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him his own picture drawn by Malati, which he had obtained from one of her damsels, and in return Mad'hava draws the features of the young heroine on the same tablet, and writes under it a passionate stanza. The tablet is conveyed by the attendants alternately to the lovers, whose affection is thus fostered and increased. Meantime the king sends to Bhurivasa, to make the projected proposal for the marriage of his daughter with the favourite Nandana, and the minister having answered that the king may dispose of his daughter as he pleases, the lovers are thrown into great agitation. Camandaci then contrives another interview between them in a public garden, but at the same moment a cry of terror announces that a tremendous tyger had rushed from the temple of Siva, and the youthful Madayantica sister of Nandana is in great danger, when Mad'hava's companion Macaranda is seen rushing to her rescue. He kills the tyger, is himself wounded behind the scenes, and is brought in insensible, but revives by the care of the women, and Madayantica whom he has saved falls in love with him.

The preparations for the marriage of Malati with Nandana are then announced, and Mad'hava takes a resolution which none but a Hindû lover could have imagined, namely, that of going to the cemetery and selling his living flesh

to the ghosts and malignant spirits, in order to obtain the accomplishment of his wishes. While he is wandering by night for this purpose among the tombs, where in a soliloquy he thus describes the cemetery, "the river that bounds it, and tremendous is the roaring of the stream breaking away the bank, while its waters are embarrassed among fragments of skulls, and its shores resound horribly with the howling of shakals and the cry of owls screeching amidst the contiguous woods," he is alarmed by the voice of a female in distress, and recognises the voice of Malati.

The scene opens and discovers the enchanter and sorceress above named, with Malati adorned as a victim, the inhuman wizard having stolen her while sleeping for the purpose of a sacrifice to the dreadful goddess. While he is preparing the horrid rites, Mad'hava rushes forward and Malati flies to his arms for protection, when voices are heard without in search of her; Mad'hava places her in safety and encounters the magician, when they quit the stage fighting. The event of the combat is told by the sorceress, who vows vengeance against the hero for slaying her preceptor. And here an European writer would have finished his piece with his fifth act; but a Hindu, whose story can never be too long, continues it through five other acts, and relates

the contrivance of the priestess to dress Macaranda in the habit of Malati, and thus to disgust Nanda and obtain an interview for the disguised lover with Nanda's sister, who agrees to accompany him to the place of Malati's concealment, where however they do not find her; for the sorceress has carried her off in a flying car. The lover and friends are now in the utmost despair, till the arrival of Saudamini the pupil of the priestess, who by her preternatural power releases Malati, and the play concludes with a double wedding.

This story you perceive has considerable interest, and, bating the preternatural part, is really dramatic. But I have already said so much of it that I fear I shall have tired you, and therefore I shall say adieu.

P.S. I had forgotten while on the subject of dramatic writing, that as we have had our mysteries and moralities in Europe, the Hindûs are not without a sort of mystic drama, the only specimen of which that I have seen is entitled "The Rise of the Moon of Intellect," and its subject is the war between king Reason and king Passion, wherein all the orthodox virtues and follies fight for the first, and the poor heretics are all turned over to the service of king Passion, who is not overcome till the birth of young

Intellect, I forget whether male or female, when

the play ends*.

LETTER IV.

YOUR enquiry concerning the lyric and amatory poetry of the Hindûs, encourages me to hope that my last letter was more interesting to you than I had dared to believe when I dispatched it. There certainly can be no difference of opinion concerning the puerile taste that could tolerate Hanumân and his baboon associates in an epic poem; yet we must not forget that one of our best poets in the present age has his Gylbin Horner.

As the belief of necromancy and magic was general in India, I cannot see the impropriety of introducing it in poems of every description. The magic of Medea and the incantations of the Weird Sisters are great examples of the sublime use that may be made of this supernatural, and I had almost said, picturesque machinery; and though my knowledge of the classics is only a kind of secondhand acquaintance

* Since these Letters went to press, a particular account of Dr. Taylor's Translation of the "Rise of the Moon of Intellect," has appeared in the forty-fourth number of the Edinburgh Review.

through the medium of translation, like the man who fancied himself intimate with the village lord, because he had crossed the ferry in the same boat with his lordship's horses, I will venture to ask you, if the sorceress of Bhavabhuti be not at least as poetical a personage as Lucan's old witch? The fatal effects of the hasty curse pronounced by the choleric Brahmin in Sacontala, shocks you, but you forget how many Greeks fell sacrifices to the vengeful imprecations of Chryses, or how Ajax perished and Ulysses wandered, the victims of supernatural curses.

I know you will laugh at all this, but remember I am not saying that the luxuriant shoots of the Oriental palm-tree surpass in beauty or in flavour the purple clusters of the European vine, but only that there is a beauty, inferior indeed, but striking and characteristic in these monuments of eastern civilization and literature.

I believe that there are many lyric poets among the Hindû writers, but I can only name Jayadeva, whose odes the Hindûs are fond of explaining in a moral and religious sense, as the Persians do those of Hafiz, but I believe that the poets certainly mean what they say, and not what their countrymen choose to attribute to them, and I think you will be of the same opi

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