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SCENE 1st.-The Prince's camp.
Prince. By the strength of this arm have I made my father's glory great. Cause my elephant Yauoung to be caparisoned, for the princess Dwaynow's lord will return to the city of Pyentsa.
Noble. My lord!
Prince. Let the golden spearsmen, swordsmen, and the golden shield-bearers and armour-bearers be set in order, and the four grand divisions of the imperial army.
Noble. They are so, my lord.
Prince. Good general, the princess Manan, who keeps her court in the north palace, will bend her head in watching for my return like the golden lily shaken by the wind-she will droop with fatigue, let us therefore make long marches.
SCENE 2nd.-Camp near Pyentsa. The army returning. Prince. Oh, my lord, I cannot sleep ;-when the army reaches the garden near the city, let the artillery discharge a salute.
SCENE 3rd. The Prince's palace. Matrons, waiting women, 1st Lady. Our royal mistress upon hearing of the plot against her life, fled to the city of the silver mountain-we shall all without exception undergo the royal punishment.-Hear you not the voice of the great guns? Let us go forth and meet the returning army.
Prince. Oh, sweet ladies Mala, Maensa! the princess Manan, where is she? The charming mother of our infant son-where is she gone? Matron. I will explain, my lord, about the princess, to whom I gave the same care, as to this hair I daily dress-she who was the celestial spirit of the palace, oh king of the city of the sun.
The royal father having had a dream sent for the astrologer, who cherishing resentment and malice towards your highness, purposed to offer up the mother of Shory Gyew as a sacrifice to the Yeet Nat, upon hearing of which she forsook the palace and returned to her own country.
Prince. Ah! The love that is felt for the father should be extended to the child. I was absent; would that I had been present! My little son Moung Shory Gyew has not even quitted his mother's breast!—I have had no regard paid to me in my absence-Manan and myself are one. I am the head of this royal line, my son Shory Gyew
I swear, by the sacred books, that
is the king's grandson, and my queen was his daughter-in-law. Let me brood over all this!I will remain here no longer. Oh, attendants! every one of ye! let none be absent! the lord of the mundane circle will journey towards the silver mountain,-let the huntsman be called into
Noble. Thy servant, the huntsman, has been called, and is now here.
Prince. Oh! quickly show the golden prince, who rules this universe, the land they call the silver mount, whence came the mother of my son; and quickly show the rural lake, in which thou did'st thy captive take.
Hunts. The country of the silver mount! I know not where it is, my lord.
Prince. Then quickly bring me to the delicious pool in which thou foundest the mother of Shory Gyew-the prince has never yet been there. Oh huntsman rise, without delay, and bring the prince upon the way.
Hunts. My lord, I will begone.
They enter the Haywonta Forest.
These plashing colours surely come,
Prince. Look, my lords, at the delightful bath of the mother of Moung Gyew! how beautiful the flower trees that grow upon its banks, and what a delicious perfume they diffuse through the forest; the woods are dense with leaves, which form a dusky shade in which are sporting butterflies, beetles, and bees. Water-quail, kingfishers, and pheasants nestle beneath the shadow of those golden lilies. How pleasant and exhilarating, my good huntsman.
Hunts. True, my lord, indeed most pleasant; I dare not venture to number all the beautiful flowers that grow in the lake.
Prince. I see by your countenance, that if I demand their names you will be wearied in telling them. You may now make your way back to the city.
Prince. [Alone] Oh, my dear lost wife! take me with you, for I am in grief, or in a little time I shall be like one that is dead.- -I must subdue my longing! Oh, divine beauty, dear to me as this life! Twice has her voice reached my ear, crying, husband, husband!—Oh let my fate like Ramas be, who lost and found his lovely bride; let Manan be restored to me!
This spot must surely be like the region through which flow the seven celestial rivers;-dragons, galongs, and spirits must here abound, as well as devotees and hermits. Spices of all descriptions grow here the trees are wedged together-and the crowds of aerial spirits who frequent the thickets, pass each other with the uniformity of machinery, without confusion, like the traditions which have been handed down to us, from remote times, upon tables of stone.
[Arrives at the hermitage.
Oh, meek recluse, who findeth pleasure in practising the duties of religion-master of this holy dwelling-pray tell me if you are happy and in health.
Hermit. Whence does my lord come, who fearlessly enters this enclosure armed with a flying spear?
Prince. I will tell you, holy man. The golden ear listened to the misrepresentations of a foolish astrologer concerning the queen of the royal heir, the mother of Moung Gyew, who is a lesser spirit; and as she was near losing her life, she abandoned her little son, and quitted the city of Pyentsa, which is the cause of my coming here armed with bow, spear, and sword.
Hermit. Hist, Hist! Do not follow her; do you think the road is easily traversed? the way is most frightful. Oh what a savage road it is, rocks, hills, and precipices; the air is stagnant; thorns and briers lie scattered in the path, and vast creepers entwine themselves (among the trees); and beasts of prey abound every where. Oh! do not go, my lord, for this is not all; what numbers of enemies you will meet with !—beyond the (dense jungle) about twelve miles, there are speckled monsters which lie (in wait) across the road to devour you; oh, do not go. Besides these there are other obstacles, there is a stream of copper, which burns to atoms; beyond this about twelve miles there is a frightful devil which will instantly devour you, for there will be no one to help you; if my habitation were near, the
monster would respect my presence-Oh, my lord, each step of the road is a great grandfather to the last passed over; do not go.
Prince. If I do not meet with Maydow of the silver mountain, though nine or ten worlds may have passed by, yet I shall not think of returning.
Hermit. My lord, as sure as that the castanets direct the measure of the song, so surely is your highness leaping into the mouth of the tiger.
Prince. If I do not meet with Maydow of the silver mountain, I would not think of returning, though hell itself were before me.
Hermit. There are other Dwaynanhas in the south island besides the one of the silver mountain, cannot you search for one here? Give me the magic bow which your highness carries, that good may come of the gift, and then depart on your journey back.
Prince. If your holiness requires the bow, take it.
Astonishing! surprising! wonderful! To look at it, it is but an insignificant thing; but how heavy it is, and what strength it has !-I detained him because I thought he was one of the common order, but I now find he possesses many powers; so many indeed, that he may travel in safety wheresoever he chooses, either on the air or under the earth. Let me see if I can find the ring and the drugs which the benefactress Manan entrusted to me-I will go and look for them!Ah! here they are-I bestow them upon your highness.
Prince. If your reverence's hair was more than three cubits in length, my obeisance would be still longer.
[The Prince arrives at the haunt of the devil. Prince. I will just sit down here, and take some betel leaf to refresh me.
Devil. My tribe have reigned in this Haywonta forest from the beginning here have we held uninterrupted dominion, killed whatever we found, and eat it without cooking-our power, I fear, is about to be overturned. [Sees the Prince,] Oh, what is this? a mortal or a spirit? Didst thou arrive here by the road? You are my victim.
Prince. Listen! and I will tell you. I am neither a dragon nor a spirit, Pyentsa is my country; Thoodanoo my name; will you indeed eat me !-look at my sword, foolish devil!
Devil. Tush! Tush! Your sword is only a hand's breadth--you are unarmed-you are like the flimsy paper which is tough in the sunshine, but which falls to pieces in the rain.
Prince. Listen, devil!
Your pride is excessive; if you do not re
treat, you will be slain.
Whoever enters this forest of Haywonta,
must acknowledge my power, and become my prey.
Devil. Attend, prince!
Devil. Oh, prince, make me your slave.
Prince. Forest king, are we not near the cane barrier and the copper stream? conduct me past them.
[The devil conducts the prince.
Devil. Oh, good prince, if anything happens to you, remember to call upon me for aid, I will now return to my post.
Prince. The silver mountain towards which my face is now turned, is still distant; my good genius is forsaking me, and my bad fate is leaving me a prisoner in this wilderness of dangers.
The Prince arrives at a gigantic thorn tree, upon which are sitting two monstrous birds, with faces like mortals.
Female bird [to her mate.] We have satisfied our hunger to-day upon the flesh of lions, elephants, and deer; what I wonder shall we find to-morrow?
Male bird. Beautiful is thy speckled plumage; to-morrow the princess of the silver mount will bathe and anoint her head. I smell the food preparing for the feast; there will be more than I can devourI will keep some in my pouch for you.
Prince. Oh, powerful birds which roost upon this immense thorn tree !
Male Bird. Since I first alighted upon this tree, I have never heard the human voice. What art thou?
Prince. Oh, mighty bird, listen, and I will tell-assist me to reach the silver mountain, and I will repay your favour.
Bird. Be not concerned, for I will give you the help you ask, young prince ;-neither horse nor elephant assisted you to make the