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.

Help! help! to the rescue!

KING.

[Recovering himself.  Listening.

Ha!  I heard a cry of distress, and in Ma[t.]havya’s voice too.  What ho there!

VETRAVATI. [Entering.

Your friend is in danger; save him, great King.

KING.

Who dares insult the worthy Ma[t.]havya?

VETRAVATI.

Some evil demon, invisible to human eyes, has seized him, and carried him to one of the turrets of the Palace of Clouds.

KING. [Rising.

Impossible!  Have evil spirits power over my subjects, even in nay private apartments?  Well, well;—­ Daily I seem, less able to avert Misfortune from myself, and o’er my actions Less competent to exercise control; How can I then direct my subjects’ ways, Or shelter them from tyranny and wrong?

A VOICE BEHIND THE SCENES.

Halloo there! my dear friend; help! help!

KING. [Advancing with rapid strides.

Fear nothing—­

THE SAME VOICE BEHIND THE SCENES.

Fear nothing, indeed!  How can I help fearing when some monster is twisting back my neck, and is about to snap it as he would a sugar-cane?

KING. [Looking round
What ho there! my bow!

SLAVE. [Entering with a bow.

Behold your bow, Sire, and your arm-guard.

[The KING snatches up the bow and arrows.

ANOTHER VOICE BEHIND THE SCENES.

  Here, thirsting for thy life-blood, will I slay thee,
  As a fierce tiger rends his struggling prey. 
  Call now thy friend Dushyanta to thy aid;
  His bow is mighty to defend the weak;
  Yet all its vaunted power shall be as nought.

KING. [With fury.

What! dares he defy me to my face?  Hold there, monster!  Prepare to die, for your time is come.

[Stringing his bow.]

Vetravati, lead the way to the terrace.

VETRAVATI.

This way, Sire.

[They advance in haste.

KING. [Looking on every side.

How’s this? there is nothing to be seen.

A VOICE BEHIND THE SCENES.

Help!  Save me!  I can see you, though you cannot see me.  I am like a mouse in the claws of a cat; my life is not worth a minute’s purchase.

KING.

Avaunt, monster!  You may pride yourself on the magic that renders you invisible, but my arrow shall find you out.  Thus do I fix a shaft That shall discern between an impious demon, And a good Brahman; bearing death to thee, To him deliverance—­even as the swan Distinguishes the milk from worthless water[101].

[Takes aim.

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