SHAKUNTALA

SHAKUNTALA PROLOGUE BENEDICTION UPON AUDIENCE Eight forms has Shiva, lord of all and king:And these are water, first created thing;And fire, which speeds the sacrifice begun;The priest; and time's dividers, moon and sun;The all-embracing ether, path of sound;The earth, wherein all seeds of life are found;And air, the breath of life: may he draw near,Revealed in these, and bless those gathered here. The stage-director. Enough of this! (Turning toward the dressingroom.) Madam, if you are ready, pray come here. (Enter an actress.) Actress. Here I am, sir. What am I to do? Director. Our audience is very discriminating, and we are to offer them a new play, called Shakuntala and the ring of recognition, written by the famous Kalidasa. Every member of the cast must be on his mettle. Actress. Your arrangements are perfect. Nothing will go wrong. Director (smiling). To tell the truth, madam, Until the wise are satisfied,I cannot feel that skill is shown;The besttrained mind requires support,And does not trust itself alone. Actress. True. What shall we do first? Director. First, you must sing something to please the ears of the audience. Actress. What season of the year shall I sing about? Director. Why, sing about the pleasant summer which has just begun. For at this time of year A mid-day plunge will temper heat;The breeze is rich with forest flowers;To slumber in the shade is sweet;And charming are the twilight hours. Actress (sings). The siris-blossoms fair,With pollen laden,Are plucked to deck her hairBy many a maiden,But gently; flowers like theseAre kissed by eager bees. Director. Well done! The whole theatre is captivated by your song, and sits as if painted. What play shall we give them to keep their good-will? Actress. Why, you just told me we were to give a new play called Shakuntala and the ring. Director. Thank you for reminding me. For the moment I had quite forgotten. Your charming song had carried me awayAs the deer enticed the hero of our play. (Exeunt ambo.)

A PLAY IN SEVEN ACT

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ KING DUSHYANTA. BHARATA, nicknamed All-tamer, his son. MADHAVYA, a clown, his companion. His charioteer. RAIVATAKA, a door-keeper. BHADRASENA, a general. KARABHAKA, a servant. PARVATAYANA, a chamberlain. SOMARATA, a chaplain. KANVA, hermit-father. SHARNGARAVA }his pupils. SHARADVATA HARITA DURVASAS, an irascible sage. The chief of police. SUCHAKA } policemen. JANUKA A fisherman. SHAKUNTALA, foster-child of Kanva. ANUSUYA }her friends. PRIYAMVADA GAUTAMI, hermit-mother. KASHYAPA, father of the gods. ADITI, mother of the gods. MATALI, charioteer of heaven's king. GALAVA, a pupil in heaven. MISHRAKESHI, a heavenly nymph. Stage-director and actress (in the prologue), hermits and hermitwomen, two court poets, palace attendants, invisible fairies. The first four acts pass in Kanva's forest hermitage; acts five and six in the king's palace; act seven on a heavenly mountain. The time is perhaps seven years.

ACT I

THE HUNT (Enter, in a chariot, pursuing a deer, KING DUSHYANTA, bow and arrow in hand; and a charioteer.) Charioteer (Looking at the king and the deer). Your Majesty, I see you hunt the spotted deerWith shafts to end his race,As though God Shiva should appearIn his immortal chase. King. Charioteer, the deer has led us a long chase. And even now His neck in beauty bendsAs backward looks he sendsAt my pursuing carThat threatens death from far.Fear shrinks to half the body small;See how he fears the arrow's fall!

The path he takes is strewedWith blades of grass half-chewedFrom jaws wide with the stressOf fevered weariness.He leaps so often and so high,He does not seem to run, but fly. (In surprise.) Pursue as I may, I can hardly keep him in sight. Charioteer. Your Majesty, I have been holding the horses back because the ground was rough. This checked us and gave the deer a lead. Now we are on level ground, and you will easily overtake him. King. Then let the reins hang loose. Charioteer. Yes, your Majesty. (He counterfeits rapid motion.) Look, your Majesty! The lines hang loose; the steeds unreinedDart forward with a will.Their ears are pricked; their necks are strained;Their plumes lie straight and still.They leave the rising dust behind;They seem to float upon the wind. King (joyfully). See! The horses are gaining on the deer. As onward and onward the chariot flies,The small flashes large to my dizzy eyes.What is cleft in twain, seems to blur and mate;What is crooked in nature, seems to be straight.Things at my side in an instant appearDistant, and things in the distance, near. A voice behind the scenes. O King, this deer belongs to the hermitage, and must not be killed. Charioteer (listening and looking). Your Majesty, here are two hermits, come to save the deer at the moment when your arrow was about to fall. King (hastily). Stop the chariot. Charioteer. Yes, your Majesty. (He does so. Enter a hermit with his pupil.) Hermit (lifting his hand). O King, this deer belongs to the hermitage. Why should his tender form expire,As blossoms perish in the fire?How could that gentle life endureThe deadly arrow, sharp and sure? Restore your arrow to the quiver;To you were weapons lentThe broken-hearted to deliver,Not strike the innocent. King (bowing low). It is done. (He does so.) Hermit (joyfully). A deed worthy of you, scion of Puru's race, and shining example of kings. May you beget a son to rule earth and heaven. King (bowing low). I am thankful for a Brahman's blessing. The two hermits. O King, we are on our way to gather firewood. Here, along the bank of the Malini, you may see the hermitage of Father Kanva, over which Shakuntala presides, so to speak, as guardian deity. Unless other deities prevent, pray enter here and receive a welcome. Besides, Beholding pious hermit-ritesPreserved from fearful harm,Perceive the profit of the scarsOn your protecting arm. King. Is the hermit father there? The two hermits. No, he has left his daughter to welcome guests, and has just gone to Somatirtha, to avert an evil fate that threatens her. King. Well, I will see her. She shall feel my devotion, and report it to the sage. The two hermits. Then we will go on our way. (Exit hermit with pupil.) King. Charioteer, drive on. A sight of the pious hermitage will purify us. Charioteer. Yes, your Majesty. (He counterfeits motion again.) King (looking about). One would know, without being told, that this is the precinct of a pious grove. Charioteer. How so? King. Do you not see? Why, here Are rice-grains, dropped from bills of parrot chicksBeneath the trees; and pounding-stones where sticksA little almond-oil; and trustful deerThat do not run away as we draw near;And river-paths that are besprinkled yetFrom trickling hermit-garments, clean and wet.

Besides, The roots of trees are washed by many a streamThat breezes ruffle; and the flowers' red gleamIs dimmed by pious smoke; and fearless fawnsMove softly on the close-cropped forest lawns. Charioteer. It is all true. King (after a little). We must not disturb the hermitage. Stop here while I dismount. Charioteer. I am holding the reins. Dismount, your Majesty. King (dismounts and looks at himself). One should wear modest garments on entering a hermitage. Take these jewels and the bow. (He gives them to the charioteer.) Before I return from my visit to the hermits, have the horses' backs wet down. Charioteer. Yes, your Majesty. (Exit.) King (walking and looking about). The hermitage! Well, I will enter. (As he does so, he feels a throbbing in his arm.) A tranquil spot! Why should I thrill?Love cannot enter there—Yet to inevitable thingsDoors open everywhere. A voice behind the scenes. This way, girls! King (listening). I think I hear some one to the right of the grove. I must find out. (He walks and looks about.) Ah, here are hermit-girls, with watering-pots just big enough for them to handle. They are coming in this direction to water the young trees. They are charming! The city maids, for all their pains,Seem not so sweet and good;Our garden blossoms yield to theseFlower-children of the wood. I will draw back into the shade and wait for them. (He stands, gazing toward them. Enter SHAKUNTALA, as described, and her two friends.) First friend. It seems to me, dear, that Father Kanva cares more for the hermitage trees than he does for you. You are delicate as a jasmine blossom, yet he tells you to fill the trenches about the trees. Shakuntala. Oh, it isn't Father's bidding so much. I feel like a real sister to them. (She waters the trees.) Priyamvada. Shakuntala, we have watered the trees that blossom in the summer-time. Now let's sprinkle those whose flowering-time is past. That will be a better deed, because we shall not be working for a reward. Shakuntala. What a pretty idea! (She does so.) King (to himself). And this is Kanva's daughter, Shakuntala. (In surprise.) The good Father does wrong to make her wear the hermit's dress of bark. The sage who yokes her artless charmWith pious pain and grief,Would try to cut the toughest vineWith a soft, blue lotus-leaf. Well, I will step behind a tree and see how she acts with her friends. (He conceals himself.) Shakuntala. Oh, Anusuya! Priyamvada has fastened this bark dress so tight that it hurts. Please loosen it. (ANUSUYA does so.) Priyamvada (laughing). You had better blame your own budding charms for that. King. She is quite right. Beneath the barken dressUpon the shoulder tied,In maiden lovelinessHer young breast seems to hide, As when a flower amidThe leaves by autumn tossed—Pale, withered leaves—lies hid,And half its grace is lost. Yet in truth the bark dress is not an enemy to her beauty. It serves as an added ornament. For The meanest vesture glowsOn beauty that enchants:The lotus lovelier showsAmid dull water-plants; The moon in added splendourShines for its spot of dark;Yet more the maiden slenderCharms in her dress of bark.

Shakuntala. She has chosen the mango-tree as her husband. Anusuya. why do I have such feelings when I see this man? They seem wrong in a hermitage. sir. I must go and see him.) Eager bee. She is thinking how the Light of the Grove has found a good tree. For you are all young and beautiful. (SHAKUNTALA shows embarrassment. It is nothing very dreadful. Priyamvada (aside to ANUSUYA).) I am a student of Scripture. are surely wearied by your pious task. Yet I will learn the whole truth. (Aloud.She is practising to-dayCoquetry and glances' playNot from love. if it took his most precious treasure.) Shakuntala (to herself). Shakuntala. Shakuntala! Here is the spring-creeper that Father Kanva tended with his own hands—just as he did you. your request is a favour to us. Why? Priyamvada. Shakuntala. I'd forget myself sooner. No. Be brave. Shakuntala (feigning anger). Aside to SHAKUNTALA). and the mango-tree shows his strength in his ripening fruit. you steal a kiss. I really heard Father Kanva say that this flowering vine was to be a symbol of your coming happiness. (She stands gazing at them. Go away! You mean something. Shakuntala. you seekSecrets to deliver. she may become a warrior's bride. Then we of the hermitage have some one to take care of us. King. Shakuntala. you lightly skimO'er the eyelid's trembling rimToward the cheek aquiver.Swiftly her bewitching eyesTurn to watch his flight.Gently buzzing round her cheek. Welcome. What is it. I too would like to ask a question about your friend. I'll not listen to you.) King (ardently). For pious groves are in the protection of the king. (She does so. Shall we sit down? (The three girls sit.) Anusuya.) No. Ah! A king of Puru's mighty lineChastises shameless churls. dear! Oh. and his courtesy? He acts like a king and a gentleman. dear? Shakuntala. and his dignity. But the flattery is true.Not her caste. Why? Priyamvada. sir? What country is grieving at your absence? Why does a gentleman so delicately bred submit to the weary journey into our pious grove? Shakuntala (aside). Her arms are tender shoots. joyfully. . we must be polite to our guest. King. Anusuya speaks your very thoughts. Look. Shakuntala (excitedly). Priyamvada. (Aloud. I am curious too. when reason leaves us blind. you are so very courteous that I make bold to ask you something.) Anusuya. King (to SHAKUNTALA). Of course. My dear. King. Your courteous words are enough to make me feel at home. pray sit down and rest on this shady bench.Whispering in her ear. Oh. Pray be seated a moment. A good opportunity to present myself. Then. (She takes a step and looks about. her lipsAre blossoms red and warm.) Anusuya. I am going to ask him. Shakuntala. but the spring-creeper is covered with buds down to the very root. It is my duty to see justice done in the cities of the king. I prefer to appear as a guest.) Sir. and bring fruit. Oh. She is my sister. my rival. Can't you see? Priyamvada (looking at it joyfully). that is why Shakuntala waters the springcreeper so lovingly. You are forgetting her. Anusuya. Oh. why these longings in an honest mind?The motions of a blameless heart decideOf right and wrong. girls! Save me from this dreadful bee! The two friends (smiling). Shakuntala. May I hope that she is the hermit's daughter by a mother of a different caste? But it must be so. The jasmine shows her youth in her fresh flowers. Shakuntala. Oh.I know nothing but her name. Really? Shakuntala. do you know why Shakuntala looks so hard at the Light of the Grove? Anusuya. (She shows herself annoyed by the bee. (She tips her wateringpot.) Priyamvada. (She goes to the creeper and looks at it. my heart. And I have come to this hermitage on a tour of inspection. Sir. That's what you want for yourself. Yes. What royal family do you adorn. And I have something pleasant to tell you.) Priyamvada (smiling). Shakuntala. King (hastening forward). oh! A bee has left the jasmine-vine and is flying into my face. Anusuya. (SHAKUNTALA's eyes drop in embarrassment. He would make our distinguished guest happy. There. Priyamvada (aside to SHAKUNTALA).) The two friends (observing the demeanour of the pair. that mango-tree is trying to tell me something with his branches that move in the wind like fingers. (Jealously. Why shouldn't I give her water? (She tips her watering-pot. Have no—(He checks himself. It is out of season. Shakuntala! If only Father were here to-day. Anusuya. It is delightful to see your friendship. Priyamvada. I see why they call you the flatterer. I have something pleasant to tell you.Love's all. But our friend (indicating SHAKUNTALA) was teased and frightened by a bee. Surely. Anusuya.What insolent is he who baitsThese artless hermit-girls? (The girls are a little flurried on seeing the king. Oh. honeymaker. This water will do to wash the feet. stand right where you are a minute. joyfully). Shakuntala.) King. The two friends (running up). What a pretty pair they make. girls. King. and hoping that she will meet a fine lover. Who is he. Priyamvada. or conceal it? (He reflects. Please save me. it looks as if a vine were clinging to the mango-tree. sir. Priyamvada. Shakuntala (approaches and looks at it. Shakuntala! Here is the jasmine-vine that you named Light of the Grove. nor whence she came—You. What would he do? The two friends.Bewitching youth begins to flowerIn beauty on her form.) Oh. The two friends. As the bee about her flies. Go to the cottage. While her hands that way and thisStrike at you. Aside. take her.Else. Shakuntala (snappishly). Anusuya.Shakuntala (looking ahead).) Wonderful! Wonderful! Priyamvada. I hope these pious days are happy ones. King. You. they would see that I am the king. King (aside). I'm not teasing. You know that's just what you want for yourself. dear? With his mystery. King (looking at the girls). dear! He is following me. Oh. Who are we. You are to be married soon. that we should save you? Call upon Dushyanta. too.) This will do. He doesn't leave me alone! I am going to run away. now that we receive such a distinguished guest. When I see you there. but fright. sir. Shall I tell at once who I am.

I am going to tell Mother Gautami that Priyamvada is talking nonsense. To beauty such as thisNo woman could give birth. King. King. Yes. Priyamvada. (SHAKUNTALA hangs her head in confusion. I feel honoured by the mere sight of you.) King. Sir. we are frightened by this alarm of the elephant. becoming strangely jealous. And then— Anusuya.) King. Do not hesitate. King (aside). (The girls listen and rise anxiously. I therefore remit her debt. She is going! (He starts up as if to detain her. Priyamvada (approaching SHAKUNTALA). (She rises. peevish girl! You mustn't go. then.) A thought is as vivid as an act. And I will take pains that the hermitage is not disturbed. Though nurture. King (looking at SHAKUNTALA. Does she feel toward me as I do toward her? At least. Sir. we feel as if we knew you very well. dishevelled hair. King. that royal sage was leading a life of stern austerities. See! Her shoulders droop. that shames the ways of love?Or must her soft eyes ever see. Make no mistake.For countless fettering vines impede and cling.) King (sighing). women. Ah. Many years ago. Shakuntala (pettishly). The two friends. the gods feel this jealousy toward the austerities of others. Alas! My soldiers are disturbing the pious grove in their search for me. (SHAKUNTALA threatens her friend with her finger. and goes out with her two friends. Shakuntala (feigning lameness). My question is this: Does she. Surely.The quivering lightning flashIs not a child of earth.But nothing else they seek. King (joyfully to himself). sir. The sight of Shakuntala has made me dread the return to the city. The famous Kaushika. (Exit. not I. Hermits! Hermits! Prepare to defend the creatures in our pious grove. The voice behind the scenes. I must go back. you ought not to part with it. Hermits! Hermits! Here is an elephant who is terrifying old men. Anusuya. And I must go. Your honour. some evil thingHe seems. It is my body leaves my love. my wishes become hopes. Shakuntala dear. The rest is plain. there is ground for hope. Shakuntala (turns with a frown). Permit us to return to the cottage. They take it. You are right. Then in the lovely spring-time he saw her intoxicating beauty—(She stops in embarrassment. You are too modest.) King. Yet you say that your friend is his daughter. Anusuya. (SHAKUNTALA starts to walk away without answering. (She casts a lingering glance at the king. Ah. One tusk is splintered by a cruel blowAgainst a blocking tree. Priyamvada. A voice behind the scenes. You can go when you have paid your debt. I'm going. her palms are reddened yet.My body moves away.) King. But Father Kanva is her real father. Anusuya. You must go very slowly. Your pious life interests me. conquering nature. and I have another question. You dear. Well. May we ask you to seek better entertainment from us another time? King. Priyamvada (looking with a smile at SHAKUNTALA). I will make my men camp at a distance from the pious grove. Although she does not speak to me. Why not? Priyamvada. But it is her father's wish to give her to a suitable lover. Wait for me while I loosen it. yes.The thing you feared as fire. Yes.One hand restrains the loose. Listen. I will go when I like. and my dress is caught on an amaranth twig. Oh. it seems as if you had more to say.King.) . King. but not my mind. and go wandering about. you are set free by this kind gentleman— or rather. What for? Shakuntala.) ACT II THE SECRET (Enter the clown.) King (aside). How can that be? Anusuya. because he took care of her when she was abandoned. that comes our peaceful life to mar. it seemsAs had I started and returnedIn waking dreams. Your Honour. My dear.Red as the evening sky. Know. Father Kanva lives a lifelong hermit. There is a majestic royal sage named Kaushika— King. that he is the source of our friend's being. King Dushyanta is hunting in the neighbourhood. till marriage only. I would never leave him if I could help myself. To himself). This is a present—from the king. Priyamvada. as now. The two friends. It is plain that she is already wearied by watering the trees.) King. Anusuya. we are under bonds to lead a life of virtue. by the king himself.Falls like a locust-swarm on boughsWhere hanging garments dry. Anusuya. sent the nymph Menaka to disturb his devotions.She listens while I speak. We hermit people stand ready to answer all demands. The dust his horses' hoofs have raised. Pray pardon our shortcomings as hostesses. Why don't you go now? Shakuntala.Fleeing in terror from the royal car.) King (to himself). your wish is won!All doubt at last is done. read the name engraved on it.Her eyes turn not to see my face. then checks his desires. But I cannot turn my own thoughts from Shakuntala. Then. You owe me the watering of two trees. I am not your servant any longer. she is the daughter of the nymph. to a lover. King.) Anusuya.Quick breaths are struggling in her bosom fair. his gait is slow. I have offended sadly against the hermits.He puts the deer to flight. oh! I can hardly walk. and children. my foot is cut on a sharp blade of grass. It is as it should be. You waken my curiosity with the word "abandoned. We must hurry and find her.Soft eyes of friendly deer in peaceful grove? Priyamvada. (He gives the two friends a ring. holdsMe back. Listen.For back to her my struggling fancies flyLike silken banners borne against the wind. sir. keep her vowAs hermit-maid.Is the jewel of your desire.The blossom o'er her ear hangs limply wet. Mother Gautami will be anxious. They are gone. sir. Anusuya. Anusuya (to SHAKUNTALA). Where are you going now? Shakuntala (to herself). Your word is enough to remit the debt." May I hear the whole story? Anusuya. and look at each other. (She forces her to come back. Shakuntala. we hermit people cannot neglect to entertain a distinguished guest. and the gods. O heart. Shakuntala.

Clown. King.) Follow me. Please be good to me. (They walk about and sit down. sir? King. Then the hunters and the bird-chasers— damn 'em—wake me up bright and early. a Brahman.The bow I bend in hunting. twanging string. listening to our conversation. then. and beasts of prey cannot be far off. Clown.) King (to his attendants). I mustn't add fuel to the flame. You have got rid of the vermin. (Exit. every one thinks himself beautiful. with his bow in his hand. so that I can't move. my enthusiasm is broken. I can't sit down till you do. What can I do? Well. Crushing a few sweetmeats? King. Although my darling is not lightly won. We drink hot. over which the trees spread their canopy of shade.Cool sunstones kindle if assailedBy any foreign power.No mountainelephant could beMore filled with vital strength than he. Perhaps I can get a rest that way. Pray command my leisure. thinking about it.) King (to himself). When you are rested. dear! he found a hermit-girl named Shakuntala. can go chasing from forest to forest. the dripping sweatAffect him not. from beasts of prey. (He approaches. It's a fine thing for you to neglect your royal duties and such a sure job—to live in the woods! What's the good of talking? Here I am. Let us have a rest for just one day. its arrow near. Speak plainly. Clown (to himself). nor make him fret. And you. king. how wrath and frightAffect the mind. mayEnjoy a listless holiday. How so? Clown. (Smiling. He says this.Shadeseeking deer may chew the cud. Clown. For The bow is strung. strong. You have not seen the fairest of all objects. Send back the archers who have gone ahead. Now be seated on this flat stone. King. "There's a deer!" he shouts. I can only greet you with my voice. King (to himself). you must be my companion in another task—an easy one. He judges his love's feelings by his own desires.Her speech was short—to her detaining friend. Good! You hit a man in the eye. I await your Majesty's commands. Get out! Get out with your strenuous life! The king has come to his senses. When a reed bends over like a hunchback. Enter the king. yet it brings nothing but good to the king. I lay awake all night. Who stands without? (Enter the door-keeper. and then ask him why the tears come. Clown.In things like these love reads a selfish end! Clown (standing as before). he is a chattering idiot. Raivataka. King. (He unstiffens. have little desire for the chase. till you fall into the jaws of some old bear that is looking for a deer or a jackal. There is his Majesty. Yes. King. And forbid the soldiers to vex the hermitage.) Thus does a lover deceive himself. I might as well weep in the woods. when I remember Kanva's daughter. Wait. the ornament of the hermitage. I see you. you son of a slave-wench. Yes. I'll see my friend when he is dressed and beautified. Her glance was loving—but 'twas not for me. Yes. But I was speaking of Shakuntala.As the new moon climbs the sky? Besides. Door-keeper.Clown (sighing). and my hopes are bright. you do not know what vision is. Dushyanta's thoughts dwell on no forbidden object. He means more than he says. So for to-day The hornèd buffalo may shakeThe turbid water of the lake. (He walks and looks about. . Hear me out.And yet I cannot bendThat bow against the fawns who shareSoft glances with their friend. There's a new pimple growing on the old boil. Clown. sir. General. your Majesty. General.) Door-keeper.His form. King. (Aloud. I will humour the king a moment. Damn! Damn! Damn! I'm tired of being friends with this sporting king.A common longing is itself delight. Madhavya has been preaching against hunting.Boars trample swamp-grass in the mud.) King. sir.He learns. Raivataka. They do make an earsplitting rumpus when they start for the woods. to himself). Yes. And the horses and the elephants make such a noise that I can't even be comfortable at night.) Hello! Here he comes. I do not understand you. Now will you get out with your strenuous life? (Exit general. right in front of me. Lead the way. stinking water from the mountain streams. King. Raivataka. What makes you lame? Clown. Clown.That draws our souls on highThrough eyes that have forgot to wink. Remember: There lurks a hidden fire in eachReligious hermit-bower.) Clown. Your Majesty may judge by his own case whether hunting is an evil. And I too. See! He does not heed the cruel stingOf his recoiling.) Victory to your Majesty! The forest is full of deertracks. Friend Madhavya. Long life to you. He left us behind and went hunting a deer. General (aside to the clown). Yes.) Your Majesty. Consider: The hunter's form grows sinewy. Clown (cheerfully). King (looking and smiling).) But you can't have her because she is a hermit-girl. King.Is most symmetrically fair.Though love be balked ere joy be well begun. Clown (angrily). Fool! And is it selfish longing then.She seemed to love me. General (observing the king. (He goes out. But you. He is wearing a wreath of wild flowers! I'll pretend to be all knocked up. your Majesty. and his girl in his heart. I cannot take your advice. summon the general. "There's a boar!" And off he chases on a summer noon through woods where shade is few and far between. and my joints are all shaken up by this eternal running after wild animals. or even to approach it. Follow me. then returns with the general.) King. King (smiling). Well. I can't move my hand. of course. Bhadrasena. dear! oh. The river-current. And there in a hermitage they say he found—oh. (He stands. I will tell you presently. What more could I mean? I have been thinking that I ought to take my friend's advice. What is the use of seeing her? King. Well. Bhadrasena. your Majesty. though sinewy and spare. do you blame the reed or the river-current? King. leaning on his staff.Her step was slow—'twas grace. Stick to it. Hunting is declared to be a sin. But even that isn't the whole misery. Draw near. Lay aside your hunting dress. flavoured with leaves—nasty! At odd times we get a little tepid meat to eat. your Majesty. not coquetry. friend Madhavya. 'Tis life's chiefest pleasure. Clown (observing the king). King. return to your post of duty. Clown. (Aloud. his skill he loves to measureWith moving targets. as described. And you are to blame for my troubles.The mid-day sun. Since then he hasn't a thought of going back to town. What better occupation could we have? King. because I am in the vicinity of a hermitage. and light. Clown.

And I will follow straightway. But when she went away with her friends. tell my charioteer to drive up. Clown. King. My friend. This too is in my thought. of pure thoughtComposed in His creative mind.Going her way. You may draw near. Victory. Nor is this wonderful in a king who is half a saint. Collect the taxes on the hermits' rice. King. King. Clown. Karabhaka. Your Majesty.Their truest consecration. sage.These share with us such holinessAs ne'er can perish. the queen-mother has always felt toward you as toward a son.Dushyanta's bow and Indra's weapon brightAre their reliance for the victory.) King. I'll stick close to your chariot-wheel. King. The queen-mother sends her commands— King. Sprung from a nymph of heavenWanton and gay. Neither may be disregarded. These must be hermits. Clown (to the king). King.His reveries of beauty wroughtThe peerless pearl of womankind. The two youths. What is to be done? Clown (laughing). King. The hermits have learned that you are here. Clown.For when the gods in heaven with demons fight. King. Clown. On the one side is my duty to the hermits. hermit-girls are by their very nature timid. King (Listening). Karabhaka (approaching and bowing low).Fresh honey. Raivataka. and they request— King. And yet When I was near.Flower on a weed. Do you return. They command rather. she needs not many words. She plans to end a fasting ceremony on the fourth day from to-day. and to bring the bow and arrows. She must be charming if she surprises you. Did you want her to climb into your lap the first time she saw you? King. .Proclaiming him a king.A branch no desecrating hands have wasted. My friend. and you want this girl! King.Wastes while we cherish. All the pearls of the palace are yours. Two inconsistent duties severMy mind with cruel shock."I cannot walk. and yourself perform the offices of a son.) Follow me.She would not show her love for modesty. I am perplexed.) Door-keeper. The voices are grave and tranquil. We therefore ask that you will remain a few nights with your charioteer to protect the hermitage.She smiled—but not to me—and half denied it. have you no curiosity to see Shakuntala? Clown.Clown. What are her commands? Karabhaka. My friend. then. The two youths (approaching). Fool! It is a very different tax which these hermits pay—one that outweighs heaps of gems. You will be with me. you have not seen her. Well. O King. Clown. She has given you some memories to chew on. it is givenTo him to win applause from choirs of heavenWhose anthems to his glory rise and swell. How the women must hate her! King. The powers of evil disturb our pious life in the absence of the hermit-father. King. Madhavya. how lovely she. courageous. then returns with the youths. Bid them enter at once. No man on earth deserves to taste her beauty. (He reflects. Yes. my friend. A majestic presence. It is. Yes. But one Karabhaka has come from the city. like Trishanku.A gem uncut by workman's tool. Sent by my mother? Door-keeper.Unless he has fulfilled man's perfect duty—And is there such a one on earth? Clown. think of some pretext under which we may return to the hermitage. You rather seem to like being collared this way. There are two hermit-youths at the gate. and he is not here.) King (receiving it and bowing low). Voices behind the scenes. defending those in need. Marry her quick. What of that? Clown. Victory. And on that occasion her dear son must not fail to wait upon her. Clown. For to him The splendid palace serves as hermitage. (laughing). but this talk about the powers of evil has put an end to it.Her blameless loveliness and worth. Yes. O King! King (rising). King. All hail! (They offer fruit. Let him enter. is this Dushyanta. your Majesty.As when the current of a riverIs split upon a rock. I did have an unending curiosity. Raivataka. (Enter the door-keeper. King. The two youths. Victory. Second youth. King. and saint as well. O King! (Exeunt. Clown. your Majesty. I shall be most happy to do so.Who spurned the blessing given. Pray go before. (Exit) The two youths. Do not fear. a messenger from the queen-mother. we have found him. The wealth we take from common men. on the other my mother's command.So plays my fancy when I seeHow great is God. Ah. (He goes out. tell me about her. tell her what duty keeps me here. She is dependent on her father. and awaits your departure to victory. Nor is it wonderful that one whose armMight bolt a city gate. Thou art a worthy scion ofThe kings who ruled our nationAnd found. Door-keeper. But how does she feel toward you? King. Stay half-way between.) My friend. should keep from harmThe whole broad earth dark-belted by the sea. and feigned to freeThe dress not caught upon the tree. or you could not talk so.Yet did not try so very hard to hide it. King. I suppose that is why you are so in love with the pious grove. Oh. Clown. Second youth. the chariot is ready. she almost showed that she loved me.His royal government. King. beautifully cool. yet it inspires confidence. My friend. she could not look at me. In truth. By the stern hermit takenIn her most need:So fell the blossom shaken. She seems a flower whose fragrance none has tasted. Victory to your Majesty. I salute you. here is his Majesty.Adds daily to his merit. You are like a man who gets tired of good dates and longs for sour tamarind. Door-keeper (goes out and returns with KARABHAKA).And turned her face.) Door-keeper. The two youths. friend of Indra? First youth." the maiden cried. May I know the reason of your coming? The two youths. When she had hardly left my side. What pretext do you need? Aren't you the king? King. She is God's vision. King (respectfully). First youth (looking at the king). (Enter the door-keeper. before the poor girl falls into the hands of some oily-headed hermit.

oh. and I can't help thinking that you are in a state like that of a lady in love. dear.) Is it the heat.I greet him unafraid.Though wounded ceaselessly. and a girl of the calm hermit-grove.Clown. I understand that well enough. Do not think that I am really in love with the hermit-girl. But I want to travel like a prince. For In white sand at the doorFresh footprints appear. the moon and thou inspire confidence. And yet If Love will trouble herWhose great eyes madden me.The sap where twigs were broken offIs uncongealed.Kindle the fire that flames so ruthlessly? Indeed. (He feels a breeze stirring. and the hermits have dismissed me.My care for thee to such a plightHas brought me. Clown (strutting). Anusuya. to strew the altar.And fading. You don't think I am afraid of the devils? King (smiling). with sacred grass for the sacrifice. King. show a darker stain.No maiden seems so sweetWhen summer lays her low. Oh. It hurts me terribly. The two friends. .) The two friends (fanning her). since she first saw the good king.With loosened lotus-chain.The light words I uttered were spoken in jest.Is lovely in her pain. I can't tell you all at once.Yet all my heart flows straight to herLike water to the valley-floor. Here is the darling of my thoughts. To friends who share her joy and griefShe tells what sorrow laid her here.Awaiting not the arrow. (He walks and looks about. falsehood seemsTo lurk in such imagining. Oh. then! (He takes the clown by the hand. Thy shafts are blossoms.) Pupil (with meditative astonishment). (He stands gazing. my eyes have found their heaven. O mighty Brahman. Her lotus-chains that were as whiteAs moonbeams shining in the night. (He studies the ground. King. Good. fleesFrom the twanging of the string.Thy flowery arrows cut and sting. (He looks up. Though love and summer heatMay work an equal woe. Why do you hide your trouble? You are wasting away every day. Shakuntala must be in this reedy bower. lying upon a flower-strewn bench of stone. her breast and shoulders fail. Priyamvada.For every evil thing.) Well. Ever since I saw the good king who protects the pious grove—(She stops and fidgets. she has been greatly troubled. Clown. and that these things are to relieve her suffering? Give her the best of care. dear. Anusuya. Just think: A king.) Priyamvada. my reverence for the hermits draws me to the hermitage.) I believe the slender maiden has just passed through this corridor of young trees. Enter SHAKUNTALA with her two friends. (Exeunt ambo. Limbs that love's fever seizes. The fellow is a chatterbox. I will send all the soldiers with you.The moon darts fire from frosty beams.Bred with the fawns. See! Her cheeks grow thin. King. Grief must be shared to be endured. It is too true. Enter the lovelorn king. (Exit.Else how couldst thou.My darling. thyself long since consumed. We have to understand the disease before we can even try to cure it.On me thine arrows fall. He might betray my longing to the ladies of the palace. wilt thou not show me mercy after such reproaches? With tenderness unendingI cherished thee when small. then speaks to some one not visible. say whatever you like. for the pious grove must not be disturbed. I will hide among the branches. Anusuya.) King (with a meditative sigh). my dear girls? (The two friends look sorrowfully at each other. Well.) Ah. Priyamvada. I understand. only to deceive the host of lovers. and a stranger to love!Then do not imagine a serious quest. (He walks and looks about. For The stems from which she gathered flowersAre still unhealed. I will take this sacred grass to the priests.) Ah. I will go there. Oh. You are nothing but a beautiful shadow. Aha! Look at the heir-apparent! King (to himself). She is seriously ill. But I have heard old.) She usually spends these hours of midday heat with her friends on the vine-wreathed banks of the Malini. and see what happens. But I shall be a burden to you. Priyamvada (aside to ANUSUYA). (Doubtfully. How great is the power of King Dushyanta! Since his arrival our rites have been undisturbed.But to the lovelorn. (He does so. dear. That is why we insist on knowing. when we fan you with these lotus-leaves? Shakuntala (wearily). dear.) This is a pleasant spot. I know that stern religion's powerKeeps guardian watch my maiden o'er.Their fervent welcome payTo lotusfragrant breezesThat bear the river-spray. Aloud. Do you feel better. Priyamvada is right. who could suspect it? Clown. King. sore oppressed. Please tell us what hurts you. Shakuntala (half rising. Where shall I go now to rest from my weariness? (He sighs. Go on. I could not tell any one else.As burns the eternal fire beneath the sea. pitifully sweet!As vineleaves wither in the scorching heat. You are in a high fever. How can they be so sharp? (He recalls something. I suspect you are right.) There is no rest for me except in seeing her whom I love. I am going to ask her. thine arrows are made of flowers.) The two friends. romantic stories. with the wind among the trees.In vain—thy bow is bending. Anusuya is right. O mighty god. for whom are you carrying this cuscus-salve and the fibrous lotus-leaves? (He listens. Shiva's devouring wrath still burns in thee. She is the very life of the hermit-father. mighty Love. Shakuntala dear.Her waist is weary and her face is pale:She fades for love. Anusuya expresses my own thoughts. you have not told us what is going on in your mind. I will hear what they say to each other.) ACT III THE LOVE-MAKING (Enter a pupil.) What do you say? That Shakuntala has become seriously ill from the heat. My dear.) It must be so. are you fanning me.Betray the fever's awful pain. Shakuntala. Joyfully. I have driven off the powers of evil.The heel deep and clear. and it serves me right.She turned to look her love againWhen first I saw her—yet I fear! Shakuntala. or is it as I hope? (Decidedly. With salve upon her breast.The toe lightly outlined. I must ask you something.) King.) Ah. King. coolness streamsFrom moon-rays: thus the poets sing. Shakuntala (sighing). I do not believe her fever has any other cause. And I will give Gautami the holy water for her.) Friend Madhavya. and attended by her two friends. He does not need to bend the bow.

But that will not be enough to satisfy him. King. Anusuya. You make fun of me when I am in this condition. Anusuya. for fear he will despise me.) Priyamvada (aside to ANUSUYA). Though Love torments you.As fitting words she seeks.) King. Shakuntala.But how could fortune. Welcome to the wish that is fulfilled without delay. Oh. We are content. He is separated from the court ladies. Then listen. Priyamvada (aside to ANUSUYA).Why. Stop! You are a rude girl. It is quite true. It is a pretty plan. may bePardoned a breach of courtesy. The two friends (perceive the king and rise joyfully). and he is anxious to go back to them. Priyamvada. Her words end all doubt. and he has been wasting away. flowing down my cheekAll night on my supporting armAnd on its golden bracelet. Anybody who says it was rude. You are too modest about your own charms.Yet he consumes me quite. (She meditates. Here is a lotus-leaf. our friend has been brought to this sad state by her love for you. You must please ask the king's pardon for the rude things we said when we were talking together. and now you find no answer to make.All night is moving to and fro. Shakuntala (with a jealous smile). there is a little fawn.I bear Love's arrows as I can. Priyamvada. Your fault is pardoned if I mayRelieve my wearinessBy sitting on the flower-strewn couchYour fevered members press. that showMy deeds in hunting and in wars. she must write him a love-letter. I am going to help him.Wound not with doubt a wounded man.Shakuntala.) King (seating himself). Anusuya! See how the dear girl's life is coming back moment by moment—just like a peahen in summer when the first rainy breezes come. or may fail. sir. The two friends. don't detain the good king. Please. (SHAKUNTALA betrays her joy. But. and tell me whether it makes sense. King. A remedy is being applied and it will soon be better.Nor faithless be. Shakuntala (feigning anger). Anusuya (looking out of the arbour). Well. Good. Do not try to rise. Pray do not hesitate.You surely seeIt could no longer live apart. Anusuya. I am all attention. Shakuntala. Then compose a pretty little love-song. It is plain. He has probably lost his mother and is trying to find her. Oh.The hope of which has led his footsteps here—Pearls need not seek. with a hint of yourself in it. pray do this stone bench the honour of sitting upon it.'Tis love that eases it again. slender maid. And I will hide it in a bunch of flowers and see that it gets into the king's hand as if it were a relic of the sacrifice. If not. What more can I say? Though many queens divide my court. we hear that kings have many favourites. King. glossy as a parrot's breast. were it brought. upon a sultry day. and I must say something over again. I'll try. and it makes me feel like this. Shakuntala (reads). Shakuntala. good! You have found a lover worthy of your devotion. Here stands the eager lover. Shakuntala (sadly to herself). You must act in such a way that our friend may not become a cause of grief to her family. Priyamvada. and it pleases me. The two friends. looking all about him. King (joyfully). Priyamvada. she is far gone in love and cannot endure any delay.Rain breaks. It is only natural that I should forget to wink when I see my darling. I suppose I must obey orders. dear. my heart. (SHAKUNTALA tries to rise. Anusuya. fail to find? And again: The ardent lover comes. Your Majesty. Well. I feel it a great honour. Nobody else feels guilty. But I haven't anything to write with. I suppose I shall have to obey orders. Priyamvada. I have thought out a little song. Will you not take pity on her and save her life? King. and yet you fearLest he disdain love's tribute. beautiful Shakuntala. It is the king's duty to save hermit-folk from all suffering. your Majesty. Shakuntala. Anusuya. For One clinging eyebrow lifted.As when. and you paleFor fear lest he disdain a love so kind:The seeker may find fortune. King (advancing). can you think of any scheme by which we could carry out her wishes quickly and secretly? Priyamvada. What does Shakuntala say? Shakuntala. make the good king take pity upon me. I have heard what I longed to hear. King. Now listen. Priyamvada. Then. for they themselves are sought. The bracelet slipping o'er the scarsUpon the wasted arm. There is no text more urgent. seeking. Why. Is not that good Scripture? King. if you think best. I am afraid that we say a great many things behind a person's back. may ask his pardon. We cherish the same desire.That yearns for you. It always causes pain in the end. The two friends.Your limbs from which the strength is fled. to leave unsaid what one longs to say. Priyamvada. Priyamvada (reflecting). . remember that I was. Well. The hot tears. But I love her too. the source of all its woe. and washes grief away. (SHAKUNTALA edges away. a great river always runs into the sea.Her face reveals her passionFor me in glowing cheeks. Anusuya. But my heart trembles. that you and she love each other. Shakuntala. How so? Priyamvada. Look.But two support the throne. seekTo stain the gems and do them harm. King. the good king shows his love for her in his tender glances. King (smiling). Shakuntala. Your Majesty. Priyamvada. Priyamvada (smiling). I trust your friend's illness is not dangerous. Bewitching eyes that found my heart. You can cut the letters in it with your nails. The two friends (smiling).Your friend will find a rival inThe sea-girt earth alone. I love him. King." The "quickly" is not hard. I know not if I read your heart aright. But of course. do you distress me so?I only know that longing day and nightTosses my restless body to and fro. We must plan about the "secretly. Would anybody put up a parasol to keep off the soothing autumn moonlight? Shakuntala (smiling).) King. Priyamvada. you were so impatient. pray forgive what we said when we did not know that you were present. sir.That crush the blossoms of your bedAnd bruise the lotus-leaves. 'Twas love that caused the burning pain. King.As daylight shuts night-blooming flowersAnd slays the moon outright. pitiless. as if he were losing sleep. The two friends.

Will you permit me to blow it away? Shakuntala. (They start to go. I cannot do as you would have me. or you will betray me. I can see quite well now. that I was confused. But oh. my belovèd. The queen of my life! As soon as I complained. voluntary riteDispensed with priest and witness. Shakuntala (standing before the king). and I have come back for it. You alone. do not forget me.) Shakuntala. What have I to do here.) King. my feet will not move away. (He lifts it reverently. When evening comes. on your sweet arm it lay. Shakuntala. You hardly know me after this short talk. I remembered that this lotus-bracelet had fallen from my arm.And on my heart shall ever stay.) Shakuntala (takes a step. wheresoe'er you be. Why should I not have my way? (He approaches and seizes her dress. The perfumed lotus-chainThat once was worn by herFetters and keeps my heartA hopeless prisoner. King.Did heavenly fate preserve a shootTo deck my heart's desire? Shakuntala (feeling his touch).) Shakuntala. Shakuntala. Leave not the blossom-dotted couchTo wander in the midday heat. my dear. maids are coyAnd bid their wooers wait. (He lays his hand upon her. I will not offend against those to whom I owe honour. they hesitate. (He starts to raise her face to his. I was accusing fate. in fulfilling your promise. Oh.Perhaps it was the moon on highThat joined her horns and left the sky. more than heaven. A new servant does not transgress orders. (She approaches. enhance her charm. sir! Be a gentleman. The pollen from the lotus over my ear has blown into my eye. Shakuntala.With fevered limbs and stumbling feet. (She hides and waits. Oh. beautiful Shakuntala. Father Kanva knows the holy law.) Ah. Joyfully). (They walk to the bench and sit down. beautiful Shakuntala. What condition? King. then turns with an eager gesture). don't! Don't! For I am not mistress of myself. I cannot see it. SHAKUNTALA resists a little. King (joyfully to himself). The lotus over your ear is so near your eye. Yet what can I do now? I had no one to help me but my friends. See. What can I do? (She approaches. Have you not a humble servant here.) King (seeing her. When I hear this.Though eager for united joyIn love. Hasten. belovèd. my bewitching girl. King. Though deeply longing. Please give it back. Oh. Why not accuse a fate that robs me of self-control and tempts me with the virtues of another? King (to himself). He is a frisky little fellow. my love for you is my whole life.) King (taking SHAKUNTALA'S hand). I cannot hold back after that. King. Your body. to take the place of your friends? Then tell me: Shall I employ the moistened lotus-leafTo fan away your weariness and grief?Or take your lily feet upon my kneeAnd rub them till you rest more easily? Shakuntala. King. Oh. I have come into the open air. May I fasten it in another way? Shakuntala (smiling). He will not regret it. No sooner did the thirsty birdWith parching throat complain. Ah! When Shiva's anger burned the treeOf love in quenchless fire. the clasp of the bracelet is not very firm. I will hide in this amaranth hedge and see how long his love lasts. my beautiful girl! The lotus-chain is dazzling whiteAs is the slender moon at night. I did not even notice it.) Her sweetly trembling lipWith virgin invitationProvokes my soul to sipDelighted fascination. Shakuntala (to herself). I'll go with you. (Aloud.The thought of you can never leave my heart. O King. King. I am rebuked.) Shakuntala. I should not like to be an object of pity. You seem slow. But why should I not trust you? King.) Ah. when the king of the world is with you! (Exeunt. Do not have such thoughts. The day is still hot. King (smiling). Shakuntala (takes a few steps. It is this exaggerated courtesy that frightens me. Do not fear your family.I find it in a lifeless toy. beautiful Shakuntala. Shakuntala. King (artfully delaying before he fastens it). (He gently blows her eye. If you like.) King. King (laying the lotus-bracelet on his heart). Shakuntala. I shall not break the bonds of this sweet servitude.) Shakuntala.) Shakuntala. I will restore it on one condition. Ah! Once. The two friends (smiling). King. I will use the bracelet as an excuse for my coming. I cannot go. have no fear of me. I have no power to go. where she is not? (He gazes on the ground. dear. But I am ashamed not to make any return for your kindness.) King. You can't catch him alone. Do not be anxious. (SHAKUNTALA moves away.Priyamvada. Now I am content. yet you leave me and go away without a thought. fate proved kind to me. (He looks about. Let us sit on this stone bench.Is not the lotus-haunting beeContent with perfume and with grace? . King. Thank you.Than forming clouds in heaven stirredAnd sent the streaming rain.) King.Believing that your lovely armWould. (He leaves SHAKUNTALA and retraces his steps. To herself).Perhaps they even torture loveBy their procrastinating. I was so weak and ill that when the lotus-bracelet fell off. hasten. nor moveTheir hearts to sudden mating. Oh. and so like it. The king raises her face. Why. For many a hermit maiden whoBy simple. soft as siris-flowers. What more could I ask? It ought to be enough for meTo hover round your fragrant face. the shadow of the treeIs cast far forward. Are my friends gone? King (looking about). (She rises weakly and starts to walk away. She speaks as a wife to her husband. Why accuse a fate that brings what you desire? Shakuntala. I was not thinking of your Majesty. Shakuntala.With lotus-petals on your breast. sir.) King (detaining her). and you are feverish. to the hermits. When I was going away. and yourself too.) Shakuntala (looking at her arm). dear. That I may myself place it where it belongs. yetFound favour in her father's sight. yet does not depart. Love cannot torture them.Even so. (SHAKUNTALA darts a glance at him. then looks down. My heart seemed to tell me that you had taken it. King. oh! When I hear him speak so. King (to himself).) Beautiful Shakuntala. Aside. I will not let you go and leave me alone.Engages passion's utmost powers. then is passive.How comes it that your heart is hardAs stalks that siris-blossoms guard? Shakuntala.Though you disdain to give me joy. There are hermits wandering about.

Well.So plans my foolish. Very well. Aloud. (They do so. Anusuya.) Shakuntala. ANUSUYA returns. May you live long and happy. O King! The flames rise heavenward from the evening altar. Enter GAUTAMI. Priyamvada. Her face. He has gone back to the city and there he is surrounded by hundreds of court ladies. Priyamvada.The head that drooped upon her shoulder—Why was I not a little bolder? Where shall I go now? Let me stay a moment in this bower where my belovèd lay. we must do with the flowers we have.Adorable with trembling flashesOf half-denial. Priyamvada. Why not? Anusuya. come to inquire about me. Oh.) King (advancing with a sigh. I fell at his feet and prayed to him.) My dear. dear! The very thing has happened. I suppose you are right. My dear. (She sees SHAKUNTALA and helps her to rise. I wonder whether he will remember poor Shakuntala or not. Priyamvada. Gautami." Priyamvada. we must finish the sacrifice for her. and all alone here with the gods? Shakuntala. Shakuntala is near the cottage. (They start to walk away. Come. Anusuya! There is the dear girl. Anusuya. mother. Has the fever gone down? (She touches her.But when she comes. But the curse shall be lifted when her lover sees a gem which he has given her for a token. then turns around. in the lotus-leafCut by her nails: assuage my absent griefAnd occupy my eyes—I have no power." And so he vanished. I don't know what Father will have to say when he comes back from his pilgrimage and hears about it. Just look. dear Shakuntala has been properly married by the voluntary ceremony and she has a husband worthy of her.The dear love-missive. fallen from her arm and lost. like red cloudmasses.Has scorned a guest in pious life grown old.Shakuntala." I said. Here is the holy water. There! I stumbled in my excitement. bid your mate farewell.Flesh-eating demons stalk. Have no fear. Now see what you have done. How could she notice a guest when she has forgotten herself? . When the good king went away. My dear.I'll not delay. Run. There is a difference. (Reflecting. bring him back. Priyamvada. Tell me about it. Anusuya. self-defeated heart. (He reflects. The dear. my child. Such handsome men are sure to be good.) Alas! I did wrong to delay when I had found my love. When he would not turn back. adorned with soft eye-lashes. my child. gathering flowers. But we must make an offering to the gods that watch over Shakuntala's marriage. It is the great sage Durvasas. with a bowl in her hand.) Anusuya.) Priyamvada (gazing). Priyamvada. Priyamvada. Come. So now If she will grant me but one other meeting. Oh.Your lover shall forget you though reminded.) Priyamvada. to leave the reedy bower. engraved with his own name.And cast colossal shadows on the sky.) Gautami. Priyamvada. See how he strides away! Priyamvada. A voice behind the scenes. King (listens. Nothing burns like fire. The night is come. You need not be anxious about that. he put a ring. (She looks at her flower-basket. Who could appease him? But I softened him a little. (Exit. hermits.) Priyamvada (stumbling).) The flower-strewn bed whereon her body tossed. Shakuntala (listening excitedly). this is Mother Gautami. why shouldn't Father be happy? Priyamvada. Please hide among the branches. It was just a moment ago that Priyamvada and Anusuya went down to the river. Why not? You know he wanted to give his daughter to a lover worthy of her. Gautami (sprinkling SHAKUNTALA with the holy water). he is anger incarnate. My dear. (Exeunt SHAKUNTALA and GAUTAMI. the irascible. She is thinking about him. Shakuntala (weakly rising.) Ah. in memory lingers. "Holy sir. (The two girls listen and show dejection. it sounds like a guest announcing himself. my heart. on Shakuntala's finger to remember him by.Though she is gone. She looks like a painted picture. you delayed when your desire came of itself. Anusuya (looking ahead). I will. (She takes a step.) ACT IV SHAKUNTALA'S DEPARTURE SCENE I (Enter the two friends. absent-minded girl has offended some worthy man. and the flower-basket fell out of my hand. but to-day her heart is far away. I bid you farewell until another blissful hour. But there is something else to think about.And round the sacrifices.) The voice.The bracelet.) A voice behind the scenes. We can breathe again. by loving fancies blinded. (He looks about. This! This! (He draws her face to his. (The king conceals himself. Even that is a good deal for him. Why? Anusuya. That will save her. I am here. Then he said: "My words must be fulfilled. let us go to the cottage. If fate brings this about of itself. while I am getting water to wash his feet. fall at his feet. I believe that he will be pleased. (Exit.) A voice behind the scenes. we have gathered flowers enough for the sacrifice. Come. for happiness is fleeting.) The path to happiness is strewn with obstacles. Oh. Anusuya. this is no ordinary somebody. my dear. Anusuya.Or think of you as of a story told. And then— Anusuya. Do you dare despise a guest like me?Because your heart. (They walk about. with her cheek resting on her left hand. The sacrifice is over and the good king was dismissed to-day by the hermits. Resolutely).) O bower that took away my pain. Your daughter did not recognise your great and holy power today.The sweet lips guarded by her fingers. We had better gather more. O sheldrake bride. Who will bid me welcome? Anusuya (listening). blazing high. But what does he do if he is not content? King.) Anusuya. To herself). "remember her former devotion and pardon this offence. The sun is setting. (She collects the scattered flowers. I play the coward's part.) So ill. And yet I am not quite satisfied.

Anusuya (astonished). and I will get yellow pigment and earth from a sacred spot and blades of panic grass for the happy ceremony. may you become the mother of a hero.The eastern sun is heralded by dawn.) Shakuntala.) Pupil. But my joy is half sorrow when I think that Shakuntala is going to be taken away this very day. a hermit-youth with ornaments." Anusuya. Come. The dawn is breaking. What do you mean. Good morning. Holy women. I salute you. and then One tree bore fruit. Now stand straight. to ask if she had slept well. try as we might. Otherwise. Shall I ever be adorned by my friends again? (She weeps.) Gautami. There is Shakuntala. It must be the curse of Durvasas. of love and lover reft. and to look at the ornaments. how could the good king say such beautiful things. (Exit. Enter SHAKUNTALA with attendants as described.) The two friends. But what shall I do now that I am awake? My hands refuse to attend to the ordinary morning tasks." he said.) See! The dawn is breaking. sweetLike flowering twigs. Priyamvada. andGAUTAMI. I will go into the open air and see how much of the night remains. Anusuya. Sit here. my dear? Priyamuada. Anusuya.From others. "My child. so low at last to lie! Anusuya (entering hurriedly. dear. a silken marriage dressThat shamed the moon in its white loveliness. their fall and glory linking. I am so glad. my dear. dear. but she likes the honey of the lotus. Father Kanva has returned from his pilgrimage. But whom shall we ask to take it? The hermits are unsympathetic because they have never suffered.) Anusuya. Well. For already The moon behind the western mount is sinking. bid the worthy Sharngarava and Sharadvata make ready to escort my daughter Shakuntala. My dear. girls. Listen. dear. A bee may be born in a hole in a tree.) Anusuya.Have naught but memories of beauty left. Here are ornaments for our lady. they have brought me no regret. fairy hands extended. Gautami.) Know. at this happy time. A voice from heaven that recited a verse when he had entered the fire-sanctuary. It keeps fresh. To herself). I just went to Shakuntala. just risen from sleep. Listen.Like the fire-pregnant tree.That slew the darkness in the midmost sky. (EnterHARITA. Perhaps we can arrange them right. (SHAKUNTALA shows embarrassment. Hermit-women.—Early Morning (Enter a pupil of KANVA. Hurry. That is just what happens to the innocent.Another gave us lac-dye for the feet. And again: Night-blooming lilies. (Exit. Priyamvada (listening). hurry! We are getting Shakuntala ready for her journey. (They wipe the tears away and adorn her. we could not tell Father Kanva that Shakuntala was married to Dushyanta and was expecting a baby.) Priyamvada (looking ahead). (Enter ANUSUYA.Hard. we poor girls never saw such ornaments. Did you have a good bath. (They do so. Oh." showing that your husband honours you. Anusuya. my son.) Harita. dear? Shakuntala. Priyamvada (Looking at SHAKUNTALA). (Speaking in good Sanskrit. A creation of his mind? Harita. My pains for you have proved like instruction given to a good student. we two must keep this thing to ourselves.) Priyamvada. Priyamvada. This very day I shall give you an escort of hermits and send you to your husband. From the holy power of Father Kanva.) Priyamvada. the day's new life to catch. here is a cocoa-nut casket. hanging on a branch of the mango-tree. I will tell him of the favour shown us by the trees. to perform his ablutions.) Harita. whence come these things? Harita.) Yes.And gave us gems.A deer is rising near the hoof-marked altar. hard to bear! Her lot whom heaven has biddenTo live alone. pure-minded girl trusted him—the traitor! Perhaps it is not the good king's fault. And yet again: The moon that topped the loftiest mountain ranges.Is fallen from heaven. to adorn her as we list. Now you wrap it in a lotus-leaf.) A voice behind the scenes. The poor girl must be made happy to-day. My child. you ought to have the finest gems. I put flower-pollen in it for this very purpose. while we go through the happy ceremony. And then— Priyamvada. (PRIYAMVADA does so. (He walks and looks about. But. that your child.Brave lessons of submission may be drawn. You know how delicate she is. we must send him the ring he left as a token. when the moon is hidden. and now the hermit-women are giving her rice-cakes and wishing her happiness. This gracious favour is a token of the queenly happiness which you are to enjoy in your husband's palace. You ought not to weep. She took the ceremonial bath at sunrise. and then let all this time pass without even sending a message? (She reflects. Anusuya (hugging PRIYAMVADA). and has bidden me find out what time it is. Gautami.) Anusuya. Listen. Well.And stretching.) The two friends (approaching). It seemed as if her friends were to blame and so. I found her hiding her face for shame. Shakuntala. How shall we adorn you? (She stops to think. you know. let love take its course. I am awake bright and early. Hurry. The offering fell straight in the sacred fire. Pupil.Anusuya. Priyamvada. Father Kanva sent us to gather blossoms from the trees for Shakuntala. stands. and auspicious smoke rose toward the sacrificer. Exit ANUSUYA. with materials for the ceremony.) SCENE II. Anusuya.The peacock wakes and leaves the cottage thatch. Not quite. Anusuya (astonished). Shakuntala has been treated shamefully by the king. Let's go to her. and Father Kanva was embracing her and encouraging her.From heaven's twin lights. what shall we do? (Enter PRIYAMVADA. as far as to the wrist. What did it say? Priyamvada. (They walk about. hurry! They are calling the hermits who are going to Hastinapura. Father Kanva has gone to the bank of the Malini. .) But we have seen pictures. Would any one sprinkle a jasmine-vine with scalding water? (Exeunt ambo. and all her glory changes:So high to rise. Harita. (The women look at them in astonishment. (Exeunt all but GAUTAMI. Gautami. The two friends (seating themselves). My dear. We must hide our sorrow as best we can. who told Father Kanva about it? Priyamvada. let us go. Gautami. "I bring you joy. For the dear. You are so beautiful. may you receive the happy title "queen. It has happened often enough. I will tell Father Kanva that the hour of morning sacrifice is come. It seems like an insult to give you these hermitage things.Bears kingly seed that shall be bornFor earth's prosperity. but I ought to be very grateful to-day. Brahman. We must be careful of the dear girl. And again: On jujube-trees the blushing dewdrops falter.

I will not forget your message. Do not forget. Priyamvada. Shakuntala. Pay reverence to the holy ones.Beneath their sacrificial odours dwindleMisfortunes.) Gautami.This handsome mango-tree. these branches. The eyes with which he seems to embrace you are overflowing with tears of joy. Anusuya! Priyamvada! Do not weep.) Kanva. My child. My child. even though heShould prove less faithful than a man might be. forgetful of her friends. Dear girls. Kanva. Kanva. Sharngarava. will please her relatives. (All walk about. She would not drink till she had wetYour roots. Oh.And at their margins sacred grass is piled.) Where are Sharngarava and Sharadvata? (Enter the two pupils. Aside to PRIYAMVADA).Win favour measured by your worth. O trees of the pious grove. You must greet him properly. Now I am leaving you. It is the fawn whose lip. (SHAKUNTALA makes a shamefaced reverence.) The two pupils.The peahen stops her dance. in which the fairies dwell. Father. My child. Sharngarava. Kanva. dear! Go back! (She walks away. My child. Sharngarava. . and yet my feet will hardly move. and check the rising tearsThat dim your lovely eyes.Be as courteous to servants as you may. never be perversely blindAnd angry with your husband. The two friends. my child. they too must some day be given in marriage. My eyes are dim with anxious thought. the Scripture declares that one should accompany a departing loved one only to the first water. Shakuntala (does so.) Kanva. (SHAKUNTALA rises and does so. It is you who should cheer Shakuntala. with loving toilYou have adopted him. I shall not forget. and be very kindTo rivals. My daughter.May soft winds blow the lotus-pollen nigh. Now you may start.I dare not speak a loving wordOr choking tears will start. Sharngarava. I know how clever you are. but a benediction. as if to hinder me? (She turns round to see. My dear. Vine sister.) Kanva. There.May shade-trees bid the heat of noonday cease. My child. (They all walk about. Be brave. why should you follow me when I am going away from home? Your mother died when you were born and I brought you up. Shakuntala (stumbling) Oh.) Kanva. Priyamvada. Like Sharmishtha. Come. Go back. who shall rule the earth. May the fires protect you. We are here. Now put on this beautiful silk dress. Kanva. Father. Father! Must my friends turn back too? Kanva. Kanva (turning to SHAKUNTALA). give him this message from me. I shall be far away from you after to-day. you must send some one to bring me the good news. the love poured forthBy her. Kanva. the fairies of the pious grove bid you farewell. speed her on her road! Sharngarava (listening to the song of koïl-birds).May all your path be pleasantness and peace. Follow me. my sister among the vines. you found the lover whoHad long been sought by me. Holy Father.I miss her now at heart. My daughter. The grass drops from the feeding doe. Son Sharngarava. True wisdom. oh! Who is it that keeps pulling at my dress.Love strikes me to the life:And yet I strove for pious peace—I have no child. embrace me too with your arms. (The two friends adorn her.Shakuntala.Nor pluck your flowers. Look! The sheldrake does not heed his mateWho calls behind the lotusleaf. My child. And now start on your journey. Yayati's wife. I must now give you my counsel. and Father Kanva will take care of you. Shakuntala (recalling something). And what fate givesBeyond. The trees are answering your prayerIn cooing cuckoo-song.He drops the lily from his billAnd turns on you a glance of grief. May lily-dotted lakes delight your eye.) Gautami. Kanva.Your feet are stumbling on the pathThat so uneven lies. I have some knowledge of the world. my daughter. Pray give us your commands on the bank of this pond. (All do so.And now she leaves you as a wife—Oh. You are not the only one to feel sad at this farewell. gives insight into everything. Obey your elders. my child. when tornBy kusha-grass.) Anusuya. lead the way for your sister. Shakuntala.Their sister for so long. When she becomes a happy mother. and then return.But self-willed women are the curse of life. my daughter.The fawn who gladly nibbled cornHeld in your hand. weeping. Kanva. (To SHAKUNTALA. This is advice sufficient for a bride. you must care for her as you did for me. and heWould never leave you willingly. Enter KANVA. I must say good-bye to the spring-creeper. Then let us rest in the shade of this fig-tree. Shakuntala (approaches the vine and embraces it). Shakuntala. (All walk about. Remembering my religious worth.No longer need I watch for you. My dear. Sharngarava. Be brave. no wife. Gautami will go with you. Gautami. Look at the path before you. when you present Shakuntala to the king. Do not weep. hard to leave the hermitage.Not puffed with pride in this your happy day:Thus does a maiden grow into a wife. For they love the household. But what does Gautami say? Gautami. trembling leaves are falling slow. Invisible beings. here is your father. when you have entered your husband's home. (He glances about. Shakuntala (going to the two friends). wandering about near the cottage. there is the pregnant doe. Though I live in the forest. you soothed with oil. Shakuntala must go to-day.) What commands would it be fitting for me to lay on King Dushyanta? (He reflects. a sister's duty. Father. My child.Pay her what honour custom lendsTo all your wives. I long to see my husband.Bidding Shakuntala farewell.I'll give the vine a lover true.) Kanva.The tears of clinging plants. It is hard. Father. child! (SHAKUNTALA walks about them from left to right.) The two friends. my child.And may you bear a kingly sonLike Puru. there is not a living thing in the whole hermitage that is not grieving to-day at saying good-bye to you. Kanva. when comeThe pangs of parting from his child at home? (He walks about. I know your love for her. this is not a prayer.Pale. Therefore they may not go to court. See how the whole grove feels at parting from you.) Shakuntala. we have arranged your ornaments. Father. she loves you yetFar more than selfish beauty.Your own high race.) You will not forget. Kanva. walk from left to right about the fires in which the offering has just been thrown. (All listen in astonishment. returning after his ablutions. But who will care for poor us? (They shed tears. Father. 'Twas festival in her pure lifeWhen budding blossoms showed. Father. See! Here she is at your right hand. my son.) The holy fires around the altar kindle. I leave her in your care too. What must a father feel.) Kanva. embrace me and your friends.) Kanva.

My friend.) King (betraying the cares of office). Father. but this renews my spirit. Kanva. He does not seek—until a father's careIs shown his subjects—rest in solitude. let us sit down. so tenderly! How can you be tempted soBy the lily.) ACT V SHAKUNTALA'S REJECTION (Enter a chamberlain. Enter the king. and the retinue arranges itself. Be quiet. (Exit SHAKUNTALA. Father. She must hasten. Ah. Certain hermits.But can you forget? King.) The two friends. why distress yourself so? A noble husband's honourable wife. Your doubts make my heart beat faster. Dear. But. My child.Gave her all your passion's power. I am torn from my father's breast like a vine stripped from a sandal-tree on the Malabar hills. For A girl is held in trust. man.) Yes. Shakuntala (falling at his feet). His difficulties increase with his power. And the rebuke comes from her. My daughter.) Ah! I have sent Shakuntala away. the hour of your departure is slipping by. Shakuntala (embracing KANVA once more).Are friend both strong and tender. Do not be afraid. whenThe sun is fierce. But oh! I miss you. Child.Come with your husband to the groveAnd end your days in peace.But years have passed away and madeIt serve. another's treasure.You are to spend a busy.Ah. Love is timid. that weary menMay rest beneath its shade. So love interprets. I suppose I must. both of you together. sir. A lute is heard behind the scenes. I was once devoted to Queen Hansavati. Gautami. Come.) Kanva. Strange! I was wearied by the demands of my office. What an entrancing song! Clown. When. Yes. when shall I see the pious grove again? Kanva. Shakuntala (going to her two friends).Thus is your nature made.You are our strong defender. Go.As officer to guard at need. No. Shakuntala. alike to rich and poor. The two friends (do so). Go.Blows night and day the breeze. Clown.As a great elephant recks not of the sunUntil his herd is sheltered in the wood. How can I live in another soil? (She weeps.Friends come to all whose wealth is sure. The world you daily guard and bless. the sun is in mid-heaven.But you. SHARNGARAVA. Does a bull forget that he is tired when you call him the leader of the herd? King (smiling). Clown. dearest daughter. But kings are never weary. tell Queen Hansavati in my name that the rebuke is a very pretty one. First poet. listen to what is going on in the musicroom. the king is occupied. the clown. .) A song behind the scenes. King. I will tell him of the urgent business which demands his attention.I have restored the pledge that came from heaven. And peace go with you. Strange. I have about as much chance of salvation as a monk who hasn't forgotten his passions. and SHARADVATA. troubles gather thick.Strife ceases at your kingly nod. trusted to the son you love.Not heeding pain or weariness. Father.And now I feel a calm and sacred pleasure. Mournfully). Anusuya! Priyamvada! Your companion is gone. sunk in thought. girls! Embrace me. pupils of Kanva. I hesitate to announce the coming of Kanva's pupils to the king.Man e'er forgets contentment. Farewell. will grow. Pray turn back. sir.When to a son who knows no fearsYou shall have given birth. not lessens.Pain grows. with GAUTAMI. and keeping good time. You who kissed the mango-flower. dear.) But what is the business? (He recalls it. Chamberlain (looks at the king). long. pet?Fresher honey's sweet. (He stands aside. from you there shall ariseA child. Soothe her like a gentleman.For seeds you scattered hereBefore the cottage door. Sharngarava (looking about).) Clown (listening). (They start to go back.Shakuntala (throwing her arms about her father). (He walks about. I must await his leisure. Kanva. Second poet. you interrupt my duties in the pious grove.) Here is his Majesty. (Exeunt omnes.A tree will brave the noonday.) My lonely sorrow will not go.Your royal labours cease. Alas! To what a state am I reduced! I once assumed the staff of reedFor custom's sake alone. Vice bows before the royal rod. In truth. you are using another fellow's fingers to grab a bear's tail-feathers with. Why am I filled with wistfulness on hearing such a song? I am not separated from one I love. King (listening). (Exit. How can you think me so indifferent? (He sighs. as eastern skiesBring forth the sun. a blessing and a comfort strong— You will not miss me. Kanva.One moment it is shining bright. and now I am myself again. Oh. dear. Friend Madhavya.To arms of love my child to-day is given. (He takes a few steps. my tottering steps to aid. I remember. with a king's position.) King (to himself). man. I suppose Lady Hansavati is practising.Shesha upholds the world forever:And kings are like to these. Every one is happy on attaining his desire—except a king. You will be busy in the grove.Honey-loving bee. useful lifeIn the world's eye. Bid your father turn back. Kanva.And I shall see them. The two friends. if the good king should perhaps be slow to recognise you.) But. The king is within. (They seat themselves.) Chamberlain (sighing). And yet In face of sweet presentmentOr harmonies of sound. You will not miss me. My daughter. the grove seems empty without Shakuntala. Choke down your grief and follow me.As when one's hand must hold the sunshade's stick. For he has this moment risen from the throne of justice.The ladies round the throne. For The sun unyokes his horses never. Father. Father. and soon. show him the ring with his own name engraved on it. Clown. she would never do that.) The two friends (gazing long after her. Victory to your Majesty. (He walks about. don't you understand what the words mean? King (smiling). Two court poets behind the scenes. Thus: Security slays nothing but ambition. may all that come to you which I desire for you. My daughter. Kanva. I wish to listen. desire to see his Majesty. Well. (He rises. When you have shared for many yearsThe king's thoughts with the earth.By wistful longings bound. Yes. Shakuntala. and retinue according to rank. King.Then darkness closes in. Some one is playing a lute. strange! The mind of age is like a lampWhose oil is running thin. oh! Shakuntala is lost among the trees. (He walks and looks about.With great possessions. I know.

but not surprising. here is he who protects those of every station and of every age. O King. lost.As pure men. you feared it. What will my husband say? King (listening with anxious suspicion). King.As free men. Heaven avert the omen. my royal title is no empty one. Sharngarava.There must be recollectionsOf things not seen on earth. my child. Enough! I must not gaze upon another's wife.Yet we ascetics view the worldly crewAs in a house all lapped about with flame. King. For Fruit-laden trees bend down to earth. I know.And hesitates to sip ere they be gone. I imagine they have come to pay homage to their king. and to congratulate him on his pious rule. A stinging rebuke! Gautami (to SHAKUNTALA). They have a message from their teacher.The water-pregnant clouds hang low. I will remove your veil. Aside). That is why men like you are great. O King.In wedding such a virtuous groom and bride. those who have religious power can command health. Ah! Who is she. (They walk about. Speak. Sharngarava. For You are the best of worthy men. although he love her not. Yes. oh! So haughty and so slanderous! Sharngarava. with GAUTAMI and SHAKUNTALA. Gautami. Shakuntala. and awaits you. Shakuntala (laying her hand on her breast. Shakuntala (sadly to herself). as I endeavourTo bring it back to mind. and blind. As for me.While frosty dews of morning still o'erweave it. What means this dreadful accusation? Sharngarava (furiously). Yes. Shakuntala (observing an evil omen). your Majesty. Sharadvata.) Chaplain (indicating the king). . Because the world suspects a wifeWho does not share her husband's lot.) King (observing SHAKUNTALA.) Vetravati. I am all attention. (Aloud. I give you my glad consent. it is admirable. How could these things be in a hermitage that rests in the fame of the king's arm? No. He asks after your welfare and sends this message. What is this insinuation? Shakuntala (to herself).) King (rising). Victory to your Majesty. May you be pleased to hear it. Indeed. shrouded in the veilThat dims her beauty's lustre. Sharngarava. Friend Sharadvata. then like a bee That hovers round a jasmine flower at dawn. Your Majesty. Pray ascend it. He says: "Since you have met this my daughter and have married her. I will await them in a place fit for their reception. your emotion on entering the city is quite just.And she. O drunk with power! We might have knownThat you were steeped in treachery. Chaplain." Gautami.None dwelling here commit the deed of shame. Oh. your Majesty. Yes. They bring women with them. Victory. King. why tremble so? Remember his constant love and be brave. sir. why does my right eye throb? Gautami. she is well worth looking at. Does your pious life proceed without disturbance? The two pupils. She is with child. Good Works personified. A king. Bless you. my heart. Vetravati.Good men are not puffed up by power—The unselfish are by nature so. Then your husband will recognise you. May happiness wait upon you. King. mother. and cannot leave it. O hermits. and shrink when love is done. Follow me.I cannot taste the sweet. and near at hand is the cow that yields the milk of sacrifice. those whom passions soil. To himself). here is the terrace of the fire-sanctuary. King (bowing low). What is your pleasure with regard to them? King (astonished). they say. Portress. King (respectfully). King. The king is noble and to virtue true.To warn me of abuse of power?These doubts and more assail my mind. and now it has come. Take her and live with her in virtue.Deep nature's predilections. my heart. your Majesty. if you please. As my heart ponders whether I could everHave wed this woman that has come to meIn tortured loveliness. Follow me. "What is this insinuation?" What is your question? Surely you know the world's ways well enough. Oh.The Creator wrought for ever and a day. You cannot mean that this young woman is my wife.Let each be faithful now to each. Chaplain (advancing).Turn coward's back on truth. Did she with father speak or mother?Did you engage her friends in speech?Your faith was plighted each to other.) Is holy Kanva in health? Sharngarava. (He shows the wistfulness that comes from unremembered things. O King. Hermits? Accompanied by women? From Kanva? Chamberlain. Hail. those in bondage deep. King (ascends and stands leaning on the shoulder of an attendant. (She walks about) Your Majesty. Chamberlain. for it has just been swept.But leave me puzzled. Your Majesty. The two pupils. What are his commands? Sharngarava.) Chamberlain. I salute you all. King.I see them spending worldly daysAs clean men view men smeared with oil. the hermits seem to be happy. Portress.Among the hermits like a flowerRound which the dead leaves cluster? Portress. with what purpose does Father Kanva send these hermits to me? Do leaguèd powers of sin conspireTo balk religion's pure desire?Has wrong been done to beasts that roamContented round the hermits' home?Do plants no longer bud and flower.) Chamberlain (approaching). King (observing SHAKUNTALA). (Exit. I should like to say that no one invites me to speak.As waking men view men asleep. and they carry a message from Kanva. Sharngarava. The two pupils (raising their right hands). my child. conducting the two pupils of KANVA. Oh. Free from the world and all its ways. It is beautiful. All hail. (She does so. (Enter the chaplain and the chamberlain. Portress. Behold him. King.Loves earlier than birth. Forget your shame. and to conduct them himself before me. He has already risen.Her kinsmen wish her to abideWith him. How could the pious duties failWhile you defend the right?Or how could darkness' power prevailO'er sunbeams shining bright? King (to himself). and flee! King. They give you gracious looks. Request my chaplain Somarata in my name to receive these hermits in the manner prescribed by Scripture. Here are hermits who dwell in the forest at the foot of the Himalayas. The hermits have been received as Scripture enjoins. conduct me to the fire-sanctuary. Oh.

King. but it is broken now. my teacher. Should you now desert your wife—you who fear to fail in virtue? King.Who freely gave you what you stoleAnd added honour to a thief! Sharadvata. Hermit. I will tell you something else. but I must clear my own character. Would any other man do what you have done? To hide behind virtue. What can the poor child do with a husband base enough to reject her? Sharngarava (turns angrily).) My good girl. You have learned your wisdom upside down. and choked his grief. ponders on SHAKUNTALA. King. Sharngarava. Every one trusts his own sort. He loved me so.Day-blossoms to the sun.Love turns to hate.Portress (to herself). O King. But he did not know you. I hear you. suppose you had forgotten your former actions in the midst of distractions. I had my way. King. The vine of my hope climbed high. Sharngarava. my adopted son.So you would stain your honour. And will you leave me too? (She starts to follow. oh. Oh. the hermits. that entice fools.What will your father with your shame?But if you know your vows are pure. false. Well. Shakuntala is following us. why deceive this woman? Remember: Night-blossoms open to the moon. she saw that I was doubtful. See! Her glance is straight. If you have acted so because you really fear to touch another man's wife. Well.) Gautami.Trust those who study to deceiveAnd think it very wise. King. I trusted a king. you worshipped the holy Ganges at the spot where Indra descended. Gautami. I have taken thought. as you will. Remain. my daughter. Then you were kind to me and gave me your promise. She grew up in the pious grove. Chaplain.) Sharngarava. Shakuntala. my candid friend! Suppose I were to admit that I am such a man.Her whole lip quivers.) No. Dushyanta's conduct is known to the whole kingdom. The chief astrologers have told you that your first child was destined to be an emperor. You both belong to the forest. Instruct me. and accuse me of an imaginary crime? Sharngarava (disdainfully). You have no right to say that. Ruin.A man of honour ever strivesAnother's wife to shun. It would be monstrous to believeA girl who never lies. then welcome her and introduce her into the palace. but not this action. My child. He had a honey face and a heart of stone. Oh. (Aloud. Sharngarava. How can I take her. It is just such women. Wretch! You judge all this by your own false heart. You hear his words. and her anger was feigned. my son.Husbands have power for good or illO'er woman's life. Shakuntala.Her speech is harsh.She fiercely snapped Love's bow. We must go. Shakuntala.Shall I desert a faithful wifeOr turn adulterer? Chaplain (considering). and so. peace! A stream that eats away the bank. to knowOf love or secret vow.The cuckoo's eggs are left to hatch and rearBy foster-parents. we have said what we were sent to say. not drawlingly well-bred. it was pure love that opened my poor heart to you in the hermitage.Her eyes grew red.Bending her arching brow. Why this? Chaplain. with the chaplain. his memory clouded by the curse. (Aloud. One day. he doubts my right to call him that. If you deserve such scorn and blame. Let the woman remain in my house until her child is born. If the son of the hermit's daughter is born with the imperial birthmarks.) Gautami (turns around and sees her). ready wit! Shakuntala. I will remove your doubts with a token you gave me. I ask you which is the heavier sin: Not knowing whether I be madOr falsehood be in her. It is unthinkable that ruin should fall on Puru's line. seems to shake with cold. Leave her or take her. Sharngarava. Shakuntala (to herself). Why do you trust this girl. "Let him drink first. well.With those whose hearts we do not know. Be slow to love. We are ready to return. Thus When I refused but nowHard-heartedly." King.She is your wife. Gautami. You self-willed girl! Do you dare show independence? (SHAKUNTALA shrinks in fear. in the bower of reeds. What would happen if I deceived the girl? Sharngarava.Her frown has straightened eyebrows arching bold. Sharngarava. and to reject me? King (stopping his ears). lead the way. Then you smiled and said: "It is true. Very well. and he would not come to drink water from your hand. The female's untaught cunning may be seenIn beasts.) Shakuntala. sweet. But her anger is free from coquetry. King. King. give me a grave! (Exit weeping. (She looks sadly at GAUTAMI. Shakuntala. He has deceived me shamelessly. lamenting piteously. No. Have you nothing to say. An excellent idea! Shakuntala (touching her finger). Why bandy words? We have fulfilled our Father's bidding. because she has lived in the forest. Enough. It is good advice. Hermit. (They start to go. she must return to her father. Is it right for you to speak so now. The ring must have fallen there. you were holding a lotusleaf cup full of water. Let me hear what you have to say. Ready wit. Old hermit woman. Shakuntala. I will try. selfish. Aha. King. Thus does unbridled levity burn. Not so. But he liked it afterwards. He is so changed. Fate is too strong for me there. Now if this were done— King. You scorn the sage who rendered wholeHis child befouled. She is plainly with child. She does not know how to deceive. King. Your Majesty. Follow me. O mother earth. Shakuntala (angrily). Why remind him? Ah. Then you took pity on him and coaxed him. Otherwise. Answer him. Chaplain (rising). my teacher. and away she flies. The king. far more in women selfish-wise.Obey your husband and endure. King." you said. I cannot believe that this woman is my wife. Shakuntala. King. oh! The ring is lost. and GAUTAMI. At that moment the fawn came up. like a yawning well covered over with grass! King (to himself).Grows foul. her eyes are flashing red. A miracle! A miracle! . What a virtuous king he is! Would any other man hesitate when he saw such a pearl of a woman coming of her own accord? Sharngarava. and undermines the tree. and put myself in his hands.) Voices behind the scenes. Peace. King. whileYou plunge me into misery. when I held the very same water.) My dear husband—(She stops. O King? King. oh! He even casts doubt on our marriage. confessing myself an adulterer? Shakuntala (to herself). (She covers her face with her dress and weeps. but yet more slowWith secret mate.) Listen.

chief. First policeman.Accused her crushing fate—-King. please. kind gentlemen. get up! Here is a reward that the king was kind enough to give you. Januka. Suchaka. and hooks.First living breath of spring.) Now you will see your family. Chief (laughing). Chief (smelling the ring). (Exit. Be merciful. you. That is the only way I got it. All right. and things. Let's go where they keep it. and yetHe's the tenderest-hearted man. Fisherman. Get up. Januka.) It is the day of the spring festival. She tossed her arms. Suchaka.) Chief. It has the real perfume of raw meat. Shakuntala is like a second self to me. and behind her. (He shows dejection. we didn't ask for your address or your social position. chief. Go in.) First maid.You are sacrificed as soon as seen. To himself). The first thing we want. Go on. gazing at a mango branch. I shall find out that way.) Fisherman (bowing low to the chief). Before our eyes a heavenly lightIn woman's form. What? Chaplain. has the spring really come? . Chief.) King. talk. And don't get careless.) SCENE II. Victory to your Majesty.) Chief. I am bewildered. The two policemen (to the fisherman). the chief is taking his time. my fingers are itching (indicating the fisherman) to kill this cutpurse. There is no doubt about it. I am not guilty of such a crime. The two policemen. masters. when the king saw it. the reward shows that the king thought a lot of the ring. with a written order from the king. Release him. In its maw I see this ring with the magnificent great gem. Suchaka. Take half of it. Januka. You have done the king a good turn. (She descends to earth. Release the fishnet fellow.Seized her and vanished straight. Much obliged. is all the brandy we can hold. Januka. but shining bright. you know that the cuckoo goes crazy with delight when she sees the mango-blossom. It is worth as much as the ring. Well. Januka. Second maid. I am a fisherman. Master. Oh. Yes. Listen. When Kanva's pupils had departed. (Exit. King (walks about. You thief. It was this way.) Mishrakeshi. Portress. The gem must be worth something. two policemen. He is much obliged to the king. at the spot where Indra came down. Why speculate in vain? Let us seek repose. flying through the air. Januka (looking ahead).A butcher butchers things. And now I will see what this good king is doing. Our king told me so himself. He is a dead man come back to life.—In the Palace Gardens (Enter MISHRAKESHI. What does this mean? (Enter the chaplain. Chief. so pink. And then I was just trying to sell it here when you kind gentlemen grabbed me.A festival offering. tell us where you found this ring. Fisherman. little cuckoo? First maid. or else you will feed the crows and jackals. Now kill me. (He falls at his feet. Suchaka. or find fault with me. The two policemen. Fisherman. because she is the daughter of Menaka. Don't kill a man without any reason. (To the fisherman. he broke down for a moment. Chaplain. one day I was cutting up a carp. You can't just drop in on a king. There is the chief. Don't say that. and it has a magnificent great gem. With a hermit-wife I had no part. Good-bye. You know how dignified he is usually. No. Well? Chief. Second maid (joyfully). Fisherman. (Enter the chief.King (listening). (He releases the fisherman. Chief. My teacher. Go on.) Chief.) King. King. You have a sweet trade. Fisherman. Now we have to find out how he got it. oh! I'm a dead man.) Chief. Follow me. man. your Majesty. Januka. Fisherman. Take it. I hope the king will be nice to you. master. Your Majesty. Good! I will make myself invisible and stand near these girls who take care of the garden. You can't give up a lowdown tradeThat your ancestors began. (They walk about. (Exeunt omnes. Don't interrupt. wait here at the big gate until I come out of the palace. and a man with his hands bound behind his back. (He hands the fisherman a bracelet.) Suchaka. I might learn the reason by my power of divination. so green. it wasn't the fine gem that pleased the king. chief. Now.) ACT VI SEPARATION FROM SHAKUNTALA SCENE I. Januka. it seems to me. First mango-twig. with letters engraved on it. It is all right. you cutpurse.) Fisherman. Conduct me to my apartment. and I live on the Ganges. It has been in a fish's maw. Chief. Fisherman (showing fright). All for the sake of this fish-killer. he remembered somebody he loves. I think. Suchaka. Vetravati. Just as if he had been taken from the stake and put on an elephant's back. Quick! Quick! (He breaks off.) Fisherman. bemoaned her plight. to pay for something to drink.—In the street before the Palace (Enter the chief of police. It is the king's ring. Oh. But I must do as my friend asked me. What are you chirping about to yourself. pickpocket.) Chaplain (in amazement). Let him tell a straight story. What then? Chaplain. (Exeunt omnes. you know. Why. a wonderful thing has happened.) The two policemen (striking the man). move on. We must go to the palace. But I see no preparations for a celebration at court. (She looks about. Move on.And yet my sad and stricken heartWould more than half persuade me. Chief.All memories evade me. a second. The two policemen. I support my family with things you catch fish with—nets. Second policeman. Suchaka. I suppose the king thought you were a pious Brahman. and made you a present of it. No. I owe you my life. you are the biggest and best friend I've got. (All betray astonishment. his getting the ring. Talk. (He looks enviously at the fisherman.) Fisherman (joyfully taking it). we have already settled the matter. But as soon as he saw it. I have taken my turn in waiting upon the nymphs. little bee. And it was she who asked me to do this. chief. master. Enter a maid.

Vetravati. Chamberlain. The king's brother-in-law told us. Mishrakeshi. my friend. Victory to your Majesty. A beautiful figure charms in whatever state. Chamberlain. and had rejected her under a delusion. Follow me. (Exit. But I had told you of her at the first. Yes. and sleepless caresRedden his eyes. (They do so." one cried. And I was fool enough to believe you. Chamberlain (advancing). I am glad to hear it.) Mishrakeshi. and yetIts power of growth is gone. Yet all can work no harmOn that magnificent beauty. This good king has wonderful power. (Exeunt the two maids. (Exit. Lead the way to the bower of springcreepers.) I worship mighty Love. It is my only consolation. The mountains are calm even in a tempest. the proverb makes no mistake. dear. You have got rid of the vermin. He hates the things he loved. Chamberlain. Mishrakeshi (observing the king). the clown. A voice behind the scenes. The two maids. Chamberlain (listening). sir. MISHRAKESHI follows.) Chamberlain (angrily). Portress. I keep thinking of her pitiful state when I rejected her.First maid. Had you forgotten. Why did his Majesty forbid the spring festival?Mishrakeshi. No. We two are one. Yes. Yes. Its loneliness seems to bid you a silent welcome.Her father's representative. That goes without saying. your Majesty. wasting. speaks another name. And you asked her to bring you there the picture of the lady Shakuntala which you painted on a tablet. with its jewelled benches. Hold me. he remembered that he had indeed contracted a secret marriage with Shakuntala. No wonder Shakuntala pines for him. you were not with me when I rejected her. Clown.No sooner do I vainly weepFor her. I told you how I first met Shakuntala. even though he dishonoured her by his rejection of her. awakens but to weeping. this is the work of fate. man. Clown (to himself). Clown. Chamberlain (to himself). The two maids. I remember it all now. King. tell the minister Pishuna in my name that a sleepless night prevents me from mounting the throne of judgment. where shall I sit now to comfort my eyes with the vines? They remind me somehow of her. your Majesty. as I did? Mishrakeshi. Mishrakeshi. And you. It is in everybody's mouth. that you would spend this hour in the bower of spring-creepers. His Majesty's sorrow has forbidden the festival. little bee. For All ornament is laid aside.Yet pollen does not form. sir. the clever painter. A good man never lets grief get the upper hand. Ah. Clown. A few days ago. she could but giveA tear-dimmed glance to heartless me—That arrow burns me poisonously. Enough! I see your pious power. Do you dare pluck the mango-blossoms? The two maids (frightened). The amaranth-bud is formed. when he by courtesy is ledTo address a lady. he intermitsThe daily audience.Than the god of love prepared his bowAnd shot the mango-flower.) King (smiling). Thus. We did not know. I will hide among the vines and see the dear girl's picture. than spring is here. Go. wearing a dress indicative of remorse. Stop. But we are curious. No sooner did the ring recallMy banished maiden dear. What! You have not heard the king's command.The cuckoo's song sticks in his throat. He has got his Shakuntala-sickness again. But. My friend. You must not do so again. Forgive us. Chamberlain. Second maid. "Stay. No.Heard in its dreams my fawn-eyed love's laments. That is why we have heard nothing of this affair. I have examined the garden. See! No sooner did the darkness liftThat clouded memory's power. There must be some good reason. If I do. this isn't right at all. pray tell us. Second maid. Kings are fond of celebrations. Follow me.The love-god timidly puts byThe arrow he has drawn. Chamberlain. (They walk about.) Clown. he wearsOne golden bracelet on his wasted arm. then she triedTo join her people. nor in judgment sits. Clown. That is the poor girl's fate. It must be. that once lay sleeping.) Oh. his Majesty is pleasing even in his sorrow. King. we were sent to his Majesty by his brother-in-law Mitravasu to decorate the garden. (He raises his stick and strikes at the mango branch. so it is fragrant. O mango-twig I give to LoveAs arrow for his bow. King (after meditating a moment).Although the days are warm. the divine.Then stands for minutes. Why should I not tell it? (Aloud. sir. There is no doubt of it. (She throws the twig. See! The mango branches are in bloom.Spends sleepless nights in tossing on his bed. First maid. I will destroy Love's arrow with my stick. Let us go in and sit down. Yes. Now amuse yourself in this garden. First maid. He is to investigate the citizens' business and send me a memorandum. Wait a minute.) King. How his fault distresses him! . his Majesty approaches. Well. And then he fell a prey to remorse. see! The mango-blossom hasn't opened. And this is the time when you too buzz about in crazy joy. sunk in thought).) Here is the bower of spring-creepers. Parvatayana. man. Then I shall be able to tell her how deep her husband's love is. (She leans on her friend and takes the mango-blossom. Enter the chamberlain. Misfortune finds the weak spot. It is true.To bitter grief. (She brings her hands together. sir. Alas! My smitten heart. which is obeyed even by the trees of spring and the creatures that dwell in them. butGaining in brilliance. you said it was a joke and there was nothing in it. silly girl. (She hides. return to your post of duty. If we girls may know about it. but it has broken the sheath. my friend. My friend. King. King (sighing). Clown. up to the point where the ring was recovered. It is only right. you told one of the maids. and attend to your duties. The king has strictly forbidden the spring festival. Mishrakeshi.And wakened now. and the portress. Mishrakeshi.She stopped. like a diamond cut. It is delightful with the passing of the cold weather.) Have you heard the gossip concerning Shakuntala's rejection? The two maids. you must give me half the reward of the offering. while I stand on tiptoe and offer this blossom to Love. she turned. When his Majesty saw the ring.) Chamberlain (observing the king). I wish I knew how to cure him.Most sovereign of his arrows five. I am quite forlorn.His lip is scorched by sighs. Help me. But when you had told the whole story.At times. Enter the king. sunk in helpless shame. King (walks about slowly. I didn't forget. and tears of penitence.Strike maiden-targets low. Mishrakeshi. My friend. Thus: When I denied her. There is little more to tell.) King (sighing). Your Majesty may visit its retreats. dear. This shows that a king should not be separated a single moment from some intimate friend.

The poor fellow never saw her beauty. This. The stream of Malini. dream. And I will reproach this stick of mine. King. He has given the answer which I had ready.Or fatal retribution stern?My hopes fell down a precipiceAnd never. my darling wept and said: "But how long will you remember us. ring. is the lady Shakuntala. But in that case. you ought to take heart. There are three figures in the picture. the others are her friends. when love is increased by remorse. His madness was wonderful. while I am gone. Chaturika. Mishrakeshi. Maid. and they are all beautiful. not his awakening reason. My friend. I think. Why. Surely. King.The sweetest task of all.) I see. smiling light that fliesReflected from white teeth. Clown. It is your affair to punish evil-doers. my friend. The king is a clever painter. Tell me how you put the ring on her finger.Whose stamens brush her cheek. Mishrakeshi. I can only reproach this ring. How could you fall? Mishrakeshi. Listen. Your virtue. My heart persuades me that it was she. King (looking at the ring). here are proofs of my love. why do you waste your time in buzzing here? Your faithful. Mishrakeshi. King. Clown. dear. Something natural for a girl living in the forest. Her arms droop like weary branches. (Enter a maid with a tablet. or companions of hers. I treated her with scorn and loathing ever. King.Yet something of her beauty there. Exit maid. I think it is this one. Listen. like mine. with living beauty warm. get the brushes. (He looks more closely. What? Mishrakeshi. Then. Who else would dare to touch a faithful wife? Her friends told me that Menaka was her mother.) Maid. she has loosened her girdle. What more can I say? I expect to see it come to life. dear?" Clown. and so he flies to her lotus-face. King. King. Clown (looking at it). Well. never will return. it fell out cruelly.) King (gazing at it). Clown. My eyes seem to stumble over its uneven surface. That is why the virtuous king doubted his marriage with poor Shakuntala. here is the picture of our lady. King (sighing). for she never came before them. What in the picture is not fair. See! A graceful arch of brows above great eyes. is won. I should think he was going to fill up the picture with heavy-bearded hermits. Clown (aside).Is badly done.Clown. Which one is the lady Shakuntala? Mishrakeshi. But why does she cover her face with fingers lovely as the pink water-lily? She seems frightened. Mishrakeshi. it would deserve pity. Yet such love does not ask for a token. It was too charming an agreement to be frustrated by fate.) Clown. The siris-blossom. who scorned the mighty river. Mishrakeshi. Madhavya. Well. And then you said—-King. Let me see you again. My friend. whereThe yaks are seen.Her pink-nailed finger sweetYou clasped. and on its sandsThe swan-pairs resting. How could you fail to lingerOn her soft. dear. Clown. for the ribbon is loosened. Clown. Please hold the picture. and said to her—-Clown.Now o'er her pictured charms my heart will burst:A traveller I. bad bee. through my madness.Will come to lead you to my palace hallsA guide whom I shall send. who carried Shakuntala away. the ring shows that incredible meetings do happen.Lips bathed in darting. you are far away.And here the swelling of the paintShows where my sad tears fell. Her face is hot and the flowers are dropping from her hair. His eyes are useless. It has fallen from a heaven hard to earn. leaning against the creeper which she has just sprinkled. my heart burns with repentance because I abandoned you without reason. I don't doubt it was some heavenly being that carried her away. King. it fell. But that is no reason why I should starve to death. a mother or a father cannot long bear to see a daughter separated from her husband.And in the water fall? And yet Things lifeless know not beauty.A doe that on the buck's horn rubs her eye. Clown. King (not heeding). I seem to see the dear girl before me. and she seems a little fatigued. Clown (smiling). Clown. King. Mishrakeshi. O welcome guest of the flowering vine. Count every day one letter of my name.Before you reach the end. He steals honey. what? King. Then I put this engraved ring on her finger. To hear him talk. He speaks as if prompted by my curiosity.Perched on a flower. It is a beautiful picture. See where discolorations faintOf loving handling tell. madness. Mishrakeshi. What are you going to add? Mishrakeshi. I will hold it. When I left the pious grove for the city. Don't talk that way. Why. tapering finger. You will meet her again. love's brightness shedO'er all her face in bursts of liquid charm—The picture speaks. While she was worshipping the Ganges at Shachitirtha.I feel. Besides. athirst. a mouth as redAs red karkandhu-fruit. I have not finished the background. And another ornament that Shakuntala loved I have forgotten to paint. every spot that the dear girl loved. Why are you crooked when I am straight? King (not hearing him). (He does so. and I feel like speaking to it. I am the only one to hear these delightful words. King. loving queen.Is proved to be but small. This ring deserves pity.Is waiting for you still. How so? Clown. How could it have been? King. True. Well. The sketch is full of sweet meaning. . King. Your Majesty. fastened o'er her ear. You are good at guessing. O my darling. Clown. Take pity on me. This is natural. holy foot-hill landsOf great Himalaya's sacred ranges. Drive him away. But how did it get into a carp's mouth. Go. as if it had been a fishhook? King. Here is a bold. And was it phantom. My dear girl. Which one do you think? Clown (observing closely).And seeks in the mirage to quench his thirst. my friend. I see.Nor tastes the honey first. Clown. King. King.The lotus-chain like autumn moonlight softUpon her bosom meek. (She produces the tablet.But I—I scorned my duty. Clown. If it were worn on any other hand. King. and under trees that bearBark hermit-dresses on their branches high.

Well? Maid.As does the seed-receiving earth? Mishrakeshi. This he has reduced to writing for your Majesty's perusal. (Exit. Will you not obey my command? Then listen: 'Tis sweet as virgin blossoms on a tree. Your Majesty. "And yourself. the minister sends word that in the press of various business he has attended to only one citizen's suit. Portress. The child shall receive the inheritance. You are in the prime of your years. (She goes out and soon returns. King. A good suggestion. it will be so with the glory of Puru's line. Go. Man. Mishrakeski. She said that the gods. The proclamation shall be made. When I die. A picture? Mishrakeshi. King (sighing deeply). Help.When I am gone. Maid. Clown (aloud). Fate plays strangely with him. did you not meet Queen Vasumati? Portress. and is in darkness. Maid. "Be it known to his Majesty. She will not long be forsaken. Portress (turning back).) Your Majesty. (Enter the portress with a document. We have this moment heard that a merchant's daughter of Saketa is his wife.) Maid. My friend. he is courteous to his early flame. Give me the document. I will comfort dear Shakuntala with my tidings. And she is soon to become a mother. King. Yes. Surely. Reprove the queen in my name for not controlling her servants.You brought sad memories back. Thus. (He takes the picture and rises. Portress. Go. and they do not know.Mishrakeshi. And I will hide the thing there so that nothing but a pigeon could find it. Go to the Cloud Balcony and bring Madhavya to dispel his grief.) King (reads). Alas! The ancestors of Dushyanta are in a doubtful case. This kind are obstinate. There may be a wife who is with child. Your Majesty commands? . (Exit. your Majesty. (He sheds a tear. Who waits without? (Enter the chamberlain. The queen's dress caught on a vine.) The man is crazy. Yes.) Maid (in distress)." Clown. The Brahman's voice seems really changed by fear. wealth passes. I too understand it now. your Majesty. how can I endure a grief that has no respite? I cannot sleep at nightAnd meet her dreaming. the queen has come because she feels touched in her honour.And you shall be imprisoned in a flower. But to him. with cruel power. you have indeed atoned—and in her friend's presence—for the pain you caused by rejecting dear Shakuntala. King.) Chamberlain. impatient for the sacrifice. Portress." you might add. The proper medicine is needed for any disease. (To herself. (Enter the maid CHATURIKA. and the birth of a son to one of your other wives will make you blameless before your ancestors. Vetravati.Sting that dear lip. The queen knows times and seasons. The royal line that flowedA river pure and grand. Could I forsake the virtuous wifeWho held my best. O bee. Vetravati. he doesn't seem afraid of your dreadful punishment. She means to make one mouthful of the maid. But she turned back when she saw that I carried a document. (The portress does so. King. A seafaring merchant named Dhanavriddhi has been lost in a shipwreck. to a stranger. the she-tiger of the palace is making a spring on her prey.King (betraying his sorrow). You have done an ill-natured thing. what child of theirs will bringThe scriptural oblation. Chaturika. King. Mishrakeshi.The lip I kissed in love-feasts tenderly. man. what does it matter whether he have issue or not? Let King Dushyanta be proclaimedTo every sad soul kinThat mourns a kinsman loved and lost. Though his heart is given to another. King. King. King. Portress. She will not interrupt business.) It is dreadful to be childless. Mishrakeshi. Well. help! King (comes to himself and listens). inform the minister. King (angrily). Alas! I despised the happiness that offered itself to me. Will he not go. My friend.Like streams in desert sand. (He swoons.) King. Help. To himself. Oh. reverts to the crown. sir. your Majesty. (She starts to go. Follow me.) Mishrakeshi. call for me at the Cloud Balcony.Yet did not plunge in sin. Mishrakeshi. A voice behind the scenes. Will his Majesty take action?" (Sadly. Victory to your Majesty.I cannot see the sketchWhile tears are streaming. Wait a moment. Portress.Dies in the childless king. I was coming back with the box of paint-brushes— -King.) The voice. King. I excused myself in a hurry. when issue fails. King. come to yourself. Love works a curious change even in a brave man. You had better take care of this picture. King. saying: "I will take it to the king myself. Yes. your Majesty. and their tearsAlready mingle with my offering. Without doubt. (Exit on the run. There must be several wives. Clown. and his property.And when my heart was warm.) Portress. Clown (listening). After all. the minister's report has doubled our lord's remorse. (Exit through the air. And while her maid was setting her free. I heard the mother of the gods consoling Shakuntala. help! King. from associating with him. A gentlemanly way to drive him off! Clown. How did you escape? Maid. For I am childless. your Majesty. though I warn him? Mishrakeshi. Your Majesty. Your Majesty. my future lifeAnd cherished it for glorious birth. He is screened from the light. on the death of the head of the family. I met Queen Vasumati with the maid Pingalika. When I was happy in the sight.) He does not heed me. Clown. thoughts are real experiences. My friend.) A voice behind the scenes.) King. would soon cause him to welcome his true wife. your Majesty. And the queen snatched the box from me. Mistress. Let inquiry be made. Portress. It sounds as if Madhavya were in distress. Maid (to the portress). Heaven avert the omen! King. (Laughing. King. even when you warn them. and madeMy love a painted form. I must delay no longer. the royal proclamation was welcomed by the populace as is a timely shower. I hope that Pingalika and the other maids did not catch poor Madhavya with the picture in his hands. he had great riches.) Mishrakeshi. he has dear Shakuntala in mind when he thus reproaches himself. He is childless. Do not give way to grief. Yes. It is only a picture.) If you get out of the trap alive. Shall I make him happy now? No. He is a constant friend. Maid. amounting to several millions. and I am just as bad.

In which path of the winds are we? Matali. while I drink the red blood flowing clearAnd kill you.Could dawn defeat the darkness otherwiseThan resting on the chariot of the sun? Matali.Guides the stars in wheeling flight. O King. no! For the honour given me at parting went far beyond imagination. (All make haste. acquaint the minister Pishuna with the matter. King. because his son Jayanta's heartBeat quicker. On the Cloud Balcony. There is a host of demons who call themselves Invincible—the brood of Kalanemi. as a tiger kills a deer. Here. Chamberlain. and returns trembling. King. Matali. freed from dust of passion. he seated me beside him on his throne.Fire blazes when 'tis stirred. you shall smiteHis foes in battle soon.) King. Writhe. though I have done what Indra commanded. Chamberlain. everUpholds the threefold heavenly river. There is no one here. King. Take your bow at once. My very palace is invaded by evil creatures. (After a little. Well! He came within an inch of butchering me.Let King Dushyanta grasp his bow. king of the gods. canGuide every deed of every man? The voice. Hurry. bornOf age. Matali. O King! Your glory has the happiness of being published abroad in heaven. driving them with reins of light. commands.And placed about my neck the heavenly wreathStill fragrant from the sandal on his breast. See why poor Madhavya is screaming so. This merely proves Indra's majesty.Darkness that overcomes the day. we could not see.Shall slay the wretch and spare the innocent. Heaven's king is powerless. and the milk drink up. The feeling becomes you.) See. Have no fear! When something has got me by the back of the neck. increasing.) Another voice behind the scenes.Which. (Exit. The Clown's voice. I hope not. So Narada has told me. Tell me. save me! I see you. A bow and arrows. I am grateful for the honour which Indra shows me. Hear. King (hastily withdrawing the arrow). Parvatayana? Chamberlain. I am all attention. enter my heavenly chariot. The moral stumblings of mine own. I saw that you were overpowered by some inner sorrow. O King. From great danger. O King! King.) Where is the stairway.Not cruel shafts. Welcome to the charioteer of heaven's king. Matali. Parvatayana. Matali.Is scattered by the moon.) Matali.) King.And. but glances soft and kindShould fall upon a friend. you shall die. I think myself an unprofitable servant. but howCan all his kingly valour save you now? King (angrily). King (rising quickly). your Majesty. And you welcome him. I will see. While he was resting on its height. hurry! King (hears the voice and quickens his steps).) It seems that we have descended into the region of the clouds. open to the four winds of heaven—-King. the simple storyOf those brave deeds that made your glory. What has happened there? Chamberlain. How do you perceive it? . Very well. I am a mouse in the claws of the cat. as Indra.King. I will tell you.Brave men are roused to fighting moodBy some insulting word.The daily slips. For You count the service givenSmall by the welcome paid. Do not hope to escape by clinging to my friend. too! In one moment. the king and MATALI. when I passed before. I am done for. and is trying to break my bones like a piece of sugar-cane! King (looks about). miserable demon. seizeYour limbs and bid them shakeLike fig-leaves in the breeze? Chamberlain. Exeunt omnes. But why did you act thus toward Madhavya? Matali. King. For The spurnèd snake will swell his hood.) King (Looking about).As worth their song. and add these words of mine: Your wisdom only shall controlThe kingdom for a time.Which palace peacocks in their flightCan hardly reach. My arrow. by Man-lion's crooked claws. Ah. Then why do you tremble so? For Why should the trembling. when I remember his most gracious welcome. From what? Chamberlain.) ACT VII (Enter. are scarcely known. But shall not my arrow see you? Stand still. Matali. King. my friend. Save me. It is the windpath sanctifiedBy holy Vishnu's second stride. Matali. You are proud of your invisibility. from peace-loving Indra's swayThe demon-thorn was plucked away:First. He scorns me. To be a king.) Greek woman. Matali. That is why serenity pervades me. he seemed to beSnatched up—by what. for what purpose Indra sends me to you.When milk is mixed with water in a cup.) Matali. I was intent on fighting the demons. Clown. Enter MATALI and the clown. The voice.Again. Matali (smiling). and set forth for victory. flying when the bow is bent. King. It is Matali.Gods write upon the surface givenOf many a magic vine. by the selfsame wish oppressed. (The king does so. O King. in a chariot that flies through the air. Enter the chariot.Who then that rules a kingdom. and tasks sublime. King. body and soul. And here are the finger-guards. I must obey the bidding of heaven's king.My bow is strung. Clown. But what do you not deserve from heaven's king? Remember: Twice. and acted thus to rouse you. Before the gods. is to be a disappointed man. (He observes the path taken by the chariot. and did not observe this region. Speak plainly. (The king takes the bow and arrows. And then He smiled. Friend Madhavya. (He goes out. Chamberlain. a distant goalCalls me. know that each considers himself the other's debtor. Save your friend. (He takes aim.Swans leave the water. Seek foes among the evil powers alone.For them your bow should bend. if you can't see me. I hope it is nothing very dreadful. With colours used by nymphs of heavenTo make their beauty shine. by your smooth shafts to-day. King.Which to the king of heavenSeems mean for such brave aid. King. (Stringing his bow. Go. King. Have no fear. your Majesty. King. A bow! a bow! (Enter a Greek woman with a bow. Remember: All servants owe success in enterpriseTo honour paid before the great deed's done. man.

) Wait here. I must not neglect the happy chance. You are not related. (He approaches. both from his looks and his actions. Matali. The little rascal is tormenting him. dear.For smaller streams at last appear:It seems as if some being threwThe world to me. (He stretches out his hand.) Boy.) Oh.They hide their trustful heads beneathYour heart. King. whose wife Aditi tends the coral-trees.And chariot-wheels that drip with spray—A path o'er pregnant clouds betray. The father warmsAnd loves the very dirt they bringUpon their little forms. King (gazing). Hermit-woman.'Twould grieve your father's pious heartAnd trouble it. In surprise. I too will descend.) Before you.) It is a child.Whom clinging vines are choking.Why thrill—in vain?For heavenly bliss once thrown awayTurns into pain. But how will you fare? Matali.) They show their little buds of teethIn peals of causeless laughter. (Enter a small boy. still we seem to fly through air. King. Plovers that fly from mountain-caves. when it grows. O King. Matali. King. Here is deeper contentment than in heaven. King.The lioness' milk half-sucked.A tiny spark that soonTo awful flame may turn. O King. O King. First woman.Are chaste where nymphs of heaven roam:They mortify desire and sinWith things that others fast to win. The wheels are mute on whirling rim. King (listening). Second woman. King. We have entered the hermitage of the ancient sage.) Ancient Shakalya. (Sighing. Why do you say that. (Exit. imperious fist. its flanks sinking into the eastern and into the western sea? It drips liquid gold like a cloud at sunset. So it would seem.Half-buried in an ant-hill that has grownAbout him. I am astonished to see how much the boy looks like you. Second woman. No naughtiness could feel at home in this spot. The desires of the great aspire high. to me unknown. All honour to one who mortifies the flesh so terribly.What measureless content must fillThe man who calls the child his own! Hermit-woman (looking at the two). as described.) King (looking at the hand. he is not the son of a hermit. Won't you mind me? (She looks about. Who draws such a rebuke upon himself? (He looks towards the sound.They bathe religiously in poolsWhich golden lily-pollen cools. I want to count your teeth. .Is most unfit. Matali (checking the chariot). Very well.The stranger's son. tough and sore. I will. Boy (smiling). what mountain is this.) Boy. and I can't make him let go. (He loosens the boy's hold on the cub. Let the little lion go. Matali (stopping the chariot). The king's arm throbs. He drags a struggling lion cub.You spoil it. how is Marichi's holy son occupied? (He listens. Matali.) We have come down to earth. and touching him. Don't! You mustn't be so foolhardy.) O little son of a great sage! Your conduct in this place apart. Where is it? Give it to me. this is Gold Peak. Why should my heart go out to this boy as if he were my own son? (He reflects. insensate thereThat birds build nests within his mat of hair. King (looking down). The lioness will spring at you if you don't let her baby go. But. in answer to her question. Go. Matali. King. And stumbling afterCome sweet. Matali. I seem plunged in a pool of nectar. King (descending). See! Where stands the hermit. Matali. It is a worthy thought. For The plains appear to melt and fallFrom mountain peaks that grow more tall. Matali. till I have announced your coming to the sire of Indra.Like some lone lily opening slowTo meet the kindling blush of dawn. Suvrata. smiling. Meanwhile I'll play with this one. O King. Matali.) He has one of the imperial birthmarks! For Between the eager fingers growThe close-knit webs together drawn. O King.Child of the Uncreated One. the duties of a faithful wife? My matter must await a fitter time. awe-struck. Descend.) It makes me thrill to touch the boy. the mountain of the fairy centaurs. I had no suspicion of anything else. sir. First woman. (Exit MATALI. See! The ancient sage. Hermit-woman (looks and laughs). (He does so. standing post-like and alone. Oh. (The chariot descends.) There is a noble loveliness in the earth. My heart goes out to this wilful child. we can't make him stop by talking. a happy omen. Your energy seems to take the form of striking something. The chariot obeys the word of command. Marichi's son. I will give you another plaything. King. (He turns to the king. I cannot go farther until I have walked humbly about the holy one. Matali. Their appetites are fed with airWhere grows whatever is most fair. To animals he is as goodAs good can be.The dead skin of a serpent on his breast:So long he stood unmoved. Hermit-woman (shaking her finger). will burn. Boy. O King. King. A voice behind the scenes. are the groves where the holiest hermits lead their self-denying life.Father of superhuman life. King. (He walks about and speaks to some one not visible. sir. King (astonished). says to himself. mother? Hermit-woman.Sun-staring with dim eyes that know no rest. Besides.) I dare not hope for what I pray. First woman. sir. horridly austere. In which direction lies the hermitage of Marichi's son? Matali (pointing). The boy is seed of fireWhich. No wonder the hermits call you All-tamer.The river network now is clear. I look with amazement both at their simplicity and at what they might enjoy. Very well. in the shade of the ashoka tree.Steeds that quick-flashing lightning laves. but skim:Still.) No doubt my childless state makes me sentimental. Such is the glory of the chariot which obeys you and Indra.) Which one of the hermit-boys is here? (She sees the king. Oh. the dust is lying there. and tries to drubHim tame with small. and two hermit-women.Unstirred.The trunks of trees no longer hideNor in their leafy nests abide. halfmissed. You are right. you are always the same.Towzles his mane. unmeaning sounds that singTo you. You are a good observer. In my cottage you will find a painted clay peacock that belongs to the hermitboy Mankanaka. King (reverently). And in a moment you will be in the world over which you bear rule. our quick descent gives the world of men a mysterious look.Dwells here austerely with his wife. I'm dreadfully scared. but no child in strength. like a black snake's broodIn sandal tree. Bring him that. Here it is that ascetics most fully attain to magic powers. Wonderful! wonderful! King.They pray within a jewelled home. (He bites his lip.We do not bump the earth. Open your mouth. for clearer view.) What do you say? That he is explaining to Aditi. why do you torment our pets? They are like children to us. And two hermit-women are trying to control him. please come here and free this lion cub. Let him go. (He looks down.King. cub. Naughty boy. But in this spot.) King (in surprise).

Spurning a garland. mother? Shakuntala. My desires bear sweeter fruit because fulfilled through a friend. I would rather you wore it. But how could human beings. Rise.) The two women. Suvrata. Dushyanta is my father. 'Twas madness. My darling. I congratulate you. Matali. . King (to himself). Victory. Mother.) King.) But this is the custom of Puru's line: In glittering palaces they dwellWhile men. my child. We must go and tell her what has happened. That was why it was so impossible for me to win your confidence. I trust this hope may not prove a disappointment in the end. Eclipse flees far. Boy. It is she. Ask fate. Will you not recognise me? Shakuntala (to herself).The single braid. (Enter MATALI) Matali.) Kashyapa (looking at the king). (The king rises.) First woman (looks at the boy. they lay their hands on their bosoms.The long vow paid. Boy. Surely. It is not my husband.Comes memory. it is wrong to concern myself with one who may be another's wife. wishes to see you. Come. Black madness flies. (He starts to pick it up. (He reflects. King. I will tell you when I have plucked out the dart of sorrow. Come. Oh. Did you ever see this happen to any one else? Both women. (She weeps. Oh. my memory returned. lestIt prove a snake. King.) What is hidden from the gods? Come. It is the custom in times of festival. King (joyfully).) King. You are quite right.Before my eyesMy love I see. And he calls me his son. Ah. and look at each other. bring our son. and deceived him. Listen.) Shakuntala (sees more clearly and discovers the ring). Yes. the careless dress. that could let slipA tear to burden your dear lip. dear. mother. Shakuntala. sister. and she bore her son in the pious grove of the father of the gods.) King. Mother.Light follows soon. the cruelty I showed you has turned to happiness. Doubtfully). He loves his mother. Suppose I ask the boy for his mother's name. Here is the bird. King (to himself). King. the amulet is not on his wrist. My son.Then make the grove their home in age. on reunion with your wife and on seeing the face of your son. But the boy's mother was related to a nymph. no one may touch it except the boy's parents or the boy himself. Dear. Who is the man that soils my boy with his caresses? The amulet should protect him. Kashyapa. he is a man that belongs to other people. (He falls at her feet. Fate struck hard. my heart. The family of Puru. a second ground for hope. King. But I do not trust my own happiness. worn face. Do not be anxious. Shakuntala (seeing the king pale with remorse. I have heard that All-tamer's amulet did not change when it should have done so.Strangely did madness striveReason to banish. This is a divine and most potent charm. your Majesty. called the Invincible. (Aloud. my dear husband. I do not trust it.And die in austere hermitage.Love's joy to shake. It fell while he was struggling with the lion cub. the shakunta. Marichi's holy son gave it to the baby when the birth-ceremony was performed. Isn't the shakunta lovely? Boy (looks about).) First woman. Let me go. King. I want to see my mother. Where is my mamma? (The two women burst out laughing. King.) First woman. King. With plaintive joy). I am ashamed to go before such parents with my husband. It sounded like her name. (She walks about. (Enter the first woman.) No.Let the sin vanish. Shakuntala. Look. My dear wife. attain this spot? Hermit-woman. (They walk about. It becomes a serpent and stings him. was not this matter known to Indra? Matali (smiling. (Exeunt ambo. like a mirage. This story points at me. with ADITI. wearing her hair in a single braid. if he is not the son of a hermit.) King (looking at SHAKUNTALA. don't." That is all. King (caressing the boy). Then let the vine receive her flower. but the lips are red.) Boy. Who would speak his name? He rejected his true wife. And if another touch it? First woman. King (smiling). All-tamer. believe it. It is Shakuntala. If it falls on the ground. Shakuntala. Then why may I not welcome my hopes fulfilled at last? (He embraces the boy. Shakuntala. More than once. King (to himself). Thus blindness works in men. Aditi. me pitiless. have acted so? You are so kind. sir. but its envy is gone and pity takes its place.The loving starDraws to the moon. not you. Anxiously). And when a miracle recovered it. graceful wife. don't! (They look at him. (Enter SHAKUNTALA.My soul with victory is fed.(He does so. O King. King (to himself). and rule the country well.) Shakuntala (doubtfully). She said: "See how pretty the peacock is. it was some old sin of mine that broke my happiness—though it has turned again to happiness. King. My husband. what is his family? Hermit-woman. Can it fly? (He seizes the toy. Second woman. Who is he. I like this little peacock.) But what brought back the memory of your suffering wife? King. of their own mere motion. His mother's name is Shakuntala! But names are alike.he is a perverse little creature and he does not know you. victo—-. KASHYAPA appears seated. It is my husband. in vain. King. it is the ring! King. you shall go with me to greet your mother.Show her still true. sweet. I could not appear without you before the holy one.On graceful lashes seen to-day.) Shakuntala. sweet. The tears would choke you. King. Otherwise. Why did you try to prevent me? First woman.) Second woman. Yet he takes no dislike to you. Boy.) What was the name of the good king whose wife she was? Hermit-woman. Boy (running to his mother). The pale. Yet perhaps it is as Mishrakeshi told me. He is of one family with me! Then could my thought be true? (Aloud. Shakuntala is busy with her religious duties.(Tears choke her utterance. how could you. Marichi's holy son.Because I see your face again—No jewels.) He has touched it! (Astonished. forget. Oh. You show I am right by contradicting me. as earnest of her union with spring. with the clay peacock.

Matali. entered a thick wood. I sinned against Kanva. King. holy one. the hope of my race centres in him. My daughter.Repaid by sacrificial gain. Approach them.That Vishnu. Then when the king had slain thousands of wild creatures. and has taken Shakuntala with her child to himself. she came to Aditi. my son. Come. Can there be more than this? Yet may this prayer be fulfilled. beautiful hermitage on the bank of the sacred river Malini. do not accuse yourself of sin. holy one. Yes.All-tamer was his common name. King. you know the truth. high-souled Kanva. how his daughter and her son have been received by her husband. The story has a natural place there. King (with a sigh of relief. and who rules the earth. Galava. Holy one.His car will travel easily. let us be seated.) Kashyapa (indicating one after the other). (SHAKUNTALA and her son fall at their feet. my memory failed and I rejected her. Thank heaven! My husband did not reject me of his own accord. And the king beheld a wonderful. O King. And be invincible. when he did not see the sage. Then the king determined to enter. I anticipate everything from him. servant of Indra. Aditi. And this seems very wonderful to me. Holy one. your son is like his son.For he will bear the world alone. Holy one. Kashyapa. King. Then I perceived the matter by my divine insight. What more. Kashyapa. shall I do for you? King.The darkness flies. I am here.Which. King.And you. Kashyapa.Reflections are not seen in dusty glass. It is indeed they. with a mighty host of men and chariots. he entered another wood with his troops and his chariots. He really did not remember me. do I seeGreat Kashyapa and Mother Aditi?The pair that did produce the sun in heaven. O King.As Bharata he shall be known.Though seeing him stride by. (Exit. and then the fruit.) Pupil. When after a time her relatives brought her to me. Aditi. The flower comes first. It is most true. who is kin to you. and set out for your capital. for my friends warned me most earnestly to show my husband the ring. the story runs as follows:— THE EPIC TALE Once that strong-armed king. will mirror all the things that pass. and perceived that the . in hell. Tell him how Durvasas' curse has come to an end. Like one who doubts an elephant. O King. But Menaka is waiting upon me here and cannot be spared. but did not see the austere sage in the hermitage. cleaned. King. (All seat themselves. Dushyanta. Aditi. The holy one has expressed my own desire. My son. holy one. Remember: The curse it was that brought defeat and pain. how Dushyanta recovered his memory. whither the great sages resorted. In so doing. Your husband equals Indra. but youFirst helped.And yet believes when he has seenThe footprints left. Shakuntala's son. I perceived that I had married her. Holy one. I suppose I did not hear the curse in my absent-minded state.The seven islands of the earthWill bow before his matchless worth. Journeying over every sea.The clouds appear before the rain. for whom I myself have performed the birth-rite and the other ceremonies. Kashyapa. I saw that the unfortunate girl had been rejected by her rightful husband because of Durvasas' curse.Whose bow makes Indra's weapon seem no moreThan a fine plaything. Shakuntala (to herself). Piety.'Tis King Dushyanta. Yes. kingOf gods.With aid long mutually given. and he in heaven. your favour shown to us is without parallel. fly through the air at once. since you have performed the rites for him. I married this your maid-servant by the voluntary ceremony.Chose as his parents with a fond desire.That brought the king of all the gods to birth.Effect comes after cause. for Bharata. Matali. carrying pleasant tidings from me to holy Kanva. intent on pursuing a deer. Then. To himself). holy one. King (falling before them). And that the curse would end when the ring came to light. King. I seeA trinity to bless the world—Faith.And wisdom grow in scholars' band. Kanva knows the whole matter through his divine insight. Treasure. Shakuntala (to herself). Do not now give way to anger against your rightful husband. (Exeunt omnes. My son.) Yet he should hear from us the pleasant tidings.) Kashyapa. keep the favour of your husband. rule the earth long. Kashyapa. afflicted at her rejection.Because wild beasts to him were tame. He laid aside the insignia of royalty and went on alone. Kashyapa. When the nymph Menaka descended to earth and received Shakuntala. Kanva also should be informed that his daughter's wishes are fulfilled. that he might see the great sage Kanva. holy one. CONTENTS THE STORY OF SHAKUNTALA In the first book of the vast epic poem Mahabharata. My son. when I saw the ring. lacking sterner worth. Kashyapa. My son. May kingship benefit the land. Faithful Shakuntala. enter with child and wife the chariot of your friend Indra. I am all attention. on its bank was the beautiful hermitage of blessèd. the boy. Matali. And may this fine boy be an honour to the families of both parents.Who rules in heaven. King. His valour might be inferred from his appearance. is the eponymous ancestor of the princes who play the leading part in the epic. Listen. My child.) Kashyapa (to the king).May Shiva see my faith on earthAnd make me free of all rebirth. My daughter. Kalidasa found the story of Shakuntala.To which each year twelve changing forms are given. You granted the fulfilment of our wishes before you called us to your presence. then made your favour plain.Rule you on earth. King. rich in holiness. Then I am free from blame. Aditi. For. Kashyapa. King. I hope you have greeted as he deserves the son whom Shakuntala has borne you. For now May Indra send abundant rain. Kashyapa. Matali. than the Uncreated higher. and on the earth. Kashyapa. does reverence to you both. Who waits without? (Enter a pupil.No further blessing need I bring:Win bliss such as his wife has won. Your infatuation was inevitable. so I. you are his queen again. he who goes beforeYour son in battle. (He reflects. the parents of the gods look upon you with a glance that betrays parental fondness. Sprung from the Creator's children. Know then that his courage will make him emperor. With no little abbreviation of its epic breadth. Pupil. But afterwards. such is the favour shown by the parents of the world. I will do my best.

she seemed to consume the king as she gazed at him with sidelong glances. of what nature are the principal changes which a dramatist must introduce in the original. Pray remove it. deserted at birth. Now the moment he was gone. and ran about playing with them. and of a lofty soul. her lips quivered. he introduces the curse of Durvasas. and smilingly added: "What may be done for you?" Then the king said to the sweet-voiced maid: "I have come to pay reverence to the holy sage Kanva. and added: "I will bring you too to my city. Kalidasa has changed the old story in three important respects. dear. the very form of the epic tale is largely dramatic. these I pardon you. he was pleased and said: "What you have done. my son shall rule this foursquare earth adorned with kingly mountains. great-eyed darling. steadfast. As a six years' child in Kanva's hermitage he rode on the backs of lions." said the king without thinking. O King." Shakuntala said: "Promise me truly what I say to you in secret. and he is austere. and said: "This union which I had with you was hidden from the world. because you love me. How were you born his daughter. yes. Therefore I hesitated. honoured by the world." When he saw how strong the boy was. and he said to her: "Who are you? Whose are you. You are the boy's father. forgetting me and meeting a man. and tell them to bring my sweet-smiling bride to my palace. And Shakuntala was ashamed and did not come to meet her father. he would not be pure. and seeing the matter with celestial vision. to-day. Become my lovely wife. Kanva said to his pupils: "Quickly bring my Shakuntala and her son from my house to her husband's palace. A long abiding with their relatives is not proper for married women." Shakuntala said: "My blessèd father has gone from the hermitage to gather fruits. Let your love be sacred. why do you say. for you are beautiful? I am in great perplexity about this. there is no union with a man like you. "Welcome!" she said at once. Do not despise Shakuntala. [1] Either go or stay. sweet maid. In the first place. the king is decidedly contemptible." When she had said so much to the king." Dushyanta said: "But he is chaste. His wife also Dushyanta honoured. he saw that she was radiant in her beauty. Her eyes darkened with passionate indignation. Do not break your promise. the best of men. sweet-smiling girl. overcome by grief and anger. When Shakuntala drew near. His hands were marked with the wheel. That there may be an ultimate recovery . For even without you. cared for by birds (shakuntas). And the king soothed her. clouding the king's memory.hermitage was deserted. the king went thoughtfully to find Kanva.] Dushyanta said: "You are clearly a king's daughter. Wait a moment. Women are liars. and they set out with Shakuntala and her son for Gajasahvaya." But when the sage saw the boy and his more than human deeds. she held in check the magic power that her ascetic life had given her. It is plain that this story contains the material for a good play. But a bodiless voice from heaven said to Dushyanta: "Care for your son. sacred is holy God." "So be it. austere man?" he wondered. austere Kanva had divine discernment. The son that is born to me must be your heir. when we met." When he had made this promise. just as you promised before. his face must be saved. lovely maiden? Why did you come to the forest? Whence are you. and sacred is a holy promise. Shakuntala. especially in my presence? You wicked hermit-woman. what shall I do for you? Let all my kingdom be yours to-day. Shakuntala. tigers. But blessed. It destroys their reputation. holy." [Shakuntala here explains how she is the child of a sage and a nymph. my beautiful. you wicked hermit-woman? I do not remember a union with you for virtue. he said: "I do not remember. It is also plain. although he remembered her. the sweet hermit-girl half fainted from shame and grief. and will not believe. And when he had bidden her be of good courage. alas! I must go away. Then those who lived in Kanva's hermitage gave him a name. he went back to his capital. O Queen. or do whatever you wish. go!" Shakuntala said: "O King. For while Shakuntala is charming in the epic story." The king did not see the sage. this holy. I wish to know you better. in her hard vows and self-restraint all youth and beauty. a noble son shall be born to you. sweet girl. Though virtue should swerve from its course. Dushyanta. Where has the blessèd one gone. She seemed to meditate a moment. lovely maid. So the king took the faultlessly graceful maiden by the hand and dwelt with her. sweet girl? Tell me this." When the king heard her. O King. "What will he do when he hears it. glorious maid. he cried aloud. he would be suspected by the world. Become my wife. so lovely and so good? Your beauty stole my heart at the first glance. A man who loves may marry secretly the woman who loves him without a ceremony. "Let him be called All-tamer. and the words she spoke were very sweet: "O Dushyanta. a maiden." Then King Dushyanta gave the name Bharata to Shakuntala's son." When he said this. who gave her the name Shakuntala. If I had received my son simply because of her words. sweet maid. and still thinking." said all the mighty men. this does not break the law. You must anoint him crown prince. Shakuntala started to go. If you promise.' like any other ordinary man?" Dushyanta said: "I do not know the son born of you. found and reared by Kanva. she was recognised and invited to enter. He kissed his head and embraced him lovingly. he said to Shakuntala: "It is time for him to be anointed crown prince. mighty in the world. Since you have found a loving husband. Who will believe what you say? Are you not ashamed to say these incredible things. and tamed them. and she said to the king: "This is your son. and he quickly grew to be a glorious boy. in order to save your reputation. He discovered her. the king joyfully said to his chaplain and his ministers: "Hear the words of this heavenly messenger. lovely as Shri. he went forth. Hearing his cry. Answer me." When he heard the utterance of the gods. Concealing her feelings and nerved by anger. sweet maiden. Dushyanta. Tell me. saying again and again: "I will send a complete army for you. and wealth. love. came from the hermitage. then spoke passionately: "O shameless king." they said: "for he tames everything. so take her without delay. She gazed at her husband. but when the lovely girl of the fair hips and charming smile spoke to him. and their character. You shall see him when he returns. If you cling to a lie." Then the king received his son gladly and joyfully. wearing a hermit garb. And as for the cruel words you said to me in an excess of passion. Shakuntala tells the truth. as you say. greeting him. 'I do not know." Sweet Shakuntala gave birth to a boy of unmeasured prowess. Dushyanta. he would not swerve from the hardness of his vow. "Who is here?" until the forest seemed to shriek. and Dushyanta is virtuous and noble. in a large way. and boars near the hermitage. Kanva came to the hermitage. and saving him from moral responsibility in his rejection of Shakuntala. and stood stiff as a pillar. and their virtue. I am known as blessed Kanva's daughter. I will marry you. as justice required." "We will. To whom do you belong. wise. To effect this. although you know. and had him anointed crown prince. Somehow or other." The maiden laughed when thus questioned by the king in the hermitage.

whom they feel to possess a deeper nature than theirs. with most of seven. with the small boy running about in the background. This. The small boy in the last act has magically become an individual in Kalidasa's hands. In the epic there are but three characters—Dushyanta. it is from the longer of the two more familiar ones that the translation in this volume has been made. And each of these great experiences has been met with a courage and a sweetness to which no words can render justice. yet his use of the original is remarkably minute. We cannot take leave of Shakuntala in any better way than by quoting the passage [2] in which Lévi's imagination has conjured up "the memorable première when Shakuntala saw the light. Though lovely women walk the world to-day By tens of thousands. the hermit-father. The forest scenes are peopled with quiet hermit-folk. the curse is so modified as to last only until the king shall see again the ring which he has given to his bride. as it was probably intended to give the actors considerable latitude of choice and excision. The marriage without a ceremony is retained (Act IV). there is none so fair In all that exhibition and display With her most perfect beauty to compare— because it is a most perfect beauty of soul no less than of outward form. No small part of the give-andtake between the king and Shakuntala is given (Act V). It is with these that scissors must be chiefly busy when the play—rather too long for continuous presentation as it stands—is performed on the stage. or as a school-book. as in some other Hindu heroes. while those of the latter contribute more of poetical charm. But all the other characters sink into insignificance beside the heroine. The boy's rough play with wild animals is made convincing (Act VII) and his very nickname All-tamer is preserved (Act VII). and Kalidasa has so delicately managed the matter as not to shock even a modern and Western reader with a feeling of strong improbability. but with a new dignity. Kanva's celestial vision. in no way obscuring human passion. the acts of the former group are more dramatic. Kanva. with a part of act seven. The curious formation of the boy's hand which indicated imperial birth adds to the king's suspense (Act VII). As might have been anticipated. there could have been no separation. and the reunion with her husband. Kanva. In the second place. she has passed through happy love. but robbed of all offence. Shakuntala dominates the play. for without the curse. three. In this act too are the creatures of a higher world. the poet makes Shakuntala undertake her journey to the palace before her son is born. Priyamvada vivacious. saucy. which made it unnecessary for his child to tell him of her union with the king. In the warm discussion over this matter. A list of the epic suggestions incorporated in his play is long. The briefer version. Of the construction of the play I speak with diffidence. To the Hindu. Kalidasa has added much to the epic tale. and pad it all over. for so noble a union of sweetness with strength is one of the miracles of art. We find. The conventional clown plays a much smaller part in this play than in the others which Kalidasa wrote. It was a happy thought to place beside him the staid. the mother's joys and pains. there is also a more general consideration which seems to me of importance. it may be remarked. the second and the sixth. Shakuntala. and a greater probability is given to the whole story. their majesty not rendered too precise. Several versions of the text have been preserved. curse and modification are matters of frequent occurrence. indeed. When we first meet her. The two are beautifully differentiated: Anusuya grave. The king's anxiety to discover whether the maiden's father is of a caste that permits her to marry him is reproduced (Act I). sober. yet wonderfully united in friendship and in devotion to Shakuntala. she is a simple maiden. and her spirit pervades the other two. four. But these changes do not of themselves make a drama out of the epic tale. Her character grows under our very eyes. certain technical arguments of some weight have been advanced in favour of this choice. from the hermitage. proved at last not to have been unworthy. knowing no greater sorrow than the death of a favourite deer. the king's character is thus made to appear in a better light. are a creation of the poet. The quaint derivation of the heroine's name from shakunta—bird—is used with wonderful skill in a passage (Act VII) which defies translation. might easily grow out of the longer. no ensuing remorse. But it is worth making. He has also less humour. Dushyanta has been saved by the poet from his epic shabbiness. and six. a shade too much of the meditative to suit our ideal of more alert and ready manhood. and wins the love of increasing thousands in the West. The third change is a necessary consequence of the first." . is the only scene of rollicking humour in Kalidasa's writing. it may be doubted whether more has been done. either as an acting text. but rather giving to human passion an unwonted largeness and universality. most cruel humiliation and suspicion. without making the fraud apparent on almost every page. in the presence of Vikramaditya and his court. as it involves a play on words. on the other hand.of memory. Kanva's worldly wisdom as to husband and wife dwelling together is reproduced (Act IV). Shakuntala has held captive the heart of India for fifteen hundred years. motherly Gautami. Thus the king lays aside the insignia of royalty upon entering the grove (Act I). is introduced with great delicacy (Act IV). It seems admirable to me. Large additions were also necessary. I find it hard to believe that any lesser artist could pad such a masterpiece. Far the most charming of these are Shakuntala's girl friends. while acts two. when we bid her farewell. that only acts one and five. Obviously. and no reunion. and from the Elysian region which is represented with vague precision in the last act. There is in him. a dress of bark (Act I). the apparently undue length of some scenes hardly constituting a blemish. She is actually on the stage in five of the acts. in order to show how keen is the eye of genius. rest upon the ancient text. hardly required any change from the epic Kanva. Even to us it seems a natural part of the divine cloud that envelops the drama. Shakuntala appears in hermit garb. To these Kalidasa has added from the palace. both of scenes and of characters. The real humorous relief is given by the fisherman and the three policemen in the opening scene of the sixth act.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful