Out upon it! my retinue are looking for me, and are disturbing this holy retreat. Well! there is no help for it; I must go and meet them.
PRIYAMVADA AND ANASUYA.
Noble Sir, we are terrified by the accidental disturbance caused by the wild elephant. Permit us to return to the cottage.
Go, gentle maidens. It shall be our care that no injury happen to the hermitage.
[All rise up.
PRIYAMVADA AND ANASUYA.
After such poor hospitality, we are ashamed to request the honour of a second visit from you.
Say not so. The mere sight of you, sweet maidens, has been to me the best entertainment.
Anasuya, a pointed blade of Ku[s’]a-grass  has pricked my foot; and my bark-mantle is caught in the branch of a Kuruvaka-bush. Be so good as to wait for me until I have disentangled it.
[Exit with her two companions,
after making pretexts
for delay, that she may steal glances at the KING.
I have no longer any desire to return to the city. I will therefore rejoin my attendants, and make them encamp somewhere in the vicinity of this sacred grove. In good truth, [S’]akoontala has taken such possession of my thoughts, that I cannot turn myself in any other direction.
My limbs drawn onward leave my heart
Like silken pennon borne against the wind.
* * * * *
SCENE.—A plain on the skirts of the forest.
Enter the Jester_  MA[T.]HAVYA, in a melancholy mood.
Heigh-ho! what an unlucky fellow I am! worn to a shadow by my royal friend’s sporting propensities. ‘Here’s a deer!’ ’There goes a boar!’ ‘Yonder’s a tiger!’ This is the only burden of our talk, while in the heat of the meridian sun we toil on from jungle to jungle, wandering about in the paths of the woods, where the trees afford us no shelter. Are we thirsty? We have nothing to drink but the dirty water of some mountain stream mixed with dry leaves, which give it a most pungent flavour. Are we hungry? We have nothing to eat but roast game, which we must swallow down at odd times, as best we can. Even at night there is no peace to be had. Sleeping is out of the question, with joints all strained by dancing attendance upon my sporting friend; or if I do happen to doze, I am awakened at the very earliest dawn by the horrible din of a lot of rascally beaters and huntsmen, who must needs surround the wood before sunrise, and deafen me with their clatter. Nor are these my only troubles. Here’s a fresh