Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Modern)


128The Sixteenth Chapter

129How Athanagoras, Prince of Machilenta, seeing the beauty of Apollonius' ship, went aboard of it and did the best he could to comfort him.

130AS fortune thereto served, and delight to take the fresh air moved Athanagoras, Prince of the City, to walk toward the seaside, he saw Apollonius' ships riding at anchor, at the view whereof he took great pleasure, especially at the Admiral, which was a great ship and a beautiful, wherein Apollonius himself was carried, the like whereof haply he had not seen often before. This was that Athanagoras that loved Tharsia so tenderly, and he hailed unto the mariners, and asked of whence that fair ship was? The mariners answered that she came now from Tharsus. "Truly," said Athanagoras, "it is a fair ship, and well appointed, and of all that I have seen, I like best of her." Now when the mariners heard their ship so highly commended, they desired him to come aboard, whereunto he willingly granted.

131And when he was come aboard, he sat down with them at meat, and he drew his purse and laid down ten pieces of gold upon the table, saying "You shall not say that you have bidden an unthankful person; take this small sum of money at my hands for a reward," and they thanked him. But when he was set down and beheld all that sat at the board, he demanded who was owner of the ship and where he was. The master answered, "Our owner is sick and weak with sorrow and taking thought, and needs will die. He lost his wife upon the sea and his daughter in a strange land." Athanagoras said unto one of the servants, called Ardalius: "I will give thee two pieces of gold to go down and tell thy master that the prince of this city desireth him to come up out of darkness into light." The servant answered, "I cannot buy new thighs for thy gold and therefore get some man else to go on the errand, for he hath said that whosoever troubleth him, his thighs shall be broken." "That law hath he made over you," said Athanagoras, "and not over me, and therefore I will go down unto him: but first tell me, I pray you, what you call his name?" They answered "Apollonius." And when he heard that name, he remembered in his mind that he heard Tharsia call her father so, and he went down unto him where he lay, whom when he beheld, having a long beard and rough fligged hair and long nails on his fingers, he was somewhat astonished and called upon him with a soft voice, saying: "Apollonius!"

132When Apollonius heard himself named, thinking it had been some of his men that had called him, [he] arose up suddenly with a fierce countenance, and seeing a stranger looking very comely and honorably attired, he held his peace. Then spake Athanagoras: "Sir, I think you do marvel that I, being a stranger, am so bold as to come to trouble you. You shall understand that I am prince of this city, and my name is Athanagoras. I walked by chance unto the seaside, where, beholding thy ships, especially commending this wherein thou art for beauty and strength, I was by thy men desired to come aboard, which I did and have eaten with them. Then inquired I for the owner and they told me thy name and that thou remainest in great sorrow, and for that cause I am come down unto thee to bring thee, if I may, out of darkness into light, hoping that after this heaviness God shall restore thee unto gladness." Apollonius lifted up his eyes, saying: "I thank thee, my Lord, whosoever thou art, and I beseech thee not to trouble me longer, for I am not worthy to eat meat or make good cheer, and I will live no longer." Athanagoras much mused at this answer, and wondered at the wilfulness of the man, and came up upon the deck and said unto the servants: "I cannot persuade your lord to come up out of that dark place into the light. What way therefore, were I best to devise to bring him from his purpose and to preserve him from an obstinate death? For it were great pity that a notable gentleman should so consume away in hucker-mucker and die by a dishonorable death."