No, no; trust me for that. But, if you remember, when you had finished telling me about it, you added that I was not to take the story in earnest, for that you were not really in love with a country girl, but were only jesting; and I was dull and thick-headed enough to believe you. But so fate decreed, and there is no help for it.
KING. [After deep thought.
My dear friend, suggest some relief for my misery.
Come, come, cheer up; why do you give way? Such weakness is unworthy of you. Great men never surrender themselves to uncontrolled grief. Do not mountains remain unshaken even in a gale of wind?
How can I be otherwise than inconsolable, when I call to mind the agonized demeanour of the dear one on the occasion of my disowning her?
When cruelly I spurned her from my presence,
She fain had left me; but the young recluse,
Stern as the Sage, and with authority
As from his saintly master, in a voice
That brooked not contradiction, bade her stay.
Then through her pleading eyes, bedimmed with tears,
She cast on me one long reproachful look,
Which like a poisoned shaft torments me still.
Alas! such is the force of self-reproach following a rash action. But his anguish only rejoices me.
An idea has just struck me. I should not wonder if some celestial being had carried her off to heaven.
Very likely. Who else would have dared to lay a finger on a wife, the idol of her husband? It is said that Menaka, the nymph of heaven, gave her birth. The suspicion has certainly crossed my mind that some of her celestial companions may have taken her to their own abode.
His present recollection of every circumstance of her history does not surprise me so much as his former forgetfulness.
If that’s the case, you will be certain to meet her before long.
No father and mother can endure to see a daughter suffering the pain of separation from her husband.
KING. Oh! my dear Ma[T.]Havya,
Was it a dream? or did some magic dire,
Dulling my senses with a strange delusion,
O’ercome my spirit? or did destiny,
Jealous of my good actions, mar their fruit,
And rob me of their guerdon? It is past,
Whate’er the spell that bound me. Once again
Am I awake, but only to behold
The precipice o’er which my hopes have fallen.