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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

ceremony[1] and come to dine at my house? Or, if a daughter is born, what good Brahmin will marry his son to her? If I return home now, who will believe that I have not fallen off from my religion? How shall I shew my face there?”

“What was in your destiny, has come to pass,” said Sundari, “that cannot be undone. You shall have to suffer a little all your time, yet you will have the satisfaction of living in your own home.”

“For what happiness? What hopes of happiness have I, that I shall return home and suffer so much misery? I have neither father, mother, friend——”

“Why, you have got your husband, else for whom is the life of a woman ?"

“You know all—”

“Yes, I do know all. I know that of all the sinners in this world, there is not one greater than you. The husband, the like of whom rarely falls to the lot of a woman in this world, your mind is not satisfied with the love of such a husband. And why ?-—because he does not know how to fondle his wife like children who fondle their dolls in their mimic play-house; and why? — because the Creator has not made him a buffoon tricked out in tinsel tawdries—He has made him a man. Your husband is pious and learned, you are a wicked sinner— how can you like him? You are blind of the blind,

and that is why you cannot understand that the love which he bears you, is rare in a woman’s life. As the reward of great virtue in your antecedent birth, you have

  1. It is a ceremony which generally takes place in the sixth month of a child's birth when the child happens to be male, and in the seventh month, when it happens to be female. The kinsmen, caste people and friends are invited to dinner on the occasion. This is the occasion when the child is initiated into the mysteries of boiled rice.