תמונות בעמוד

rounding objects were plunged in gloom; the chilly dews fell hea. vily, and the cold breeze sighed sorrowfully amidst the trembling leaves—all the world was at rest, save where the imps of mischief hovered in the murky air. Whilst my eyes were scarcely open, I distinctly heard one goblin say to another, What orders has the parched up magician to give, what abominable desire to gratify, that he commands our attendance-I wish that some one of power adequate to the task, would destroy the Asthanáka chief. These words excited my curiosity, and I determined to follow them, and see the person of whom they spoke. I rose, therefore, and cautiously followed the spirits to a spot, where I beheld a man, decorated with ornaments made of human bones, stained all over with the ashes of burnt wood, and bearing a braid of hair of a lightning hue, busily feeding with his left hand a devouring fire with Sesamum and mustard seeds.

The goblin, I had followed, presented himself with joined palms before the seer, and respectfully asked, what duty he was to perform; the stern magician replied, go, bring hither Kanakalékhá, the daughter of Kerdana, King of Kalinga. The imp vanished, and in an instant re-appeared with the Princess, half dead with terror; she called out sobbing with low broken tones, on her friends and parents, till the magician enraged, seized her by her lovely tresses escaped from the burst fillet, in one hand, whilst he raised with the other, a sharpened sword, with an intention to strike off her head. This was not to be witnessed. I sprang upon him, and in a moment, wresting the sword from his grasp, struck off the villain's head, and tossed it with its clotted hair-band into the hollow of a tree. The goblin who had brought the maiden, praised the act, and rejoiced at being liberated from a master, as tyrannical as savage; one, he said, who never slept himself, and never allowed his slaves a moment's repose. In his gratitude, he offered to perform whatever I should order. and requested me to appoint him some task. I commanded him to carry the Princess back to the palace, whence he had conveyed her : as he was about to execute this commission, the Princess, who had surveyed me sometime askance, as she stood, as if abashed, beating the ground with her feet, and whilst the cool drops fell from her eyes upon her bosom, and a soft sigh like the shaft of love, escaped from her lips, entreated me in most melodious accents, not to desert her, nor after rescuing her from the hands of fate, to leave her to perish in the depths of passion : she declared, she considered herself as my slave, begged that I would regard her as an atom of the lotus dust, which was allowed to rest upon my feet, and finally proposed if I could unite my destiny to hers, that I should accompany her to the palace, where I might live with her in security, as from the faithful attachment of her attendants, I might be confident, that our secret would never be divulged. It needed no persuasion to gain my assent, wounded as I felt myself by the shaft of the heart-born archer, and I desired the spirit, if he was inclined to do me a service, to carry us both wherever the Princess should direct. He bore us to the palace, where I resided for some time in uninterrupted delight.

When the vernal season had set in, and the air was scented with the breezes of Malaya, and musical with the Kóil's song, the King of Kalinga went with all his household and attendants, to pass a fortnight on the sea shore, where the wind cooled by the spray of the ocean, attempered the fierceness of the Solar rays : here, whilst engaged in every kind of elegant diversion, the whole party was suddenly surprised, and carried off by the King of Ardhra, Jaya Sinha, and a body of troops, which landed unexpectly from the flotilla, with which he scoured the coasts.

When I heard of the captivity of the Princess, I was overcome with despair, and vainly meditated on the means of effecting her recovery-at last, a Brahman who came from Andhra, reported that Jaya Sinha, who had at first intended to put Kardana to death, was diverted from his purpose by the charms of Kanakalekha, whom he had espoused. That the Princess, however, was possessed by a spirit, who kept at bay the King, and could not be expelled by the skill of the physicians; this account inspired me with hope, and I determined to repair to Andhra immediately: before going thither, I went to the cemetery, where I took the old conjurer's tufted locks from the tree, and his patched robe, with which I disguised my person, and collecting some disciples about me, I kept them in good humour, with the presents we obtained from the villagers, for the tricks we practised on their credulity. In a short time we approached Andhra. I took up my abode in a grove, on the edge of a spacious lake, lovely with lotus flowers, and lively with focks of wild geese. When I was settled here, my disciples spread themselves abroad, and reported my miraculous skill and universal knowledge, and asserted also that I could answer all questions, solve all secrets, and had all the Sastras upon the tip of my tongue : full credit was given to these reports, and my fame at last reached the King, as the only person capable of expelling the demon who had taken possession of his bride. He accordingly came to visit me, and day after day presented himself before me, treating me with the most profound reverence, and gratifying my followers with liberal presents. After some time, he stated, he had something to say to me-I appeared to be lost in a fit of abstract meditation, and suddenly as it were recovering, said, Son, I know what you would say, and worthy of you is the desire to possess that damsel the pearl of maidens, and asylum of all excellences : there are means of obtaining for you the Goddess Lakshmi, who wears a necklace of a thousand streams, and a girdle of the milky sea. This Yaksha cannot bear that one should ever look on that lotus eyed. Have patience therefore for three days, I will do what is necessary. The King departed highly pleased ; in the mean time I laboured every night to form an excavation in the bank of the lake, opening into it on the surface of the water, taking care to avoid observation; the outer mouth of this I covered with rubbish and stones, so that it was not observable, I worshipped daily here with prostrations and red lotus flowers the God of the thousand rays, who wears the planets as a gorgeous necklace, the lion that destroys the elephant of darkness, the witness of every act of good or ill. When three days had elapsed, and the blaze of light was veiled by the red peak of the Western mountain, and the sun looked like the bosom of twilight smeared with ruddy sandal, the King came, and stood before me, hiding his tiara in the dust at my feet. I said:

WHEN fate befriends us in this world, fortune does not take up her abode with the indolent; prosperity is in the hands of the active. This reservoir must be eleaned thoroughly by your most respectable servants, who are to perform the task with zeal and faith; after that, you will bathe in it to-night, and at midnight; after bathing, float on the water with suppressed breath as long as you are able, on this, certain sounds will be heard by your attendants as if the bank had fallen, and as if the wild geese mourned the wounds, they received from the lotus stalks; that sound having subsided, you will come forth with dripping garments, and red eyes, and in a form in which you will be the delight of all eyes; the Yaksha will not be able to stand before you, and you will instantly become the master of the maiden's heart.

With regard to thy bride, the earth, when you come forth you will find a circle in your hand that shall annihilate all your foes. If you wish, you may cause the lake to be carefully examined by those, in whom you confide, with nets, and surround it with your troops for thirty fathoms, for who can tell what device an enemy may employ? I was confident these precautions would not detect the hole I had made, and was sure he would attend to my instructions out of his excessive passion. I then said to him; King, we have tarried here too long; it is not our custom to remain any time in one place. When your purposes are attained, you will not see me more: we could not depart till we had done something to serve you having gleaned in your kingdom: now, the motive of our stay ceases.

Go home, bathe in fragrant water, perfume your person, put on a white garland according to your state, make presents to the Brahmans, and at night, illuminating the gloom with thousands of lamps, advance to the attainment of your desires. The King was penetrated with gratitude ; but, lamented my purposed disappearance, as invalidating the favour I had be. stowed: as my will was not to be disputed, however, he took his leave, and went to prepare for his visit to the lake. I went forth at night alone, and entered the hole, where I listened attentively to what was going forward : at midnight the King, having set guards all round, approached, and having had the pool examined, was satisfied of his security, and plunged into the water. As he floated, with his hair loose, and breath suppressed, I cast my scarf round his neck as a noose, and drew him down, and pummelling him to death in an instant, thrust his body into the hole. After which, I ascended from the water; the attendants were astonished at the surprising change of the King's person ; but suspected nothing; and ascending the royal elephant, I returned with all the pomp and splendour of sovereignty to the palace, where in an assembly of all the Chiefs, collected by my order, I seated myself on a throne glittering with gems, and observing that they were struck by my altered appearance, I thus addressed the Court : observe the power of the Saint, by whose will such a transformation of our person has been wrought. Let the heads of infidels be now bowed down in shame. Let all honour be paid to the shrines of the Gods, and the song and dance proclaim their praise, and let wealth be distributed to the and dissipate all their cares.

The Ministers exclaimed glory to the Prince, may the ten regions own his power, and his fame eclipse that of all other Kings. Repeating these wishes, they left me to obey my orders. I now noticed one of my wife's most attached servants; calling her to me, I desired her to look at me, and asked her if she had ever seen me before ; as soon as she looked at me, she recognized me, and while tears of transport startled from her eyes, she restrained her emotions, and replied: If this is not the work of magic, I know whom I behold, and then begged me to explain to her, how I came there. I told her the story, and sent her to impart it to our friends. Having thus set the captive King at liberty, I was united without bindrance or disguise to his daughter by his consent, and in a short time communicating the truth to my father-in-law, made over to him the Kingdom, and Kerdana reigned over the united dominions of Andhra and Kalinga. His ancient alliance with the King of Anga brought him hither, and led to this delightful meeting.

Rajaváhana having complimented liis friend on the success with which he had sustained the saintly character, and the miracles he had wrought, seriously praised his ingenuity and courage ; then turning to Visrut, requested him to proceed with his story ; he thus complied :

STORY OF VISRUT. Whilst travelling in search of our Prince, I came to the Vindhya forest, and one day encountered by the side of a well, a boy about eight years of age, who was weeping bitterly, and in


great distress ; as soon as he saw me, he cried to me to help him to rescue his friend, and ancient guardian, who had fallen into the well. I immediately lent my aid, and with the stalks of long creepers, we succeeded in extricating from the chasm, a venerable old man, after which, knocking down with stones, the fruit of some tall Likucha trees, and drawing up some water in a bamboo, we recruited our strength as we sat down together at the foot of a tree. When our hunger and thirst were appeased, I asked the old man to relate his story, with which request he readily conplied.

Punya Verma was the king of Viderbha; he was the ornament of the race of Bhoja, an incarnation of the God of Justice, liberal, wise and affable, the protector of his people, and the terror of his foes. When he was numbered amongst the immortals, Ananta Verm& succeeded. This Prince was graced with every excellence, but held the science of Politics ( Dandaniti) in little es. teem ; one of his Ministers, Vasurakshaka, reproved him for this neglect, in terms more severe than respectful-Sire, he said, I observe that you are not inferior to your ancestors in merit, but, unfortunately, your mind is chiefly engrossed by the trivial amusements of music, dancing, painting and poetry. The intellect, that is not exercised in worthy studies, is like gold, that has not been refined in the fire; and the Prince, whose understanding is uncultivated, is unable to anticipate how far his own elevation may be surpassed by others, or to judge of the objects to be effected, or means by which they are to be attained. Being unfit to judge of affairs, his orders are disregarded by his own servants and by strangers, and the commands of a Prince personally contemned, are but of little weight, even when the purpose be public good. This contempt of authority soon leads to general demoralisation, and the corruption of public morals, is ruinous to a monarch, both in this world, and the next. Abandon, therefore, mere external accomplishments, and study those sciences by which your authority will be respected, and your power extended throughout the sea-encircled world.

When the King had heard this address, he said, You counsel wisely ; it shall be looked to, and then withdrew to the inner apartment, and communicated what had passed to Viharabhadra. This man was one of the Ministers, and associates of the King's pleasures; he was well skilled in singing, dancing and playing : thoroughly acquainted with the town, of witty fancy, of licentious tongue; he had a peculiar tact in finding out a person's weak side ; could excite laughter, and recommend scandal; was a Pandit in craft, a Pilot of libertinism, and a Professor of all vicious arts. Having heard the Prince's account, he smiled, and thus proceeded:

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