And as he gazed upon the King, Aja was seized with sudden laughter that would not be controlled: saying within himself: Much in common they have between them, a dancing happy peacock, and this doleful specimen of a weeping King! And he laughed, till tears ran down his cheeks also, as if in imitation of those of the King. And when at last he could speak, he said: O King, forgive me. For I am very weak, and have come within a little of dying in the desert. And I laughed from sheer exhaustion, and for joy to see in thy person as it were the warrant of my escape from death. Give me food, and above all, water, if thou wouldst not have me die at thy feet. And afterwards, show me, if thou wilt, thy daughter, to whom, as it seems, I am to be married, whether I will or no. And the King said: O thou model of the Creator’s cunning in the making of man, thy hilarity is excused. Food thou shalt have, and water, and everything else thou canst require, and that immediately. But as for my daughter, there she is before thee. And she could teach dancing even to Tumburu himself.
 A Ghandarwa, or heavenly musician,
and the dancing
master of the Apsarases. [Pronounce tum- to rhyme with
room, rather short.]
And then, as the laughter surged again in Aja’s soul, saying within himself: Out on this pitiable old scarecrow of a King, whose only thought is dancing! the King turned, and stood aside. And Aja looked, and instantly, the laughter died out of his heart, which ceased as it were to beat. And he murmured to himself: Ha! this is the most wonderful thing of all. King and women and desert and all vanished out of his mind, as if the sentiment that suddenly seized it filled it so completely as to leave room for nothing else. And he stood still gazing, feeling as though he were spinning round, though he was standing still as death. For there before him stood this enigmatical King’s daughter. And like her father, she also seemed an incarnation of the soul of grief, not as in his case ignominious, and an object of derision, but rather resembling a heavenly drug, compounded of the camphor of the cold and midnight moon, that had put on a fragrant form of feminine and fairy beauty to drive the world to sheer distraction, half with love and half with woe. For like the silvery vision of the newborn streak of that Lord of Herbs, she was slender and pale and wan, formed as it seemed of some new strange essence of pure clear ice and new dropt snow, and she loomed on the soul of Aja out of the blackness of his trance like a large white drooping lily, just seen in the gloom of an inky night. And her hair and brow were the colour of a thunder-cloud in the month of Chaitra, and like that cloud, the heavy sorrow hung in her great dark mournful eyes, drenching him as it were with a shower of dusky dreamy dewy beauty, and drawing him down bewitched and lost like the victim