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Photogravure from a photograph.

The Taj was built by the Emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for the Em-
press Mumtazi Mahal, who died in giving birth to the Princess Jehanava. Designed
by Isd Mohammed, it was commenced in the year 1630 and was not completed until
During those seventeen years twenty thousand workmen were employed.
It cost about two million dollars. It is one of the most magnificent public buildings
in India.













Translator's Preface 3

Introduction 5


The Story of the Jackal, Deer, and Crow 13

The Story of the Vulture, the Cat, and the Birds 14

The Story of the Dead Game and the Jackal 23

The Prince and the Wife of the Merchant's Son 26

The Story of the Old Jackal and the Elephant 27


The Story of the Lion, the Jackals, and the Bull 30

The Story of the Monkey and the Wedge 32

The Story of the Washerman's Jackass 33

The Story of the Cat who Served the Lion 38

The Story of the Terrible Bell 40

The Story of the Prince and the Procuress 42

The Story of the Black Snake and the Golden Chain 44

The Story of the Lion and the Old Hare 45

The Story of the Wagtail and the Sea 48

WAR 52

The Battle of the Swans and Peacocks 52

The Story of the Weaver-Birds and the Monkeys 53

The Story of the Old Hare and the Elephants 55

The Story of the Heron and the Crow 57

The Story of the Appeased Wheelwright 58

The Story of the Dyed Jackal 61

The Story of the Faithful Rajpoot 64


The Treaty Between the Peacocks and the Swans 71

The Story of the Tortoise and the Geese 72

The Story of Fate and the Three Fishes 72

The Story of the Unabashed Wife 73

The Story of the Herons and the Mongoose 74

The Story of the Recluse and the Mouse 75

The Story of the Crane and the Crab 76

The Story of the Brahman and the Pans 77

The Duel of the Giants 78




The Story of the Brahman and the Goat 81

The Story of the Camel, the Lion, and His Court 81

The Story of the Frogs and the Old Serpent 83


Introduction 91


Part 1 93

Part II 132


Introduction 167

Invocation 169



I. Narad 171

[Cantos II., III., IV., and V. are omitted]

VI. The King 181

VII. The Ministers 184

VIII. Sumantra's Speech 187

IX. Rishyasring 190

X. Rishyasring Invited 197

XL The Sacrifice Decreed 201

XII. The Sacrifice Begun 204

XIIL The Sacrifice Finished 208

XIV. Ravan Doomed 214

XV. The Nectar 219

XVI. The Vanars 222

XVII. Rishyasring's Return 226

XVIII. Rishyasring's Departure 231

XIX. The Birth of the Princes 234

XX. Visvamitra's Visit 237

XXI. Visvamitra's Speech 240

XXII. Dasaratha's Speech 243

XXIIL Vasishtha's Speech 246

XXIV. The Spells 248

XXV. The Hermitage of Love 251

XXVI. The Forest of Tadaka 254

XXVII. The Birth of Tadaka 258

XXVIII. The Death of Tadaka 260

XXIX. The Celestial Arms 264

XXX. The Mysterious Powers 267

XXXI. The Perfect Hermitage 270

XXXII. Visvamitra's Sacrifice 273



XXXIII. The Sone 276

XXXI V. Brahmadatta 279

XXXV. Visvamitra's Lineage 285

XXXVI. The Birth of Ganga 288

[Cantos XXXVII. and XXXVIII. are omitted}

XXXIX. The Son of Sagar 291

XL. The Cleaving of the Earth 294

XLI. Kapil 297

XLII. Sagar's Sacrifice 300

XLIIL Bhagirath 303


Introduction 309

Dramatis Personae 317

Rules for Pronunciation of Proper Names 318

Prologue 319

Act First 321

Act Second 334

Prelude to Act Third 345

Act Third 346

Prelude to Act Fourth 357

Act Fourth 360

Act Fifth 373

Prelude to Act Sixth 386

Act Sixth 389

Act Seventh 406


Introduction 425


Jogadhya Uma 435

Buttoo 442


Part 1 450

Part II 452

Part III 458


Near Hastings 461

France 462

The Tree of Life 463

Madame Therese 464

Sonnet 465

Sonnet 465

Our Casuarina-Tree 466



THE TAJ-MAHAL Frontispiece

Photogravure from a photograph

Fac-simile example of Oriental Printing and Engraving


Fac-simile example of Oriental Printing and Engraving


Photogravure from a photograph




[Translated from the Sanscrit by Sir Edwin Arnold']


A STORY-BOOK from the Sanscrit at least possesses
the minor merit of novelty. The " perfect language "
has been hitherto regarded as the province of scholars,
and few of these even have found time or taste to search its
treasures. And yet among them is the key to the heart of
modern India as well as the splendid record of her ancient
Gods and glories. The hope of Hindostan lies in the intelligent
interest of England. Whatever avails to dissipate misconcep-
tions between them, and to enlarge their intimacy, is a gain
to both peoples; and to this end the present volume aspires,
in an humble degree, to contribute.

The"Hitopadesa" is a work of high antiquity, and extended
popularity. The prose is doubtless as old as our own era ; but
the intercalated verses and proverbs compose a selection from
writings of an age extremely remote. The " Mahabharata "
and the textual Veds are of those quoted ; to the first of which
Professor M. Williams (in his admirable edition of the
" Nala," 1860) assigns a date of 350 B.C., while he claims for
the " Rig- Veda" an antiquity as high as B.C. 1300. The " Hito-
padesa " may thus be fairly styled " The Father of all Fables " ;
for from its numerous translations have come JEsop and Pil-
pay, and in later days Reineke Fuchs. Originally compiled in
Sanscrit, it was rendered, by order of Nushiravan, in the sixth
century, A.D., into Persic. From the Persic it passed, A.D. 850,
into the Arabic, and thence into Hebrew and Greek. In its
own land it obtained as wide a circulation. The Emperor Ac-
bar, impressed with the wisdom of its maxims and the in-
genuity of its apologues, commended the work of translating
it to his own Vizir, Abdul Fazel. That minister accordingly
put the book into a familiar style, and published it with ex-
planations, under the title of the " Criterion of Wisdom." The
Emperor had also suggested the abridgment of the long series



of shlokcs which here and there interrupt the narrative, and the
Vizir found this advice sound, and followed it, like the present
Translator. To this day, in India, the " Hitopadcsa," under
other names (as the " Anvari Suhaili *), retains the delighted
attention of young and old, and has some representative in all
the Indian vernaculars. A work so well esteemed in the East
cannot be unwelcome to Western readers, who receive it here,
a condensed but faithful transcript of sense and manner.

As often as an Oriental allusion, or a name in Hindoo
mythology, seemed to ask some explanation for the English
reader, notes have been appended, bearing reference to the
page. In their compilation, and generally, acknowledgment is
due to Professor Johnson's excellent version and edition of
the " Hitopadesa," and to Mr. Muir's " Sanscrit Texts."

A residence in India, and close intercourse with the Hindoos,
has given the author a lively desire to subserve their advance-
ment. No one listens now to the precipitate ignorance which
would set aside as " heathenish " the high civilization of this
great race ; but justice is not yet done to their past development
and present capacities. If the wit, the morality, and the philos-
ophy of these "beasts of India" (so faithfully rendered by
Mr. Harrison Weir,) surprise any vigorous mind into further
exploration of her literature, and deeper sense of our respon-
sibility in her government, the author will be repaid.


" The lights of Canppus," a Persian paraphrase; as the " Khirad Afroz," " the
lamp of the Understanding," is in Hindustani.


Honor to Gunesh, God of Wisdom

This book of Counsel read, and you shall see,
Fair speech and Sanscrit lore, and Policy.

ON the banks of the holy river Ganges there stood a city
named Pataliputra. The King of it was a good King
and a virtuous, and his name was Sudarsana. It
chanced one day that he overheard a certain person reciting
these verses

'" Wise men, holding wisdom highest, scorn delights, as false as fair,
Daily live they as Death's fingers twined already in their hair.

Truly, richer than all riches, better than the best of gain,
Wisdom is, unbought, secure once won, none loseth her again.

Bringing dark things into daylight, solving doubts that vex the mind,
Like an open eye is Wisdom he that hath her not is blind."

Hearing these the King became disquieted, knowing that his
own sons were gaining no wisdom, nor reading the Sacred
Writings, 1 but altogether going in the wrong way; and he
repeated this verse to himself

" Childless art thou? dead thy children? leaving thee to want and dool?
Less thy misery than his is, who is father to a fool."

And again this

" One wise son makes glad his father, forty fools avail him not :
One moon silvers all that darkness which the silly stars did dot."

1 The Vedas are the holy books of India. They are four in number: The
Rig- Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sama-Veda, and Atharva-Veda.


" And it has been said," reflected he

" Ease and health, obeisant children, wisdom, and a fair-voiced wife
Thus, great King! are counted up the five felicities of life.
For the son the sire is honored; though the bow-cane bendeth true,
Let the strained string crack in using, and what service shall it do? "

" Nevertheless," mused the King, " I know it is urged that
human efforts are useless : as, for instance

"That which will not be, will not be and what is to be, will be:
Why not drink this easy physic, antidote of misery ? "

" But then that comes from idleness, with people who will not
do what they should do. Rather,

" Nay ! and faint not, idly sighing, ' Destiny is mightiest,'
Sesamum holds oil in plenty, but it yieldeth none unpressed.
Ah! it is the Coward's babble, 'Fortune taketh, Fortune gave;'
Fortune ! rate her like a master, and she serves thee like a slave."

" For indeed,

"Twofold is the life we live in Fate and Will together run:
Two wheels bear life's chariot onward will it move on only one?"


" Look! the clay dries into iron, but the potter moulds the clay:
Destiny to-day is master Man was master yesterday."

" So verily,

" Worthy ends come not by wishing. Wouldst thou? Up, and win it,

While the hungry lion slumbers, not a deer comes to his den."

Having concluded his reflections, the Raja gave orders to
assemble a meeting of learned men. Then said he

" Hear now, O my Pundits ! Is there one among you so wise
that he will undertake to give the second birth of Wisdom to
these my sons, by teaching them the Books of Policy ; for they
have never yet read the Sacred Writings, and are altogether
going in the wrong road ; and ye know that

" Silly glass, in splendid settings, something of the gold may gain ;
And in company of wise ones, fools to wisdom may attain."


Then uprose a great Sage, by name Vishnu-Sarman, learned
in the principles of Policy as is the angel of the planet Jupiter
himself, and he said

" My Lord King, I will undertake to teach these princes
Policy, seeing they are born of a great house ; for

" Labors spent on the unworthy, of reward the laborer balk ;
Like the parrot, teach the heron twenty times, he will not talk."

" But in this royal family the offspring are royal-minded, and
in six moons I will engage to make your Majesty's sons com-
prehend Policy."

The Raja replied, with condescension :

" On the eastern mountains lying, common things shine in the sun,
And by learned minds enlightened, lower minds may show as one."

" And you, worshipful sir, are competent to teach my children
the rules of Policy."

So saying, with much graciousness, he gave the Princes into
the charge of Vishnu-Sarman; and that sage, by way of in-
troduction, spake to the Princes, as they sat at ease on the
balcony of the palace, in this wise :

" Hear now, my Princes ! for the delectation of your High-
nesses, I purpose to tell the tale of the Crow, the Tortoise, the
Deer, and the Mouse."

" Pray, sir," said the King's sons, " let us hear it."

Vishnu-Sarman answered

" It begins with the Winning of Friends ; and this is the first
verse of it :

" Sans way or wealth, wise friends their purpose gain
The Mouse, Crow, Deer, and Tortoise make this plain."


" Sans way or wealth, wise friends their purpose gain
The Mouse, Crow, Deer, and Tortoise make this plain."

HOWEVER was that?" asked the Princes.
Vishnu-Sarman replied :

" On the banks of the Godavery there stood a large
silk-cotton-tree, and thither at night, from all quarters and
regions, the birds came to roost. Now once, when the night
was just spent, and his Radiance the Moon, Lover of the white
lotus, was about to retire behind the western hills, a Crow who
perched there, ' Light o' Leap ' by name, upon awakening, saw
to his great wonder a fowler approaching a second God of
Death. The sight set him reflecting, as he flew off uneasily
to follow up the man's movements, and he began to think what
mischief this ill-omened apparition foretold.

" For a thousand thoughts of sorrow, and a hundred things of dread,
By the wise unheeded, trouble day by day the foolish head."

And yet in this life it must be that

" Of the day's impending dangers, Sickness, Death, and Misery,
One will be; the wise man waking, ponders which that one will be."

Presently the fowler fixed a net, scattered grains of rice about,
and withdrew to hide. At this moment " Speckle-neck," King
of the Pigeons, chanced to be passing through the sky with his
Court, and caught sight of the rice-grains. Thereupon the
King of the Pigeons asked of his rice-loving followers, ' How
can there possibly be rice-grains lying here in an unfrequented
forest ? We will see into it, of course, but We like not the look
of it love of rice may ruin us, as the Traveller was ruined.

" All out of longing for a golden bangle,
The Tiger, in the mud, the man did mangle."

" How did that happen ? " asked the Pigeons.



The Story of the Tiger and the Traveller

" Thus," replied Speckle-neck : " I was pecking about one
day in the Deccan forest, and saw an old tiger sitting newly
bathed on the bank of a pool, like a Brahman, and with holy
kuskus-grass 2 in his paws.

' Ho ! ho ! ye travellers/ he kept calling out, ' take this
golden bangle ! '

Presently a covetous fellow passed by and heard him.

' Ah ! ' thought he, ' this is a bit of luck but I must not
risk my neck for it either.

" Good things come not out of bad things ; wisely leave a longed-for ill.
Nectar being mixed with poison serves no purpose but to kill."

' But all gain is got by risk, so I will see into it at least ; " then
he called out, ' Where is thy bangle ? '

The Tiger stretched forth his paw and exhibited it.

' Hem ! ' said the Traveller, ' can I trust such a fierce brute
as thou art ? '

' Listen,' replied the Tiger, ' once, in the days of my cub-
hood, I know I was very wicked. I killed cows, Brahmans, and
men without number and I lost my wife and children for it
and haven't kith or kin left. But lately I met a virtuous man
who counselled me to practise the duty of almsgiving and,
as thou seest, I am strict at ablutions and alms. Besides, I am
old, and my nails and fangs are gone so who would mistrust
me? and I have so far conquered selfishness, that I keep the
golden bangle for whoso comes. Thou seemest poor! I will
give it thee. Is it not said,

' Give to poor men, son of Kunti on the wealthy waste not wealth ;
Good are simples for the sick man, good for nought to him in health.'

' Wade over the pool, therefore, and take the bangle.'

Thereupon the covetous Traveller determined to trust him,

and waded into the pool, where he soon found himself plunged

in mud, and unable to move.

' Ho ! ho ! ' says the Tiger, * art thou stuck in a slough ?

stay, I will fetch thee out ! '

So saying he approached the wretched man and seized him

who meanwhile bitterly reflected

1 Used in many religious observances by the Hindoos.


' Be his Scripture-learning wondrous, yet the cheat will be a cheat ;
Be her pasture ne'er so bitter, yet the cow's milk will be sweet.'

And on that verse, too

1 Trust not water, trust not weapons ; trust not clawed nor horned

Neither give thy soul to women, nor thy life to Sons of Kings.'

And those others

' Look ! the Moon, the silver roamer, from whose splendor darkness

With his starry cohorts marching, like a crowned king through the


All the grandeur, all the glory, vanish in the Dragon's jaw;
What is written on the forehead, that will be, and nothing more.'

Here his meditations were cut short by the Tiger devouring
him. " And that," said Speckle-neck, " is why we counselled

" Why, yes ! " said a certain pigeon, with some presumption,
" but you've read the verse

' Counsel in danger ; of it

Unwarned, be nothing begun.
But nobody asks a Prophet

Shall the risk of a dinner be run ? '

Hearing that, the Pigeons settled at once ; for we know that

" Avarice begetteth anger; blind desires from her begin;
A right fruitful mother is she of a countless spawn of sin."

And again,

' Can a golden Deer have being? yet for such the Hero pined:
When the cloud of danger hovers, then its shadow dims the mind.'

Presently they were caught in the net. Thereat, indeed, they
all began to abuse the pigeon by whose suggestion they had
been ensnared. It is the old tale !

" Be second and not first ! the share's the same
If all go well. If not, the Head's to blame."

And we should remember that

" Passion will be Slave or Mistress : follow her, she bri.igs to woe ;
Lead her, 'tis the way to Fortune. Choose the path that thou wilt go."


When King Speckle-neck heard their reproaches, he said, " No,
no ! it is no fault of his.

' When the time of trouble cometh, friends may ofttimes irk us most :
For the calf at milking-hour the mother's leg is tying-post.'

' And in disaster, dismay is a coward's quality ; let us rather
rely on fortitude, and devise some remedy. How saith the

" In good fortune not elated, in ill-fortune not dismayed,
Ever eloquent in council, never in the fight affrayed
Proudly emulous of honor, steadfastly on wisdom set;
Perfect virtues in the nature of a noble soul are met.
Whoso hath them, gem and glory of the three wide worlds 3 is he;
Happy mother she that bore him, she who nursed him on her knee."

" Let us do this now directly," continued the King : " at one
moment and with one will, rising under the net, let us fly off
with it: for indeed

' Small things wax exceeding mighty, being cunningly combined:
Furious elephants are fastened with a rope of grass-blades twined.'

" And it is written, you know,

' Let the household hold together, though the house be ne'er so small ;
Strip the rice-husk from the rice-grain, and it groweth not at all.'

Having pondered this advice, the Pigeons adopted it; and
flew away with the net. At first the fowler, who was at a dis-
tance, hoped to recover them, but as they passed out of sight
with the snare about them he gave up the pursuit. Perceiving
this, the Pigeons said,

" What is the next thing to be done, O King? "

" A friend of mine," said Speckle-neck, " lives near in a
beautiful forest on the Gundaki. Golden-skin is his name
the King of the Mice he is the one to cut these bonds."

Resolving to have recourse to him, they directed their flight
to the hole of Golden-skin a prudent monarch, who dreaded
danger so much that he had made himself a palace with a
hundred outlets, and lived always in it. Sitting there he heard
the descent of the pigeons, and remained silent and alarmed.

" Friend Golden-skin," cried the King, " have you no wel-
come for us ? "

* Heaven, earth, and the lower regions.


" Ah, my friend ! " said the Mouse-king, rushing out on
recognizing the voice, " is it thou art come, Speckle-neck ! how
delightful ! But what is this ? " exclaimed he, regarding the
entangled net.

" That," said King Speckle-neck, " is the effect of some
wrong-doing in a former life

' Sickness, anguish, bonds, and woe
Spring from wrongs wrought long ago.' *

Golden-skin, without replying, ran at once to the net, and
began to gnaw the strings that held Speckle-neck.

" Nay ! friend, not so," said the King, " cut me first these
meshes from my followers, and afterwards thou shalt sever

" I am little," answered Golden-skin, " and my teeth are weak
how can I gnaw so much ? No ! no ! I will nibble your
strings as long as my teeth last, and afterwards do my best
for the others. To preserve dependents by sacrificing oneself
is nowhere enjoined by wise moralists ; on the contrary

' Keep wealth for want, but spend it for thy wife,
And wife, and wealth, and all to guard thy life.'

" Friend," replied King Speckle-neck, " that may be the rule
of policy, but I am one that can by no means bear to witness
the distress of those who depend on me, for

' Death, that must come, comes nobly when we give
Our wealth, and life, and all, to make men live.'

And you know the verse,

' Friend, art thou faithful ? guard mine honor so !
And let the earthy rotting body go.' "

When King Golden-skin heard this answer his heart was
charmed, and his fur bristled up for pure pleasure. " Nobly
spoken, friend," said he, " nobly spoken ! with such a tender-
ness for those that look to thee, the Sovereignty of the Three
Worlds might be fitly thine." So saying he set himself to cut

4 The Hindoo accounts for the origin every higher faculty its development;

of evil by this theory of a series of pain and misery being signs of the or-

existences continued until the balance deals in the trial, which is to end in the

is just, and the soul has purified itself. happy re-absorption of the emancipated

Every fault must have its expiation and spirit.


all their bonds. This done, and the pigeons extricated, the
King of the Mice 5 gave them his formal welcome. " But, your
Majesty," he said, " this capture in the net was a work of
destiny ; you must not blame yourself as you did, and suspect
a former fault. Is it not written

' Floating on his fearless pinions, lost amid the noonday skies,
Even thence the Eagle's vision kens the carcase where it lies;
But the hour that comes to all things comes unto the Lord of Air,
And he rushes, madly blinded, to his ruin in the snare.' "

With this correction Golden-skin proceeded to perform the
duties of hospitality, and afterwards, embracing and dismissing
them, the pigeons left for such destination as they fancied, and
the King of the Mice retired again into his hole.

Now Light o' Leap, the Crow, had been a spectator of the
whole transaction, and wondered at it so much that at last he
called out, " Ho ! Golden-skin, thou very laudable Prince, let
me too be a friend of thine, and give me thy friendship."

" Who art thou ? " said Golden-skin, who heard him, but
would not come out of his hole.

" I am the Crow Light o' Leap," replied the other.

" How can I possibly be on good terms with thee ? " an-
swered Golden-skin with a laugh ; " have you never read

' When Food is friends with Feeder, look for Woe,
The Jackal ate the Deer, but for the Crow.'

"No! how was that?"

" I will tell thee," replied Golden-skin :

The Story of the Jackal, Deer, and Crow

" Far away in Behar there is a forest called Champak-Grove, 6

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