To me this account is delightful.
In short, the King is so completely out of his mind that the festival has been prohibited.
A VOICE BEHIND THE SCENES.
The King! the King! This way, Sire, this way.
Oh! here comes his Majesty in this direction. Pass on, maidens; attend to your duties.
We will, sir.
Enter King DUSHYANTA, dressed in deep mourning, attended his Jester, MA[T.]HAVYA, and preceded by VETRAVATI.
CHAMBERLAIN. [Gazing at the KING.
Well, noble forms are certainly pleasing, under all varieties of outward circumstances. The King’s person is as charming as ever, notwithstanding his sorrow of mind.
Though but a single golden bracelet spans
His wasted arm; though costly ornaments
Have given place to penitential weeds;
Though oft-repeated sighs have blanched his lips,
And robbed them of their bloom; though sleepless care
And carking thought have dimmed his beaming eye;
Yet does his form, by its inherent lustre,
Dazzle the gaze; and, like a priceless gem
Committed to some cunning polisher,
Grow more effulgent by the loss of substance.
SANUMATI. [Aside. Looking at the KING.
Now that I have seen him, I can well understand why [S’]akoontala should pine after such a man, in spite of his disdainful rejection of her.
KING. [Walking slowly up and down in deep thought.
When fatal lethargy o’erwhelmed
My loved one strove to rouse me, but in vain;
And now, when I would fain in slumber deep
Forget myself, full soon remorse doth wake me.
My poor [S’]akoontala’s sufferings are very similar.
He is taken with another attack of this odious [S’]akoontala-fever.
How shall we ever cure him?
Victory to the King! Great Prince, the royal pleasure-grounds have been put in order. Your Majesty can resort to them for exercise and amusement whenever you think proper.
Vetravati, tell the worthy Pi[S’]una, my prime minister, from me, that I am so exhausted by want of sleep that I cannot sit on the judgment-seat to-day. If any case of importance be brought before the tribunal, he must give it his best attention, and inform me of the circumstances by letter.