Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/20

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
10
CHANDRASHEKHAR

“Yes, I have,” answered Dalani, and remained silent.

“Dalani Bibi, what are you thinking about in that abstracted way?” asked Mir Kasim.

“One day you told me,” replied Dalani, "that whoever would fight the English was sure to be defeated, then why do you propose to break out with them? I am a girl, your humble servant; I know it is extremely improper on my part to talk of these things, but I have a right to speak, and that is because you are graciously pleased to love me.”

“That is true, Dalani,” said the Nawab, “I do love you. I have never loved woman as I love you, nor do I think I ever shall.”

A thrill of pleasure passed through Da1ani’s frame. She remained speechless for sometime; tears started into her eyes, and brushing them away, she said, “If you know that whoever would fight the English was sure to be defeated, then why have you made up your mind to fall out with them?”

“I,” said Mir Kasim a little softly, “have no other alternative. I look upon you as my own, therefore I tell you these things. I know it for certain that this quarrel will cost me my throne, perhaps I shall lose my life. Then why do I want to fight?——you might ask. From the way in which the English are behaving, one would imagine as if they were the rulers and not I. What is the good of a kingdom of which I am not the king? Not only that; they say, ‘we are the rulers, but the grinding of the people is left to you, you shall do that for us.’ Why should I do it? If I cannot reign for the good of my people I will rather abdicate my throne. Why should I be a participator in their sin and infamy for nothing? I am not Sirajuddaula or Mir Jafar.”