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perate ascetic, with ill timed merriment; Are
you prepared to die ?” is it possible, bibi, you can't see my soul “ I am, rather than become the concubine through my skin ? I'm not Veramarken, as of Veramarken!” I seem to be, but Yougal, whom you used “ Your wish shall not be delayed. This to vow you loved better than a banana, day you shall lie in the cold earth with with the fresh morning dew upon its stem. Yougal's body." The Suniassi is on a journey to the stars, He quitted the unhappy Mariataly in a and having left his trunk behind him, I, paroxysm of rage, which the more strongly by means of the secret of the mandiram, convinced her that her former lover had have crept into it and now stand before you, not been addressing her, as he had ever been Veramarken in body, but Yougal in spirit.” tender, and utterly unused to show the
“Nay, that is impossible ; Yougal would least excitement. She was now more than not have abandoned his own body, and cut ever persuaded that he was dead, and the off his own head, when, if what you say idea of being buried in the same grave be true, his soul must so shortly be called with him was to her a matter of rejoicing upon to relinquish its present usurped rather than of grief. For her death had tenement, and take to its own shell: where no terror since the object of her heart's will he find that, when his ashes shall have affection was no more, and she cheerfully been wafted upon the wings of the wind resigned herself to the fate that awaited over the far country?”
her. “Don't fear; the holy man cannot re- That very afternoon the beautiful pariah sume his own flesh, until it shall please me was summoned to attend the interment of to quit it, and that you may rely upon
her deceased lover. A large deep grave I shall never do, while I can enjoy a crown, was dug, upon the side of which the corpse he received as the husband of a beautiful was placed, in a dreadful state of decompoqueen, and as I hope the lover of a sition, covered with a ragged palampore*. still more beautiful pariah.
The unhappy girl advanced to the brink of accept my love, Mariataly, as before I be- the pit without shedding a tear, and, excame a prince?"
pressing her satisfaction at the privilege of “Never! you may be Yougal, but I only being laid beside him in death whom she see before me the unsightly form of Vera- had so fondly loved in life, desired that the marken. I cannot imagine deformity to be solemnity might proceed. After a few beauty, and therefore never can yield my slight forms, the body of Yougal was lowered love to what my heart revolts from. Be- into the receptacle, when Mariataly, having sides, how am I to know that what
tell scattered some flowers over it, descended me is true?”
into the dreary sepulchre. She seated herHow ! dare you disbelieve the declara. self at the head of the corpse. A few tion of a prince ?"
bamboos were then crossed above her “ If a prince, you are no longer the slave head, and fixed firmly into the sides of the Yougal ; you cannot be both.”
pit; upon these branches were thrown, and “ Do not I tell thee that the slave's a canopy being thus formed which presoul has become an inhabitant of the vented the earth from falling upon her, the prince's body, and that thy adorer is ready devoted girl was thus consigned to a living to raise thee to distinction, being determined grave, without one ejaculation of sympathy no longer to submit to the penances of a being expressed at her unhappy fate. Suniassi, but devote his future life to enjoy- Meanwhile the spirit of Veramarken, ment?”
which had been taking its pleasure among “ That you may do, if you please; I the beatified in Indra's paradise, satisfied at will never consent to participate with you length that he had been sufficiently long in those honours of which you are now in pos- such good company forall spiritual purposes, session. Yougal I loved, but detest Vera- and being anxious to see his queen, whom he marken. In you I see only the latter. To had now, as he imagined, grievously pained tell you at once my suspicions, I believe by too long an absence, determined to you to be endeavouring to delude me into a return to this nether world, resume his body, false belief. You are no more Yougal than and, putting off the penitentiary, at least I am the queen.”
for a season, devote, if not the remainder of “ You reject me, then ?' “I do."
his life, at all events a long interval of it, to In a state utterly disconsolate and despairthose enjoyments from which he had ing, he continued to hover over the palace, hitherto debarred himself with painful but unseen by mortal eye, but observed by the righteous perseverance.
benignant Bhavani“, who quitted the manHaving taken a respectful leave of Indra sions of bliss, and meeting the unhappy and his celestial court, the soul of Vera- spirit of her favourite worshipper (for the marken quitted the Swerga, shot, with the saint bowed, before more than one idol), velocity of a sunbeam, from a height immea- consoled it with divine compassion upon its surably above the most distant star visible bereavement. through the largest telescope, and dropped Unhappy essence of a most devout like a ray of light in the cavern where he Suniassi !” said the divine Bhavani, not in had left his body. Alas! it was not to articulate words, but by spiritual communibe found. The radiance which his spirit cation, “thou shalt not wander about this had imbibed, and bore with it from the ce- world in a state of restless disquietude, lestial mansions, filled the whole space with without some shape of mortality to embody a lambent glory, that showed distinctly thee. I know thou longest to be an inevery object; but he could no where habitant of this earth, which thou didst discover the tenement he had quitted. His quit for an interval, and return hither only lamentations, though inaudible except to to encounter bereavement of the sorest celestial ears, were of the most heart- kind. I will therefore prepare thee a body piercing description. He proceeded into in which thy restless soul will find sanctuthe darkness, for it was then night, and ary, until the opportunity shall present spread like a mist over the neighbouring itself of regaining thy own.
To supply jungle, hiding the stars, and affrighting the thee with a human form is beyond my superstitious inhabitants scattered here and power; but such as I can give thee thou there through that desert tract, with the shalt have.” apprehensions of evil omens or of com- She had no sooner made this welcome ing mischief. The wretched Suniassi communication than the form of a beautiful hovered over the palace, where he soon had lory was wafted towards her on the soft the opportunity of witnessing his own lost wings of the morning breeze. The bird body possessed by the soul of his slave, of fell at her feet, and was immediately poswhose discovery in the cavern a headless sessed by the disconsolate spirit of Veracorpse, together with his burial, and that of marken. For some minutes the lory tried the lovely pariah, he soon heard from the its newly-fledged pinions, mounted above casual gossip of the domestics. Enraged the clouds, but soon perched upon the beyond description at the treachery of summit of the palace roof, when, having Yougal, who he now perceived must have made its acknowledgments to Bhavani for overheard him pronounce the mystical man- her divine compassion, that goddess retired diram, he flitted about from place to place behind the sun to those celestial regions like a noxious exhalation. On the follow where she reigned undisputed queen. ing day, to his extreme mortification, he The lory fluttered from window to winsaw the counterfeit of himself enjoying the dow of the palace, anxious to obtain an conversation of his queen, whom it almost entrance into those chambers in which the maddened him to perceive listening, with Princess Maldavee was in the habit of enmore pleasure than she had been wont when joying the pleasures of domestic intercourse. he was with her, to the conversation of his The venetians had not been yet unbarred; menial. What was to be done? The there was consequently no entrance for the miserable spirit had no power of expressing melancholy bird, which bruised its head its indignation, because it was dispossessed and wings against the wooden laths of the of every physical faculty.
blinds in its unavailing efforts to enter the Veramarken was doomed to witness what palace. Finding no access at the upper he could not prevent or interrupt, and in a fit stories, the lory descended to the lower, of spiritual agony he wished that he had never where it was almost immediately caught by become a Suniassi, thinking, for he could not one of the menials, who, admiring the exgive utterance to his thoughts, that his holy treme splendour of its plumage, was deterpenances had heaped misery upon his soul, instead of rendering it everlastingly happy. VOL. X.--NO. V.MAY,
* The Venus of the Hindoos.
mined to present it to her royal mistress. tama, one of the seven Rishis*, and how The extraordinary beauty of the little cap- to account for the change was beyond the tive became the talk of the kitchen, and skill of her philosophy. the rumour of its gorgeous array soon In proportion as the queen became frigid, reached the ears of Maldavee, who desired the counterfeit prince grew irritable, and that it should be brought into her presence. there consequently occurred frequent jars This being done, she was so captivated with between the royal couple. The lory heard its appearance, that she ordered a cage for these bickerings, and the beatings of his it to be hung in her own private apartment, heart ruffled the very feathers of his breast where the lory was henceforward a very as his ear caught the harsh accents with unwilling prisoner. The princess was de- which the presumptuous slave treated his lighted with her beautiful bird, and the mistress, over whom he exercised the severe more so when she found it could speak her dominion of a husband and a sovereign. native language with a fluency truly sur- Maldavee received the stern rebukes of prising. The captive was so placed that it her tyrant with almost passive endurance; could hear and see all which passed in the nevertheless, her dislike increased with her room, and Veramarken was therefore con- patience under tyranny, until it grew at tinually put into a state of agony at wit- length into positive detestation. She could nessing the usurpation of his rights by scarcely bear the sight of the fictitious Yougal. Nothing could exceed the tor- monarch and saint, whose frame, by a long ment daily endured by the Suniassi in period of indulgence, had grown to a comely his cage, at beholding his slave assuming obesity, which, however, was to her even the airs of royalty, and receiving the ca- more odious than the rigid angularity resses of his queen.
caused by a series of torturing inflictions. This, however, he was forced to endure Yougal began to see that the dislike of without a murmur, having no means of re- the royal consort was growing daily colder, covering his body, which he had relinquished and this increased his irritability. His in an unfortunate moment for a mere idle subjects were heard to murmur, and visit to the skies.
expressions of dissatisfaction were uttered Though Yougal was elevated to a distinc- without reserve, even within the walls of tion beyond what he had ever contemplated, the palace. The domestics observed that and was in possession of a lovely bride, he things went very differently now their mascould not help now and then reflecting upon ter seldom quitted his capital, but indulged the interesting Mariataly, whom he had so his longings after sensual gratifications, for cruelly consigned to an untimely grave. He which he showed that he had a most ravenfrequently repented that he had so hastily ous appetite. They remembered with a given way to the base passion of revenge, sigh how much they had been left to their for the comely pariah had really pro- liberty when the royal Suniassi was accusduced a strong impression upon his heart, tomed to retire to the desert, to prepare his which was,
for the moment soul by devout abstraction for the paradise effaced by the fury of disappointment at to which it had thus established an admitted her rejecting his unhallowed passion, when claim t. He never then interfered with the declared to her in the character of the royal innocent recreations, either of his subjects devotee.
or domestics. He thought of nothing but After a short time the menial was so his devotions; and thus all they who preelated with his new position that his sub- ferred pleasure to piety were left to jects began to murmur at his tyranny, and their own choice, without a word of exposeven the queen already felt that she had tulation or inquiry. Now, the prisons were rather too much of his company. Her filled with criminals; stripes were adminisdislike increased daily, but she was afraid tered upon the backs of the refractory to exhibit the real state of her feelings. without stint or measure; the people were There was a coarseness in the conduct of as familiar with oppression as with boiled her no longer penitential husband for which rice; the scales of justice no longer hung she could not account, as, with all his former austerity, there had been still a certain
* These are seven celebrated penitents :-Casyrefinement of manner, which showed that
apa, Atri, Bharadwaja, Gautama, Viswamitra, Jamad.
agoi, and Vasishta. he was of princely lineage, for Veramarken + The Hindoos imagine that by certain penances a traced his lineal descent direct from Gaus
positive right to enjoy the blessing of paradise is obined, which even the Gods cannot set aside.
upon an equal balance; the greatest abuses “Suppose," thought the feathered penieverywhere prevailed, and consequently tent, “ I should ever be restored to that universal discontent.
sainted body which my spirit so unfortuTo account for this sudden and unex- nately quitted, shall I not deplore the loss pected change puzzled all the conjurors; of my nose ? But how am I ever to gain not one of them could unravel the mystery. possession of my fleshly tenement ? There One ventured to imagine that the king is not the slightest chance of this. The was under the influence of some of the wretch who has taken up his spiritual emissaries of Yama, whose office it is to habitation in the once uncontaminated frame corrupt the souls of holy men, and seduce of one of the devoutest of Suniassis, knows them to his infernal abodes. Another too well the advantages of his transmutation would not for a moment admit that the to relinquish them.” soul of so pious a penitentiary, who had The miserable lory ruffled its plumes, rivalled all the seven penitents in the dread- drooped its head upon its bright crimson ful severity of his mortifications, could on a breast, closed its eyes, and raised one leg presudden have abandoned the claims to which paratory to taking a short repose over its his penances entitled him, and have sub- misfortunes. All would not do ; sleep, that mitted to the dominion of that retributory comes to all, hung not upon its weary eyedivinity who presides over the infernal lids, and the unhappy bird was forced to prison of dooined souls, to whom he awards think
what it had lost by neglecting everlasting tortures. No one, however, a young and lovely consort for the society couldassign the true cause of that remarkable of Asuras, in regions beyond the sun. change which had lately distinguished the Whilst occupied by these melancholy reconduct of their royal master, and general flections à noise caught its ear, which gloom prevailed. Commerce became lan- sounded like vehement expressions of rage. guid ; the cultivation of the land was neg- Hopping from the roof to the coping of the lected; the rains failed during one entire parapet, and looking down into the spacious monsoon*, and famine was the unhappy court below, it perceived the incensed consequence. Still the sovereign seemed to Yougal issue from the palace, with a large feel no sympathy for his unhappy people: yellow plaster of turmeric upon the spot he neither abridged his pleasures nor his where the nasal organ lately projected, issuexpenses. His troops were kept in arrears, ing his orders in a tone of frantic exacerbaand his treasury was all but drained. The tion, that the lory should be instantly pursued, royal voluptuary, nevertheless, made not
and its neck wrung. the least abatement in the extravagance of “If,” he cried, “I have not the head of his pursuits.
that treacherous bird before me ere the sun In proportion as the king grew tyrannical,
sinks behind yonder forest, every head that the queen became cold; this so irritated the has a living tongue in it within these walls impatient Yougal, that one day, in the ve- shall grin upon spikes for the benefit of the hemence of his indignation, he struck her vultures before the next dawn.” rudely on the cheek.
• Cree-cree-cree,” cried the lory, and The lory, then perched upon the top of darting upwards, was in a few moments its cage (for it was frequently released from above the clouds. The king grew more confinement), seeing the assault, could frantic than ever; a sudden pang, remindno longer contain its rage, but, flying from ing him of the loss of his nose, rendered him its perch, seized the nose of the counterfeit almost beside himself. He raved as if he monarch in its beak, and tore off the whole
had been stark mad, stamped, swore, and cartilage, then, fluttering for an instant, thumped his attendants with his embroidered with a scream of triumph darted through a slippers ; but this producing no sensible imwindow that happened to be open, and es- pression, he seized the right ear of one of caped to the roof of the palace, where it was his favourite domestics between his teeth, beyond the reach of Yougal's wrath. It and bit it with such hearty good-will that was some consolation to the unquiet soul of the poor fellow dropped on his knees in an Veramarken to think that it had left upon agony of reverential alarm, imploring most its enemy the mark of its revenge, which lustily for a remission of the penalty to the tyrant would carry with him to his which his master was subjecting him. grave.
There was evidently no catching the lory, * The monsoon is the rainy season.
which had secured its
The loss of his nose, instead of awakening ken, the holiest Suniassi that ever paid the regal tyrant to a proper sense of duty, homage at my shrine, who, when in the rendered him the more violent and head- body (thy absence from which thou now so strong. He treated the queen at length grievously mournest), hast lain six hours with such severity that she avoided his longer upon a bed of iron spikes, and drunk presence altogether, which irritated him to
more putrid water from the sacred Ganges so extreme a degree, that he ordered her to than any penitentiary since the first coming be confined to her apartment and dieted like of Menu*, do not let me see thee thus dea criminal.
spond. Thou mayest still regain thy former Meanwhile, the lory having flown above position upon earth, if thou art not too imthe stars, uttered the mandiram. The patient under thy present bereavement. soul of Veramarken instantly quitted it, Listen to what I counsel thee, and rememand ascended to the celestial abode of Bha- ber that the infallible wisdom of divinities vani, who received the unquiet spirit with renders their counsel worth attending to. that divine courtesy for which she has ever He who was once thy slave is already a been remarkable among the divinities wor- miserable man; he has rendered himself shipped by all pious Hindoos. No sooner despised by thy subjects, and detested by thy had the soul of Veramarken abandoned the queen. Descend thou to earth, and hover lory's feathers, than the lifeless bird dropped near him in thy invisibility, for it is not into the court of the palace, where it was unlikely that he, disgusted with his present picked up by the unfortunate domestic state, may eject his own spirit, in order to whose ear had been so severely bitten by visit the Swerga, when thou mayest take his master. The overjoyed menial took possession of thy then untenanted body, the lory to the noseless monarch, who and be as happy as the state of a Suniassi seized it with a grin of savage triumph, can render thee." and, ordering it to be stuffed with pepper, Veramarken took Bhavani's advice, and hung it up in the queen's chamber, as a me- immediately descending upon earth, hovered morial of accomplished revenge.
round the head of Yougal, who felt in conIt was many weeks before the wound in sequence such a perpetual whizzing in his the king's face healed, and when it did, the ears that he was in a state of unceasing torcicatrice presented a horrible chasm between ture. Day after day he was tormented with his eyes and upper lip, where the olfactory this new visitation, until his life was a member formerly rested, and which he positive burthen to him. From constant could not persuade to grow again. Cata- vexation he grew thin and rickety, as if plasms of turmeric were in vain applied to second childhood had suddenly come upon induce the natural protuberance to extend him. His body became pursy and flaccid, itself as formerly. Nothing would do; the his limbs stiff, his appetite capricious, and rent nostrils gaped hideously, and the mor- his voice hollow. Ulcers broke out in his tified tyrant shrank from the reflection of flesh and drained him to the very marrow. his own face whenever he stood before a His nights were sleepless, and his days mirror, or took his bath in the marble sar. without a beam of joy to gladden them. cophagus within the palace-garden.
His withered cheeks were stained with the Although the spirit of Veramarken was tears of unuttered grief, and his breast once more in paradise, in the society of the laboured with perpetual sighs. At length loveliest of the Asuras, those who at his life became so insupportable that he tended upon the incomparable Bhavani, determined to avail himself of the
power incomparable even among divinities—it he possessed of disembodying his harassed was still more miserable than if it had been spirit, now associated with so much miundergoing the most dreadful inflictions in sery, and seek for a while the heaven of the abode of Yama, where sinful souls are Indra, supposing that by this time Veratortured so variously as to do infinite credit marken had ceased to entertain any furto the ingenuity of that deity's ministers. ther thoughts of returning to earth. Having, He wandered about the celestial groves as after deliberate reflection come to this determoodily as if he were in a desert upon earth, mination, he uttered the potent mandiram. instead of being in a paradise above the skies, In a moment his soul was disengaged from Bhavani, having summoned him to her the frame of the Suniassi, which that of presence, thus addressed the ejected soul of her pious adorer - Spirit of Veramar
The Noah of the Hindoos ard their great lawgiver.