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

Quick, quick, Anasuya!  They are calling the
hermits who are to go with [S’]akoontala to Hastinapur[83].

ANASUYA. [Re-entering with the perfumed unguents in her hand.

Come along then, Priyamvada; I am ready to go with you.

[They walk away.

PRIYAMVADA. [Looking.

See! there sits [S’]akoontala, her locks arranged even at this early hour of the morning.  The holy women of the hermitage are congratulating her, and invoking blessings on her head, while they present her with wedding-gifts and offerings of consecrated wild-rice.  Let us join them.

[They approach.

[S’]AKOONTALA is seen seated, with women surrounding her, occupied in the manner described.

FIRST WOMAN. [To [S’]AKOONTALA.

My child, may’st thou receive the title of ‘Chief-queen,’ and may thy husband delight to honour thee above all others!

SECOND WOMAN.

My child, may’st thou be the mother of a hero!

THIRD WOMAN.

My child, may’st thou be highly honoured by thy lord!

[Exeunt all the women, excepting GAUTAMI, after blessing_ [S’]AKOONTALA.

PRIYAMVADA AND ANASUYA. [Approaching.

Dear [S’]akoontala, we are come to assist you at your toilet, and may a blessing attend it!

[S’]AKOONTALA.

Welcome, dear friends, welcome.  Sit down here.

PRIYAMVADA AND ANASUYA.

[Taking the baskets containing the bridal decorations, and
sitting down
.

Now, then, dearest, prepare to let us dress you.  We must first rub your limbs with these perfumed unguents.

[S’]AKOONTALA.

I ought indeed to be grateful for your kind offices, now that I am so soon to be deprived of them.  Dear, dear friends, perhaps I shall never be dressed by you again.

[Bursts into tears.

PRIYAMVADA AND ANASUYA.

Weep not, dearest; tears are out of season on such a happy occasion.

[They wipe away her tears and begin to dress her.

PRIYAMVADA.

Alas! these simple flowers and rude ornaments, which our hermitage offers in abundance, do not set off your beauty as it deserves.

Enter TWO YOUNG HERMITS, bearing costly presents.

BOTH HERMITS.

Here are ornaments suitable for a queen.

[The women look at them in astonishment.

GAUTAMI

Why, Narada, my son, whence came these?

FIRST HERMIT.

You owe them to the devotion of Father Kanwa.

GAUTAMI.

Did he create them by the power of his own mind?

SECOND HERMIT.

Certainly not; but you shall hear.  The venerable sage ordered us to collect flowers for [S’]akoontala from the forest-trees; and we went to the wood for that purpose, when

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