תמונות בעמוד

tion of the spoil to his forest ally : he then established himself in the vacant government of Ananta Vermá.

The old minister, Vasurakshaka, having contrived with the aid of some ancient servants of the King, to rescue the youth Bhaskara Vermá, and his younger sister Manjuvadini, along with the Queen Vasundhará, their mother, effected his retreat, but died soon after of grief. The Queen was conveyed with her children to Mahismati, and consigned to Mitra Vermá, her late husband's brother by another mother, for protection: he soon formed improper views on his Sister-in-law, and was repulsed with severe reproof, but apprehending that in revenge, he might oppose the elevation of the young Prince to his late father's throne, or form designs against his life; she requested me to convey him secretly to some place, where he would be in safety, and let her know privately where we were, when we had secured an asylum. I set off with the Prince, and plunged into the Vindhya forests, to keep clear of the emissaries of the King: fatigue and thirst having oppressed my young charge, I was endeavouring to procure him some water, from this well, when over reaching myself I fell into it, and must have perished, but for your timely succour.

AFTER repeating his thanks to me, I enquired the family of the Princess, and found that she was the daughter of Kusumadhanwa, King of Kosala, by Ságaradattá, daughter of Vaisrávana, a merchant of Pátáliputra: his mother and my father were therefore descended from a common maternal grandfather ; Susruta, my father, being the son of Sindhudatta : having, therefore, an additional motive to interest myself in my young kinsman's behalf, I vowed I would not be satisfied, until I had replaced him on his throne, and overturned the usurpation of the King of Asiaka : in the meanwhile it was a consideration, how we were to appease our hunger.

At this moment appeared two deer, chased by a huntsman, who expended three shafts on them in vain. I made him give me the bow, and two remaining arrows, and presently shot the animals. One I gave to the hunter, the other I skinned and cleaned, removing the entrails, and cutting off the feet, and spitting it with a stake, I roasted it at a fire. We made a hearty meal upon the flesh. The forester was highly pleased with my skill, and kept us company.

asked him if he had heard any news from Mahish. mati. He replied; he was just come from thence, having been there to sell a tiger-skin, and that great preparations were making for the marriage of Prachanda Vermá, the younger brother of Chanda Ver má with Manjuvadini, the daughter of Mitra Vermá: on hearing this, I took the old man aside, and thus spoke-I understand the plot; by treating the daughter as his own child, Mitra Verma wishes to gain the confidence of the mother, and the person of the Prince, whom he may then put to death ; this must be prevented : go back to the Queen, and tell her, what has chanced, in private. Then in concert with her, give out, that the Prince has been killed by a Tiger : news, that will be highly pleasing to Mitra Vermá ; although he may assume the outward semblance of distress. After this let the Queen appear to be disposed to listen to his addresses, and so give a fresh impulse to his affections, Then let her rub her necklace with this poison, Vatsanága, and taking an opportunity, strike him on the breast with it, saying, if I am faithful to my Lord, may this necklace be as a sword to thee : let her then wash the necklace well with water, and present it to the Princess, who by wearing in safety, what was fatal to her uncle, will prove the purity of the Queen.

The Queen may then promise to give her daughter and the kingdom to Prachanda Verma, and invite him for that purpose : in the mean time we will arrive in the disguise of Kápálika mendicants, receive alms from the Queen, and take our station in the eemetery. Let the Queen call the old ministers and chief citizens together, and tell them in private, the Goddess Vindhyávasini has appeared to her in a dream, and assured her, that the Prince is still alive, having been carried off by the Goddess herself in the form of a tigress, in order more effectually to protect him; that in four days, Prachanda Vermá will die. On the fifth, her son will be found in company with another youth, in a lonely temple of the Goddess, on the bank of the Reva river, his companion shall re-establish him in the Sovereignty, and you shall give him in recompense, the hand of the Princess, but let her add, this is to be a profound secret till we see what chances.

The old Courtier approved of my plans, and leaving his charge to me, set off to his mistress. In a few days, the general rumour spread, that the marvellous faculty of conjugal fidelity, had converted a necklace into a sword, fatal to Mitra Verma, but otherwise innocuous, being actually worn by the young Princess. Upon this, we presented ourselves, disguised as mendicants, to the Queen ; when the Queen saw us, although she was prepared for our visit, she could scarcely suppress her emotions, as she spoke to us, she said, she had had a vision, the result of which was yet to be proved; but if her fate was favourable, she was no longer destitute.

Having made Manjuvhdini, whose looks evinced the interest she felt in me, pay her obeisance, she continued smilingly-If your appearance is assumed, I shall lay my hands on this youth and detain him to-morrow, I cast an expressive glance on Manjuvadini, and said, so may it be; we then received alms, and went, baving previously given a sign to Nalijangha to follow us. When alone, I asked him where Prachanda Vermá was; he told me, that being quite sure of the Sovereignty, he occupied the royal palace, where


he amused himself with the company of dancers. The Prince I left in an empty temple, not far from the wall, and told him to keep close, I then entered the throng, and exhibiting as a dancer, attracted the notice of Prachanda Vermá : when it was sun-set, I performed in various styles of dancing and singing, imitated different voices, and assumed different postures, as those of a scorpion, Makara, and fish. I then borrowed the daggers of the standersby, and fixing them in my body, displayed feats not easily described; whilst thus engaged, I struck Prachanda Vermá, although he was at the distance of twenty yards, on the breast, with a knife, exclaiming, May Vasantabhánu live a thousand years. One of the attendants attempted to seize me, but I shook him off senseless, then looking disdainfully on the frightened crowd, I leaped over a wall of the height of two men, and then plunged into a neighbours ing grove, whilst Nalijangha following me, levelled the marks of my footsteps. I continued my flight so as to beguile pursuit, and at last leaping the ditch, got safe out of the palace, and came to the temple where I had left my young charge, resuming my mendicant garb. We then set out again, and having passed through the crowds collected about the palace gate, with difficulty reached the cemetery. In the temple of Durga, which stood there, I had formerly practised a small cavity, leading from the outside, to below the pedestal of the image, and concealed the outer entrance with a large slab of stone, which I had taken out of a part of the wall, where it was loose. At midnight, having

put on suitable dresses, gorgeous with costly gems, brought us by a confidential messenger from the Queen, we entered the chasm. The Queen having caused the funeral ceremonies for Prachanda Vermá to be performied, and spread the report that his death had been contrived by the ruler of Asmaka; came the next day, as bad been concerted, to the temple and worshipped the Goddess, throwing open the shrine to all people, that they might satisfy themselves it was occupied. After which they retired, closing the door, but keeping near the building, and on the outside, awaited the results, whilst the drums beat loudly. On this, I lifted up the image, and its iron base upon my head (no easy labour), and setting it on one side, issued forth with the Prince. I then replaced the image, as before, and the doors being again opened, we were accordingly found in the temple to the great delight and astonishment of the people. I immediately addressed them and said, Hear and believe what the Goddess declares to you through me. The tiger that bore off the Prince was myself, and I have adopted him as my son ; receive him, and dread my power; respect me as his protector, and acknowledge my protection by giving me his sister. They all exclaimed, with delight; the offspring of the race of Bhoja is given us by the Goddess for a ruler. No words could express the joy of the Queen, who made me happy that day with the hand of her daughter, I took care to fill our hiding place in the temple, and as no trace of our contrivance was discovered, the people believed me to be some superhuman personage, and were not therefore to be diverted from respect to me by any malignant divinations or underhand contrivances. The Prince was generally known as Aryaputra, or the son of the Goddess. In order to enable him to complete his political studies, I conducted the affairs of state. Government is an arduous matter, it has three principles, Council, Authority and Activity. These mutually assisting each other, dispatch all affairs; Council determines objects; Authority commences, and Activity effects their attainment: Policy is a tree, of which Council is the root, Authority the stem, and Activity the main branch, the seventy-two Prakritas are the leaves, the six qualities of royalty the blossoms, Power and Success the flowers and the fruit. Let this shade protect the King. There was a person at Court named Aryaketu, who had been the minister of Mitra Vermá; he was a skilful counsellor, and well-disposed to the Queen, being from the same country, Kosalá. It was very desirable to secure his attachment, and I therefore taught Nalijangha to say to him thus, as it were, in confidence; tell me, wise Sir, who is this man of marvel, that appropriates the prosperity of the state; shall this snake be suffered to swallow the Prince, or compelled to re-gorge him. The answer of Aryaketu, my agent was to bring to me, and this and similar conversations he held with him, but in vain. The other replied, speak not in this manner; the qualities of this person are most admirable ; and I equally venerate his prudence and amenity; his prowess and skill : when the kingdom shall be in a state of security, and its inveterate foes appeased or eradicated, I have no doubt we shall see the young Prince duly installed in his father's throne, and the Prince of Asmaka as wise as he thinks himself, deprived of his possessions. Having thus ascertained the friendly disposition of Aryaketu, I entered into an intimate confederacy with him; and attached to me himself, and all his friends, men of fidelity and skill, by whose assistance I governed all the Kingdoin, and maintained justice and religion within its boundaries

ART. VIII.-PANTHEA,-(Concluded.)

Scene III and last.


Araspes, solus.

In vain I vow my beauteous charge to shun,
The will that I have vaunted is too weak!
The courage of my captive heart undone,
Its resolutions only form to break-
Panthea ! all my mind is full of thee,
By day its tyrant, and by night its dream;
Sweet empress of my fancy, look on me,
And if awake thou frownest, smiling seem
At least in broken sleep's imaginings !
For the Heav'n of which my soul is envious now,
Is not within the flight of Valour's wings;
I've dashed the wreath of Laurel from my brow.
Snatching against my heart the summer rose,
Because its blush seems stolen from thy cheek;
Yet the Love-flower adds poison to my woes,
And but deludes the heart despair will break.
Joyous and idle through the groves I wander,
Feeling like stings those two prophetic words,
That I should soon prefer the stream's meander,
And hate the trump, for songs of summer birds_
Ah see! she comes! I cannot stir from hence !
Why beats my heart? why burns my blushing brow?
A spell enchains my will and every sense ;-
I cannot fly her dangerous beauty now!



Thanks, noble Persian, thy attentive care
Sweetens captivity, as music's tone
Can ease the soul of half of its despair,
And give to grief a pleasure of its own.
Thy kindness may indeed my bondage soften;
I do but frame a wish to be obliged,
So that to form desires I dare not often,
Fearing to feel myself a Queen indeed!

« הקודםהמשך »