Chapter 25

IT is related, that the wife of Sultan Mahmud, and mother of Raja Ahmed, returned into God's mercy, and the King was extremely afflicted; and how long was that, through grief, he would not have the nobuts sounded! All the chiefs likewise looked gloomy, at seeing the grief of the Prince; and all their attempts to console him proved ineffectual, and could not remove the impression from his heart. 

One day, all the nobles, mantris, and hulubalangs, assembled, and the King asked them, what they advised, since the land of Malaca was now devoid of a Queen. The chiefs said, "The daughter of what raja would you choose? Mention the name of any Princess, and we will go and ask her in due form." The King replied, "I don't want to marry a raja's daughter, for any other raja may marry a raja's daughter; but I want to marry one to whom no other Prince can aspire." "Inform us then," said the nobles, "whither your wishes tend, and we will do our utmost to carry them into effect." 

Then said the King, "I want to ask the Princess Gunung Ledang." Then they asked him whom he wished to send as his messengers. He said, "I will send the laksamana, Sang Satia, and Tun Mamed." They cheerfully assented. Then Tun Mamed first set out with the men of Indragiri, to clear the way to Gunung Ledang, for he was the head man, or pengulu of Indragiri. 

After long journeying they reached the foot of the hill, and began to ascend it, but found no road ; the hill men however showed them the road, for the way was excessively difficult, with violent gusts of wind, and a cold quite unsupportable. They advanced, however, till they reached about the middle of the mountain, when none of the people could proceed farther. 

Then said Tun Mamed to the laksamana and Sang Satia, "Stop you here, gentles, and let me ascend the hill." The others assented, and Tun Mamed, with two or three hearty men, ascended as well as he could, till he came to the bamboos, which are spontaneously melodious; and all that ascended, felt like birds flying, in the furious gusts of wind, and the clouds closed round so near, that one might touch them ; and the sound of the musical bamboos was extremely melodious; and the very birds lingered to hear their music; and the forest deer were all enchanted by their melody; and Tun Mamed was so delighted with their sound, that he could not prevail on himself to advance on his journey for some time. Again however he proceeded slowly, till at last he reached a garden of wonderful beauty, such as had never been seen. It was full of all kinds of flowers and fruits which are to be found in the whole world, arranged in plots of divers kinds. 

As soon as the birds of the garden observed the approach of Tun Mamed, they uttered all kinds of cries, some  like a man whistling; others like a person playing on a pipe; others like a person playing on the sirdam ; others like a person reciting verses; others like persons bersaluca,  or joyous; others like persons bergorindam, or conversing in dialogue. The large lemons made a loud noise, the grapes giggled, and the pomegranates smiled, and the warasac laughed aloud, while the rose repeated pantuns, in the following style; 

The teeth are grating against each other,
They wish to eat the fish of the tank;
Fine and fat are the roes for frying,
And the scales will stick to the breast. 

The  Tanjung's blue flower replied, 

Dang Nila put in his betel box,
The Berimbang and the Pidada fruit,
Was there ever such a fool as you, Sir,
The bird is flown, and you are only grinding the pepper (for catching it). 

Tun Mamed was exceedingly surprised to hear a tree so skilful in making pantuns, as well as to see the whole arrangement of the  garden. Tun Mamed at last came up to a hall in the garden, the whole materials of which were of bone, and the roof of hair. 

In the balei, or dais, sat an old woman, of elegant  appearance, with a plaid thrown across her shoulder, with four young women before her. As soon as they saw Tun Mamed they asked him, "Whence do you come, and whither are you going?" Tun Mamed said, "I am a Malaca man, named Tun Mamed. I am sent by the Sultan of Malaca to ask in marriage the Lady Princess Gunung Ledang. This is the reason of my coming. 

The laksamana and Sang Satia also are on the hill beneath, but unable to ascend, and have sent me onward. Now please to inform me what is your name, and whence you come?" The elder lady replied,  "My name is Dang Raya Rani, and I am the head person here of the Princess Gunung Ledang. Whatever you want stay here, and I will go represent it to the Princess." On this the five females instantly vanished. 

Then there came to him an old woman, hunch-backed, and bent threefold, and said to him. "Dang Raya Rani has delivered your message to the Princess Gunung Ledang, who desires me to say, that if the raja of Malaca wishes for me, he must first make a flight of stairs of gold, and another of silver, from Malaca to Gunung Ledang; and in asking me, he must present a gnat's heart seven platters broad, a moth's heart seven platters broad, a vat of human tears, and a vat of the juice of the young betel nut, one phial of the raja's blood, and one phial of the Prince Raja Ahmed's blood; and if the raja performs this, the Princess Gunung Ledang will assent to his desire." As soon as she had spoken this she vanished, so that nobody could perceive where she had gone. 

According to some accounts, however, the elderly lady who conversed with Tun Mamed, was the Princess Gunung Ledang, who had assumed the appearance of an old woman. Then Tun Mamed returned and descended to the laksamana and Sang Satia, and informed them of what had passed; after  which they all returned and related the whole of the old woman's conversation to Sultan Mahmud Shah, who said, "all these requests may be complied with, but the taking of blood is an unpleasant business, and I have no inclination for it at all."