Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Modern)


176The Twenty-Second Chapter

177How Apollonius sailed from Tharsus to visit his father-in-law Altistrates, King of Pentapolis, who died not long after Apollonius' coming thither.

178THE term of three months that Apollonius purposed for his delight to remain at Tharsus was almost expired, and he commanded all things to be prepared for the journey. And when the day was come, he made general proclamation upon pain of death every man to ship. And when the whole army was embarked, he took ship himself with his wife and his daughter, being honorably accompanied by the citizens unto the water-side; and after due courtesy on both sides done and received, he hoisted sail and departed towards Pentapolis, King Altistrates' city. And when they had sailed with prosperous wind ten days upon the sea, they discovered afar off the steeples and towers of Pentapolis, and the soldiers rejoiced and gave a shout for gladness that they were so near to their wished land. Then they cast about and cut towards the haven, and cast anchor and landed all safe, and Apollonius with his wife and daughter, after he had taken order for the company, rode unto the court unto King Altistrates, whom they found in good health, and merry. And when Altistrates saw his son-in-law, his daughter, and his niece, Tharsia, he bid them welcome, and rejoiced exceedingly, and sent for the nobles of his land to keep them company, and gave them the best entertainment that he could devise, and they sojourned with him an whole year in pleasure and pastime, whereof the king took great comfort as was possible for a man to do in worldly felicity.

179But as there was never yet anything certain or permanent in this mortal life, but always we be requited with sour sauce to our sweet meat, and when we think ourselves surest in the top of joy, then tilt we down soonest into the bottom of sorrow, so fared it now unto those personages in the midst of their jollity. For the good old King Altistrates fell suddenly sick, which much appalled them all, and grew every day weaker than other. Then were the physicians sent for in haste, who left nothing untried that appertained unto art and experience to do; and above all Apollonius and Lucina his wife played the parts of dutiful children in tending their aged and weak father with all care and diligence possible. But alas, old age, which of itself is an uncurable sickness and had been growing now well nigh an hundred years lacking seven upon him, accompanied with the intolerable pain of the gout and the stone of the bladder, had consumed natural moisture, so that his force gave over to the disease, and shortly after changed this transitory life for a better.

180When report was spread abroad of the king's death, there was great sorrow and lamentation made in all places, neither was there any that took not grievously the loss of so good a prince. But to describe the inward affliction of Apollonius, and the tears of Lucina and Tharsia her daughter, would make any heart of flint to bleed, considering the tender affections of women above men, and how prone they be that way, yea, sometime (God knows) in smaller cases than at the death of husband, father, or mother. But as all things have their time, so have sorrow and tears also, which are best dried up with the towel of continuance, which gave now just occasion unto Apollonius to cast off drowsy sorrow and to provide for the funerals of his father-in-law, which he accomplished with so seasonable expedition, and in so honorable a sort, as was seemly for so mighty a king, and so virtuous a prince, whom he buried among the ancient race of kings, his ancestors, in the temple within the city of Pentapolis. Which being all finished, as it is also a work of charity to fulfil the will of the dead, he applied himself to execute his father's testament, wherein he had given half his kingdom unto Apollonius and the other half to Tharsia his niece, to have and to hold to them and to their heirs for ever.