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Excerpt from The Open Court, Vol. 40
"Quick! Look! The royal hunt! Chandragupta, the King! Make way!" From mouth to mouth, from stand to stand, the warning passed along, electrifying the sleepy Indian market place. Blinking venders, dozing over their wares, leaped to frenzied activity. Cloth merchants bundled off with their rolls of exquisite silk and linen. Lapidaries, with trays of precious stones, jostled snake charmers, basketing their treacherous playthings. Scribes overturned writing boxes, and jugglers their trumpery, in the rush to make room for a stupendous cavalcade.
Good reason the populace had to be agitated at the news. In these huddle quarters a near view of the terrible Chandragupta on a tiger hunt was a spectacle and an adventure.
In any age or country a royal procession has been a sensation for the masses. But probably no age or country ever produced anything quite so sensational as the one of this grim old monarch, who, 321 B.C., wrested authority from the unpopular Nanda king, united the fierce tribes of Northwest India under his standard, defeated the Greeks after the death of Alexander the Great, and made himself undisputed master of Behar, the ancient Indian Empire.
In the presence of the terrific Chandragupta, well might the populace temper their curiosity with discretion. A ruler who dared not shut his eyes to sleep by day, who change his sleeping place every night naturally took no rash chances in passing through a crowd. He lived in a land where any wife of his, slaying him in his drunken stupor, would, according to an honored custom become the star favorite in the harem of the grateful and appreciative successor: so Chandragupta governed himself accordingly. All his subjects knew by reputation and experience how desirable it was, when their ruler deigned to show himself, to keep at a modest and respectful distance.
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