Kathasaritsagara (the Ocean of Story)

by Somadeva | 1924 | 1,023,469 words | ISBN-13: 9789350501351

This is the English translation of the Kathasaritsagara written by Somadeva around 1070. The principle story line revolves around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the Vidhyādharas (‘celestial beings’). The work is one of the adoptations of the now lost Bṛhatkathā, a great Indian epic tale said to have been composed by ...

Notes on the story of Devasmitā

Note: this text is extracted from Book II, chapter 13.

A. Note on the second part of the story of Devasmitā:

With regard to the incident of the bitch and the pepper in the story of Devasmitā see the note in the first volume of Wilson’s Essays on Sanskrit Literature. He says:

“This incident with a very different and much less moral dénouement is one of the stories in the Disciplina Clericalis, a collection of stories professedly derived from the Arabian fabulists and compiled by Petrus Alfonsus, a converted Jew, who flourished about 1106 and was godson to Alfonso I, King of Aragon. In the Analysis prepared by Mr Douce, this story is the twelfth, and is entitled ‘Stratagem of an Old Woman in Favour of a Young Gallant.’ She persuades his mistress, who had rejected his addresses, that her little dog was formerly a woman, and so transformed in consequence of her cruelty to her lover. (Ellis’ Metrical Romances, i, 130.) This story was introduced into Europe, therefore, much about the time at which it was enrolled among the contents of the Bṛhat-Kathā in Kashmir. The metempsychosis is so much more obvious an explanation of the change of forms that it renders it probable the story was originally Hindu. It was soon copied in Europe, and occurs in Le Grande as La vieille qui séduisit la jeune Jille, iii, 148 [ed. Ill, vol. iv, 50]. The parallel is very close and the old woman gives

une chienne à manger des choses fortement saupoudrêes de senève qui lui picotait le palais et les notifies et Vanimal larmoyait beaucoup.

She then shows her to a young woman and tells her the bitch was her daughter.

Son malheur fut d’avoir le cæur dur; un jeune homme Vaimait, elle le rebuta. Le malheureux après avoir tout tenté pour Vattendrir, désespéré de sa dureté en prit tant de chagrin quil tomba malade et mourut. Dieu l'a bien vengé; voyez en quel état pour la punir il a reduit ma pauvre Jille, et comment elle pleure sa faute.

The lesson was not thrown away.

“The story occurs also in the Gesta Romanoruin as ‘The Old Woman and her Dog’ [in Bohn’s edition it is tale xxviii], and it also finds a place where we should little have expected to find it, in the Promptuarium of John Herolt of Basil, an ample repository of examples for composing sermons: the compiler, a Dominican friar, professing to imitate his patron saint, who always abundabat exemplis in his discourses.”

(In Bohn’s edition we are told that it appears in an English garb amongst a translation of Æsop’s Fables published in 1658.)

Dr Rost refers us to Th. Wright, Latin Stories, London, 1842, p. 218; Loiseleur Deslongchamps, Essai sur les Fables Indiennes, Paris, 1838, p. 106 et seq.; F. H. Von der Hagen, Gesammtabenteuer, 1850, I, cxii et seq.; and Grasse, I, i, 374 et seq. In Gonzenbach’s Sicilianische Märchen, No. 55, vol. i, p. 359, Epomata plays some young men much the same trick as Devasmitā, and they try in much the same way to conceal their disgrace. The story is the second in my copy of the Suka Saptati. -

As the story in our text is not only an excellent example of a migratory tale, but one on which the effects of new environment are plainly discernible, I shall treat the second part of the story of Devasmitā at some length.

The incident of the bitch and the pepper became at an early date a common motif throughout Eastern collections of stories. It enters into every cycle of tales dealing with the deceits and tricks of women—such a favourite theme in the East. In its original form (in the Ocean of Story) we see that the dénouement is much more moral than in its numerous variants, where the wife is persuaded by the wiles of the bawd and grants her favours to the lover who is introduced into her house.

In the Persian Sindibād Nāma, the Syriac Sindban, the Greek Syntipas and the Libro de los Engaños it forms the fourth vazir’s story, but in the Hebrew Sandabar it becomes the second vazir’s story.

In the Sindibād Nāma the third vazir’s story is “The Libertine Husband,” in which an old man is married to a young and beautiful wife. He often goes away to a farm outside the city, when his wife takes advantage of his absence and meets many lovers. One day the old husband, instead of going straight home, calls on a bawd in order to be introduced to a mistress. The bawd says she knows the very woman, and leads the husband to his own wife. Being a very clever woman, she hides her own confusion and makes him believe the whole thing was a trick to expose his infidelity, which she had long suspected.

Now we find in the Arabic versions of the “bitch and pepper” incident that the Persian “Libertine Husband” story has been worked in as well, with certain slight alterations. Thus in the Nights (Burton, vol. vi, pp. 152-156) it appears as “The Wife’s Device to Cheat her Husband.” Here both husband and wife are young and good-looking. For some time past “a certain lewd youth and an obscene” has been casting loving glances at her, and accordingly employs a go-between on his behalf. The husband is away from home on business; the bawd plays the “bitch and pepper” trick with such success that she agrees to accept the attentions of the youth. All is arranged, but apparently some accident happens to the youth, as he fails to turn up at the appointed time. The bawd has been promised ten dinars, so she must produce some young man. She is in despair when suddenly “her eyes fell on a pretty fellow, young and distinguished-looking.” She approaches him and asks if he has a mind to meat and drink and a girl adorned and ready. He is accordingly taken to the house and is amazed to find it is his own. The wife then avoids trouble by pretending the whole thing is a trick.

The above version is found practically unchanged in Nefzaoui’s Perfumed Garden, p. 207 et seq.

In the Tūtī-Nāma and the Suka Saptati the “bitch and pepper” incident is absent, only the “libertine husband” part occurring. In another tale from the Suka Saptati (ii, p. 23 of the translation by R. Schmidt, 1899) we have a variant of the “bitch and pepper” story alone. Here the lady is the wife of a prince; a youth becomes enamoured of her, and his mother, seeing the ill effect his love has on his health, manages by the “bitch and pepper” trick to win the lady’s love for her son.

For further details concerning these different forms of this motif in the various Eastern versions reference should be made to Comparetti’s Researches respecting the Book of Sindibād, pp. 47-49, Folk-Lore Society, 1882; Clouston’s Book of Sindibād, pp. 58, 6l and 224 et seq.; and Chauvin’s Bibliographie des Ouvrages Arabes, viii, pp. 45, 46, where under “ La Chienne qui Pleure” will be found numerous references.

In the old German poem by Konrad of Würtzburg (Hagen, Gesammtabenteuer, vol. i, No. 9) called “ The Old Wife’s Deception” is an almost exact imitation of “ The Libertine Husband,” except that it is the old bawd who entirely on her own account gets the two chief people in the story anxious to have a rendezvous. Details will be found in Lee, The Decameron, its Sources and Analogues, p. 81. (He also gives numerous instances of the wife taking the place of the mistress.)

The idea of inducing a lady to take a lover by showing her the unhappy results, which were brought about in the case of another woman who was too particular in this respect, is well known from the story of “Nastagio and the Spectre Horseman,” which forms the eighth novel of the fifth day of The Decameron. Here Nastagio fails to gain the love of a damsel of the Traversari family. One day he wanders through a pine wood and suddenly hears the cries of a woman in distress. He looks up and sees a nude woman being chased by two huge mastiffs and a knight in armour with rapier in hand. On attempting to defend the woman he is told that when alive the woman had scorned his love and he had killed himself. When the woman died it was decreed that she would be ever fleeing before him and his love would be changed to hatred. Two dogs would help in the pursuit, who would bite her in pieces and tear out and eat her cold heart. As soon as this is done the woman becomes whole again and the chase goes on. Nastagio, on discovering the phantom horseman will be in the pine wood again on the following Friday, arranges for the Traversari damsel and her kinsfolk to breakfast in the wood. In the middle of the meal, however, the company is thrown into confusion by the sudden appearance of the naked woman, the dogs and the knight. The whole scene is enacted again. Nastagio explains that it is merely a case of Heaven fulfilling its decree. The maiden, afraid of a similar fate, looks favourably on Nastagio’s suit.

For further details of this part of our story reference should be made to Lee, op cit.f p. 169; Keller, Li Romans des Sept Sages, Tübingen, 1836, p. cxlvi; Gesta Romanorum, Oesterley, p. 499, No. 228; and Jacob’s Æsops Fables, vol. i, p. 266. —n.m.p.

B. A metrical version of the “story of Devasmitā”:

The following metrical version of the “Story of Devasmitā” was translated by the Rev. B. Hale Wortham and printed in the Joum. Roy. As. Soc., vol. xvi, N.S., 1884, pp. 1-12. It is reproduced here in full by kind permission of the Royal Asiatic Society, and affords an interesting comparison with our text.

Upon this earth a famous city stands
Called Tāmraliptā; once a merchant dwelt
Within that town, possessed of endless wealth,
Named Dhanadatta. Now he had no son.
Therefore with all due reverence he called
The priests together ; and he spoke and said:—
“I have no son: perform, most holy Sirs !
Such rites as may procure for me a son,
Without delay.” The Brāhmans answering
Said: “This indeed is easy: there is naught
Impossible to Brāhmans by the means
Of sacred rites ordained by Holy Writ.
This be a proof to you. In times gone by
There lived a king, and though his wives surpassed
By five a hundred, yet he had no son.
At last a son—the fruit of sacrifice—
Was born to him: to whom they gave the name
Of Santu: and the prince’s wives were filled
With joy as if the newly risen moon
First broke upon their eyes. It happened once
The child was crawling on the ground,—an ant
Bit him upon the thigh; and at the smart
He sobbed and cried. Immediately there rose
The sound of woe, and lamentation filled
The royal palace, while the king himself
Forgot his royal state, and cried aloud,
1 My son ! my son !‘ Ere long the child’s lament
Was pacified—the ant removed. The king,
Reflecting thus upon the cause which led
To all his sorrow, thought; ‘My heart is filled
With pain because I have, alas ! but one,
One only son. Is there,’ he asked, in grief,
‘Most holy Brāhmans,—is there any means
By which innumerable sons may be
My lot ?’ They answered him, ‘There is, O king,
But one expedient. Slay this thy son,
And offer up his flesh a sacrifice.
Thy wives shall smell the savour of his flesh
Burnt by the fire: so shall they bear thee sons.’
The King, obedient to the Brāhmans’ word,
Strengthened with all due pomp and ritual,
Offered the sacrifice: and thus ere long
Each wife bore him a son. So too will we
By sacrifice and offering procure
A son for you.” When Dhanadatta heard
The Brāhmans, then the sacrificial fee
He gave, and they performed the sacrifice ;
So through that sacrifice the merchant gained
A son, named Guhasena. Time went on,
The boy grew up and Dhanadatta sought
A wife for him. So then the father went
To some far distant country with his son,
On the pretence of traffic: but in truth
To get his son a bride. And there he begged
One Dharmagupta—held in high repute
Among his fellow-citizens—to give
His daughter Devasmitā as a bride
To Guhasena. But the father loved
His child, nor cared that she should be allied
With one whose home was in a distant land.
But Devasmitā saw the merchant’s son,
And at the sight of him, so richly graced
With virtues, lo! her heart fled from her grasp,
Nor thought she more of sire or home, but sent
A trusty friend to tell him of her love.
And then, leaving her native land, she fled
By night with her beloved. So they came
To Tāmraliptā: and the youthful pair
Were joined in wedlock, while their hearts were knit
Together in the bonds of mutual love.
Then Guhasena’s father passed away
From earth to heaven: and kinsmen urged on him
A journey to Kaṭāha, for the sake
Of merchandise. But Devasmitā, filled
With doubt,—fearing her husband’s constancy
Might fail, attracted by another’s charms,
Refused to listen to him when he spoke
Of his departure. Guhasena’s mind
Was filled with doubt, on one side urged by friends
To go, while on the other side his wife
Was hostile to his journey. Thus what course
He should pursue—his heart intent on right—
He knew not. Therefore to the god he went
With rigid fast, and now, hoping to find
His way made plain before him, through the aid
Of the Divinity ; and with him went
His wife. Then in a dream the god appeared
With two red lotuses: and Śiva said—
Placing a lotus in the hand of each:—
“Take each of you this lotus in your hand ;
If in your separation one shall be
Unfaithful, then the lotus flower shall fade
The other holds.” The pair awaking saw
The lotus blossom in each other’s hand.
And as they gazed it seemed as though each held
The other’s heart. Then Guhasena went
Forth on his journey, bearing in his hand
The crimson lotus: while, with eyes fast fixed
Upon her flower, Devasmitā stayed
At home. No long time passed—in Kaṭāha
Arrived her husband,—making merchandise
Of jewels. Now it happened that there dwelt
Four merchants in that country: when they saw
The unfading lotus ever in his hand,
Wonder possessed them. So by stratagem
They brought him home, and put before him wine
In measure plentiful. And he, deprived
Of mastery o’er his sense, through drunkenness,
Told them the whole. Then those four merchants planned,
Like rascals as they were, to lead astray
The merchant’s wife through curiosity.
For well they knew that Guhasena’s trade
Would keep him long in Kaṭāha engaged
On merchandise. Therefore they left in haste
And secrecy—to carry out their plan,
And entered Tāmraliptā. There they sought
Some one to help them, and at last they found
A female devotee, dwelling within
The sanctuary of Buddha: “Honoured dame !”
They said, addressing her with reverence,
“Wealth shall be thine in plenty, if in this
Our object thou wilt grant to us thy help.”
“Doubtless,” she said, “some woman in this town
Is your desire: tell me and you shall gain
Your wish. I want no money: for enough
I have, through Siddhikarī’s care,—
My pupil of distinguished cleverness,
By whose beneficence I have obtained
Riches untold.” “We pray thee, tell us now,”
Exclaimed the merchants, “how these riches came
To thee through Siddhikarī.” “Listen then !”
Replied the devotee. “If you, my sons,
Desire to hear it, I will tell the tale:—
Some time ago a certain merchant came
Here from the north, and while within this town
He dwelt, my pupil, meaning treachery,
Begged, in disguise, the post of serving maid
In his abode: and after having gained
The merchant’s confidence, she stole away
At early dawn, and carried off with her
The merchant’s hoard of gold. And as she went
Out from the city, flying rapidly
Through fear, a certain Ḍomba followed her
Bearing his drum, on plunder bent. At length
In headlong flight, a Nyagrodha tree
She reached, and seeing that her foe was close
Behind her, putting on a look of woe
The crafty Siddhikarī said, ‘Alas !
A grievous strife of jealousy has come
Between my spouse and me, therefore my home
Have I forsaken, and I fain would end
My life; therefore I pray thee make a noose
That I may hang myself.’ The Ḍomba thought,
‘Nay! why should I be guilty of her death ?
Nought is she but a woman ! let her hang
Herself.’ And therefore tying up the knot,
He fixed it firmly for her to the tree.
Then said she, feigning ignorance,f This noose—
Where do you place it ? I entreat of you
To show me.’ Then the Ḍomba put the drum
Upon the ground, and mounting on it, tied
Round his own neck the noose; ‘This is the way,
He said, f we do the job! * Then, with a kick,
The crafty Siddhikarī smashed the drum
To atoms: and the thievish Ḍomba hung
Till he was dead. Just then in view there came
The merchant, seeking for his stolen gold.
Standing beneath the tree, not far ahead,
He saw his servant maid. She saw him too—
Into the tree she climbed, unseen by him,
And hid among the leaves. The merchant soon
Arrived, attended by his serving men.
He found the Ḍomba hanging by a rope,
But as for Siddhikarī, nought of her
Could he perceive. One of his servants said:
‘What think you ? Has she climbed into this tree ?’
And straightway clambered up. Then seeing him,
‘Ah ! sir,’ said Siddhikarī, ‘now indeed
I am rejoiced: for you have ever been
My choice. Take all this wealth, my charming friend,
And come ! embrace me!’ So the fool was caught
By Siddhikarī’s flattery ; and she,
Kissing him on the lips, bit off his tongue.
Then uttering spluttering sounds of pain, the man
Fell from the tree, spitting from out his mouth
The blood. The merchant seeing this, in fear and haste
Ran homewards, thinking that his serving man
Had been the victim of some demon foul.
Then Siddhikarī, too, not less alarmed,
Descended from the tree, and got clear off
With all the plunder. In this way, my sons,
Through her ability I have obtained
The wealth, which through her kindness I enjoy.”
Just as she finished, Siddhikarī came
Into the house: and to the merchant’s sons
The devotee presented her. “My sons!”
Said the ascetic, “tell me openly
Your business: say what woman do you seek—
She shall be yours.” They said, “Procure for us
An interview with Devasmitā, wife
To Guhasena.” Said the devotee,
“It shall be done for you,” and gave these men
A lodging in her house. Then she assailed
With bribes and sweetmeats all the slaves who dwelt
In Guhasena's house: and afterwards
Went there with Siddhikarī. When she came
To Devasmitā’s dwelling and would go
Within, a bitch chained up before the door
Kept her from entering. Devasmitā then
Sent out a maid to bring the stranger in,
Thinking within herself, “Who can this be ?”
The vile ascetic, entering the house,
Treated the merchant’s wife with feigned respect,
And blessed her, saying: “Long have I desired
Exceedingly to see you: in a dream
To-day you passed before me: therefore now
I come with eagerness: affliction fills
My mind when I behold you from your spouse
Thus torn asunder. What avails your youth,
Or what your beauty, since you live deprived
Of your beloved ?” Thus, with flattering words,
The ascetic tried to gain the confidence
Of virtuous Devasmitā. No long time
She stayed, but soon, bidding farewell, returned
To her own house. Ere long she came again,
This time bringing a piece of meat well strewed
With pepper dust: before the door she threw
The peppered meat; the bitch with greediness
Gobbled the morsel up, pepper and all.
The bitch’s eyes began to flow with tears
Profusely, through the pepper, and her nose
To run. Then went the crafty devotee
Within, to Devasmitā: and she wept,
Although received with hospitality.
Then said the merchant’s wife: “Why do you weep ?”
Feigning reluctance, the ascetic said:
“My friend ! you see this bitch weeping outside ;—
Know then ! this creature in a former state
Was my companion: seeing me again
She knew me, and she wept: my tears gush forth
In sympathy.” When Devasmitā saw
The bitch outside seeming to weep, she thought,
“What may this wonder be ?” “The bitch and I”—
Continuing her tale, the ascetic said—
“Were in a former birth a Brāhmans wives.
Our husband often was from home, engaged
On embassies by order of the king.
Meanwhile I spent my time with other men,
Living a life of pleasure, nor did I
Defraud my senses of enjoyment due
To them. For this is said to be, my child,
The highest duty—to indulge one’s sense,
And give the rein to pleasure. Therefore I
Have come to earth again, as you behold
Me now, remembering my former self.
But she thought not of this, setting her mind
To keep her fame unsullied: therefore born
Into this world again, she holds a place
Contemptible and mean: her former birth
Still in her memory.” The merchant’s wife—
Prudent and thoughtful, said within herself—
“This doctrine is both new and strange: no doubt
The woman has some treacherous snare for me.”
“Most reverend Dame!” she said, “too much, alas !
I fear, have I neglected hitherto
This duty. So, I pray you, gain for me
An interview with some delightful man.”
The ascetic answered, “There are living here
Some merchants, young and charming, who have come
From afar ; them will I bring you.” Filled with joy
She homeward turned: while Devasmitā said—
Her natural prudence coming to her aid:
“These scoundrelly young merchants, whosoe’er
They be, I know not, must have seen the flow’r
Unfading, carried in my husband’s hand.
It may be that they asked him, over wine,
And learnt its history. Now they intend
To lead me from my duty: and for this
They use the vile ascetic. Therefore bring”
(She bid her maids) “as quickly as you may,
Some wine mixed with Datura: and procure
An iron brand, bearing the sign impressed
Of a dog’s foot upon it.” These commands
The servants carried out: one of the maids,
By Devasmitā’s orders, dressed herself
To personate her mistress. Then the men,
All eagerness, each wished to be the first
To visit Devasmitā: but the dame
Chose one of them: in Siddhikarī’s dress
Disguising him, she left him at the house.
The maid, clothed in her mistress’s attire,
Addressed the merchant’s son with courtesy,
Politely offering him the wine to drink
Drugged with Datura. Then the liquor stole
His senses from him, like his shamelessness,
Depriving him of reason ; and the maid
Stripped him of all his clothes, and ornaments,
Leaving him naked. When the night had come,
They cast him out into a filthy ditch,
Marking his forehead with the iron brand.
The night passed by, and consciousness returned
In the last watch to him, and waking up
He thought himself in hell, the place assigned
To him for his offences. Then he rose
From out the ditch, and went in nakedness
Home to the devotee, the mark impressed
Upon his forehead. Fearing ridicule,
He said that he had been beset by thieves
Upon the way, and all day long at home
He sat, a cloth bound round his head to hide
The brand, saying that sleeplessness and wine
Had made his head ache. In the self-same way
They served the second merchant. He returned
Home naked ; and he said, “While on the road
From Devasmitā’s house, I was attacked
By robbers, and they stripped me of my clothes,
And ornaments.” He sat with bandaged head
To hide the brand, and made the same excuse.
Thus all the four suffered the same disgrace,
And all concealed their shame ; nor did they tell
Their ills to the ascetic when they left
Her dwelling: for they trusted that a plight
Like theirs would be her lot. Next day she went,
Followed by her disciple, to the house
Of Devasmitā ; and her mind was filled
Full of delight, because she had achieved
Her end so happily. With reverence
The merchant’s wife received the devotee,
And feigning gratitude, with courteous speech
Offered her wine mixed with the harmful drug.
The ascetic drank: and her disciple: both
Were overcome. Then helpless as they were
By Devasmitā’s orders they were cast,
With ears and noses slit, into a pool
Of filthy mud. Then Devasmitā thought,
“Perchance these merchants may revenge themselves
And slay my husband.” So she told the tale
To Guhasena’s mother. “Well, my child,”
Answered her husband’s mother, “have you done
Your duty ! Still misfortune may befall
My son through this.” “I will deliver him,”
Said Devasmitā, “as in times gone by
By wisdom Śaktimatī saved her spouse.”
“My daughter, how was this! tell me, I pray.”
Then answered Devasmitā, “In our land
Within this city stands an ancient fane,
The dwelling of a Yakṣa: and his name
Is Munibhadra. There the people come
And offer up their prayers, and make their gifts,
To gain from heaven the blessings they desire.
If it so happen that a man is caught
At night with someone else’s wife, the pair
Are placed within the temple’s inmost shrine.
Next morning they are brought before the king,
Sentence is passed on them, and punishment
Decreed. Now in that town the city guards
Once found a merchant with another’s wife;
And therefore by the law the two were seized
And placed within the temple: while the door
Was firmly shut and barred. The merchant’s wife,
Whose name was Śaktimatī, came to learn
Her husband’s trouble ; and she boldly went
By night with her companions to the shrine,
Bearing her off rings for the god. The priest,
Whose duty was to eat the offering,
Beheld her come: desirous of the fee,
He let her in, telling the magistrate
What he had done. Then Śaktimatī saw
Her husband looking like a fool, within
The inner room, in company with him
The woman. So she took her own disguise
And putting it upon the woman, bade
Her flee with haste. But Śaktimatī stayed
Within the shrine. Day broke ; the officers
Came to investigate the merchant’s crime,
And lo! within the temple’s inner room
They found the merchant and—his wife. The king,
Hearing the tale, punished the city guard
But set the merchant free. So he escaped,
As if held in the very jaws of death,
Out of the Yakṣa’s temple. So will I,
As Śaktimatī did, in bygone times,
By wisdom and discretion save my spouse.”
Thus Devasmitā spoke: and putting on
A merchant’s dress, she started with her maids
Under pretence of merchandise to join
Her husband at Kaṭāha. When she came
To that fair country, she beheld him sit,
Like comfort come to earth in human form,
Amid the merchants. He beholding her
Afar, clothed in a merchant’s dress, then thought;—
“Who can this merchant be, so like my wife
In form and feature ?” Earnestly he gazed
Upon her face. Then Devasmitā went
And begged the king to send throughout his realm
And summon all his subjects; for she had
A boon she fain would ask of him. The king
Convoking, full of curiosity,
His citizens, addressed that lady clothed
In man’s attire, and said, “What do you ask ?”
Then answered Devasmitā, “In your town
Four slaves of mine are living, who have run
Away. I pray you, noble king, restore
My slaves.” “The citizens,” replied the king,
ci Are all before you, therefore recognise
And take your slaves.” Then Devasmitā seized
The four young merchants, whom she had disgraced
And treated so disdainfully: their heads
Still bound about with wrappers. Then enraged,
The merchants of the city said, “Why, these
Are sons of honourable men: then how
Can they be slaves to you ?” She answered them:
“If you believe me not, here is the proof:—
Take from their heads the bandage; you will see
A dog’s foot on their forehead: with this brand
I marked them.” Then the wrappers were removed
And on their foreheads all beheld the mark—
The dog’s foot brand. Then were the merchants filled
With shame: the king himself in wonder said:
“Pray, what means this ?” Then Devasmitā told
The story. Laughter filled the crowd: the king
Turned to the merchant’s wife: “There are your slaves,”
He said; “your claim indeed none may dispute.”
Then all the merchants in the city gave
Vast sums of money to the prudent wife
Of Guhasena, to redeem the four
Young men from slavery: and to the king
They paid a fine. Thus Devasmitā gained
Money, and honour too, from all good men.
Then to her native city she returned,
Even to Tāmraliptā, never more
To be disjoined from her beloved lord.

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