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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.
brought hither the children of Nala of excellent deeds, Varshneya went away whither he listed:  He doth not know where Naishadha is.  Nor, O illustrious one, doth anybody else know of Nala’s whereabouts; for the king (in calamity) wandereth over the world in disguise and despoiled of (his native) beauty.  Nala’s self only knoweth Nala.  Nala never discovereth his marks of identity anywhere.’  Thus addressed, Kesini returned, ’The Brahmana that had before this gone to Ayodhya, had repeatedly said these words suitable to female lips, ’O beloved gambler, where hast thou gone cutting off half my piece of cloth, and deserting me, his dear and devoted wife asleep in the woods?  And she herself, as commanded by him, waiteth expecting him clad in half a garment and burning day and night in grief.  O king, O hero, do thou relent towards her that weepeth ceaselessly for that calamity and do thou give her an answer.  O illustrious one, do thou speak the words agreeable to her for the blameless one panteth to hear them.  Hearing these words of the Brahmana thou didst formerly give a reply!  The princess of Vidarbha again wisheth to hear the words thou didst then say.’”

“Vrihadaswa continued, ’O son of the Kuru race, hearing these words of Kesini, Nala’s heart was pained, and his eyes filled with tears.  And repressing his sorrow, the king who was burning in grief, said again these words, in accents choked with tears:  ’Chaste women, though overtaken by calamity, yet protect themselves, and thereby secure heaven.  Women that are chaste, deserted by their lords, never become angry, but continue to live, cased in virtue’s mail.  Deserted by one fallen into calamity, bereft of sense, and despoiled of bliss, it behoveth her not to be angry.  A virtuous lady should not be angry with one that was deprived by birds of his garment while striving to procure sustenance and who is burning in misery.  Whether treated well or ill she would never be angry, seeing her husband in that plight, despoiled of his kingdom, bereft of prosperity, oppressed with hunger, and overwhelmed with calamity.’  And, O Bharata, while speaking thus, Nala oppressed with grief, could not restrain his tears, but began to weep.  And thereupon Kesini went back to Damayanti, and acquainted her with everything about that conversation as well as that outburst of grief.”

SECTION LXXV

“Vrihadaswa said, ’Hearing everything, Damayanti became oppressed with grief, and suspecting the person to be Nala, said unto Kesini, ’O Kesini, go thou again, and examine Vahuka, and staying in silence at his side mark thou his conduct.  And, O beauteous one, whenever he happens to do anything skilful, do thou observe well his act while accomplishing it.  And, O Kesini, whenever he may ask water or fire, with the view of offering him obstruction, thou shalt be in no hurry to give it.  And marking everything about his behaviour, come thou and tell me.  And

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