I am attentive.
Know that when the nymph Menaka, the mother of [S’]akoontala, became aware of her daughter’s anguish in consequence of the loss of the ring at the nymph’s pool, and of thy subsequent rejection of her, she brought her and confided her to the care of Aditi. And I no sooner saw her than I ascertained by my divine faculty of meditation, that thy repudiation of thy poor faithful wife had been caused entirely by the curse of Durvasas—not by thine own fault—and that the spell would terminate on the discovery of the ring.
KING. [Drawing a deep breath.
Oh! what a weight is taken off my mind, now that my character is cleared of reproach.
Joy! joy! My revered husband did not, then, reject me without good reason, though I have no recollection of the curse pronounced upon me. But, in all probability, I unconsciously brought it upon myself, when I was so distracted on being separated from my husband soon after our marriage. For I now remember that my two friends advised me not to fail to show the ring in case he should have forgotten me.
At last, my daughter, thou art happy, and hast gained thy heart’s desire. Indulge, then, no feeling of resentment against thy consort. See, now,
Though he repulsed thee, ’twas the
That clouded his remembrance; ’twas the curse
That made thy tender husband harsh towards thee.
Soon as the spell was broken, and his soul
Delivered from its darkness, in a moment,
Thou didst regain thine empire o’er his heart.
So on the tarnished surface of a mirror
No image is reflected, till the dust,
That dimmed its wonted lustre, is removed.
Holy father, see here the hope of my royal race.
[Takes his child by the hand.
Know that he, too, will become the monarch of the wholes earth. Observe, Soon, a resistless hero, shall he cross The trackless ocean, borne above the waves In an aerial car; and shall subdue The earth’s seven sea-girt isles. Now has he gained, As the brave tamer of the forest-beasts, The title Sarva-damana; but then Mankind shall hail him as King Bharata, And call him the supporter of the world.
We cannot but entertain the highest hopes of a child for whom your Highness performed the natal rites.
My revered husband, should not the intelligence be conveyed to Kanwa, that his daughter’s wishes are fulfilled, and her happiness complete? He is [S’]akoontala’s foster-father. Menaka, who is one of my attendants, is her mother, and dearly does she love her daughter.