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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Sakoontala or the Lost Ring.

WARDER. [Entering.

Victory to the King! two young hermits are in waiting outside, and solicit an audience of your Majesty.

KING.

Introduce them Immediately.

WARDER.

I will, my liege.

[Goes out, and re-enters with TWO YOUNG HERMITS.]

This way, Sirs, this way.

[Both the HERMITS look at the KING.

FIRST HERMIT.

How majestic is his mien, and yet what confidence it inspires!  But this might be expected in a king, whose character and habits have earned for him a title only one degree removed from that of a Sage [39].

In this secluded grove, whose sacred joys
All may participate, he deigns to dwell
Like one of us; and daily treasures up
A store of purest merit for himself,
By the protection of our holy rites. 
In his own person wondrously are joined
Both majesty and saintlike holiness;
And often chanted by inspired bards [40],
His hallowed title of ‘Imperial Sage’
Ascends in joyous accents to the skies.

SECOND HERMIT.

Bear in mind, Gautama, that this is the great Dushyanta, the friend of Indra.

FIRST HERMIT.

What of that?

SECOND HERMIT.

  Where is the wonder if his nervous arm,
  Puissant and massive as the iron bar
  That binds a castle-gateway, singly sways
  The sceptre of the universal earth,
  E’en to its dark-green boundary of waters? 
  Or if the gods, beholden to his aid
  In their fierce warfare with the powers of hell [41],
  Should blend his name with Indra’s in their songs
  Of victory, and gratefully accord
  No lower meed of praise to his braced bow,
  Than to the thunders of the god of heaven?

BOTH THE HERMITS. [Approaching.

Victory to the King!

KING. [Rising from his seat.

Hail to you both!

BOTH THE HERMITS.

Heaven bless your Majesty!

[They offer fruits.

KING. [Respectfully receiving the offering.

Tell me, I pray you, the object of your visit.

BOTH THE HERMITS.

The inhabitants of the hermitage, having heard of your Majesty’s sojourn in our neighbourhood, make this humble petition:—­

KING.

What are their commands?

BOTH THE HERMITS.

In the absence of our Superior, the great sage Kanwa, evil demons are disturbing our sacrificial rites [42].  Deign, therefore, accompanied by your charioteer, to take up your abode in our hermitage for a few days.

KING.

I am honoured by your invitation.

MA[T.]HAVYA. [Aside.

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