Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Quarto)


51THE FOURTH CHAPTER.

52How Apollonius departing from Tharsus by the perswasion of Stranguilio and Dionisiades his wife, committed shipwracke, and was relieved by Altistrates king of Pentapolis.

53THUS had not Apollonius aboden many daies in the citie of Tharsus but Stranguilio and Dionisiades his wife, earnestly exhorted him, as seeming very carefull and tender of his welfare, rather to addresse himselfe unto Pentapolis or among the Tirenians, as a place most fit for his securitie, where he might lie and hide himselfe in greatest assurance and tranquilitie. Wherefore hereunto, he resolved himselfe, and with convenient expedition prepared al things necessarie for the journey. And when the day of his departure was come, he was brought with great honour by the citizens unto his ships, where with a courteous farewell on ech side given, the marriners weighed anker, hoysed sailes, and away they goe, committing themselves to the wind and water.

54Thus sailed they forth along in their course, three days and three nights with prosperous winde and weather, untill sodainly the whole face of heaven and sea began to change; for the skie looked blacke and the Northerne wind arose, and the tempest increased more and more, insomuch tbat prince Apollonius and the Tyrians that were with him were much apalled, and began to doubt of their lives. But, loe, immediatly, the wide blew fiercely from the South-west, and the North came singing on the other side, the rain powred down over their heads, and the sea yeelded forth waves as it had beene mountanes of water, that the ships could no longer wrestle with the tempest, and especially the admirall, wherein the good prince himselfe fared, but needs must they yeeld unto the present calamitie. There might you have heard the winds whistling, the raine dashing, the sea roaring, the cables cracking, the tacklings breaking, the shippe tearing, the men miserable shouting out for their lives. There might you have seene the sea searching the shippe, the bordes fleeting, the goods swimming, the treasure sincking, the men shifting to save themselves, where, partly through violence of the tempest, and partly through darcknes of the night which then was come upon them, they were all drowned, onely Apollonius excepted, who by the grace of god, and the helpe of a simple boord, was driven upon the shoare of the Pentapolitanes.

55And when he had recovered to land, wearie as he was, he stoode upon the shoare, and looked upon the calme sea, saying: "O most false and untrustie sea! I will choose rather to fall into the handes of the most cruell king Antiochus, than venture to returne againe by thee into mine owne Countrey: thou hast shewed thy spite upon me, and devoured my trustie friendes and companions, by meanes whereof I am nowe left alone, and it is the providence of almightie god that I have escaped thy greedie jawes. Where shall I now finde comfort? or who will succour him in a strange place that is not knowen?" And whilest he spake these wordes, hee sawe a man coming towardes him, and he was a rough fisherman, with an hoode upon his head, and a filthie leatherne pelt upon his backe, unseemely clad, and homely to beholde. When hee drewe neare, Apollonius, the present necessitie constraining him thereto, fell down prostrate at his feet, and powring forth a floud of teares he said unto him: "whosoever thou art, take pitie upon a poore sea-wracked man, cast up nowe naked, and in simple state, yet borne of no base degree, but sprung foorth of noble parentage. And that thou maiest in helping me knowe whome thou succourest: I am that Apollonius prince of Tyrus, whome most part of the worlde knoweth, and I beseech thee to preserve my life by shewing mee thy friendly reliefe."

56When the fisherman beheld the comlinesse and beautie of the yoong Gentleman, hee was moved with compassion towardes him, and lifted him up from the ground, and lead him into his house and feasted him with such fare as he presently had, and the more amplie to expresse his great affection towardes him, he disrobed himselfe of his poore and simple cloke, and dividing it into two parts, gave the one halfe thereof unto Apollonius, saying: "Take here at my handes such poore entertainment and furniture as I have, and goe into the citie, where perhappes thou shalt finde some of better abilitie, that will rue thine estate: and if thou doe not, returne then againe hither unto mee, and thou shalt not want what may be perfoormed by the povertie of a poore fisherman. And in the meane time of this one thing onelie I put thee in mind, that when thou shalt be restored to thy former dignitie, thou doe not despise to thinke on the basenesse of the poor peece of garment." To which Apollonius answered: "If I remember not thee and it, I wish nothing else but that I may sustaine the like shipwracke." And when hee had saide so, he departed on the way which was taught him, and came unto the citie gates, whereinto he entred.

57And while he was thinking with himselfe which waie to seeke succor to sustaine his life, he saw a boy running naked through the streete, girded only with a tuell about his middle, and his head annointed with oyle, crying aloude, and saying: "Hearken all, as well citizens as strangers and servants, hearken: Whosoever will be washed, let him come to the place of exercise." When Apollonius heard this, he followed the boy, and comming unto the place cast off his cloake, and stripped himselfe, and entred into the Baine, and bathed himselfe with the liquor. And looking about for some companion with whome he might exercise himself, according unto the manner of the place and countrey, and finding none: sodainelie unlooked for entred in Altistrates king of the whole land, accompanied with a great troupe of servitours. Anone he beganne to exercise himselfe at tennis with his men, which when Apollonius espied, he intruded himselfe amongst them into the king's presence, and stroke back the ball to the king, and served him in play with great swiftnes. But when the king perceived the great nimblenesse and cunning which was in him, surpassing the residue: "stand aside," quoth he unto his men, "for me thinkes this yong man is more cunning than I." When Apollonius heard himselfe commended, hee stept foorth boldly into the middes of the tennis court, and, taking up a racket in his hand, he tossed the ball skilfully, and with wonderful agilitie. After play, he also washed the king very reverently in the Baine: and when all was done, hee tooke his leave duetifully, and so departed.

58When Apollonius was gone, the king said unto them that were about him: "I sweare unto you of truth as I am a Prince, I was never exercised nor washed better then this day, and that by the diligence of a yong man I know not what he is." And turning back, "Go," said he unto one of his servants, "and know what that yong man is that hath with such duty and diligence taken pains with me." The servant going after Apollonius, and seeing him clad in a filthy fisher's cloke, returned againe to the king, saying: "If it like your grace, the yong man is a seawracked man." "How knowest thou that?" said the king. The servant answered: "Though he told me not so himselfe, yet his apparel bewraieth his state." Then said the king to his servant: "Go apace after him, and say unto him, that the king desireth him to sup with him this night." Then the servant made haste after Apollonius, and did the king's message to him, which so soone as he heard, he granted thereto, much thanking, the king's majestie, and came back with the servant. When they were come to the gate, the servant went in first unto the king, saying: "The sea-wracked man, for whom your grace sent me, is come, but is ashamed to come into your presence, by reason of his base aray." Whome the king commaunded immediatly to be clothed in seemely apparell, and to be brought in to supper, and placed him at the table with him, right overagainst himselfe. Immediately the boord was furnished with all kinde of princelie fare, the guests fed apace, every man on that which he liked, onelie Apollonius sate still and eate nothing, but earnestlie beholding the golde, silver, and other kingly furniture, whereof there was great plentie, hee could not refraine from teares. Then said one of the guests that sate at the table, unto the king: "This yoong man, I suppose, envieth at your graces prosperitie." "No, not so," answered the king, "you suppose amisse; but he is sorie to remember that he hath lost more wealth then this is," and looking upon Apollonius with a smiling countenance, "Be mery yong man," quoth he, "and eate thy meate with us, and trust in god, who doubtlesse will send thee better fortune."