Page:Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists.djvu/55

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like the thunder of drums, addressed this parliament of men :

"Ye well know that for many long years I have governed this realm, being as a father to those that dwell therein. Thinking not to gain my own happiness, I have spent my days in ruling according unto dharma. 1[1] Now I wish for rest, and would install my eldest son Rama as heir-apparent and entrust the government to him. But herein, my lords, I seek for your approval ; for the thought of the dispassionate is other than the thought of the inflamed, and truth arises from the conflict of various views." The princes rejoiced at the king s words, as peacocks dance at the sight of heavy rain-clouds. There arose the hum of many voices, as for a time the Brahmans and army-leaders, citizens and countrymen considered together. Then they answered :

"O aged king, assuredly we wish to see Prince Rama installed as heir-apparent, riding the elephant of state, seated beneath the umbrella of dominion."

Again the king inquired of them for greater certainty:

"Why would ye have Rama to your ruler?" and they replied :

"By reason of his many virtues, for indeed he towers among men as Sakra amongst the gods. In forgiveness he is like the Earth, in debate like Brihaspati. He speaks the truth, and is a mighty bowman. He is ever busied with the welfare of the people, and not given

to detraction where he finds one blemish amongst many virtues. He is skilled in music and his eyes are fair to look upon. Neither his pleasure nor his anger is in vain ; he is easily approached, and self-controlled, and goes not forth to war or the protection of a city or a province

  1. 1 Dharma, righteousness, the established code of ethics.