No. XII—p. 63.

NOTHING at all resembling this fragment is found in any of the Eastern texts represented in our Comparative Table. Without the commencement it is difficult to guess at the details of the story. Perhaps the lady, in her husband's absence, had gone to the house of an old lover, under some false pretences; she is apparently disguised, and so is not recognised by him; then she gets drunk there, and discovers herself to him in her joy to be near him again, and is maltreated in consequence. She pretends to her neighbours that it is all her own doing, because of her grief for the news of her husband's death. When he comes, however, she turns the tables on him, and he pays off the debts she had incurred during his absence.

In the manuscript, on the first of the three remaining pages of the story (fol. 177), there is a painting of the “tresses” scene: A young man is seated, holding the lady's severed hair in his right hand, near his left is a wine bottle overturned, and two others are introduced to show there has been a drinking-bout going on; the lady, with her hair cut off and her face apparently flushed and idiotic, stands near the youth; while at a short distance is a figure which seems meant rather for that of a eunuch than an old woman, “biting the finger of astonishment.” It is not very clear from the text whether by “the old companion” who “leaped lnto her suddenly” we are to understand the old lover, or this unsexed personage—probably the former. I should suppose the Suka Saptatī likely to contain the complete story, or something similar.