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"Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing these words from Bhima, that were fraught with such mildness and that were, as unexpected as if the hills had lost their weight and fire had become cold, Rama's younger brother Kesava of Sura's race and mighty arms, wielding the bow called Saranga, laughed aloud, and as if to stimulate Bhima by his words, like the breeze fanning a fire, addressed him who was then so overwhelmed by the impulse of kindness, saying, 'At other times, O Bhimasena, thou applaudest war only, desirous of crushing the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra that take delight in the destruction of others. O chastiser of foes, thou dost not steep but wakest the whole night, sitting up face downwards. Thou often utterest frightful exclamation of wrath, indicative of the storm within thy heart. Inflamed with the fire of thy own fury, thou sighest, O Bhima with an unquiet heart, like a flame of fire mixed with smoke. Withdrawing from company thou liest down breathing hot sighs, like a weak man pressed down by a heavy load. They, who do not know the cause regard thee as insane. As an elephant breaking into fragments uprooted trees lying on the ground grunteth in rage while trampling them

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under his feet, so thou also, O Bhima, runnest on, breathing deep sighs and shaking the earth under the tread. Here in the region thou takest no delight in company but passest thy time in privacy. Night or day, Nothing pleases thee so much as seclusion. Sitting apart thou sometimes laughest aloud all on a sudden, and sometimes placing thy head between thy two knees, thou continuest in that posture for a long time with closed eyes. At the other times, O Bhima, contracting thy brows frequently and biting thy lips, thou starest fiercely before thee. All this is indicative of wrath. At one time, thou hadst, in the midst of thy brothers, grasped the mace, uttering this oath, 'As the sun is seen rising in the east displaying his radiance, and as he truly setteth in the west journeying around the Meru, so do I swear that I will certainly slay insolent Duryodhana with this mace of mine, and this oath of mine will never be untrue.' How then doth that same heart of thine, O chastiser of foes, now follow the counsels of peace? Alas, when fear entereth thy heart, O Bhima, it is certain that the hearts of all who desire war are upset when war becometh actually imminent. Asleep or awake, thou beholdest, O son of Pritha, inauspicious omens. Perhaps, it is this for which thou desirest peace. Alas, like a eunuch, thou dost not display any sign indicative of manliness in thee. Thou art overwhelmed by panic, and it is for this that thy heart is upset. The heart trembleth, thy mind is overwhelmed by despair, thy thighs tremble, and it is for this that thou desirest peace. The hearts of mortals, O Partha, are surely as inconstant as the pods of the Salmali seed exposed to the force of the wind. This frame of thy mind is as strange as articulate speech in kine. Indeed, the hearts of thy brothers are about to sink in an ocean of despair,--like swimmers in the sea without a raft to rescue them. That thou, O Bhimasena, shouldst utter words so unexpected of thee is as strange as the shifting of a hill. Recollecting thy own deeds and the race also in which thou art born, arise, O Bharata, yield not, to grief, O hero, and be firm. Such langour, O repressor of foes, is not worthy of thee, for a Kshatriya never enjoyeth that which he doth not acquire through prowess.'"

Next: Section LXXVI