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Ratnavali / The necklace

A holy seer announces to Yaugandharayana, the chief minister of Vatsa, the king of Kausambi, that whoever shall wed Ratnavali, the fair daughter of Vikramabahu, the king of Sinhala or Ceylon and maternal uncle of Vasavadatta, the queen of Vatsa, should become the emperor of the world. The faithful minister, desirous of securing paramount sovereignty for his master, sends, without his knowledge and consent, an envoy to the court of Vikramabahu to negotiate the match. Vikramabahu declines to inflict the curse of co-wifeship upon his daughter and niece. The disappointed envoy returns home.

The premier is sorry, but does not lose hope. After much deliberation, he hits upon an ingenious device. He proclaims in Ceylon by agents that queen Vasavadatta is dead, being burnt by chance and that the king, though much grieved, has at last consented, at the request of friends and relatives, to marry again. The intelligence reaches the ears of Vikramabahu who believes it.

The premier now sends Babhravya as envoy to the Court of Ceylon to reopen the question of Ratnavali's marriage with Vatsa. Vikramabahu, after consulting his queen, consents to the proposal. He has Ratnavali decked in all ornaments including a single-stringed necklace round her neck and sends her away on board a ship, in company with his own ambassador Vasubhuti and Babhravya. He waits on the shore till the ship is out of sight and then returns home sorry at parting with his daughter.

A terrible tempest wrecks the ship. A merchant of Kausambi finds Ratnavali floating in mid-sea, saves her life and brings her to the minister who thanks him heartily for the favour and offers a reward. The merchant thus expresses his unwillingness to accept it, "Sir, under the rule of our gracious king, the weak do not fear the strong; the rich cannot oppress the poor; the word "robber" has become obsolete; the sick and the orphans are being treated by the best of physicians and are free from any want of food and clothing; children are being properly educated; drought is never heard of; the highways are wide, clean, and well-guarded; communications are safe. If any loyal subject can be of any service to such a king, he does only his bare duty and should not accept any reward." He at last accepts the reward at the repeated requests of the minister and goes home.

Then the minister interviews the queen, conceals the real facts and addresses her thus:--

"May it please your Majesty. I have received this girl from a merchant who told me that he had rescued her in the sea, but could not say anything more about her and her whereabouts. From her appearance she seems to be a respectable lady. I beseech your Majesty to take care of her." The queen takes the girl as one of her attendants--the girl who is destined to make her husband the lord of the world! The queen names her Sagarika or the Ocean Maid. The princess, who has been attended by hundreds of maidservants, is now reduced, by a strange irony of fate, to the position of a maid-servant herself!

The Chamberlain Babhravya and Vasubhuti by some means reach the shore and are on their way to Kausambi.

Vatsa comes forth to behold from the terrace of his palace the frolic merriment with which his subjects celebrate the festival of Kamadeva, the god of love. Wearied of tales of war, and seeking most his reputation in his people's hearts, he issues forth attended by his confidential companion Vasantaka, like the flower-armed deity himself, descended to take a part in the happiness of his worshippers. The king observes:--

"I scarcely can express the content I now enjoy. My kingdom is rid of every foe; the burden of my government reposes on able shoulders; the seasons are favourable; and my subjects, prosperous and happy. In Vasavadatta, the daughter of Pradyota, I have a wife whom I adore, and in Vasantaka, a friend in whom I can confide. Attended by such a friend, at such a season, and so disposed I might fancy myself the deity of desire, and this vernal celebration held in honour of myself. Kausambi outvies the residence of the god of wealth. Her numerous sons are clad in cloth of gold, decked with glittering ornaments and tossing their heads proudly with splendid crests.

Vasantaka says:--

"Observe the general joy. As if intoxicated with delight, the people dance along the streets, sporting merrily with each other's persons and mutually scattering the yellow-tinted fluid. On every side, the music of the drum and the buzz of frolic crowds fill all the air. The very atmosphere is of a yellow hue, with clouds of flowery fragrance."

At the request of the queen, conveyed through her attendants, the king proceeds with his friend to join her in offering homage to the image of the flower-armed deity, which stands at the foot of the red Asoka tree. The queen enters the garden accompanied by Kanchanmala, her principal attendant, Sagarika and other damsels. Noticing Sagarika, the queen thinks, "What carelessness! an object I have hitherto so cautiously concealed, thus heedlessly exposed! I must remove her hence before the arrival of the king." She says, "How now, Sagarika, what makes you here? where is my favourite starling, that I left to your charge, and whom it seems you have quitted for this ceremony? Return to your place." Sagarika withdraws to a short distance and thinks, "the bird is safe with my friend Susangata. I should like to witness the ceremony. I wonder if Annaga is worshipped here as in my father's mansion! I will keep myself concealed amongst the shrubs and watch them, and for my own presentation to the deity I will go, cull a few of these flowers." The king now joins the queen. Kanchanmala delivers the accustomed gifts of sandal, saffron, and flowers to the queen, who offers them to the image. The king thus eulogises the beauty of the queen, "Whilst thus employed, my love, you resemble a graceful creeper turning round a coral tree: your robes of the orange dye, your person fresh from the bath. As rests your hand upon the stem of the Asoka, it seems to put forth a new and lovelier shoot. The unembodied god to-day will regret his disencumbered essence, and sigh to be material, that he might enjoy the touch of that soft hand."

The worship of the divinity concluded, the queen worships the king. Sagarika views the scene, mistakes the king for the god and observes, "What do I see? Can this be true? Does then the deity, whose effigy only we adore in the dwelling of my father, here condescend to accept in person the homage of his votaries? I, too, though thus remote, present my humble offering."

She throws down the flowers and continues:--"Glory to the flower-armed god: may thy auspicious sight both now and hereafter prove not to have been vouchsafed to me in vain!"

She bows down, then rising looks again, and observes:--

"The sight, though oft repeated, never wearies. I must tear myself from this, lest some one should discover me." She then withdraws a little, hears a bard sing a ballad in praise of the king, perceives her mistake and asks herself, "Is this Udayana, to whom my father destined me a bride?" She becomes enamoured of the king. The king and the queen now rise to return to the palace.

Sagarika thinks, "They come! I must fly hence. Ah me, unhappy! no longer to behold him, whom I could gaze upon for ever."

The king addresses his queen thus:--"Come, love, thou puttest the night to shame. The beauty of the moon is eclipsed by the loveliness of thy countenance, and the lotus sinks humbled into shade; the sweet songs of thy attendant damsels discredit the murmurs of the bees, and mortified they hasten to hide their disgrace within the flowery blossom." The king and the queen return to the palace.

Sagarika enters a plantain bower with a brush and pallet in order to paint a picture and soliloquises thus: "Be still, my foolish heart, nor idly throb for one so high above thy hopes. Why thus anxious to behold that form, one only view of which has inspired such painful agitation? Ungrateful, too, as weak, to fly the breast that has been familiar to thee through life, and seek another, and as yet but once beheld, asylum. Alas! Why do I blame thee! the terror of Ananga's shaft has rendered thee a fugitive;--let me implore his pity. Lord of the flowery bow, victor of demons and of gods! dost thou not blush to waste thy might upon a weak defenceless maiden, or art thou truly without form and sense? Ah me, I fear my death impends, and this the fatal cause." She looks at the picture and goes on, "No one approaches; I will try and finish the likeness I am here attempting to portray. My heart beats high, my hand trembles, yet I must try, and whilst occasion favours me, attempt to complete these lineaments, as the only means to retain them in my sight." She draws the picture, raising her head beholds her friend Susangata with a Sarika or talking bird in a cage, and hides the picture. Susangata sits down, puts her hand upon the picture and asks, "who is this you have delineated?"

Sagarika answers, "The deity of the festival, Ananga." Susangata observes, "It is cleverly done, but there wants a figure to complete it. Let me have it, and I will give the god his bride." She takes the paper and draws the likeness of Sagarika. Sagarika expresses anger. Her friend remarks, "Do not be offended without cause. I have given your Kamadeva my Rati, that is all. But come, away with disguise, and confess the truth." Seeing that her friend has discovered her secret, Sagarika is overcome with shame and entreats her to promise that no body else shall be made acquainted with her weakness. Her friend replies, "why should you be ashamed? Attachment to exalted worth becomes your native excellence. But be assured I will not betray you; it is more likely this prattling bird will repeat our conversation." The friend brings some leaves and fibres of the lotus, and binds the former with the latter upon Sagarika's bosom. She exclaims, "Enough, enough, my friend, take away these leaves and fibres,--it is vain to offer relief. I have fixed my heart where I dare not raise my hopes. I am overcome with shame--I am enslaved by passion--my love is without return--death, my only refuge." She faints and recovers after a short while. A noise behind proclaims that a monkey has escaped from the stable, and, rattling the ends of his broken chain of gold, he clatters along. Afraid of the advent of the monkey, they both rush to hide in the shade of a tamala grove, leaving the drawing behind. The ape breaks the cage to get at the curds and rice and lets the Sarika fly.

Vasantaka now notices that the jasmine has been covered with countless buds, as if smiling disdainfully upon the queen's favourite Madhavi. He is surprised at the most marvellous power of the venerable Sri-Khanda-Dasa, a great sage come to court from Sri-Parvata, by whose simple will the strange event has happened. He thinks of going to the king to inform his Majesty when the king appears. He congratulates his Majesty, on his propitious fortune. The king observes, "Inconceivable is the virtue of drugs, and charms, and gems. Lead the way, and let these eyes this day obtain by the sight the fruit of their formation."

Vasantaka advances, stops to listen and turns back in alarm for he fancies a goblin in yonder Bakula tree. The goblin turns out a starling. The courtier remarks, "she says, give the Brahman something to eat." The king observes, "something to eat is ever the burden of the glutton's song. Come, say truly, what does she utter. The friend listens and repeats, "Who is this you have delineated? Do not be offended without cause; I have given your Kamadeva my Rati. Why should you be ashamed? Attachment to exalted worth becomes your native excellence. Take away these lotus leaves and fibres--it is in vain you strive to offer me relief. I have fixed my heart where I dare not raise my hopes;--I am overcome with shame and despair, and death is my only refuge." The king interprets thus:--"Oh, I suppose some female has been drawing her lover's portrait, and passing it off on her companion as the picture of the god of love: her friend has found her out; and ingeniously exposed her evasion, by delineating her in the character of Kama-deva's bride. The lady that is pictured is very handsome. Some young female may be supposed to have spoken, indifferent to life, because uncertain of her affection being returned. The delicate maid entrusts her companion with the sorrows of her breast: the tattling parrot or imitative starling repeats her words, and they find an hospitable welcome in the ears of the fortunate. The companion, laughing loudly, observes, "You may as well drop these evasive interpretations; why not say at once, "the damsel doubts my returning her passion." Who but yourself could have been delineated as the god of the flowery bow?".

The friend claps his hands and laughs. His obstreperous mirth frightens the bird away. She perches on the plantain bower. They follow her there. Vasantaka finds a picture and shows it to the king, who gives him a golden bracelet. Looking at it, the king dwells upon the beauties of the damsel.

Susangata and Sagarika hide themselves behind the plantain trees and overhear the conversation between the king and his companion. Susangata remarks, "You are in luck, girl; your lover is dwelling upon your praises. The bird, as I told you, has repeated our conversation." Sagarika thinks to herself, "What will he reply? I hang between life and death." The king remarks farther to his companion, "My sight insatiate rests upon her graceful limbs and slender waist. I cannot deny that she has flatteringly delineated my likeness, nor doubt her sentiments--for observe the traces of the tear that has fallen upon her work, like the moist dew that starts from every pore of my frame." Sagarika says to herself, "Heart, be of good cheer! your passion is directed to a corresponding object." Susangata now comes forward, so as to be seen by Vasantaka. At this the king, on the advice of his companion, covers the picture with his mantle. Susangata says, "I am acquainted with the secret of the picture and some other matters of which I shall apprise her Majesty." The king takes off his bracelet and other ornaments and offers them to her with the object of bribing her to be silent. She replies, "Your Majesty is bountiful. You need not fear me. I was but in jest, and do not want these jewels. The truth is, my dear friend, Sagarika is very angry with me for drawing her picture, and I shall be much obliged to your Majesty to intercede for me and appease her resentment." The king springs up and exclaims, "Where is she? Lead me to her."

Then all advance to Sagarika. She thinks, "He is here--I tremble at his sight. I can neither stand nor move--what shall I do?" Vasantaka, seeing her, exclaims, "A most surprising damsel, truly; such another is not to be found in this world. I am confident that when she was created, Brahma was astonished at his own performance." The king is struck with her and observes, "such are my impressions. The four mouths of Brahma must at once have exclaimed in concert, bravo, bravo! when the deity beheld these eyes more beauteous than the leaves of his own lotus; and his head must have shaken with wonder, as he contemplated her loveliness, the ornament of all the world." Sagarika prepares to go away when the king addresses her thus, "You turn your eyes upon your friend in anger, lovely maid; yet such is their native tenderness that they cannot assume a harsh expression. Look thus, but do not leave us, for your departure hence will alone give me pain." Susangata now advises the king to take Sagarika by the hand and pacify her. The king approves the advice and acts up to it. Vasantaka congratulates the king on his unprecedented fortune.

The king replies, "You say rightly--she is the very deity Lakshmi herself. Her hand is the new shoot of the Parijata tree, else whence distil these dewdrops of ambrosia?" Susangata remarks, "It is not possible, my dear friend, you can remain inexorable whilst honoured thus with his Majesty's hand."

Sagarika frowns on her friend and asks her to forbear. At this time, Vasantaka, in testiness of temper, raises a false alarm by proclaiming that the queen is approaching. The king lets go Sagarika's hand in alarm. Sagarika and her companion go off hastily behind the tamala tree.

After a short time, the queen approaches the king. By order of the king, Vasantaka hides the picture quickly under his arm. The king proposes to visit, in the company of the queen, the Jasmine budded. The queen declines. Vasantaka takes it as an acknowledgment of defeat on her part and cries out Huzza! He waves his hand and dances; the picture falls. Kanchanmala, an attendant of the queen, picks up the picture and shows it to her mistress. The queen, whose jealousy is excited by the discovery of the picture, demands an explanation from the king. Vasantaka volunteers to offer the explanation thus:--"I was observing, madam, that it would be very difficult to hit my friend's likeness, on which his Majesty was pleased to give me this specimen of his skill." The king confirms the explanation. The queen observes, "And the female standing near you--I suppose this is a specimen of Vasantaka's skill." The king replies, "What should you suspect? That is a mere fancy portrait, the original was never seen before." Vasantaka supports the king thus, "I will swear to this, by my Brahmanical thread, that the original was never seen before by either of us." Not satisfied with the explanation, the queen remarks, "My lord, excuse me. Looking at the picture has given me a slight headache. I leave you to your amusements."

The king observes, "What can I say to you, dearest? I really am at a loss. If I ask you to forgive me, that is unnecessary, if you are not offended; and how can I promise to do so no more, when I have committed no fault, although you will not believe my assertions?" The queen, detaching herself gently and with politeness, takes leave and goes away with her attendant. Vasantaka remarks, "Your Majesty has had a lucky escape. The queen's anger has dispersed like summer clouds." The king observes. "Away, blockhead, we have no occasion to rejoice; could you not discover the queen's anger through her unsuccessful attempts to disguise it? Her face was clouded with a passing frown. As she hung down her head, she looked on me with an affected smile. She gave utterance to no angry words, it is true, and the swelling eye glowed not with rage--but a starting tear was with difficulty repressed; and although she treated me with politeness, struggling indignation lurked in every gesture. We must endeavour to pacify her."

To insure the vigilance of Kanchanmala, the queen gives her some of her own clothes and ornaments. With these it is plotted to equip Sagarika as the queen. A stolen interview between the king and Sagarika, thus disguised, is arranged to take place at the Madhava bower about sunset. The queen gets scent of the matter and forestalls Sagarika by meeting the king at the appointed time and place. The king, mistaking her for Sagarika, thus speaks his honest self! "My beloved Sagarika, thy countenance is radiant as the moon, thy eyes are two lotus buds, thy hand is the full blown flower, and thy arms, its graceful filaments. Come thou, whose form is the shrine of ecstasy, come to my arms."

The queen throws off her veil and says:--"Believe me still Sagarika, my good lord; your heart is so fascinated by her, you fancy you behold Sagarika in everything." The king replies, "forgive me, dearest." The queen remarks, "Address not this to me, my lord--the epithet is another's property." The king falls at her feet. The queen observes, "Rise, my lord, rise! that wife must be unreasonable indeed, who, with such evidence of her lord's affection, can presume to be offended. Be happy, I take my leave." She now goes away.

Sagarika, dressed as the queen, goes some way to meet the king when she thinks of putting an end at once to her sufferings and her life and fastens the noose round her neck with the fibres of the Madhavi. The king, who is seeking for the queen in hopes to pacify her anger, discovers Sagarika on the way and mistakes her for the queen. He rushes to her and tears off the tendril. He soon discovers his mistake, embraces her and observes, "When the bosom of my queen swells with sighs, I express concern; when she is sullen, I soothe her; when her brows are bent, and her face is distorted with anger, I fall prostrate at her feet. These marks of respect are due to her exalted position; but the regard that springs from vehement affection, that is yours alone."

At this time, the queen, who has overheard the speech, comes forward and says, "I believe you, my lord, I believe you." The king explains his conduct thus:--"Why, then, you need not be offended. Cannot you perceive that I have been attracted hither, and misled by the resemblance of your dress and person? Be composed, I beg you." He falls at her feet. She observes, "Rise, rise, let not my exalted station put you to such unnecessary inconvenience."

Vasantaka takes up the noose, shows it to the queen and explains his conduct thus, "It is very true, madam, I assure you, that, deceived by the belief that you were attempting to destroy yourself, I brought my friend to this spot, to preserve, as I thought, your life." By order of the queen, Kanchanmala puts the noose over his neck, beats him and carries him off an unfortunate captive. The king thinks, "What an unlucky business this is! What is to be done? How shall I dissipate the rage that clouds the smiling countenance of the queen! How rescue Sagarika from the dread of her resentment, or liberate my friend Basantaka? I am quite bewildered with these events, and can no longer command my ideas. I will go in, and endeavour to pacify the queen." The queen regales Vasantaka with cakes from her own fair hands, presents him with a dress and restores him to liberty. Susangata prays him to accept a diamond necklace which Sagarika has left with her for presentation to him. He declines the offer. Looking at it attentively he wonders where she could have procured such a valuable necklace. They both go to the king who has gone from the queen's apartments to the crystal alcove and is lamenting thus:--"Deceitful vows, tender speeches, plausible excuses and prostrate supplications had less effect upon the queen's anger than her own teaks; like water upon the fire they quenched the blaze of her indignation. I am now only anxious for Sagarika. Her form, as delicate as the petal of the lotus, dissolving in the breath of inexperienced passion, has found a passage through the channels by which love penetrates, and is lodged deep in my heart. The friend to whom I could confide my secret sorrows is the prisoner of the queen." Vasantaka now informs the king that he has been restored to liberty. Asked about Sagarika he hangs down his head and declares that he cannot utter such unpleasant tidings. The king infers that Sagarika is no more and faints. The friend says, "my friend, revive--revive! I was about to tell you, the queen has sent her to Ougein--this I called unpleasant tidings, Susangata told me so,--and what is more, she gave me this necklace to bring to your Majesty." Vasantaka gives the king the necklace which he applies to his heart to alleviate his despair. By command, the courtier applies the ornament round the neck of the king. At this time, Vijayavarman, the nephew of Rumanwat the general of the state, arrives to announce:--"Glory to your Majesty! your Majesty's fortune is propitious in the triumphs of Rumanwat. By your Majesty's auspices the Kosalas are subdued. On receiving your Majesty's commands, my uncle soon collected a mighty army of foot, and horse, and elephants, and marching against the king of Kosala, surrounded him in a strong position in the Vindhya mountains. Impatient of the blockade, the Kosala monarch prepared his troops for an engagement. Issuing from the heights, the enemy's forces came down upon us in great numbers, and the points of the horizon were crowded with the array of mighty elephants, like another chain of mountains: they bore down our infantry beneath their ponderous masses: those who escaped the shock were transpierced by innumerable arrows and the enemy flattered himself he had for once disappointed our commander's hopes. Fires flashed from the blows of contending heroes, helmets and heads were cloven in twain--the broken armour and scattered weapons were carried away in torrents of blood, and the defiance of the king of Kosala, in the van of his army, was heard by our warriors; when our chief alone confronted him, and slew the monarch on his furious elephant with countless shafts. All honour to our gallant foe, the king of Kosala; for glorious is the warrior's death when his enemies applaud his prowess. Rumanwat then appointed my elder brother, Sanjayavarman, to govern the country of Kosala, and making slow marches in consequence of the number of his wounded, returned to the capital. He is now arrived." The king applauds his general and commands the distribution of the treasures of his favour.

Samvarasiddhi, a magician from Ougein, now interviews the king. The magician, waving a bunch of peacock's feathers, observes, "Reverence to Indra, who lends our art his name. What are your Majesty's commands? Would you see the moon brought down upon earth, a mountain in mid air, a fire in the ocean, or night at noon? I will produce them--Command. What need of many words? By the force of my master's spells, I will place before your eyes the person whom in your heart you are most anxious to behold."

The king not wishing to see the performance alone, summons the queen who arrives soon. The king leads her to a seat, sits beside her and commands the magician to display his power.

The magician waves his plumes and exhibits most wonderful scenes. Brahma appears throned upon the lotus; Sankara appears with the crescent moon, his glittering crest; Hari, the destroyer of the demon race, in whose four hands the bow, the sword, the mace and the shell are borne, is observable. Indra, the king of Swarga, is seen mounted on his stately elephant. Around them countless spirits dance merrily in mid air, sporting with the lovely nymphs of heaven, whose anklets ring responsive to the measure. The king and queen look up and rise from their seats. At this time, a female attendant appears to announce;--"So please your Majesty, the minister Yaugandharayana begs to inform you, that Vikrambahu, the king of Ceylon, has sent, along with your own messenger who returns, the councillor Vasubhuti; be pleased to receive him as the season is auspicious. The minister will also wait upon you as soon as he is at leisure." The queen observes, "Suspend this spectacle, my lord. Vasubhuti is a man of elevated rank; he is also of the family of my maternal uncle, and should not be suffered to wait; let us first see him." The king orders the suspension of the show, the magician retires promising to exhibit yet some sights.

Vasubhuti, after the customary exchange of courtesies, thus relates his story:--"In consequence of the prophesy of a seer, that whoever should wed Ratnavali, my master's daughter, should become the emperor in the world, your Majesty's minister solicited her for your bride; unwilling, however, to be instrumental in the uneasiness of Vasavadatta, the king of Simhala declined compliance with his suit. My master, understanding at last that the queen was deceased, consented to give his daughter to you. We were deputed to conduct her hither, when alas, our vessel was wrecked." The envoy, overpowered by sorrows, is unable to continue the story and weeps. The queen exclaims, "Alas, unhappy that I am! Loved sister Ratnavali, where art thou? Near me and reply."

The king consoles the queen thus:--

"The fate that causes, may remove our sorrows."

A cry is now heard from behind that the inner apartments are on fire. The king starts up wildly and exclaims, "Vasavadatta burnt to death! my queen, my love!"

The queen exclaims, "What extravagance is this--behold me at your side. But ah! help, help, my lord. I think not of myself but poor Sagarika. She is in bonds; my cruelty has kept her captive--and she will be lost without some aid--haste, haste and save her!" The king flies to her rescue, precipitates himself into the flames and takes her in his arms. He pauses--looks around--closes his eyes, and reopens them. The flames disappear. The palace stands unharmed. The king observes, "This must have been a dream, or is it magic?" Vasantaka replies, "The latter, no doubt; did not that conjuring son of a slave say, he had still something for your Majesty to see?"

The king says to the queen,

"Here, madam, is Sagarika rescued in obedience to your commands." The queen smiling replies, "I am sensible of your obedience, my lord." She now informs all present, "Yaugandharayana presented her to me, and told me she had been rescued from the sea: it was hence we designated her Sagarika or the ocean Maid." The likeness--the necklace--the recovery of the damsel from the sea--leave no doubt in the mind of Vasubhuti that this is the daughter of the king of Simhala, Ratnavali. Vasubhuti advances to her who looks at him. They recognize each other and both faint. After some time they recover. As Ratnavali goes to embrace the queen at her invitation, she stumbles. At the request of the queen who blushes for her cruelty, the king takes the chains off Ratnavali's feet. Yaugandharayana now explains his conduct thus, "It was formerly announced to us by a holy seer, that the husband of the princess of Simhala should become the emperor of the world. We therefore earnestly applied to her father to give her hand to our sovereign; but unwilling to be cause of uneasiness to the queen, the monarch of Simhala declined compliance with our request: we therefore raised a report that Vasavadatta had perished by a fire at Lavanaka, and Babhravya was despatched with the news to the court of Simhala. Vikrambahu then consented to our proposal and sent his daughter on board a ship accompanied by Vasubhuti and Babhravya. The ship was wrecked. The princess was rescued from the sea by a merchant who brought her to me. I placed her with the queen in a very unsuitable station as I expected you would see her in the inner apartments, and take pleasure in her sight. I had some concern in the appearance of the magician who had conjured up a vision of the gods and a conflagration, as no other means remained of restoring the damsel to your presence and creating an opportunity for Vasubhuti to see and recognise the princess." The queen now puts on Ratnavali her own jewels, then takes her by the hand and presents her to the king. Ratnavali bows to the queen who embraces her. The king observes, "My cares are all rewarded. Nothing more is necessary, Vikrambahu is my kinsman, Sagarika, the essence of the world, the source of universal victory, is mine, and Vasavadatta rejoices to obtain a sister. The Kosalas are subdued: what other object does the world present for which I could entertain a wish? This be alone my prayer; may Indra with seasonable showers render the earth bountiful of grain; may the presiding Brahmans secure the favour of the gods by acceptable sacrifices; may the association of the pious confer delight until the end of time, and may the appalling blasphemies of the profane be silenced for ever."