RAJA CHITRASAN used every endeavour to make the prince suffer all the woes of imprisonment to compel him to marry his daughter; but what caused the greatest pang in the heart of Táj ul-Mulúk was his absence from Bakáwalí. Night and day he wailed and dashed his head against the walls and door, till at length the gaoler informed the king that the new prisoner was suffering much, and if not soon released would certainly die, and his blood would be on the king's head. To this the king answered not a word, but sending for his daughter desired her to go to the prison and cast the shadow of her bright face on the prince. “Perhaps,” said he, “like the moth, he may flutter in the lustre of your beauty, and his pride be reduced to ashes.”

Chitrawat received these instructions with delight. She adorned herself with all care, and thus heightened the effect of all her natural charms, and attended by Nirmalá and Chapalá, like the moon with Venus and Mercury in her train, she proceeded to the prison. On entering, this Zulaykhá encountered her lover, whose beauty was still equal to that of Joseph.* In all her loveliness she stood before him. Her teeth glittered like pearls of the purest water, and the red­ness of her lips would have shamed the blushing ruby. Her neck shone with silvery whiteness. As she moved, the richest odours were diffused from her garments, and 'itr* breathed around her person. Her almond eyes were enchanting to behold, and her amber cheeks spread fragrance far and near. The dimples on her chin attracted the hearts of all be­holders; but virgin modesty forbade her to expose to view the pomegranates of her breasts. Nothing, however, would attract the notice of the prince. In a word, when Chitrawat found that the magic of her eyes and the fascination of her brow had no effect upon the heart of the prince, she fell before him and struggled with her sufferings. Then it was that the prince felt pity and drew her to his arms, and con­sented to marry her, for he saw that unless he did so there was no chance of his release.

Nirmalá communicated the happy intelligence to the rájá, and informed him that the princess had returned home successful in the object she had in view. The rájá immediately ordered the liberation of the prince, caused him to be taken to a splendid bath and arrayed in royal garments, after which he appointed a mansion for his use. In an auspicious hour he joined him and his daughter in wedlock according to the rites and ceremonies of the country. When Táj ul-Mulúk entered the chamber of Chitra-wat, he found Nirmalá and Chapalá in attendance. They received him with great warmth, which was not returned by the prince.

When a quarter of the night was over, he rose from the nuptial couch, and took his way towards Bakáwalí's temple, where that fairy, not having seen him for some time, was longing for his return. As soon as her eyes fell on the prince her heart rejoiced, but the moment she saw his hands and feet tinged with the hue of myrtle, her jasmine-like face reddened with anger.* “Well, prince,” said she, in a taunting manner, “you have come at last; but what a fashion you have adopted! You have drowned the name of lover, and shamed the character of faith on earth. Henceforward never dare to love, or proclaim yourself a lover. What hast thou done, O cruel one? Is this thy gratitude, that, while I am changed to a stone here, thy fingers boast the redness of the myrtle? Whilst I pine here in loneliness, thou reposest on the couch of luxury; and while my heart is breaking for thee, thou enjoyest pleasures with some other rosy-coloured damsel! While I die here for thee, how canst thou be happy, O Táj ul-Mulúk?”

On hearing these words the prince expressed the sincerest regret, and answered: “Beloved, whither are your thoughts wandering? Although I am a famous prince, yet I regard myself as your slave—all that is mine is also thine. From the day when I first beheld you, nothing has pleased me so much as the sight of your charms. Friends, luxuries, mirth, music, my mind disowns them all alike, being constantly fixed on you. And since I am entirely your own, how can I be attracted by the beauty of others? Do not mistrust me: my love is too sincere to suffer any change, and the allegiance I owe you can never be turned aside. I can never have any concern with others when I have placed life and death in your hands. But what could I do? I was powerless and in prison. I had no intention whatever of marrying another, but had I not done so, there was no hope of release. If I had not complied with the wish of another, how could I have seen you again? I should have died in confinement, and you would have re­mained pining in this temple. Hence I married.”*

Bakáwalí replied in wrath: “Why have recourse to such falsehoods? Can any one be married by com­pulsion? It is sufficient: I have examined your faith and love. May you be happy! I will remain content with my misery, knowing well that in the day of dis­tress none but God is our friend.” With a breaking heart did the prince hear these words. He heaved a deep sigh and wept. Bakáwalí could not endure this; she joined him in tears, and both continued sobbing for some time. At last the prince fell at her feet and she raised and embraced him. “I am not seriously angry with you,” she said; “all that I have spoken was but to try your fidelity. I am happy in your happiness, and am the last person to be indignant with you.” In this way they went on, till the prince explained how he was compelled to marry Chitrawat, and at length succeeded in dispelling all suspicions from her mind.* When morning dawned he returned home, and took his place beside his new bride.

Thus night after night the prince passed with Baká-walí, and the day in conversation with Chitrawat, who was naturally very much out of temper at such conduct. She wondered how it was that her own charms had no effect on the heart of her husband, and ultimately complained to her father of the ungracious manner in which she was treated by the prince. Spies were ap­pointed by the king to watch the nocturnal movements of Táj ul-Mulúk. They discovered him wending his way to the temple of Bakáwalí, where he passed the night, and whence he returned at early dawn. When the king was informed of this, he caused the temple to be demolished and the stones cast into an adjacent stream. On the following night, Táj ul-Mulúk, as usual, went to visit Bakáwalí, and finding no vestige of the temple, he rolled on the ground and exclaimed:

“If I of thee a trace could find,
To that spot I'd willing go;
But I'm powerless: if the earth
Would open wide, I'd sink below!”

At length, overcome by despair, he gave free vent to his tears, and finally returned home. For some days sorrow and hopelessness were his inseparable com­panions; but when he became convinced that another meeting with Bakáwalí could never take place, and that his grief was of no avail, he turned his attention to the enchanting conversation of Chitrawat, and then it was that the buds of her hopes expanded, touched by the zephyr of his love, and the shell of her desire was made fragrant with the pearls of his affection.