A Hindu drama translated from the original Sanskrit and Pr?krits into English prose and verse by Arthur William Ryder, Ph.D.
is in no true sense the invention of the author; and The Little Clay Cart is the only drama of invention which is "full of rascals."
But a spirit so powerful as that of King Shudraka could not be confined within the strait-jacket of the minute, and sometimes puerile, rules of the technical works. In the very title of the drama, he has disregarded the rule that the name of a drama of invention should be formed by compounding the names of heroine and hero. Again, the books prescribe that the hero shall appear in every act; yet Charudatta does not appear in acts ii., iv., vi., and viii. And further, various characters, Vasantasena, Maitreya, the courtier, and others, have vastly gained because they do not conform too closely to the technical definitions.
The characters of The Little Clay Cart are living men and women. Even when the type makes no strong appeal to Western minds, as in the case of Charudatta, the character lives, in a sense in which Dushyanta or even Rama can