Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Twine: The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Quarto)


134THE SEVENTEENTH CHAPTER.

135How Athanagoras sent for Tharsia to make her father Apollonius merry; and how after long circumstance they came into knowledge one of another.

136AND as he was devising with himselfe, it came into his mind to send for the maiden Tharsia, for which purpose he called unto him one of his men, and saide unto him. "Go unto the baud, desire him to send Tharsia hither unto me, for she hath wisdom, and can move pleasant talke, and perhaps she may perswade him not to die thus wilfully." The messenger went speedily, and returned immediatly, bringing the maiden Tharsia with him unto the ship. Whom when Athanagoras beheld, "come hither unto me Tharsia," quoth he "and shew now the uttermost of thy cunning and knowledge, in comforting the owner of the ship, which lieth in darknes and will receive no comfort, nor come abroad into the light, for the great sorrow: that he taketh for his wife and his daughter. Goe unto him, good Tharsia, and prove if thou canst perswade him to come into the light: for it may be that god hath appointed by thy meanes, to bring him from sorrowe into gladnesse. Which thing if thou canst bring to passe, as I am a gentleman, I will give thee thirtie sestercies of gold, and as many of silver, and I will redeeme thee from the bawd for thirtie dayes." When Tharsia heard this, she went boldly downe into the cabin unto him, and with a milde voice saluted him, saying: "god save you sir whosoever you be, and be of good comfort, for an innocent virgin, whose life has been distressed by shipwracke, her chastitie by dishonestie, and yet hath both preserved, saluteth thee." Then began she to record in verses, and therewithall to sing so sweetly, that Apollonius, notwithstanding his great sorrow, wondred at her. And these were the verses which she soong so pleasantly unto the instrument:

137Amongst the harlots foule I walke,
yet harlot none am I:
The Rose amongst the Thorns grows,
and is not hurt thereby.
The thiefe that stole me, sure I thinke,
is slaine before this time,
A bawd me bought, yet am I not
defilde by fleshly crime.
Were nothing pleasanter to me,
than parents' mine to know:
I am the issue of a king,
my bloud from kings' doth flow.
I hope that god will mend my state,
and send a better day.
Leave off your teares, plucke up your heart,
and banish care away.
Shew gladnesse in your countenance,
cast up your cheerfull eyes:
That god remaines that once of nought
created earth and skies.
He will not let in care and thought
you still to live, and all for nought.

138When Apollonius heard her sing these verses, lifting up his eyes, and sighing he said: "Alas poore wretch as I am, how long shall I strive with life, and abide this greevous conflict? Good maiden, I give hearty thanks both to your wisedome and nobilitie: requiting you with this one thing, that whensoever, if ever such occasion doe chance, I shall have desire to be merrie I will then thinke on you, or if ever I be restored unto my kingdome. And perhaps, as you say, you are descended of the race of kings, and indeed you doe well represent the nobilitie of your parentage. But nowe I pray you receive this reward at my handes, an hundred peeces of golde, and depart from me and trouble me no longer, for my present griefe is renued by your lamentable recitall, and I consume with continuall sorrowe."

139When the maid had received the reward, shee was about to depart. Then spake Athanagoras, "whither goest thou Tharsia?" quoth hee, "hast thou taken paine without profite, and canst thou not worke a deed of charitie, and relieve the man that wil consume his life with mourning?" Tharsia answered: "I have done all that I may, and he hath given me an hundred peeces of gold, and desired me to depart." "I wil give thee two hundred," said Athanagoras, "and goe downe unto him againe, and give him his money, and say unto him, I seeke thy health and not thy money." Then went Tharsia downe againe, and set her selfe downe by him, and saide unto him: "Sir, if you bee determined to continue alwaies in this heavinesse, give mee leave, I pray you, to reason a little with you. And I meane propose certaine parables unto you, which if you can resolve, I will then depart, and restore your money." But Apollonius, not willing to receive the money againe, but thankefully to accept whatsoever shee should utter, without discouraging of her: "albeit in my troubles," quoth he, "I have none other felicitie but to weepe and lament, yet because I will not want the ornamentes of your wisedome, demaund of me whatsoever shall be your pleasure, and while I am aunswering you, pardon me I pray you, if sometime I give Iibertie unto my teares, and shall not be able to speake for sobbing." "Sir, I will beare with you somewhat in that respect," said Tharsia, "and nowe if it please you I will begin":

140A certaine house on earth there is,
that roomths hath large and wide:
The house makes noise, the guests make none,
that therein doth abide;
But house and guest continually,
togither forth doe slide.

141"Now if indeed you be a Prince, as your men say you are, it behooveth you to be wiser than a simple maiden, and to resolve my probleme." Apollonius answered: "Maiden, to the intent you may not thinke you were tolde a lie, hearken now to the resolution."

142"The house on the earth is the Sea or every great water, the fish is the dumbe guest, which followeth the water whither soever it runne." "Sir, you have answered truely," said Tharsia, "and now I assaile you the second time":

143In length forth long I runne
faire daughter of the wood,
Accompanied with many a one,
of foote and force as good,
Through many waies I walke,
but steps appeare none where I stood.

144Apollonius answered: "If I might be so bold, and opportunitie served thereto, I could declare unto you many things that you doe not knowe, faire maiden, but not interrupting your questions whereunto I have to answere, wherein I much wonder at your yoong yeares, so plentifully fraught with excellent knowledge. But to come to the purpose: The daughter of the wood, is the tree whereof is made the long ship, which is accompanied with many companions, and I walketh uppon the seas many wayes leaving no print, or footsteppes behinde." "You have guessed right," said Tharsia, "and therefore nowe I propose my third parable":

145There is an house through which the fire
doth passe, and doth no harme:
Therein is heat, which none may moove;
from thence, it is so warme.
A naked house, and in that house
guests naked doe desire
To dwell, from whence if boords you draw,
then fall you in the fire.

146Apollonius answered: "Maiden, this that you meane, were a meet place for men that live in delight and pleasure. And the time hath been, when I have also delighted in the bath and hoat-house, where the heate entreth through the crevises of the boordes and chinkes of the stones, and where by reason of sweating, it behooveth a man to be naked." When he had done speaking, Tharsia wondering at his wisedome, and the rather lamenting his discomfortablenesse, drew her selfe uppon him, and with clasped armes embraced him, saying, "O good gentleman, hearken unto the voice of her that beseecheth thee, and have respect to the suite of a virgin, that thinking it a far unworthy thing that so wise a man should languish in griefe, and die with sorrow. But if god of his goodness would restore unto thee thy wife safe, whom thou so much lamentest: Or if thou shouldst find thy daughter in good case, whom thou supposest to be dead, then wouldest thou desire to live for joy."

147Then Apollonius fell in a rage, and forgetting all courtesie, his unbridled affection stirring him thereunto, rose up sodainly, and stroke the maiden on the face with his foote, so that shee fell to the ground, and the bloud gushed plentifully out of her cheekes. And like it is that shee was in a swoone, for so soone as shee came to her selfe, shee beganne to weepe, saying, "O immortall god, which madest heaven and earth, looke uppon my afflictions, and take compassion uppon mee. I was borne among the waves and troublesome tempests of the sea. My mother died in pangues and paines of childbed, and buriall was denied her upon the earth, whom my father adorned with jewels, and laid twentie sestercies of gold at her head, and as much in silver at her feete, and inclosed her in a chest, and committed her to the Sea. As for mee unfortunate wretch, I was at Tharsus committed to Stranguilio and wicked Dionisiades his wife, whom my father put in trust with me, with mony and princely furniture, and their servants were commanded to slay me. And when I desired time to pray, which was granted me, there came pyrates in the meane while, and carried mee away, and brought me unto this wofull city, where I was solde to a most cruell bawd, and with much adoe have preserved my virginitie, and I see nothing ensuing but continuall sorrowe, whereof I feele both now and every day some part, and shall doe ever more and more, until it pIease god to restore me unto my father Apollonius."

148Apollonius gave good eare unto her words, and was strangely moved within himselfe, knowing that all these signes and tokens were most certaine that she was his daughter, and hee cried out with a mighty voice and saide: "O mercifull god, which beholdest, heaven, earth and hell, and discoverest all the secretes therein, blessed bee thy most holy name for ever." And when he had said those words, he fell upon his daughter Tharsias necke, and kissed her, and for extreame joy wept bitterly, saying: "O most sweete and onely daughter, the halfe part of my life, for the love of thee I lust not nowe to die, for I have found thee for whome I had desire to die onely." And therewithall he cryed out aloude, saying: "Come hither my servants and frends, come ye al hither, and see now the end of all my sorrow, for I have found my deare daughter and onelie childe which I had lost." When the servants heard the noise, they came hastily togither, and with them prince Athanagoras; and when they came downe under the hatches, they found Apollonius weeping for joy, and leaning upon his daughter's shoulders, and he said unto them: "Behold here my daughter, for whome I have mourned, beholde the one halfe of my life, and for whose sake I nowe desire to live." And they al rejoyced and wept with him for company, and thanked god for that happy day.