Sakoontala or the Lost Ring eBook

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

Most opportune and convenient, certainly!

KING. [Smiling.

Ho, there, Raivatika!  Tell the charioteer from me to bring round the chariot with my bow.

WARDER.

I will, Sire.

[Exit.

BOTH THE HERMITS. [Joyfully.

Well it becomes the King by acts of grace
To emulate the virtues of his race. 
Such acts thy lofty destiny attest;
Thy mission is to succour the distressed.

KING. [Bowing to the HERMITS.

Go first, reverend Sirs, I will follow you immediately.

BOTH THE HERMITS.

May victory attend you!

[Exeunt.

KING.

My dear Ma[T.]Havya, are not you full of longing to see [S’]akoontala?

MA[T.]HAVYA.

To tell you the truth, though I was just now brimful of desire to see her, I have not a drop left since this piece of news about the demons.

KING.

Never fear; you shall keep close to me for protection.

MA[T.]HAVYA.

Well, you must be my guardian-angel, and act the part of a very
Vishnu [43] to me.

WARDER. [Entering.

Sire, the chariot is ready, and only waits to conduct you to victory.  But here is a messenger named Karabhaka, just arrived from your capital, with a message from the Queen, your mother.

KING. [Respectfully.

How say you? a messenger from the venerable Queen?

WARDER.

Even so.

KING.

Introduce him at once.

WARDER.

I will, Sire.

[Goes out and re-enters with KARABHAKA.]

Behold the King.  Approach.

KARABHAKA.

Victory to the King!  The Queen-mother bids me say that in four days from the present time she intends celebrating a solemn ceremony for the advancement and preservation of her son.  She expects that your Majesty will honour her with your presence on that occasion.

KING.

This places me in a dilemma.  Here, on the one hand, is the commission of these holy men to be executed; and, on the other, the command of my revered parent to be obeyed.  Both duties are too sacred to be neglected.  What is to be done?

MA[T.]HAVYA.

You will have to take up an intermediate position between the two, like King Tri[s’]anku [44], who was suspended between heaven and earth, because the sage Vi[s’]wamitra commanded him to mount up to heaven, and the gods ordered him down again.

KING.

I am certainly very much perplexed.  For here,

  Two different duties are required of me
  In widely distant places; how can I
  In my own person satisfy them both? 
  Thus is my mind distracted, and impelled
  In opposite directions like a stream
  That, driven back by rocks, still rushes on,
  Forming two currents in its eddying course.

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Project Gutenberg
Sakoontala or the Lost Ring from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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