Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Quarto)

105How faire Lucina died in travell of child upon the sea; and being throwen into the water, was cast on land at Ephesus, and taken home by Cerimon a Phisition.
THE marriners immediatly merrily hoissed saile and departed; and when they had sailed two dayes, the master of the shippe warned Apollonius of a tempest approching, which nowe came on, and increased so fast, that all the companie was amazed, and Lucina, what with sea-sicknes and feare of danger, fel in labor of child, wherewith she was weakened, that there was no hope of recoverie, but she must now die: yet being first delivered of a faire daughter, insomuch that now all tokens of life were gone, and she appeared none other but to be dead. When Apollonius beheld this heavie spectacle, no heart was able to conceive his bitter grief, for like a mad man distracted he tore his cloths, and rent his haire and laying himself upon the carkas, he uttered these wordes with great affection: "O my deare lady and wife, the daughter of king Altistrates, what shall I now answer to thy father for thee: would god thou haddest remained with him at home; and if it had pleased god to have wrought this his pleasure in thee, it had rather chanced with thy loving father in his quiet land, than with me thy woful husband upon the wild seas." The whole company also made great lamentation for her, bewailing the death of so noble and beautifull a ladie and so curteous a gentlewoman.
Howbeit in the hotest of the sorrowe the governour of the ship came unto Apollonius, saying, "My lord, plucke up your heart, and be of goode cheere, and consider I pray you that the ship may not abide to carie the dead carkas, and therefore command it to be cast into the sea, that we may the better escape." Then answered Apollonius: "What saiest thou varlet! wouldest thou have me cast this bodie into the sea, which received me into house and favour, when I was in miserie, and drenched in the water, wherein I lost ship, goods and all?" But taking further consultation, and advising himselfe what were best to do, he called certaine of his men unto him, and thus he devised with them. "My trusty servants, whome this common mischance grieveth as wel as me, since sorrowing wil not help at which is chanced, assist me, good sirs, to provide for the present necessity. Let us make forthwith a large chest, and bore the lid full of small holes, and we will seare it all over within with pitch and rosen molten together, whereinto we will put cunningly a sheete of lead, and in the same we will inclose the tender corps of the wife of me, of all other a most unfortunate husband." This was no sooner said, but it was almost likewise done with sembable celeritie. Then tooke they the body of the fair lady Lucina, and arraied her in princely apparel, and layd her into the chest, and Apollonius placed a great summe of golde at her head, and a great treasure of silver at her feet, and he kissed her, letting fall a flood of salt teares on hir face, and he wrote a bill, and put in it also, the tenor whereof was in forme as foloweth: "Whosever shal find this chest, I pray him to take ten pieces of gold for his paines, and to bestowe tenne pieces more upon the buriall of the corpes; for it hath left many teares to the parents and fnends, with dolefull heaps of sorow and heavines. But whosoever shall doe otherwise than the present griefe requireth, let him die a shamefull death, and let there be none to bury his body." And then closing all up verie safe, commaunded the chest to be lifted overboorde into the sea: and willed the child to be nursed with all diligence, that if ever fortune should so fall, he might present unto good king Altistrates a neece in steede of a daughter.
Now fleeted away the ship fast with the wind, and the coffin tumbled backeward with the tide, and Apollonius could not keep his eie from the bodie whereon his heart rested, until kenning failed, and the sea rose up with a banke between. There were two days passed, and the night was now at hand, when the next day morning the waves rolled foorth this chest to the land, and cast it ashore on the coast of Ephesus. Not farre from that place there dwelt a physition whose name was Cerimon, who by chaunce walking abroad upon the shore that day with his schollers, found the chest which the sea had cast up, and willed his servants to take it up, and diligently to cary it to the next towne, where hee dwelt, and they did so.
When Cerimon came home he opened the chest, marveling what shuld be therein, and found a lady arrayed in princely apparell and ornaments, very faire and beautifull to beholde. Whose excellencie in that respect as many as beheld, were strangely affectioned thereat, perceiving such an incomparable gleame of beautie to be resident in her face, wherein nature had not committed the least errour that might be devised, saving that shee made her not immortall. The haire of her head was naturally as white as snowe, under which appeared her goodly forehead, faire and large, wherein was neither blemish nor wrinkle. Her eies were like two starres turning about in their naturall course, not wantonly roving here and there, but modestly mooving as governed by reason, representing the stabilitie of a setled mind. Her eie brows decently commending the residue of her countenance. Her nose straight, as in were drawen with a line, comely dividing her cherry cheeks asunder, not reaching foorth too long, nor cut off too short, but of a commendable proportion. Hir necke was like the white alabaster shining like the bright sunne beames, woonderfully delighting the mindes of the beholders. Her bodie of comely stature, neither too high nor too lowe, not scregged with leanenesse, nor undecently corpulent, but in such equality consisting that no man woulde wish it otherwise. From her shoulders sprang foorth her armes, representing two branches growing out of a tree, beautified with a white hand, and fingers long and slender, surpassing to behold. To be short, such was the excellencie of her beutie in each respect, that it could suffer no deformitie to accompany it, whereby also may be discerned a singular perfection of her minde, created by god and infused into her bodie, whereby it was mooved, and those good qualies of hers expressed in operation: so that all outward beautie of the bodie proceedeth from the inward, beuty of the minde, from whence sprang up the olde and true saying of the wisest Philosophers, that the sundry nature of the forme or soule, diversely disposeth the matter according unto it[s] owne qualitie: as it expresly appeared in the beutiful countenaunce and stature of this Ladie's bodie, whereof Cerimon stoode amazedly taking the view.