A DISJUNCTIVE CONJUNCTION
Now, in the meanwhile, it happened, that when all the other Widyádhara would-be bridegrooms had broken up and gone away in wrath, disgusted at being turned to shame by Makarandiká's rejection, there was one who went away with a heart that was more than half broken, for Makarandiká was dearer to him than his own soul. And he would have given the three worlds to have had the precious garland put round his own neck. And when all was over, he took himself off, and remained a long while buried in dejection on the slopes of the Snowy Mountain, pining like a chakrawáka at night-time for his mate, and striving to forget her, all in vain; for his name was Smaradása,1 and his nature like his name. And at last, unable to endure the fiery torture of separation any longer, he said to himself: I will return, on the pretext Of paying a visit to her father; and there, it may be, I shall at least get a sight of her. And who knows but that she may change her mind? for women after all are not like rocks, but skies. And at the thought, hope suddenly arose, reborn in his heart. For disconsolate lovers are like dry chips or straws, easily taking fire, and tossed here and there by the gusts of hope and desperation.
So as he thought, he did. But when he arrived at Mahídhara's home, and inquired about her, he received an answer that struck him like a thunderbolt. For Mahídhara said: As for Makarandiká, she has utterly disappeared, having gone somewhere or other, nobody knows where. And if, as I conjecture, she is looking for a husband among mortals, who will never even dream of any other woman than herself, she will not soon return. For it will be long before she finds him.
And then, that unhappy Smaradása said to himself: I will find her, no matter how long it may take me, if at least she is able to be found. So after meditating for a while, he went away to seek assistance from the brother of the Dawn. And he said to him: O Garuda,2 I am come to thee for refuge. And it is but a little thing that I ask, and very easy, for the Lord of all the birds of the air. There is a Widyádharí named Makarandiká, who is dearer to me than life itself. Help me, if thou wilt, to discover where she is; for she has disappeared, without leaving any trace.
Thereupon Garuda said: Stay with me for a little in the meanwhile, till I see what I can do. And he summoned all the sea-birds and the vultures in the world, and said to them: Go to the eight quarters of heaven, and find out what has become of Makarandiká, a Widyádharí who is lost.
So then, after a few days, they returned. And their spokesman, who was a very old vulture named Dirghadarshi,3 said: Lord, this has been a very simple thing. For some of my people saw her, a little while ago, flying westwards. And following her track, on thy order, they saw her sitting on the palace roof of King Arunodaya, who has married her, and made her his queen.
And instantly, hearing this news, which pierced his ear like a poisoned needle, Smaradása uttered a loud cry, and fell down in a swoon: so great was the shock that turned in the twinkling of an eye all the love in his soul to jealousy and hate. And when, with difficulty, he came to himself, he hurried away so fast that he forgot even to worship Garuda. But that kindly deity only laughed, and forgave him, saying: Well might he forget not me only, but everything in the three worlds, on learning that his love was lying in somebody else's arms.
But Smaradása summoned instantly all his brother suitors. And he told them all about it, and he said: This matter is no longer what it was. For if she flouted us all by refusing to choose a husband from among us, yet no one could compel her, since she did but exercise the privilege of all kings' daughters. But now, not only has she placed this mortal above us all, but by marrying beneath her caste, she has degraded all the Widyádharas at once, and broken the constitution of the universe. Therefore she deserves to be punished. Moreover, she is at our mercy, since she has lost all her magic sciences by marrying a man.
So then, when they had all unanimously pronounced her worthy of death, one suggesting one death, and another another, Smaradása said scornfully: What is the use of putting her to death? For death is absolutely no punishment at all, since she will abandon one body only to enter another. Rather let us find some punishment suited to her crime, and worse than any death. And the best way would be, to contrive some means of making her behaviour recoil upon her own head. And this could be done, if only we could get this husband she has chosen to desert her for another. For, as a rule, a rival is like kálakuta poison to every woman; and she is not only jealous, but as it were jealousy itself. And thus she would become her own punishment. But first let us discover all about her; for then we can determine how to go to work.
So, when they all consented, Smaradása went back to Garuda, and he said: O Enemy of Snakes, do me one more favour, and I will trouble thee no more. Find out for me only, how matters stand with her husband and herself; since her independent conduct is a matter of concern to all the Widyádharas, of whom she is one.
And Garuda said: Smaradása, this commission is very different from the first. For, if I am not mistaken, the Widyádharas mean mischief, and it is no business of mine. And yet, I will not do thee kindness by halves; but let this be the last. So, after meditating for a while, he sent for the crows. And he said to them: Crows, you know everything about everybody, and see the world, and fly about the streets of cities, and eat the daily offerings,4 and listen to all the scandal of the bazaars, and penetrate even into the palaces of kings. Go, then, to the city of Arunodaya, and spy about and listen, and bring back a full account of all you can discover about him and his wife.
And, after a week, the crows returned. And their spokesman, who was called Kálapaksha,5 said: Lord, this King and Queen are never apart, being as inseparable as Ardhanári.6 And as for Makarandiká, it is clear that she is a patidewatá, who loves her husband more than her own soul. And though he has nothing to do with any woman but herself, yet something is wrong, though we cannot discover what it is. But the citizens think that she is jealous, because she suspects that he is always dreaming, not of her, but of the wife of his former birth.
And as Smaradása listened, he exclaimed in delight: Ha! what difficulty is there in doing a thing which is half done already? For this is a situation which will ripen almost without assistance, resembling as it does. a balance already trembling, in which the addition of a single hair will turn the scale. And it wants only a touch, for Makarandiká, to turn her suspicions into certainties of her own accord. And thus she will become the instrument of her own torture, and expiate her error, the victim of her own choice, with nobody but herself to blame. For she was a Widyádharí, and is absolutely inexcusable.
And meanwhile Makarandiká, ignorant and careless of all that was occurring in that world of the Widyádharas which she had thrown away like a blade of grass, and utterly forgotten, was living like a siddhá in a moon without a spot, having, so to say, attained emancipation in the form of the husband of her own choice. And for his part, Arunodaya, having lit upon the very wife of his former birth, contrary to expectation, and married her again, lived with her like one plunged for an instant in an ocean of intoxication, salt as her beauty7 and infinite as her devotion, and unfathomable as her eyes. And for a while, he seemed to be the very image of a bee drowned in the honey of a red lotus, or a chakora surfeited with the beams of a young moon. And in order to make up to Makarandiká, and console her for the loss of her power of flying through the air, which of all her sciences she most regretted, he built for her innumerable swings, with gold and silver chains, and one, that she loved the best, on the very roof she first arrived on. And she used to pass her time in it, whenever she had nothing else to do, swinging softly to and fro, and looking across the sea; tasting, by means of the swing and her own imagination, some vestige of her lost equality with all the birds of heaven. And though she never so much as whispered it aloud, yet sometimes, her unutterable longing to possess once more that power which she had lost for ever, as she watched the sea-birds flying, brought tears into her eyes, which she never let Arunodaya see.
And yet, though she had utterly lost all her magic sciences, she still retained the whole of that other magic, which the Creator has not limited only to Widyádharís, of feminine fascination. And, like the moon, she was a very bundle of bewitching arts,8 whose potency was doubled by the intensity of her affection for her lord. For a woman who does not feel affection for her own husband resembles a sunset from which the sun and all his redness are withdrawn. And she was, moreover, so absolutely bent upon erasing from his recollection every vestige of the dim image of the wife of his former birth, for whom she had substituted herself, like a new moon eclipsing an old one, that she thought of nothing else: and the thought of this former wife resembled a thorn that was fixed ineradicably in her own heart. And she busied herself all day and night, in occupying his whole attention, and laying snares for his soul, by dancing, and singing, and telling him innumerable stories, and making, as it were, slaves of all his senses, enthralling his eyes with the variety of her beauty, and captivating his ears with the sorcery of her voice, and chaining his desires to herself by never-ending wiles of caressing attention, in the form of embraces of soft arms, and kisses like snowflakes, and glances shot at him out the very corner of her eye, enveloping him with such a mist of the essence of a woman's sweetness as to keep him from seeing any other thing at all. For her Widyádharí nature gave to all her behaviour grace that was far beyond the reach of any ordinary mortal, and she seemed like an incarnation of femininity, divested of all the grossness and clumsy imperfection that it carries when mixed with the element of death, so that her touch seemed softer, and her step seemed lighter, and her outline rounder, and her smile far sweeter, and her passion purer, and her whole love ecstasy deeper and truer than any woman's could ever be.
But as for the prime minister, when he came, according to agreement, and Arunodaya showed her to him on the day of the full moon, he was so utterly bewildered by the very sight of her that she turned him, as it were, to stone. And after staring at her in stupefaction, being wholly bereft of appropriate speech, and, as it were, deserted by his reason, which lay prostrate at her little golden-bangled feet, he went away in silence. And after a long while, he said to himself as he sat alone: Beyond a doubt, this inexplicable King has somehow or other managed to find a very miracle of a queen, as far as beauty goes. For her very ankles alone are enough to drive a lover mad, and worth more than the whole body of any other woman; so that whoever began to look at her, beginning with her feet, would never get any higher, but remain for ever worshipping their slender and provoking curve, with a thirst that was never quenched. She must be Rati or Priti, fallen, nobody knows how, into a mortal birth, and leaving Kama in despair. And yet, whether she be, as he supposes, the very wife of his former birth, or not, I am irretrievably disgraced. For he has managed this matter all alone, without so much as consulting me. And thus, not only have I lost my opportunity, of taking, as it were, tribute from all the surrounding kings, but I am very much mistaken if some of them, or even all, will not take umbrage at the slight put upon all their daughters by this unrelated queen,9 and band together, and suddenly attack him, bewildered as he is by her disastrous intoxication; and so, the kingdom will be uprooted, since he is likely to be so entirely wrapped up in her that he will think of nothing else. And it may be that he will discover in the future that he has lost more by disregarding his prime minister, than he has gained by marrying even for the second time the wife of his former birth. And if, as I suspect, this is all but a trick, time will show up the imposture, and then it will be my turn. For if ever he should discover she has cheated him, all the coquetry and coaxing in the world will not keep him from abhorring her, for stealing his affection, and diverting it away from its proper object, to herself. For, as a rule, men object to being cheated, even to their own advantage, since the cheater seems to argue that the cheated is a fool. But in the meantime I must wait, since it is useless to do anything, till the charm has lost its magic by dint of repetition. For beauty resembles amber: it attracts, but does not hold; and, like a razor, loses virtue every time that it is used: till at last it becomes altogether blunt, and impotent, and without either edge or bite. And then, unless I am very much mistaken, this lovely false wife of his previous existence will find, that she has to reckon with a formidable rival, in his recollection of the true.
But Arunodaya, careless of his minister, gave himself up a willing captive to the witchery of his Widyádharí wife. And, for a time, her task was very easy. For, owing to his inexperience, he resembled a child, and every woman was to him an illusion, and a mystery, so that he would have sunk under the spell, even had it been less potent than it actually was. And Makarandiká was, as it were, his dikshá,10 incarnate in a form of more than mortal fascination; and like a priestess she took him by the hand and led him into the garbha11 of that strange temple, built not of stone, but of the materials of elementary infatuation, and made him perform, so to say, a pradakshina round the image of the divinity12 of which she was herself a bewildering and irresistible incarnation. And lost in the adoration of a neophyte, he lay like a drunken bee in a lotus-cup, rolling in honey, and forgetting utterly not only his kingdom and its affairs, but everything else in the three worlds.
And yet, strange! there lay all the while lurking in the recesses of his soul a vague misgiving, mixed with a faint and unintelligible dissatisfaction, resembling a taste of something bitter in the draught of his infatuation, and an ingredient that qualified and just prevented his gratification from reaching its extreme degree, of ecstasy without alloy. And yet he hardly dared to acknowledge it, even to himself, accusing himself of ingratitude and treachery, and saying to his own soul: How is it possible to requite such infinite affection, and devotion, and service, and beauty, by returning nothing in exchange for it all but suspicion, and distrust, and doubt? For even if she were not the very wife of my former birth, what could I possibly wish for, more? And yet, it is very strange. For notwithstanding all she does, she does not seem to reach and satisfy the craving for recognition in my heart, which obstinately refuses to corroborate her asseverations: nor do I ever feel that confidence and certainty, arising from the depths of recollection, which, if she really were my former wife, surely I ought to feel. Is it my fault, or hers? Alas! instead of meeting her half-way, I am oppressed with what is very nearly disappointment, and feel almost like a dupe, that has allowed one's self to fall into the snare of beauty, so as to yield to another what should belong to one alone. Little indeed would she have to complain of in the warmth of my return, had she just that one thing that she lacks, the stamp of genuine priority; for then she would get in full the very thing I long to give her. Aye! I am, as it were, dying to do the thing I cannot do, and divided from supreme bliss by a partition composed of the most exasperating inability to know for certain, what all the time may after all be true. For if she is only playing a part not really hers, how in the world did she discover the way to take me in, by exhibiting a knowledge of those very same dim vestiges of recollection which I have never told to anyone but my own prime minister? And very sure I am, that it was not he who told her, since he almost lost his reason with astonishment, and admiration that was mixed with envy and annoyance, when her beauty struck him dumb. So after all, perhaps I am mistaken, and only torturing myself for nothing. Out on me, if what she says be really true! for then indeed I deserve something even worse than death, for treating her with such monstrous ungenerosity. Can it be that her memory is truer and stronger, putting mine, for its fidelity, to utter shame? Or why again should I struggle any longer against conviction, and persevere in longing for what I have not got? Who knows whether even if I actually got it, I should be any better off than I actually am? Could the very wife of my former birth be a better wife than this? Is not this wife just as good as any wife could ever be? Does she not, as it were, combine the virtues of even a hundred wives? Yet if she be not the true, can it be that the other is even now upbraiding me, somehow, somewhere, for falling with such inconstancy straight into another's snares, and wasting on a stranger the love that belongs to her? Alas! alas! Why did the Creator make my memory too strong for blank oblivion, and yet so feeble as to leave me without a proof, and plunge me in such perplexity in this matter of a wife?
So then, time passed, and these two lovers lived together, she in the heaven of having discovered the very fruit of her birth, and he half in heaven and half outside, hovering for ever between delight and discontent, balanced in a swing of hesitation between assertion and denial, that like that other swing of hers was hardly ever still. And little by little, as surfeit brought satiety, and custom wore away the bloom of novelty, and familiarity began to rob her beauty of the edge of its appeal, and emotion lost, by repetition, its sincerity, and passion's fire began to cool, and the flood of desire to ebb, then exactly as that cunning Gangádhara foretold, the doubt that, like a seed, lay waiting in his soul began, seeing its opportunity, to swell and grow, till there came to be no room for any feeling but itself. And unawares, he used to sit gazing at her, with eyes that did not seem to see her, as if continually striving to compare her with some other thing that was not there, till under their scrutiny she shrank away and left them, unable to endure, turning away a face that became paler and ever paler, half with apprehension of discovery, and half with jealousy and resentful indignation; for only too well her heart understood what was passing in his soul, though he never dared to tell her, out of shame at having to confess, that in return for the free and absolute gift of her soul, he was yielding her only a fragment of his own, and even that, with suspicion and reluctance; converting the very completeness of her surrender into an argument against her, as if she did from policy alone what came from the very bottom of her heart. And he seemed to her to say by his behaviour: Did she not throw herself into my arms uninvited, without even waiting to be asked, of her own accord, like an abhisáriká, and could such a one as this be really the wife that I was looking for? Does it become a maiden, even a Widyádharí, to be bolder than a man? And why is it, that for all that she can say, and all that she can do, she never can succeed in arousing any corresponding sympathy, or producing a conviction that we ever met before? And is this the union I expected, devoid of that overwhelming mutual recognition that would leap like fire out of the darkness of oblivion, if the associations of a previous existence were really there?
So she would sit thinking, and watching him furtively, sitting in her swing, and swaying gently to and fro, gazing out over the sea. And she used to say sadly to herself: Now, as it seems, all my endeavours have been fruitless; for, do what I can, all my labours are unavailing. And I have given myself away, and sacrificed all my magic sciences, for nought. For it is clear that he cares for absolutely nothing, in comparison with this dream of this wife of his previous birth. And yet what could she, or any other wife whatever, give to him, or for him, more than I have given. What! is the wife of the present birth so absolutely less than nothing, compared with the wife of the past? What! has not one birth the same value as another? And if she was the wife of that birth, then I am the wife of this. Very sure I am, that she cannot love him as well as I. Have I not become, from a Widyádharí, a mortal, solely on his account? And yet, who knows? For it may be, I am impatient, and am hoping to succeed too soon; anticipating, and expecting to pluck, the flower of his full affection before the seed that I have sown has had full time to grow. Well, then, I will water it, and watch it, and let it ripen. And I will strive, in the very teeth of his prepossession, to overcome his stubborn recollection, and uproot it, not by ill-humour or peevish premature despair, but by flooding him with all the sweetness that I can. Yes, I will conquer him by becoming so utterly his slave, that for very shame he will find himself obliged to sacrifice his dream to me.
So then, as she said, she did. And making herself , as it were, of no account, and utterly disregarding the absence of reciprocal affection in a soul that held itself , as it were, with obstinacy, aloof, she set herself to thaw his ice by a constancy of service that resembled the rays of a burning sun. And she met all his suspicion and his scrutiny by such invariable tenderness, and with such a total absence of even the shadow of complaining or reproach, that his heart began, as if against its will, to melt, unable to hold out against the steady stream of affectionate devotion, welling from an inexhaustible spring. And little by little he began to say to himself as he watched her: Surely it were a crime to doubt her any longer. For such an irresistible combination of unselfishness and beauty could not possibly flow from any other source than the unconscious reminiscence of old sympathies, and adamantine bonds, forged and welded in a previous existence. For she gives and has given all, in return for almost nothing, resembling a mother rather than a wife; and so far from resenting any lack of confidence, she makes up, for all that I do not give her, by increasing the quantity and quality of her own, as if she had incurred an obligation to myself, in some former and forgotten state, which she was never able to repay. And what proof other than this could I demand? And if this good fortune of mine, in her form, be not the reward of works, done in that birth which I struggle to remember, what else can it be?
So then, at last, there came a day, when they sat together in the twilight on the palace roof, watching the moon, that wanted only a single digit, rising like a huge nocturnal yellow sun, looking for the other that had sunk to flee, far away on the eastern quarter, on the very edge of the sea, which seemed for fear to tremble like an incarnation of dark emotion, while a lunar ray, like a long pale narrow finger, ran over straight towards them, stepping from wave to wave, and seeming to say with silent laughter: Like me on the surge of the deep's desire, love bridges over the waves of time. What is the tide without me, but the livery of death?
And as she gazed, the eyes of Makarandiká shone, for very excess of happiness, and there came into each a crystal tear, that caught and reflected the moon's ray, like a twin imitation of himself. And as she looked, she murmured: Now at last, as I think, the victory is all but mine, for I have never brought my husband yet so near the very edge of love's unfathomable deep as I have to-day. And now, with just one more effort, he will fall into the bottomless abysses of my soul and I shall have him for my own. Strange! that she did not understand, she was herself tottering on the very brink of a fatal gulf that would swallow her up for ever, and plunge her, by a single step, into the mouth of hell!
For even as she spoke she turned, and looked for a single instant, with unutterable affection, into her husband's face. And then, she said aloud: Aryaputra, dost thou know of what I am now thinking? And he said: No. Then she said: How short a time it seems, since I settled on that parapet in the form of a sea-bird, and saw thee first — and yet, the difference is eternity!
And then, the very instant she had spoken, recollection suddenly rushed across her, and she knew, like a flash of lightning, that she had uttered her own doom. And as she gazed at him with eyes, whose love suddenly turned to terror, Arunodaya, all at once, started to his feet. And he exclaimed: Ha! wert thou the bird? Ha! now, at last, I understand. So this, then, was the means of thy discovery, and the origin of thy deceit, thy listening to the conversation of my minister and me? And all thy story was a lie, and thou thyself art nothing but a liar and a cheat. And like a worm, that is hidden in the recesses of a flower, thou hast placed thyself on a king's head, being fit only to be cast away and trodden underfoot, as I myself will tread thee, and cast thee away like a blade of grass, fit only to be burned. And I will sweep the very shadow of thy memory from my heart, into which thou hast wriggled, by treachery and fraud, to the prejudice of its proper owner, the true wife of my former birth.
So, as he spoke, with eyes that consumed her, as it were, with the fire of their hatred and contempt, she stood for a single instant still, stupefied and aghast, shrinking from his fury, and confessing by her confusion her inability to clear herself of the charge he brought against her, looking like a feminine incarnation of the acknowledgment of guilt. But, as he ended, the thought of the rival whom he cast into her teeth entered her heart like the stab of a poisoned sword. And, as he looked at her, all at once he saw her change. And the fierce fire of his own emotion suddenly died away, annihilated, as it were, and turned in a trice to ashes as he watched her, by the intensity of hers. For, from crouching as she was, she slowly stood erect, becoming so ashy pale that life seemed on the very point of leaving her a thing composed of snow and ice in the white rays of the moon. And she looked at him with eyes, in which the love of but a moment since had frozen into a glitter, as though the blood that filled her heart had suddenly turned to venom that was black instead of red. And so she stood for a moment, and then all at once she leaped at him and clutched him by the hand, with fingers that shut upon it and squeezed into it like teeth. And she said, with difficulty, as if the breath were wanting to make audible the words: Dost thou repay me thus? And have I thrown away my state of a Widyádharí, and all my magic sciences, for such a thing as thee and this? And have I sacrificed a countless host of suitors, who would have given the three worlds for a single glance of my eye, for thee to trample on my beauty and my affection, counting it all as absolutely less than nothing, in comparison with another who is nothing but a dream? Make, then, the very most of all the sweetness and the love that she will give thee; for mine thou hast lost, and it is dead, and it is gone. See, whether the affection of the wives of thy future and thy past will make up to thee for that of thy wife of the present, whom thou hast despised, and outraged, and mangled and annihilated, and wilt never see again.
And she turned, abruptly, and looked for a single instant away across the sea. And she said: I cannot leave thee as I would have done, for I have lost my power of flying through the air. But bid adieu to the wife of the present, and sing hey! for the wife of the past.
And as she spoke her voice shook. And she went away very quickly into the palace, and left him there on the roof alone.
Now in the meanwhile, the prime minister was well-nigh at his wits' end. For ever since his marriage, Arunodaya had entirely neglected his kingdom and his state affairs, throwing upon Gangádhara the burden of them all. And this would have been exactly to his taste, in any other circumstances but those in which it happened, since it was just the very marriage itself which occasioned all his anxiety and care.
And one day as he sat alone, musing in his garden, at last he could contain himself no longer, but broke out into exclamations, imagining himself alone. And he said: Ha, ha! now, as I feared, this lunatic of a King and his mad marriage are about to bring destruction on this kingdom and myself. And as to my own part, it would be bad enough alone that I should have lost not only crores of treasure, which I could easily have gained, but also the opportunity of making favourable political alliances with the strongest of the other kings. But even worse things are impending over the kingdom and myself. For not one only, but all the kings together are collecting to attack us, considering themselves slighted; and as I am made aware, by means of my own spies, the King's maternal uncle is in league with them in secret, hoping by the ruin of his nephew to secure the kingdom for himself. And between them I also shall be crushed, since they consider me as one with the King my master; and it will all end in my losing, not only my property, but my office and my life, since I cannot even get this King to listen, were it only with one ear, to any business at all; and without him, there is nothing to be done. Thus I myself, and he, and his kingdom, will all go together to destruction, like sacrifices offered to his idol, in the form of his wife. And yet there is something unintelligible even in his relations with his wife, which even my spies are unable to detect. For though the King and Queen are never separated, even for a moment, yet they do not seem to be at one; and though he has got, as it seems, exactly what he wanted, yet he does not appear to be content. Something, beyond a doubt, is wrong, though nobody can discover what it is. And in the meantime, we shall all presently discover something else — that we are all involved in a common catastrophe; and very soon, it will be too late, even to hope to take any measures whatever against it at all. For, as a rule, delay is fatal at any time: but above all now. And I cannot see any other way than to throw in my lot with the King's maternal uncle, and so save the kingdom and myself, at the King's expense. And if I do, he will have absolutely nobody to blame but himself, for having scouted me and my policy, and like a mad elephant rather than a king, imagined that he was at liberty to marry anyone he chose, behaving just as if he were a subject, and not a king, with political necessity to consider before any private inclination. And now, could I only discover some means of bringing it about, I should be more than half resolved to oust this unmanageable King from his throne. But the difficulty is, how to get rid of him and his strange windfall of a queen, without incurring suspicion and the blame of the bazaar. For I can get no satisfactory solution of this mystery, even from my spies.
So, as he spoke, all at once a voice fell out the air upon his head, as if from the sky. And it said: O Gangádhara, there are ready to assist thee other and far better spies than thine own.
And as Gangádhara started, and looked up in wonder, he saw Smaradása just above him, hovering in the air. And that celestial roamer descended gently, and stood upon the ground beside him. And he said to the prime minister, who humbly bowed before him: Gangádhara, I am Smaradása, a king of the Widyádharas, and I have come to let thee know so much as may be necessary, and tell thee in this matter what to do: which is, to sit with thy hands folded, like an image of Jinendra on a temple wall, for a very little while, and the conclusion will arrive of itself, without thy interference; since others are concerned as well as thou, in punishing this King, and his outcast of a queen, who like a wheel has left the track, and run out of her proper course, downhill.
And Gangádhara said: My lord, I am favoured by the very sight of thee; and I am curious to know all the circumstances of this extraordinary matter, if it be permitted to such a one as me.
And Smaradása said: O Gangádhara, creatures of every kind fall into disaster by reason of their own characters and actions, and this is such a case. And there is no necessity for thee to be acquainted with any of the particulars, since curiosity is dangerous, and those who pry into the business of their superiors run the risk of getting into trouble, which they might have avoided had they been discreet. So much only will I tell thee, that this Queen's independent behaviour is on the eve of giving birth to its own punishment, which will in all probability involve in it that of her silly lover as well as her own. And the Widyádharas have fixed upon thee, to be an agent in bringing it about. And I bring thee a commission, which if thou dost refuse, evil will come upon thee, very soon, and very sudden, and very terrible. But, as I think, thou wilt undertake it, seeing that the result will tally precisely with objects of thy own. For, as I said, spies better than thine own have had their eyes on thee and all the others, unobserved.
Then Gangádhara trembled, and he said: This servant of thine is ready to do anything, no matter what.
And Smaradása said: There is little to be done, and it will be very easy. Know, as it may be that thou knowest already, that Arunodaya desires nothing in the world so much as to recollect the incidents of his previous existence, since this is what perpetually troubles him, that he seems to be hovering for ever on the very brink of grasping recollection, which nevertheless invariably slips from his grasp, leaving him in such a state of irritated longing and disappointment that, to quench it, he would give the three worlds. Go, then, to Arunodaya, and give him this fruit. And say to him this: Maháráj, one of the neighbouring king's ministers, whom I have recently befriended, sent me this fruit, with its fellow, brought to him by a traveller from another dwipa.13 And such is their virtue that whoever eats one, just before he goes to sleep, will dream, all night long, of the very thing that he most desires. And so, wishing to test it, I ate one; and that night I saw in my dreams such mountains of gold and gems that even Meru and the ocean could not furnish half the sum of each. And now I have brought thee the other, thinking that the experience might amuse thee; and now it is for Maháráj to judge. And when he hears, Arunodaya will think the fruit to be no other than the very fruit of his own birth in visible form before his eyes. For it will enable him to realise his desire, and discover the events of his former birth.
And Gangádhara took the fruit into his hand, and looked at it attentively, resembling as it did a pomegranate, but smaller. And the smell of it was so strong, and so strange, and so delicious, that it seemed to say to its possessor: Refrain, if you can, from tasting what tastes even better than it smells. And then he shuddered, and he raised his eyes, and looked steadily at Smaradása, and he said: Is it poison?
And that crafty Widyádhara laughed, and he said: Nay, O Gangádhara, it is exactly what I told thee to say, and thy account will be the very truth.
Then said Gangádhara again: But if this is so, how can Arunodaya's eating it advantage either thee or me?
And Smaradása said: Gangádhara, it is dangerous for anybody, and much more for this King, to recollect his former birth, even in a dream. Beware of eating it thyself, for it is tempting. But now, mark very carefully what I have to say. See, when thou dost give it him, and tell him, that the Queen is by. I say, mark well that, at the time of thy telling, she overhears thee; and beware, at thy peril, of forgetting this condition, for in it will all the poison of the fruit be contained; and without it, it is naught.
Then said Gangádhara: I do not understand. And Smaradása laughed, and he said: Gangádhara, no matter: for thy understanding is not an essential condition of success. But be under no concern: for Arunodaya will not die of poison, and the fruit is free of harm. For poison of the body is a very clumsy contrivance, and one suited only to mortals who are void of the sciences, not knowing how or being able, like Widyádharas, to work indirectly by poisoning the soul.
So then, Gangádhara did very carefully just as he was told. And everything came about exactly as Smaradása had predicted. For the soul of Arunodaya almost leaped out of his body with delight, in anticipation of the satisfaction of his curiosity, by making trial of the fruit; while the lips of Makarandiká grew whiter, and shut closer, at the sight of it, as if it contained her rival in its core.
And that very night, Arunodaya went up upon his palace roof, according to his custom, to sleep. And he took with him the fruit, which he carried in his hand, not being willing to let it out of sight for a moment, for fear that Makarandiká might steal it, in order to thwart his expectation, and prevent him from having, as it were, an assignation with any other woman, even in a dream. And as it happened, that night a strong wind was blowing from the east, and the waves of the sea broke against the rocks of the palace foot, as if they were endeavouring to move it from its place.
And while Arunodaya threw himself upon his bed, Makarandiká went and sat, a little way away, in her swing, that rocked and swayed to and fro in the wind, looking out across the sea, with gloom in her eyes; and casting, every now and then, glances at him as he lay, out of the corner of her eye, that seemed, as it were, to say to him: Beware! And like her body, her soul was tossed to and fro in the swing of unutterable longing and despair. And she said to herself: Even in my presence, which he absolutely disregards, he is preparing for a meeting in his dreams with this wife of his former birth. And at the thought she frowned, and turned paler, clutching tighter unawares the chains of her swing, and setting her teeth hard, and casting at Arunodaya, lying on his couch, as it were daggers, in the form of dark menace from eyes that were filled with misery and pain. And the moon in the first quarter of its wane seemed, as it were, to say to her: See, thy power is waning, exactly like my own.
And in the meanwhile Arunodaya took his fruit and ate it, and lay down, with a soul so much on tiptoe with desire and agitation that sleep seemed to fly from him as if on purpose, out of sympathy with her. And for a long while he tossed to and fro upon his bed, listening to the roar of the waves and the wind. And so, as he lay, little by little he grew quiet, and sleep stole back to him silently and took him unaware. And his soul flew suddenly into the world of dreams, leaving Makarandiká alone in the darkness, awake in her swing.
But Arunodaya fell into his dream, to find himself walking, in a row of kings, into a vast and shadowy hall. And as they went, that hall re-echoed with a din that resembled thunder; and he looked, and lo! that hall was as full of pandits as heaven is of stars, all dressed in white with their right arm bare, and each so exactly like the other that it seemed as though there was but one, reflected by the innumerable facets of a mirror split to atoms, all shouting together, each as loud as he could bawl: See, see the suitor kings coming to marry the pandit's daughter! Victory to Sarojiní, and the lucky bridegroom of her own choice!
And as Arunodaya looked and listened, all at once there rushed upon his soul, as it were, a flood of recollection. And he exclaimed in ecstasy: Ha! yes, thus it was, and I have fallen back, somehow or other, into the bliss of my former birth. And there once more I see them, the pandits and the hall, exactly as they were before, all shouting for Sarojiní. Aye! that was the very name, which all this time I have been struggling to remember. And strange! I cannot understand, now that I recollect it, how I should ever have forgotten it, even for a single instant. But where then is she, this Sarojiní, herself?
So, as he spoke in agitation, he looked round as if to search, and his heart began to beat with such violence that he stirred as he slept upon his couch. And at that moment, there suddenly appeared to him a woman, coming slowly straight toward him, followed by her maid. And as she came, she looked at him intently, with huge, bewildering, gazing eyes that seemed to fasten on his soul, filled as they were with an unfathomable abyss of melancholy, and longing, and dim distance, and dreamy recognition, and wonder, and caressing tenderness, and reproach. And her body was straight and slender, and it swayed a little as she walked, like the stalk of the very lotus whose name she bore, as if it were about to bend, unable to support the weight of the beautiful full-blown double flower standing proudly up above it in the form of her round and splendid breast. And she was clothed in a dusky garment exactly matching the colour of her hair, which clung to her and wrapped her as if black with indignation that it could not succeed in hiding, but only rather served to display and fix all eyes upon the body that it strove to hide, adding, as if against its will curve to its curves and undulation to all its undulations, and bestowing upon them all an extra touch of fascination and irresistible appeal, by giving them the appearance of prisoners refusing to be imprisoned and endeavouring to escape. And as it wound about her, the narrow band of gold that edged it ran round her in and out, exactly like a snake, that ended by folding in a ring around her feet. And she held in her right hand, the arm of which was absolutely bare, an enormous purple flower, in which, every now and then, she buried, so to say, her face, all except the eyes, which she never took from Arunodaya even for a single instant. And she seemed to him, as he watched her, like a feminine incarnation of the nectar of reunion, after years of separation, raised into a magic spell by an atmosphere of memory and mystery and dream.
So as he gazed, lost in a vague ocean of intoxication, all at once her attendant maid, who seemed for her boldness and her beauty like a man dressed in woman's clothes, or some third nature that hovered between the two, came out before her mistress. And she seized by the hand a suitor king, and led him up to Sarojiní, and said to him aloud: O King, listen and reply to the question that the husband of Sarojiní must answer well.
And as she spoke, Sarojiní withdrew her eyes from Arunodaya, and let them rest for a moment on the king that stood before her. And she said in a low voice, that sounded in the sudden stillness of that hall like the note of a kokila lost in the very heart of a wood: Maháráj, say, should I choose the better or the worse?14
And that unhappy king said instantly: The better.
Then said Sarojiní: O King, I am unfortunate indeed in losing thee.
And instantly she turned her eyes back upon Arunodaya, and at that moment all the pandits in the hall began to shout: Sarojiní, Sarojiní, jayanti! And as he listened, lo! she and her eyes, and the hall with all its pandits, wavered, and flickered, and danced before his eyes, and went out and disappeared. And the clamour and the tumult of the pandits changed, and altered, and melted into the roar of the waves and the wind. And in a frenzy of terror lest the dream should have concluded, he woke with a cry, and raised his head from its pillow, and opened his eyes; and they fell straight upon Makarandiká, who was looking at him fixedly, sitting in her swing.
And suddenly she said to him: Of what art thou dreaming? And he answered: Of pandits. And immediately, his head fell back upon its pillow, and his soul sank back into his dream.
But Makarandiká started, and she exclaimed within herself: Pandits! Ha! Then, as it seems, he really is dreaming of the things of his former birth. And her eyes grew darker as she watched him, sitting in her swing, very still, with one foot upon the ground. And all at once she left the swing, and came to him very quickly, and knelt, sitting upon her feet, upon the ground, beside him, gazing at him in silence as he slept, with eyes that never left his face for even a single instant.
But the soul of Arunodaya, leaving his body lying on the couch, flew back like a flash of lightning eagerly to his dream. And once more he found himself in that hall, with all its pandits shouting, just as if he had never left it to awake. And lo! the eyes of Sarojiní were fastened on his own, as if with joy; and in his relief, occasioned by sudden freedom from the fear of the dream having reached its termination, and the recovery of those eyes, his heart was filled with such a flood of ecstasy that, all unaware, he laughed in his sleep. And in the meantime, that unabashed and clever maid came forward, and seized by the hand another king, and led him forward like the last. And she said, exactly as before: King, listen and reply to the question that the husband of Sarojiní must answer well.
And then, once more, the eyes of Sarojiní lingered for a little on those of Arunodaya, and left him, as if reluctant to depart, and rested, as if carelessly, upon that second king. And she said in the silence that waited, as it were, for her to speak: Maháráj, say, shall I choose the greater or the less?
And that unhappy king hesitated for an instant; and he said: The less.
Then said Sarojiní: Alas! O King, once more I am unfortunate; for I should be inexcusable in choosing thee.
And instantly she turned, and her eyes met those of Arunodaya, waiting in the extremity of agitation, with a glance that seemed to say to him: Be not afraid. And as he sighed in his sleep, for delight, lo! once again, she and her eyes, and the pandits, and the shouting, and the hall, shivered, and wavered, and receded into the darkness, and went out and disappeared. And the din of the triumph of the pandits changed and altered and ended in the roar of the waves and the rushing of the wind. And once more he awoke and opened his eyes: and lo! there just in front of him was Makarandiká, with eyes that gazed, as if with wrath, straight into his own.
And when she saw his open, she said in a low voice, very slowly: Of what wert thou dreaming? And Arunodaya murmured: Of pandits. And instantly he closed his eyes, as if to shut her from his soul. And then he forgot her in an instant, and flew back, as if escaping from a pursuer, into his dream.
But Makarandiká's face fell. And after a while he began to laugh, with laughter that quivered, as if it hesitated between agony and scorn. And she exclaimed: Pandits! Does anybody laugh, as he did in his sleep, who dreams of pandits? What has laughter such as his to do with pandits? Nay, he is trying to hide from me a secret, not knowing that, in the absence of his soul, his body is playing traitor to him against his will. Ah! well I understand, he closed his eyes, to keep me on the outside of his soul, which he opens in the sweetness of a dream to someone else. So, now, let him beware. And she drew still closer to his side, and leaned over him, with her eyes fixed upon his lips, and a heart that beat with such agitation that she pressed one hand upon her breast, as if to bid it to be still, lest its throbbing should arouse him from his sleep.
And as she gazed, there came over her soul such a sense of desolation, mixed with the fire of jealousy, and wrath at her own inability to follow him into his dream and snatch him for her own from everybody else, that her breath was within a little of stopping of its own accord. And she yearned to find, as it were, a refuge, in tears that refused to flow, and her head began to spin. And all at once a shudder that was half a sob shook her as she kneeled, mixed with an almost irresistible desire to clasp him in her arms, and claim him for what he actually was, her husband, and the only lord, without a rival, of her own miserable heart. And a fever that turned her hot and cold by turns began to hurry through her limbs. And she murmured to herself, without knowing what she said: Shall he leave me here, deserted, alone in the darkness of this palace and the night, to meet in a dream, where I cannot follow him, the wife I cannot oust from his soul? Who knows? It may be that at this very moment, they are laughing me to scorn, locked in each other's arms.
And so as she continued, gazing at him with a soul set, as it were, on fire by suspicion and images of her own creating, and a heart stung by the viper of recollection, and yet, strange! swelling with a passionate and hopeless yearning for his affection to return, meanwhile, the soul of Arunodaya, all heedless of the passion that menaced his abandoned body, lay, as it were, drowned in the honey of his dream. And once again, amid the tumult of the pandits, the eyes of Sarojiní were drawing his soul towards her own, as if with cords, woven of the triple strands of colour and reminiscence and the intensity of a love that was returned tenfold. And so as he lay, conscious of absolutely nothing but the abyss of those unfathomable eyes, all at once that shameless maid came forward yet again, and took the hand of yet another king, and said as before: King, listen and reply to the question that the husband of Sarojiní must answer well.
And Sarojiní, hearing her speak, drew her eyes away sadly from Arunodaya, and turned them slowly on that waiting king. And she said: Maháráj, say, shall I choose the bitter or the sweet?
And then that miserable king, as if he feared the fate of his predecessors, stood for a while in silence. And he said at last: The sweet.
Then said Sarojiní: King, beyond all doubt my crimes in a former birth are bearing fruit, in depriving me of such a husband as thyself.
And instantly, all the pandits broke into a shout, and as they did so, she shot at Arunodaya a glance that seemed, as it were, to say to him: Be patient, for thy turn also will presently arrive.
And at that very moment something took him, as it were, by the throat. And as the dream suddenly went out and disappeared, he awoke, in the roar of the waves and the wind, to find that Makarandiká had her hand upon his breast, to wake him from his own, filled to the very brim with entreaty and affection, and terror and grief, and despair.
And seeing her he frowned, as if the very sight of her was poison to his soul. And he shut his eyes, and fell back upon his pillow, to go back to his dream.
But Makarandiká shrank from the glance that he cast upon her, exactly as if he had struck her in the face with his clenched hand. And she turned suddenly white, as if the marble floor she sat on had claimed her for its own. And all at once she fell forward, and remained, crouching, with her face upon her hands, like a feminine incarnation of Rati when she saw Love's body burned to ash. And time passed, while the moon looked down at her as if with pity, wondering at her stillness, and saying, as it were, in silence: Can it be that she is dead? And then, suddenly, Arunodaya laughed aloud in his sleep, and he murmured, as if with affection: Sarojiní, Sarojiní.
And then Makarandiká looked up quickly. And lo! there came over her a smile, like that of one suddenly rejoicing at the arrival of unexpected opportunity. And all at once she stood erect, as if all her agony had been changed in a moment to resolution. And she looked down at him as he slept, and she said, very slowly: Ah! lover of Sarojiní, dost thou leave me, as it were, spurned from thee with aversion, alone on the roof of thy palace, to spend thy time with her? What! shall the wife of this birth sit, weeping as it were outside the door, while she embraces thee within? Ah! but thou hast forgotten that, if I cannot enter, at least I can interrupt thee, since I am mistress of the dream.
And she put her hands up to her head, and undid the knot of her braided hair. And she took from it, as it fell around her, as if to shroud her action in the darkness of a cloud, a long thin dagger,15 that resembled a crystal splinter of lightning picked up on a mountain peak, and shone in the moon's rays like a streak of the essence of vengeance made visible to the eye. And she went close up to him, and remained standing silent, watching his face turned upwards as he lay before her, with a smile on her lips that resembled the gleam of her own dagger, as it waited in her trembling hand.
But in the meanwhile Arunodaya fled as it were from Makarandiká to take refuge in his dream. And he found Sarojiní as it were waiting for him with anxiety, with eyes that seemed to say to him: Amidst all this tumult of the pandits, thou and I are, as it were, alone together. And it seemed to Arunodaya, as he watched her, that her lips moved, and were striving to say to him something that, by reason of the distance and the shouting, he could not understand. And in his delight he began to laugh in his sleep, and murmur back to her in answer: Sarojiní, Sarojiní. And, filled with unutterable desire to approach her, and take her in his arms, he was on the very point of rushing forward, urged by the irritation of an impatience that was becoming unendurable, when once again that maid devoid of modesty came straight towards him, and almost broke his heart in two by taking by the hand not himself, but the king who stood beside him. And as he muttered to himself: Out on this interloping king, who comes between me and my delight! beginning to tremble all over as he lay, that maid said again: King, listen and reply to the question that the husband of Sarojiní must answer well.
And Sarojiní turned half towards him, leaving, as it were, her eyes behind, fastened still on Arunodaya, as if unable to bear again the pain of separation, and calling, as it were, to him, from over the sea of time. And then she said, as if her words were meant for him alone: Maháráj, Maháráj, say, shall I choose the past or the present, the living or the dead?
And then, ere that unhappy king could answer, Arunodaya leaped towards her, while all his body quivered as he lay upon his bed as if struggling in desperation to accompany his soul. And he cried out, not only with his soul, but his body: Sarojiní, Sarojiní, never shalt thou choose, since I will not leave the choice to thee at all. Dead or living, I am thine and thou art mine. And as she threw herself into his arms he caught her, and pulled her to his breast, while she put up her face to him, as if dying to be kissed.
And then, strange! that face suddenly eluded him, with a derisive sneer. And his ears rang with a din composed of the shouting and laughter of pandits, mingled with the roar of the wind and the sea. And she and the dream together suddenly went out and disappeared. And he saw her face, for the fraction of a second, change, as if by magic, into the face of Makarandiká, pale as ashes; and then something suddenly ran into his heart like a sword. And his soul abandoned his body, with a sharp cry, never to return.
So then, the very moment it was done, Makarandiká woke, herself, as it were, from a dream. And horror at her own action, as if it had waited till the very moment when it should be unavailing, suddenly flowed in upon her soul. And as she gazed at Arunodaya, lying still in the moonlight with her dagger in his heart, and found herself with absolutely no companions but the dead body, and the darkness, and the wind and the waves, alone on that palace roof, she murmured to herself, as if she hardly understood: What! can this be of my doing? What! have I actually slain the husband of my own choice, jealous of his very dreams?
And she stood, for a little while, with one hand upon her head, and then she uttered a scream. And she seized him by the hand, and shook it violently, as if endeavouring to wake him and recall him from a dream, in which she herself had buried him for ever, cutting off its termination, and prisoning his soul in an everlasting dungeon, like a stone dropped beyond recovery, fallen with a hollow echo into the black darkness of a well.
And lo! that shriek reverberated, as it were, in heaven, and was answered by a peal of laughter that fell on her from the sky. And she looked up into the air, and saw, hovering in rows above her, all those Widyádhara suitors whom she had rejected long ago, gazing down at her with faces that were distorted with malice and derision. And as she stood confounded, with their laughter ringing in her ears, Smaradása swooped towards her, and called to her ironically: Ha! Makarandiká the scornful, how is it with thy mortal husband? How could he prefer another to such a beauty as thyself?
And Makarandiká gazed at them all for an instant, with eyes that exactly resembled those of a fawn, on the very verge of escaping from its pursuers by leaping from a cliff. And her reason fled away from her, as if anticipating her own flight. And strange! at that moment, as if bewildered by her own deed and the very sight of those Widyádharas of whom she had been one, she utterly forgot for an instant that she herself was no longer a Widyádharí, and had lost her own power of flying through the air. And she made a bound to the edge of the parapet, and leaped off, thinking to fly over the sea, and escape, and be at rest. But instead of flying, she fell, and was broken to pieces at the bottom of the wall, in the foam of the waves, that were also broken at the foot of the palace rock.
So then, when at last Maheshwara ended, the Daughter of the Mountain asked eagerly: But, O thou of the Moony Tire, tell me, how as to the dream. Was it the very truth, and Sarojiní the very wife of his former birth?
And Maheshwara said slowly: Nay, O Snowy One, not at all. For it was not even a true dream. For if it had really been a dream, it would not have continued, as it actually did, in spite of its interruptions. But the whole was a delusion, and a contrivance of the Widyádharas, who lured his soul out of his body by means of a magic drug, and acted all before him, exactly like a play. For the Widyádharas were the pandits, and the great hall was nothing whatever but the sky. And the noise was nothing whatever but that of the wind and waves, and Sarojiní herself was Makarandiká's own sister, who hated her for her beauty, which was greater than her own. And as for Makarandiká, she was all the time her own rival; for she herself, and no other, was the real wife of his former birth.
And the Daughter of the Mountain started, and she uttered a little cry. And she exclaimed: Ah! no! O Moony-crested, it cannot be! Surely thou art only jesting? What! was their happiness divided from them by so thin a wall as that? What! when they would have given each his soul to know it? Alas! alas! what cruelty of the Creator, to bring the cup of happiness, as it were, to their very lips, without allowing them to taste! simply by reason of a film of utter darkness, that prevented them from seeing it was actually there!
And after a while that Lord of Creatures said slowly: O Daughter of the Mountain, yet for all that it was true! And many a traveller crosses over seas and years of separation, surmounting every peril, to perish at the very last moment, when the ecstasy of reunion is almost in his grasp, on the step of his own door. And be not thou hasty to lay cruelty to the door of the Creator, who is absolutely blameless in the matter, seeing that all these and similar misfortunes come about as the necessary consequence of works. And though the extremity of happiness, arising from mutual recognition, was divided from Arunodaya and Makarandiká by a screen thinner than the thickness of a single hair, they could not reach it, for, thin as it was, that screen had been erected by their own wrong-doing, and was nothing whatever but the doom pronounced against themselves by their own misbehaviour in a former birth. And thus it came about, that Makarandiká played the part of Arunodaya's former wife, never even dreaming that she was only claiming to be what she actually was: while Arunodaya shrank, in his ignorance, from the very wife whom he would have given the three worlds to discover, in pursuit of a phantom, that was substituted for her by his own unilluminated longing for a treasure that, all unaware, he held already in his hand. For souls that wander to and fro in the waste of the world's illusion resemble chips tossing aimlessly up and down on the heaving waves of time, driving about at random they know not how or where, under a night that has no moon, in an ocean without a shore; for whom the very quarters of heaven are lost in an undistinguishable identity, and even distance and proximity are but words without a sense.
So, now, let us leave these our images to become once more, by our departure, nothing but the stony guardians of this empty shrine.
And to-morrow Gangádhara will learn, by listening to the story of yonder sleeper, what Smaradása meant, and unriddle his enigma of the poisoning of the soul.
1 i.e., the slave of love, or recollection.
2 The King of Birds (the final a is mute)
3 i.e., long-sighted.
4 Balibúk, an eater of daily offerings, is a common epithet of the crow.
5 Meaning either black-wings, the dark half of the lunar month, or time-server.
6 The combined form of Maheshwara and his "other half."
7 A play on words, salt and beauty being the same (lawanya).
8 Kalá means arts as well as digits.
9 Every reader of Scott will recall the "kinless loons."
10 i.e., initiation.
11 The Greek άδνrov or sanctuary.
12 The Hindoo shrine, says Mr. A. K. Coomaraswamy, is essentially a place of pilgrimages and circumambulations, to which men come for darshan, to "see" the god.
13 (Pronounce dweep) — a far-off continent or island.
14 This cannot be expressed in English with the point of the original, because the word expressing preference means also bridegroom (waram).
15 "Did not Windumatí slay Widuratha the Wrishni with a stiletto that she had hidden in her hair?" (Harsha charita).