The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, tr. by Richard Burton, , at sacred-texts.com
WHEN a courtesan abandons her present lover after all his wealth is exhausted, she may then consider about her reunion with a former lover. But she should return to him only if he has acquired fresh wealth, or is still wealthy, and if he is still attached to her. And if this man be living at the time with some other woman she should consider well before she acts.
Now such a man can only be in one of the six following conditions:
He may have left the first woman of his own accord, and may even have left another woman since then.
He may have been driven away from both women.
He may have left the one woman of her own accord, and been driven away by the other.
He may have left the one woman of his own accord, and be living with another woman.
He may have been driven away from the one woman, and left the other of his own accord.
He may have been driven away by the one woman, and may be living with another.
Now if the man has left both women of his own accord, he should not be resorted to, on account of the fickleness of his mind, and his indifference to the excellences of both of them.
As regards the man who may have been driven away from both women, if he has been driven away from the last one because the woman could get more money from some other man, then he should be resorted to, for if attached to the first woman he would give her more money, through vanity and emulation to spite the other woman. But if he has been driven away by the woman on account of his poverty, or stinginess, he should not then be resorted to.
In the case of the man who may have left the one woman of his own accord, and been driven away by the other, if he agrees to return to the former and give her plenty of money beforehand, then he should be resorted to.
In the case of the man who may have left the one woman of his own accord, and be living with another woman, the former (wishing to take up with him again) should first ascertain if he left her in the first instance in the hope of finding some particular excellence in the other woman, and that not having found any such excellence, he was willing to come back to her, and to give her much money on account of his conduct, and on account of his affection still existing for her.
Or, whether, having discovered many faults in the other woman, he would now see even more excellences in herself than actually exist, and would be prepared to give her much money for these qualities.
Or, lastly, to consider whether he was a weak man, or a man fond of enjoying many women, or one who liked a poor woman, or one who never did anything for the woman that he was with. After maturely considering all these things, she should resort to him or not, according to circumstances.
As regards the man who may have been driven away from the one woman, and left the other of his own accord, the former woman (wishing to reunite with him) should first ascertain whether he still has any affection for her, and would consequently spend much money upon her; or whether, being attached to her excellent qualities, he did not take delight in any other woman; or whether, being driven away from her formerly before completely satisfying his sexual desires, he wished to get back to her, so as to be revenged for the injury done to him; or whether he wished to create confidence in her mind, and then take back from her the wealth which she formerly took from him, and finally destroy her; or, lastly, whether he wished first to separate her from her present lover, and then to break away from her himself. If, after considering all these things, sire is of opinion that his intentions are really pure and honest, she can reunite herself with him. But if his mind be at all tainted with evil intentions, he should be avoided.
In the case of the man who may have been driven away by one woman, and be living with another, if the man makes overtures to return to the first one, the courtesan should consider well before she acts, and while the other woman is engaged in attracting him to herself, she should try in her turn (though keeping herself behind the scenes) to gain him over, on the grounds of any of the following considerations:
That he was driven away unjustly and for no proper reason, and now that he has gone to another woman, every effort must be used to bring him back to myself.
That if he were once to converse with me again, he would break away from the other woman.
That the pride of my present lover would be put down by means of the former one.
That he has become wealthy, has secured a higher position, and holds a place of authority under the king.
That he is separate from his wife.
That he is now independent.
That he lives apart from his father, or brother.
That by making peace with him, I shall be able to get hold of a very rich man, who is now prevented from coming to me by my present lover.
That as he is not respected by his wife, I shall now be able to separate him from her.
That the friend of this man loves my rival, who hates me cordially, I shall therefore by this means separate the friend from his mistress.
And lastly, I shall bring discredit upon him by bringing him back to me, thus showing the fickleness of his mind.
When a courtesan is resolved to take up again with a former lover, her Pithamarda and other servants should tell him that his former expulsion from the woman's house was caused by the wickedness of her mother; that the woman loved him just as much as ever at that time, but could not help the occurrence on account of her deference to her mother's will; that she hated the union of her present lover, and disliked him excessively. In addition to this, they should create confidence in his mind by speaking to him of her former love for him, and should allude to the mark of that love that she has ever remembered. This mark of her love should be connected with some kind of pleasure that may have been practised by him, such as his way of kissing her, or manner 'of having connection with her.
Thus end the ways of bringing about a reunion with a former lover.
When a woman has to choose between two lovers, one of whom was formerly united with her, while the other is a stranger, the Acharyas (sages) are of opinion that the first one is preferable, because his disposition and character being already known by previous careful observation, he can be easily pleased and satisfied; but Vatsyayana thinks that a former lover, having already spent a great deal of his wealth, is not able or willing to give much money again, and is not therefore to be relied upon so much as a stranger. Particular cases may however arise differing from this general rule on account of the different natures of men.
There are also verses on the subject as follows:
'Reunion with a former lover may be desirable so as to separate some particular woman from some particular man, or some particular man from some particular woman, or to have a certain effect upon the present lover.'
'When a man is excessively attached to a woman, he is afraid of her coming into contact with other men; he does not then regard or notice her faults and he gives her much wealth through fear of her leaving him.'
'A courtesan should be agreeable to the man who is attached to her, and despise the man who does not care for her. If while she is living with one man, a messenger comes to her from some other man, she may either refuse to listen to any negotiations on his part, or appoint a fixed time for him to visit her, but she should not leave the man who may be living with her and who may be attached to her.'
'A wise woman should only renew her connection with a former lover, if she is satisfied that good fortune, gain, love, and friendship, are likely to be the result of such a reunion.'