Enter MATALI holding MA[T.]HAVYA, whom he releases.
Turn thou thy deadly arrows on the demons;
Such is the will of Indra; let thy bow
Be drawn against the enemies of the gods;
But on thy friends cast only looks of favour.
KING. [Putting back his arrow.
What, Matali! Welcome, most noble charioteer of the mighty Indra.
So, here is a monster who thought as little about slaughtering me as if I had been a bullock for sacrifice, and you must e’en greet him with a welcome.
Great Prince, hear on what errand Indra sent me into your presence.
I am all attention.
There is a race of giants, the descendants of Kalanemi, whom the gods find it difficult to subdue.
So I have already heard from Narada.
Heaven’s mighty lord, who deigns
to call thee ‘friend,’
Appoints thee to the post of highest honour,
As leader of his armies; and commits
The subjugation of this giant brood
To thy resistless arms, e’en as the sun
Leaves the pale moon to dissipate the darkness.
Let your Majesty, therefore, ascend at once the celestial
Indra; and, grasping your arms, advance to victory.
The mighty Indra honours me too highly by such a mark of distinction. But tell me, what made you act thus towards my poor friend Ma[T.]Havya?
I will tell you. Perceiving that your Majesty’s spirit was completely broken by some distress of mind under which you were labouring, I determined to rouse your energies by moving you to anger. Because To light a flame, we need but stir the embers; The cobra, when incensed, extends his head And springs upon his foe; the bravest men Display their courage only when provoked.
KING. [Aside to MA[T.]HAVYA.
My dear Ma[T.]Havya, the commands of the great Indra must not be left unfulfilled. Go you and acquaint my minister, Pi[S’]una, with what has happened, and say to him from me:—
Dushyanta to thy care confides his realm—
Protect with all the vigour of thy mind
The interests of his people; while his bow
Is braced against the enemies of heaven.
I obey. [Exit.
Ascend, illustrious Prince.
[The KING ascends the car.
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