Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Modern)


104The Twelfth Chapter

105How certain Pirates rescued Tharsia when she should have been slain, and carried her unto the city Machilenta to be sold among other bondslaves.

106AS fortune -- or rather the providence of God -- served, while Tharsia was devoutly making her prayers, certain pirates which were come a-land and stood under the side of an hill watching for some prey, beholding an armed man offering violence unto a maiden, cried unto him, and said: "Thou cruel tyrant! That maiden is our prey and not thy victory; and therefore hold thine hands from her, as thou lovest thy life." When the villein heard that, he ran away as fast as he could and hid himself behind the sepulchre. Then came the pirates and rescued Tharsia and caried her away to their ships, and hoisted sail and departed. And the villein returned home to his mistress, and said unto her: "That which you commanded me to do is dispatched, and therefore now I think it good that you put on a mourning garment, and I also, and let us counterfeit great sorrow and heaviness in the sight of all the people, and say that she died of some grievous disease."

107But Stranguilio himself consented not to this treason, but so soon as he heard of the foul mischance, being as it were a-moped and mated with heaviness and grief, he clad himself in mourning array, and lamented that woeful case, saying: "Alas, in what a mischief am I wrapped? What might I do, or say herein? The father of this maiden delivered this city from the peril of death; for this city's sake he suffered shipwreck, lost his goods and endured penury, and now he is requited with evil for good. His daughter, which he committed unto me to be brought up, is now devoured by a most cruel lioness. Thus I am deprived as it were of mine own eyes, and forced to bewail the death of an innocent, and am utterly spoiled through the fierce biting of a most venomous serpent." Then casting his eyes up towards heaven, "O God," said he, "thou knowest that I am innocent from the blood of silly Tharsia, which thou hast to require at Dionisiades' hands." And therewithal he looked towards his wife, saying: "Thou wicked woman, tell me, how hast thou made away Prince Apollonius' daughter? Thou that livest both to the slander of God and man?"

108Dionisiades answered in many words evermore excusing herself, and, moderating the wrath of Stranguilio, she counterfeited a feigned sorrow by attiring herself and her daughter in mourning apparel, and in dissembling tears before the people of the city, to whom she said: "Dearly beloved friends and citizens of Tharsus, for this cause we do weep and mourn in your sight, because the joy of our eyes and staff of our old age, the maiden Tharsia, is dead, leaving unto us bitter tears and sorrowful hearts. Yet have we already taken order for her funerals and buried her according to her degree." These words were right grievous unto the people, and there was almost none that let not fall some tears for sorrow. And they went with one accord unto the market place, whereas her father's image stood made of brass, and erected also another unto her there with this inscription: Unto the virgin Tharsia in lieu of her father's benefits, the citizens of Tharsus have erected this monument.