[Looking with a smile at [S’]AKOONTALA,
and then turning towards
You seem desirous, Sir, of asking something further.
[[S’]AKOONTALA makes a chiding gesture with her finger.
You conjecture truly. I am so eager to hear the particulars of your friend’s history, that I have still another question to ask.
Scruple not to do so. Persons who lead the life of hermits may be questioned unreservedly.
I wish to ascertain one point respecting your friend.
Will she be bound by solitary vows
Opposed to love, till her espousals only?
Or ever dwell with these her cherished fawns,
Whose eyes, in lustre vying with her own,
Return her gaze of sisterly affection?
Hitherto, Sir, she has been engaged in the practice of religious duties, and has lived in subjection to her foster-father; but it is now his fixed intention to give her away in marriage to a husband worthy of her.
His intention may be easily carried into effect.
Be hopeful, O my heart, thy harrowing
Are past and gone; that which thou didst believe
To be as unapproachable as fire,
Is found a glittering gem that may be touched.
[S’]AKOONTALA. [Pretending anger.
Anasuya, I shall leave you.
That I may go and report this impertinent Priyamvada to the venerable matron, Gautami.
Surely, dear friend, it would not be right to leave a distinguished guest before he has received the rites of hospitality, and quit his presence in this wilful manner.
[[S’]AKOONTALA, without answering a word, moves away.
[Making a movement to arrest
her departure, but checking
Ah! a lover’s feelings betray themselves by his gestures.
When I would fain have stayed the maid, a sense
Of due decorum checked my bold design;
Though I have stirred not, yet my mien betrays
My eagerness to follow on her steps.
[Holding [S’]AKOONTALA back.
Dear [S’]akoontala, it does not become you to go away in this manner.
Why not, pray?
You are under a promise to water two more shrubs for me. When you have paid your debt, you shall go, and not before.
[Forces her to turn back.
Spare her this trouble, gentle maiden. The exertion of watering the shrubs has already fatigued her.