For further information relative to the dramatic system of the Hindus, the reader is referred to the notes appended to the present translation. It is hoped that they will be found sufficient to explain every allusion that might otherwise be unintelligible to the English reader.
[Footnote 1: In the Aihole Inscription (edited by Dr. Fleet) of the Western Chalukya King Pulike[S’]in II, dated [S’]aka 556=A.D. 634-35, actual mention is made of Kalidasa and Bharavi by name, and Professor Kielhorn has informed me that he found a verse from the Raghu-van[S’]a quoted in an inscription dated A.D. 602.]
[Footnote 2: As to the other two, the most celebrated, called Vikramorva[S’]i, has been excellently translated by Professors H.H. Wilson and E.B. Cowell, and the Malavikagnimitra, by Professor Weber, the eminent Orientalist of Berlin.]
[Footnote 3: The following is an extract from, the Bombay Times of February 3, 1855. It is given literatim, and the orthographical errors and mutilation of the story prove that in those days a good and complete version of India’s most celebrated drama was not obtainable.
’HINDU DRAMA. ’SATURDAY, 3D FEBRUARY 1855.
’An outline of the play to be performed at the Theatre this night.
’After a short discourse between the Sutradhar (the chief actor) and the Vidushaka (the clown), Surswati (the Goddess of learning) will appear. Sutradhar will call his wife (Nati), and they will determine on performing the play of Shakuntala. They both will sing songs together, after which Nati will go away. The play will then regularly commence. Dushanta Rajah will appear in the Court, and order his Pradhan (the Minister) to make preparations for a hunting excursion. The Rajah, sitting in his carriage, will pursue a stag, the stag will disappear, upon which Dushanta will ask his coachman the cause thereof, this being known, the Rajah in his carriage will proceed farther, when they will see the stag again, upon which he will aim an arrow at the stag. The stag will run and reach the retirement of Waikhanas Rushi. The sage will come out of his hut and remonstrate with the Rajah against his killing the harmless animal. The Rajah will obey the injunctions of the sage, who will pronounce benedictions upon him. According to the Rushi’s instructions, he will prepare to proceed to the residence of another sage named Kunwa. Bidding each other farewell, the Rushi will go to procure material for his religious ceremonies. After reaching Kunwa’s place, and commanding his coachman to groom the horses, the Rajah will walk forth to the sage’s hut. Observing on his way thither Shakuntala with her fellow mates watering the trees, he will hide himself behind a tree. Shakuntala will praise to her mates the beauty of the Keshar tree. Charmed with overhearing her