, the Chīnas, the Barbaras, the Kheras, the Khānas, the Mukhas, the Madhughātas, and all the rest of ’em, and it all depends on the way we feel whether we say “he” or “she,” “gentleman” or “lady.”
Can’t I have a look, too? It’s the king’s orders. And the king trusts me.
I suppose the king does n’t trust me!
Is n’t it His Majesty’s command?
[Aside.] If people knew that the good herdsman escaped in Chārudatta’s cart, then the king would make Chārudatta suffer for it. What’s to be done? [Reflecting.] I’ll stir up a quarrel the way they do down in the Carnatic. [Aloud.] Well, Vīraka, I made one inspection myself—my name is Chandanaka—and you want to do it over again. Who are you?
Confound it! Who are you, anyway?
An honorable and highly respectable person, and you don’t remember your own family.
[Angrily.] Confound you! What is my family?
Who speaks of such things?
I think I’d better not.
Speak, speak! [Chandanaka makes a significant gesture.] Confound you! What does that mean?
Well, Chandanaka, you highly respectable person, you don’t remember your own family either.
Tell me. What is the family I belong to, I, Chandanaka, pure as the moon?
Who speaks of such things?
Speak, speak! [Vīraka makes a significant gesture.] Confound you! What does that mean?
[Wrathfully.] I, Chandanaka, a tanner! You can look at the cart.
You! driver! turn the cart around. I want to look in.
[Vardhamānaka does so. Vīraka starts to climb in. Chandanaka seizes him violently by the hair, throws him down, and kicks him.]
[Rising. Wrathfully.] Confound you! I was peaceably going about the king’s business, when you seized me violently by the hair and kicked me. So listen! If I don’t have you drawn and quartered in the middle of the court-room, my name’s not Vīraka.
All right. Go to court or to a hall of justice. What do I care for a puppy like you?
I will. [Exit.
[Looks about him.] Go on, driver, go on! If anybody asks you, just say “The cart has been inspected by Chandanaka and Vīraka.” Mistress Vasantasenā, let me give you a passport. [He hands Aryaka a sword.]
[Takes it. Joyfully to himself.]
[Exit Vardhamānaka, with the bullock-cart. Chandanaka looks toward the back of the stage.] Aha! As he goes away, my good friend Sharvilaka is following him. Well, I’ve made an enemy of Vīraka, the chief constable and the king’s favorite; so I think I too had better be following him, with all my sons and brothers.
[Enter Chārudatta and Maitreya.]
HOW beautiful the old garden Pushpakaranda is.
You are quite right, my friend. For see!
This simple stone is very attractive. Pray be seated.
[Seats himself.] How Vardhamānaka lingers, my friend!
I told Vardhamānaka to bring Vasantasenā and come as quickly as he could.
Why then does he linger?
[Enter Vardhamānaka with the bullock-cart, in which Aryaka lies hidden.]
Get up, bullocks, get up!
I have come a long distance from the city. Shall I get out of the cart and seek a hiding-place in the grove? or shall I wait to see the owner of the cart? On second thoughts, I will not hide myself in the grove; for men say that the noble Chārudatta is ever helpful to them that seek his protection. I will not go until I have seen him face to face.
Here is the garden. I’ll drive in. [He does so.] Maitreya!
Good news, my friend. It is Vardhamānaka’s voice. Vasantasenā must have come.
Good news, indeed.
You son of a slave, what makes you so late?
Don’t get angry, good Maitreya. I remembered that I had forgotten the cushion, and I had to go back for it, and that is why I am late.
Turn the cart around, Vardhamānaka. Maitreya, my friend, help Vasantasenā to get out.
Has she got fetters on her feet, so that she can’t get out by herself? [He rises and lifts the curtain of the cart.] Why, this is n’t mistress Vasantasenā—this is Mister Vasantasena.
A truce to your jests, my friend. Love cannot wait. I will help her to get out myself. [He rises.]
[Discovers him.] Ah, the owner of the bullock-cart! He is attractive not only to the ears of men, but also to their eyes. Thank heaven! I am safe.
[Enters the bullock-cart and discovers Aryaka.] Who then is this?
Who are you, sir?
I am one who seeks your protection, Aryaka, by birth a herdsman.
Are you he whom King Pālaka took from the hamlet where he lived and thrust into prison?
[Aryaka manifests his joy.]
Vardhamānaka, remove the fetters from his foot.
Yes, sir. [He does so.] Master, the fetters are removed.
But you have bound me with yet stronger fetters of love.
Now you may put on the fetters yourself. He is free anyway. And it’s time for us to be going.
Peace! For shame!
Chārudatta, my friend, I entered your cart somewhat unceremoniously. I beg your pardon.
I feel honored that you should use no ceremony with me.
If you permit it, I now desire to go.
Go in peace.
Thank you. I will alight from the cart.
No, my friend. The fetters have but this moment been removed, and you will find walking difficult. In this spot where men seek pleasure, a bullock-cart will excite no suspicion. Continue your journey then in the cart.
I thank you, sir.
Seek now thy kinsmen. Happiness be thine!
Ah, I have found thee, blessèd kinsman mine!
Remember me, when thou hast cause to speak.
Thy name, and not mine own, my words shall seek.
May the immortal gods protect thy ways!
Thou didst protect me, in most perilous days.
Nay, it was fate that sweet protection lent.
But thou wast chosen as fate’s instrument.7
King Pālaka is aroused, and protection will prove difficult. You must depart at once.
Until we meet again, farewell. [Exit.
[His left eye twitches.] Maitreya, my friend, I long to see Vasantasenā. For now, because
Come, let us go. [He walks about.] See! a Buddhist monk approaches, and the sight bodes ill. [Reflecting.] Let him enter by that path, while we depart by this. [Exit.
[Enter a monk, with a wet garment in his hand.]
And further: I have seen that all things are transitory, so that now I am become the abode of virtues alone.
I have dyed this robe of mine yellow. And now I will go into the garden of the king’s brother-in-law, wash it in the pond, and go away as soon as I can. [He walks about and washes the robe.]
Shtop, you confounded monk, shtop!
[Discovers the speaker. Fearfully.] Heaven help me! Here is the king’s brother-in-law, Sansthānaka. Just because one monk committed an offense, now, wherever he sees a monk, whether it is the same one or not, he bores a hole in his nose and drives him around like a bullock. Where shall a defenseless man find a defender? But after all, the blessèd Lord Buddha is my defender.
[Enter the courtier, carrying a sword, and Sansthānaka.]
Shtop, you confounded monk, shtop! I’ll pound your head like a red radish at a drinking party. [He strikes him.] Courtier. You jackass, you should not strike a monk who wears the yellow robes of renunciation. Why heed him? Look rather upon this garden, which offers itself to pleasure.
Heaven bless you! Be merciful, servant of the Blessèd One!
Did you hear that, shir? He’s inshulting me.
What does he say?
Shays I’m a shervant. What do you take me for? a barber?
A servant of the Blessèd One he calls you, and this is praise.
Praise me shome more, monk!
You are virtuous! You are a brick!
Shee? He shays I’m virtuous. He shays I’m a brick. What do you think I am? a materialistic philosopher? or a watering-trough? or a pot-maker?
You jackass, he praises you when he says that you are virtuous, that you are a brick.
Well, shir, what did he come here for?
To wash this robe.
Confound the monk! My shishter’s husband gave me the finesht garden there is, the garden Pushpakaranda. Dogs and jackals drink the water in thish pond. Now I’m an arishtocrat, I’m a man, and I don’t even take a bath. And here you bring your shtinking clothes, all shtained with shtale bean-porridge, and wash ’em! I think one good shtroke will finish you.
You jackass, I am sure he has not long been a monk.
How can you tell, shir?
It does n’t take much to tell that. See!
True, servant of the Blessèd One. I have been a monk but a short time.
Then why have n’t you been one all your life? [He beats him.]
Buddha be praised!
Stop beating the poor fellow. Leave him alone. Let him go.
Jusht wait a minute, while I take counshel.
With my own heart.
Poor fellow! Why did n’t he escape?
Blesshèd little heart, my little shon and mashter, shall the monk go, or shall the monk shtay? [To himself.] Neither go, nor shtay. [Aloud.] Well, shir, I took counshel with my heart, and my heart shays—
He shall neither go, nor shtay. He shall neither breathe up, nor breathe down. He shall fall down right here and die, before you can shay “boo.”
Buddha be praised! I throw myself upon your protection.
Let him go.
Well, on one condition.
And what is that?
He musht shling mud in, without making the water dirty. Or better yet, he musht make the water into a ball, and shling it into the mud.
What incredible folly!
[The monk makes faces at Sansthānaka.]
What does he mean?
He praises you.
Praise me shome more! Praise me again! [The monk does so, then exit.]
A good deshcription, shir.
Will you be seated on this stone bench, you jackass?
I am sheated. [They seat themselves.] Do you know, shir, I remember that Vasantasenā even yet. She is like an inshult. I can’t get her out of my mind.
[Aside.] He remembers her even after such a repulse. For indeed,
Shome time has passhed, shir, shince I told my shervant Sthāvaraka to take the bullock-cart and come as quick as he could. And even yet he is not here. I’ve been hungry a long time, and at noon a man can’t go a-foot. For shee!
Well, shir, that shervant is n’t here yet. I’m going to shing shomething to passh the time. [He sings.] There, shir, did you hear what I shang?
What shall I say? Ah, how melodious!
Why should n’t it be malodorous?
Well, shir, I’m jusht going to shing again. [He does so.] There, shir, did you hear what I shang?
What shall I say? Ah, how melodious!
Why should n’t it be malodorous?
But shir, the shervant is n’t here yet.
Be easy in your mind. He will be here presently.
[Enter Vasantasenā in the bullock-cart, and Sthāvaraka.]
I’m frightened. It is already noon. I hope Sansthānaka, the king’s brother-in-law, will not be angry. I must drive faster. Get up, bullocks, get up!
Alas! That is not Vardhamānaka’s voice. What does it mean? I wonder if Chārudatta was afraid that the bullocks might become weary, and so sent another man with another cart. My right eye twitches. My heart is all a-tremble. There is no one in sight. Everything seems to dance before my eyes.
[Hearing the sound of wheels.] The cart is here, shir.
How do you know?
Can’t you shee? It shqueaks like an old hog.
[Perceives the cart.] Quite true. It is here.
Sthāvaraka, my little shon, my shlave, are you here?
Is the cart here?
Are the bullocks here?
And are you here?
[Laughing.] Yes, master, I am here too.
Then drive the cart in.
By which road?
Right here, where the wall is tumbling down.
Oh, master, the bullocks will be killed. The cart will go to pieces. And I, your servant, shall be killed.
I’m the king’s brother-in-law, man. If the bullocks are killed, I’ll buy shome more. If the cart goes to pieces, I’ll have another one made. If you are killed, there will be another driver.
Everything will be replaced—except me.
Let the whole thing go to pieces. Drive in over the wall.
Then break, cart, break with your driver. There will be another cart. I must go and present myself to my master. [He drives in.] What! not broken? Master, here is your cart.
The bullocks not shplit in two? and the ropes not killed? and you too not killed?
Come, shir. Let’s look at the cart. You are my teacher, shir, my very besht teacher. You are a man I reshpect, my intimate friend, a man I delight to honor. Do you enter the cart firsht.
Very well. [He starts to do so.]
Not much! Shtop! Is thish your father’s cart, that you should enter it firsht? I own thish cart. I’ll enter it firsht.
I only did what you said.
Even if I do shay sho, you ought to be polite enough to shay “After you, mashter.”
After you, then.
Now I’ll enter. Sthāvaraka, my little shon, my shlave, turn the cart around.
[Does so.] Enter, master.
[Enters and looks about, then hastily gets out in terror, and falls on the courtier’s neck.] Oh, oh, oh! You’re a dead man! There’s a witch, or a thief, that’s sitting and living in my bullock-cart. If it’s a witch, we’ll both be robbed. If it’s a thief, we’ll both be eaten alive.
Don’t be frightened. How could a witch travel in a bullock-cart? I hope that the heat of the midday sun has not blinded you, so that you became the victim of an hallucination when you saw the shadow of Sthāvaraka with the smock on it.
Sthāvaraka, my little shon, my shlave, are you alive?
But shir, there’s a woman sitting and living in the bullock-cart. Look and shee!
[In amazement. Aside.] Oh, oh! It is that thorn in my eye, the king’s brother-in-law. Alas! the danger is great. Poor woman! My coming hither proves as fruitless as the sowing of a handful of seeds on salty soil. What shall I do now?
Thish old shervant is afraid and he won’t look into the cart. Will you look into the cart, shir?
I see no harm in that. Yes, I will do it.
Are those things jackals that I shee flying into the air, and are those things crows that walk on all fours? While the witch is chewing him with her eyes, and looking at him with her teeth, I’ll make my eshcape.
[Perceives Vasantasenā. Sadly to himself.] Is it possible? The gazelle follows the tiger. Alas!
[Aside to Vasantasenā.] Ah, Vasantasenā! This is neither right, nor worthy of you.
No! [She shakes her head.]
Did I not tell you to “serve the man you love, and him you hate”?
I made a mistake in the cart, and thus I came hither. I throw myself upon your protection.
Do not fear. Come, I must deceive him. [He returns to Sansthānaka.] Jackass, there is indeed a witch who makes her home in the cart.
But shir, if a witch is living there, why are n’t you robbed? And if it’s a thief, why are n’t you eaten alive?
Why try to determine that? But if we should go back on foot through the gardens until we came to the city, to Ujjayinī, what harm would that do?
And if we did, what then?
Then we should have some exercise, and should avoid tiring the bullocks.
All right. Sthāvaraka, my shlave, drive on. But no! Shtop, shtop! I go on foot before gods and Brahmans? Not much! I’ll go in my cart, sho that people shall shee me a long way off, and shay “There he goes, our mashter, the king’s brother-in-law.”
[Aside.] It is hard to convert poison into medicine. So be it, then. [Aloud.] Jackass, this is Vasantasenā, come to visit you.
[Gleefully.] Oh, oh! To visit me, an arishtocrat, a man, a regular Vāsudeva?
This is an unheard-of piece of luck. That other time I made her angry, sho now I’ll fall at her feet and beg her pardon.
I’ll fall at her feet myshelf. [He approaches Vasantasenā.] Little mother, mamma dear, lishten to my prayer.
[Angrily.] Leave me! Your words are an insult! [She spurns him with her foot.]
Sthāvaraka, you shlave, where did you pick her up?
Master, the highway was blocked by villagers’ wagons. So I stopped my cart near Chārudatta’s orchard, and got out. And while I was helping a villager with his wagon, I suppose she mistook this cart for another, and climbed in.
Oho! she mishtook my cart for another? and did n’t come to shee me? Get out of my cart, get out! You’re going to visit your poor merchant’s shon, are you? Those are my bullocks you’re driving. Get out, get out, you shlave! Get out, get out!
Truly, you honor me when you say that I came to see Chārudatta. Now what must be, must be.
Stand up, man. I will help her to alight. Come, Vasantasenā! [Vasantasenā alights and stands apart.]
[Aside.] The flame of wrath was kindled when she despised my proposition, and now it blazes up because she kicked me. Sho now I’ll murder her. Good! Thish way. [Aloud.] Well, shir, what do you want?
Do me a favor.
Certainly. Anything, unless it be a sin.
There’s not a shmell of a shin in it, shir. Not a perfume!
[Stopping his ears.]
I’ll give you a boat. And beshides, in thish deserted garden, who’ll shee you murdering her?
Well then, put your cloak over her and murder her.
You fool! You scoundrel!
The old hog is afraid of a shin. Never mind. I’ll pershuade Sthāvaraka, my shlave. Sthāvaraka, my little shon, my shlave, I’ll give you golden bracelets.
And I’ll wear them.
I’ll have a golden sheat made for you.
And I’ll sit on it.
I’ll give you all my leavings.
And I’ll eat them.
I’ll make you the chief of all my shervants.
Master, I’ll be the chief.
You only have to attend to what I shay.
Master, I will do anything, unless it be a sin.
There’s not a shmell of a shin in it.
Then speak, master.
Oh, master, be merciful! Unworthy as I am, I brought this worthy lady hither, because she mistook this bullock-cart for another.
You shlave, ain’t I your mashter?
Master of my body, not of my character. Be merciful, master, be merciful! I am afraid.
You’re my shlave. Who are you afraid of?
Of the other world, master.
Who is thish “other world”?
Master, it is a rewarder of righteousness and sin.
What is the reward of righteoushness?
To be like my master, with plenty of golden ornaments.
What is the reward of shin?
To be like me, eating another man’s bread. That is why I will do no sin.
Sho you won’t murder her? [He beats him with all his might.]
You may beat me, master. You may kill me, master. I will do no sin.
Sir, I throw myself upon your protection.
Pardon him, jackass! Well done, Sthāvaraka!
[Aside.] The old jackal is afraid of a shin, and the “lifelong shlave” is afraid of the other world. Who am I afraid of, I, the king’s brother-in-law, an arishtocrat, a man? [Aloud.] Well, shervant, you “lifelong shlave,” you can go. Go to your room and resht and keep out of my way.
Yes, master. [To Vasantasenā.] Madam, I have no further power. [Exit.
[Girds up his loins.] Wait a minute, Vasantasenā, wait a minute. I want to murder you.
You will kill her before my eyes? [He seizes him by the throat.]
[Falls to the ground.] Shir, you’re murdering your mashter. [He loses consciousness, but recovers.]
[After reflection.] Good! I have an idea. The old jackal gave her a hint by shaking his head at her. Sho I’ll shend him away, and then I’ll murder Vasantasenā. That’s the idea. [Aloud.] Shir, I was born in a noble family as great as a wine-glass. How could I do that shin I shpoke about? I jusht shaid it to make her love me.
Why should you boast of this your noble birth?
She’s ashamed to confessh her love when you’re here. Please go. My shervant Sthāvaraka has gone too after getting a beating. He may be running away. Catch him, shir, and come back with him.
[Aloud.] Very well. I go.
[Seizing the hem of his garment.] Did I not throw myself upon your protection?
Do not fear, Vasantasenā. Jackass, Vasantasenā is a pledge, committed to your hand.
All right. Jusht let her be committed to my hand. It’s a pledge that I’ll execute.
Are you honest?
[Takes a few steps.] No! If I go, the wretch might kill her. I will conceal myself for a moment, and see what he intends to do. [He stands apart.]
Good! I’ll murder her. But no! Perhaps thish tricky trickshter, thish Brahman, thish old jackal, has gone and hidden himshelf; he might raise a howl like the jackal he is. I’ll jusht do thish to deceive him. [He gathers flowers and adorns himself.] Vasantasenā, my love, my love! Come!
Yes, he has turned lover. Good! I am content. I will go. [Exit.
I’ll give you gold, I’ll call you shweet;
How can you ask? [She bows her head and recites the following verses.]
And I, who have loved the mango-tree, I cannot cling to the locust-tree.
Wench, you make that poor little Chārudatta into a mango-tree, and me you call a locusht-tree, not even an acacia! That’s the way you abuse me, and even yet you remember Chārudatta.
Why should I not remember him who dwells in my heart?
Thish very minute I’m going to shtrangle “him who dwells in your heart,” and you too. Shtand shtill, you poor-merchant-man’s lover!
Oh speak, oh speak again these words that do me honor!
Jusht let poor Chārudatta—the shon of a shlave—reshcue you now!
He would rescue me, if he saw me.
[He raises his arm to strike her.]
Mother! where are you? Oh, Chārudatta! my heart’s longing is unfulfilled, and now I die! I will scream for help. No! It would bring shame on Vasantasenā, should she scream for help. Heaven bless Chārudatta!
Does the wench shpeak that rashcal’s name even yet? [He seizes her by the throat.] Remember him, wench, remember him!
Heaven bless Chārudatta!
Die, wench! [He strangles her. Vasantasenā loses consciousness, and falls motionless.]
Good! The old jackal will be here in a minute. I ’ll shtep ashide and wait. [He does so.] [Enter the courtier, with Sthāvaraka.]
I have persuaded the servant Sthāvaraka to come back, and now I will look for the jackass. [He walks about and looks around him.] But see! A tree has fallen by the roadside, and killed a woman in its fall. O cruel! How couldst thou do this deed of shame? And when I see that a woman was slain by thy fatal fall, I too am felled to the earth. Truly, my heart’s fear for Vasantasenā was an evil omen. Oh, heaven grant that all may yet be well! [He approaches Sansthānaka.] Jackass, I have persuaded your servant Sthāvaraka to return.
How do you do, shir? Sthāvaraka, my little shon, my shlave, how do you do?
Well, thank you.
Give me my pledge.
Right after you.
[Doubtfully.] No, she did not go in that direction.
In what direction did you go?
Toward the east.
Well, she went shouth.
So did I.
She went north.
This is nonsense. My heart is not satisfied. Speak the truth.
I shwear by your head, shir, and my own feet. You may be easy in your heart. I murdered her.
[Despairingly.] You really killed her?
If you don’t believe my words, then shee the firsht heroic deed of Sansthānaka, the king’s brother-in-law. [He points out the body.]
Alas! Ah, woe is me! [He falls in a swoon.]
Hee, hee! The gentleman is calm enough now!
Oh, sir! Come to yourself! I am the first murderer, for I brought the bullock-cart hither without looking into it.
[Comes to himself. Mournfully.] Alas, Vasantasenā!
[Tearfully.] Ah, woe is me!
[Aside.] Ah! Perhaps the wretch means to lay this sin to my charge. I must go hence. [He walks about. Sansthānaka approaches and holds him back.] Scoundrel! Touch me not. I have done with you. I go.
Aha! Firsht you murder Vasantasenā, then you abuse me, and now where will you run to? And sho a man like me has n’t anybody to protect him.
You are an accursèd scoundrel!
A curse upon you! Yours, and yours only, be the deed.
Heaven avert the omen! [Sansthānaka bursts out laughing.]
Don’t be angry. Come, let’s go and play in the pond.
Firsht you murder Vasantasenā in my old garden Pushpakaranda, and now where will you run to? Come, defend yourshelf in court before my shishter’s husband! [He holds him back.]
Enough, you accursèd scoundrel! [He draws his sword.]
[Recoiling in terror.] Shcared, are you? Go along, then.
[Aside.] It would be folly to remain here. Well, I will go and join myself to Sharvilaka, Chandanaka, and the rest. [Exit.
Go to hell. Well, my little shon Sthāvaraka, what kind of a thing is thish that I’ve done?
Master, you have committed a terrible crime.
Shlave! What do you mean by talking about a crime? Well, I’ll do it thish way. [He takes various ornaments from his person.] Take these gems. I give ’em to you. Whenever I want to wear them, I’ll take them back again, but the resht of the time they are yours.
They should be worn only by my master. What have I to do with such things?
Go along! Take these bullocks, and wait in the tower of my palace until I come.
Yes, master. [Exit.
The gentleman has made himshelf invisible. He wanted to save himshelf. And the shlave I’ll put in irons in the palace tower, and keep him there. And sho the shecret will be shafe. I’ll go along, but firsht I’ll take a look at her. Is she dead, or shall I murder her again? [He looks at Vasantasenā.] Dead as a door-nail! Good! I’ll cover her with thish cloak. No, it has my name on it. Shome honesht man might recognize it. Well, here are shome dry leaves that the wind has blown into a heap. I’ll cover her with them. [He does so, then pauses to reflect.] Good! I’ll do it thish way. I’ll go to court at once, and there I’ll lodge a complaint. I’ll shay that the merchant Chārudatta enticed Vasantasenā into my old garden Pushpakaranda, and killed her for her money.
Now I’m ready to go. [He starts to go away, but perceives something that frightens him.] Goodnessh gracioush me! Wherever I go, thish damned monk comes with his yellow robes. I bored a hole in his nose once and drove him around, and he hates me. Perhaps he’ll shee me, and will tell people that I murdered her. How shall I eshcape? [He looks about.] Aha! I’ll jump over the wall where it is half fallen down, and eshcape that way.
[Enter hurriedly the Buddhist monk, ex-shampooer.]
I’ve washed these rags of mine. Shall I let them dry on a branch? no, the monkeys would steal them. On the ground? the dust would make them dirty again. Well then, where shall I spread them out to dry? [He looks about.] Ah, here is a pile of dry leaves which the wind has blown into a heap. I’ll spread them out on that. [He does so.] Buddha be praised! [He sits down.] Now I will repeat a hymn of the faith.
After all, what have I to do with heaven, before I have paid my debt to Vasantasenā, my sister in Buddha? She bought my freedom for ten gold-pieces from the gamblers, and since that day I regard myself as her property. [He looks about.] What was that? a sigh that arose from the leaves? It cannot be.
[Vasantasenā begins to recover consciousness, and stretches out her hand.]
Ah, there appears a woman’s hand, adorned with beautiful gems. What! a second hand? [He examines it with the greatest care.] It seems to me, I recognize this hand. Yes, there is no doubt about it. Surely, this is the hand that saved me. But I must see for myself. [He uncovers the body, looks at it, and recognizes it.] It is my sister in Buddha. [Vasantasenā pants for water.] Ah, she seeks water, and the pond is far away. What shall I do? An idea! I will hold this robe over her and let it drip upon her. [He does so. Vasantasenā recovers consciousness, and raises herself. The monk fans her with his garment.]
Who are you, sir?
Has my sister in Buddha forgotten him whose freedom she bought for ten gold-pieces?
I seem to remember, but not just as you say. It were better that I had slept never to waken.
What happened here, sister in Buddha?
[Despairingly.] Nothing but what is fitting—for a courtezan.
Sister in Buddha, support yourself by this creeper that clings to the tree, and rise to your feet. [He bends down the creeper. Vasantasenā takes it in her hand, and rises.]
In yonder monastery dwells one who is my sister in the faith. There shall my sister in Buddha be restored before she returns home. You must walk very slowly, sister. [He walks about and looks around him.] Make way, good people, make way! This is a young lady, and I am a monk, yet my conduct is above reproach.
[Enter a beadle.]
THE magistrates said to me “Come, beadle, go to the court-room, and make ready the seats.” So now I am on my way to set the court-room in order. [He walks about and looks around him.] Here is the court-room. I will enter. [He enters, sweeps, and puts a seat in its place.] There! I have tidied up the court-room and put the seats in readiness, and now I will go and tell the magistrates. [He walks about and looks around him.] But see! Here comes that arrant knave, the king’s brother-in-law. I will go away without attracting his attention. [He stands apart. Enter Sansthānaka, in gorgeous raiment.]
And beshides, I’ve found a big hole, like a worm that has crawled into the knot of a lotush-root, and is looking for a hole to creep out at. Now who was I going to accuse of thish wicked deed? [He recalls something.] Oh, yesh! I remember. I was going to accuse poor Chārudatta of thish wicked deed. Beshides, he’s poor. They’ll believe anything about him. Good! I’ll go to the court-room and lodge a public complaint against Chārudatta, how he shtrangled Vasantasenā and murdered her. Sho now I’m on my way to the court-room. [He walks about and looks around him.] Here is the court-room. I’ll go in. [He enters and looks about.] Well, here are the sheats, all arranged. While I’m waiting for the magishtrates, I’ll jusht sit down a minute on the grass. [He does so.]
[Walks about in another direction, and looks before him.] Here come the magistrates. I will go to them. [He does so.]
[Enter the judge, accompanied by a gild-warden, a clerk, and others.]
Gild-warden and clerk!
We await your bidding.
A trial depends to such an extent upon others that the task of the magistrates—the reading of another’s thoughts—is most difficult.
For the judge must be
And do men speak of defects in your virtue? If so, then they speak of darkness in the moonlight.
My good beadle, conduct me to the court-room.
Follow me, Your Honor. [They walk about.] Here is the court-room. May the magistrates be pleased to enter. [All enter.]
My good beadle, do you go outside and learn who desires to present a case.
Yes, sir. [He goes out.] Gentlemen, the magistrates ask if there is any here who desires to present a case.
[Gleefully.] The magishtrates are here. [He struts about.] I desire to present a cashe, I, an arishtocrat, a man, a Vāsudeva, the royal brother-in-law, the brother-in-law of the king.
[In alarm.] Goodness! The king’s brother-in-law is the first who desires to present a case. Well! Wait a moment, sir. I will inform the magistrates at once. [He approaches the magistrates.] Gentlemen, here is the king’s brother-in-law who has come to court, desiring to present a case.
What! the king’s brother-in-law is the first who desires to present a case? Like an eclipse at sunrise, this betokens the ruin of some great man. Beadle, the court will doubtless be very busy to-day. Go forth, my good man, and say “Leave us for to-day. Your suit cannot be considered.”
Yes, Your Honor. [He goes out, and approaches Sansthānaka.] Sir, the magistrates send word that you are to leave them for to-day; that your suit cannot be considered.
[Wrathfully.] Confound it! Why can’t my shuit be conshidered? If it is n’t conshidered, then I’ll tell my brother-in-law, King Pālaka, my shishter’s husband, and I’ll tell my shishter and my mother too, and I’ll have thish judge removed, and another judge appointed. [He starts to go away.]
Oh, sir! Brother-in-law of the king! Wait a moment. I will inform the magistrates at once. [He returns to the judge.] The brother-in-law of the king is angry, and says—[He repeats Sansthānaka’s words.]
This fool might do anything. My good man, tell him to come hither, that his suit will be considered.
[Approaching Sansthānaka.] Sir, the magistrates send word that you are to come in, that your suit will be considered. Pray enter, sir.
Firsht they shay it won’t be conshidered, then they shay it will be conshidered. The magishtrates are shcared. Whatever I shay, I’ll make ’em believe it. Good! I’ll enter. [He enters and approaches the magistrates.] I am feeling very well, thank you. Whether you feel well or not—that depends on me.
[Aside.] Well, well! We seem to have a highly cultivated plaintiff. [Aloud.] Pray be seated.
Well! Thish floor belongs to me. I’ll sit down wherever I like. [To the gild-warden.] I’ll sit here. [To the beadle.] Why should n’t I sit here? [He lays his hand on the judge’s head.] I’ll sit here. [He sits down on the floor.]
You desire to present a case?
Then state the case.
I’ll whishper it. I was born in the great family of a man as glorioush as a wine-glass.
All this we know.
State your case.
I will, but even if I was guilty, he would n’t do anything to me. Well, my shishter’s husband liked me, and gave me the besht garden there is, the old garden Pushpakaranda, to play in and look after. And there I go every day to look at it, to keep it dry, to keep it clean, to keep it blosshoming, to keep it trimmed. But fate decreed that I shaw—or rather, I did n’t shee—the proshtrate body of a woman.
Do you know who the unfortunate woman was?
Hello, magishtrates! Why should n’t I know? A woman like that! the pearl of the city! adorned with a hundred golden ornaments! Shomebody’s unworthy shon enticed her into the old garden Pushpakaranda when it was empty, and for a mere trifle—for her money!—shtrangled Vasantasenā and killed her. But I did n’t—[He breaks off, and puts his hand over his mouth.]
What carelessness on the part of the city police! Gildwarden and clerk, write down the words “I did n’t,” as the first article in the case.
Yes, sir. [He does so.] Sir, it is written.
[Aside.] Goodnessh! Now I’ve ruined myshelf, like a man that shwallows a cake of rice and milk in a hurry. Well, I’ll get out of it thish way. [Aloud.] Well, well, magishtrates! I was jusht remarking that I did n’t shee it happen. What are you making thish hullabaloo about? [He wipes out the written words with his foot.]
How do you know that she was strangled—and for her money?
Hello! Why should n’t I think sho, when her neck was shwollen and bare, and the places where you wear jewels did n’t have any gold on them?
That seems plausible.
[Aside.] Thank heaven! I breathe again. Hooray!
Upon whom does the conduct of this case depend?
The case has a twofold aspect.
We have to consider the allegations, then the facts. Now the investigation of the allegations depends upon plaintiff and defendant. But the investigation of the facts must be carried out by the wisdom of the judge.
Then the conduct of the case depends upon the presence of Vasantasenā’s mother?
Precisely. My good beadle, summon Vasantasenā’s mother, without, however, giving her cause for anxiety.
Yes, Your Honor. [He goes out, and returns with the mother of the courtezan.] Follow me, madam.
My daughter went to the house of a friend to enjoy her youth. But now comes this gentleman—long life to him!—and says “Come! The judge summons you.” I find myself quite bewildered. My heart is palpitating. Sir, will you conduct me to the court-room?
Follow me, madam. [They walk about.] Here is the court-room. Pray enter, madam. [They enter.]
[Approaching.] Happiness be yours, most worthy gentlemen.
My good woman, you are very welcome. Pray be seated.
Thank you. [She seats herself.]
[Abusively.] You’re here, are you, you old bawd?
Tell me. Are you Vasantasenā’s mother?
Whither has Vasantasenā gone at this moment?
To the house of a friend.
What is the name of her friend?
[Aside.] Dear me! Really, this is very embarrassing. [Aloud.] Any one else might ask me this, but not a judge.
Pray do not be embarrassed. The conduct of the case puts the question.
The conduct of the case puts the question. You incur no fault. Speak.
What! the conduct of the case? If that is so, then listen, worthy gentlemen. There lives in the merchants’ quarter the grandson of the merchant Vinayadatta, the son of Sāgaradatta, a man whose name is a good omen in itself—that name is Chārudatta. In his house my daughter enjoys her youth.
Did you hear that? Write those words down. My contention is with Chārudatta.
It is no sin for Chārudatta to be her friend.
The conduct of this case demands the presence of Chārudatta.
Dhanadatta, write as the first article in the case “Vasantasenā went to the house of Chārudatta.” But must we summon the worthy Chārudatta also? No, the conduct of the case summons him. Go, my good beadle, summon Chārudatta,—but gently, without haste, without giving him cause for anxiety, respectfully, as it were incidentally,—with the words “The judge wishes to see you.”
Yes, Your Honor. [He goes out, then returns with Chārudatta.] Follow me, sir.
But why consider thus? I must go to the court-room. My good beadle, conduct me to the court.
Follow me, sir. [They walk about.]
[Apprehensively.] And what means this?
Follow me, sir, gently and without haste.
[Walks about and looks before him.]
[He looks in another direction.] But see! a snake!
And more than this:
Surely, the gods will grant that all may yet be well.
Follow me, sir. Here is the court-room. Pray enter.
[Enters and looks about.] How wonderfully splendid is the court-room. For it seems an ocean,
Come! [As he enters, he strikes his head against the door. Reflectively.] Alas! This also?
But I must enter. [He does so.]
This is Chārudatta.
My greetings to the officers of justice. Officials, I salute you.
[Betraying his agitation.] You are very welcome, sir. My good beadle, give the gentleman a seat.
[Brings a seat.] Here is a seat. Pray be seated, sir. [Chārudatta seats himself.]
[Angrily.] You’re here, are you, you woman-murderer? Well! Thish is a fine trial, thish is a jusht trial, where they give a sheat to thish woman-murderer. [Haughtily.] But it’s all right. They can give it to him.
Chārudatta, have you any attachment, or affection, or friendship, with this lady’s daughter?
This lady. [He indicates Vasantasenā’s mother.]
[Rising.] Madam, I salute you.
Long life to you, my son! [Aside.] So this is Chārudatta. My daughter’s youth is in good hands.
Sir, is the courtezan your friend? [Chārudatta betrays his embarrassment.]
Speak, Chārudatta. Do not be ashamed. This is a lawsuit.
[In embarrassment.] Officials, how can I testify that a courtezan is my friend? But at worst, it is youth that bears the blame, not character.
Do not be embarrassed. The conduct of the case puts the question.
Officer, with whom have I a lawsuit?
[Arrogantly.] With me!
A lawsuit with you is unendurable!
Well, well, woman-murderer! You murder a woman like Vasantasenā who used to wear a hundred gems, and now you try deceitful deceivings to hide it!
You are a fool.
Enough of him, good Chārudatta. Speak the truth. Is the courtezan your friend?
Sir, where is Vasantasenā?
She has gone home.
How did she go? When did she go? Who accompanied her?
[Aside.] Shall I say that she went unobserved?
She went home. What more shall I say?
She was enticed into my old garden Pushpakaranda, and was shtrangled for her money. Now will you shay that she went home?
Man, you are crazy.
[Aloud.] This is the noble Chārudatta. How could he commit this crime? [He repeats the verse “A countenance like his:” page 141.]
Why this partiality in a lawshuit?
Away, you fool!
How could the noble Chārudatta commit a crime?
You scoundrel! When the golden casket that was left with him as a pledge was stolen by thieves at night, he gave in place of it a pearl necklace that was the pride of the four seas. And he should now, for a mere trifle—for her money!—do this sin? Oh, my child, come back to me, my daughter! [She weeps.]
Noble Chārudatta, did she go on foot, or in a bullock-cart?
I did not see her when she went. Therefore I do not know whether she went on foot, or in a bullock-cart.
[Enter Vīraka, in anger.]
So now I will go to the court-room. [He enters.] May happiness be the lot of these honorable gentlemen.
Ah, it is Vīraka, the captain of the guard. Vīraka, what is the purpose of your coming?
Well! I was looking for Aryaka, in all the excitement about his escape from prison. I had my suspicions about a covered bullock-cart that was coming, and wanted to look in. “You ’ve made one inspection, man, I must make another,” said I, and then I was kicked by the highly respectable Chandanaka. You have heard the matter, gentlemen. The rest is your affair.
My good man, do you know to whom the bullock-cart belonged?
To this gentleman here, Chārudatta. And the driver said that Vasantasenā was in it, and was on her way to have a good time in the old garden Pushpakaranda.
Lishten to that, too!
Vīraka, we will investigate your case here later. Mount the horse that stands before the court-room door, go to the garden Pushpakaranda, and see whether a woman has perished there or not.
Yes, sir. [He goes out, then returns.] I have been there. And I saw the body of a woman, torn by wild beasts.
How do you know that it was the body of a woman?
That I perceived from the traces of hair and arms and hands and feet.
Alas for the difficulties which are caused by the actions of men!
Noble Chārudatta, speak truth!
And more than this:
Hello, magishtrates! How can you inveshtigate the cashe with such partiality? Why, even now you let thish shcoundrel Chārudatta shtay on his sheat.
My good beadle, so be it. [The beadle follows Sansthānaka’s suggestion.]
Consider, magistrates, consider what you are doing! [He leaves his seat, and sits on the floor.]
[Dancing about gleefully. Aside.] Fine! The shin that I did falls on another man’s head. Sho I’ll sit where Chārudatta was. [He does so.] Look at me, Chārudatta, and confessh that you murdered her.
But Maitreya I sent to Vasantasenā, that he might bring me tidings of her, and might restore the jewels which she gave my child, to buy him a toy cart. Why then does he linger?
[Enter Maitreya with the gems.]
Chārudatta bade me go to Vasantasenā, to return her jewels, and he said to me: “Maitreya, Vasantasenā adorned my dear Rohasena with her own jewels, and sent him thus to his mother. It was fitting that she should give him the jewels, but not that we should receive them. Therefore restore them to her.” So now I will go to Vasantasenā’s house. [He walks about and looks around, then speaks to a person behind the scenes.] Ah, it is Master Rebhila. Oh, Master Rebhila, why do you seem so exceedingly troubled? [He listens.] What! do you mean to say that my dear friend Chārudatta has been summoned to court? That can hardly be an insignificant matter. [He reflects.] I will go to Vasantasenā’s house later, but now I will go to the court-room. [He walks about and looks around.] Here is the court-room. I will go in at once. [He enters.] May happiness be the lot of the magistrates. Where is my friend?
My friend, I wish you happiness.
It will be mine.
That too will be mine.
My friend, why do you seem so exceedingly troubled? And why were you summoned?
[Whispers.] That is it.
Who says that?
[Indicating Sansthānaka.] This poor fellow is the instrument that fate uses to accuse me.
[Aside to Chārudatta.] Why don’t you simply say that she went home?
Though I say it, it is not believed, so unfortunate is my condition.
But gentlemen! He adorned the city of Ujjayinī with mansions, cloisters, parks, temples, pools, and fountains, and he should be mad enough to commit such a crime—and for a mere trifle? [Wrathfully.] You offspring of a loose wench, you brother-in-law of the king, Sansthānaka, you libertine, you slanderer, you buffoon, you gilded monkey, say it before me! This friend of mine does n’t even draw a flowering jasmine creeper to himself, to gather the blossoms, for fear that a twig might perhaps be injured. How should he commit a crime like this, which heaven and earth call accursèd? Just wait, you son of a bawd! Wait till I split your head into a hundred pieces with this staff of mine, as crooked as your heart.
[Angrily.] Lishten to that, gentlemen! I have a quarrel, or a lawshuit, with Chārudatta. What right has a man with a pate that looks like a caret, to shplit my head into a hundred pieces? Not much! You confounded rashcal! [Maitreya raises his staff and repeats his words. Sansthānaka rises angrily and strikes him. Maitreya strikes back. During the scuffle the jewels fall from Maitreya’s girdle.]
[Picks up the jewels and examines them. Excitedly.] Look, gentlemen, look! These are the poor girl’s jewels! [Pointing to Chārudatta.] For a trifle like thish he murdered her, and killed her too. [The magistrates all bow their heads.]
[Aside to Maitreya.]
But why don’t you simply tell the truth?
[Looking at the casket. To Vasantasenā’s mother.] Madam, pray examine this golden casket attentively, to see whether it be the same or not.
[Examining the casket.] It is similar, but not the same.
Oh, you old bawd! You confessh it with your eyes, and deny it with your lips.
Away, you scoundrel!
Speak carefully. Is it the same or not?
Sir, the craftsman’s skill captivates the eye. But it is not the same.
My good woman, do you know these jewels?
No, I said. No! I don’t recognize them; but perhaps they were made by the same craftsman.
Do these jewels belong to Chārudatta?
To whom then?
To this lady’s daughter.
How did she lose them?
She lost them. Yes, so much is true.
Chārudatta, speak the truth in this matter. For you must remember,
The jewels, the jewels! I do not know. But I do know that they were taken from my house.
Firsht you take her into the garden and murder her. And now you hide it by tricky trickinessh.
Noble Chārudatta, speak the truth!
[Aside.] And yet I know not what to do with life, so I be robbed of Vasantasenā. [Aloud.] Ah, why waste words?
Killed her! Come, you shay it too. “I killed her.”
You have said it.
Lishten, my mashters, lishten! He murdered her! No one but him! Doubt is over. Let punishment be inflicted on the body of thish poor Chārudatta.
Beadle, we must do as the king’s brother-in-law says. Guardsmen, lay hold on this Chārudatta. [The guardsmen do so.]
Be merciful, good gentlemen, be merciful! [She repeats what she had said before, beginning “When the golden casket:” page 143.] If my daughter is killed, she is killed. Let him live for me—bless him! And besides, a lawsuit is a matter between plaintiff and defendant. I am the real plaintiff. So let him go free!
You shlave, get out of the way! What have you got to shay about him?
Go, madam. Guardsmen, conduct her forth.
Oh, my child, my son! [Exit weeping.
[Aside.] I’ve done shomething worthy of myshelf. Now I’ll go. [Exit.
Noble Chārudatta, the decision lies with us, but the rest depends on the king. And yet, beadle, let King Pālaka be reminded of this:
Yes, Your Honor. [He goes out, then reënters in tears.] Oh, sirs, I was with the king. And King Pālaka says: “Inasmuch as he killed Vasantasenā for such a trifle, these same jewels shall be hung about his neck, the drum shall be beaten, he shall be conducted to the southern burying-ground, and there impaled.” And whoever else shall commit such a crime, shall be punished with the like dreadful doom.
Oh, how wanton is this act of King Pālaka! Nevertheless,
And more than this:
My friend Maitreya, go, greet the mother of my son in my name for the last time. And keep my son Rohasena free from harm.
When the root is cut away, how can the tree be saved?
No, not so.
Oh, my friend! I will prove myself your friend by continuing the life that you leave unfinished.
And let me see Rohasena for a single moment.
I will. It is but fitting.
My good beadle, remove this man. [The beadle does so.] Who is there? Let the headsmen receive their orders. [The guardsmen loose their hold on Chārudatta, and all of them go out.]
Come with me, sir.
[Mournfully repeats the verse, page 146, beginning “My friend Maitreya!” Then, as if speaking to one not present.]
I come! I come! [Exeunt omnes.
[Enter Chārudatta, accompanied by two headsmen.]
Out of the way, gentlemen, out of the way! This is the noble Chārudatta.
Come, Chārudatta, come!
Incalculable are the ways of human destiny, that I am come to such a plight!
[He gazes intently before him.] Alas for human differences!
Out of the way, gentlemen, out of the way! Why do you gaze upon him?
Look, Ahīnta! Look, man!
[Gazes intently. Mournfully.]
Come, Chārudatta, come! Here is the place of proclamation. Beat the drum and proclaim the sentence.
Listen, good people, listen! This is the noble Chārudatta, son of Sāgaradatta, and grandson of the merchant Vinayadatta. This malefactor enticed the courtezan Vasantasenā into the deserted old garden Pushpakaranda, and for a mere trifle murdered her by strangling. He was taken with the booty, and confessed his guilt. Therefore are we under orders from King Pālaka to execute him. And if any other commit such a crime, accursèd in this world and the next, him too King Pālaka condemns to the like punishment.
[He looks up and stops his ears.] Vasantasenā! Oh, my belovèd!
Out of the way, gentlemen, out of the way!
[Looks about him.]
They are out of the way. The street is cleared. Lead on the condemned criminal.
My father! Oh, my friend!
[Listens. Mournfully.] You are a leader in your own caste. I would beg a favor at your hands.
From our hands you would receive a favor?
Heaven forbid! Yet a headsman is neither so wanton nor so cruel as King Pālaka. That I may be happy in the other world, I ask to see the face of my son.
So be it.
My father! oh, my father! [Chārudatta hears the words, and mournfully repeats his request.]
Citizens, make way a moment. Let the noble Chārudatta look upon the face of his son. [Turning to the back of the stage.] This way, sir! Come on, little boy!
[Enter Maitreya, with Rohasena.]
Make haste, my boy, make haste! Your father is being led to his death.
My father! oh, my father!
Oh, my friend! Where must I behold you now?
[Perceives his son and his friend.] Alas, my son! Alas,
[Mournfully.] Ah, woe is me!
What may I give my son? [He looks at himself, and perceives the sacrificial cord.] Ah, this at least is mine.
[He gives Rohasena the cord.]
Come, Chārudatta! Come, man!
Man, do you name the noble Chārudatta’s name, and forget the title? Remember:
Oh, headsmen, where are you leading my father?
Then why do you murder my father?
Bless you, ’t is the king’s orders must bear the blame, not we.
Kill me, and let father go free.
Bless you, may you live long for saying that!
[Tearfully embracing his son.]
[He looks about. Aside.]
My good men, let my dear friend Chārudatta go free, and kill me instead.
Heaven forbid! [He looks about. Aside.] Now I understand.
Out of the way, gentlemen, out of the way!
Proclaim the sentence again, man. [Goha does so.]
[Enter Sthāvaraka, fettered, in the palace tower.]
[After listening to the proclamation. In distress.] What! the innocent Chārudatta is being put to death? And my master has thrown me into chains! Well, I must shout to them.—Listen, good gentlemen, listen! It was I, wretch that I am, who carried Vasantasenā to the old garden Pushpakaranda, because she mistook my bullock-cart for another. And then my master, Sansthānaka, found that she would not love him, and it was he, not this gentleman, who murdered her by strangling.—But they are so far away that no one hears me. What shall I do? Shall I cast myself down? [He reflects.] If I do, then the noble Chārudatta will not be put to death. Yes, through this broken window I will throw myself down from the palace tower. Better that I should meet my end, than that the noble Chārudatta should perish, this tree of life for noble youths. And if I die in such a cause, I have attained heaven. [He throws himself down.] Wonderful! I did not meet my end, and my fetters are broken. So I will follow the sound of the headsmen’s voices. [He discovers the headsmen, and hastens forward.] Headsmen, headsmen, make way!
For whom shall we make way?
Listen, good gentlemen, listen! It was I, wretch that I am, who carried Vasantasenā to the old garden Pushpakaranda, because she mistook my bullock-cart for another. And then my master, Sansthānaka, found that she would not love him, and it was he, not this gentleman, who murdered her by strangling.
Listen! do you hear what I say?
Are you telling the truth, Sthāvaraka?
I am. And to keep me from telling anybody, he cast me into chains, and imprisoned me in the tower of his palace.
[He listens.] The headsmen’s voices! They shound like a broken brass cymbal. I hear the music of the fatal drum and the kettle-drums, and sho I shuppose that that poor man, Chārudatta, is being led to the place of execution. I musht go and shee it. It is a great delight to shee my enemy die. Beshides, I’ve heard that a man who shees his enemy being killed, is sure not to have shore eyes in his next birth. I acted like a worm that had crept into the knot of a lotush-root. I looked for a hole to crawl out at, and brought about the death of thish poor man, Chārudatta. Now I’ll climb up the tower of my own palace, and have a look at my own heroic deeds. [He does so and looks about.] Wonderful what a crowd there is, to shee that poor man led to his death! What would it be when an arishtocrat, a big man like me, was being led to his death? [He gazes.] Look! There he goes toward the shouth, adorned like a young shteer. But why was the proclamation made near my palace tower, and why was it shtopped? [He looks about.] Why, my shlave Sthāvaraka is gone, too. I hope he has n’t run away and betrayed the shecret. I musht go and look for him. [He descends and approaches the crowd.]
[Discovers him.] There he comes, good masters!
Come, come, make way! [He approaches.] Sthāvaraka, my little shon, my shlave, come, let’s go home.
You scoundrel! Are you not content with the murder of Vasantasenā? Must you try now to murder the noble Chārudatta, that tree of life to all who loved him?
I am beautiful as a pot of jewels. I kill no woman!
Oho! you murdered her, not the noble Chārudatta.
Who shays that?
[Pointing to Sthāvaraka.] This honest man.
[Fearfully. Aside.] Merciful heavens! Why did n’t I chain that shlave Sthāvaraka fasht? Why, he was a witnessh of my crime. [He reflects.] I’ll do it thish way. [Aloud.] Lies, lies, good gentlemen. Why, I caught the shlave shtealing gold, and I pounded him, and murdered him, and put him in chains. He hates me. What he shays can’t be true. [He secretly hands Sthāvaraka a bracelet, and whispers.] Sthāvaraka, my little shon, my shlave, take thish and shay shomething different.
[Takes it.] Look, gentlemen, look! Why, he is trying to bribe me with gold.
[Snatches the bracelet from him.] That’s the gold that I put him in chains for. [Angrily.] Look here, headsmen! I put him in charge of my gold-chest, and when he turned thief, I murdered him and pounded him. If you don’t believe it, jusht look at his back.
[Doing so.] Yes, yes. When a servant is branded that way, no wonder he tells tales.
A curse on slavery! A slave convinces nobody. [Mournfully.] Noble Chārudatta, I have no further power. [He falls at Chārudatta’s feet.]
Beat your servant, master, and drive him away.
Out of the way, you! [He drives Sthāvaraka away.] Come, headsmen, what are you waiting for? Kill him.
Kill him yourself, if you are in a hurry.
Oh, headsmen, kill me and let father go free.
Yesh, shon and father, kill them both.
This fool might do anything. Go, my son, to your mother.
And what should I do then?
And you, my friend, go with him.
Oh, my friend, have you so known me as to think that I can live without you?
Not so, my friend. Your life is your own. You may not throw it away.
[Aside.] True. And yet I cannot live apart from my friend. And so, when I have taken the boy to his mother, I will follow my friend even in death. [Aloud.] Yes, my friend, I will take him to her at once. [He embraces Chārudatta, then falls at his feet. Rohasena does the same, weeping.]
Look here! Did n’t I tell you to kill Chārudatta, and his shon, too? [At this, Chārudatta betrays fear.]
We have n’t any orders from the king to kill Chārudatta, and his son, too. Run away, boy, run away! [They drive Rohasena away.] Here is the third place of proclamation. Beat the drum! [They proclaim the sentence again.]
[Aside.] But the citizens don’t believe it. [Aloud.] Chārudatta, you jackanapes, the citizens don’t believe it. Shay it with your own tongue, “I murdered Vasantasenā.” [Chārudatta remains silent.] Look here, headsmen! The man won’t shpeak, the jackanapes Chārudatta. Jusht make him shpeak. Beat him a few times with thish ragged bamboo, or with a chain.
[Raises his arm to strike.] Come, Chārudatta, speak!
[Sansthānaka repeats his words.]
Men of my own city!
So be it.
It’s your turn to kill him, man.
Well, let’s reckon it out. [He does so at great length.] Well, if it’s my turn to kill him, we will just let it wait a minute.
Well, when my father was going to heaven, he said to me, “Son Goha, if it’s your turn to kill him, don’t kill the sinner too quick.”
“Perhaps,” said he, “some good man might give the money to set him free. Perhaps a son might be born to the king, and to celebrate the event, all the prisoners might be set free. Perhaps an elephant might break loose, and the prisoner might escape in the excitement. Perhaps there might be a change of kings, and all the prisoners might be set free.”
What? What? A change of kings?
Well, let’s reckon it out, whose turn it is.
Oh, come! Kill Chārudatta at once. [He takes Sthāvaraka, and withdraws a little.]
Noble Chārudatta, it is the king’s commandment that bears the blame, not we headsmen. Think then of what you needs must think.
Tell me. Whither would you have me go?
[Pointing ahead.] Why, here is the southern burying-ground, and when a criminal sees that, he says good-by to life in a minute. For look!
Alas! Ah, woe is me! [In his agitation he sits down.]
I won’t go yet. I’ll jusht shee Chārudatta killed. [He walks about, gazing.] Well, well! He shat down.
Are you frightened, Chārudatta?
[Rising hastily.] Fool!
Noble Chārudatta, the moon and the sun dwell in the vault of heaven, yet even they are overtaken by disaster. How much more, death-fearing creatures, and men! In this world, one rises only to fall, another falls only to rise again. But from him who has risen and falls, his body drops like a garment. Lay these thoughts to heart, and be strong. [To Ahīnta.] Here is the fourth place of proclamation. Let us proclaim the sentence. [They do so once again.]
Vasantasenā! Oh, my belovèd!
[Enter, in great agitation, Vasantasenā and the Buddhist monk.]
Strange! My monkish life did me yeoman service when it proved necessary to comfort Vasantasenā, so untimely wearied, and to lead her on her way. Sister in Buddha, whither shall I lead you?
To the noble Chārudatta’s house. Revive me with the sight of him, as the night-blooming water-lily is revived by the sight of the moon.
[Aside.] By which road shall I enter? [He reflects.] The king’s highway— I’ll enter by that. Come, sister in Buddha! Here is the king’s highway. [Listening.] But what is this great tumult that I hear on the king’s highway?
[Looking before her.] Why, there is a great crowd of people before us. Pray find out, sir, what it means. All Ujjayinī tips to one side, as if the earth bore an uneven load.
And here is the last place of proclamation. Beat the drum! Proclaim the sentence! [They do so.] Now, Chārudatta, wait! Don’t be frightened. You will be killed very quickly.
Ye blessèd gods!
[Listens. In terror.] Sister in Buddha, Chārudatta is being led to his death for murdering you.
[In terror.] Alas! For my wretched sake the noble Chārudatta put to death? Quick, quick! Oh, lead me thither!
Hasten, oh, hasten, sister in Buddha, to comfort the noble Chārudatta while he yet lives. Make way, gentlemen, make way!
Make way, make way!
Noble Chārudatta, it is the king’s commandment that bears the blame. Think then of what you needs must think.
[Drawing his sword.] Noble Chārudatta, lie flat and be quiet. With one stroke we will kill you and send you to heaven. [Chārudatta does so. Goha raises his arm to strike. The sword falls from his hand.] What is this?
But since it did, I conclude that the noble Chārudatta is not to die. Have mercy, O mighty goddess of the Sahya hills! If only Chārudatta might be saved, then hadst thou shown favor to our headsman caste.
Let us do as we were ordered.
Well, let us do it. [They make ready to impale Chārudatta.]
[Perceiving what is being done.] Good gentlemen! Hold, hold!
Good gentlemen! I am the wretch for whose sake he is put to death.
Oh, Chārudatta! What does it mean? [She falls on his breast.]
Oh, Chārudatta! What does it mean? [He falls at his feet.]
[Anxiously withdrawing.] Vasantasenā?—At least, we did not kill an innocent man.
[Rising.] Thank heaven! Chārudatta lives.
And shall live a hundred years!
[Joyfully.] And I too am brought back to life again.
The king is at the place of sacrifice. Let us report to him what has taken place. [The two headsmen start to go away.]
[Perceives Vasantasenā. In terror.] Goodnessh! who brought the shlave back to life? Thish is the end of me. Good! I’ll run away. [He runs away.]
[Returning.] Well, did n’t we have orders from the king to put the man to death who murdered Vasantasenā? Let us hunt for the king’s brother-in-law. [Exeunt the two headsmen.
[He gazes at her.]
[Rises tearfully and falls at his feet.] O noble Chārudatta, I am indeed the wretch for whose sake you are fallen upon this unworthy plight.
A miracle, a miracle! Vasantasenā lives. [The bystanders repeat the words.]
[Listens, then rises suddenly, embraces Vasantasenā, and closes his eyes. In a voice trembling with emotion.] My love! You are Vasantasenā!
That same unhappy woman.
[Gazes upon her. Joyfully.] Can it be? Vasantasenā herself? [In utter happiness.]
Vasantasenā Oh, my belovèd!
You with your utter kindliness, what can it be that you have done?
My belovèd, he said that I had killed you.
[Stopping her ears.] Heaven avert the omen! It was he, the king’s brother-in-law, who killed me.
[Perceiving the monk.] But who is this?
When that unworthy wretch had killed me, this worthy man brought me back to life.
Who are you, unselfish friend?
You do not remember me, sir. I am that shampooer, who once was happy to rub your feet. When I fell into the hands of certain gamblers, this sister in Buddha, upon hearing that I had been your servant, bought my freedom with her jewels. Thereupon I grew tired of the gambler’s life, and became a Buddhist monk. Now this lady made a mistake in her bullock-cart, and so came to the old garden Pushpakaranda. But when that unworthy wretch learned that she would not love him, he murdered her by strangling. And I found her there.
[Enter hurriedly Sharvilaka.]
[He looks before him.] Ah! There he will be found, where the people are thus gathered together. Oh, that this deed of King Aryaka might be crowned with the rescued life of noble Chārudatta! [He quickens his steps.] Make way, you rascals! [He discovers Chārudatta. Joyfully.] Is Chārudatta yet living, and Vasantasenā? Truly, our sovereign’s wishes are fulfilled.
Yet how shall I approach him, who have so grievously sinned against him? But no! Honesty is always honorable. [He approaches and folds his hands. Aloud.] O noble Chārudatta!
Who are you, sir?
Not so, my friend. Thereby you showed your faith in me. [He embraces him.]
And one thing more:
What say you?
Sharvilaka, did you set free that Aryaka, whom Pālaka took from his hamlet, and confined without cause in the tower?
This is indeed most welcome tidings.
Scarcely was your friend Aryaka established in Ujjayinī, when he bestowed upon you the throne of Kushāvatī, on the bank of the Venā. May you graciously receive this first token of his love. [He turns around.] Come, lead hither that rascal, that villain, the brother-in-law of the king!
We will, Sharvilaka.
Sir, King Aryaka declares that he won this kingdom through your virtues, and that you are therefore to have some benefit from it.
The kingdom won through my virtues?
Come on, brother-in-law of the king, and reap the reward of your insolence. [Enter Sansthānaka, guarded, with his hands tied behind his back.]
[He looks about him.] They crowd around me, though I’m a relative of the king’s. To whom shall I go for help in my helplesshnessh? [He reflects.] Good! I’ll go to the man who gives help and shows mercy to the shuppliant. [He approaches.] Noble Chārudatta, protect me, protect me! [He falls at his feet.]
Noble Chārudatta, leave him to us! let us kill him!
[To Chārudatta.] O helper of the helplessh, protect me!
[Mercifully.] Yes, yes. He who seeks protection shall be safe.
[Impatiently.] Confound him! Take him away from Chārudatta! [To Chārudatta.] Tell me. What shall be done with the wretch?
Will you do as I say?
How can you doubt it?
Chārudatta! Mashter! I sheek your protection. Protect me, protect me! Do shomething worthy of yourshelf. I’ll never do it again!
Kill him! Why should the wretch be allowed to live?
[Vasantasenā takes the garland of death from Chārudatta’s neck, and throws it upon Sansthānaka.]
You shlave-wench, be merciful, be merciful! I’ll never murder you again. Protect me!
Come, take him away! Noble Chārudatta, say what shall be done with the wretch.
Will you do as I say?
How can you doubt it?
Then let him be immediately—
No, no! Set free.
All right. We will have the dogs eat him alive.
Wonderful! What shall I do? Tell me, sir.
Why, set him free.
It shall be done.
Hooray! I breathe again. [Exit, with the guards.
Mistress Vasantasenā, the king is pleased to bestow upon you the title “wedded wife.”
Sir, I desire no more.
[Places the veilupon Vasantasenā. To Chārudatta.] Sir, what shall be done for this monk?
Monk, what do you most desire?
When I see this example of the uncertainty of all things, I am twice content to be a monk.
His purpose is not to be changed, my friend. Let him be appointed spiritual father over all the monasteries in the land.
It shall be done.
It is all that I desire.
Now I am indeed brought back to life.
What shall be done for Sthāvaraka?
Let the good fellow be given his freedom. Let those headsmen be appointed chiefs of all the headsmen. Let Chandanaka be appointed chief of all the police in the land. Let the brother-in-law of the king continue to act exactly as he acted in the past.
It shall be done. Only that man—leave him to me, and I’ll kill him.
He who seeks protection shall be safe.
Then tell me what I may yet do for you.
Can there be more than this?
Yet may the wishes of our epilogue be fulfilled.
35.15: Here nirmitāḥ is apparently a mere misprint for nirjitāḥ.
45.11: The addition of uṭṭhedha tti seems almost necessary.
53.10; 54.9; 55.11; 62.7; 66.7: In these passages I have substituted “shampooer” for “gambler,” to prevent confusion of the shampooer with the unnamed gambler.
57.13: I have added the stage-direction dyūtakaramaṇḍalīṁ kṛtvā.
67.5: Read kaṁ for kiṁ.
72.9: Read ajjo bandhuaṇaṁ samassāsiduṁ for Parab’s ajja bandhuaṇo samassasadu.
73.5: We should probably read bīhacchaṁ (bībhatsam) for vīhatthaṁ.
87.3: The words cikitsāṁ kṛtvā seem to be part of the text, not of the stage-direction.
97.13: I regard nayasya as one word, not two (na yasya).
100.12: Read rakṣān for rakṣyān.
114.5: Read ṇaaraṇārī- for ṇaraṇārī-.
125.8-11: These lines I have omitted.
126.4: Read accharīa- (āçcarya-) for accharīdi-.
170.8: Read eka- for ekā-.
178.11: Read vaḍḍhamāṇao for vaḍḍhamāṇaa.
184.9: Read a (ca) for ka.
217.15: Whatever çavoḍiaṁ may be, I have translated it in accordance with Lallādīkṣita’s gloss, saveṣṭikam.
226.2: Apparently khala- is a misprint for khaṇa-.
238.10: Read -ruciram for -racitam.
259.16: Read udvīkṣya for udvījya.
262.4: Read -bhājanam for -bhojanam.
262.14: Read paḍicchidaṁ (pratīṣṭam) for paḍicchiduṁ.
265.6: Read tvayā for mayā.
284.14: The words atha vā plainly belong to the text, not to the stage-direction.
287.2: I take paurāḥ as part of the stage-direction.
288.3-292.9: This passage I have omitted: compare page xii.
EDITED, WITH THE COÖPERATION OF VARIOUS SCHOLARS, BY
CHARLES ROCKWELL LANMAN professor of sanskrit in harvard university
Published by Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America
*∗* A copy of any one of these volumes, postage paid, may be obtained directly anywhere within the limits of the Universal Postal Union by sending a Postal Order for the price as given below, to The Publication Agent of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.
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Volume I.—The Jātaka-mālā: or Bodhisattva-avadāna-mālā, by Ārya-çūra; edited by Hendrik Kern, Professor in the University of Leiden, Netherlands. 1891. Royal 8vo, bound in cloth, xiv + 254 pages, price $1.50.
This is the editio princeps of a collection of Buddhist stories in Sanskrit. The text is printed in Nāgarī characters. An English translation of this work, by Professor Speyer, has been published in Professor Max Muller’s Sacred Books of the Buddhists, London, Henry Frowde, 1895.
Volume II.—The Sāṁkhya-pravacana-bhāṣya: or Commentary on the exposition of the Sānkhya philosophy, by Vijñāna-bhikṣu: edited by Richard Garbe, Professor in the University of Tübingen. 1895. Royal 8vo, bound in buckram, xiv + 196 pages, price $1.50.
This volume contains the original Sanskrit text of the Sānkhya Aphorisms and of Vijñāna’s Commentary, all printed in Roman letters It is of especial interest in that Vijñāna, not accepting the atheistic doctrine of the original Sānkhya, here comes out as a defender of downright theism. A German translation of the whole work was published by Professor Garbe in the Abhandlungen fur die Kunds des Morgenlandes, vol. ix., Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1889. “In spite of all the false assumptions and the errors of which Vijñāna-bhikṣu is undoubtedly guilty, his Commentary . . . is after all the one and only work which instructs us concerning many particulars of the doctrines of what is, in my estimation, the most significant system of philosophy that India has produced.”—Editor’s Preface.
Volume III.—Buddhism in Translations. By Henry Clarke Warren. 1896. 8vo, buckram, xx + 520 pages, price $1.20.
This is a series of extracts from Pāh writings, done into English, and so arranged as to give a general idea of Ceylonese Buddhism. The work consists of over a hundred selections, comprised in five chapters of about one hundred pages each. Of these, chapters ii., iii., and iv. are on Buddhist doctrine, and concern themselves respectively with the philosophical conceptions that underlie the Buddhist religious system, with the doctrine of Karma and rebirth, and with the scheme of salvation from misery. Chapter i. gives the account of the previous existences of Gotama Buddha and of his life in the last existence up to the attainment of Buddhaship; while the sections of chapter v. are about Buddhist monastic life.
Volume IV.—Rāja-çekhara’s Karpūra-mañjarī, a drama by the Indian poet Rāja-çekhara (about 900 a.d.): critically edited in the original Prākrit, with a glossarial index and an essay on the life and writings of the poet, by Dr. Sten Konow, of the University of Christiania, Norway; and translated into English with notes by Professor Lanman. 1901. Royal 8vo, buckram, xxviii + 289 pages, price $1.50.
Here for the first time in the history of Indian philology we have the text of a Prākrit play presented to us in strictly correct Prākrit. Dr. Konow is a pupil of Professor Pischel of Berlin, whose Prākrit grammar has made his authority upon this subject of the very highest. The proofs have had the benefit of Professor Pischel’s revision. The importance of the play is primarily linguistic rather than literary.
Volumes V. and VI.—The Bṛhad-Devatā, attributed to Çāunaka, a summary of the deities and myths of the Rig-Veda: critically edited in the original Sanskrit with an introduction and seven appendices, and translated into English with critical and illustrative notes, by Arthur A. Macdonell, Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol College. 1904. Royal 8vo, buckram, xxxvi + 198 and xvi + 334 pages, price per volume $1.50.
Volume V. (or Part I.) contains the introduction and text and appendices. Volume VI. (or Part II.) contains the translation and notes. The arrangement of the material in two volumes is such that the student can have the text of any given passage, together with the translation of that passage and the critical apparatus and the illustrative notes thereto appurtenant, all opened out before his eyes at one time, without having constantly to turn from one part of the volume to another, as is necessary with the usual arrangement of such matter.
Volumes VII. and VIII.—Atharva-Veda Saṁhitā, translated, with a critical and exegetical commentary, by William Dwight Whitney, late Professor of Sanskrit in Yale University. Revised and brought nearer to completion and edited by Charles Rockwell Lanman, Professor of Sanskrit in Harvard University. 1905. Royal 8vo, buckram, clxii + 1044 (= 1206) pages, price of the two volumes $5.00.
This work includes, in the first place, critical notes upon the text, giving the various readings of the manuscripts, and not alone of those collated by Whitney in Europe, but also of those of the apparatus used by S. P. Pandit in the great Bombay edition Second, the readings of the Paippalāda or Cashmere version, furnished by the late Professor Roth. Further, notice of the corresponding passages in all the other Vedic texts, with report of the various readings. Further, the data of the Hindu scholiast respecting authorship, divinity, and meter of each verse. Also, references to the ancillary literature, especially to the well-edited Kauçika and Vaitāna Sūtras, with account of the ritualistic use therein made of the hymns or parts of hymns, so far as this appears to cast any light upon their meaning. Also, extracts from the printed commentary. And, finally, a simple literal translation, with introduction and indices. Prefixed to the work proper is an elaborate critical and historical introduction.
Volume IX.—The Little Clay Cart (Mṛcchakaṭika), a Hindu drama attributed to King Shūdraka, translated from the original Sanskrit and Prākrits into English prose and verse by Arthur William Ryder, Ph. D., Instructor in Sanskrit in Harvard University. 1905. Royal 8vo, buckram, xxx + 177 pages, price $1.50.
Volume X.—A Vedic Concordance: being an alphabetic index to every line of every stanza of every hymn of the published Vedic literature, and to every sacrificial and ritual formula thereof. By Maurice Bloomfield, Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology in Johns Hopkins University.
The work, with which Bloomfield has been busy for over a dozen years, will form a royal quarto of about 1100 pages. Of these, fully 800 are already printed (June, 1905); the completely revised manuscript of the remainder is at the press; and it is hoped that the printing will be finished soon after Jan. 1, 1906. For an account of the work, see the last page of vol. iv. of this Series. The Concordance will serve as a register of the varietas lectionis for the texts of the Vedic literature, and thus prove to be an auxihary of the very first importance in the work of making new editions of the Vedic texts; and many subsidiary uses of Bloomfield’s collections will suggest themselves to scholars.
No promise of a definite time for the completion and appearance of any of the following works will under any circumstances be given; they are nevertheless in such a state of advancement that some public announcement concerning them may properly be made.
Buddha-ghosa’s Way of Purity (Visuddhi-magga), a systematic treatise of Buddhist doctrine by Buddha-ghosa (about 400 a.d.): critically edited in the original Pāli by the late Henry Clarke Warren, of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The “Way of Purity,” which has been for fifteen centuries one of the “books of power” in the East, is, as Childers says, “a truly great work, written in terse and lucid language, and showing a marvelous grasp of the subject.” Mr. Warren published an elaborate analysis of the entire treatise in the Journal of the Pāli Text Society for 1891-93, pages 76-164. His plan was to issue a scholarly edition of the Pāli text of the work, with full but well-sifted critical apparatus, a complete English translation, an index of names, and other useful appendices, and to trace back to their sources all the quotations which Buddha-ghosa constantly makes from the writings of his predecessors. The text, it is hoped, may be published without too much further labor on the part of the editor of the Series.
Mr. Warren died in January, 1899, in the forty-fifth year of his age. Accounts of his life and work may be found in the (New York) Nation for Jan. 12, 1899; in the Harvard Graduates’ Magazine for March, 1899; in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for April, 1899 (with a list of his writings); in the (Chicago) Open Court for June, 1899; or in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. xx., second half.
Buddha-ghosa’s Way of Purity, a systematic treatise of Buddhist doctrine, translated into English from the original Pāli of H. C. Warren’s edition, by the late Henry Clarke Warren and Charles Rockwell Lanman. Mr. Warren had made a large part (about one third) of the translation. With this part as a help and guide, the editor of the Series hopes to complete the version and to publish it as soon as is feasible. The text and translation will perhaps take three or four volumes.
The Pancha-tantra, according to the recension of the Jaina monk Pūrṇa-bhadra (about 1200 a.d.), critically edited in the original Sanskrit by Dr. Johannes Hertel, of the Royal Gymnasium of Doebeln in Saxony, and Dr. Richard Schmidt, of the University of Halle.
The basis of Doctor Schmidt’s excellent version of the Pancha-tantra was a text prepared by him from several European manuscripts. In the meantime, Doctor Hertel has procured a very large amount of manuscript material from India, chiefly from Poona, has subjected the same to searching critical study, and is embodying his results, so far as they concern the actual readings, in a thorough revision of the printer’s copy of the text. The other results of his labors have been published in several periodicals, especially the Berichte der Kon. Sachsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften for April, 1902, and in recent volumes of the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft (lvi., lvii., lviii., lix.). The Çāradā-MS., numbered viii. 145 in the Catalogue of the Deccan College MSS. and containing the Tantra-ākhyāyika or Kashmirian recension of the Pancha-tantra, has proved to be of such great importance for the history of this branch of Sanskrit literature that Doctor Hertel has published it (Abhandlungen of the Saxon Society, vol. xxii., 1904), not as a definitive text-edition, but as part of a literary-historical investigation and as one of the essential preliminaries for the edition of Pūrṇa-bhadra’s recension to be issued in the Harvard Series. It appears that the last-named recension is a fusion of the Tantra-ākhyāyika and the so-called Textus Simplicior of the Pancha-tantra.
The Pancha-tantra, translated into English from the original Sanskrit of the recension of Pūrṇa-bhadra, by Paul Elmer More, sometime Assistant in Sanskrit in Harvard University, now of the Editorial Staff of the New York Evening Post.
This version, prepared several years ago from Doctor Schmidt’s manuscript copy by Mr. More, has yet to be so revised as to bring it into conformity with the meantime thoroughly revised text of Pūrṇa-bhadra’s recension. Apart from the intrinsic interest and merit of the stories of which the Pancha-tantra consists, this translation makes an especial appeal to students of Indian antiquities, of folk-lore, and of the history of popular tales.
History of the Beast-fable of India, with especial reference to the Pancha-tantra and to the related literature of Southwestern Asia and of Medieval Europe, by Dr. Johannes Hertel of the Royal Gymnasium of Doebeln in Saxony.
Although this volume is primarily designed to be an introduction to Pūrṇa-bhadra’s Pancha-tantra, its scope is nevertheless such that it may with propriety be entitled a History of the Beast-fable of India. The definitive arrangement of the material is not yet settled, but the general plan may be given under six headings.
I. Brief outline of the incidents of each story, together with a reference for each story to its precise place in the original Sanskrit text, the method of citation to be such that the same reference will apply with equal facility to either the text or the translation or the apparatus criticus or the commentary.
II. Tabular conspectus of strophes and stories contained in forms of the Pancha-tantra anterior to Pūrṇa-bhadra.
III. Apparatus criticus. 1. Account of the MSS. collated. 2. A piece of the text printed in several parallel forms side by side (Tantra-ākhyāyika, Simplicior, Ornatior) as a specimen, to illustrate the relative value of the several MSS. and Pūrṇa-bhadra’s way of constructing his recension. 3. Readings of the MSS. Bh, bh, A, P, p, etc.
IV. Introduction to the text of Pūrṇa-bhadra. A. First part, extending to the death, in 1881, of Benfey, 1. Editions: Kosegarten’s; Kielhorn-Buhler’s; other Indian editions. 2. Translations: of Benfey, Lancereau, Pavolini, Fritze, Galanos. 3. Semitic recensions and their effluxes. 4. Benfey’s results as contained in his Pantschatantra of 1859 and his Introduction to Bickell’s Old Syriac Kalilag und Damnag of 1876. B. Second part, from the death of Benfey. 5. Bibliography of the various treatises. 6. History of the Sanskrit Pancha-tantra. Form, age, and name of the original Pancha-tantra 7. The Brahmanical recensions of the work: Guṇāḍhya, Nepalese fragment, etc.; Tantra-ākhyāyika; Southern Pancha-tantra. 8. Jaina recensions: so-called Simplicior, its age, etc.; so-called Ornatior, author, age, etc.; Megha-vijaya; later recensions; mixed recensions. 9. Buddhist recension, Tantra-ākhyāna.
V. Notes to the several stories of Pūrṇa-bhadra’s text. Parallels in the Jātaka, etc. References to Benfey.
VI. Indices. I. Of names. 2. Of things. 3. Of verses. 4. Of meters.
The Çakuntalā, a Hindu drama by Kālidāsa: the Bengālī recension critically edited in the original Sanskrit and Prākrits by Richard Pischel, Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Berlin.
Thirty years ago Pischel made his first edition of this master-piece of the Hindu drama. Meantime he has published, as a very important part of the Buhler-Kielhorn Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologis, his elaborate Grammatik der Prākrit Sprachen. In the way of experience and study, therefore, his equipment as an editor of this play is peculiarly complete. As for the externals of paper and print and binding, it is intended that this edition shall be got up in a manner to correspond with its scholarly character and with the intrinsic merit of the play; and it is to be sold at a very moderate price.
The Çakuntalā, translated into English from the edition of Professor Pischel, with an exegetical and illustrative commentary, by Arthur William Ryder.
Whereas Dr. Ryder’s version of The Little Clay Cart (vol. ix. of this Series) was primarily a literary one and aimed to avoid technicalities, his work upon the Çakuntalā is primarily philological, and of it the technical commentary is an essential part. In this comment he hopes to include the most or all that is of substantive importance in the observations of his predecessors whether Occidental or Hindu; to treat the relation of the subject-matter of the play to the older forms thereof as seen in the Epos and the Jātaka; to bring out the double meanings and the various other Hindu “embellishments” of the play; to note the parallelisms in poetic thought or diction or technique between the Çakuntalā and the other works of Kālidāsa and of the Indian literature; to illustrate the allusions to the mythology and antiquities of India by citations translated from the best native authorities; to show, throughout, the relation of this play as a work of art to the Hindu canons of dramaturgy; and at least to assemble the data for the solution of the important critical question whether the Çakuntalā may not have served as the model play upon which the earlier of those canons were based.
The Commentary (Yoga-bhāshya) on Patañjali’s aphorisms of the Yoga philosophy, translated from the original Sanskrit into English, with indices of quotations and of philosophical terms, by Dr. James Haughton Woods, Instructor in Philosophy in Harvard University.
Of the six great philosophical systems of India, we can hardly say that more than two, the Sānkhya and the Vedānta, have been made accessible to Occidental students by translations of authoritative Sanskrit works. For Shankara’s Comment on the aphorisms of the Vedānta system, we have Deussen’s translation into German and Thibaut’s into English. For the Sānkhya, we are indebted to the labors of Wilson and Garbe and Gangānāth Jhā for versions of the Kārikā and of the Tattva-kāumudī. The Yoga system is confessedly next in importance; and the Yoga-bhāshya, ascribed to Vyāsa, is the best and most thorough exposition of its fundamental doctrines. It is also the oldest; Garbe refers it to the seventh century of our era, and the evidence adduced by Takakusu of Tokyo may prove it to be considerably earlier.
In the preparation of his translation, Dr. Woods has had the benefit of Deussen’s criticism; and he has revised his work under the oversight of Gangādhara Shāstrin and of his pupils in Benares; and he has constantly consulted Vāchaspatimiçra’s sub-comment on the Yoga-bhāshya, and, as occasion required, the Yoga-vārttika of Vijñāna-bhikshu and other works of more modern scholiasts. It is hoped that this work will throw light upon the early history of the Mahā-yāna school of Buddhism.
The Talavakāra or Jāiminīya Brāhmaṇa of the Sāma Veda: critically edited in the original Saṅskrit, with a translation into English, by Hanns Oertel, Professor of Linguistics and Comparative Philology in Yale University.
In 1877, A C. Burnell brought this Brāhmaṇa to the notice of European scholars. Soon after, he procured manuscripts, and turned them over to Professor Whitney. With the aid of pupils, Whitney made a transhterated copy of one, and himself collated the copy with the others. Since 1891, off and on, Oertel has been at work upon the restoration of the corrupt text of this Brāhmana, and has published considerable parts of it in the Journal of the American Oriental Society (vol’s xv., xvi., xviii., xix., xxiii., and xxvi.) and elsewhere. It is his intention to add to his translation systematic references to the parallel passages from the other Brāhmaṇas.
Published by Messrs. Ginn & Company Boston, New York, Chicago, and London
Whitney’s Sanskrit Grammar. A Sanskrit Grammar, including both the classical language, and the older dialects, of Veda and Brāhmaṇa. By William Dwight Whitney, [late] Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology in Yale University. Third (reprinted from the second, revised and extended) edition. 1896. 8vo. xxvi + 552 pages. Cloth: Mailing price, $3.20. Paper: $2.90.
Cappeller’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Based upon the St. Petersburg Lexicons. By Carl Cappeller, Professor at the University of Jena. Royal 8vo. Cloth. viii + 672 pages. By mail, $6.25.
Lanman’s Sanskrit Reader. A Sanskrit Reader: with Vocabulary and Notes. By Charles Rockwell Lanman, Professor of Sanskrit in Harvard University. For use in colleges and for private study. Royal 8vo. Complete: Text, Notes, and Vocabulary, xxiv + 405 pages. Cloth: Mailing price, $2.00. Text alone, for use in examinations, 106 pages. Cloth: Mailing price, 85 cents. Notes alone, viii + 109 pages. Cloth: Mailing price, 85 cents.
This Reader is constructed with special reference to the needs of those who have to use it without a teacher. The text is in Oriental characters. The selections are from the Mahā-bhārata, Hitopadeça, Kathā-sarit-sāgara, Laws of Manu, the Rigveda, the Brāhmaṇas, and the Sūtras. The Sanskrit words of the Notes and Vocabulary are in English letters. The Notes render ample assistance in the interpretation of difficult passages.
Sanskrit Text in English Letters. Parts of Nala and Hitopadeça in English Letters. Prepared by Charles R. Lanman. Royal 8vo. Paper. vi + 44 pages. Mailing price, 30 cents.
The Sanskrit text of the first forty-four pages of Lanman’s Reader, reprinted in English characters.
Perry’s Sanskrit Primer. A Sanskrit Primer: based on the Leitfaden fur den Elementarcursus des Sanskrit of Prof. Georg Bühler of Vienna. By Edward Delavan Perry, Professor of Greek in Columbia University, New York. 1885. 8vo. xii + 230 pages. Mailing price, $1.60.
Kaegi’s Rigveda. The Rigveda: the Oldest Literature of the Indians. By Adolf Kaegi, Professor in the University of Zürich. Authorized translation [from the German], with additions to the notes, by Robert Arrowsmith, Ph.D. 1886. 8vo. Cloth. viii + 198 pages. Mailing price, $1.65.
Hopkins’s Religions of India. The Religions of India. By Edward Washburn Hopkins, Professor of Sanskrit in Yale University. 1895. 12mo. Cloth. xvi + 612 pages. Mailing price, $2.20.
This is the first of Professor Morris Jastrow’s Series of Handbooks on the History of Religions. The book gives an account of the religions of India in the chronological order of their development. Extracts are given from Vedic, Brahmanic, Jain, Buddhistic, and later sectarian literatures.
Jackson’s Avesta Reader. Avesta Reader: First Series. Easier texts, notes, and vocabulary. By A. V. Williams Jackson. 1893. 8vo. Cloth. viii + 112 pages. Mailing price, $1.85.
The selections include passages from Yasna, Visparad, Yashts, and Vendidad, and the text is based on Geldner’s edition. The book is intended for beginners.