No one will believe that a Prince of Puru’s race would seek to ruin others or himself.
This altercation is idle, [S’]arngarava. We have executed the commission of our preceptor; come, let us return.
[To the KING.
[S’]akoontala is certainly thy bride; Receive her or reject her, she is thine. Do with her, King, according to thy pleasure— The husband o’er the wife is absolute.
Go on before us, Gautami.
[They move away.
What! is it not enough to have been betrayed by this perfidious man? Must you also forsake me, regardless of my tears and lamentations?
[Attempts to follow them.
My son [S’]arngarava, see! [S’]akoontala is following us, and with tears implores us not to leave her. Alas! poor child, what will she do here with a cruel husband who casts her from him?
[Turning angrily towards her.
Wilful woman, dost thou seek to be independent of thy lord?
[[S’]AKOONTALA trembles with fear.
If thou art really what the King proclaims thee,
How can thy father e’er receive thee back
Into his house and home? but if thy conscience
Be witness to thy purity of soul,
E’en should thy husband to a handmaid’s lot
Condemn thee, thou may’st cheerfully endure it.
When ranked among the number of his household.
Thy duty therefore is to stay. As for us, we must return immediately.
Deceive not this lady, my good hermit, by any such expectations.
The moon expands the lotus of the night,
The rising sun awakes the lily; each
Is with his own contented. Even so
The virtuous man is master of his passions,
And from another’s wife averts his gaze.
Since thy union with another woman has rendered thee oblivious of thy marriage with [S’]akoontala, whence this fear of losing thy character for constancy and virtue?
KING. [To his domestic PRIEST.
You must counsel me, revered Sir, as to my course
Which of the two evils involves the greater or less sin?
Whether by some dark veil my mind be clouded.
Or this designing woman speak untruly,
I know not. Tell me, must I rather be
The base disowner of my wedded wife,
Or the defiling and defiled adulterer?
PRIEST. [After deliberation.
You must take an intermediate course.
What course, revered Sir? Tell me at once.