284 JAVA: THE GARDEN OP THE EAST
there is still another romantic legendary poem, the a Bharata Yuddha,a in which many of the incidents and the heroes of the Mahabharata are presented in Javanese settings with Javanese names. All these Kawi books are known to the people by translations in modern Javanese, and by their frequent presentation in the common dramatic entertainments, the way an g- way an g, or shadow-plays, of even the smallest villages.
Many a Books of Wisdoma and of exhortation to pious and righteous living survive in Kawi literature ; but with all that Hindu civilization brought, it bequeathed nothing that could be called Buddhist literature, and the bulk of ancient Javanese literature is decidedly secular and profanea sentimental and romantic poems, love-tales in verse, that continue to extreme lengths. The Arab conquest has left almost no impress upon the language. Although schools were established, and a considerable body of Arabic literature came with the Mohammedan conquerors, but little save iababs, romantic chronicles of the loves of imaginary princes and heroes, have been added to Javanese literature in ihe four centuries since Islama s conquest. The spoken language of the Javanese shows few traces of Arabic, and the written language is also unchangeda a neater, more beautiful and graceful system of ornamental characters than either Arabic or Persian.
The old Kawi epics are popularized by the theater, the topeng, and the coiamon wayang-wayang, or shadow-dance of puppets, vhere a manager delivers the well-known lines. Of these three dramatic forms