Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

The Pattern of Painful Adventures (Quarto)

How Apollonius arriving at Antiochia resolved the king's question, and how Taliarchus was sent to slay him.
WHILEST Antiochus thus continued in exercising tyrannie at Antiochia, a certaine yong Gentleman of Tyrus, Prince of the country, abounding in wealth, and very well learned, called Apollonius, arrived in the coast, and comming unto the citie of Antiochia, was brought into the king's presence. And when he had saluted him, the king demanded of him the cause of his coming thither. Then saide the yoong prince, "Sir, I require to have your daughter in marriage." The king hearing that which he was unwilling to heare, looking fiercely upon him, saide unto him: "Doest thou know the conditions of the marriage." "Yea sir king," said Apollonius, "and I see it standing upon the gate." Then the king being sharply moved, and disdaining at him, said, "Heare then the question which thou must resolve, or else die: I am carried with mischiefe, I eate my mother's fleshe: I seeke my brother my mother's husband and I can not finde him." Apollonius having received the question, withdrew himselfe a while out of the king's presence, and being desirous to understand what it meant, he found out the solution thereof in short space through the help of god, and returned againe to the king, saying; "Your grace proposed a question unto me, I pray you heare the solution thereof. And whereas you said in your probleme, I am carried with mischiefe: you have not lied, for looke unto your owne selfe. But whereas you say further, I eate my mother's flesh, looke upon your daughter."
70Now the king, as soone as he perceived that Apollonius had resolved his problems, fearing lest his wiickednesse should be discovered, he looked upon him with a wrathful countenance, saying; "Thou art farre wide from the solution of my demand, and hast hit no part of the meaning thereof: wherefore thou hast deserved to be beheaded. Howbeit. I will shew thee this courtesie, as to give thee thirtie daies respite to bethinke thy selfe of this matter. Wherefore returne home into thine owne countrey, and if thou canst find out the solution of my probleme, thou shalt have my daughter to wife: If not thou shalt be beheaded." Then Apollonius being much troubled and molested in mind, accompanying himself with a sufficient train, tooke shipping, and returned into his owne countrey.
But so soone as he was departed, Antiochus called unto him his steward, named Thaliarchus, to whom he spake in maner following. "Thaliarchus, the only faithfull and trustie minister of my secrets: understand that Apollonius, prince of Tirus, hath found out the solution of my question. Wherefore, take shipping and followe him immediatly, and if thou canst not overtake him upon the sea, seeke him out when thou commest to Tirus, and slay him either with sword or poyson; and when thou returnest I will bountifully reward thee." Taliarchus promised to accomplish his commandement with all diligence, and taking to him his shield, with monie sufficient for the journey, departed on his way, and shortly after arrived at the coast of Tirus. But Apollonius was come home unto his owne Pallace long time before, and withdrawing himselfe into his studie, perused all his bookes concerning the king's probleame, finding none other solution than that which he had alreadie told the king. And thus he said within himselfe: "Surely, unlesse I be much deceived, Antiochus burneth wlth disordinate love of his daughter," and discoursing further with himselfe upon that point: "What sayest thou now, or what intendest thou to doe?" Apollonius said he to himselfe. "Thou hast resolved his probleme, and yet not received his daughter, and god hath therefore brought thee away that thou shouldest not die." Then brake hee off in the midst of these cogitations, and immediatly commanded his ships to be prepared, and to be laden with an hundred thousand bushels of wheat, and with great plenty of gold, silver and rich apparell: and taking unto him a few of his most trustiest servants, about midnight imbarked himself, and hoysing up his sails, committed himselfe to the wide sea.
The day following his subjects the citizens came unto the Pallace to have seene their Prince, but when they found him not there, the whole citie was forthwith surprised with wonderfull sorrowe, everie man lamenting that so worthy a Prince [was] so sodainly gone out of sight and knowledge, no man knew whether. Great was the grief, and wofull was the wayling which they made, lamenting his owne priuate estate and the commonwealth's in generall, as it alwaies hapneth at the death or losse of a good Prince, which the inhabitants of Tirus tooke then so heavily, in respect of their great affection, that a long time after no barbers' shops were opened, the common shews and plaies surceased, baines and hoat houses were shut up, taverns were not frequented, and no man repaired unto the Churches, al thing was full of sorrowe and heauinesse, what shall I say? there was nothing but heauienesse.