Part Four:

*1 -- The Treaty Between the Peacocks and the Swans*
*2 -- The Story of the Tortoise and the Geese*
*3 -- The Story of Fate and the Three Fishes*
*4 -- The Story of the Unabashed Wife*
*5 -- The Story of the Herons and the Mongoose*
*6 -- The Story of the Recluse and the Mouse*
*7 -- The Story of the Crane and the Crab*
*8 -- The Story of the Brahman and the Pans*
*9 -- The Duel of the Giants*
*10 -- The Story of the Brahman and the Goat*
*11 -- The Story of the Camel, the Lion, and His Court*
*12 -- The Story of the Frogs and the Old Serpent*


When the time came for resuming instruction, the King's sons said to Vishnu-Sarman, "Master, we have heard of War, we would now learn somewhat of the treaties which follow war." "It is well asked," replied the Sage; "listen therefore to 'Peace,' which hath this commencement—

'When those great Kings their weary war did cease,
The Vulture and the Goose concluded Peace.'
'How came that?' asked the Princes.

Vishnu-Sarman related:—



The Treaty Between the Peacocks and the Swans

"So soon as King Jewel-plume had retreated, the first care of King Silver-sides was the discovery of the treason that had cost him the fort.

'Goose,' he said to his Minister, 'who put the fire to our citadel, think you? Was it an enemy or an inmate?'

'Sire,' replied the Goose, 'Night-cloud and his followers are nowhere to be seen—it must needs be his work.'

'It must needs be,' sighed the King, after a pause; 'but what ill-fortune!'

'If it please your Majesty, no,' replied the Minister; 'it is written—

"'Tis the fool who, meeting trouble, straightway destiny reviles;
Knowing not his own misdoing brought his own mischance the whiles."
You have forgotten the saying—
'Who listens not, when true friends counsel well,
Must fall, as once the foolish Tortoise fell.'
'I never heard it,' said the King. 'How was that?' The Goose related—


The Story of the Tortoise and the Geese

"There is a pool in South Behar called the 'Pool of the Blue Lotus,' and two Geese had for a long time lived there. They had a friend in the pool who was a Tortoise, and he was known as 'Shelly-neck.' It chanced one evening that the Tortoise overheard some fishermen talking by the water. 'We will stop here to-night,' they said, 'and in the morning we will catch the fish, the tortoises, and such like.' Extremely alarmed at this, the Tortoise repaired to his friends the Geese, and reported the conversation.

'What ever am I to do, Gossips?' he asked.

'The first thing is to be assured of the danger,' said the Geese.

'I am assured,' exclaimed the Tortoise; 'the first thing is to avoid it: don't you know?—

'Time-not-come' and 'Quick-at-peril,' these two fishes 'scaped the net;
'What-will-be-will-be,' he perished, by the fishermen beset.'
'No,' said the Geese,' how was it?' Shelly-neck related:—


The Story of Fate and the Three Fishes

"It was just such a pool as this, and on the arrival at it of just such men as these fishermen, that three fishes, who had heard their designs, held consultation as to what should be done.

'I shall go to another water,' said "Time-not-come,"/1/ and away he went.

'Why should we leave unless obliged?' asked "Quick-at-peril." 'When the thing befalls I shall do the best I can—

'Who deals with bad dilemmas well, is wise.
The merchant's wife, with womanly device,
Kissed—and denied the kiss—under his eyes.'
'How was that?' asked the other fish. Quick-at-peril related:—


The Story of the Unabashed Wife

"There was a trader in Vikrama-poora, who had a very beautiful wife, and her name was Jewel-bright. The lady was as unfaithful as she was fair, and had chosen for her last lover one of the household servants. Ah! womankind!—

'Sex, that tires of being true,
Base and new is brave to you!
Like the jungle-cows ye range,
Changing food for sake of change.'
Now it befell one day that as Jewel-bright was bestowing a kiss on the mouth of the servant, she was surprised by her husband; and seeing him she ran up hastily and said, 'My lord, here is an impudent varlet! he eats the camphor which I procured for you; I was actually smelling it on his lips as you entered.' The servant catching her meaning, affected offence. 'How can a man stay in a house where the mistress is always smelling one's lips for a little camphor?' he said; and thereat he was for going off, and was only constrained by the good man to stay, after much entreaty. 'Therefore,' said Quick-at-peril, 'I mean to abide here, and make the best I can of what befalls, as she did.'

'Yes, yes,' said What-will-be-will-be, 'we all know

'That which will not be will not be, and what is to be will be:—
Why not drink this easy physic, antidote of misery?'
'When the morning came, the net was thrown, and both the fishes inclosed. Quick-at-peril, on being drawn up, feigned himself dead; and upon the fisherman's laying him aside, he leaped off again into the water. As to What-will-be-will-be, he was seized and forthwith dispatched.—And that,' concluded the Tortoise, 'is why I wish to devise some plan of escape.'

'It might be compassed if you could go elsewhere,' said the Geese, 'but how can you get across the ground?'

'Can't you take me through the air?' asked the Tortoise.

'Impossible!' said the Geese.

'Not at all!' replied the Tortoise; 'you shall hold a stick across in your bills, and I will hang on to it by my mouth—and thus you can readily convey me,'

'It is feasible,' observed the Geese, 'but remember,

'Wise men their plans revolve, lest ill befall;
The Herons gained a friend, and so, lost all.'
'How came that about?' asked the Tortoise. The Geese related:—


The Story of the Herons and the Mongoose/2/

"Among the mountains of the north there is one named Eagle-cliff, and near it, upon a fig-tree, a flock of Herons had their residence. At the foot of the tree, in a hollow, there lived a serpent; and he was constantly devouring the nestlings of the Herons. Loud were the complaints of the parent birds, until an old Heron thus advised them:—'You should bring some fishes from the pool, and lay them one by one in a line from the hole of yonder Mongoose to the hollow where the Serpent lives. The Mongoose will find him when it comes after the fish, and if it finds him it will kill him.' The advice seemed good, and was acted upon; but in killing the Snake the Mongoose overheard the cry of the young Herons; and climbing the tree daily, he devoured all that the Snake had left. Therefore,' concluded the Geese, 'do we bid you look well into your plan: if you should open your mouth, for instance, as we carry you, you will drop and be killed.'

'Am I a fool,' cried the Tortoise, 'to open my mouth? Not I! Come now, convey me!'

'Thereupon the Geese took up the stick; the Tortoise held fast with his mouth, and away they flew. The country people, observing this strange sight, ran after.

'Ho! ho!' cried one, 'look at the flying Tortoise!'

'When he falls we'll cook and eat him here,' said another.

'No; let us take him home for dinner!' cried a third.

'We can light a fire by the pool, and eat him,' said the first.

'The Tortoise heard these unkind remarks in a towering passion. 'Eat me!—eat ashes!' he exclaimed, opening his mouth—and down he fell directly, and was caught by the countrymen.—Said I not well,' concluded the Goose-Minister, 'that to scorn counsel is to seek destruction?'

'You have well said,' replied King Silver-sides, disconsolately.

'Yes, your Majesty,' interposed the Crane, who was just returned, 'if the Fort had been cleared, Night-cloud could not have fired it, as he did, by the Vulture's instigation.'

'We see it all,' sighed the King, 'but too late!'

'Whoso trusts, for service rendered, or fair words, an enemy,
Wakes from folly like one falling in his slumber from a tree.'
'I witnessed Night-cloud's reception,' continued the Crane. 'King Jewel-plume showed him great favor, and was for anointing him Rajah of Camphor-island.'

'Hear you that, my Liege?' asked the Goose.

'Go on; I hear!' said Silver-sides.

'To that the Vulture demurred,' continued the Crane:—'"favor to low persons," he said, "was like writing on the sea-sand. To set the base-born in the seat of the great was long ago declared impolitic—

'Give mean men power, and give thy throat to the knife;
The Mouse, made Tiger, sought his master's life.'
'How was that?' asked King Jewel-plume. The Vulture related—


The Story of the Recluse and the Mouse

"In the forest of the Sage Gautama there dwelt a Recluse named Mighty-at-Prayer. Once, as he sat at his frugal meal, a young mouse dropped beside him from the beak of a crow, and he took it up and fed it tenderly with rice grains. Some time after the Saint observed a cat pursuing his dependent to devour it, whereupon he changed the mouse into a stout cat. The cat was a great deal harassed by dogs, upon which the Saint again transformed it into a dog. The dog was always in danger of the tigers, and his protector at last gave him the form of a tiger—considering him all this while, and treating him withal, like nothing but a mouse. The country-folk passing by would say, 'That a tiger! not he; it is a mouse the Saint has transformed.' And the mouse being vexed at this, reflected, 'So long as the Master lives, this shameful story of my origin will survive!' With this thought he was about to take the Saint's life, when he, who knew his purpose, turned the ungrateful beast by a word to his original shape. Besides, your Majesty," continued the Vulture, "it may not be so easy to take in Camphor-island—

'Many fine fishes did the old Crane kill,
But the Crab matched him, maugre all his bill.'
'How came that to pass?' asked Jewel-plume.

'The Vulture related:—



The Story of the Crane and the Crab

"There was an old Crane at a mere called Lily-water, in Malwa, who stood one day in the shallows with a most dejected look and drooping bill. A Crab observed him and called out, 'Friend Crane! have you given up eating, that you stand there all day?' 'Nay, sir!' replied the old Crane; 'I love my dish of fish, but I have heard the fishermen say that they mean to capture every one that swims in this water; and as that destroys my hope of subsistence, I am resigning myself to death.' All this the fishes overheard. 'In this matter certainly,' they said, 'his interest is ours; we ought to consult him; for it is written—

'Fellow be with kindly foemen, rather than with friends unkind;
Friend and foeman are distinguished not by title but by mind.'
Thereupon they repaired to him: 'Good Crane,' they said, 'what course is there for safety?'

'Course of safety there is,' replied the Crane, 'to go elsewhere; and I will carry you one by one to another pool, if you please.'

'Do so,' said the trembling fishes.

"The Crane accordingly took one after another, and having eaten them returned with the report that he had safely deposited each. Last of all, the Crab requested to be taken; and the Crane, coveting his tender flesh, took him up with great apparent respect. On arriving at the spot, which was covered with fish-bones, the Crab perceived the fate reserved for him; and turning round he fastened upon the Crane's throat and tore it so that he perished.'

'Well, but,' said King Jewel-plume, 'we can make Night-cloud viceroy here, to send over to Vindhya all the productions of Camphor-isle!'

'Then the Vulture Far-sight laughed a low laugh and said—

'Who, ere he makes a gain has spent it,
Like the pot-breaker/3/ will repent it.'
'What was that?' asked the King. Far-sight related:—


The Story of the Brahman and the Pans

"There was a Brahman in the city of Vána, whose name was Deva Sarman. At the equinoctial feast of the Dussera, he obtained for his duxina-gift a dish of flour, which he took into a potter's shed; and there lay down in the shade among the pots, staff in hand. As he thus reclined he began to meditate, 'I can sell this meal for ten cowrie-shells, and with them I can purchase some of these pots and sell them at an advance. With all that money I shall invest in betel-nuts and body-cloths and make a new profit by their sale; and so go on trafficking till I get a lakh of rupees—what's to prevent me? Then I shall marry four wives—and one at least will be beautiful and young, and she shall be my favorite. Of course the others will be jealous; but if they quarrel, and talk, and trouble me I will belabor them like this—and this'—and therewith he flourished his staff to such a purpose as to smash his meal-dish and break several of the potter's jars. The potter, rushing out, took him by the throat, and turned him off; and so ended his speculations. I smiled, my Liege,' concluded the Vulture, 'at your precipitancy, thinking of that story.'

'Tell me, then, my Father, what should be done,' said the King.

'Tell me first, your Majesty, what took the fortress: strength or stratagem?'

'It was a device of yours,' said the King.

'It is well,' replied the Minister, 'and my counsel now is to return before the rainy season, while we can return; and to make peace. We have won renown and taken the enemy's stronghold; let it suffice. I speak as a faithful adviser; and it is written—

'Whoso setting duty highest, speaks at need unwelcome things,
Disregarding fear and favor, such a one may succor kings.'
Oh, my Liege! war is uncertain! Nay, it may ruin victor and vanquished—
'Sunda the strong, and giant Upasunda,/4/
Contending, like the lightning and the thunder,
Slew each the other. Learn, the while you wonder.'
'Tell me that,' said the King of the Peacocks.

'The Vulture related—



The Duel of the Giants

"Long ago, my Liege, there were two Daityas named Sunda and Upasunda, the which with penance and fasting worshipped that God who wears the moon/5/ for his forehead-jewel; desiring to win his favor, and thereby the lordship of the Three Worlds. At last the God, propitiated by their devotion, spake thus unto them:—

'I grant a boon unto ye—choose what it shall be.'

'And they, who would have asked dominion, were suddenly minded of Saraswati/6/—who reigns over the hearts and thoughts of men—to seek a forbidden thing.

'If,' said they, 'we have found favor, let the Divinity give us his own cherished Parvati,/7/ the Queen of Heaven!'

'Terribly incensed was the God, but his word had passed, and the boon must be granted; and Parvati the Divine was delivered up to them. Then those two world-breakers, sick at heart, sin-blinded, and afire with the glorious beauty of the Queen of Life—began to dispute, saying one to another: 'Mine is she! mine is she!' At the last they called for an umpire, and the God himself appeared before them as a venerable Brahman.

'Master,' said they, 'tell us whose she is, for we both won her by our might.'

'Then spake that Brahman:—

Brahmans for their lore/8/ have honor; Kshattriyas for their bravery;
Vaisyas for their hard-earned treasure; Sudras for humility.'
Ye are Kshattriyas—and it is yours to fight; settle, then, this question by the sword.'

'Thereupon they agreed that he spoke wisely, and drew and battled; and being of equal force, they fell at the same moment by an exchange of blows. Good my Lord,' concluded the Minister, 'peace is a better thing than war,'

'But why not say so before?' asked Jewel-plume.

'I said it at the first,' replied the Minister. 'I knew King Silver-sides for a just King, upon whom it was ill to wage battle. How say the Scriptures?—

'Seven foemen of all foemen, very hard to vanquish be:
The Truth-teller, the Just-dweller, and the man from passion free,
Subtle, self-sustained, and counting frequent well-won victories,
And the man of many kinsmen—keep the peace with such as these.'
The Swan-king has friends and kinsmen, my Liege:—
'And the man with many kinsmen answers with them all attacks;
As the bambu, in the bambus safely sheltered, scorns the axe.'
'My counsel then is that peace be concluded with him,' said the Vulture.

'All this King Silver-sides and his Minister the Goose heard attentively from the Crane.

'Go again!' said the Goose to Long-bill, 'and bring us news of how the Vulture's advice is received.'

'Minister!' began the King, upon the departure of the Crane, 'tell me as to this peace, who are they with whom it should not be concluded?'

'They be twenty,/9/ namely——'

'Tarry not to name them,' said the King; 'and what be the qualities of a good ally?'

'Such should be learned in Peace and War,' replied the Goose, 'in marching and pitching, and seasonably placing an army in the field; for it is said—

'He who sets his battle wisely, conquers the unwary foe;
As the Owl, awaiting night-time, slew the overweening Crow.'
Counsel, my Liege, is quintuple—Commencing, providing, dividing, repelling, and completing,'

'Good!' said the King.

'Power is triple,' continued the Goose, 'being of Kings, of counsels, and of constant effort.'

'It is so!' said the King.

'And expedients, my Liege,' continued the Goose, 'are quadruple, and consist of conciliation, of gifts, of strife-stirring, and of force of arms; for thus it is written—

'Whoso hath the gift of giving wisely, equitably, well;
Whoso, learning all men's secrets, unto none his own will tell;
Whoso, ever cold and courtly, utters nothing that offends,
Such a one may rule his fellows unto Earth's extremest ends.'
'Then King Jewel-plume would be a good ally,' observed the Swan-king.

'Doubtless!' said the Goose, 'but elated with victory, he will hardly listen to the Vulture's counsel; we must make him do it.'

'How?' asked the King.

'We will cause our dependent, the King of Ceylon, Strong-bill the Stork, to raise an insurrection in Jambudwipa.'

'It is well-conceived,' said the King. And forthwith a Crane, named Pied-body, was dismissed with a secret message to that Rajah.

'In course of time the first Crane, who had been sent as a spy, came back, and made his report. He related that the Vulture had advised his Sovereign to summon Night-cloud, the Crow, and learn from him regarding King Silver-sides' intentions. Night-cloud attended accordingly.

'Crow!' asked King Jewel-plume, 'what sort of a Monarch is the Rajah Silver-sides?'

'Truthful, may it please you,' replied the Crow; 'and therewithal noble as Yudisthira/10/ himself.'

'And his Minister, the Goose?'

'Is a Minister unrivalled, my Liege,' said the Crow-king.

'But how then didst thou so easily deceive them?'

'Ah! your Majesty,' said the Crow, 'there was little credit in that. Is it not said?—

'Cheating them that truly trust you, 'tis a clumsy villainy!
Any knave may slay the child who climbs and slumbers on his knee.'
Besides, the Minister detected me immediately. It was the King whose innate goodness forbade him to suspect evil in another:—
'Believe a knave, thyself scorning a lie,
And rue it, like the Brahman, by and by.'
'What Brahman was that?' asked the King. Night-cloud replied:—


The Story of the Brahman and the Goat

"A Brahman that lived in the forest of Gautama, your Majesty. He had purveyed a goat to make pooja,/11/ and was returning home with it on life shoulder when he was descried by three knaves. 'If we could but obtain that goat,' said they, 'it would be a rare trick'; and they ran on, and seated themselves at the foot of three different trees upon the Brahman's road. Presently he came up with the first of them, who addressed him thus: 'Master! why do you carry that dog on your shoulder?' 'Dog!' said the Brahman, 'it is a goat for sacrifice!' With that he went on a coss,/12/ and came to the second knave; who called out—'What doest thou with that dog, Master?' The Brahman laid his goat upon the ground, looked it all over, took it up again upon his back, and walked on with his mind in a whirl; for—

'The good think evil slowly, and they pay
A price for faith—as witness "Crop-ear" may.'
'Who was Crop-ear?' asked the King of the Peacocks.


The Story of the Camel, the Lion, and His Court

"A Camel, may it please you," replied Night-cloud, "who strayed away from a kafila,/13/ and wandered into the forest. A Lion, named 'Fierce-fangs,' lived in that forest; and his three courtiers, a Tiger, a Jackal, and a Crow, met the Camel, and conducted him to their King. His account of himself was satisfactory, and the Lion took him into his service under the name of Crop-ear. Now it happened that the rainy season was very severe, and the Lion became indisposed, so that there was much difficulty in obtaining food for the Court. The courtiers resolved accordingly to prevail on the Lion to kill the Camel; 'for what interest have we,' they said, 'in this browser of thistles?'

'What, indeed!' observed the Tiger; 'but will the Rajah kill him after his promise of protection, think you?'

'Being famished he will,' said the Crow. 'Know you not?—

'Hunger hears not, cares not, spares not; no boon of the starving beg;
When the snake is pinched with craving, verily she eats her egg.'
Accordingly they repaired to the Lion.

'Hast brought me food, fellow?' growled the Rajah.

'None, may it please you,' said the Crow.

'Must we starve, then?' asked his Majesty.

'Not unless you reject the food before you, Sire,' rejoined the Crow.

'Before me! how mean you?'

'I mean,' replied the Crow (and he whispered it in the Lion's ear), 'Crop-ear, the Camel!'

'Now!' said the Lion, and he touched the ground, and afterwards both ears, as he spoke, 'I have given him my pledge for his safety, and how should I slay him?'

'Nay, Sire! I said not slay,' replied the Crow; 'it may be that he will offer himself for food. To that your Majesty would not object?'

'I am parlous hungry,' muttered the Lion.

'Then the Crow went to find the Camel, and, bringing all together before the King under some pretence or other, he thus addressed him:—

'Sire! our pains are come to nothing: we can get no food, and we behold our Lord falling away,

'Of the Tree of State the root
Kings are—feed what brings the fruit.'
Take me, therefore, your Majesty, and break your fast upon me."

'Good Crow,' said the Lion, 'I had liefer die than do so.'

'Will your Majesty deign to make a repast upon me?' asked the Jackal.

'On no account!' replied the Lion.

'Condescend, my Lord,' said the Tiger, 'to appease your hunger with my poor flesh.'

'Impossible!' responded the Lion.

'Thereupon Crop-ear, not to be behind in what seemed safe, made offer of his own carcase, which was accepted before he had finished; the Tiger instantly tearing his flank open, and all the rest at once devouring him.

'The Brahman,' continued Night-cloud, 'suspected nothing more than did the Camel; and when the third knave had broken his jest upon him for bearing a dog, he threw it down, washed himself clean of the contamination, and went home; while the knaves secured and cooked his goat.'

'But, Night-cloud,' asked the Rajah, 'how couldst thou abide so long among enemies, and conciliate them?'

'It is easy to play the courtier for a purpose,' said Night-cloud—

'Courtesy may cover malice; on their heads the woodmen bring,
Meaning all the while to burn them, logs and fagots—oh, my King!
And the strong and subtle river, rippling at the cedar's foot,
While it seems to lave and kiss it, undermines the hanging root.'
Indeed, it has been said—
'A wise man for an object's sake
His foe upon his back will take,
As with the Frogs once did the Snake.'
'How was that?' asked the Peacock-King. The Crow related:—


The Story of the Frogs and the Old Serpent

"In a deserted garden there once lived a Serpent, 'Slow-coil' by name; who had reached an age when he was no longer able to obtain his own food. Lying listlessly by the edge of a pond, he was descried by a certain Frog, and interrogated—

'Have you given up caring for food, Serpent?'

'Leave me, kindly Sir,' replied the subtle reptile; 'the griefs of a miserable wretch like me cannot interest your lofty mind.'

'Let me at least hear them,' said the Frog, somewhat flattered.

'You must know, then, gracious Sir,' began the Serpent, 'that it is now twenty years since here, in Brahmapoora, I bit the son of Kaundinya, a holy Brahman; of which cruel bite he died. Seeing his boy dead, Kaundinya abandoned himself to despair, and grovelled in his distress upon the ground. Thereat came all his kinsmen, citizens of Brahmapoora, and sat down with him, as the manner is—

'He who shares his brother's portion, be he beggar, be he lord,
Comes as truly, comes as duly, to the battle as the board;
Stands before the King to succor, follows to the pile to sigh;
He is friend and he is kinsman—less would make the name a lie.'
Then spoke a twice-passed Brahman,/14/ Kapila by name, 'O Kaundinya! thou dost forget thyself to lament thus. Hear what is written—
'Weep not! Life the hired nurse is, holding us a little space;
Death, the mother who doth take us back into our proper place.'
'Gone, with all their gauds and glories: gone, like peasants, are the Kings,
Whereunto the world is witness, whereof all her record rings.'
What, indeed, my friend, is this mortal frame, that we should set store by it?—
'For the body, daily wasting, is not seen to waste away,
Until wasted, as in water set a jar of unbaked clay.'

'And day after day man goeth near and nearer to his fate,
As step after step the victim thither where its slayers wait.'

Friends and kinsmen—they must all be surrendered! Is it not said—
'Like as a plank of drift-wood
Tossed on the watery main,
Another plank encountered,
Meets—touches—parts again;
So tossed, and drifting ever,
On life's unresting sea,
Men meet, and greet, and sever,
Parting eternally.'
Thou knowest these things, let thy wisdom chide thy sorrow, saying—
'Halt, traveller! rest i' the shade: then up and leave it!
Stay, Soul! take fill of love; nor losing, grieve it!'
But in sooth a wise man would better avoid love; for—
'Each beloved object born
Sets within the heart a thorn,
Bleeding, when they be uptorn.'
And it is well asked—
'When thine own house, this rotting frame, doth wither,
Thinking another's lasting—goest thou thither?'
What will be, will be; and who knows not—
'Meeting makes a parting sure,
Life is nothing but death's door.'
For truly—
'As the downward-running rivers never turn and never stay,
So the days and nights stream deathward, bearing human lives away.'
And though it be objected that—
'Bethinking him of darkness grim, and death's unshunned pain,
A man strong-souled relaxes hold, like leather soaked in rain.'
Yet is this none the less assured, that—
'From the day, the hour, the minute,
Each life quickens in the womb;
Thence its march, no falter in it,
Goes straight forward to the tomb.'
Form, good friend, a true idea of mundane matters; and bethink thee that regret is after all but an illusion, an ignorance—
'An 'twere not so, would sorrow cease with years?
Wisdom sees aright what want of knowledge fears.'
'Kaundinya listened to all this with the air of a dreamer. Then rising up he said, 'Enough! the house is hell to me—I will betake me to the forest.'

'Will that stead you?' asked Kapila; 'nay—

'Seek not the wild, sad heart! thy passions haunt it;
Play hermit in thine house with heart undaunted;
A governed heart, thinking no thought but good,
Makes crowded houses holy solitude.'
To be master of one's self—to eat only to prolong life—to yield to love no more than may suffice to perpetuate a family—and never to speak but in the cause of truth, this,' said Kapila, 'is armor against grief. What wouldst thou with a hermit's life—prayer and purification from sorrow and sin in holy streams? Hear this!—
'Away with those that preach to us the washing off of sin—
Thine own self is the stream for thee to make ablutions in:
In self-restraint it rises pure—flows clear in tide of truth,
By widening banks of wisdom, in waves of peace and ruth.
Bathe there, thou son of Pandu!/15/ with reverence and rite,
For never yet was water wet could wash the spirit white.'
Resign thyself to loss. Pain exists absolutely. Ease, what is it but a minute's alleviation?'

'It is nothing else,' said Kaundinya: 'I will resign myself!' Thereupon,' the Serpent continued, 'he cursed me/16/ with the curse that I should be a carrier of frogs, and so retired—and here remain I to do according to the Brahman's malediction.'

'The Frog, hearing all this, went and reported it to Web-foot the Frog-King, who shortly came himself for an excursion on the Serpent. He was carried delightfully, and constantly employed the conveyance. But one day observing the Serpent to be sluggish, he asked the reason.

'May it please you,' explained the Serpent, 'your slave has nothing to eat.'

'Eat a few of my frogs,' said the King. 'I give you leave.'

'I thank your Majesty!' answered the Serpent, and forthwith he began to eat the frogs, until the pond becoming clear, he finished with their monarch himself. 'I also,' said Night-cloud, 'stooped to conquer, but King Silver-sides is a good King, and I would your Majesty were at peace with him.'

'Peace!' cried King Jewel-plume, 'shall I make peace with my vassal! I have vanquished him—let him serve me!'

"At this moment the Parrot came in. 'Sire!' said he, breathlessly,' the Stork Strong-bill, Rajah of Ceylon, has raised the standard of revolt in Jambudwipa, and claims the country.'

'What! what!' cried the King in a fury.

'Excellent good, Goose!' muttered the Minister. 'This is thy work!'

'Bid him but await me!' exclaimed the King, 'and I will tear him up like a tree!'

'Ah, Sire,' said the Minister—

'Thunder for nothing, like December's cloud,
Passes unmarked: strike hard, but speak not loud.'
We cannot march without making peace first; our rear will be attacked.'

'Must it be so?' asked the King.

'My Liege, it must,' replied the Vulture.

'Make a peace then,' said the King, 'and make an end.'

'It is well,' observed the Minister, and set out for the Court of the King Silver-sides. While he was yet coming, the Crane announced his approach.

'Ah!' said the Swan-King, 'this will be another designing spy from the enemy.'

'Misdoubt him not!' answered the Goose, smiling, 'it is the Vulture Far-sight, a spirit beyond suspicion. Would your Majesty be as the Swan that took the stars reflected in the pool for lily-buds, and being deceived, would eat no lily-shoots by day, thinking them stars?'

'Not so! but treachery breeds mistrust,' replied the Rajah; is it not written—

'Minds deceived by evil natures, from the good their faith withhold;
When hot conjee once has burned them, children blow upon the cold.'
'It is so written, my Liege,' said the Minister. 'But this one may be trusted. Let him be received with compliments and a gift.'

'Accordingly the Vulture was conducted, with the most profound respect, from the fort to the King's audience-hall, where a throne was placed for him.

'Minister,' said the Goose, 'consider us and ours at thy disposal.'

'So consider us,' assented the Swan-King.

'I thank you,' said Far-sight; 'but—

'With a gift the miser meet;
Proud men by obeisance greet;
Women's silly fancies soothe;
Give wise men their due—the truth.'
'I am come to conclude a peace, not to claim your kingdom. By what mode shall we conclude it?'

'How many modes be there?' asked King Silver-sides.

'Sixteen,' replied the Vulture.

'Are the alliances numbered therein?' asked the King.

'No! these be four,' answered the Vulture, 'namely—of mutual help—of friendship—of blood—and of sacrifice.'

'You are a great diplomatist!' said the King. 'Advise us which to choose!'

'There is no Peace like the Golden "Sangata," which is made between good men, based on friendly feeling, and preceded by the Oath of Truth,' replied the Vulture.

'Let us make that Peace!' said the Goose. Far-sight accordingly, with fresh presents of robes and jewels, accompanied the Goose to the camp of the Peacock-King. The Rajah, Jewel-plume, gave the Goose a gracious audience, accepted his terms of Peace, and sent him back to the Swan-King, loaded with gifts and kind speeches. The revolt in Jambudwipa was suppressed, and the Peacock-King retired to his own kingdom.

"And now," said Vishnu-Sarman, "I have told your Royal Highnesses all. Is there anything remaining to be told?"

"Reverend Sir!" replied the Princes, "there is nothing. Thanks to you, we have heard and comprehended the perfect cycle of kingly duty, and are content."

"There remains but this, then," said their Preceptor:—

'Peace and Plenty, all fair things,
Grace the realm where ye reign Kings;
Grief and loss come not anigh you,
Glory guide and magnify you;
Wisdom keep your statesmen still
Clinging fast, in good or ill,
Clinging, like a bride new-wed,
Unto lips, and breast, and head:
And day by day, that these fair things befall,
The Lady Lukshmi give her grace to all.'


/1/ These composite titles may serve as instances of conjoined Sanskrit words. One such in the Champú of Trivikrama contains 118 letters.

/2/ An animal of the weasel kind, very common in India, and valued for its active animosity against all serpents.

/3/ This episode is the undoubted origin of "Almaschar" in the Arabian Nights; and of a host of stories and proverbs against the imprudence of "counting chickens before they are hatched."

/4/ Two of the Daityas, the Hindoo Titans who fought against the Suras.

/5/ Shiva:

"On whose brow the Moon shines brave,
Like the foam on Gunga's wave."
/6/ The wife of Brahma, goddess of speech and eloquence—inventress of the Devanagari character and of the Sanskrit. "Thou," says the Sage Vásistha, addressing her in the Mahabharat (Salya Parva), "art nourishment, radiance, fame, perfection, intellect, light. Thou art speech; thou art Swáhá; this world is thine, and thou, in four-fold form, art in all its creatures."

/7/ The sife of Shiva—another name for Durga, the "Mountain Queen." She is the daughter of Himála, King of the Snowy Hills; and her temple, as at Poona, stands generally on a lofty spot.

/8/ Here is a mention of the four castes, with their distinctive occupations.

/9/ I suppress in this place nineteen shlokes, or stanzas, of the original, which enumerate rather tediously the vices or failings to be avoided in an ally.

/10/ The hero of the Mahabharat, who crowns the devotion of his life by refusing to enter Heaven, unless his wife and friends share in its felicities with him.

/11/ Sacrifice.

/12/ Two miles.

/13/ A caravan.

/14/ The young Brahman, being invested with the sacred thread, and having concluded his studies, becomes of the second order,—a householder—"grihastha."

/15/ Yudisthira, titular son of the Prince of Delhi, in the Mahabharata.

/16/ The power of a Brahman's curse is everywhere illustrated in Hindoo writings. "Carry me to Viswamitra," says Vasistha, "lest he curse thee, O chief of rivers!" (Mahabharata—Salya Parva). These sages transformed each other into birds, by the force of mutual imprecation. Bhagvata-Pooran—ix. 7, 6. But Vaswamitra was originally a Kshattriya, and became a Brahman by his austerities only. Vasistha, a true Brahman, resisted by a curse the celestial weapons raised against him. Saktri also, his son, met the King Kalmashapada, and, refusing to yield the path, was struck by him. The Brahman instantly cursed the King to become a man-eater, and the first victim of the imposed propensity was the powerful but improvident Saktri himself. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva.) The ocean, originally fresh and pure, became salt by the power of a Brahmanic imprecation.



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