[Continues gazing at it.
Do you know, my Anasuya, why [S’]akoontala gazes so intently at the jasmine?
No, indeed, I cannot imagine. I pray thee tell me.
She is wishing that as the jasmine is united to a suitable tree, so, in like manner, she may obtain a husband worthy of her.
Speak for yourself, girl; this is the thought in your own mind.
[Continues watering the flowers.
Would that my union with her were permissible! and yet I hardly dare hope that the maiden is sprung from a caste different from that of the Head of the hermitage. But away with doubt:
That she is free to wed a warrior-king
My heart attests. For, in conflicting doubts,
The secret promptings of the good man’s soul
Are an unerring index of the truth.
However, come what may, I will ascertain the fact.
[S’]AKOONTALA. [In a flurry.
Ah! a bee, disturbed by the sprinkling of the water, has left the young jasmine, and is trying to settle on my face.
[Attempts to drive it away.
KING. [Gazing at her ardently.
Beautiful! there is something charming even in her repulse.
Where’er the bee his eager onset plies,
Now here, now there, she darts her kindling eyes;
What love hath yet to teach, fear teaches now,
The furtive glances and the frowning brow.
[In a tone of envy.
Ah, happy bee! how boldly dost thou try
To steal the lustre from her sparkling eye;
And in thy circling movements hover near,
To murmur tender secrets in her ear;
Or, as she coyly waves her hand, to sip
Voluptuous nectar from her lower lip!
While rising doubts my heart’s fond hopes destroy,
Thou dost the fulness of her charms enjoy.
This impertinent bee will not rest quiet. I must move elsewhere.
[Moving a few steps off, and casting a glance around.]
How now! he is following me here. Help! my dear friends, help! deliver me from the attacks of this troublesome insect.
PRIYAMVADA AND ANASUYA.
How can we deliver you? Call Dushyanta to your aid. The sacred groves are under the King’s special protection.
An excellent opportunity for me to show myself.
[Checks himself when the words are half-uttered; Aside.]
But stay, if I introduce myself in this manner, they will know me to be the King. Be it so, I will accost them, nevertheless.
[Moving a step or two further off.
What! it still persists in following me.