Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Modern)


88The Ninth Chapter

89How Lucina was restored to life by one of Cerimon the physician's scholars; and how Cerimon adopted her to his daughter, and placed her in the temple of Diana.

90THE surpassing beauty of fair Lucina being such as is before recited, no wonder it was though Cerimon were marvelously ravished at the sight, whereby his affection enforced him to break out into these words: "Alas good beautiful gentlewoman, what unhappy and cruel chance hath thus made thee away and caused thee to be so woefully forsaken?" And as he spake those words, he perceived the gold that lay at her head, and the silver that lay at her feet, with a scroll of paper written, the which he took up and read, the tenor whereof was this: "Whosoever shall find this chest, I pray him for to take ten pieces of gold for his pains, and to bestow ten pieces more on the burial of the corpse; for it hath left many tears to the parents and friends, with doleful heaps of sorrow and heaviness. But whosoever shall do otherwise than the present grief requireth, let him die a shameful death, and let there be none to bury his body." And as soon as he had read over the writing, he said unto his servants: "Now let us perform unto the body that which the sorrow requireth; and I swear to you, by the hope which I have to live, that I will bestow more money upon the accomplishing of the same than the sorrowful schedule requireth." Wherefore, according to the manner of the burial which was at that time to burn the bodies of the dead, and to bury the ashes, gathered up and put into pots, he commanded a pile of wood to be erected, and upon the top thereof he caused the body to be laid.

91Now Cerimon had a scholar in physic, whose name was Machaon, very towardly in his profession, of years but young but ancient in wit and experience, who, coming in while these things were doing and beholding so beautiful a corpse laid upon the pile, he stood still and wondered at it. Which thing Cerimon perceiving, "Thou art come in good time" said he to Machaon, "and I looked for thee about this time. Take this flagon of precious ointment, and pour it upon the corpse, being the last ceremony of the sepulture." Then came Machaon unto the corpse, and pulled the clothes from the lady's bosom and poured forth the ointment, and, bestowing it abroad with his hand, perceived some warmth in her breast, and that there was life in the body. Machaon stood astonished, and he felt her pulses and laid his cheek to her mouth and examined all other tokens that he could devise, and he perceived how death strived with life within her, and that the conflict was dangerous and doubtful who should prevail. Then said he unto the servants: "Set fire unto the wood at the four corners of the pile and cause it to burn moderately, and bring me hither a bed that I may take the body out of the chest and lay it thereon."

92This being done, he chafed the body against the fire, until the blood, which was congealed with cold, was wholly resolved. Then went Machaon unto his master Cerimon and said: "The woman whom thou thinkest to be dead is alive, and that you may the better believe my saying, I will plainly prove it to be so." And when he had so said, he took the body reverently in his arms and bare it into his own chamber, and laid it upon his bed, grovelling upon the breast. Then took he certain hot and comfortable oils, and, warming them upon the coals, he dipped fair wool therein, and fomented all the body over therewith, until such time as the congealed blood and humours were thoroughly resolved, and the spirits eftsoons recovered their wonted course, the veins waxed warm, the arteries began to beat and the lungs drew in the fresh air again, and she opened her eyes and looked about, and, being perfectly come to herself, "What art thou?" said she unto Machaon, "See thou touch me not otherwise than thou oughtest to do, for I am a king's daughter, and the wife of a king."

93When Machaon heard her speak these words, [he] was exceeding glad, and he ran unto his master and said: "Sir, the woman liveth, and speaketh perfectly." Then answered Cerimon: "My well-beloved scholar Machaon, I am glad of this fortunate chance, and I much commend thy wisdom, and praise thy learning, and cannot but extoll thy diligence. Wherefore be not unthankful to thy knowledge, but receive here the reward which is due unto thee, namely, that which by the writing was appointed to be bestowed upon her burial, for thou hast restored her unto life, and she hath brought with her great sums of money." When he had so said, they came unto her and saluted her, and caused her to be appareled with wholesome and comfortable clothes, and to be refreshed with good meats. A few days after, when she had fully recovered strength, and Cerimon by communication knew that she came of the stock of a king, he sent for many of his friends to come unto him, and he adopted her for his own daughter, and, she with many tears requiring that she might not be touched by any man, for that intent her placed in the Temple of Diana, which was there at Ephesus, to be preserved there inviolably among the religious women.