Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Laurence Twine
Editors: Tom Bishop, Andrew Forsberg
Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Modern)


148The Eighteenth Chapter

149How Apollonius, leaving off mourning, came into the city Machilenta, where he commanded the bawd to be burned, and how Tharsia was married unto Prince Athanagoras.

150THARSIA, hearing her father's words, fell down at his feet and kissed him, saying: "O father, blessed be God that hath given me the grace to see you, and that I may die with you." But Apollonius lifted up his heart and cast away his mourning apparel, and put on other sweet and clean raiment. And when Athanagoras and the servants looked earnestly upon him and upon his daughter, they wondered, saying, "O my lord Apollonius, how like in countenance is your daughter Tharsia unto you, that, if you had no other argument, this were sufficient proof to show that she is your child." Apollonius thanked them, saying that now he stood not in any doubt thereof.

151Then Tharsia began to discourse unto her father, how she was sold unto the bawd and how he thrust her into the common brothel, and by what means she always preserved her chastity, and how much she was bounden unto good Prince Athanagoras there present. Now Athanagoras was a widower and a lusty young gentleman and prince of the city, as it is declared, who, fearing lest Tharsia should be bestowed in marriage upon some other man, and using the benefit of the time, cast himself down at Apollonius' feet and besought him for her, saying, "Most noble Prince, I beseech you for the living God's sake, which hath thus miraculously restored the father unto his daughter, bestow not your daughter upon any other in marriage than me only. I am prince of this city and through my means she hath continued a virgin, and by my procurement she is now come unto the knowledge of thee her father." Apollonius, courteously embracing him, answered: "I thank you most heartily, good Prince Athanagoras, for your friendly offer, which I may in no wise gainsay both in respect of your own worthiness and for the pleasure which you have showed my daughter, and therefore you have my goodwill to be her husband." Then, turning his face towards Tharsia, "How say you my dear daughter," said he, "are you contented to be wife unto Athanagoras?" Tharsia with blushing cheeks answered: "Yea forsooth, father; for since I came from Stranguilio's house, I never found rest nor pleasure saving through his all-only courtesy." Now whether Athanagoras rejoiced at this answer or not, I refer me to the judgement of those who, being passionate with the same affection, would be well pleased with a jointly grant of the like goodwill.

152When these matters were thus concluded, Apollonius moved Athanagoras concerning revenge to be executed upon the bawd. Then Athanagoras took his leave for a while of Apollonius and departeth unto the city, and, calling all the citizens together to the market place, he spake thus unto them: "My friends and well-beloved citizens, understand ye that Apollonius, Prince of Tyrus and father unto Tharsia, is arrived in our coast with a great fleet of ships, wherein he hath brought a mighty army of men to destroy our city for the bawd's sake, who placed his daughter in a common brothel, to hire out the use of her body for money. Wherefore look unto your selves, and advise yourselves what you were best to do, for it were pity that the whole city should perish for one wicked man's sake."

153When as he made an end of this speech, the whole multitude trembled and was sore afraid, and forthwith determined that they would all, as well men, women and children, go forth to see Prince Apollonius, and to crave pardon of him. "Not so," said Athanagoras, "but we will desire him to come peaceably into our city, and what he list to command shall be fulfilled." The people liked well of that counsel, and committed the matter unto his discretion wholly to provide for their safety. Then went he forth unto Apollonius, and desired him in the people's name to come into the city, where he should be most heartily welcome. Apollonius refused not that friendly offer, but immediately prepared himself to go with him, and caused his head to be polled and his beard to be trimmed and his nails to be pared, and put on a princely robe upon his back and a crown of gold upon his head, and so passed forth together upon the way.

154And when they were come into the city, the citizens saluted Apollonius, and he was placed in the highest seat, whence the prince was wont to give judgement, and his daughter Tharsia by his side, and he spake unto the people in this manner following: "Good people of the city of Machilenta, you see the virgin Tharsia, whom I her father have found out this present day. Her hath the most filthy bawd, as much as in him lay, constrained to dishonest her body to her utter destruction. From which his devilish purpose no entreaty could persuade him, no price could allure him. Wherefore my request unto you, good people, is that I may have due revenge on him for the injury done unto my daughter." When the people heard his reasonable demand, they cried out with one accord, saying: "My lord Apollonius, we judge that he be burned alive, and his goods be given unto the maiden Tharsia." The revenge pleased Apollonius well, and forthwith they apprehended the bawd, and bound him hand and foot; and they made a great fire, and at Apollonius' commandment cast him alive into it and burnt him to ashes.

155Then called Tharsia for the villein, and said unto him: "Because by thy means, and all the citizens, I have hitherto remained a virgin even until my father's coming, my will is that thou be free; and moreover, I here give unto thee two hundred pieces of gold for a reward." Secondly, she called for all the women that were in the bawd's brothel, and said unto them: "Good women, whose chances, perhaps, hath been as grievous unto you as mine was unto me, I set you all at liberty, and whereas heretofore you have gained money by hiring forth the use of your bodies, receive of me here this reward, that you may live hereafter more in the fear of God, and practise some more commendable way to sustain necessity." And therewithal she gave to every one of them a reward, and so dismissed them.

156And when all these things were ended, Apollonius, minding to depart, spoke unto the people, saying: "Noble Prince Athanagoras, and beloved citizens of Machilenta, I acknowledge myself much bounden to you, and I yield you hearty thanks for all your benefits bestowed upon me and my daughter. And now in recompense thereof I give unto you fifty pounds weight of gold to be divided amongst you, that, when I am gone from you, you may be mindful of me." The citizens thanked him and bowed their heads in token of reverence; and they agreed together, and they erected two statues of brass, one unto him, another to his daughter, in the market-place of the city with these superscriptions written in their bases: Unto Apollonius, Prince of Tyrus, the preserver of our houses; and unto his virtuous daughter, Tharsia, a virgin, the mindful citizens of Machilenta have erected those monuments. But Apollonius, remembering the great courtesy of Athanagoras and his promise made unto him concerning Tharsia, appointed a short time for their marriage, against which there was great provision as might be at so small warning. The solemnities, riches, bravery, cost, feasts, revels, entertainment, and all things else appertaining thereunto and requisite for so great personages, I shall not here need particularly to set down, since every man may judge what belongeth to such a matter and none can precisely describe this unless he had been there present. Of this thing sure I am, that this marriage brought great pleasure to the father, contentment to the parties, and joy to all the people.