Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Modern)

181The Twenty-Third Chapter

182How Apollonius rewarded the fisherman that relieved him after he had suffered shipwreck; how he dealt also with old Calamitus, and likewise with the pirates that stole away Tharsia.

183BY this time, when all cares were banished and Apollonius enjoyed his kingdom in quiet possession, he gave himself sometimes to delight as other princes are wont to do. And it fortuned that on a day, when he had dined, he walked forth for recreation unto the seaside with his wife and a few servants. And when he came there, he saw a small fisher-boat fleeting under sail, which he thought by all signs he should know well, for he supposed it to be the fisherman's boat which succored him when he had suffered shipwreck in sailing from Tharsus towards Pentapolis. Wherefore he commanded some of his servants to take another ship which rode at anchor there on the shore, to go after and take him, and to bring the fisherman unto him unto the court.

184When the poor man saw himself boarded of so many and so gay a multitude, he feared they had been pirates, and that they would have slain him; and he fell down on his knees and besought them to have compassion upon him: he was but a poor fisherman and had not that which they sought for: it were others that were more fit for their purpose to meet withal, such as ventured further in greater vessels, carrying forth great sums of money and bringing home plenty of costly merchandise. As for him, they should not only find miserable poverty in ransacking his boat, but if they were also determined to take away his life from him, they should likewise with the same stroke bereave the lives of his poor wife and many small children, which were maintained by his hand only. These or the like words uttered then the poor fisherman. But they smiling in their conceits, and mindful of their prince's commandment, bade him not fear that they would rob him, but said that he must go with them, and brought him away unto the court.

185And when he was come into the king's presence, Apollonius knew him well, and said unto the queen and the nobles that were about him: "Behold, this is the man that received me into his house, and succored me when I suffered shipwreck, and showed me the way into the city, by which means I came acquainted with good King Altistrates." And he rose out of his seat, and embraced him and said: "I am Apollonius, Prince of Tyrus, whom thou didst succor, and therefore be of good cheer, for thou shalt be rewarded." And the poor fisherman wept exceedingly for joy. And Apollonius commanded two hundred sesterces of gold to be given unto him, and thirty servants, and twenty handmaids, and forty horses, and fifty suits of apparel, and a fair palace to dwell in, and made him an earl, and used no man so familiarly as he did him all the days of his life.

186Now it was not long after that these things were done, but one called Calamitus, the master of the ship of Tyrus, an old man, who, as we have before declared, showed unto Apollonius as he was walking by the sea side with Lucina that Antiochus and his daughter were dead and the kingdom was reserved for him, came before Apollonius, and, falling down on his knees: "Remember me, my most gracious Lord Apollonius," said he, "since the time I told your grace the good tidings of King Antiochus' death." Then King Apollonius took him up by the hand, and caused him to sit down by him, and talked familiarly with him, and gave him great thanks, and made him a great lord in his country.

187Thus Apollonius busied himself, not only in bestowing himself courteously at home, but he also provided as well for the quiet government of the state abroad as it appeared by the diligence of his officers, who having lately taken certain pirates upon the sea, brought them to Pentapolis, where Apollonius then remained, to have justice executed upon them. When they were arrived, they were found guilty of the fact of which they were accused, and the next day being appointed for them to suffer, when they came unto the gallows, they confessed many robberies, and, among store, how once at Tharsus they rescued a maid named Tharsia from a villein that would have slain her, and brought her to Machilenta, where they sold her to him that offered most money, and he which bought her (as they thought) was a bawd.

188When the citizens, who were none of them ignorant of the Lady Tharsia's adventures, heard this, they stayed execution and sent word unto King Apollonius, saying: "May it please your grace to understand that we have certain pirates at the gallows ready to be executed, and it appeareth that they be those that stole away the Lady Tharsia your daughter from Tharsus, and sold her to the bawd at Machilenta. Which when we perceived, we thought it good to know your grace's pleasure what shall be done with them." Apollonius thanked them, and willed the pirates to be brought before him, and examined them diligently and found that they were the same men indeed that had preserved Tharsia's life. And he gave great thanks unto God and them, and embraced them and willingly pardoned them their lives. And for that he knew that the sinister means which they hitherto had ensued was caused most by constraint, for want of other trade or ability to live by, he therefore made them all knights, and gave them plenty of gold and silver and endowed them also with great possessions.