Scene II


The same.

Mahasegn, Ungarica, Gopalaca, Vuthsa.

King of Avunthie, Chunda Mahasegn,
Thy will I have performed. Thy dangerous foe,
The boy who rivalled thy ripe victor years
I lay, thy captive, at thy feet.

Thou hast done well; thou art indeed my son.
Vuthsa, –

Hail, monarch of the West. We have met
In equal battle; it has pleased me now to approach
Thy greatness otherwise.

Pleased thee, vain youth!
No, but thy fate indignant that thou strovest
Against much prouder fortunes.

Think it so.
I am here. What wouldst thou with me, King, or wherefore
Hast thou by violence brought me to thy house?

To adore me as sole master, king and lord,
Assuming my great yoke as all have done
From Indus to the South.

Thou art in error.
Thou hast not great Cowsambie’s monarch here,
But Vuthsa only, Sathaneka’s son,
Who sprang from sires divine.

And where then dwells
Cowsambie’s youthful majesty if not
In thee, its golden vessel?

Where my throne
In high Cowsambie stand. Thou shouldst know that.
There is a kingship which exceeds the king;
For Vuthsa unworthy, Vuthsa captive, slain,
This is not captive, this cannot be slain,
It far transcends our petty human forms,
It is a nation’s greatness. That, O king,
Was once Parikshit, that Urjoona’s seed,
Janamejoya, that was Sathaneka,
That Vuthsa; and when Vuthsa is no more,
That shall live deathless in a hundred kings.

Thou speakest like the unripe boy thou seemst,
With thoughts high-winging; grown minds keep to earth’s
More humble sureness and prefer to touch.
I am content to have thy gracious body here,
This earth of kingship, for with that I deal
And not with any high and formless thought.

My body! Deal with it. It is thy slave
And captive by thy choice, as by my own.
What thou canst do with Vuthsa, do, O king.
In nothing will I pledge Cowsambie’s majesty,
But Vuthsa is thy own and in thy hands.
Him I defend not from thy iron will.

My prisoner, thou canst not so escape
My purpose.

I embrace it. If escape
I simply meant, I should not now be there.
`Tis not by bars or gates I can be bound.

But I will give thee other jailors, boy,
Surer than my armed sentries, against whom
Thou dar’st not lift thy helpless hands.

Find, such,
I am content.

Humble thy bearing proud!
Be Vuthsa or be great Cowsambie’s king,
Thou art here my captive only and my slave.

I accept thy stern rebuke as I accept
Whatever state the wiser gods provide
And bend my mood and action to their thought.

Vuthsa, thou hast opposed my sovereign will
Who meant to make all lands my private plot,
Fields for my royal tilling. Thou hast fought
And that by war I could not tame thee, hold
As thy most unexampled glory. Now
My proud resistless fortune brings thee here;
Thou must, young hero, brook enslaved my will.
Thou knowst the law; whoever offers empire
A sacrifice to the high-seated gods,
Him must his subject kings as menials serve;
And this compelled have many proud lords done
Whose high beginnings disappear in Time.
But now I will make all my royal days
A high continual solemn sacrifice of kingship.
Thee, who are Bharuth’s heir, a high-throned son
Of emperors and my equal in the world,
All thy long time I will superbly keep
Ornament and emblem of my arrogant greatness,
A royal serf of my proud house. Thee Vuthsa,
As fitting thy yet tender years, I make
My daughter’s servant, by her handmaidens
Guarded, thy jailors firm whose gracious cordon
Not even thy courage can transgress. To this
Dost thou consent?

Not only I consent,
But welcome with a proud aspiring mind,
Since to be Vasavadutta’s servitor
Is honour, happiness and fortune’s grace.
My greatness this shall raise, not cast it down,
King Mahasegn.

Lead then, Gopalaca,
My gift, this captive, to thy sister’s feet.
He has a music that desires the gods,
A brush that outdoes Nature and a song
The luminous choristers of heaven have taught.
All this she can command or she can take;
For all he has, is hers. Thou smilest, boy?

What thou hast said is simply truth. And yet
I smiled to see how strong and arrogant minds
Dream themselves masters of the things they do.

Gopalaca and Vuthsa go out by a door leading
inward toVasavadutta’s apartments.

`Tis only a charming boy, Ungarica,
Who vaunts and yields?

What he has shown thee, King,
Thou seest.

Wilt thou lend next this graceful child,
Almost a girl in beauty, thoughts profound
And practised subtleties? I have done well,
Was deeply inspired.

He goes from the chamber towards the outer palace.

UNGARICA looking after him
For him thou hast and her.
Our own ends seeking Heaven’s ends we serve.