Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Modern)


121The Fifteenth Chapter

122How Apollonius, coming to Tharsus and not finding his daughter, lamented her supposed death; and, taking ship again, was driven by a tempest to Machilenta where Tharsia was.

123RETURN we now again unto Prince Apollonius, who, whiles these things were doing at Machilenta, when the fourteenth year was expired, arrived at Tharsus, and came into the city unto the house of Stranguilio and Dionisiades, with whom he had left his young daughter Tharsia. Whom when Stranguilio beheld and knew, he ran hastily unto his wife Dionisiades and said: "Thou reportedst that Prince Apollonius was dead, and lo now where he is come to require his daughter. What shall we now do, or say unto him?" Then cried she out "Alas, wretched husband and wife that we are! Let us quickly put on our mourning attire and shed forth tears, and he will believe us that his daughter died a natural death." And when they had appareled themselves, they came forth unto Apollonius, who, seeing them in mourning attire, said unto them: "My trusty friends, Stranguilio and Dionisiades, why weep ye thus at my coming? And tell me, I pray you (which I rather believe) whether these tears be not rather mine than yours." "Not so, my lord Apollonius," answered the wicked woman. "And I would to God some other body, and not mine husband or I, were enforced to tell you these heavy tidings: that your dear daughter Tharsia is dead."

124When Apollonius heard that word, he was suddenly cut to the heart, and his flesh trembled and he could scarce stand on his legs, and long time he stood amazed with his eyes intentively fixed on the ground. But at length recovering himself and taking fresh breath, he cast up his eyes upon her, and said: "O woman, if my daughter be dead, as thou sayest she is, is the money also and apparel perished with her?" She answered, "Some is, and some yet remaineth. And as for your daughter, my Lord, we were always in good hope that when you came you should have found her alive and merry. But to the intent that you may the better believe us concerning her death, we have a sufficient witness. For our citizens, being mindful of your benefits bestowed upon them, have erected unto her a monument of brass by yours, which you may go see if you please." And when she had so said, she brought forth such money, jewels and apparel which it pleased her to say were remaining of Tharsia's store.

125And Apollonius, believing indeed that she was dead, said unto his servants: "Take up this stuff and bear it away unto the ships, and I will go walk unto my daughter's monument." And when he came there, he read the superscription in manner as is above written, and he fell suddenly as it were into an outrageous affection and cursed his own eyes, saying: "O most cruel eyes, why can you not yield forth sufficient tears, and worthily bewail the death of my dear daughter?" And with that word, with grief and extreme sorrow he fell into a swoon, from which so soon as ever he was once revived, immediately he went unto the ships unto his servants, unto whom he said, "Cast me, I beseech you, unto the very bottom of the sea, for I leave no joy of my life, and my desire is to yield up my ghost in the water." But his servants used great persuasions with him to assuage his sorrow, wherein presently they some deal prevailed, as they might in so woeful a case; and partly the time, which is a curer of all cares, continually mitigated some part of the grief, and he espying the wind to serve well for their departure, hoisted up sail, and bid the land adieu.

126They had not thus sailed long in their course, but the wind came about to a contrary quarter, and blew so stiffly that it troubled both sea and ships. The rain fell fiercely overhead, the sea wrought wondrously under the ships, and, to be short, the tempest was terrible for the time. It was then thought best in that extremity to strike sail and let the helm go, and to suffer the ship to drive with the tide whither it should please God to direct it. But as joy evermore followeth heaviness, so was this sharp storm occasion of a sweet meeting of the father with the daughter, as in process hereafter it shall appear. For while Apollonius' ship runneth thus at random, it striketh upon the shore of the city Machilenta, where at that present his daughter Tharsia remained.

127Now it fortuned that this very day of their arrival was the birth day of Prince Apollonius, and when as the mariners saw themselves so happily come to the land, both for the gladness of the one, and joy of the other, the master of the ship and all the whole company gave a great shout. When Apollonius, who lay solitarily under the hatches, heard such a sudden voice of mirth, he called unto the master, and demanded what it meant. The master answered, "We rejoice, and be you glad also with us, my lord, for this day we do solemnize the feast of your birth." Then Apollonius sighed, and said himself: "All keep holiday save I only, and let it suffice unto my servants that I only remain in sorrow and heaviness. Howbeit, I give unto them ten pieces of gold to buy what they will to keep holiday withal. But whosoever shall call me unto the feast or go about to provoke me unto mirth, I command that his thighs shall be broken." So the caterer took the money, and went a-land, and provided necessaries, and returned again unto the ship.