From The Æthiopica: “Heliodorus - An Aethiopian Romance” translated by Thomas Underdowne (Anno 1587), revised and partly rewritten by F. A. Wright; George Routledge & Sons Ltd.: London; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.; [with additional emendations to the online edition by S. Rhoads] pp. 135-171.
Thus was the city of Delphi occupied. What they did in the end I know not, saving that their pursuit gave me good occasion to convey myself away. I took the young folks with me to the sea that very night, and I put them on the Phoenician ship which was just preparing to depart. For as dawn was near and they had only promised to wait for me a day and a night, the Phoenicians thought now they would not be breaking the oath they had sworn to me. When we came they welcomed us very joyfully and forthwith launched out into the deep, using oars at first, but when a calm breeze blew from the land and the waves quietly came under our ship and in a manner smiled upon her, suffering her to go with full sail. She flew along and soon we passed the gulf of Cirrha, and Parnassus with his high tops and the rocks of Aetolia and Calydonia, and at sunset discovered the islands, which by name and figure are the Rugged, and the Zacynthian Sea. But why do I tell you this out of season? Why do I forget myself and you, and continue thus my tale, plunging you into a very sea of talk? Let us leave the rest of my story and sleep a little. For although you, Cnemon, be not weary of listening and stiffly strive against sleep, yet I think that now you begin to quail, in that I have continued my talk far into the night. And besides this, my son, 136 age doth burden me, and the remembrance of my sorrows vexing my mind doth drive me to sleep.’
‘Cease then! father,’ said Cnemon; ‘although it is not I who wish you to end; for that I should not do, though you were to tell your tale for many days and nights together; with such excellent pleasantness and singular suavity is it seasoned. But for some time now there has been a noise and tumult about this house. I have been troubled a little thereat, but forced myself to keep silence because of the great desire I had to hear your tale.’ ‘I heard it not,’ said Calasiris; ‘either because age maketh mine ears somewhat dull and hard — for age breedeth many infirmities both in the other parts of the body and chiefly in the ears — or else because my mind was wholly occupied about my tale. Methinks that Nausicles, the owner of this house, has returned: and, O ye gods, how hath he fared?’ ‘In all things even as I desired,’ said Nausicles, suddenly stepping in to them. ‘I know well, good Calasiris, that you were careful of my business and almost travelled with me in your mind. For I have perceived your good will toward me by divers courtesies shown me at other times, and also by this whereof I heard you talking when I came in. But, who is this stranger here?’ ‘He is a Greek,’ said Calasiris; ‘you shall hear more of him hereafter. But tell us quickly what good luck you had, that we may rejoice with you.’ ‘You shall hear in the morning,’ said Nausicles. ‘For the moment be content to know that I have gotten a better Thisbe. Now I need to sleep a little, to abate the weariness that my journey and my other cogitations have brought upon me.’ This said, he went away to do as he told them.
But Cnemon was much abashed when he heard 137 Thisbe’s name, and turned all his cogitations to the past, with much and continual sorrow tormenting himself all the rest of the night. Calasiris, although he was fast asleep, perceived it at last, and sitting up a little and leaning on his elbow, asked him what he lacked and why he was so disquieted as to seem almost mad. ‘Have I not cause to be mad?’ said Cnemon, ‘seeing I hear that Thisbe is alive?’ ‘Who is this Thisbe,’ quoth Calasiris, ‘and how do you know her, and why are you so grieved to hear that she is alive?’ ‘You shall hear all that when I tell you my story,’ said Cnemon. ‘But her I saw slain with these eyes, and with mine own hands I buried her in the herdsmen’s island.’ ‘Sleep,’ said Calasiris; ‘we shall know how this goeth ere long.’ ‘I cannot sleep,’ said he. ‘You may be still and quiet; but for my part I know not whether I can live, except I go forth secretly and make diligent enquiry how Nausicles is deceived, and how with the Egyptians alone such as were dead revive again.’ Calasiris smiled a little at this and fell asleep. But Cnemon went out of their chamber and such things happened to him as one might expect, roaming in the dark through a strange house. Nevertheless he took all in good part, for his fear of Thisbe, being desirous in haste to rid himself of this doubt. At length after with much ado he had gone up and down in one place as though it had been different, he heard a woman, like a nightingale in the spring, dolefully lamenting and with sorrowful tunes, so that by her mourning, as if one had taken him by the hand he was brought to her chamber, and laying his ear to the door heard her yet complaining in this fashion: ‘I, poor wretch, supposed that I had been delivered out of the hands of thieves and escaped the death I always looked for, and that I should now lead a life with my 138 dearest friend which, though wandering in a strange land, would have been to me most delectable. For there is nothing so troublesome and grievous that in his company is not tolerable. But the god that hath had charge of our business from the beginning and hath granted us but small pleasure, not yet satisfied, hath deceived us again. I thought I had escaped bondage; but now I am a captive again in prison. I was in an island and dark place before; this present state is like to it, or rather truly worse, for he who both could and would by comfort abate my sorrows is violently separated and taken from me. A den of thieves yesterday was my inn; and what was that habitation but a very hell or worse place? Yet my dear loveR being with me made it easy to be suffered. There he lamented me alive, and shed tears for me being as he thought, dead, and bewailed me as though I had been slain. Now I am deprived of all this; and he is gone, who was partaker of my calamities and wont to share them as a burden with me. I am left alone, a lamentable prisoner, objected to the arbitrament of cruel fortune; and do only retain my life for that I hope my most dear friend is alive. But, O my heart, where art thou? What fortune hast thou? Art thou also bound, who hast a free mind, not able to abide any servitude save that of love? Well, save thy life at least and return to behold thy Thisbe again. For by that name thou shalt call me, whither thou will or not.’
Cnemon had suspected at the beginning something else; but when he heard this, he could not abide to hear the rest. From these last words he concluded it was Thisbe herself and was within a little of swooning at the door. After he had with much ado recovered his courage, fearing lest he should be spied of any man — for now the cocks crew a second time — he ran 139 back stumbling and hurting his toes, sometimes knocking against the walls and door posts, sometimes hitting his head on the gear that hung from the ceiling. When after much travail he came to his lodging, he fell upon the bed and all his body trembled and his teeth chattered sore. Indeed he would perchance have been in extreme peril, if Calasiris had not perceived it and comforted him and brought him to himself again. As soon as he was revived he asked of him the matter. ‘I am undone,’ quoth he; ‘for that most wicked Thisbe is indeed alive.’ And therewithal he swooned again, and Calasiris had much ado to cheer him and comfort him.
Some god herein plainly was making a jest of Cnemon, some one of those also mock and sport with the lives of men. He would not suffer him peaceably to enjoy what was most pleasant to him, and mingled with pain that which was soon to bring pleasure; either showing in this matter his own custom, or else because the nature of man does not admit of pure and unmixed joy. And so it was that Cnemon fled from what was most desirable, and supposed that to be fearful which was most delectable to him. The woman that wept was not Thisbe, but Chariclea. For thus it was. When Thyamis came into his enemies’ hands alive and was kept prisoner — the island being set on fire and the herdsmen who dwelt there fled — Cnemon and Thermuthis, the shield bearer of Thyamis, in the morning rowed over the lake, to spy in what case their captain was with the enemy: the manner of their journey was such as has been declared before. Then were Theagenes and Chariclea left in the den alone, who accounted even the extremity of their present dangers to be the height of joy. For this was the first time that ever they were by themselves, 140 delivered from all who might trouble them. Wherefore they took their fill without hindrance of kisses and close embracings, forgetful of all else beside as they clung to one another as if they had been one body, but content still to satisfy themselves with chaste love, temperating their affection with tears and cleanly kisses. For Chariclea, if at any time she perceived Theagenes to pass the bounds of seemliness and deal with her over wantonly, would rebuke him by telling him of his oath; and he would suffer himself to be reformed with little labour and brought again to temperateness, in as much as he could master his desires although he could not master his love. But at length, though it were long first, they remembered what they had to do and were constrained perforce to be satisfied, and then Theagenes began to speak thus: ‘That we, Chariclea, may enjoy one another and attain unto that which we have preferred before all other things and for which we have borne all our troubles, we both do wish and may the gods of Greece grant. But as all worldly things are unstable and incline diverse ways, and we have borne much and have much still to expect, seeing that we must now haste us to Chemmis, as we have agreed with Cnemon, and know not what fortune we shall have, and that further there is a great and wonderful deal of ground for us to pass before we can come to the land we hope for; let us now arrange certain tokens whereby we being in one another’s sight may know our secrets, and if it happen to us to be separated, may trace each other out. For a watchword between friends, which is kept in hope to find, is a great easement in long travel.’
Chariclea praised his device, and they agreed if they were separated that Theagenes should write ‘Pythicus,’ and Chariclea ‘Pythias’ upon all famous 141 temples, statues, monuments, and stones at crossroads, adding ‘has gone to the right, or to the left, or to such a city, village, or country;’ and that they should give besides the day and hour. If they met, it would be sufficient for one to see the other; since they thought that no time would be able to obscure the tokens of their love. But for better assurance, Chariclea was to show her father’s ring, which was put with her when she was exposed, and Theagenes a scar on his knee that a wild boar gave him. It was further agreed between them that her emblem should be a torch, and his a branch of palm. To confirm this they embraced one another and wept, pouring out their tears, methinks, in stead of libations, and for an oath using kisses.
When these things were thus ordered they came out of the cave, without touching any of the treasures that were laid up there. For they counted these goods unclean which had been gotten by robbery. But what they brought with them from Delphi and the thieves had taken from them, that they gathered together and carried away with them. Chariclea changed her apparel, and putting into a little pack her necklaces and garlands and sacred robe, that it might be more private, laid the rest of their worst stuff on the top. As for her bow and quiver, she gave them to Theagenes to bear, which was a passing pleasant burden for him, seeing that they were the proper weapons of the god who had power over him.
But as soon as they came near to the lake and were about to take boat they espied a band of armed men rowing over to the island. Sore dismayed at that terrible sight, they stood a great while astonished, as though by the greatness of their sorrow they were hardened against the injuries of fortune which still 142 so raged against them. At length, when the men were just landing, Chariclea desired that they should retire back, and creep into some corner of the den, and there hide themselves; and therewith herself she started to run away. But Theagenes stopped her and said: ‘How long shall we flee the fate that followeth us everywhere? Let us yield to fortune and withstand no longer the violence that is ready to assault us. What else shall we gain but fruitless travel, and a life of banishment, and the continued mockery of the gods? Do you not see how to our exile they join the robberies of pirates, and go about with great effort and diligence to bring us into greater dangers by land than erst we have found by sea? Not long ago they made a battle about us: then they brought down thieves: afterwards they made us prisoners: then they left us alone but at liberty making us believe that we might go whither we would: and now they have brought us into the hands of such as shall kill us. This war for their sport have they made against us, devising, as it were, a comedy out of our affairs. Why then should we not cut short this tragical poem of theirs and yield us to those who wish to slay us; lest perchance, if they mean to make an intolerable end to our tragedy, we be forced to kill ourselves.’ Chariclea agreed not to all he said. Marry she thought that he justly accused fortune; but it was no point of wisdom to yield themselves willingly into the enemies’ hands; they were not sure they would kill them as soon as they had them, nor had they to do with so gentle and friendly a god that would make a quick end of their miseries, but would reserve them perhaps for a further bondage. ‘That,’ quoth she, ‘would be more grievous than any sort of death. If we submit ourselves to the injuries of these barbarous people, we 143 shall be so shamefully handled as I am loth to imagine. Which thing by all means let us avoid as long as we can, measuring our hopes of the future by our experience of the past, how we have oftimes been preserved from dangers even more desperate than these.’
Thereupon Theagenes said; ‘Let us do as you will.’ She went before and he followed her close, as if he had been tied to her. But for all their haste they came not to the den before their enemies. For while they were looking at those in front of them, they wist not that they were now compassed and enclosed behind by another band which had landed on the island in another place. Wherewithal sore abashed they stood still, and Chariclea ran under Theagenes’ arm, that if she must needs die she should die in Theagenes’ hands. Some of those who had landed made ready to shoot at them; but after the young folks had looked upon them, their hearts failed and their right hands quaked. For even barbarous hands, it seems, do fear beautiful personages, and a right cruel eye will be made gentle by a lovely look. So they seized them and carried them to their captain, desiring to take the fairest of their spoils to him first. They had indeed nothing else to bring; for though they compassed the island with their arms, as with a net, yet they could find nothing, seeing that all that was in the island was burned in the former skirmish, save only the den of which no man knew. And thus they were brought to the captain Mitranes, leader of the watch to Oroöndates deputy of Egypt under the great king; who being hired with a great sum of money by Nausicles to seek Thisbe, as is aforesaid, had now come to this island. When Theagenes and Chariclea came into his presence, calling upon the gods to save 144 them, Nausicles by a crafty merchant-like device stepped forth and cried with a great voice: ‘This is that Thisbe of whom I was robbed by the mischievous herdsmen, and now recover again, by benefit of you, Mitranes, and favour of the gods.’ Then he caught hold of Chariclea, feigning to be very glad, and whispered in Greek to her privily in her ear, so that none who were by should hear them, that she should say her name was Thisbe, if she desired to escape danger. And this policy took effect; for Chariclea, when she heard him speak Greek, thought that he was planning something to her advantage, and ordered herself as he desired; and when Mitranes asked what her name was, she said ‘Thisbe.’ Then Nausicles ran to Mitranes and kissed him on the cheeks, and with praise of his good fortune made the barbarous man proud, saying that not only had he achieved other wars well but had brought this also to a prosperous end; so that elated by his words and deceived by the name he thought that it was so. He was indeed amazed at the maid’s beauty, which even in her simple apparel appeared, as if the brightness of the moon should shine out of a cloud; but the quickness of the trick prevented him from changing his mind and any chance to repent was taken from him. ‘Well then,’ quoth he, ‘now the maid is recovered, seeing she is yours, take her with you.’ And when he had said this, he delivered her to him, still looking back at her and plainly declaring that it was against his will, and because of the reward he had received before, that he suffered her to depart. ‘As for this young man,’ he said, pointing to Theagenes, ‘whoever he be, he shall be our booty and go with us, and be kept diligently to be sent to Babylon. For the comeliness of his body is such that he may wait at the 145 king’s table.’ This said, they rowed over the water and departed one from the other. Nausicles having Chariclea with him came to Chemmis; but Mitranes, going to view other towns under his jurisdiction, without delay sent Theagenes with a letter to Oroöndates, who was then at Memphis, thus indited:
This was the contents of the letter.
But Calasiris and Cnemon, hoping to learn what they were ignorant of, came to Nausicles before daybreak and asked him how he had sped. Then Nausicles told them all: how he came to the island and found it deserted and no man therein to meet them: how he had craftily beguiled Mitranes and gotten a certain maid who was there instead of Thisbe: and that he had sped better in getting her than if he had found Thisbe. For there was no small difference between them, but as much as between goddess and mortal woman. Her beauty was such that none could surpass it; but it was not possible to set it forth justly in words. When they heard this they began to surmise the truth, and prayed him instantly to bid her come in straightway: for they knew that it was not possible in words to express Chariclea’s beauty. So she was brought in, and Nausicles — as she cast her eyes to the ground and had muffled all her face save her eyebrows — began to 146 comfort her and bid her be of good cheer. She looked up a little and, contrary to her expectation she saw and was seen; so that they all three began to cry out together as if a sign or token had been given them, and you might have heard often these words — ‘O my father,’ and ‘O my daughter,’ and ‘O Chariclea indeed not Cnemon’s Thisbe.’ Nausicles for wondering had almost forgotten himself, astonished to see Calasiris weeping as he embraced Chariclea; for he knew not what this sudden recognition scene, as if it had been in a comedy, meant. But Calasiris kissed him and said: ‘May the gods give you, O best of men, the fill of all your desires, who have saved my daughter that I never looked for, and caused me to behold the dearest thing that I might possibly see. But, O my daughter, where hast thou left Theagenes?’ She burst out weeping at that question, and after a while she answered: ‘He that delivered me to this man led him away prisoner.’ Calasiris then besought Nausicles to tell him what he knew of Theagenes, who it was that had taken him, and whither he would carry him. Nausicles told him all, perceiving not that these were the children of whom the old man had talked so often, and in hope to find them had led a wandering life in sorrow. But he added that the knowledge would be of scant service, since they were poor and needy folk, and it was doubtful whether Mitranes would let him go even for a great sum of money. ‘I have money,’ said Chariclea softly to Calasiris. ‘Promise him as much as you will. I have about me the jewels which you know of.’
Calasiris was glad hereof, but fearing lest Nausicles should suspect what Chariclea’s offer was, he said: ‘Good Nausicles, a wise man never lacketh, but doth measure his means by his wants, receiving so much 147 from the powers above as he deemeth right to ask. Wherefore tell me only where he is that keepeth Theagenes, and God’s gracious liberality will not let us want but will give us so much as well may content the Persian’s greed.’ Nausicles smiled at this, and said: ‘You will make me believe that riches come to you on a sudden, like the god in a machine, if you pay me first the ransom for your daughter. For you know that merchants, as well as Persians, are eager to get money.’ ‘I know it well.’ said Calasiris, ‘and you shall have it. There is every reason that you should, for you pretermit no kind of courtesy toward us, and of your own accord, without waiting for us to ask, agree to my daughter’s restitution. I should first myself have requested this at your hand.’ ‘I grudge you not,’ quoth Nausicles, ‘and if it please you, come and pray to the gods — for I will do sacrifice — and crave that you may have goods to give me.’ ‘Jest not,’ said Calasiris, ‘neither be of so little faith. Go and prepare the sacrifice, and when all things are ready we will come.’
They did so, and within a while there came one from Nausicles who called them and bade them make haste. They went forth joyfully — for by this time they had decided what to do — the men going with Nausicles and the other guests, for he made a public sacrifice, while Chariclea went with Nausicles’ daughter and the other women, who comforted her diversely, but even so had much ado to persuade her to go with them. Indeed I know not whether she would ever have been persuaded if under pretence of the sacrifice she had not determined to pray for Theagenes. After they came to the temple of Mercury — for Nausicles made his sacrifice to him and honoured him more than the rest, as being the god who has most 148 care of merchants — and the offering was begun, Calasiris looked a little upon the entrails, and by the diverse changes of his countenance declared the pleasure and pains of that which was to come. While the fire yet burned upon the altar, he thrust in his hand and made as though he pulled out of the fire that which he already held in his hand, and said: ‘This price of Chariclea’s redemption the gods proffer thee, Nausicles, by me.’ And therewith he delivered him a princely ring, a passing heavenly thing. As touching the hoop, it was of electrum, wherein was set a bright amethyst of Ethiopia, as great as a maiden’s eye, in beauty far better than those of Iberia or Britain. For they have but a faint red flush, like a rose which hath broken bud and falleth now to leaves stained by the heat of the sun, while the Aethiopian amethyst is of a deep ruddy hue, as a flower unsullied in the spring. If you turn him about as you hold him he casteth forth a golden beam, which doth not hurt or dim the sight but maketh it much better and clearer. And his natural virtue is also more than that of the western stones, for he doth not bear his name without effect, but in truth will not let that man be drunk who weareth him but keepeth him sober at all feasts.
Of this quality is every amethyst of India and Ethiopia. But the stone which Calasiris gave Nausicles did surpass even these. For there was a picture graven on it representing certain beasts, which was done in this fashion. A boy, sitting upon a not very high hill to look about him, kept sheep, appointing for his flock their several pastures with his shepherd’s pipe, so that they seemed to be ruled and to stop at their feeding accordingly as he sounded his instrument. A man would have said they had golden fleeces, not 149 by reason of the workmanship, but for that the amethyst shining with his redness upon their backs made them show so fair. There were engraven also young lambs leaping up and down, and some by heaps went up the rock, other some danced round about the shepherd, insomuch that the top of the hill was made a shepherd’s disport. Others skipped in the flame of the amethyst, as if they had been in the sun, and with the tips of their feet scraped the stone. Many of the young sort, being of greater courage, seemed as though they wished to go out of the circle, but were prevented by the workmanship which set a band of gold in the manner of a wall about the rock and them. And it was a rock in truth, not a counterfeit; for when the workman had wrought the gold about the outer part of the stone, he let it show here in its native truth what he desired, thinking it of no purpose to counterfeit one stone in another.
Such was the ring. Nausicles astonished at the strangeness of its coming and delighted even more at the value of the stone, esteeming the ring of more price than all the goods he had beside, spake thus: ‘Good Calasiris, I did but jest, and when I asked you somewhat for the ransom of your daughter, it was but words: for I had determined to let you have her for nothing. But since, as you say, the glorious gifts of heaven are not to be refused, I take this stone sent by the gods, persuading myself that it comes to me from Mercury, according to his wont the fairest and kindest of all gods, who hath given this gift to you through fire, as may be seen still by the flaming thereof. And besides I deem that gain to be best, which without damage to the giver doth enrich him that receiveth it.’ After he had said this he went, himself and the others, to the festal banquet, placing the women by 150 themselves in the inner part of the temple and the men in the outer precinct. When they had their fill of eating and the cups were set upon the table, the men made libation to Bacchus and sang marching songs in his honour while the women danced a ditty made in praise of Ceres. But Chariclea went apart about her own business and prayed that Theagenes might be preserved and guarded safe for her.
And now, when the banquet waxed somewhat warm and each man after his own sort solaced himself, Nausicles, holding in his hand a glass of clear water said: ‘I drink to you in water, good Calasiris, and if you will toast us in return with that tale we so desire to hear, it will be more pleasant to us than all the cups on this board. For you hear how the women, as a diversion for the banquet, have begun to dance, and so your travels, if it please you to make report of them to us, will help on our feast wonderfully and be more pleasant to us than any dance or music. You have often before deferred the telling, as you know, for that your mischances overwhelmed you, but you can reserve it for no better time than this. Of your children, your daughter is safe here in our company, and your son by the gods’ help shall be recovered very soon, if you anger me not again by deferring your tale any longer.’ ‘God’s blessing on your heart,’ quoth Cnemon to Nausicles, catching hold of his talk, ‘who, though you have brought to this feast all manner of musical instruments, do now set light by them and leave them to the ruder sort, and yourself desire to hear of more mysterious things seasoned with divine pleasure. Methinketh you well understand the nature of the gods, who join Mercury and Bacchus together and add pleasantness of speech to the fineness 151 of your banquet. Wherefore although I have for just cause marvelled at the other sumptuousness of the sacrifice, yet I know not whether a man may by any means please Mercury better than by contributing to a banquet that which is the god’s very own mark, a story.’
Calasiris agreed, both to do Cnemon a pleasure and also to win favour with Nausicles, because of what was to come. So he told them all, briefly repeating the principal parts of what he had told Cnemon before, and of purpose passing over in silence what he thought was of little purpose for Nausicles to know. What had not yet been told, and did depend upon that which went before, he told after this fashion. ‘When they came aboard the Phoenician ship and were gone from Delphi, they sailed at first as they would wish and had a very prosperous wind behind them. But when they came to the Calydonian Sea they were greatly troubled, since they had happened into a sea which of its own nature is disquiet and troublesome.’ Cnemon at this desired him not to pass it by but to tell if he knew any reason for the raging of the waves in that place. ‘The Ionian Sea,’ said Calasiris, ‘being brought from its great breadth into narrow waters, pours, as it were through a funnel, into the Crisaean Gulf and then, hastening to mingle with the Aegean, is checked in its course by the Isthmus of the Peloponnese, whose hill by God’s providence perhaps was placed there lest the violence of the water should overflow the land on the contrary coast. Wherefore it would seem that the water is beaten back and piles up more in this part of the sea than in any other place, since that which is flowing in strikes against that which is running backwards, so that the sea begins to boil and the waves rise boisterous, by their mutual 152 clashings lifted up into mighty billows.’ All those who were present praised and applauded this reasoning, declaring it to be true, and Calasiris went on with his tale. ‘When we had passed this sea and had lost sight of the Rugged Islands, we thought that we discovered the heights of Zacynthus, lying like a dark cloud before our eyes. Therewith the master bade strike some of the sails, and when we asked him why he abated them and went more easily, seeing that the ship had a very good gale of wind — ‘Because,’ said he, ‘if we went with a full sail, we should arrive at the island about the first watch and there would be danger lest in the dark we run upon the sharp rocks hidden beneath the sea. It is therefore wisdom to lie out all night and take the wind in such proportion as shall serve to bring us to land there in the morning.’ Thus said the master, Nausicles, but we did not do so; for at the very rising of the sun we were casting anchor in harbour. The inhabitants of the island who dwelt about the haven, which was not far from the city, came flocking to look upon us, as if we had been some strange sight, admiring the handsomeness of the great ship, as it seemed, which was built very fair and high, and saying that they recognised therein the excellent workmanship of the Phoenicians, and that we had wonderful good luck, who made so good a voyage in the winter about the time the Pleiads were ready to set.
The rest of our company, even before the mooring cables were fastened, left the ship and hurried off about their merchandise to the city of Zacynthus. But I — as I had heard by chance from the master that they would winter there — went to seek some lodging for us along the shore, eschewing the ship, for that it was unmeet by reason of the rudeness of 153 the mariners, and also the city, for that it was not convenient for the flight of the young couple. After I had gone a little way, I saw an old man, which was a fisher, that sat mending his broken nets before his door. I came to him and said: ‘Good man, God save you; tell me, I pray you, where a man may get lodging?’ He answered me: ‘It was rent about a promontory hereby, yesterday, being caught upon a jagged rock.’ ‘I asked not that,’ quoth I; ‘but you will do us great courtesy, if either you yourself will be our host or else show us some other lodging.’ To that he answered: ‘Not I: I was not aboard with them. God forbid that Tyrrhenus should do so much amiss or be so hampered by his age. It was my lads’ fault, who knowing nothing of the rocks here in the sea cast their nets before they should.’ As I now at length perceived that he was somewhat hard of hearing, I shouted at him loud, and said: ‘God speed you, sir, and I pray you tell us where we may find an inn.’ ‘God speed you in return,’ quoth he, ‘and you are welcome, if it please you, to abide with me; unless indeed you are one of those who seek luxurious mansions and bring a great train of serving men after you.’ ‘I have but two children,’ quoth I, ‘and I am the third myself.’ ‘That makes a good proportion,’ quoth he; ‘we are one more, as you will find, for I have two sons who dwell with me — my eldest sons are married and keep house themselves — and the fourth is my children’s nurse, because their mother died but a while ago. Wherefore, good man, come and doubt not that we will be glad of you, who are a man who seem to be some gentleman even by your talk.’ I arranged with him, and shortly after came back with Theagenes and Chariclea, and Tyrrhenus entertained us gladly, and let us have the warmer part of the 154 house. Truly we passed that winter season very well conferring in the day time together, and when we would sleep, Chariclea went to bed with the nurse in one room by herself, and I with Theagenes lay in another, and Tyrrhenus and his children in a parlour, also alone took their rest. We did eat at one table all, and such thing as were needful we provided at our own cost, while Tyrrhenus gave his guests abundance of the fish he caught in the sea, sometimes fishing alone and sometimes at our leisure we would help him. For he had all manner of ways to fish and for all seasons, and the place was well supplied and very convenient to cast nets; so that many ascribed the gain he got by his skill to the benefit of fortune.
But this did not last long. As the proverb goes — ‘Once unhappy, always unhappy.’ Chariclea’s beauty even in this solitary place, roused up turmoil. The merchant of Tyre, who had been declared victor at the Pythian games, with whom we sailed, came to me alone and was very importunate and vexatious to me, beseeching me, as if I had been her father, that I would give her to him for wife. He talked much of himself, telling me of his noble stock and showing his riches, and said that the ship wherein we sailed was his own, and that the greater part of the merchandise in it, gold, precious stones of great value, and silk was his also. He added also his late obtained victory, as no small increase of his honour and name, and a thousand things besides these. I alleged for myself our present poverty, and that I would never marry my daughter to one that dwelt in a strange country, so far from Egypt. ‘Leave this talk, father,’ quoth he; ‘I count the maid herself to be a dowry worth many talents, even all the riches in the world. As for my country I will change it to yours, and will turn from my 155 proposed voyage to Carthage and go with you whithersoever you will.’
When I saw that the Phoenician would not give up his purpose but persisted vehemently in his determination, and refrained not from vexing me therewith every day, I determined with fair words to put off the matter, lest he should attempt force against us on the island, and promised that I would fulfill all his desire when I came to Egypt. But after I had by these means pacified him, God brought upon us one wave after the other, as the proverb has it. Tyrrhenus, not long after, took me to a secret place on a crooked shore and said thus to me: ‘Calasiris, I swear by Neptune and all the other sea gods, that I have loved you as if you had been mine own brother, and your children as if they had been mine also. I will tell you of a thing that is preparing against you, very grievous and painful. It is not lawful for me to conceal it from you, since we both dwell in one house, and it is very necessary that you should know thereof. There is a pirate waiting for the Phoenician ship, who lieth secret under the side of this promontory, and sendeth out spies daily to inquire when your craft will sail. Wherefore look to yourself and take heed what you must do, since it is against you, or rather against your daughter, that their wonted savagery is now enterprised.’ ‘The gods,’ quoth I, ‘give you such thanks for these tidings as you deserve! But how came you to know this, Tyrrhenus?’ ‘By reason of my craft I am acquainted with these pirates,’ said he, ‘and when I bring them fish I get a greater price from them than from other folk. Therefore yesterday when I was drawing my pots about the cliff yonder, the master pirate came to me and asked whether I had heard when the Phoenicians would leave the harbour. 156 When I perceived the subtlety of his talk: ‘In faith, Trachinus,’ quoth I, ‘I can tell you no certainty, but I suppose that at the beginning of the next spring they will sail.’ “Will the maid then sail with them,” quoth he, “who lieth at your house?” ‘I cannot tell,’ quoth I; ‘but why do you ask that?’ “Because I love her in such sort,” he replied, “that I am scant in my wits. I never saw her but once, but I know not whether I ever saw so fair a woman before. And yet I have taken many prisoners, some of them very beautiful.” That I might the better cause him privily to tell me all his plans, I said unto him; ‘What need you to fight with the Phoenicians, and not rather without blood fetch her out of my house before they go away?’ “Even pirates,” quoth he, “use gentleness and courtesy to such as they are acquainted with. I am leaving her therefore for your sake, lest by taking her I should bring you into trouble; for the guests whom you entertained would be required again at your hand. Also I desire to have two things at once, the riches in the ship and the marriage of the maid. Whereof one I must needs forfeit, if I make the attempt by land; and beside it would be very dangerous if such a thing should be enterprised so near the city, lest the rape should be perceived and pursuit made after.” ‘When I had much commended him for his wisdom, I left him there and am come now to tell you of the snares which these villains have laid for you, desiring you heartily to devise how you may save you and yours.’
I went from him very heavy after I had heard this and though upon many things, until the merchant by chance meeting me and falling in talk about these matters gave me a pretty beginning of a wise device. I concealed from him what suited me of that which 157 Tyrrhenus had told me, and opened unto him only this: that one of the men of that country, whom he was not able to withstand, was planning to take the maid from me by violence. ‘I had rather marry her to you,’ quoth I, ‘both for the knowledge I have of you, and also for your wealth; but especially for that you promised to dwell with us in our country, if you have her. Wherefore if you desire to have her, let us sail hence quickly before we be prevented or suffer somewhat against our will.’ He was wonderfully glad when he heard this and said: ’Father, this is well devised.’ And therewithal he came and kissed me, and asked when I would advise him to depart; for though it was unseasonable then, it was possible to get into some other port to avoid the snares laid against us, and there wait for the good weather of spring. ‘Well,’ quoth I, ‘if you will be ruled by me, at the beginning of the next night we will depart.’ He promised so to do and went his way. I came home, but told nothing of this to Tyrrhenus, although to my children I said that it would be needful in the evening to go aboard the ship. They marvelled somewhat at the suddenness of this and asked the reason; but I put them off, saying I would tell them afterward, and that it was to our advantage now so to do.
After we had eaten a slender supper and were gone to bed an old man appeared to me in my sleep, whose body was dried up, but his thigh peeping from his girt tunic showed that in his youth he had been a man of might. He had a hat on his head, and it seemed by his countenance that he had been a wise and subtle man; marry he halted a little as if he had gotten some wound in his thigh. He came near to me and smiling sourly said: ‘My good sir, alone of all that have sailed by Cephalenia, and looked upon my house, and 158 counted it a great matter to know my renown, you have had no respect for me, but have held me so in scorn that you did not even pay me greeting, which every man doth, and that too though I dwell so near. For this you shall ere long be punished, and shall have like perils as I had, falling among enemies both by sea and land. As for the maid that thou takest with thee, speak to her in my wife’s name, who sends her greeting, because she esteemeth her virginity more than anything in the world, and presages for her a happy and prosperous end.’ I started from the bed in fear of this vision, and when Theagenes asked me what I ailed, ‘We had almost forgotten,’ quoth I, ‘the going of the ship out of the harbour, and I was awakened in confusion by the thought thereof. Wherefore gather up your stuff and I will call Chariclea.’ As soon as I gave her warning she came, and Tyrrhenus, when he wist of this rose also, and asked what we meant to do. ‘Whatever we do at this time,’ quoth I, ‘is by your advice. We go about to escape from them that would do us mischief. May the gods keep you in safety, who have played the right honest man with us. One last favour I pray of you. Go over to Ithaca, and do sacrifice for us to Ulysses, and pray him to appease his wrath toward us. For he told me last night in my sleep that he was greatly offended against me, as if he had been despised and set at naught.’ Tyrrhenus promised he would so do, and conducted us to our ship, and wept greatly, and prayed to God that he would grant us a prosperous voyage according to our hearts desire.
To be short, by the time the day star shone we were in the midst of the sea, the mariners at first being very unwilling, but at length persuaded by the merchant of Tyre, who told them that they fled from certain pirates that pursued them, of which he had 159 warning. He meant to tell them this for a tale, and knew not that he spoke truth. The winds and weather were sore against us and the sea was very rough, so that in a great tempest we were near to be cast away; yet at length, when we had lost one of our steering oars and broken the greater part of our yard arm, we arrived off a certain promontory of Crete. We thought it good therefore to tarry some days on the island, both to repair our ship and recruit our own strength. This done, we decided to sail on the first day that the moon appeared after her conjunction with the sun. The spring gales were now blowing from the west, and as soon as we started we were driven on by them for a day and night, our master steering his course for the coast of Africa. For he said that if the wind continued blowing and we kept a straight course we might get quite across the main sea, and that he was making all haste possible to reach the mainland or some harbour, insomuch as he suspected the barque astern to be a pirate. ‘Ever since we loosed from the promontory of Crete,’ said he, ‘he has been following us, and never declined one jot from our course, but pursues our ship as if he went our voyage with us. Indeed I have noticed, when I of purpose turned our ship from the right course, that he also did the same.’
When he had said this, some were moved and exhorted the rest to make ready for defence, but some made light thereof saying that it was customary for a smaller ship at sea to follow a greater as being guided by their more experience. While these things were disputed on both sides, it was the time of day when the husbandman doth unyoke his oxen from the plough, and the vehement wind began to wax calm so that in a little while it was almost down and blew softly 160 to no purpose on our sails, rather shaking them together than making any way for our ship. At length it ceased quite, as if at the sun-setting it had appointed to leave blowing, or rather — that I may speak more truly — to do them which followed us a good turn. For those that were in the barque, as long as we had wind, were left far behind our merchant ship, our greater sails, as is natural, receiving more wind. But when the sea grew calm and we were perforce compelled to row, the barque came upon us quicker than I can describe, for every one on board her, I think, was at the oars, while she was a light boat and answered better to the rowers’ efforts.
When they were now close to us, one of the men of Zacynthus who had come aboard with us cried: ‘We are undone, comrades; this is a pirate craft; I recognise Trachinus and his barque.’ All our ship was moved at this news, and was filled with stormy tumult in calm weather. Everywhere was noise, lamenting, and running up and down. Some fled into the nether parts of the ship, some stood upon the hatches and exhorted one another to fight, some were of opinion that it was best to go into the cock-boat and escape: until, before they had determined anything, the present danger appeased their ado, since every man must needs by that time put on his harness. I and Chariclea hung about Theagenes, who desired sore to fight, and could scarcely make him refrain. She said to him that she would not be parted from him by death, but that with the same sword and a like wound she would share his fortune. I for my part, when I perceived that it was Trachinus coming against us thought of something which might benefit us; which indeed took effect. For when the pirates drew near and ran across our bows, they did not cast any darts 161 at us, but by going round prevented our ship from advancing, trying if by any means they could get her into their hands without a battle and bloodshed: in brief they were like to people besieging a town and desired to take the ship on conditions of surrender. ‘Why be you so mad, unhappy folk.’ they cried; ‘why attempt to stir against such invincible strength which far surmounteth yours, thereby purchasing your certain destruction? We will use you friendly, and now give you leave to take your cock-boat and save your lives if you wish.’ These were the conditions they propounded.
The men on board our ship, as long as they were without danger and the battle without blood, were very stout and said plainly they would not depart. But when one of the pirates bolder than the rest leapt aboard, and with his sword slew all he met, teaching them that wars are usually made with slaughter and death, and the rest leapt after him, then the Phoenicians repented of their ways and falling flat on their faces begged for mercy, for that they would do whatsoever they would have them. Although the pirates were now greedy to kill — for the sight of blood is a great incentive to fury — yet contrary to all hope, on command of Trachinus they spared them. The terms they made however were very cruel, and for all the counterfeited name of peace it was savage war indeed; for the truce propounded was more intolerable than the battle. Strict commandment was given that every man should go out of the ship with one suit of apparel only, and he who broke this law should die. It seems that men set more store by their lives than any thing else; for the Phoenicians, although all hope of the goods in the ship was lost, hurried away as if they had forfeited nothing but rather made a good 162 market, every man desiring to save himself first.
We were standing by ready to obey their decree when Trachinus came, and laying his hand upon Chariclea said unto her: ‘This war doth not concern thee, my dear, but hath been enterprised for thy sake. I have followed you ever since you sailed from Zacynthus and for you only have I adventured these perils by sea. Wherefore fear not, but be of good comfort, and know that you shall be mistress of all this with me.’ Thus he said. But she — for she is a very prudent maid and well skilled to have regard to the occasion — harkening also somewhat to my advice, put away from her face all sad looks and forced herself to an alluring smile: ‘I thank the gods,’ quoth she, ‘who have given you a heart to deal more gently with us than the rest. But if you indeed wish me to be of good comfort and to stay here do this for me as a token of your good will. Save this my brother and my father, and do not let them leave this ship. For if they be separated from me I shall not live.’ Saying this she fell at his knees and held him fast with supplications. Trachinus was well pleased with her so holding, and of purpose deferred his promise. At length, moved by her tears to compassion, he was by her countenance forced to fulfil her wish, and lifting up the maid said this: ‘I give this your brother to you with all my heart: for I see he is a young man of stout courage who may do us good service. As for the old man, who is but a burden without profit, let him stay for your pleasure.
While these things were saying and doing, the sun had come round just to his setting and made the space between the day and night dark. The sea also suddenly, changing by reason of the hour or else by the will of fortune, began to wax rough, and a man 163 might hear a great noise of the winds arising. Soon a fierce storm swept down upon us, whose valiant blasts did much abash the pirates, by reason that they had all left their own barque, and were busy in our vessel plundering the merchandise, and knew not how to manage the greatness of the ship. Wherefore each part was ordered unadvisedly and each man began to practise what he had never done before. Some in confusion hauled at the sails, others laid hand clumsily to the ropes; one ignorant fellow took the rudder, another, as wise as he, was in the foreship. The thing that brought us most into peril was not the tempest, which was not yet very great, but the unskilfuness of the ship master, who stood to it as long as there was a gleam of daylight, but when it was dark gave over his charge. As they were therefore now in danger of drowning and almost sunk, some of the pirates wished to return to their own barque. But they were dissuaded therefrom both by the force of the tempest and by the counsel of Trachinus, who told them that they could get six hundred such little barques, if they kept possession of the merchant ship and all the riches therein. At last he cut the rope whereby it was fastened to us, saying it would bring them into another storm and that it was well to consider their safety in the future; for that it was a suspicious thing to arrive in any place with two ships, seeing it must needs be that inquiry should be made concerning those that sailed in the other one. He seemed to them to speak with reason, and one thing gave him credit in both; for after he had cut the barque adrift the tempest somewhat abated. Still they were not at all out of danger, but rather tossed without ceasing by mountainous waves, so that they lost many parts of the ship and faced every kind of peril. That night 164 at last was spent, and about sunset on the next day we landed on the beach by that mouth of the Nile which is called Heracleot, coming thus to Egypt by chance, unhappy creatures, and against our wills. The others indeed were glad but we were very sorrowful, reproaching the sea for our escape, inasmuch as it had grudged us a death free from insult and committed us to land and the dangers we must expect there, now subject utterly to the pirates‘ lawless will. What their will would be we could easily guess by that which the villains took in hand before they were scarcely ashore. Pretending to make a thank-offering to Neptune they brought wine of Tyre and many other such things out of the ship and sent some of their mates with a great deal of money to buy cattle from the borders adjoining, and charged them to pay whatever was asked at the first word.
These men soon returned bringing with them a whole herd of swine and sheep, and those who had tarried behind taking them, lit fires, flayed the beasts, and made ready for a banquet. But Trachinus took me aside, so that none might hear, and said: ‘Father, I am determined to take thy daughter to wife and marry her to-day, and I purpose to join that pleasant solemnity with our sacrifice to the gods. Wherefore lest you should be anything sad in the feast, if you heard not of this before, and that you might tell your daughter hereof and cause her to be of a cheerful courage, I have thought it good to tell you my mind. Not that I need your consent — for I have absolute power to do what I list — but because I count it more lucky and seemly also if the bride more cheerfully prepare herself being admonished thereof first by her father.’ I praised his opinion, and made as though I were glad, and gave thanks to the gods that they had 165 appointed my master to be my daughter’s husband. But after I had left him I began to think on what was to come, and went back to him again and besought him that what he was doing might be performed more solemnly, and that he would appoint the ship to be the maid’s bridal chamber, and give command that no man might go in and trouble her, so that she might at her leisure provide that which was meet to furnish and set forth a bride. For it were ill ordered if she, who was of good stock and rich, and what was most important shall be Trachinus’ wife, should not be made as handsome as might be, even though time and place did not give her leave to be very trim. Trachinus was very glad at this and with all his heart promised that it should be so; and therewith he gave charge that all such things as they should need should be carried out, and after that none should come near the ship. They did as he commanded them and brought out tables, cups, carpets, tapestries, works of Sidon and Tyre, and other such things as were expedient for the furniture of a feast: these things were carried out from the ship upon their shoulders without respect or order, which diverse men with great travail and thrifty usage had gathered together: but now fortune had prepared them to serve their prodigal banquet.
I took Theagenes with me, and when we came to Chariclea and found her weeping, I said: ‘Daughter, all this is nothing new or strange: and yet you are weeping. Is it for what we knew before or for something fresh?’ ‘I weep for everything,’ quoth she, ‘but above all for what I must now expect and for the hateful good will of Trachinus towards me, to which this present occasion, it seems, has given strength. For unexpected success is wont to invite a man to 166 wantonness. But Trachinus and his hateful love will be sorrowful yet, which I shall prevent by my death. It was to think that I should be divided from you and from Theagenes, before the end that made me thus heavy.’ ‘You think,’ quoth I, ‘as indeed it is. Trachinus after the sacrifice meaneth to change the banquet into your and his bridal, and made me, as your father, privy thereto, who knew before the unreasonable love that he bare to you by communication that I had with Tyrrhenus in Zacynthus, but I did not tell you thereof, lest you should have been discouraged for fear of these mishaps, and seeing also that we might have avoided his snares. But, my children, since God would not let that come to pass and we are now in extreme peril, let us attempt some bold and courageous enterprise and face the climax of our dangers, whereby, if we have good luck, we shall live a free and noble life hereafter, or if we fail, count it an advantage to die virtuously and like brave men.’
After they promised to do what I commanded, and I had taught them what was best to do, I left them making such provision as was requisite, and came to that pirate who was chief after Trachinus — his name I think was Pelorus — and said that I had a thing to tell him for his profit. He was ready to listen, and after I had brought him where none might hear I said: ‘Give ear, my son, briefly: for the shortness of the time will not suffer me to be very long. My daughter is in love with thee, and no wonder, as yielding to the better man. But she suspects that the arch pirate is making this banquet to marry her; for he seemed to mean some such thing when he gave her commandment to deck herself somewhat finely. Wherefore consider how you may thwart him and take my 167 daughter yourself; for she says she will rather die than marry Trachinus.’ ‘Be of good cheer,’ quoth he; ‘for some time now I have been of the same mind as the maid, and I have desired to have some occasion offered me to take the matter in hand. Wherefore Trachinus shall suffer me to marry her of his own free will, giving me her as the prize of honour for boarding the ship first, or else he will have but a sorry marriage. When I heard him say this I hastened back for fear of suspicion, and coming to my children comforted them and told them how my device took good effect.
Within a little while after we went to supper, and when I saw them well wetted with wine and wantonly bent, I whispered Pelorus in the ear — for I sat next to him of purpose — and said: ‘Have you seen how the maid is dressed?’ He answered me no. ‘Well,’ said I, ‘you may, if you go privily to the ship; for you know Trachinus hath given contrary commandment. You will see Diana herself sitting there. But take care for the moment not to look over boldly upon her, lest you purchase death for you both.’ He tarried not, but, as if he had some very earnest business, arose and went privily to the ship. When he saw Chariclea there wearing a crown of laurel on her head and glistering garments garnished with gold — for she had put on the holy apparel which she brought from Delphi, to be a grace to her victory or a glory to her burial — and such other things about her as might beseem a marriage well, he was set on fire by the sight, as it was likely he would be, and desire and emulation pricked him forward. When he returned, it was evident by his countenance that he meant to do some mischievous thing, for ere he had well sat down he said: ’Why have I not the reward due to 168 him who first boarded the enemy’s ship?’ ‘Because you have not asked for it,’ said Trachinus, ‘and what we have gotten is not yet divided.’ ‘Then I will have the maid,’ quoth he, ‘who was taken prisoner.’ To that Trachinus answered: ‘Except her, you may take what you will.’ But Pelorus said: ‘Then do you disannul and abrogate the law of pirates, which giveth him that first boardeth the enemy’s ship and faceth the most dangerous part of the skirmish leave to choose whatever liketh him best.’ ‘I break not that law, good sir,’ quoth Trachinus; ‘I rely rather on that other which biddeth underlings give place to captains. For my part I love the maid wonderful well, and mean to take her for my wife. And I say plainly that it is reason that I come first, and if you do not as I bid, you shall repent it with a blow of this pot.’ Then said Pelorus to those that were by: ‘You see what is the reward of our labours. So shall any of you hereafter be put beside your due, and make trial of this tyrant law.’ Ah, what a sight was there then, Nausicles. You might have compared those men suddenly moved to the sea: so blind and foolish a quarrel drew them to so great a broil, being with wine and anger almost stark mad. Some took this man’s part, some this; one sort would have the honour given to the captain, another said that the law and ordinance might not be broken. At length Trachinus bent himself to cast a pot at Pelorus, but he prevented him — for he was provided before — and thrust a dagger through his breast, and there lay he wounded to death. Between the rest there was a cruel battle, for as they met they spared not themselves, some to revenge the captain, others to defend Pelorus his right, shouting all together and striking and being stricken with bats, stones, pots, torches and tables. I for my part 169 went a great way off, and from the top of a little hill looked upon them free from all danger. But Theagenes and Chariclea, doing as we had agreed upon, took their share in the fray. He came with a sword and joining one side fought as though in frenzy: she, when she saw the battle begun, shot with her bow from the ship in such fashion that she never missed one and spared none but Theagenes. She did not shoot blindly into the fray but marked down the man she went to kill, herself unseen and easily espying her enemies in the firelight. They knew not what the mischief was and some supposed it to be a plague sent from heaven, until at last every man was slain and Theagenes only left fighting hand to hand with Pelorus, a stout man and practised in many murders. Now could Chariclea’s shooting do no more service, and though she was in travail to help, yet she feared some mischance, since the two were come to hand blows. But at length Pelorus was no longer able to stand against him, for though Chariclea could not help in act, yet with words she comforted, crying out: ‘Now, my heart, play the man.’ Then, as though her voice had made him strong and bold and declared what was the prize of that battle, Theagenes did begin to prove himself the better. Though he was sore wounded, he plucked up heart and leapt near Pelorus, and with his sword struck a full blow at his head. That indeed he missed, since the other avoided the blow a little, but grazing the tip of the shoulder he cut off his arm at the elbow-joint; and therewith he fled and Theagenes pursued.
What followed next I cannot tell, but that he returned again and I saw him not, since I tarried on the hill and durst not walk by night in a place so full of enemies. But Chariclea espied him well enough, for when it was day I perceived that he lay like a dead 170 man, and she sat by him and wept and declared that she would kill herself, but held her hand because of a little hope she still had of his life. But I, unhappy man, could not speak to them, nor know the truth, nor comfort their distress, nor do what could be cone for them, seeing that our troubles on the waves were followed without intermission by mishaps as great on land. For when I saw the day appear and was coming down the hill, I espied a company of Egyptian thieves running down from a mountain which stretched that way by seeming, who at once seized the young couple and soon after carried them away, and whatsoever else they could out of the ship. I followed vainly afar off, bewailing my fortune and theirs since I could not defend them and thought it best not to come among them, reserving myself in hope to help them afterward. But soon by reason of mine age I was left far behind, since I was not so well able as the Egyptians to run over the hills; and now by your help, Nausicles, and the favour of the gods I have found my daughter again, myself contributing nothing thereto save tears and abundance of lamentation.’
Then he wept himself, and those also who were present. To be short the banquet was turned into such weeping as was mingled with a kind of pleasure: for wine in a manner maketh men ready to tears. At length Nausicles comforted Calasiris and said: ‘Father, hereafter be merry and of good cheer: you have recovered your daughter and after one night only you shall see your son also. For in the morning we will talk with Mitranes and do all we can to ransom good Theagenes.’ ‘I could wish it with all my heart,’ said Calasiris. ‘But now it is time to make an end of our banquet. Let us remember God and conjoin to our offering a thanksgiving for her delivery.’ Thereupon 171 the libations were carried round; and so the banquet ended. Calasiris looked for Chariclea, and when he saw her not among the company that went out, at last with much ado, by the telling of a woman, he found her clasping the feet of the god’s image: and either because of the length of her prayers or the greatness of her sorrow she was fallen into a sound sleep. So he wept a little, and prayed the god humbly to grant her better success, and softly awakened her and brought her into the women’s chamber, sore ashamed belike that sleep has so overcome her unawares. Then she lay down with Nausicles’ daughter, and waking thought upon her cares and that which after was like to ensue.
Many thanks to eagle-eyed Menno Rubingh, a software developer in Jena, Germany, for spotting typos, and being kind enough to let me know. — S.R.