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Char. Maitreya, friend of all seasons, welcome, sit you down.

Mai. As you command. (Sits down.) This garment, perfumed by the jasmines it has lain amongst, is sent to you, by your friend Churabuddha, to be worn by you. at the close of your devotions.

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Char. (Takes it, and appears thoughtful.)"
Mai. On what do you meditate?
Char. My friend-

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The happiness that follows close on sorrow,
Shows like a lamp that breaks upon the night.
But he that falls from affluence to poverty

May wear the human semblance, but exists
A lifeless form alone.

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Mai. Which think you preferable, then-death or poverty?

Char. Had I the choice,

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Death, and not poverty, were my election:
To die is transient suffering; to be poor

1. Interminable anguish.

Mai. Nay, never heed-it is but a trial-you will become more eminent than ever; and although your kind friends have consumed your property, it may recover, like the moon, which grows to fulness from the slender fragments to which the daily draughts of the Gods for half a month reduce it.

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Char. I do not, trust me, grieve for my lost wealth;
But that the guest no longer seeks the dwelling, bien" y
Whence wealth has vanish'd, does, I own, afflict me, hob, paralarie
Like the ungrateful bees, who wanton fly) 1975 bida qing
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The dried up dew, they visit me no more. ITTE Mai. The sons of slaves! Your guest is ever ready to make a morning meal of a fortune. He is like the cowboy, who, apprehensive of the virana grass, drives his herds from place to place in the thicket, and sets them to feed always in fresh pas

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Char. 'Tis true.-I think not of my wasted fortune. As fate decrees, so riches come and vanish. But I lament to find the love of friends Hangs all unstrung, because a man is poor. And then with poverty comes disrespect; From disrespect does self-dependence fail; od ob 21919818d › to eball !!e Then scorn and sorrow, following, overwhelm 197180 eid bas ;agutry eit The intellect; and when the judgment fails aged mort benoiton 3586 The being perishes: and thus from poverty to arising diew sud Dua Each ill that pains humanity proceeds. to 229nevoiseños gilt gd b9z2979 Mai. Ah, well, it is but waste of thought to send it after the wealth hunters-we have had enough of this subject.

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Char. But poverty is aye the curse of thought.

It is our enemy's reproach-the theme

Of scorn to our best friends and dearest kin.

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I had abjured the world, and sought the hermitage,
But that my wife had shared in my distress-
Alas! the fires of sorrow in the heart
Glow impotent; they pain, but burn not.
My friend, I have already made oblation
Unto the Household Gods-Go you to where
The four roads meet, and there present it
To the Great Mothers. SEZ

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Mai. Not I indeed.

Char: Why not?

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Mai. Of what use is it? You have worshipped the Gods: what have they done for you? It is labour in vain to bestow upon them adoration.

Char. Speak not profanely. It is our duty-
and the Gods

Undoubtedly are pleased with what is offer'd
In lowliness of spirit, and with reverence
In thought, and deed, and pious self-denial :
Go, therefore, and present the offering.

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Maitreya, who is also a Brahman, the friend and companion of Charu datta, and the Vidushaka or Gracioso of the piece, (a character of mixed shrewdness and simplicity, with an affectionate disposition,) hesitates to go, alleging that the royal road is crowded with loose persons, with cut-throats, courtiers, and courtezans and that amongst such a set he will fare like the unhappy mouse that fell into the clutches of the snake, which was lying in ambush for the frog. Cries are heard behind the scenes, and Vasantasena appears, pursued by Samsthanaka, the king's brother-in-law, along with the Vita, or parasite companion and minister of his pleasures, and his servant. This Prince, an ignorant, frivolous, and cruel coxcomb," is enamoured of the beautiful Courtezan, and wooes her after a royal fashion. "I have called her," quoth he to the Vita, "the taper lash of that filcher of broad pieces, Kama; the blue-bottle, the figurante, the pug-nosed untameable shrew. I have termed her love's dining dish-the gulf of the poor man's substancethe walking frippery-the husseythe baggage-the wanton. I have addressed her by all these pretty names, and yet she will have nothing to say to me." The Vita, too, wastes his eloquence in vain. "You fly like the female crane that starts away from the sound of thunder. The trembling pendants in your ears toss agitated against your cheeks, and make such music as the lute to a master's touch. Believe me, you look like the guardian goddess of the city, as round your slender waist sparkles with starlike gems that tink ling zone-and your countenance is pale with terror." The poor girl calls for her female attendants-"Pullava! Parapuria!" and the King's brotherin-law, much alarmed, says to the Vita, "Eh! sir! sir! Men? men?" But on being assured that they are women-women-he heroically draws his sword, and exclaims, "Who is afraid-I am a hero-a match for a hundred of them-I would take them like Duhsasana, by the hair, and, as you shall see, with one touch of my well-sharpened sword, off goes your head." She implores mercy, and he answers, "You may live." The Vita again uses his arts, and

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thus describes the profession of Vasantasena. "Why, you are quite out of character: the dwelling of a harlot is the free resort of youth; a courtezan is like a creeper that grows by the road-side-her person is an article for sale-her love a thing that money will buy, and her welcome is equally bestowed upon the amiable and disgusting. The sage and the idiot, the Brahman and the outcast, all bathe in the same stream, and the crow and the peacock perch upon the branches of the same creeper. The Brahman, the Kshetriya, the Vaisya, and all of every caste are ferried over in the same boat, and like the boat, the creeper, and the stream, the courtezan is equally accessible to all."

**** ***

And is this the heroine of a moral drama? Even so-the heroine of the Toy-cart; and despicable a thing as you may think her, even from your eyes, before all the play is over, haply she may draw tears. To these brutal words she meekly replies, "What you say may be just-but believe me, merit alone, not brutal violence, inspires love."

Vasantasena is a courtezan; but we are not, says the learned and enlightened Translator, " to understand by that name a female who disregarded the obligations of law or the lessons of virtue; but a character reared by the state of manners unfriendly to the admission of wedded females into society, and opening it only at the expense of reputation to women, who were trained for association with men, by personal and mental accomplishments to which the matron was a stranger. The Vesya of the Hindus was the Hetera of the Greeks. Without the talents of Aspasia, or the profligacy of Lais, Vasantasena is a gentle, affectionate being, who, with the conventions of society in her favour, unites, as the Hetera often did, 'accomplishments calculated to dazzle, with qualities of the heart, which raise her above the contempt that, in spite of all precaution, falls upon her situation.' The defective education of the virtuous portion of the sex, and their consequent uninteresting character, held out an inducement to the unprincipled masters both of Greek and Hindu society, to rear a class of females who should supply those wants which rendered

home cheerless; and a courtezan of this class in Greece inspired no abhorrence. She was brought up from infancy to the life she professed, which she graced by her accomplishments, and not unfrequently dignified by her virtues. Her disregard of social restraint was not the voluntary breach of moral or religious precepts. The Hindu principles were more rigid; and not only was want of chastity in a female a capital breach of social and religious obligations, but the association of men with professed wantons was an equal violation of decorum, and, involving a departure from the purity of caste, was considered a virtual degradation from rank. In practice, however, greater latitude seems to have been allowed; and in this drama, a Brahman, a man of family and repute, incurs apparently no discredit from his love of a courtezan. A still more curious feature is, that his passion for such an object seems to excite no sensation in his family, nor uneasiness in his wife; and the nurse presents his child to his mistress, as to its mother; and his wife, besides interchanging civilities, a little coldly perhaps, but not compulsively, finishes by calling her sister, and acquiescing, there fore, in her legal union with her lord. It must be acknowledged that the poet has managed his story with great dexterity; and the interest with which he has invested his heroine, prevents manners so revolting to our notions from being obtrusive ly offensive. No art was necessary,' in the estimation of a Hindu writer, 'to provide his hero with a wife or two more or less; and the acquisition of an additional bride is the ordinary catastrophe of the lighter dramas.'"

It would not be easy to state the case more truly than it is stated in these philosophical sentences; and the purest minded may, we think, with no other sentiments than those of pity and compassion-not unaccompanied with something of kind regard, and even of admiration-follow the fortunes of Vasantasena in this interesting drama. She belongs, indeed, to a class of Infortunates; but her sins were the sins of her country; and 'tis certainly a harsh, probably a false judgment, that with the loss of chastity a woman loses all the

other virtues of her sex. It is not true even where women are most honoured, as in Britain ;-utterly false, if pronounced of women in ancient Hindostan. 'Tis wrong to seek to exalt one virtue by the degradation of the whole of that nature of which it is the loveliest attribute; and not in the spirit of the Christian Faith. In our own poetry, the frail and fallen are not spoken of as excommunicated from all intercommunion with our best sympathies; than their sorrows there are few or none more affecting; and we are glad to see them sometimes partaking of that peace which, in its perfection, is our holiest idea of happiness here below the skies. Vasantasena in this Hindu drama is humble in her humiliation-to the poor she is charitable in every creature in distress she acknowledges a brother or a sister-malignity or hatred have never found access to her heart-and she venerates the virtue of the happier matron, in the dishonoured lot to which it may be said she was born

there is sadness in her smiles—and she seems mournful, even when arrayed in all her allurements. Of her life we are shewn nothing except her love for one man, which is disinterested and sincere; and, so far from there being any thing of coarsemess in her manners, or grossness in her mind, these are all natural elegance and grace, and that, but from our knowledge of what is her lot, is felt to be pure. Gentle and tenderhearted, yet she has spirit to repel what she loathes; and even if she were less good, surely her sufferings bring her within the inner circle of our humanities, and believing she is dead, we weep over her beneath that heap of leaves when thought dead, and doubt not that her spirit is received into heaven.

But to return to the story of the Drama.

The King's brother is aware of Vasantasena's love for Charudatta, whom he calls a miserable wretch, because he is poor; but the Vita has more discernment, and remarks, "It is truly said pearls string with pearls." Meanwhile she overhears her pursuers speaking of Charudatta's house as being close at hand; and taking off her garland, and the rings from her ankles, that

ed down by its abundant fruit-he
is the cherisher of the good, the
mirror of the wise, a touchstone of
piety, an ocean of decorum, the doer
of good to all, of evil to none, a trea-
sure of manly virtues, intelligent,
liberal, and upright; in a word, he
only is worthy of admiration; in the
plenitude of his merits he may be
said to live indeed; other men
merely breathe-so, come, we had
better depart." They make them-
selves scarce, and Charudatta is
heard within the house calling on
Radanika to bring in his boy Ro-
hasena, who must have enjoyed
the
and may
the evening dews.
It is to Vasantasena he is speak-
ing; and she takes from his hand
a cloth to cover the child with

901

Char, (To himself.) She would be come a shrine! The pride of wealth The palace she is roughly bid to enter, Presents no charm to her, and she disdains Nor makes she harsh reply, but silent the 1sd

leaves

The man she scorns, to waste his idle

saying, Scented with jasmine flowers-ha-then he is not all a philosopher!-Char. Radanika, carments. Vas. (apart.) Alas, my fortune gives me no admission to them!" An eclaircissement takes mines to give them all a sound drill-place--and in the lamp-light Vasaning especially the King's brother. tasena stands revealed in all her He does not think it necessary to charms." 793160 8908 of garwo soften the threat of a cudgelling by saran bereles-llow smooth words,go Oh you King's brother-in-law You abominable miscreant! Have you no decency? Do you not know that, notwith standing the worthy Charudatta be poor, he is an ornament to Ujayin; and how dare you think of forcing your way into his house, and maltreating his people? There is no disgrace in an untoward fate; disgrace is in misconduct; a worthy man may be a poor one." The sight of a cudgel often does wonders, but cannot elevate the mind; and Samsthanaka draws in his horns, while the Vita falls down at Maitreya's feet, declaring that he is "afraid of the eminent virtues of Charudatta."-"Very eminent indeed," observes Samsthanaka, on the sly, "when they cannot afford his visiters a dinner. Who is this slave, the son of a slave? Is he a warrior, a hero? Is he Pandu, Swetaketu, the son of Radha, Ravana, or Indradatta? Was he begotten on Kunti by Rama? or is he Aswatthama, Dharmaputtra, or Jatayu ? Vita. No, you wiseacre, I will tell you who he is; he is Charudatta, the tree of plenty to the poor, bow

the perfume and the tinkling may
not betray her, she gropes along the
wall in the dark for the private en-
trance. The door is open and she
enters, brushing out the lamp in the
lobby with her scarf. Maitreya, in
company with Radanika, a female
servant, is issuing out to obey his
master's command, and the Rajah's
brother-in-law seizes successively his
own Vita, his own servant, and the
Brahman's Girzzy, supposing each
in turn to be Vasantasena. Girzzy's
voice sounds queer-and the disap-
pointed profligate exclaims, "Oh!
sir! your female can change her
voice when she will, as the cat mews
in a different key, when she attempts be chilled with the
to steal cream." Maitreya, the Brah-
man's friend, having relit the lamp,
comes forth, saying, "How funnily
the lamp burns! it goes flutter flut
ter in the evening breeze, like the
heart of a goat just caught in a

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place and the worthy Vidushaka, incensed with the disturbers of his friend's domestic privacy, deter

words.

Lady! I knew you not, and thus unwit-
tingly
Mistaking you for my attendant, offer'd

you

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Unmeet indignity-I bend my head
In hope of your forgiveness.

Vas. Nay, sir, I am the offender, by
intruding into a place of which I am un-
worthy; it is my head that must be hum-
bled in reverence and supplication.

Mai. Very pretty on both sides; and whilst you are standing there, nodding your heads to each other like blades of grain in a rice field, permit me to bend mine, although in the style of a young camel's stiff knees, I request that you will be pleased to hold yourselves right again,"

Vasantasena requests that Charudatta will permit her to leave her ornaments in his house, as the villains had meant to rob her-and then that he will let Maitreya see her safe

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happened to be at dinner, made the footman take the highest place at his table, and afterwards accompanied him to the court-yard, besantasena then sends a bracelet to cause he came from the King. Vashew his gratitude, forswears gambthe dun, and the joint-rubber, to ling for ever, and resolves to become a Bauddha Mendicant,-in which character he plays, as we shall see, an important part in the drama. As he goes out, the lady's man-servant, Karnapuraka, enters hastily, and begins describing an achievement he had this day performed in taming with an iron bar her ladyship's fierce hunting elephant Khuntamoraka, the post-breaker, who had killed his keeper, snapped his chain, and rushed, "tearing every thing to pieces with his trunk, his feet, and his tusks, as if the city had been a large tank full of lotus flowers. Big as he was, like the peaks of Vindhya, I brought him down, and saved a holy man, whom he was holding up between his tusks. Every body said well done, Karnapuraka, well done;" for all Ujayin, in a panic, like al boat ill laden, was heaped on one spot; and one person, who had no great matter of dress to boast of himself, turning his eyes upwards," and fetching a deep sigh, threw his garment over me." " Vasantasena looks at the garment, and sees inscribed on it the name Charudatta. She throws it round her with de light, and Madanika exclaims, " "how well the garment becomes our mistress!" Karnapuraka is sulky, and can only utter "Yes-it becomes her well enough" The lady gives him an ornament, and he says, "Now, indeed, the garment sits as it should do." But where, where eagerly asks she-where did you leave Charudatta? "Going home, I believe, along the road." "Quick, girl; up on this terrace, and we may catch a glimpse of him!" and so ends the act.

!

On the night of next day, we find Charudatta and Maitreya just returned home from a concert, and preparing to go to bed. Vasantasena's jewels during the day have been in the care of Verdhamana, a maleservant, but they are now intrusted to Maitreya-and they all fall asleep. A dissipated Brahman, called Servil

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And so ends the First Act-which, besides being bustling and amusing, makes us familiar with the characters of the chief persons of the drama, and prepares us to take an interest of very different kinds indeed In their fortunes. 1944g8ol The opening of the Second Act shews us Vasantasena sitting in her own house, much in love with Charudatta and conversing about him with her female attendant. She bids her guess his name and Madanika, being knowing in such matters, says, "his well-selected name is Charudattal But, lady, it is said he is very poor. Vas. I love him, nevertheless; no longer let the world believe that a courtezan is insensible to a poor man's merits." She then confesses that she left her ornaments in his house, that she might have an excuse for another interview. Meanwhile, a row has been taking place in a gambling-house; and an unlucky wretch, by profession a Samvahaka, or Joint-rubber, having sold himself to a winner for ten suvernas, attempts making his escape, and flies for refuge to the house of the courtezan. She finds that he had once been a servant of her beloved Brahman, whom he warmly eulogizes, and, springing from her seat, she cries, Girl, girl, a seat-this house is yours, sir pray be seated-a fan, wench quick our worthy guest is fatigued. This, says the ingenious translator, might be thought a little extravagant; but it is not without a parallel in European flattery, and from motives less reputable. Louis XIV. having one day sent a footman to the Duke of Monbazon with a letter, the Duke, who

VOL. XXXV. No. CCXVII.

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