160 GLIMPSES OF NATIVE LIFE
almost as well as the a dalanga himself. He has no prejudice in favour of any regular intrigue with beginning, catastrophe and end. And as for improbabilities, many strange things happen, day by day. And as for time, was not the Prophet carried up to Heaven to sojourn among the blessed for a thousand years, whence returning to Mecca, and entering his chamber, he found the pitcher, which he had upset in his heavenward flight, not yet emptied of its contents? Such considerations cannot spoil his enjoyment of the wayang. Night after night the Javanese sit, listening to the grandiloquent speeches of the heroes and their courting of queens and nymphs, discussing their opinions and principles, moral and otherwise; and amid bursts of laughter, applauding any witticism, with which the a dalanga may enliven his somewhat monotonous text. And as at last, they regretfully rise in the reddening dawn that causes the wayang-lights to pale, visions of that heroic and beautiful world accompany them on their homeward way. The maidens would hardly be amazed to behold Ardjuna slumbering under* the blossoming "citron-bush. And the young men think of Palosara, who, by his unassisted arm, won a royal bride and the kingdom of Ngastina.