How the souldier drave Apuleius away, and how he came to a Captaines house, and what happened there.
The next day how my master the Gardener sped, I knew not, but the gentle souldier, who was well beaten for his cowardise, lead me to his lodging without the contradiction of any man: Where hee laded me well, and garnished my body (as seemed to me) like an Asse of armes. For on the one side I bare an helmet that shined exceedingly: On the other side a Target that glistered more a thousand folde. And on the top of my burthen he put a long speare, which things he placed thus gallantly, not because he was so expert in warre (for the Gardener proved the contrary) but to the end he might feare those which passed by, when they saw such a similitude of warre. When we had gone a good part of our journey, over the plaine and easie fields, we fortuned to come to a little towne, where we lodged at a certaine Captaines house. And there the souldier tooke me to one of the servants, while he himselfe went towards his captaine; who had the charge of a thousand men. And when we had remained there a few dayes, I understood of a wicked and mischievous fact committed there, which I have put in writing to the end you may know the same. The master of the house had a sonne instructed in good literature, and endued with vertuous manners, such a one as you would desire to have the like. Long time before his mother dyed, and when his father married a new wife, and had another child of the age of xii. yeares. The stepdame was more excellent in beauty then honesty: for she loved this young man her sonne in law, either because she was unchast by nature, or because she was enforced by fate of stepmother, to commit so great a mischiefe. Gentle reader, thou shalt not read of a fable, but rather a tragedy: This woman when her love began first to kindle in her heart, could easily resist her desire and inordinate appetite by reason of shame and feare, lest her intent should be knowne: But after it compassed and burned every part of her brest, she was compelled to yeeld unto the raging flame of Cupid, and under colour of the disease and infirmity of her body, to conceale the wound of her restlesse mind. Every man knoweth well the signes and tokens of love, and the malady convenient to the same: Her countenance was pale, her eyes sorrowfull, her knees weake, and there was no comfort in her, but continuall weeping and sobbing, insomuch that you would have thought that she had some spice of an ague, saving that she wept unmeasurably: the Phisitians knew not her disease, when they felt the beating of her veines, the intemperance of her heart, the sobbing sighes, and her often tossing of every side: No, no, the cunning Phisitian knew it not, but a scholler of Venus Court might easily conjecture the whole. After that she had beene long time tormented in her affliction, and was no more able to conceale her ardent desire, shee caused her sonne to be called for, (which word son she would faine put away if it were not for shame:) Then he nothing disobedient to the commandement of his mother, with a sad and modest countenance, came into the chamber of his stepdame, the mother of his brother, but she speaking never a word was in great doubt what she might doe, and could not tell what to say first, by reason of shame. The young man suspecting no ill, with humble courtesie demanded the cause of her present disease. Then she having found an occasion to utter her intent, with weeping eyes and covered face, began boldly to speake unto him in this manner: Thou, thou, art the originall cause of all my dolour: Thou art my comfort and onely health, for those thy comely eyes are so enfastned within my brest, that unlesse they succour me, I shall certainly die: Have pitty therefore upon me, be not the occasion of my destruction, neither let my conscience reclaime to offend thy father, when as thou shalt save the life of thy mother. Moreover since thou dost resemble thy fathers shape in every point, it giveth me cause the more to fancy thee: Now is ministred unto thee time and place: Now hast thou occasion to worke thy will, seeing that we are alone. And it is a common saying:
Never knowne, never done.
This young man troubled in mind at so suddaine an ill, although hee abhorred to commit so beastly a crime, yet hee would not cast her off with a present deniall, but warily pacified her mind with delay of promise. Wherefore he promised to doe all according to her desire: And in the meane season, he willed his mother to be of good cheere, and comfort her selfe till as he might find some convenient time to come unto her, when his father was ridden forth: Wherewithall hee got him away from the pestilent sight of his stepdame. And knowing that this matter touching the ruine of all the whole house needed the counsell of wise and grave persons, he went incontinently to a sage old man and declared the whole circumstance of the matter. The old man after long deliberation, thought there was no better way to avoyd the storme of cruell fortune to come, then to run away. In the meane season this wicked woman impatient of her love, and the long delay of her sonne, egged her husband to ride abroad into farre countreyes. And then she asked the young-man the accomplishment of his promise, but he to rid himselfe entirely from her hands, would find alwayes excuses, till in the end she understood by the messengers that came in and out, that he nothing regarded her. Then she by how much she loved him before, by so much and more she hated him now. And by and by she called one of her servants, ready to all mischiefes: To whom she declared all her secrets. And there it was concluded betweene them two, that the surest way was to kill the young man: Whereupon this varlet went incontinently to buy poyson, which he mingled with wine, to the intent he would give it to the young man to drinke, and thereby presently to kill him. But while they were in deliberation how they might offer it unto him, behold here happened a strange adventure. For the young sonne of the woman that came from schoole at noone (being very thirsty) tooke the pot wherein the poyson was mingled, and ignorant of the venim, dranke a good draught thereof, which was prepared to kill his brother: whereby he presently fell downe to the ground dead. His schoolemaster seeing his suddaine change, called his mother, and all the servants of the house with a lowd voyce. Incontinently every man declared his opinion, touching the death of the child: but the cruell woman the onely example of stepmothers malice, was nothing moved by the bitter death of her sonne, or by her owne conscience of paracide, or by the misfortune of her house, or by the dolour of her husband, but rather devised the destruction of all her family. For by and by shee sent a messenger after her husband to tell him the great misfortune which happened after his departure. And when lie came home, the wicked woman declared that his sonne had empoysoned his brother, because he would not consent to his will, and told him divers other leasings, adding in the end that hee threatned to kill her likewise, because she discovered the fact: Then the unhappy father was stroken with double dolour of the death of his two children, for on the one side he saw his younger sonne slaine before his eyes, on the other side, he seemed to see the elder condemned to dye for his offence: Againe, where he beheld his wife lament in such sort, it gave him further occasion to hate his sonne more deadly; but the funerals of his younger sonne were scarce finished, when the old man the father with weeping eyes even at the returne from the grave, went to the Justice and accused his sonne of the slaughter of his brother, and how he threatned to slay his wife, whereby the rather at his weeping and lamentation, he moved all the Magistrates and people to pitty, insomuch that without any delay, or further inquisition they cryed all that hee should be stoned to death, but the Justices fearing a farther inconvenience to arise by the particular vengeance, and to the end there might fortune no sedition amongst the people, prayed the decurions and other Officers of the City, that they might proceed by examination of witnesses, and with order of justice according to the ancient custome before the judging of any hasty sentence or judgment, without the hearing of the contrary part, like as the barbarous and cruell tyrants accustome to use: otherwise they should give an ill example to their successours. This opinion pleased every man, wherefore the Senatours and counsellors were called, who being placed in order according to their dignity, caused the accuser and defender to be brought forth, and by the example of the Athenian law, and judgement materiall, their Advocates were commanded to plead their causes briefly without preambles or motions of the people to pitty, which were too long a processe. And if you demand how I understood all this matter, you shall understand that I heard many declare the same, but to recite what words the accuser used in his invective, what answer the defender made, the orations and pleadings of each party, verily I am not able to doe: for I was fast bound at the manger. But as I learned and knew by others, I will God willing declare unto you. So it was ordered, that after the pleadings of both sides was ended, they thought best to try and boult out the verity by witnesses, all presumptions and likelihood set apart, and to call in the servant, who onely was reported to know all the matter: by and by the servant came in, who nothing abashed, at the feare of so great a judgment, or at the presence of the Judges, or at his owne guilty conscience, which hee so finely fained, but with a bold countenance presented himselfe before the justices and confirmed the accusation against the young man, saying: O yee judges, on a day when this young man loathed and hated his stepmother, hee called mee, desiring mee to poyson his brother, whereby hee might revenge himselfe, and if I would doe it and keepe the matter secret, hee promised to give me a good reward for my paines: but when the young man perceived that I would not accord to his will, he threatned to slay mee, whereupon hee went himselfe and bought poyson, and after tempered it with wine, and then gave it me to give the child, which when I refused he offered it to his brother with his own hands. When the varlet with a trembling countenance had ended these words which seemed a likelihood of truth, the judgement was ended: neither was there found any judge or counsellor, so mercifull to the young man accused, as would not judge him culpable, but that he should be put and sowne in a skin, with a dogge, a Cocke, a Snake, and an Ape, according to the law against parricides: wherefore they wanted nothing but (as the ancient custome was) to put white stones and black into a pot, and to take them out againe, to see whether the young-man accused should be acquitted by judgment or condemned, which was a thing irrevocable.
In the mean season he was delivered to the hands of the executioner. But there arose a sage and ancient Physitian, a man of a good conscience and credit throughout all the City, that stopped the mouth of the pot wherein the stones were cast, saying: I am right glad ye reverend judges, that I am a man of name and estimation amongst you, whereby I am accompted such a one as will not suffer any person to be put to death by false and untrue accusations, considering there hath bin no homicide or murther committed by this yong man in this case, neither you (being sworn to judge uprightly) to be misinformed and abused by invented lyes and tales. For I cannot but declare and open my conscience, least I should be found to beare small honour and faith to the Gods, wherefore I pray you give eare, and I will shew you the whole truth of the matter. You shall understand that this servant which hath merited to be hanged, came one of these dayes to speake with me, promising to give me a hundred crownes, if I would give him present poyson, which would cause a man to dye suddenly, saying, that he would have it for one that was sicke of an incurable disease, to the end he might be delivered from all torment, but I smelling his crafty and subtill fetch, and fearing least he would worke some mischiefe withall, gave him a drinke; but to the intent I might cleare my selfe from all danger that might happen, I would not presently take the money which he offered. But least any of the crownes should lacke weight or be found counterfeit, I willed him to scale the purse wherein they were put, with his manuell signe, whereby the next day we might goe together to the Goldsmith to try them, which he did; wherefore understanding that he was brought present before you this day, I hastily commanded one of my servants to fetch the purse which he had sealed, and here I bring it unto you to see whether he will deny his owne signe or no: and you may easily conject that his words are untrue, which he alleadged against the young man, touching the buying of the poyson, considering hee bought the poyson himselfe. When the Physitian had spoken these words you might perceive how the trayterous knave changed his colour, how hee sweat for feare, how he trembled in every part of his body: and how he set one leg upon another, scratching Ibis head and grinding his teeth, whereby there was no person but would judge him culpable. In the end, when he was somewhat returned to his former subtility, he began to deny all that was said, and stoutly affirmed, that the Physitian did lye. But the Physitian perceiving that he was rayled at and his words denyed, did never cease to confirme his sayings, and to disprove the varlet, till such time as the Officers by the commandment of the Judges, bound his hands and brought out the seale, wherewith he had sealed the purse which augmented suspition which was conceived of him first. Howbeit, neither the feare of the wheele or any other torment according to the use of the Grecians, which were ready prepared, no, nor yet the fire could enforce him to confesse the matter, so obstinate and grounded was he in his mischievous mind. But the Physitian perceiving that the menaces of these torments did nothing prevaile, gan say: I cannot suffer or abide that this young man who is innocent, should against all law and conscience, be punished and condemned to die, and the other which is culpable, should escape so easily, and after mocke and flowte at your judgement: for I will give you an evident proofe and argument of this present crime. You shall understand, that when this caytiffe demanded of me a present and strong poyson, considering that it was not my part to give occasion of any others death, but rather to cure and save sicke persons by meane of medicines: and on the other side, fearing least if I should deny his request, I might minister a further cause of his mischiefe, either that he would buy poyson of some other, or else returne and worke his wicked intent, with a sword or some dangerous weapon, I gave him no poyson, but a doling drinke of Mandragora, which is of such force, that it will cause any man to sleepe as though he were dead. Neither is it any marvaile if this most desperate man, who is certainly assured to be put to death, ordained by an ancient custome, can suffer and abide these facill and easie torments, but if it be so that the child hath received the drinke as I tempered it with mine owne hands, he is yet alive and doth but sleepe, and after his sleepe he shall returne to life againe, but if he be dead indeed, then may you further enquire of the causes of his death. The opinion of this ancient Physitian was found good, and every man had a desire to goe to the Sepulchre where the child was layd; there was none of the Justices, none of any reputation of the towne, nor any of the common people, but went to see this strange sight. Amongst them all the father of the child remooved with his owne hands the stone of the Sepulchre, and found his Sonne rising up after his dead and soporiferous sleepe, whom when he beheld, he imbraced him in his armes, and presented him before the people, with great joy and consolation, and as he was wrapped and bound in his grave, so he brought him before the Judges, whereupon the wickednesse of the Servant, and, the treason of the stepdame was plainely discovered, and the verity of the matter revealed, whereby the woman was perpetually exiled, the Servant hanged on a Gallowes, and the Physitian had the Crownes, which was prepared to buy the poyson. Behold how the fortune of the old man was changed, who thinking to be deprived of all his race and posterity, was in one moment made the Father of two Children. But as for me, I was ruled and handled by fortune, according to her pleasure.
How Apuleius was sold to two brethren, whereof one was a Baker, and the other a Cooke, and how finely and daintily he fared.
THE Souldier that payed never a peny for me, by the commandement of his Captaine was sent unto Rome, to cary Letters to the great Prince, and Generall of the Campe. Before he went, he sold me for eleven pence to two of his Companions, being Servants to a man of worship, whereof one was a Baker that baked sweet bread and delicates, the other a Cooke, which dressed fine and excellent meats for his Master. These two lived in common, and would drive me from place to place, to carry such things as was necessary, insomuch that I was received by these two, as a third Brother, and Companion, and I thought I was never better placed, then with them: for when night came that Supper was done, and their businesse ended, they would bring many good morsels into their Chamber for themselves. One would bring Pigs, Chickens, fish, and other good meates, the other fine bread, pasties, tarts, custards and other delicate Junkets dipped in hony. And when they had shut their chamber doore, and went to the bains: (O Lord) how I would fill my guts with these goodly dishes: neither was I so much a foole, or so very an Asse, to leave the dainty meats, and to grind my teeth upon hard hay. In this sort I continued a great space, for I played the honest Asse, taking but a little of one dish, and a little of another, wherby no man distrusted me. In the end, I was more hardier and began to devoure the whole messes of the sweet delicates, which caused the Baker and the Cooke to suspect, howbeit they nothing mistrusted me, but searched about to apprehend the theefe. At length they began to accuse one another of theft, and to set the dishes and morsels of meat in order, one by another, because they would learne what was taken away, whereby one of them was compelled to say thus to his fellow: Is it reason to breake promise and faith in this sort, by stealing away the best meat, and to sell it to augment thy good, and yet neverthelesse to have thy part in the residue that is left: if our partnership doe mislike thee, we will be partners and brothers in other things, but in this we will breake of: for I perceive that the great losse which I sustain, will at length be a cause of great discord betweene us. Then answered the other, Verily I praise thy great constancy and subtilnesse, in that (when thou hast secretly taken away the meat) [thou] dost begin to complaine first, whereas I by long space of time have suffered thee, because I would not seeme to accuse my brother of theft, but I am right glad in that wee are fallen into communication of the matter, least by our silence, like contention might arise betweene us, as fortuned betweene Eteocles and his Brother. When they had reasoned together in this sort, they swore both earnestly, that neither of them stale or tooke away any jote of the meate, wherefore they concluded to search out the Theefe by all kind of meanes. For they could not imagin or thinke, the Asse who stood alone there, would eate any such meates, neither could they thinke that Mice or Flyes, were so ravenous, as to devouer whole dishes of meat, like the Birds Harpies which carried away the meates of Phineus the King of Archadia. In the Meane season while I was fed with dainty morsels, I gathered together my flesh, my skin waxed soft, my haire began to shine, and was gallant on every part, but such faire and comely shape of my body, was cause of my dishonour, for the Baker and Cooke marvelled to see me so slick and fine, considering I did eate no hay at all. Wherefore on a time at their accustomed houre, they went to the baines, and locked their chamber doore. It fortuned that ere they departed away, they espyed me through a hole, how I fell roundly to my victuals: then they marvelled greatly, and little esteemed the losse of their meate, laughed exceedingly, calling the servants of the house, to shew them the greedy gorge and appetite of the Asse. Their laughing was so immoderate that the master of the house heard them, and demanded the cause of their laughter, and when hee understood all the matter, hee looked through the hole likewise, wherewith he took such a delectation that hee commanded the doore to be opened, that hee might see mee at his pleasure. Then I perceiving every man laugh, was nothing abashed, but rather more bold, whereby I never rested eating, till such time as the master of the house commanded me to be brought into his parler as a novelty, and there caused all kinds of meates which were never touched to be set on the table, which (although I had eaten sufficiently before, yet to win the further favour of the master of the house) I did greedily devoure and made a cleane riddance of all the delicate meates. And to prove my nature wholly, they gave met such meates as every Asse doth abhorre: for they put before mee beefe and vinegar, birds and pepper, fish and verjuice: in the meane season they that beheld met at the table did nothing but laugh. Then one of the servants of the house sayd to his master, I pray you sir give him some drinke to his supper: Marry (quoth hee) I thinke thou saist true, for it may be, that to his meate hee would drinke likewise a cup of wine. Hoe boy, wash yonder pot, and fill it with wine, which done, carry it to the Asse, and say that I have drunke to him. Then all the standers by looked on, to see what would come to passe: but I (as soone as I beheld the cup) staied not long, but gathering my lips together, supped up all the wine at one draught. The master being right joyfull hereat caused the Baker and Cooke which had bought me, to come before him, to whom he delivered foure times as much for me, as they paid, which done he committed me to one of his rich Libertines, and charged him to looke well to me, and that I should lacke nothing, who obeied his masters commandement in every point: and to the end he would creepe further into his favour, he taught me a thousand qualities. First he instructed me to sit at the table upon my taile, and how I should leape and dance, holding up my former feete: moreover hee taught me how I should answer when any body spake unto me, with nodding my head, which was a strange and marvailous thing, and if I did lacke drinke, I should looke still upon the pot. All which things I did willingly bring to passe, and obeyed his doctrine: howbeit, I could have done all these things without his teaching, but I feared greatly lest in shewing my selfe cunning without a master, I should pretend some great and strange wonder, and thereby be throwne out to wild beasts. But my fame was spred about in every place, and the qualities which I could doe, insomuch that my master was renowned throughout all the Country by reason of mee. For every man would say: Behold the Gentleman that hath an Asse, that will eate and drinke with him, that will dance, and understand what is said to him, will shew his fantasie by signes. But first I will tell you (which I should have done before) who my master was, and of what country. His name was Thiasus, hee was borne at Corinth, which is a principall towne of Achaia, and he had passed many offices of honor, till hee had taken upon him the degree Quinquenuall, according as his birth and dignity required, who to shew his worthinesse, and to purchase the benevolence of every person, appointed publike joyes and triumphs, to endure the space of three dayes, and to bring his endeavour to passe, he came into Thessaly to buy excellent Beasts, and valiant fighters for the purpose.
How a certaine Matron fell in love with Apuleius, how hee had his pleasure with her, and what other things happened.
When he had bought such things as was necessary, he would not returne home into his Countrey in Chariots, or waggon, neither would he ride upon Thessalian Horses, or Jenets of France, or Spanish Mules, which be most excellent as can be found, but caused me to be garnished and trimmed with trappers and barbs of Gold, with brave harnesse, with purple coverings, with a bridle of silver, with pictured cloths, and with shrilling bells, and in this manner he rode upon me lovingly, speaking and intreating me with gentle words, but above all things he did greatly rejoyce in that I was his Servant to beare him upon my backe, and his Companion to feed with him at the Table: After long time when we had travelled as well by Sea as Land, and fortuned to arrive at Corinth, the people of the Towne came about us on every side, not so much to doe honour to Thiasus, as to see me: For my fame was so greatly spread there, that I gained my master much money, and when the people was desirous to see me play prankes, they caused the Gates to be shut, and such as entered in should pay money, by meanes whereof I was a profitable companion to them every day: There fortuned to be amongst the Assembly a noble and rich Matron that conceived much delight to behold me, and could find no remedy to her passions and disordinate appetite, but continually desired to have her pleasure with me, as Pasiphae had with a Bull. In the end she promised a great reward to my keeper for the custody of me one night, who for gaine of a little money accorded to her desire, and when I had supped in a Parler with my Master, we departed away and went into our Chamber, where we found the faire Matron, who had tarried a great space for our comming: I am not able to recite unto you how all things were prepared: there were foure Eunuches that lay on a bed of downe on the ground with Boulsters accordingly for us to lye on, the Coverlet was of cloth of Gold, and the pillowes soft and tender, whereon the delicate Matron had accustomed to lay her head. Then the Eunuches not minding to delay any longer the pleasure of their Mistresse closed the doores of the Chamber and departed away: within the Chamber were Lamps that gave a cleare light all the place over: Then she put off all her Garments to her naked skinne, and taking the Lampe that stood next to her, began to annoint all her body with balme, and mine likewise, but especially my nose, which done, she kissed me, not as they accustome to doe at the stews, or in brothel houses, or in the Curtain Schools for gaine of money, but purely, sincerely, and with great affection, casting out these and like loving words: Thou art he whom I love, thou art he whom I onely desire, without thee I cannot live, and other like preamble of talke as women can use well enough, when as they mind to shew or declare their burning passions and great affection of love: Then she tooke me by the halter and cast me downe upon the bed, which was nothing strange unto me, considering that she was so beautifull a Matron and I so wel bolded out with wine, and perfumed with balme, whereby I was readily prepared for the purpose: But nothing grieved me so much as to think, how I should with my huge and great legs imbrace so faire a Matron, or how I should touch her fine, dainty, and silken skinne, with my hard hoofes, or how it was possible to kisse her soft, pretty and ruddy lips, with my monstrous mouth and stony teeth, or how she, who was young and tender, could be able to receive me.
And I verily thought, if I should hurt the woman by any kind of meane, I should be throwne to the wild Beasts: But in the meane season she kissed me, and looked in my mouth with burning eyes, saying: I hold thee my canny, I hold thee my noose, my sparrow, and therewithall she eftsoones imbraced my body round about, and had her pleasure with me, whereby I thought the mother of Miniatures did not ceaseless quench her inordinate desire with a Bull. When night was passed, with much joy and small sleepe, the Matron went before day to my keeper to bargain with him another night, which he willingly granted, partly for gaine of money, and partly to finde new pastime for my master. Who after he was informed of all the history of my luxury, was right glad, and rewarded my keeper well for his paine, minding to shew before the face of all the people, what I could doe: but because they would not suffer the Matron to abide such shame, by reason of her dignity, and because they could finde no other that would endeavour so great a reproach, at length they obtained for money a poore woman, which was condemned to be eaten of wilde beasts, with whom I should openly have to doe: But first I will tell you what tale I heard concerning this woman. This woman had a husband, whose father minding to ride forth, commanded his wife which he left at home great with child, that if she were delivered of a daughter, it should incontinently be killed. When the time of her delivery came, it fortuned that she had a daughter, whom she would not suffer to be slaine, by reason of the naturall affection which she have unto her child, but secretly committed her to one of her neighbours to nurse. And when her husband returned home, shee declared unto him that shee was delivered of a daughter, whom (as hee commanded), shee had caused to be put to death. But when this child came to age, and ready to be married, the mother knew not by what meanes shee should endow her daughter, but that her husband should understand and perceive it. Wherefore shee discovered the matter to her sonne, who was the husband of this woman, condemned to be eaten of wild beasts: For shee greatly feared least hee should unawares fancie or fall in love with his owne sister. The young man understanding the whole matter (to please and gratify his mother) went immediately to the young maiden, keeping the matter secret in his heart, for feare of inconvenience, and (lamenting to see his sister forsaken both of mother and father) incontinently after endowed her with part of his owne goods, and would have married her to one of his especial and trusty friends: But although hee brought this to passe very secretly and sagely, yet in the end cruell fortune sowed great sedition in his house. For his wife who was now condemned to beasts, waxed jealous of her husband and began to suspect the young woman as a harlot and common queane, insomuch that shee invented all manner of meanes to dispatch her out of the way. And in the end shee invented this kind of mischiefe: She privily stale away her husbands ring, and went into the country, whereas she commanded one of her trusty servants to take the ring and carry it to the mayden. To whom he should declare that her brother did pray her to come into the country to him, and that she should come alone without any person. And to the end shee should not delay but come with all speed he should deliver her the ring, which should be a sufficient testimony of the message. This mayden as soone as she had received the ring of her brother, being very willing and desirous to obey his commandement: (For she knew no otherwise but that he had sent for her) went in all hast as the messenger willed her to doe. But when she was come to the snare and engine which was prepared for her, the mischievous woman, like one that were mad, and possessed with some ill spirit, when the poore maiden called for helpe with a loud voyce to her brother, the wicked harlot (weening that she had invented and feined the matter) tooke a burning firebrand and thrust it into her secret place, whereby she died miserably. The husband of this maiden but especially her brother, advertised of her death, came to the place where she was slain, and after great lamentation and weeping, they caused her to be buried honourably. This yong man her brother taking in ill part the miserable death of his sister, as it was convenient he should, conceived so great dolour within his mind and was strucken with so pestilent fury of bitter anguish, that he fell into the burning passions of a dangerous ague, whereby he seemed in such necessity, that he needed to have some speedy remedy to save his life. The woman that slew the Maiden having lost the name of wife together with her faith, went to a traiterous Physician, who had killed a great many persons in his dayes and promised him fifty peeces of Gold, if he would give her a present poyson to kill her husband out of hand, but in presence of her Husband, she feined that it was necessary for him to receive a certaine kind of drink, which the Maisters and Doctours of Physicke doe call a sacred Potion, to the intent he might purge Choller and scoure the interiour parts of his body. But the Physitian in stead of that drinke prepared a mortall and deadly poyson, and when he had tempered it accordingly, he tooke the pot in the presence of the family, and other neighbours and friends of the sick yong man, and offered it to his patient. But the bold and hardy woman, to the end she might accomplish her wicked intent, and also gaine the money which she had promised the Physitian, staid the pot with her hand, saying: I pray you master Physitian, minister not this drinke unto my deare Husband, untill such time as you have drunke some part thereof your selfe: For what know I, whether you have mingled any poyson in the drinke or no, wherein I would have you not to be offended: For I know that you are a man of wisedome and learning, but this I do to the intent the conscience and love that I beare to the health and safeguard of my husband, may be apparent. The Physitian being greatly troubled at the wickednesse of this mischievous woman, as voyd of all counsell and leysure to consider of the matter, and least he might give any cause of suspition to the standers by, or shew any scruple of his guilty conscience, by reason of long delay, tooke the pot in his hand, and presently drunke a good draught thereof, which done, the young man having no mistrust, drunke up the residue. The Physitian would have gone immediately home to receive a counterpoyson, to expeth and drive out the first poyson: But the wicked woman persevering in her mischiefe, would not suffer him to depart a foot, untill such time as the poyson began to worke in him, and then by much prayer and intercession she licensed him to goe home: By the way the poyson invaded the intrailes and bowels of the whole body of the Physitian, in such sort that with great paine he came to his owne house, where he had scarce time to speake to his wife, and to will her to receive the promised salitary of the death of two persons, but he yeelded up the ghost: And the other young man lived not long after, but likewise dyed, amongst the feined and deceitfull teares of his cursed wife. A few dayes after, when the young man was buried and the funerall ended, the Physitians wife demanded of her the fifty peeces of gold which she promised her husband for the drinke, whereat the ill disposed woman, with resemblance of honesty, answered her with gentle words, and promised to give her the fifty peeces of gold, if she would fetch her a little of that same drinke, to proceed and make an end of all her enterprise. The Physitians wife partly to winne the further favour of this rich woman, and partly to gaine the money, ranne incontinently home, and brought her a whole roote of poyson, which when she saw, having now occasion to execute her further malice, and to finish the damnable plot, began to stretch out her bloody hands to murther. She had a daughter by her husband (that was poysoned) who according to order of law, was appointed heire of all the lands and goods of her father: but this woman knowing that the mothers succoured their children, and received all their goods after their death, purposed to shew her selfe a like parent to her child, as she was a wife to her husband, whereupon she prepared a dinner with her owne hands, and empoysoned both the wife of the Physitian and her owne daughter: The child being young and tender dyed incontinently by force of the drinke, but the Physitians wife being stout and strong of complexion, feeling the poison to trill down into her body, doubted the matter, and thereupon knowing of certainty that she had received her bane, ran forthwith to the judges house, that what with her cryes, and exclamations, she raised up the people of the towne, and promising them to shew divers wicked and mischievous acts, caused that the doores and gates were opened. When she came in she declared from the beginning to the end the abhomination of this woman: but shee had scarce ended her tale, when opening her falling lips, and grinding her teeth together, she fell downe dead before the face of the Judge, who incontinently to try the truth of the matter, caused the cursed woman, and her servants to be pulled out of the house, and enforced by paine of torment to confesse the verity, which being knowne, this mischievous woman farre lesse then she deserved, but because there could be no more cruell a death invented for the quality of her offence, was condemned to be eaten with wild beasts. Behold with this woman was I appointed to have to doe before the face of the people, but I being wrapped in great anguish, and envying the day of the triumph, when we two should so abandon our selves together, devised rather to sley my selfe, then to pollute my body with this mischievous harlot, and so for ever to remaine defamed: but it was impossible for me so to doe, considering that I lacked hands, and was not able to hold a knife in my hoofes: howbeit standing in a pretty cabin, I rejoyced in my selfe to see that spring time was come, and that all things flourished, and that I was in good hope to find some Roses, to render me my humane shape. When the day of triumph came, I was led with great pompe and benevolence to the appointed place, where when I was brought, I first saw the preamble of that triumph, dedicated with dancers and merry taunting jests, and in the meane season was placed before the gate of the Theater, whereas on the one side I saw the greene and fresh grasse growing before the entry thereof, whereon I greatly desired to feed: on the other side I conceived a great delectation to see when the Theater gates were opened, how all things was finely prepared and set forth: For there I might see young children and maidens in the flowre of their youth of excellent beauty, and attired gorgiously, dancing and mooved in comely order, according to the order of Grecia, for sometime they would dance in length, sometime round together, sometime divide themselves into foure parts, and sometime loose hands on every side: but when the trumpet gave warning that every man should retire to his place, then began the triumph to appeare. First there was a hill of wood, not much unlike that which the Poet Homer called Idea, for it was garnished about with all sort of greene verdures and lively trees, from the top whereof ran downe a cleare and fresh fountaine, nourishing the waters below, about which wood were many young and tender Goates, plucking and feeding daintily on the budding trees, then came a young man a shepheard representing Paris, richly arrayed with vestments of Barbary, having a mitre of gold upon his head, and seeming as though he kept the goates. After him ensued another young man all naked, saving that his left shoulder was covered with a rich cloake, and his head shining with glistering haires, and hanging downe, through which you might perceive two little wings, whereby you might conjecture that he was Mercury, with his rod called Caduceus, he bare in his right hand an Apple of gold, and with a seemely gate went towards him that represented Paris, and after hee had delivered him the Apple, he made a signe, signifying that Jupiter had commanded him so to doe: when he had done his message he departed away. And by and by, there approached a faire and comely mayden, not much unlike to Juno, for she had a Diademe of gold upon her head, and in her hand she bare a regall scepter: then followed another resembling Pallas, for she had on her head a shining sallet, whereon was bound a garland of Olive branches, having in one hand a target or shield: and in the other a speare as though she would fight: then came another which passed the other in beauty, and presented the Goddesse Venus, with the color of Ambrosia, when she was a maiden, and to the end she would shew her perfect beauty, shee appeared all naked, saving that her fine and dainty skin was covered with a thin smocke, which the wind blew hither and thither to testifie the youth and flowre of the age of the dame. Her colour was of two sorts, for her body was white as descended from heaven, and her smocke was blewish, as arrived from the sea: After every one of the Virgins which seemed goddesses, followed certaine waiting servants, Castor and Pollus went behind Juno, having on their heads helmets covered with starres. This Virgin Juno sounded a Flute, which shee bare in her hand, and mooved her selfe towards the shepheard Paris, shewing by honest signes and tokens, and promising that hee should be Lord of all Asia, if hee would judge her the fairest of the three, and to give her the apple of gold: the other maiden which seemed by her armour to be Pallas, was accompanied with two young men armed, and brandishing their naked swords in their hands, whereof one named Terror, and the other Feare; behind them approached one sounding his trumpet to provoke and stirre men to battell; this maiden began to dance and shake her head, throwing her fierce and terrible eyes upon Paris and promising that if it pleased him to give her the victory of beauty, shee would make him the most strong and victorious man alive. Then came Venus and presented her selfe in the middle of the Theater, with much favour of all the people, for shee was accompanied with a great many of youth, whereby you would have judged them all to be Cupidoes, either to have flowne from heaven or else from the river of the sea, for they had wings, arrowes, and the residue of their habit according in each point, and they bare in their hands torches lighted, as though it had beene a day of marriage. Then came in a great multitude of faire maidens: on the one side were the most comely Graces: on the other side, the most beautifull Houres carrying garlands and loose flowers, and making great honor to the goddesse of pleasure; the flutes and Pipes yeelded out the sweet sound of Lydians, whereby they pleased the minds of the standers by exceedingly, but the more pleasing Venus mooved forward more and more, and shaking her head answered by her motion and gesture, to the sound of the instruments. For sometimes she would winke gently, sometimes threaten and looke aspishly, and sometimes dance onely with her eyes: As soone as she was come before the Judge, she made a signe and token to give him the most fairest spouse of all the world, if he would prefer her above the residue of the goddesses. Then the young Phrygian shepheard Paris with a willing mind delivered the golden Apple to Venus, which was the victory of beauty.
Why doe ye marvell, ye Orators, ye Lawyers, and Advocates, if many of our judges now a daies sell their judgements for money, when as in the beginning of the world one onely Grace corrupted the sentence betweene God and men, and that one rusticall Judge and shepheard appointed by the counsell of great Jupiter, sold his judgement for a little pleasure, which was the cause afterward of the ruine of all his progeny? By like manner of meane, was sentence given between the noble Greekes: For the noble and valiant personage Palamedes was convicted and attainted of treason, by false perswasion and accusation, and Ulisses being but of base condition, was preferred in Martiall prowesse above great Ajax. What judgement was there likewise amongst the Athenian lawyers, sage and expert in all sciences? Was not Socrates who was preferred by Apollo, above all the wise men in the world, by envy and malice of wicked persons impoysoned with the herbe Cicuta, as one that corrupted the youth of the countrey, whom alwaies be kept under by correction? For we see now a dayes many excellent Philosophers greatly desire to follow his sect, and by perpetual study to value and revolve his workes, but to the end I may not be reproved of indignation by any one that might say: What, shall we suffer an Asse to play the Philosopher? I will returne to my further purpose.
After the judgement of Paris was ended, Juno and Pallas departed away angerly, shewing by their gesture, that they would revenge themselves on Paris, but Venus that was right pleased and glad in her heart, danced about the Theater with much joy. This done from the top of the hill through a privy spout, ran a floud of the colour of Saffron, which fell upon the Goates, and changed their white haire into yellow, with a sweet odour to all them of the Theater. By and by after by certaine engines, the ground opened, and swallowed up the hill of wood: and then behold there came a man of armes through the multitude, demanding by the consent of the people, the woman who was condemned to the beasts, and appointed for me to have to doe withall: our bed was finely and bravely prepared, and covered with silke and other things necessary. But I, beside the shame to commit this horrible fact, and to pollute my body with this wicked harlot did greatly feare the danger of death: for I thought in my selfe, that when she and I were together, the savage beast appointed to devoure the woman, was not so instructed and taught, or would so temper his greedinesse, as that hee would teare her in peeces lying under mee, and spare mee with a regard of mine innocency. Wherefore I was more carefull for the safeguard of my life, then for the shame that I should abide, but in the meane season while my master made ready the bed, all the residue did greatly delight to see the hunting and pleasantnesse of the triumph, I began to thinke and devise for my selfe. When I perceived that no man had regard to mee, that was so tame and gentle an Asse, I stole out of the gate that was next me, and then I ran away with all force, and came to Cenchris, which is the most famous towne of all the Carthaginians, bordering upon the Seas called Ageum, and Saronicum, where is a great and mighty Haven, frequented with many a sundry Nation. There because I would avoyd the multitude of the people, I went to a secret place of the Sea coast, where I laid me down upon the sand, to ease and refresh my selfe, for the day was past and the Sunne gone downe, and lying in this sort on the ground, did fall in a sound sleepe.
Last updated Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 15:08