History of Literature










Lucius Apuleius




"The Golden Asse"

 


illustrations by Jean de Bosschere

and

Martin Van Maele
 
(Rene Gocking)


PART I, PART II, PART III, PART IV


 



"The Golden Asse"
 

Translated by William Adlington, 1566



Illustrations by  Martin Van Maele

 

 



THE SIXTH BOOKE

THE TWENTY-THIRD CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius carried away the Gentlewoman, and how they were taken againe by the theeves, and what a kind of death was invented for them.

By and by the theeves came home laden with treasure, and many of them which were of strongest courage (leaving behind such as were lame and wounded, to heale and aire themselves) said they would returne backe againe to fetch the rest of their pillage, which they had hidden in a certaine cave, and so they snatched up their dinner greedily, and brought us forth into the way and beate us before them with staves. About night (after that we had passed over many hilles and dales) we came to a great cave, where they laded us with mighty burthens, and would not suffer us to refresh our selves any season but brought us againe in our way, and hied so fast homeward, that what with their haste and their cruell stripes, I fell downe upon a stone by the way side, then they beate me pittifully in lifting me up, and hurt my right thigh and my left hoofe, and one of them said, What shall we do with this lame Ill favoured Asse, that is not worth the meate he eats? And other said, Since the time that we had him first he never did any good, and I thinke he came unto our house with evill lucke, for we have had great wounds since, and losse of our valiant captaines, and other said, As soone as he hath brought home his burthen, I will surely throw him out upon the mountaine to be a pray for wild beasts: While these gentlemen reasoned together of my death, we fortuned to come home, for the feare that I was in, caused my feet to turne into wings: after that we were discharged of our burthens, they went to their fellowes that were wounded, and told them of our great tardity and slownesse by the way, neither was I brought into small anguish, when I perceived my death prepared before my face: Why standest thou still Lucius? Why dost thou not looke for thy death? Knowst thou not that the theeves have ordained to slay thee? seest thou not these sharpe and pointed flints which shall bruise and teare thee in peeces, if by adventure thou happen upon them? Thy gentle Magitian hath not onely given thee the shape and travell of an Asse, but also a skinne so soft and tender as it were a swallow: why dost thou not take courage and runne away to save thy selfe? Art thou afraid of the old woman more then halfe dead, whom with a stripe of thy heele thou maist easily dispatch? But whither shall I fly? What lodging shall I seek? See my Assy cogitation. Who is he that passeth by the way and will not take me up? While I devised these things, I brake the halter wherewith I was tyed and ran away with all my force, howbeit I could not escape the kitish eyes of the old woman, for shee ran after me, and with more audacity then becommeth her kind age, caught me by the halter and thought to pull me home: but I not forgetting the cruell purpose of the theeves, was mooved with small pity, for I kicked her with my hinder heeles to the ground and had welnigh slaine her, who (although shee was throwne and hurled downe) yet shee held still the halter, and would not let me goe; then shee cryed with a loud voyce and called for succour, but she little prevayled, because there was no person that heard her, save onely the captive gentlewoman, who hearing the voice of the old woman, came out to see what the matter was, and perceiving her hanging at the halter, tooke a good courage and wrested it out of her hand, and (entreating me with gentle words) got upon my backe. Then I began to runne, and shee gently kicked mee forward, whereof I was nothing displeased, for I had as great a desire to escape as shee: insomuch that I seemed to scowre away like a horse. And when the Gentlewoman did speake, I would answere her with my neighing, and oftentimes (under colour to rub my backe) I would sweetly kisse her tender feet. Then shee fetching a sigh from the bottome of her heart, lifted up her eyes to the heavens, saying: O soveraigne Gods, deliver mee if it be your pleasure, from these present dangers: and thou cruell fortune cease thy wrath, let the sorrow suffice thee which I have already sustained. And thou little Asse, that art the occasion of my safety and liberty, if thou canst once render me safe and sound to my parents, and to him that so greatly desireth to have me to his wife, thou shalt see what thankes I will give: with what honour I will reward thee, and how I will use thee. First, I will bravely dresse the haires of thy forehead, and then will I finely combe thy maine, I will tye up thy rugged tayle trimly, I will decke thee round about with golden trappes, in such sort that thou shalt glitter like the starres of the skie, I will bring thee daily in my apron the kirnels of nuts, and will pamper thee up with delicates; I will set store by thee, as by one that is the preserver of my life: Finally, thou shalt lack no manner of thing. Moreover amongst thy glorious fare, thy great ease, and the blisse of thy life, thou shalt not be destitute of dignity, for thou shalt be chronicled perpetually in memory of my present fortune, and the providence divine. All the whole history shall be painted upon the wall of our house, thou shalt he renowned throughout all the world. And it shall be registred in the bookes of Doctours, that an Asse saved the life of a young maiden that was captive amongst Theeves: Thou shalt be numbred amongst the ancient miracles: wee beleeve that by like example of truth Phryxus saved himselfe from drowning upon the Ram, Arion escaped upon a Dolphin, and that Europa was delivered by the Bull. If Jupiter transformed himselfe into a Bull, why may it not be that under the shape of this Asse, is hidden the figure of a man, or some power divine? While that the Virgin did thus sorrowfully unfold her desires, we fortuned to come to a place where three wayes did meet, and shee tooke me by the halter, and would have me to turne on the right hand to her fathers house: but I (knowing that the theeves were gone that way to fetch the residue of their pillage) resisted with my head as much as I might, saying within my selfe: What wilt thou doe unhappy maiden? Why wouldst thou goe so willingly to hell? Why wilt thou runne into destruction by meane of my feet? Why dost thou seek thine own harme, and mine likewise? And while we strived together whether way we might take, the theeves returned, laiden with their pray, and perceived us a farre off by the light of the Moon: and after they had known us, one of them gan say, Whither goe you so hastely? Be you not afraid of spirits? And you (you harlot) doe you not goe to see your parents? Come on, we will beare you company? And therewithall they tooke me by the hatter, and drave me backe againe, beating me cruelly with a great staffe (that they had) full of knobs: then I returning againe to my ready destruction, and remembering the griefe of my hoofe, began to shake my head, and to waxe lame, but he that led me by the halter said, What, dost thou stumble? Canst thou not goe? These rotten feet of thine ran well enough, but they cannot walke: thou couldest mince it finely even now with the gentlewoman, that thou seemedst to passe the horse Pegasus in swiftnesse. In saying of these words they beat mee againe, that they broke a great staffe upon mee. And when we were come almost home, we saw the old woman hanging upon a bow of a Cipresse tree; then one of them cut downe the bowe whereon shee hanged, and cast her into the bottome of a great ditch: after this they bound the maiden and fell greedily to their victuals, which the miserable old woman had prepared for them. At which time they began to devise with themselves of our death, and how they might be revenged; divers was the opinions of this divers number: the first said, that hee thought best the Mayd should be burned alive: the second said she should be throwne out to wild beasts: the third said, she should be hanged upon a gibbet: the fourth said she should be flead alive: thus was the death of the poore Maiden scanned betweene them foure. But one of the theeves after every man had declared his judgement, did speake in this manner: it is not convenient unto the oath of our company, to suffer you to waxe more cruell then the quality of the offence doth merit, for I would that shee should not be hanged nor burned, nor throwne to beasts, nor dye any sodaine death, but by my council I would have her punished according to her desert. You know well what you have determined already of this dull Asse, that eateth more then he is worth, that faineth lamenesse, and that was the cause of the flying away of the Maid: my mind is that he shall be slaine to morrow, and when all the guts and entrailes of his body is taken out, let the Maide be sowne into his belly, then let us lay them upon a great stone against the broiling heate of the Sunne, so they shall both sustaine all the punishments which you have ordained: for first the Asse shall be slaine as you have determined, and she shall have her members torne and gnawn with wild beasts, when as she is bitten and rent with wormes, shee shall endure the paine of the fire, when as the broyling heat of the Sunne shall scortch and parch the belly of the Asse, shee shall abide the gallows when the Dogs and Vultures shall have the guts of her body hanging in their ravenous mouthes. I pray you number all the torments which she shall suffer: First shee shall dwell within the paunch of an Asse: secondly her nosethrilles shall receive a carraine stinke of the beast: thirdly shee shall dye for hunger: last of all, shee shall finde no meane to ridde her selfe from her paines, for her hand shalt be sowen up within the skinne of the Asse: This being said, all the Theeves consented, and when I (poore Asse) heard and understood all their device, I did nothing else but lament and bewayle my dead carkasse, which should be handled in such sort on the next morrow.

 



THE SEVENTH BOOKE

THE TWENTY-FOURTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How hee that was left behinde at Hippata did bring newes concerning the robbery of Miloes house, came home and declared to his Company, that all the fault was laid to one Apuleius his charge.

A soone as night was past, and the cleare Chariot of the Sunne
had spred his bright beames on every coast, came one of the company of the theeves, (for so his and their greeting together did declare) who at the first entry into the Cave (after hee had breathed himselfe, and was able to speake) told these tydings unto his companions in this sort. Sirs, as touching the house of Milo of Hippata, which we forcibly entred and ransackt the last day, we may put away all feare and doubt nothing at all. For after that ye by force of armes, had spoyled and taken away all things in the house, and returned hither into our Cave; I (thrusting my selfe amongst the presse of the people, and shewing my selfe as though I were sad and sorrowful for the mischance) consulted with them for the boulting out of the matter, and devising what meanes might be wrought for the apprehension of the theeves, to the intent I might learne and see all that was done to make relation thereof unto you as you willed me, insomuch that the whole fact at length by manifest and evident proofes as also by the common opinion and judgement of the people, was laid to one Lucius Apuleius charge as manifest author of this common robbery, who a few dayse before by false and forged letters and colored honesty, fell so farre in favour with this Milo, that he entertained him into his house, and received him as a chiefe of his familiar friends, which Lucius after that he had sojourned there a good space, and won the heart of Miloes Maid, by fained love, did thoroughly learne the waies and doores of all the house, and curiously viewed the cofers and chests, wherein was laid the whole substance of Milo: neither was there small cause given to judge him culpable, since as the very same night that this robbery was done he fled away, and could not be found in no place: and to the intent hee might cleane escape, and better prevent such as made hew and crie after him, he tooke his white horse and galloped away, and after this, his servant was found in the house, who (accused as accessary to the fellony and escape of his Master) was committed to the common gaole, and the next day following was cruelly scourged and tormented till hee was welnigh dead, to the intent hee should confesse the matter, but when they could wreast or learne no such thing of him, yet sent they many persons after, towardes Lucius Countrey to enquire him out, and so to take him prisoner. As he declared these things, I did greatly lament with my selfe, to thinke of mine old and pristine estate, and what felicity I was sometimes in, in comparison to the misery that I presently susteined, being changed into a miserable Asse, then had I no small occasion to remember, how the old and ancient Writers did affirme, that fortune was starke blind without eies, because she alwaies bestoweth her riches upon evil persons, and fooles, and chooseth or favoureth no mortall person by judgement, but is alwaies conversent, especially with much as if she could see, she should most shunne, and forsake, yea and that which is more worse, she sheweth such evill or contrary opinions in men, that the wicked doe glory with the name of good, and contrary the good and innocent be detracted and slandred as evill. Furthermore I, who by her great cruelty, was turned into a foure footed Asse, in most vile and abject manner: yea, and whose estate seemed worthily to be lamented and pittied of the most hard and stonie hearts, was accused of theft and robbing of my deare host Milo, which villany might rather be called parricide then theft, yet might not I defend mine owne cause or denie the fact any way, by reason I could not speake; howbeit least my conscience should seeme to accuse me by reason of silence, and againe being enforced by impatience I endevored to speake, and faine would have said, Never did I that fact, and verely the first word, never, I cried out once or twise, somewhat handsome, but the residue I could in no wise pronounce, but still remaining in one voice, cried, Never, never, never. howbeit I settled my hanging lips as round as I could to speake the residue: but why should I further complaine of the crueltie of my fortune, since as I was not much ashamed, by reason that my servant and my horse, was likewise accused with me of the robbery.



Martin Van Maele

 

While I pondered with my selfe all these things, a great care [came] to my remembrance, touching the death, which the theeves provised for me and the maiden, and still as I looked downe to my belly, I thought of my poore gentlewoman that should be closed within me. And the theefe which a little before had brought the false newes against me, drew out of the skirt of his coate, a thousand crowns, which he had rifled from such as hee met, and brought it into the common treasury. Then hee carefully enquired how the residue of his companions did. To whom it was declared that the most valiant was murdred and slaine in divers manners, whereupon he perswaded them to remit all their affaires a certaine season, and to seeke for other fellowes to be in their places, that by the exercise of new lads, the terror of their martiall band might be reduced to the old number, assuring them that such as were unwilling, might be compelled by menaces and threatnings, and such as were willing might be incouraged forward with reward. Further be said, that there were some, which (seeing the profite which they had) would forsake their base and servile estate, and rather bee contented to live like tyrants amongst them. Moreover he declared, that for his part he had spoken with a certaine tall man, a valiant companion, but of young age, stout in body, and couragious in fight, whom he had fully perswaded to exercise his idle hands, dull with slothfullnesse, to his greater profit, and (while he might) to receive the blisse of better Fortune, and not to hold out his sturdy arme to begge for a penny, but rather to take as much gold and silver as hee would. Then everyone consented, that hee that seemed so worthy to be their companion, should be one of their company, and that they would search for others to make up the residue of the number, whereupon he went out, and by and by (returning againe) brought in a tall young man (as he promised) to whom none of the residue might bee compared, for hee was higher then they by the head, and of more bignesse in body, his beard began to burgen, but hee was poorely apparelled, insomuch that you might see all his belly naked. As soone as he was entred in he said, God speed yee souldiers of Mars and my faithfull companions, I pray you make me one of your band, and I will ensure you, that you shall have a man of singular courage and lively audacity: for I had rather receive stripes upon my backe, then money or gold in my hands. And as for death (which every man doth feare) I passe nothing at all, yet thinke you not that I am an abject or a begger, neither judge you my vertue and prowesse by ragged clothes, for I have beene a Captaine of a great company, and subdued all the countrey of Macedonia. I am the renowned theefe Hemes the Thracian, whose name all countreys and nations do so greatly feare: I am the sonne of Theron the noble theefe, nourished with humane bloud, entertained amongst the stoutest; finally I am inheritour and follower of all my fathers vertues, yet I lost in a short time all my company and all my riches, by one assault, which I made upon a Factor of the Prince, which sometime had beene Captaine of two hundred men, for fortune was cleane against me; harken and I will tell you the whole matter. There was a certaine man in the court of the Emperour, which had many offices, and in great favour, who at last by the envy of divers persons, was banished away and compelled to forsake the court: his wife Platina, a woman of rare faith and singular shamefastnes having borne ten children to her husband, despised all worldly Pompe and delicacy, and determined to follow her husband, and to be partaker of his perils and danger, wherefore shee cut off her haire, disguised her selfe like a man, and tooke with her all her treasure, passing through the hands of the souldiers, and the naked swords without any feare, whereby she endured many miseries, and was partaker of much affliction, to save the life of her husband, such was her love which she bare unto him. And when they had escaped many perillous dangers, as well by land as by sea, they went together towards Zacynthe, to continue there according as fortune had appointed. But when they were arived on the sea coast of Actium (where we in our returne from Macedony were roving about) when night came, they returned into a house not far distant from their ship, where they lay all night. Then we entred in and tooke away all their substance, but verely we were in great danger: for the good matron perceiving us incontinently by the noise of the gate, went into the chamber, and called up every man by his name, and likewise the neighbors that dwelled round about, insomuch that by reason of the feare that every one was in, we hardly escaped away, but this most holy woman, faithfull and true to her husband (as the truth must be declared) returned to Caesar, desiring his aid and puissance, and demanding vengeance of the injury done to her husband, who granted all her desire: then went my company to wracke, insomuch that every man was slaine, so great was the authority and word of the Prince. Howbeit, when all my band was lost, and taken by search of the Emperours army, I onely stole away and delivered my selfe from the violence of the souldiers, for I clothed my selfe in a womans attire, and mounted upon an Asse, that carryed barly sheafes, and (passing through the middle of them all) I escaped away, because every one deemed that I was a woman by reason I lacked a beard. Howbeit I left not off for all this, nor did degenerate from the glory of my father, or mine own vertue, but freshly comming from the bloody skirmish, and disguised like a woman, I invaded townes and castles alone to get some pray. And therewithall he pulled out two thousand crownes, which he had under his coate, saying: Hold here the dowry which I present unto you, hold eke my person, which you shall alwayes find trusty and faithfull, if you willingly receive me: and I will ensure you that in so doing, within short space I wilt make and turne this stony house of yours into gold. Then by and by every one consented to make him their Captaine, and so they gave him better garments, and threw away his old. When they had changed his attire, hee imbraced them one after another, then placed they him in the highest roome of the table, and drunk unto him in token of good lucke.

 

THE TWENTY-FIFTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele



How the death of the Asse, and the Gentlewoman was stayed.

After supper they began to talke, and declare unto him the going away of the Gentlewoman, and how I hare her upon my backe, and what death was ordained for us two. Then he desired to see her, whereupon the Gentlewoman was brought forth fast bound, whom as soone as he beheld, he turned himselfe wringing his nose, and blamed them saying: I am not so much a beast, or so rash a fellow to drive you quite from your purpose, but my conscience will not suffer me to conceale any thing that toucheth your profit, since I am as carefull for you, howbeit if my counsell doe displease you, you may at your liberty proceed in your enterprise. I doubt not but all theeves, and such as have a good judgement, will preferre their owne lucre and gain above all things in the world, and above their vengeance, which purchaseth damage to divers persons. Therefore if you put this virgin in the Asses belly, you shall but execute your indignation against her, without all manner of profit; But I would advise you to carry the virgin to some towne and to sell her: and such a brave girle as she is, may be sold for a great quantity of money. And I my selfe know certaine bawdy Marchants, amongst whom peradventure one will give us summes of gold for her. This is my opinion touching this affaire: but advise you what you intend to do, for you may rule me in this case. In this manner the good theefe pleaded and defended our cause, being a good Patron to the silly virgin, and to me poore Asse. But they staied hereupon a good space, with long deliberation, which made my heart (God wot) and spirit greatly to quaile. Howbeit in the end they consented to his opinion, and by and by the Maiden was unloosed of her bonds, who seeing the young man, and hearing the name of brothels and bawdy Merchants, began to wax joyfull, and smiled with herself. Then began I to deeme evill of the generation of women, when as I saw the Maiden (who was appointed to be married to a young Gentleman, and who so greatly desired the same) was now delighted with the talke of a wicked brothel house, and other things dishonest. In this sort the consent and manners of women depended in the judgement of an Asse.


 

THE TWENTY-SIXTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele

 

How all the Theeves were brought asleepe by their new companion.

Then the young man spake againe, saying, Masters, why goe wee not about to make our prayers unto Mars, touching this selling of the Maiden, and to seeke for other companions. But as farre as I see, here is no other manner of beast to make sacrifice withall, nor wine sufficient for us to drinke. Let me have (quoth hee) tenne more with me, and wee will goe to the next Castle, to provide for meat and other things necessary. So he and tenne more with him, went their way: In the meane season, the residue made a great fire and an Alter with greene turfes in the honour of Mars. By and by after they came againe, bringing with them bottles of wine, and a great number of beasts, amongst which there was a big Ram Goat, fat, old, and hairy, which they killed and offered unto Mars. Then supper was prepared sumptuously, and the new companion said unto the other, You ought to accompt me not onely your Captaine in robbery and fight, but also in pleasures and jolity, whereupon by and by with pleasant cheere he prepared meat, and trimming up the house he set all things in order, and brought the pottage and dainty dishes to the Table: but above all he plyed them wel with great pots and jugs of wine. Sometimes (seeming to fetch somewhat) hee would goe to the Maiden and give her pieces of meate, which he privily tooke away, and would drinke unto her, which she willingly tooke in good part. Moreover, hee kissed her twice or thrice whereof she was well pleased but I (not well contented thereat) thought in my selfe: O wretched Maid, thou hast forgotten thy marriage, and doest esteeme this stranger and bloudy theefe above thy husband which thy Parents ordained for thee, now perceive I well thou hast no remorse of conscience, but more delight to tarry and play the harlot heere amongst so many swords. What? knowest thou not how the other theeves if they knew thy demeanour would put thee to death as they had once appointed, and so worke my destruction likewise? Well now I perceive thou hast a pleasure in the dammage and hurt of other. While I did angerly devise with my selfe all these things, I perceived by certaine signes and tokens (not ignorant to so wise an Asse) that he was not the notable theefe Hemus, but rather Lepolemus her husband, for after much communication he beganne to speake more franckly, not fearing at all my presence, and said, Be of good cheere my sweete friend Charites, for thou shalt have by and by all these thy enemies captive unto thee. Then hee filled wine to the theeves more and more, and never ceased, till as they were all overcome with abundance of meat and drinke, when as hee himselfe abstained and bridled his owne appetite. And truely I did greatly suspect, least hee had mingled in their cups some deadly poyson, for incontinently they all fell downe asleepe on the ground one after an other, and lay as though they had beene dead.

 

THE TWENTY-SEVENTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How the Gentlewoman was carried home by her husband while the theeves were asleepe, and how much Apuleius was made of.

When the theeves were all asleepe by their great and immoderate drinking, the young man Lepolemus took the Maiden and set her upon my backe, and went homeward. When we were come home, all the people of the Citie, especially her Parents, friends, and family, came running forth joyfully, and the children and Maidens of the towne gathered together to see this virgin in great triumph sitting upon an Asse. Then I (willing to shew as much joy as I might, as present occasion served) I set and pricked up my long eares, ratled my nosethrils, and cryed stoutly, nay rather I made the towne to ring againe with my shrilling sound: when wee were come to her fathers house, shee was received in a chamber honourably: as for me, Lepolemus (accompanied with a great number of Citizens) did presently after drive me backe againe with other horses to the cave of the theeves, where wee found them all asleepe lying on the ground as wee left them; then they first brought out all the gold, and silver, and other treasure of the house, and laded us withall, which when they had done, they threw many of the theeves downe into the bottome of deepe ditches, and the residue they slew with their swords: after this wee returned home glad and merry of so great vengeance upon them, and the riches which wee carried was commited to the publike treasurie. This done, the Maid was married to Lepolemus, according to the law, whom by so much travell he had valiantly recovered: then my good Mistresse looked about for me, and asking for me commanded the very same day of her marriage, that my manger should be filled with barly, and that I should have hay and oats aboundantly, and she would call me her little Camell. But how greatly did I curse Fotis, in that shee transformed me into an Asse, and not into a dogge, because I saw the dogges had filled their paunches with the reliks and bones of so worthy a supper. The next day this new wedded woman (my Mistresse) did greatly commend me before her Parents and husband, for the kindnesse which I had shewed unto her, and never leaved off untill such time as they promised to reward me with great honours. Then they called together all their friends, and thus it was concluded: one said, that I should be closed in a stable and never worke, but continually to be fedde and fatted with fine and chosen barly and beanes and good littour, howbeit another prevailed, who wishing my liberty, perswaded them that it was better for me to runne in the fields amongst the lascivious horses and mares, whereby I might engender some mules for my Mistresse: then he that had in charge to keepe the horse, was called for, and I was delivered unto him with great care, insomuch that I was right pleasant and joyous, because I hoped that I should carry no more fardels nor burthens, moreover I thought that when I should thus be at liberty, in the spring time of the yeere when the meddows and fields were greene, I should find some roses in some place, whereby I was fully perswaded that if my Master and Mistresse did render to me so many thanks and honours being an Asse, they would much more reward me being turned into a man: but when he (to whom the charge of me was so straightly committed) had brought me a good way distant from the City, I perceived no delicate meates nor no liberty which I should have, but by and by his covetous wife and most cursed queane made me a mill Asse, and (beating me with a cudgill full of knots) would wring bread for her selfe and her husband out of my skinne. Yet was she not contented to weary me and make me a drudge with carriage and grinding of her owne corne, but I was hired of her neighbours to beare their sackes likewise, howbeit shee would not give me such meate as I should have, nor sufficient to sustaine my life withall, for the barly which I ground for mine owne dinner she would sell to the Inhabitants by. And after that I had laboured all day, she would set before me at night a little filthy branne, nothing cleane but full of stones. Being in this calamity, yet fortune worked me other torments, for on a day I was let loose into the fields to pasture, by the commandement of my master. O how I leaped for joy, how I neighed to see my selfe in such liberty, but especially since I beheld so many Mares, which I thought should be my wives and concubines; and I espied out and chose the fairest before I came nigh them; but this my joyfull hope turned into otter destruction, for incontinently all the stone Horses which were well fedde and made strong by ease of pasture, and thereby much more puissant then a poore Asse, were jealous over me, and (having no regard to the law and order of God Jupiter) ranne fiercely and terribly against me; one lifted up his forefeete and kicked me spitefully, another turned himselfe, and with his hinder heeles spurned me cruelly, the third threatning with a malicious neighing, dressed his eares and shewing his sharpe and white teeth bit me on every side. In like sort have I read in Histories how the King of Thrace would throw his miserable ghests to be torne in peeces and devoured of his wild Horses, so niggish was that Tyrant of his provender, that he nourished them with the bodies of men.

 

THE TWENTY-EIGHTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius was made a common Asse to fetch home wood, and how he was handled by a boy.

After that I was thus handled by horses, I was brought home againe to the Mill, but behold fortune (insatiable of my torments) had devised a new paine for me. I was appointed to bring home wood every day from a high hill, and who should drive me thither and home again, but a boy that was the veriest hangman in all the world, who was not contented with the great travell that I tooke in climbing up the hill, neither pleased when he saw my hoofe torne and worne away by sharpe flintes, but he beat me cruelly with a great staffe, insomuch that the marrow of my bones did ake for woe, for he would strike me continually on the right hip, and still in one place, whereby he tore my skinne and made of my wide sore a great hole or trench, or rather a window to looke out at, and although it runne downe of blood, yet would he not cease beating me in that place: moreover he laded me with such great burthens of wood that you would thinke they had been rather prepared for Elephants then for me, and when he perceived that my wood hanged more on one side then another, (when he should rather take away the heavy sides, and so ease me, or else lift them up to make them equall with the other) he laid great stones upon the weaker side to remedy the matter, yet could be not be contented with this my great misery and immoderate burthens of wood, but when hee came to any river (as there were many by the way) he to save his feete from water, would leape upon my loynes likewise, which was no small loade upon loade. And if by adversity I had fell downe in any dirty or myrie place, when he should have pulled me out either with ropes, or lifted me up by the taile, he would never helpe me, but lay me on from top to toe with a mighty staffe, till he had left no haire on all my body, no not so much as on mine eares, whereby I was compelled by force of blowes to stand up. The same hangman boy did invent another torment for me: he gathered a great many sharp thornes as sharp as needles and bound them together like a fagot, and tyed them at my tayle to pricke me, then was I afflicted on every side, for if I had indeavoured to runne away, the thornes would have pricked me, if I had stood still, the boy would have beaten mee, and yet the boy beate mee to make me runne, whereby I perceived that the hangman did devise nothing else save only to kill me by some manner of meanes, and he would sweare and threaten to do me worse harme, and because hee might have some occasion to execute his malicious minde, upon a day (after that I had endeavoured too much by my patience) I lifted up my heeles and spurned him welfavouredly. Then he invented this vengeance against me, after that he had well laded me with shrubs and rubble, and trussed it round upon my backe, hee brought me out into the way: then hee stole a burning coale out of a mans house of the next village, and put it into the middle of the rubbell; the rubbell and shrubs being very dry, did fall on a light fire and burned me on every side. I could see no remedy how I might save my selfe, and in such a case it was not best for me to stand still but fortune was favourable towards me, perhaps to reserve me for more dangers, for I espyed a great hole full of raine water that fell the day before, thither I ranne hastily and plunged my selfe therein, in such sort that I quenched the fire, and was delivered from that present perill, but the vile boy to excuse himselfe declared to all the neighbours and shepheards about, that I willingly tumbled in the fire as I passed through the village. Then he laughed upon me saying: How long shall we nourish and keepe this fiery Asse in vaine?

 

THE TWENTY-NINTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius was accused of Lechery by the boy.

A few dayes after, the boy invented another mischiefe: For when he had sold all the wood which I bare, to certaine men dwelling in a village by, he lead me homeward unladen: And then he cryed that he was not able to rule me, and that hee would not drive mee any longer to the hill for wood, saying: Doe you not see this slow and dulle Asse, who besides all the mischiefes that he hath wrought already, inventeth daily more and more. For he espyeth any woman passing by the way, whether she be old or marryed, or if it be a young child, hee will throw his burthen from his backe, and runneth fiercely upon them. And after that he hath thrown them downe, he will stride over them to commit his buggery and beastly pleasure, moreover hee will faine as though hee would kisse them, but he will bite their faces cruelly, which thing may worke us great displeasure, or rather to be imputed unto us as a crime: and even now when he espyed an honest maiden passing by die high way, he by and by threw downe his wood and runne after her: And when he had throwne her down upon the ground, he would have ravished her before the face of all the world, had it not beene that by reason of her crying out, she was succored and pulled from his heeles, and so delivered. And if it had so come to passe that this fearefull maid had beene slaine by him, what danger had we beene in? By these and like lies, he provoked the shepheards earnestly against me, which grieved mee (God wot) full sore that said nothing. Then one of the shepheards said: Why doe we not make sacrifice of this common adulterous Asse? My sonne (quoth he) let us kill him and throw his guts to the dogges, and reserve his flesh for the labourers supper. Then let us cast dust upon his skinne, and carry it home to our master, and say that the Woolves have devoured him. The boy that was my evill accuser made no delay, but prepared himselfe to execute the sentence of the shepheard, rejoycing at my present danger, but O how greatly did I then repent that the stripe which I gave him with my heele had not killed him. Then he drew out his sword and made it sharp upon the whetstone to slay me, but another of the shepheards gan say, Verely it is a great offence to kill so faire an Asse, and so (by accusation of luxurie and lascivious wantonnesse) to lack so necessarie his labour and service, where otherwise if ye would cut off his stones, he might not onely be deprived of his courage but also become gentle, that we should be delivered from all feare and danger. Moreover he would be thereby more fat and better in flesh. For I know my selfe as well many Asses, as also most fierce horses, that by reason of their wantonnesse have beene most mad and terrible, but (when they were gelded and cut) they have become gentle and tame, and tractable to all use. Wherefore I would counsell you to geld him. And if you consent thereto, I will by and by, when I go to the next market fetch mine irons and tooles for the purpose: And I ensure you after that I have gelded and cut off his stones, I will deliver him unto you as tame as a lambe. When I did perceive that I was delivered from death, and reserved to be gelded, I was greatly sorrie, insomuch that I thought all the hinder part of my body and my stones did ake for woe, but I sought about to kill my selfe by some manner of meanes, to the end if I should die, I would die with unperished members.

 

THE THIRTIETH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How the boy that lead Apuleius to the field, was slaine in the wood.

While I devised with my selfe in what manner I might end my life, the roperipe boy on the next morrow lead me to the same hill againe, and tied me to a bow of a great Oke, and in the meane season he tooke his hatchet and cut wood to load me withall, but behold there crept out of a cave by, a marvailous great Beare, holding out his mighty head, whom when I saw, I was sodainly stroken in feare, and (throwing all the strength of my body into my hinder heeles) lifted up my strained head and brake the halter, wherewith I was tied. Then there was no need to bid me runne away, for I scoured not only on foot, but tumbled over the stones and rocks with my body till I carne into the open fields, to the intent I would escape from the terrible Beare, but especially from the boy that was worse than the Beare. Then a certaine stranger that passed by the way (espying me alone as a stray Asse) tooke me up and roade upon my backe, beating me with a staffe (which he bare in his hand) through a wide and unknowne lane, whereat I was nothing displeased, but willingly went forward to avoid the cruell paine of gelding, which the shepherds had ordained for me, but as for the stripes I was nothing moved, since I was accustomed to be beaten so every day. But evill fortune would not suffer me to continue in so good estate long: For the shepheards looking about for a Cow that they had lost (after they had sought in divers places) fortuned to come upon us unwares, who when they espied and knew me, they would have taken me by the halter, but he that rode upon my backe resisted them saying, O Lord masters, what intend you to do? Will you rob me? Then said the shepheards, What? thinkest thou we handle thee otherwise then thou deservest, which hast stollen away our Asse? Why dost thou not rather tell us where thou hast hidden the boy whom thou hast slaine? And therewithall they pulled him downe to the ground, beating him with their fists, and spurning him with their feete. Then he answered unto them saying, titathat he saw no manner of boy, but onely found the Asse loose and straying abroad, which he tooke up to the intent to have some reward for the finding of him and to restore him againe to his Master. And I would to God (quoth he) that this Asse (which verely was never seene) could speake as a man to give witnesse of mine innocency: Then would you be ashamed of the injury which you have done to me. Thus (reasoning for Himselfe) he nothing prevailed, for they tied the halter about my necke, and (maugre his face) pulled me quite away, and lead me backe againe through the woods of the hill to the place where the boy accustomed to resort. And after they could find him in no place, at length they found his body rent and torne in peeces, and his members dispersed in sundry places, which I well knew was done by the cruell Beare: and verely 1 would have told it if I might have spoken, but (which I could onely do) I greatly rejoiced at his death, although it came too late. Then they gathered together the peeces of his body and buried them. By and by they laid the fault to my new Master, that tooke me up by the way, and (bringing him home fast bound to their houses) purposed on the next morrow to accuse him of murther, and to lead him before the Justices to have judgement of death.

 

THE THIRTY-FIRST CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius was cruelly beaten by the Mother of the boy that was slaine.

In the meane season, while the Parents of the boy did lament and weepe for the death of their sonne, the shepheard (according to his promise) came with his instruments and tooles to geld me. Then one of them said, Tush we little esteeme the mischiefe he did yesterday, but now we are contented that to morrow his stones shall not onely be cut off, but also his head. So was it brought to passe, that my death was delayed till the next morrow, but what thanks did I give to that good boy, who (being so slaine) was the cause of my pardon for one short day. Howbeit I had no time then to rest my selfe, for the Mother of the boy, weeping and lamenting for his death, attired in mourning vesture, tare her haire and beat her breast, and came presently into the stable, saying, Is it reason that this carelesse beast should do nothing all day but hold his head in the manger, filling and belling his guts with meat without compassion of my great miserie, or remembrance of the pittiful death of his slaine Master: and contemning my age and infirmity, thinketh that I am unable to revenge his mischiefs, moreover he would perswade me, that he were not culpable. Indeed, it is a convenient thing to looke and plead for safety, when as the conscience doeth confesse the offence, as theeves and malefactors accustome to do. But O good Lord, thou cursed beast, if thou couldest utter the contents of thine owne mind, whom (though it were the veriest foole in all the world) mightest thou perswade that this murther was voide or without thy fault, when as it lay in thy power, either to keepe off the theeves with thy heeles, or else to bite and teare them with thy teeth? Couldest not thou (that so often in his life time diddest spurne and kicke him) defend him now at the point of death by the like meane? Yet at least, thou shouldest have taken him upon thy backe, and so brought him from the cruell hands of the theeves: where contrary thou runnest away alone, forsaking thy good Master, thy pastor and conductor. Knowest thou not, that such as denie their wholsome help and aid to them which lie in danger of death, ought to be punished, because they have offended against good manners, and the law naturall? But I promise thee, thou shalt not long rejoyce at my harmes, thou shalt feele the smart of thy homicide and offence, I will see what I can doe. And therewithall she unclosed her apron, and bound all my feete together, to the end I might not help my selfe, then she tooke a great barre, which accustomed to bar the stable doore, and never ceased beating me till she was so weary that the bar fell out of her hands, whereupon she (complaining of the soone faintnesse of her armes) ran to her fire and brought a firebrand and thrust it under my taile, burning me continually, till such time as (having but one remedy) I arayed her face and eies with my durty dunge, whereby (what with the stinke thereof, and what with the filthinesse that fell in her eies) she was welnigh blinded: so I enforced the queane to leave off, otherwise I had died as Meleager did by the sticke, which his mad mother Althea cast into the fire.

 



THE EIGHTH BOOKE


THE THIRTY-SECOND CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How a young man came and declared the miserable death of Lepolemus and his wife Charites.

About midnight came a young man, which seemed to be one of the family of the good woman Charites, who sometimes endured so much misery and calamity with mee amongst the theeves, who after that hee had taken a stoole, and sate downe before the fireside, in the company of the servants, began to declare many terrible things that had happened unto the house of Charites, saying: O yee house-keepers, shepheards and cowheards, you shall understand that wee have lost our good mistris Charites miserably and by evill adventure: and to the end you may learne and know all the whole matter, I purpose to tell you the circumstances of every point, whereby such as are more learned then I (to whom fortune hath ministred more copious stile) may painte it out in paper in forme of an History. There was a young Gentleman dwelling in the next City, borne of good parentage, valiant in prowesse, and riche in substance, but very much given and adicted to whorehunting, and continuall revelling. Whereby he fell in company with Theeves, and had his hand ready to the effusion of humane blood; his name was Thrasillus. The matter was this according to the report of every man. Hee demanded Charites in marriage, who although he were a man more comely then the residue that wooed her, and also had riches abundantly, yet because he was of evill fame, and a man of wicked manners and conversation, he had the repulse and was put off by Charites, and so she married with Lepolemus. Howbeit this young man secretly loved her, yet moved somewhat at her refusall, hee busily searched some meanes to worke his damnable intent. And (having found occasion and opportunity to accomplish his purpose, which he had long time concealed) brought to passe, that the same day that Charites was delivered by the subtill meane and valiant audacity of her husband, from the puissance of the Theeves, he mingled himselfe among the assembly, faining that he was glad of the new marriage, and comming home againe of the maiden, Whereby (by reason that he came of so noble parents) he was received and entertained into the house as one of their chiefe and principall friends: Howbeit under cloake of a faithfull welwiller, hee dissimuled his mischievous mind and intent: in continuance of time by much familiarity and often conversation and banketting together, he fell more and more in favour, like as we see it fortuneth to Lovers, who first doe little delight themselves in love: till as by continuall acquaintance they kisse and imbrace each other. Thrasillus perceiving that it was a hard matter to breake his minde secretly to Charites, whereby he was wholly barred from the accomplishment of his luxurious appetite, and on the other side perceiving that the love of her and her husband was so strongly lincked together, that the bond betweene them might in no wise be dissevered, moreover, it was a thing impossible to ravish her, although he had consented thereto, yet was hee still provoked forward by vehement lust, when as hee saw himselfe unable to bring his purpose to passe. Howbeit at length the thing which seemed so hard and difficill, thorough hope of his fortified love, did now appeare easie and facill: but marke I pray you diligently to what end the furious force of his inordinate desire came. On a day Lepolemus went to the chase with Thrasillus, to hunt for Goates, for his wife Charites desired him earnestly to meddle with no other beasts, which were of more fierce and wilde nature. When they were come within the chase to a great thicket fortressed about with bryers and thornes, they compassed round with their Dogs and beset every place with nets: by and by warning was given to let loose. The Dogs rushed in with such a cry, that all the Forrest rang againe with the noyse, but behold there leaped out no Goat, nor Deere, nor gentle Hinde, but an horrible and dangerous wild Boare, hard and thicke skinned, bristeled terribly with thornes, foming at the mouth, grinding his teeth, and looking direfully with fiery eyes. The Dogs that first set upon him, he tare and rent with his tuskes, and then he ranne quite through the nets, and escaped away. When wee saw the fury of this beast, wee were greatly striken with feare, and because wee never accustomed to chase such dreadfull Boares, and further because we were unarmed and without weapons, we got and hid our selves under bushes and trees. Then Thrasillus having found opportunity to worke his treason, said to Lepolemus: What stand we here amazed? Why show we our selves like dastards? Why leese we so worthy a prey with our feminine hearts? Let us mount upon our Horses, and pursue him incontinently: take you a hunting staffe, and I will take a chasing speare. By and by they leaped upon their Horses, and followed the beast. But hee returning against them with furious force, pryed with his eyes, on whom hee might first assayle with his tuskes: Lepolemus strooke the beast first on the backe with his hunting staffe. Thrasillus faining to ayde and assist him, came behind, and cut off the hinder legges of Lepolemus Horse, in such sort that hee fell downe to the ground with his master: and sodainely the Boare came upon Lepolemus and furiously tare and rent him with his teeth. Howbeit, Thrasillus was not sufficed to see him thus wounded, but when he desired his friendly help, he thrust Lepolemus through the right thigh with his speare, the more because he thought the wound of the speare would be taken for a wound of the Boars teeth, then he killed the beast likewise, And when he was thus miserably slaine, every one of us came out of our holes, and went towards our slaine master. But although that Thrasillus was joyfull of the death of Lepolemus, whom he did greatly hate, yet he cloked the matter with a sorrowfull countenance, he fained a dolorous face, he often imbraced the body which himselfe slew, he played all the parts of a mourning person, saving there fell no teares from his eyes. Thus hee resembled us in each point, who verily and not without occasion had cause to lament for our master, laying all the blame of this homicide unto the Boare. Incontinently after the sorrowfull newes of the death of Lepolemus, came to the eares of all the family, but especially to Charites, who after she had heard such pitifull tydings, as a mad and raging woman, ran up and down the streets, crying and howling lamentably. All the Citizens gathered together, and such as they met bare them company running towards the chasse. When they came to the slaine body of Lepolemus, Charites threw her selfe upon him weeping and lamenting grievously for his death, in such sort, that she would have presently ended her life, upon the corps of her slaine husband, whom shee so entirely loved, had it not beene that her parents and friends did comfort her, and pulled her away. The body was taken up, and in funerall pompe brought to the City and buried. In the meane season, Thrasillus fained much sorrow for the death of Lepolemus, but in his heart he was well pleased and joyfull. And to counterfeit the matter, he would come to Charites and say: O what a losse have I had of my friend, my fellow, my companion Lepolemus? O Charites comfort your selfe, pacifie your dolour, refraine your weeping, beat not your breasts: and with such other and like words and divers examples he endeavoured to suppresse her great sorrow, but he spake not this for any other intent but to win the heart of the woman, and to nourish his odious love with filthy delight. Howbeit Charites after the buriall of her husband sought the meanes to follow him, and (not sustaining the sorrows wherein she was Wrapped) got her secretly into a chamber and purposed to finish her life there with dolour and tribulation. But Thrasillus was very importunate, and at length brought to passe, that at the intercession of the Parents and friends of Charites, she somewhat refreshed her fallen members with refection of meate and baine. Howbeit, she did it more at the commandement of her Parents, then for any thing else: for she could in no wise be merry, nor receive any comfort, but tormented her selfe day and night before the Image of her husband which she made like unto Bacchus, and rendred unto him divine honours and services. In the meane season Thrasillus not able to refraine any longer, before Charites had asswaged her dolor, before her troubled mind had pacified her fury, even in the middle of all her griefes, while she tare her haire and rent her garments, demanded her in marriage, and so without shame, he detected the secrets and unspeakeable deceipts of his heart. But Charites detested and abhorred his demand, and as she had beene stroken with some clap of thunder, with some storme, or with the lightning of Jupiter, she presently fell downe to the ground all amazed. Howbeit when her spirits were revived arid that she returned to her selfe, perceiving that Thrasillus was so importunate, she demanded respite to deliberate and to take advise on the matter. In the meane season, the shape of Lepolemus that was slaine so miserably, appeared to Charites saying, O my sweet wife (which no other person can say but I) I pray thee for the love which is betweene us two, if there he any memorie of me in thy heart, or remembrance of my pittifull death, marry with any other person, so that thou marry not with the traitour Thrasillus, have no conference with him, eate not with him, lie not with him, avoid the bloudie hand of mine enemie, couple not thy selfe with a paricide, for those wounds (the bloud whereof thy teares did wash away) were not the wounds of the teeth of the Boare, but the speare of Thrasillus, that deprived me from thee. Thus spake Lepolemus, unto his loving wife, and declared the residue of the damnable fact. Then Charites, awaking from sleepe, began to renew her dolour, to teare her garments, and to beate her armes with her comely hands, howbeit she revealed the vision which she saw to no manner of person, but dissimuling that she knew no part of the mischiefe, devised with her selfe how she might be revenged on the traitor, and finish her owne life to end and knit up all sorrow. Incontinently came Thrasillus, the detestable demander of sodaine pleasure, and wearied the closed eares of Charites with talke of marriage, but she gently refused his communication, and coloring the matter, with passing craft in the middest of his earnest desires gan say, Thrasillus you shall understand that yet the face of your brother and my husband, is alwayes before mine eies, I smell yet the Cinamon sent of his pretious body, I yet feele Lepolemus alive in my heart: wherefore you shall do well if you grant to me miserable woman, necessarie time to bewaile his death, that after the residue of a few moneths, the whole yeare may be expired, which thing toucheth as well my shame as your wholsome profit, lest peradventure by your speed and quicke marriage we should justly raise and provoke the spirit of my husband to worke our destruction. Howbeit, Thrasillus was not contented with this promise, but more and more came upon her: Insomuch, that she was enforced to speake to him in this manner: My friend Thrasillus, if thou be so contented untill the whole yeare be compleate and finished, behold here is my bodie, take thy pleasure, but in such sort and so secret that no servant of the house may perceive it. Then Thrasillus trusting to the false promises of the woman, and preferring his inordinate pleasure above all things in the world, was joyfull in his heart and looked for night, when as he might have his purpose. But come thou about midnight (quoth Charites) disguised without companie, and doe but hisse at my chamber doore, and my nourse shall attend and let thee in. This counsell pleased Thrasillus marveilously, who (suspecting no harme) did alwaies looke for night, and the houre assigned by Charites. The time was scarce come, when as (according to her commandement) he disguised himselfe, and went straight to the chamber, where he found the nourse attending for him, who (by the appointment of her Mistresse) fed him with flattering talke, and gave him mingled and doled drinke in a cup, excusing the absence of her Mistresse Charites, by reason that she attended on her Father being sick, untill such time, that with sweet talke and operation of the wine, he fell in a sound sleepe: Now when he lay prostrate on the ground readie to all adventure, Charites (being called for) came in, and with manly courage and bold force stood over the sleeping murderer, saying: Behold the faithfull companion of my husband, behold this valiant hunter; behold me deere spouse, this is the hand which shed my bloud, this is the heart which hath devised so many subtill meanes to worke my destruction, these be the eies whom I have ill pleased, behold now they foreshew their owne destinie: sleepe carelesse, dreame that thou art in the hands of the mercifull, for I will not hurt thee with thy sword or any other weapon: God forbid that I should slay thee as thou slewest my husband, but thy eies shall faile thee, and thou shalt see no more, then that whereof thou dreamest: Thou shalt thinke the death of thine enemie more sweet then thy life: Thou shalt see no light, thou shalt lacke the aide of a leader, thou shalt not have me as thou hopest, thou shalt have no delight of my marriage, thou shalt not die, and yet living thou shalt have no joy, but wander betweene light and darknesse as an unsure Image: thou shalt seeke for the hand that pricked out thine eies, yet shalt thou not know of whom thou shouldest complaine: I will make sacrifice with the bloud of thine eies upon the grave of my husband. But what gainest thou through my delay? Perhaps thou dreamest that thou embracest me in thy armes: leave off the darknesse of sleepe and awake thou to receive a penall deprivation of thy sight, lift up thy face, regard thy vengeance and evill fortune, reckon thy miserie; so pleaseth thine eies to a chast woman, that thou shall have blindnesse to thy companion, and an everlasting remorse of thy miserable conscience. When she had spoken these words, she tooke a great needle from her head and pricked out both his eies: which done, she by and by caught the naked sword which her husband Lepolemus accustomed to weare, and ranne throughout all the Citie like a mad woman towards the Sepulchre of her husband. Then all we of the house, with all the Citizens, ranne incontinently after her to take the sword out of her hand, but she clasping about the tombe of Lepolemus, kept us off with her naked weapon, and when she perceived that every one of us wept and lamented, she spake in this sort: I pray you my friends weepe not, nor lament for me, for I have revenged the death of my husband, I have punished deservedly the wicked breaker of our marriage; now is it time to seeke out my sweet Lepolemus, and presently with this sword to finish my life. And therewithall after she had made relation of the whole matter, declared the vision which she saw and told by what meane she deceived Thrasillus, thrusting her sword under her right brest, and wallowing in her owne bloud, at length with manly courage yeelded up the Ghost. Then immediately the friends of miserable Charites did bury her body within the same Sepulchre. Thrasillus hearing all the matter, and knowing not by what meanes he might end his life, for he thought his sword was not sufficient to revenge so great a crime, at length went to the same Sepulchre, and cryed with a lowd voice, saying: o yee dead spirites whom I have so highly and greatly offended, vouchsafe to receive me, behold I make Sacrifice unto you with my whole body: which said, hee closed the Sepulchre, purposing to famish himselfe, and to finish his life there in sorrow. These things the young man with pitifull sighes and teares, declared unto the Cowheards and Shepheards, which caused them all to weepe: but they fearing to become subject unto new masters, prepared themselves to depart away.

 

THE THIRTY-THIRD CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius was lead away by the Horsekeeper: and what danger he was in.

By and by the Horsekeeper, to whom the charge of me was committed, brought forth all his substance, and laded me and other Horses withall, and so departed thence: we bare women, children, pullets, sparrowes, kiddes, whelpes, and other things which were not able to keepe pace with us, and that which I bare upon my backe, although it was a mighty burthen, yet seemed it very light because I was driven away from him that most terribly had appointed to kill me. When we had passed over a great mountaine full of trees, and were come againe into the open fields, behold we approached nigh to a faire and rich Castell, where it was told unto us that we were not able to passe in our journey that night, by reason of the great number of terrible Wolves which were in the Country about, so fierce and cruell that they put every man in feare, in such sort that they would invade and set upon such which passed by like theeves, and devoure both them and their beasts. Moreover, we were advertised that there lay in the way where we should passe, many dead bodies eaten and torne with wolves. Wherefore we were willed to stay there all night, and on the next morning, to goe close and round together, whereby we might passe and escape all dangers. But (notwithstanding this good counsell) our caitife drivers were so covetous to goe forward, and so fearefull of pursuite, that they never stayed till the morning: But being welnigh midnight, they made us trudge in our way apace. Then I fearing the great danger which might happen, ran amongst the middle of the other Horses, to the end I might defend and save my poore buttocks from the Wolves, whereat every man much marvelled to see, that I scowred away swifter then the other Horses. But such was my agility, not to get me any prayse, but rather for feare: at that time I remembered with my selfe, that the valiant Horse Pegasus did fly in the ayre more to avoyd the danger of dreadful Chimera, then for any thing else. The shepheards which drave us before them were well armed like warriours: one had a speare, another had a sheepehooke, some had darts, some clubbes, some gathered up great stones, some held up their sharp Javelings, and some feared away the Woolves with light firebrands. Finally wee lacked nothing to make up an Army, but onely Drummes and Trumpets. But when we had passed these dangers, not without small feare, wee fortuned to fall into worse, for the Woolves came not upon us, either because of the great multitude of our company, or else because [of] our firebrands, or peradventure they were gone to some other place, for wee could see none, but the Inhabitants of the next villages (supposing that wee were Theeves by reason of the great multitude) for the defence of their owne substance, and for the feare that they were in, set great and mighty masties upon us, which they had kept and nourished for the safety of their houses, who compassing us round about leaped on every side, tearing us with their teeth, in such sort that they pulled many of us to the ground: verily it was a pittifull sight to see so many Dogs, some following such as flyed, some invading such as stood still, some tearing those which lay prostrate, but generally there were none which escaped cleare: Behold upon this another danger ensued, the Inhabitants of the Towne stood in their garrets and windowes, throwing great stones upon our heads, that wee could not tell whether it were best for us to avoyd the gaping mouthes of the Dogges at hand or the perill of the stones afarre, amongst whome there was one that hurled a great flint upon a woman, which sate upon my backe, who cryed out pitiously, desiring her husband to helpe her. Then he (comming to succour and ayd his wife) beganne to speake in this sort: Alas masters, what mean you to trouble us poore labouring men so cruelly? What meane you to revenge your selves upon us, that doe you no harme? What thinke you to gaine by us? You dwell not in Caves or Dennes: you are no people barbarous, that you should delight in effusion of humane blood. At these words the tempest of stones did cease, and the storme of the Dogges vanished away. Then one (standing on the toppe of a great Cypresse tree) spake unto us saying: Thinke you not masters that we doe this to the intent to rifle or take away any of your goods, but for the safeguard of our selves and family: now a Gods name you may depart away. So we went forward, some wounded with stones, some bitten with Dogs, but generally there was none which escaped free.

 

THE THIRTY-FOURTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How the shepheards determined to abide in a certaine wood to cure their wounds.

When we had gone a good part of our way, we came to a certaine wood invironed with great trees and compassed about with pleasant meddowes, whereas the Shepheards appointed to continue a certaine space to cure their wounds and sores; then they sate downe on the ground to refresh their wearie minds, and afterwards they sought for medicines, to heale their bodies: some washed away their blood with the water of the running River: some stopped their wounds with Spunges and cloutes, in this manner every one provided for his owne safety. In the meane season wee perceived an old man, who seemed to be a Shepheard, by reason of the Goates and Sheep that fed round about him. Then one of our company demanded whether he had any milke, butter, or cheese to sell. To whom he made answere saying: Doe you looke for any meate or drinke, or any other refection here? Know you not in what place you be?

And therewithall he tooke his sheepe and drave them away as fast as he might possible. This answere made our shepheards greatly to feare, that they thought of nothing else, but to enquire what Country they were in: Howbeit they saw no manner of person of whom they might demand. At length as they were thus in doubt, they perceived another old man with a staffe in his hand very weary with travell, who approaching nigh to our company, began to weepe and complaine saying: Alas masters I pray you succour me miserable caitife, and restore my nephew to me againe, that by following a sparrow that flew before him, is fallen into a ditch hereby, and verily I thinke he is in danger of death. As for me, I am not able to helpe him out by reason of mine old age, but you that are so valiant and lusty may easily helpe me herein, and deliver me my boy, my heire and guide of my life. These words made us all to pity him. And then the youngest and stoutest of our company, who alone escaped best the late skirmish of Dogges and stones, rose up and demanded in what ditch the boy was fallen: Mary (quod he) yonder, and pointed with his finger, and brought him to a great thicket of bushes and thornes where they both entred in. In the meane season, after we cured our wounds, we tooke up our packs, purposing to depart away. And because we would not goe away without the young man our fellow: The shepheards whistled and called for him, but when he gave no answer, they sent one out of their company to seeke him out, who after a while returned againe with a pale face and sorrowfull newes, saying that he saw a terrible Dragon eating and devouring their companion: and as for the old man, hee could see him in no place. When they heard this, (remembring likewise the words of the first old man that shaked his head, and drave away his sheep) they ran away beating us before them, to fly from this desart and pestilent Country.

 

THE THIRTY-FIFTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How a woman killed her selfe and her child, because her husband haunted harlots.

After that we had passed a great part of our journey, we came to a village where we lay all night, but harken, and I will tell you what mischiefe happened there: you shall understand there was a servant to whom his Master had committed the whole government of his house, and was Master of the lodging where we lay: this servant had married a Maiden of the same house, howbeit he was greatly in love with a harlot of the towne, and accustomed to resort unto her, wherewith his wife was so highly displeased and became so jealous, that she gathered together all her husbands substance, with his tales and books of account, and threw them into a light fire: she was not contented with this, but she tooke a cord and bound her child which she had by her husband, about her middle and cast her selfe headlong into a deepe pit. The Master taking in evill part the death of these twaine, tooke his servant which was the cause of this murther by his luxurie, and first after that he had put off all his apparell, he annointed his body with honey, and then bound him sure to a fig-tree, where in a rotten stocke a great number of Pismares had builded their neasts, the Pismares after they had felt the sweetnesse of the honey came upon his body, and by little and little (in continuance of time) devoured all his flesh, in such sort, that there remained on the tree but his bare bones: this was declared unto us by the inhabitants of the village there, who greatly sorrowed for the death of this servant: then we avoiding likewise from this dreadfull lodging incontinently departed away.

 

THE THIRTY-SIXTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius was cheapned by divers persons, and how they looked in his mouth to know his age.

After this we came to a faire Citie very populous, where our shepheards determined to continue, by reason that it seemed a place where they might live unknowne, far from such as should pursue them, and because it was a countrey very plentifull of corne and other victuals, where when we had remained the space of three dayes, and that I poore Asse and the other horses were fed and kept in the stable to the intent we might seeme more saleable, we were brought out at length to the market, and by and by a crier sounded with his horne to notifie that we were to be sold: all my companion horses were bought up by Gentlemen, but as for me I stood still forsaken of all men. And when many buiers came by and looked in my mouth to know mine age, I was so weary with opening my jawes that at length (unable to endure any longer) when one came with a stinking paire of hands and grated my gummes with his filthy fingers, I bit them cleane off, which thing caused the standers by to forsake me as being a fierce and cruell beast: the crier when he had gotten a hoarse voice with crying, and saw that no man would buy me, began to mocke me saying, To what end stand we here with this wilde Asse, this feeble beast, this slow jade with worne hooves, good for nothing but to make sives of his skin? Why do we not give him to some body for he earneth not his hay? In this manner he made all the standers by to laugh exceedingly, but my evill fortune which was ever so cruell against me, whom I by travell of so many countreys could in no wise escape, did more and more envie me, with invention of new meanes to afflict my poore body in giving me a new Master as spitefull as the rest. There was an old man somewhat bald, with long and gray haire, one of the number of those that go from door to door, throughout all the villages, bearing the Image of the goddesse Syria, and playing with Cimbals to get the almes of good and charitable folks, this old man came hastely towards the cryer, and demanded where I was bred: Marry (quoth he) in Cappadocia: Then he enquired what age I was of, the cryer answered as a Mathematician, which disposed to me my Planets, that I was five yeares old, and willed the old man to looke in my mouth: For I would not willingly (quoth he) incur the penalty of the law Cornelia, in selling a free Citizen for a servile slave, buy a Gods name this faire beast to ride home on, and about in the countrey: But this curious buier did never stint to question of my qualities, and at length he demanded whether I were gentle or no: Gentle (quoth the crier) as gentle as a Lambe, tractable to all use, he will never bite, he will never kicke, hut you would rather thinke that under the shape of an Asse there were some well advised man, which verely you may easily conject, for if you would thrust your nose in his taile you shall perceive how patient he is: Thus the cryer mocked the old man, but he perceiving his taunts and jests, waxed very angry saying, Away doting cryer, I pray the omnipotent and omniparent goddesse Syria, Saint Sabod, Bellona, with her mother Idea, and Venus, with Adonis, to strike out both thine eies, that with taunting mocks hast scoffed me in this sort: Dost thou thinke that I will put a goddesse upon the backe of any fierce beast, whereby her divine Image should be throwne downe on the ground, and so I poore miser should be compelled (tearing my haire) to looke for some Physition to helpe her? When I heard him speake thus, I thought with my selfe sodainly to leap upon him like a mad Asse, to the intent he should not buy me, but incontinently there came another Marchant that prevented my thought, and offered 17 Pence for me, then my Master was glad and received the money, and delivered me to my new Master who was called Phelibus, and he caried his new servant home, and before he came to his house, he called out his daughters saying, Behold my daughters, what a gentle servant I have bought for you: then they were marvailous glad, and comming out pratling and shouting for joy, thought verely that he had brought home a fit and conveniable servant for their purpose, but when they perceived that it was an Asse, they began to provoke him, saying that he had not bought a servant for his Maidens, but rather an Asse for himselfe. Howbeit (quoth they) keepe him not wholly for your owne riding, but let us likewise have him at commandement. Therewithall they led me into the stable, and tied me to the manger: there was a certaine yong man with a mighty body, wel skilled in playing on instruments before the gods to get money, who (as soone as he had espied me) entertained me verie well, for he filled my racke and maunger full of meat, and spake merrily saying, O master Asse, you are very welcome, now you shall take my office in hand, you are come to supply my roome, and to ease me of my miserable labour: but I pray God thou rnaist long live and please my Master well, to the end thou maist continually deliver me from so great paine. When I heard these words I did prognosticate my miserie to come.




Martin Van Maele
 

The day following I saw there a great number of persons apparelled in divers colours, having painted faces, mitres on their heads, vestiments coloured like saffron, Surplesses of silke, and on their feet yellow shooes, who attired the goddesse in a robe of Purple, and put her upon my backe. Then they went forth with their armes naked to their shoulders, bearing with them great swords and mightie axes, and dancing like mad persons. After that we had passed many small villages, we fortuned to come to one Britunis house, where at our first entrie they began to hurle themselves hither and thither, as though they were mad. They made a thousand gestures with their feete and their hands, they would bite themselves, finally, every one tooke his weapon and wounded his armes in divers places.

Amongst whom there was one more mad then the rest, that let many deepe sighes from the bottome of his heart, as though he had beene ravished in spirite, or replenished with divine power. And after that, he somewhat returning to himselfe, invented and forged a great lye, saying, that he had displeased the divine majesty of the goddesse, by doing of some thing which was not convenable to the order of their holy religion, wherefore he would doe vengeance of himselfe: and therewithall he tooke a whip, and scourged his owne body, that the bloud issued out aboundantly, which thing caused me greatly to feare, to see such wounds and effusion of bloud, least the same goddesse desiring so much the bloud of men, should likewise desire the bloud of an Asse. After they were wearie with hurling and beating themselves, they sate downe, and behold, the inhabitants came in, and offered gold, silver, vessels of wine, milke, cheese, flower, wheate and other things: amongst whom there was one, that brought barly to the Asse that carried the goddesse, but the greedie whoresons thrust all into their sacke, which they brought for the purpose and put it upon my backe, to the end I might serve for two purposes, that is to say, for the barne by reason of my corne, and for the Temple by reason of the goddesse. In this sort, they went from place to place, robbing all the Countrey over. At length they came to a certaine Castle where under colour of divination, they brought to passe that they obtained a fat sheepe of a poore husbandman for the goddesse supper and to make sacrifice withall. After that the banket was prepared, they washed their bodies, and brought in a tall young man of the village, to sup with them, who had scarce tasted a few pottage, when hee began to discover their beastly customes and inordinate desire of luxury. For they compassed him round about, sitting at the table, and abused the young man, contrary to all nature and reason. When I beheld this horrible fact, I could not but attempt to utter my mind and say, O masters, but I could pronounce no more but the first letter O, which I roared out so valiantly, that the young men of the towne seeking for a straie Asse, that they had lost the same night, and hearing my voice, whereby they judged that I had beene theirs, entred into the house unwares, and found these persons committing their vile abhomination, which when they saw, they declared to all the inhabitants by, their unnatural villany, mocking and laughing at this the pure and cleane chastity of their religion. In the meane season, Phelibus and his company, (by reason of the bruit which was dispersed throughout all the region there of their beastly wickednesse) put all their trumpery upon my backe, and departed away about midnight. When we had passed a great part of our journey, before the rising of the Sun, we came into a wild desart, where they conspired together to slay me. For after they had taken the goddesse from my backe and set her gingerly upon the ground, they likewise tooke off my harnesse, and bound me surely to an Oake, beating me with their whip, in such sort that all my body was mortified. Amongst whom there was one that threatened to cut off my legs with his hatchet, because by my noyse I diffamed his chastity, but the other regarding more their owne profit than my utility, thought best to spare my life, because I might carry home the goddesse. So they laded me againe, driving me before them with their naked swords, till they came to a noble City: where the principall Patrone bearing high reverence unto the goddesse, Came in great devotion before us with Tympany, Cymbals, and other instruments, and received her, and all our company with much sacrifice and veneration. But there I remember, I thought my selfe in most danger, for there was one that brought to the Master of the house, a side of a fat Bucke for a present, which being hanged behind the kitchin doore, not far from the ground, was cleane eaten up by a gray hound, that came in. The Cooke when he saw the Venison devoured, lamented and wept pitifully. And because supper time approached nigh, when as he should be reproved of too much negligence, he tooke a halter to hang himselfe: but his wife perceiving whereabout he went, ran incontinently to him, and taking the halter in both her hands, stopped him of his purpose, saying, O husband, are you out of your writs? pray husband follow my counsel, cary this strange Asse out into some secret place and kill him, which done, cut off one of his sides, and sawce it well like the side of the Bucke, and set it before your Master. Then the Cooke hearing the counsell of his wife, was well pleased to slay me to save himselfe: and so he went to the whetstone, to sharpe his tooles accordingly.

 



THE NINTH BOOKE


THE THIRTY-SEVENTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius saved himselfe from the Cooke, breaking his halter, and of other things that happened.

In this manner the traiterous Cooke prepared himselfe to slay me: and when he was ready with his knives to doe his feat, I devised with my selfe how I might escape the present perill, and I did not long delay: for incontinently I brake the halter wherewith I was tied, and flinging my heeles hither and thither to save my selfe, at length I ran hastily into a Parlour, where the Master of the house was feasting with the Priests of the goddesse Syria, and disquieted all the company, throwing downe their meats and drinks from the table. The Master of the house dismayed at my great disorder, commanded one of his servants to take me up, and locke me in some strong place, to the end I might disturb them no more. But I little regarded my imprisonment, considering that I was happily delivered from the hands of the traiterous Cooke. Howbeit fortune, or the fatall disposition of the divine providence, which neither can be avoided by wise counsell, neither yet by any wholesome remedie, invented a new torment, for by and by a young ladde came running into the Parlour all trembling, and declared to the Master of the house, that there was a madde Dog running about in the streetes, which had done much harme, for he had bitten many grey hounds and horses in the Inne by: And he spared neither man nor beast. For there was one Mitilius a Mulettour, Epheseus, a Cooke, Hyppanius a chamberlaine, and Appolonius a Physition, who (thinking to chase away the madde Dogge) were cruelly wounded by him, insomuch that many Horses and other beasts infected with the venyme of his poysonous teeth became madde likewise. Which thing caused them all at the table greatly to feare, and thinking that I had beene bitten in like sort, came out with speares, Clubs, and Pitchforks purposing to slay me, and I had undoubtedly beene slaine, had I not by and by crept into the Chamber, where my Master intended to lodge all night. Then they closed and locked fast the doores about me, and kept the chamber round, till such time as they thought that the pestilent rage of madnesse had killed me. When I was thus shutte in the chamber alone, I laid me downe upon the bed to sleepe, considering it was long time past, since I lay and tooke my rest as a man doth. When morning was come, and that I was well reposed, I rose up lustily. In the meane season, they which were appointed to watch about the chamber all night, reasoned with themselves in this sort, Verely (quoth one) I think that this rude Asse be dead. So think I (quoth another) for the outragious poyson of madness hath killed him, but being thus in divers opinions of a poore Ass, they looked through a crevis, and espied me standing still, sober and quiet in the middle of the chamber; then they opened the doores, and came towards me, to prove whether I were gentle or no. Amongst whom there was one, which in my opinion, was sent from Heaven to save my life, that willed the other to set a bason of faire water before me, and thereby they would know whether I were mad or no, for if I did drinke without feare as I accustomed to do, it was a signe that I was whole, and in mine Assie wits, where contrary if I did flie and abhorre the tast of the water, it was evident proofe of my madness, which thing he said that he had read in ancient and credible books, whereupon they tooke a bason of cleere water, and presented it before me: but I as soone as I perceived the wholesome water of my life, ran incontinently, thrusting my head into the bason, drank as though I had beene greatly athirst; then they stroked me with their hands, and bowed mine eares, and tooke me by the halter, to prove my patience, but I taking each thing in good part, disproved their mad presumption, by my meeke and gentle behaviour: when I was thus delivered from this double danger, the next day I was laded againe with the goddesse Siria, and other trumpery, and was brought into the way with Trumpets and Cymbals to beg in the villages which we passed by according to our custome. And after that we had gone through a few towns and Castles, we fortuned to come to a certaine village, which was builded (as the inhabitants there affirme) upon the foundation of a famous ancient Citie. And after that we had turned into the next Inne, we heard of a prettie jest committed in the towne there, which I would that you should know likewise.

 

THE THIRTY-EIGHTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


Of the deceipt of a Woman which made her husband Cuckold.

There was a man dwelling in the towne very poore, that had nothing but that which he got by the labour and travell of his hands: his wife was a faire young woman, but very lascivious, and given to the appetite and desire of the flesh. It fortuned on a day, that while this poore man was gone betimes in the morning to the field about his businesse, according as he accustomed to doe, his wives lover secretly came into his house to have his pleasure with her. And so it chanced that during the time that shee and he were basking together, her husband suspecting no such matter, returned home praising the chast continency of his wife, in that hee found his doores fast closed, wherefore as his custome was, he whistled to declare his comming. Then his crafty wife ready with shifts, caught her lover and covered him under a great tub standing in a corner, and therewithall she opened the doore, blaming her husband in this sort: Commest thou home every day with empty hands, and bringest nothing to maintaine our house? thou hast no regard for our profit, neither providest for any meate or drinke, whereas I poore wretch doe nothing day and night but occupie my selfe with spinning, and yet my travell will scarce find the Candels which we spend. O how much more happy is my neighbour Daphne, that eateth and drinketh at her pleasure and passeth the time with her amorous lovers according to her desire. What is the matter (quoth her husband) though Our Master hath made holiday at the fields, yet thinke not but I have made provision for our supper; doest thou not see this tub that keepeth a place here in our house in vaine, and doth us no service? Behold I have sold it to a good fellow (that is here present) for five pence, wherefore I pray thee lend me thy hand, that I may deliver him the tub. His wife (having invented a present shift) laughed on her husband, saying: What marchant I pray you have you brought home hither, to fetch away my tub for five pence, for which I poore woman that sit all day alone in my house have beene proffered so often seaven: her husband being well apayed of her words demanded what he was that had bought the tub: Looke (quoth she) he is gone under, to see where it be sound or no: then her lover which was under the tub, began to stirre and rustle himselfe, and because his words might agree to the words of the woman, he sayd: Dame will you have me tell the truth, this tub is rotten and crackt as me seemeth on every side. And then turning to her husband sayd: I pray you honest man light a Candle, that I may make cleane the tub within, to see if it be for my purpose or no. for I doe not mind to cast away my money wilfully: he by and by (being made a very Oxe) lighted a candle, saying, I pray you good brother put not your selfe to so much paine, let me make the tub cleane and ready for you. Whereupon he put off his coate, and crept under the tub to rub away the filth from the sides. In the meane season this minion lover cast his wife on the bottome of the tub and had his pleasure with her over his head, and as he was in the middest of his pastime, hee turned his head on this side and that side, finding fault with this and with that, till as they had both ended their businesse, when as he delivered seaven pence for the tub, and caused the good man himselfe to carry it on his backe againe to his Inne.



 

THE THIRTY-NINTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele

 

How the Priests of the goddesse Siria were taken and put in prison, and how Apuleius was sold to a Baker.

After that we had tarried there a few dayes at the cost and charges of the whole Village, and had gotten much mony by our divination and prognostication of things to come: The priests of the goddesse Siria invented a new meanes to picke mens purses, for they had certaine lotts, whereon were written:

Coniuncti terram proscindunt boves ut in futurum loeta germinent sata

That is to say: The Oxen tied and yoked together, doe till the ground to the intent it may bring forth his increase: and by these kind of lottes they deceive many of the simple sort, for if one had demanded whether he should have a good wife or no, they would say that his lot did testifie the same, that he should. be tyed and yoked to a good woman and have increase of children. If one demanded whether he should buy lands and possession, they said that he should have much ground that should yeeld his increase. If one demanded whether he should have a good and prosperous voyage, they said he should have good successe, and it should be for the increase of his profit. If one demanded whether hee should vanquish his enemies, and prevaile in pursuite of theeves, they said that this enemy should be tyed and yoked to him: and his pursuits after theeves should be prosperous. Thus by the telling of fortunes, they gathered a great quantity of money, but when they were weary with giving of answers, they drave me away before them next night, through a lane which was more dangerous and stony then the way which we went the night before, for on the one side were quagmires and foggy marshes, on the other side were falling trenches and ditches, whereby my legges failed me, in such sort that I could scarce come to the plaine field pathes. And behold by and by a great company of inhabitants of the towne armed with weapons and on horsebacke overtooke us, and incontinently arresting Philebus and his Priests, tied them by the necks and beate them cruelly, calling them theeves and robbers, and after they had manacled their hands: Shew us (quoth they) the cup of gold, which (under the colour of your solemne religion) ye have taken away, and now ye thinke to escape in the night without punishment for your fact. By and by one came towards me, and thrusting his hand into the bosome of the goddesse Siria, brought out the cup which they had stole. Howbeit for all they appeared evident and plaine they would not be confounded nor abashed, but jesting and laughing out the matter, gan say: Is it reason masters that you should thus rigorously intreat us, and threaten for a small trifling cup, which the mother of the Goddesse determined to give to her sister for a present? Howbeit for all their lyes and cavellations, they were carryed backe unto the towne, and put in prison by the Inhabitants, who taking the cup of gold, and the goddesse which I bare, did put and consecrate them amongst the treasure of the temple. The next day I was carryed to the market to be sold, and my price was set at seaven pence more then Philebus gave for me. There fortuned to passe by a Baker of the next village, who after that he had bought a great deale of corne, bought me likewise to carry it home, and when he had well laded me therewith, be drave me through a thorny and dangerous way to his bake house; there I saw a great company of horses that went in the mill day and night grinding of corne, but lest I should be discouraged at the first, my master entertained me well, for the first day I did nothing but fare daintily, howbeit such mine ease and felicity did not long endure, for the next day following I was tyed to the mill betimes in the morning with my face covered, to the end in turning amid winding so often one way, I should not become giddy, but keepe a certaine course, but although when I was a man I had seen many such horsemills and knew well enough how they should be turned, yet feining my selfe ignorant of such kind of toile, I stood still and would not goe, whereby I thought I should be taken from the mill as an Asse unapt, and put to some other light thing, or else to he driven into the fields to pasture, but my subtility did me small good, for by and by when the mill stood still, the servants came about me, crying and beating me forward, in such sort that I could not stay to advise my selfe, whereby all the company laughed to see so suddaine a change. When a good part of the day was past, that I was not able to endure any longer, they tooke off my harnesse, and tied me to the manger, but although my bones were weary, and that I needed to refresh my selfe with rest and provender, yet I was so curious that I did greatly delight to behold the bakers art, insomuch that I could not eate nor drinke while I looked on.

O good Lord what a sort of poore slaves were there; some had their skinne blacke and blew, some had their backes striped with lashes, some were covered with rugged sackes, some had their members onely hidden: some wore such ragged clouts, that you might perceive all their naked bodies, some were marked and burned in the heads with hot yrons, some had their haire halfe clipped, some had lockes of their legges, some very ugly and evill favoured, that they could scarce see, their eyes and face were so blacke and dimme with smoake, like those that fight in the sands, and know not where they strike by reason of dust: And some had their faces all mealy. But how should I speake of the horses my companions, how they being old and weake, thrust their heads into the manger: they had their neckes all wounded and worne away: they rated their nosethrilles with a continuall cough, their sides were bare with their harnesse and great travell, their ribs were broken with beating, their hooves were battered broad with incessant labour, and their skinne rugged by reason of their lancknesse. When I saw this dreadfull sight, I began to feare, least I should come to the like state: and considering with my selfe the good fortune which I was sometime in when I was a man, I greatly lamented, holding downe my head, and would eate no meate, but I saw no comfort or consolation of my evill fortune, saving that my mind was somewhat recreated to heare and understand what every man said, for they neither feared nor doubted my presence. At that time I remembred how Homer the divine author of ancient Poetry, described him to be a wise man, which had travelled divers countries and nations, wherefore I gave great thanks to my Asse for me, in that by this meanes I had seene the experience of many things, and was become more wise (notwithstanding the great misery and labour which I daily sustained): but I will tell you a pretty jest, which commeth now to my remembrance, to the intent your eares may be delighted in hearing the same.

 

THE FORTIETH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius was handled by the Bakers wife, which was a harlot.

The Baker which bought me was an honest and sober man; but his wife was the most pestilent woman in all the world, insomuch that he endured many miseries and afflictions with her, so that I my selfe did secretly pitty his estate, and bewaile his evill fortune: for she had not one fault alone, but all the mischiefes that could be devised: shee was crabbed, cruell, lascivious, drunken, obstinate, niggish, covetous, riotous in filthy expenses, and an enemy to faith and chastity, a despise of all the Gods, whom other did honour, one that affirmed that she had a God by her selfe, wherby she deceived all men, but especially her poore husband, one that abandoned her body with continuall whoredome. This mischievous queane hated me in such sort, that shee commanded every day before she was up, that I should he put into the mill to grind: and the first thing which she would doe in the morning, was to see me cruelly beaten, and that I should grind when the other beasts did feed and take rest. When I saw that I was so cruelly handled, she gave me occasion to learne her conversation and life, for I saw oftentimes a yong man which would privily goe into her chamber whose face I did greatly desire to see, but I could not by reason mine eyes were covered every day. And verily if I had beene free and at liberty, I would have discovered all her abhomination. She had an old woman, a bawd, a messenger of mischiefe that daily haunted to her house, and made good cheere with her to the utter undoing and impoverishment of her husband, but I that was greatly offended with the negligence of Fotis, who made me an Asse, in stead of a Bird, did yet comfort my selfe by this onely meane, in that to the miserable deformity of my shape, I had long eares, whereby I might heare all things that was done: On a day I heard the old bawd say to the Bakers wife:

Dame you have chosen (without my counsell) a young man to your lover, who as me seemeth, is dull, fearefull, without any grace, and dastardlike coucheth at the frowning looke of your odious husband, whereby you have no delight nor pleasure with him: how farre better is the young man Philesiterus who is comely, beautifull, in the flower of his youth, liberall, courteous, valiant and stout against the diligent pries and watches of your husband, whereby to embrace the worthiest dames of this country, and worthy to weare a crowne of gold, for one part that he played to one that was jealous over his wife. Hearken how it was and then judge the diversity of these two Lovers: Know you not one Barbarus a Senator of our towne, whom the vulgar people call likewise Scorpion for his severity of manners? This Barbarus had a gentlewoman to his wife, whom he caused daily to be enclosed within his house, with diligent custody. Then the Bakers wife said, I know her very well, for we two dwelleth together in one house: Then you know (quoth the old woman) the whole tale of Philesiterus? No verily (said she) but I greatly desire to know it: therefore I pray you mother tell me the whole story. By and by the old woman which knew well to babble, began to tell as followeth.

 

THE FORTY-FIRST CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Barbarus being jealous over his wife, commanded that shee should be kept close in his house, and what happened.

You shall understand that on a day this Barbarus preparing himselfe to ride abroad, and willing to keepe the chastity of his wife (whom he so well loved) alone to himselfe, called his man Myrmex (whose faith he had tryed and proved in many things) and secretly committed to him the custody of his wife, willing him that he should threaten, that if any man did but touch her with his finger as he passed by, he would not onely put him in prison, and bind him hand and foote, but also cause him to be put to death, or else to be famished for lacke of sustenance, which words he confirmed by an oath of all the Gods in heaven, and so departed away: When Barbarus was gone, Myrmex being greatly astonied of his masters threatnings, would not suffer his mistresse to goe abroad, but as she sate all day a Spinning, he was so carefull that he sate by her; when night came he went with her to the baines, holding her by the garment, so faithfull he was to fulfill the commandement of his master: Howbeit the beauty of this matron could not be hidden from the burning eyes of Philesiterus, who considering her great chastity and how she was diligently kept by Myrmex, thought it impossible to have his purpose, yet (indeavouring by all kind of meanes to enterprise the matter, and remembring the fragility of man, that might be intised and corrupted with money, since as by gold the adamant gates may be opened) on a day, when he found Myrmex alone, he discovered his love, desiring him to shew his favour, (otherwise he should certainly dye) with assurance that he need not to feare when as he might privily be let in and out in the night, without knowledge of any person. When he thought, with these and other gentle words to allure and prick forward the obstinate mind of Myrmex he shewed him glittering gold in his hand, saying that he would give his mistresse twenty crowns and him ten, but Myrmex hearing these words, was greatly troubled, abhorring in his mind to commit such a mischiefe: wherfore he stopped his eares, and turning his head departed away: howbeit the glittering view of these crownes could never be out of his mind, but being at home he seemed to see the money before his eyes, which was so worthy a prey, wherefore poore Myrmex being in divers opinions could not tell what to doe, for on the one side lie considered the promise which he made to his master, and the punishment that should ensue if he did contrary. On the other side he thought of the gaine, and the passing pleasure of the crownes of gold; in the end the desire of the money did more prevaile then the feare of death, for the beauty of the flowrishing crownes did so sticke in his mind, that where the menaces of his master compelled him to tarry at home, the pestilent avarice of gold egged him out a doores, wherefore putting all shame aside, without further delay, he declared all the whole matter to his Mistresse, who according to the nature of a woman, when she heard him speake of so great a summe she bound chastity in a string, and gave authority to Myrmex to rule her in that case. Myrmex seeing the intent of his Mistresse, was very glad, and for great desire of the gold, he ran hastily to Philesiterus, declaring that his Mistresse was consented to his mind, wherefore he demanded the gold which he promised. Then incontinently Philesiterus delivered him tenne Crownes, and when night came, Myrmex brought him disguised into his mistresses Chamber. About Midnight when he and she were naked together, making sacrifice unto the Goddesse Venus, behold her husband (contrary to their expectation) came and knocked at the doore, calling with a loud voice to his Servant Myrmex: whose long tarrying increased the suspition of his Master, in such sort that he threatned to beat Myrmex cruelly: but he being troubled with feare, and driven to his latter shifts, excused the matter saying: that he could not find the key: by reason it was so darke. In the meane season Philesiterus hearing the noise at the doore, slipt on his coat and privily ran out of the Chamber. When Myrmex had opened the doore to his Master that threatned terribly, and had let him in, he went into the Chamber to his wife: In the mean while Myrmex let out Philesiterus, and barred the doores fast, and went againe to bed. The next morning when Barbarus awaked, he perceived two unknown slippers lying under his bed, which Philesiterus had forgotten when he went away. Then he conceived a great suspition and jealousie in mind, howbeit he would not discover it to his wife, neither to any other person, but putting secretly the slippers into his bosome, commanded his other Servants to bind Myrmex incontinently, and to bring him bound to the Justice after him, thinking verily that by the meane of the slippers he might boult out the matter. It fortuned that while Barbarus went towards the Justice in a fury and rage, and Myrmex fast bound, followed him weeping, not because he was accused before his master, but by reason he knew his owne conscience guilty: behold by adventure Philesiterus (going about earnest businesse) fortuned to meet with them by the way, who fearing the matter which he committed the night before, and doubting lest it should be knowne, did suddainly invent a meane to excuse Myrmex, for he ran upon him and beate him about the head with his fists, saying: Ah mischievous varlet that thou art, and perjured knave. It were a good deed if the Goddesse and thy master here, would put thee to death, for thou art worthy to be imprisoned and to weare out these yrons, that stalest my slippers away when thou werest at my baines yester night. Barbarus hearing this returned incontinently home, and called his servant Myrmex, commanding him to deliver the slippers againe to the right owner.



Martin Van Maele
 

The old woman had scant finished her tale when the Bakers wife gan say: Verily she is blessed and most blessed, that hath the fruition of so worthy a lover, but as for me poore miser, I am fallen into the hands of a coward, who is not onely afraid of my husband but also of every clap of the mill, and dares not doe nothing, before the blind face of yonder scabbed Asse. Then the old woman answered, I promise you certainly if you will, you shall have this young man at your pleasure, and therewithall when night came, she departed out of her chamber. In the meane season, the Bakers wife made ready a supper with abundance of wine and exquisite fare: so that there lacked nothing, but the comming of the young man, for her husband supped at one of her neighbours houses. When time came that my harnesse should be taken off and that I should rest my selfe, I was not so joyfull of my liberty, as when the vaile was taken from mine eyes, I should see all the abhomination of this mischievous queane. When night was come and the Sunne gone downe, behold the old bawd and the young man, who seemed to be but a child, by reason he had no beard, came to the doore. Then the Bakers wife kissed him a thousand times and received him courteously, placed him downe at the table: but he had scarce eaten the first morsell, when the good man (contrary to his wives expectation) returned home, for she thought he would not have come so soone: but Lord how she cursed him, praying God that he might breake his necke at the first entry in. In the meane season, she caught her lover and thrust him into the bin where she bolted her flower, and dissembling the matter, finely came to her husband demanding why he came home so soone. I could not abide (quoth he) to see so great a mischiefe and wicked fact, which my neighbours wife committed, but I must run away: O harlot as she is, how hath she dishonoured her husband, I sweare by the goddesse Ceres, that if I had [not] seene it with mine eyes, I would never I have beleeved it. His wife desirous to know the matter, desired him to tell what she had done: then hee accorded to the request of his wife, and ignorant of the estate of his own house, declared the mischance of another. You shall understand (quoth he) that the wife of the Fuller my companion, who seemed to me a wise and chast woman, regarding her own honesty and profit of her house, was found this night with her knave. For while we went to wash our hands, hee and she were together: who being troubled with our presence ran into a corner, and she thrust him into a mow made with twigs, appoynted to lay on clothes to make them white with the smoake of fume and brymstone. Then she sate down with us at the table to colour the matter: in the meant season the young man covered in the mow, could not forbeare sneesing, by reason of the smoake of the brymstone. The good man thinking it had beene his wife that sneesed, cryed, Christ helpe. But when he sneesed more, he suspected the matter, and willing to know who it was, rose from the table, and went to the mow, where hee found a young man welnigh dead with smoke. When hee understood the whole matter, he was so inflamed with anger that he called for a sword to kill him, and undoubtedly he had killed him, had I not restrained his violent hands from his purpose, assuring him, that his enemy would dye with the force of his brimstone, without the harme which he should doe. Howbeit my words would not appease his fury, but as necessity required he tooke the young man well nigh choked, and carried him out at the doores. In the meane season, I counsailed his wife to absent her selfe at some of her Neighbours houses, till the choller of her husband was pacified, lest he should be moved against her, as he was against the young man. And so being weary of their supper, I forthwith returned home. When the Baker had told his tale, his impudent wife began to curse and abhorre the wife of the Fuller, and generally all other wives, which abandon their bodies with any other then with their owne Husbands, breaking the faith and bond of marriage, whereby she said, they were worthy to be burned alive. But knowing her owne guilty conscience and proper whoredome, lest her lover should be hurt lying in the bin, she willed her husband to goe to bed, but he having eaten nothing, said that he would sup before he went to rest: whereby shee was compelled to maugre her eies, to set such things on the Table as she had prepared for her lover.

But I, considering the great mischiefe of this wicked queane, devised with my selfe how I might reveale the matter to my Master, and by kicking away the cover of the binne (where like a Snaile the young-man was couched) to make her whoredome apparent and knowne. At length I was ayded by the providence of God, for there was an old man to whom the custody of us was committed, that drave me poore Asse, and the other Horses the same time to the water to drinke; then had I good occasion ministred, to revenge the injury of my master, for as I passed by, I perceived the fingers of the young-man upon the side of the binne, and lifting up my heeles, I spurned off the flesh with the force of my hoofes, whereby he was compelled to cry out, and to throw downe the binne on the ground, and so the whoredome of the Bakers wife was knowne and revealed. The Baker seeing this was not a little moved at the dishonesty of his wife, but hee tooke the young-man trembling for feare by the hand, and with cold and courteous words spake in this sort: Feare not my Sonne, nor thinke that I am so barbarous or cruell a person, that I would stiffle thee up with the smoke of Sulphur as our neighbour accustometh, nor I will not punish thee according to the rigour of the law of Julia, which commandeth the Adulterers should be put to death: No no, I will not execute my cruelty against so faire and comely a young man as you be, but we will devide our pleasure betweene us, by lying all three in one bed, to the end there may be no debate nor dissention betweene us, but that either of us may be contented, for I have alwayes lived with my wife in such tranquillity, that according to the saying of the wisemen, whatsoever I say, she holdeth for law, and indeed equity will not suffer, but that the husband should beare more authority then the wife: with these and like words he led the young-man to his Chamber, and closed his wife in another Chamber. On the next morrow, he called two of the most sturdiest Servants of his house, who held up the young- man, while he scourged his buttockes welfavouredly with rods like a child. When he had well beaten him, he said: Art not thou ashamed, thou that art so tender and delicate a child, to desire the violation of honest marriages, and to defame thy selfe with wicked living, whereby thou hast gotten the name of an Adulterer? After he had spoken these and like words, he whipped him againe, and chased him out of his house. The young-man who was the comeliest of all the adulterers, ran away, and did nothing else that night save onely bewaile his striped and painted buttockes. Soone after the Baker sent one to his wife, who divorced her away in his name, but she beside her owne naturall mischiefe, (offended at this great contumely, though she had worthily deserved the same) had recourse to wicked arts and trumpery, never ceasing untill she had found out an Enchantresse, who (as it was thought) could doe what she would with her Sorcery and conjuration. The Bakers wife began to intreate her, promising that she would largely recompence her, if shee could bring one of these things to passe, eyther to make that her husband may be reconciled to her againe, or else if hee would not agree thereto, to send an ill spirit into him, to dispossesse the spirit of her husband. Then the witch with her abhominable science, began to conjure and to make her Ceremonies, to turne the heart of the Baker to his wife, but all was in vaine, wherefore considering on the one side that she could not bring her purpose to passe, and on the other side the losse of her gaine, she ran hastily to the Baker, threatning to send an evill spirit to kill him, by meane of her conjurations. But peradventure some scrupulous reader may demand me a question, how I, being an Asse, and tyed alwayes in the mill house, could know the secrets of these women: Verily I answer, notwithstanding my shape of an Asse, I had the sence and knowledge of a man, and curiously endeavoured to know out such injuries as were done to my master. About noone there came a woman into the Milhouse, very sorrowfull, raggedly attired, with bare feete, meigre, ill-favoured, and her hayre scattering upon her face: This woman tooke the Baker by the hand, and faining that she had some secret matter to tell him, went into a chamber, where they remained a good space, till all the corne was ground, when as the servants were compelled to call their master to give them more corne, but when they had called very often, and no person gave answer, they began to mistrust, insomuch that they brake open the doore: when they were come in, they could not find the woman, hut onely their master hanging dead upon a rafter of the chamber, whereupon they cryed and lamented greatly, and according to the custome, when they had washed themselves, they tooke the body and buried it. The next day morrow, the daughter of the Baker, which was married but a little before to one of the next Village, came crying and beating her breast, not because she heard of the death of her father by any man, but because his lamentable spirit, with a halter about his necke appeared to her in the night, declaring the whole circumstance of his death, and how by inchantment he was descended into hell, which caused her to thinke that her father was dead. After that she had lamented a good space, and was somewhat comforted by the servants of the house, and when nine dayes were expired, as inheretrix to her father, she sold away all the substance of the house, whereby the goods chanced into divers mens hands.

 

THE FORTY-SECOND CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius after the Baker was hanged, was sold to a Gardener, and what dreadfull things happened.

There was a poore Gardener amongst the rest, which bought me for the summe of fifty pence, which seemed to him a great price, but he thought to gayne it againe by the continuall travell of my body. The matter requireth to tell likewise, how I was handled in his service. This Gardener accustomed to drive me, every morning laded with hearbes to the next Village, and when he had sold his hearbes, hee would mount upon my backe and returne to the Garden, and while he digged the ground and watered the hearbes, and went about other businesse, I did nothing but repose my selfe with great ease, but when Winter approached with sharpe haile, raine and frosts, and I standing under a hedge side, was welnigh killed up with cold, and my master was so poore that he had no lodging for himselfe, much lesse had he any littor or place to cover me withall, for he himselfe alwayes lay under a little roofe shadowed with boughes. In the morning when I arose, I found my hoofes shriveled together with cold, and unable to passe upon the sharpe ice, and frosty mire, neither could I fill my belly with meate, as I accustomed to doe, for my master and I supped together, and had both one fare: howbeit it was very slender since as wee had nothing else saving old and unsavoury sallets which were suffered to grow for seed, like long broomes, and that had lost all their sweet sappe and juice.

It fortuned on a day that an honest man of the next village was benighted and constrained by reason of the rain to lodge (very lagged and weary).in our Garden, where although he was but meanely received, yet it served well enough considering time and necessity. This honest man to recompence our entertainment, promised to give my master some corne, oyle, and two bottels of wine: wherefore my master not delaying the matter, laded me with sackes and bottels, and rode to the Towne which was seaven miles off.

When we came to the honest mans house, he entertained and feasted my master exceedingly. And it fortuned while they eate and dranke together as signe of great amity there chanced a strange and dreadfull case: for there was a Hen which ran kackling about the yard, as though she would have layed an Egge. The good man of the house perceiving her, said: O good and profitable pullet that feedest us every day with thy fruit, thou seemest as though thou wouldest give us some pittance for our dinner: Ho boy put the Pannier in the corner that the Hen may lay. Then the boy did as his master commanded, but the Hen forsaking the Pannier, came toward her master and laid at his feet not an Egge, which every man knoweth, but a Chickin with feathers, clawes, and eyes, which incontinently ran peeping after his damme. By and by happened a more strange thing, which would cause any man to abhorre: under the Table where they sate, the ground opened, and there appeared a great well and fountain of bloud, insomuch that the drops thereof sparckled about the Table. At the same time while they wondred at this dreadfull sight one of the Servants came running out of the Seller, and told that all the wine was boyled out of the vessels, as though there had beene some great fire under. By and by a Weasel was scene that drew into the house a dead Serpent, and out of the mouth of a Shepheards dog leaped a live frog, and immediately after one brought word that a Ram had strangled the same dog at one bit. All these things that happened, astonied the good man of the house, and the residue that were present, insomuch that they could not tell what to doe, or with what sacrifice to appease the anger of the gods. While every man was thus stroken in feare, behold, one brought word to the good man of the house, that his three sonnes who had been brought up in good literature, and endued with good manners were dead, for they three had great acquaintance and ancient amity with a poore man which was their neighbour, and dwelled hard by them: and next unto him dwelled another young man very rich both in lands and goods, but bending from the race of his progenies dissentions, and ruling himselfe in the towne according to his owne will. This young royster did mortally hate this poore man, insomuch that he would kill his sheepe, steale his oxen, and spoyle his corne and other fruits before the time of ripenesse, yet was he not contented with this, but he would encroch upon the poore mans ground, and clayme all the heritage as his owne. The poore man which was very simple and fearefull, seeing all his goods taken away by the avarice of the rich man, called together and assembled many of his friends to shew them all his land, to the end he might have but so much ground of his fathers heritage, as might bury him. Amongst whom, he found these three brethren, as friends to helpe and ayd him in his adversity and tribulation.

Howbeit, the presence of these honest Citizens, could in no wise perswade him to leave his extort power, no nor yet to cause any temperance of his tongue, but the more they went about with gentle words to tell him his faults, the more would he fret and likewise fume, swearing all the oathes under God, that he little regarded the presence of the whole City, whereupon incontinently he commanded his servants to take the poore man by the eares, and carry him out of his ground, which greatly offended all the standers by. Then one of the brethren spake unto him somewhat boldly, saying: It is but a folly to have such affiance in your riches, whereby you should use your tyranny against the poore, when as the law is common for all men, and a redresse may be had to suppresse your insolency. These words chafed him more then the burning oile, or flaming brimstone, or scourge of whipps, saying: that they should be hanged and their law too, before he would be subject unto any person: and therewithall he called out his bandogges and great masties, which accustomed to eate the carrion and carkases of dead beasts in the fields, and to set upon such as passed by the way: then he commanded they should be put upon all the assistance to teare them in peeces: who as soone as they heard the hisse of their master, ran fiercely upon them invading them on every side, insomuch that the more they flied to escape away, the more cruell and terrible were the dogges. It fortuned amongst all this fearefull company, that in running, the youngest of the three brethren stombled at a stone, and fell down to the ground: Then the dogs came upon him and tare him in peeces with their teeth, whereby he was compelled to cry for succour: His other two brethren hearing his lamentable voice ran towards him to helpe him, casting their cloakes about their left armes, tooke up stones to chase away the dogs, but all was in vaine, for they might see their brother dismembred in every part of his body: Who lying at the very point of death, desired his brethren to revenge his death against that cruell tyrant: And therewithall lie gave up the ghost. The other two brethren perceiving so great a murther, and neglecting their owne lives, like desperate persons dressed themselves against the tyrant, and threw a great number of stones at him, but the bloudy theefe exercised in such and like mischiefes, tooke a speare and thrust it cleane through the body: howbeit he fell not downe to the ground. For the speare that came out at his backe ran into the earth, and sustained him up. By and by carne one of these tyrants servants the most sturdiest of the rest to helpe his master, who at the first comming tooke up a stone and threw at the third brother, but by reason the stone ran along his arme it did not hurt him, which chanced otherwise then all mens expectation was: by and by the young man feigning that his arme was greatly wounded, spake these words unto the cruell bloud sucker: Now maist thou, thou wretch, triumph upon the destruction of all our family, now hast thou fed thy insatiable cruelty with the bloud of three brethren, now maist thou rejoyce at the fall of us Citizens, yet thinke not but that how farre thou dost remove and extend the bounds of thy land, thou shalt have some neighbor, but how greatly am I sorry in that I have lost mine arme wherewithall I minded to cut off thy head. When he had spoken these words, the furious theefe drew out his dagger, and running upon the young man thought verily to have slaine him, but it chanced otherwise: For the young man resisted him stoutly, and in buckling together by violence wrested the dagger out of his hand: which done, he killed the rich theefe with his owne weapon, and to the intent the young man would escape the hands of the servants which came running to assist their master, with the same dagger he cut his owne throat. These things were signified by the strange and dreadfull wondres which fortuned in the house of the good man, who after he had heard these sorrowfull tydings could in no wise weepe, so farre was he stroken with dolour, but presently taking his knife wherewith he cut his cheese and other meate before, he cut his owne throat likewise, in such sort that he fell upon the bord and imbraced the table with the streames of his blond, in most miserable manner. Hereby was my master the Gardener deprived of his hope, and paying for his dinner the watry teares of his eyes, mounted upon my backe and so we went homeward the same way as wee came.

 

THE FORTY-THIRD CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


How Apuleius was found by his shadow.

As wee passed by the way wee met with a tall souldier (for so his habite and countenance declared) who with proud and arrogant words spake to my master in this sort:

Quorsum vacuum ducis Asinum?

My master somewhat astonied at the strange sights which he saw before, and ignorant of the Latine tongue, roade on and spake never a word: The souldier unable to refraine his insolence, and offended at his silence, strake him on the shoulders as he sate on my backe; then my master gently made answer that he understood not what he said, whereat the souldier angerly demanded againe, whither he roade with his Asse? Marry (quoth he) to the next City: But I (quoth the souldier) have need of his helpe, to carry the trusses of our Captaine from yonder Castle, and therewithall he tooke me by the halter and would violently have taken me away: but my master wiping away the blood of the blow which he received of the souldier, desired him gently and civilly to take some pitty upon him, and to let him depart with his owne, swearing and affirming that his slow Asse, welnigh dead with sicknesse, could scarce carry a few handfuls of hearbs to the next towne, much lesse he was able to beare any greater trusses: but when he saw the souldier would in no wise be intreated, but ready with his staffe to cleave my masters head, my master fell down at his feete, under colour to move him to some pitty, but when he saw his time, he tooke the souldier by the legs and cast him upon the ground: Then he buffetted him, thumped him, bit him, and tooke a stone and beat his face and his sides, that he could not turne and defend himselfe, but onely threaten that if ever he rose, he would choppe him in pieces. The Gardener when he heard him say so, drew out his javelin which hee had by his side, and when he had throwne it away, he knockt and beate him more cruelly then he did before, insomuch that the souldier could not tell by what meanes to save himselfe, but by feining that he was dead, Then my master tooke the javelin and mounted upon my backe, riding in all hast to the next village, having no regard to goe to his Garden, and when he came thither, he turned into one of his friends house and declared all the whole matter, desiring him to save his life and to hide himselfe and his Asse in some secret place, untill such time as all danger were past. Then his friends not forgetting the ancient amity betweene them, entertained him willingly and drew me up a paire of staires into a chamber, my master crept into a chest, and lay there with the cover closed fast: The souldier (as I afterwards learned) rose up as one awaked from a drunken sleepe, but he could scarce goe by reason of his wounds: howbeit at length by little and little through ayd of his staffe he came to the towne, but hee would not declare the matter to any person nor complaine to any justice, lest he should be accused of cowardise or dastardnesse, yet in the end he told some of his companions of all the matter that happened: then they tooke him and caused him to be closed in some secret place, thinking that beside the injury which he had received, he should be accused of the breach of his faith, by reason of the losse of his speare, and when they had learned the signes of my master, they went to search him out: at last there was an unfaithfull neighbour that told them where he was, then incontinently the souldiers went to the Justice declaring that they had lost by the way a silver goblet of their Captaines, and that a Gardener had found it, who refusing to deliver the goblet, was hidden in one of his friends houses: by and by the Magistrates understanding the losse of the Captaine, came to the doores where we were, commanded our host to deliver my master upon paine of death: howbeit these threatnings could not enforce him to confesse that he was within his doores, but by reason of his faithfull promise and for the safeguard of his friend, he said, that hee saw not the Gardener a great while, neither knew where he was: the souldiers said contrary, whereby to know the verity of the matter, the Magistrates commanded their Seargants and ministers to search every comer of the house, but when they could find neither Gardener nor Asse, there was a great contention betweene the souldiers and our Host, for they sayd we were within the house: and he said no, but I that was very curious to know the matter, when I heard so great a noyse, put my head out of the window to learne what the stirre and tumult did signifie. It fortuned that one of the souldiers perceived my shadow, whereupon he began to cry, saying: that hee had certainly seene me; then they were all glad and came up into the chamber, and pulled me downe like a prisoner. When they had found mee, they doubted nothing of the Gardener, but seeking about more narrowly, at length they found him couched in a chest. And so they brought out the poore gardener to the Justices, who was committed immediately to prison, but they could never forbeare laughing from the time they found me by my shadow, wherefore is risen a common Proverbe: 'The shadow of the Asse.'

 



THE TENTH BOOKE


THE FORTY-FOURTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele

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.

 

THE FORTY-FIFTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


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.

 

THE FORTY-SIXTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele


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 hare 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.

 



THE ELEVENTH BOOKE


THE FORTY-SEVENTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele

How Apuleius by Roses and prayer returned to his humane shape.

When midnight came that I had slept my first sleepe, I awaked with suddaine feare, and saw the Moone shining bright, as when shee is at the full, and seeming as though she leaped out of the Sea. Then thought I with my selfe, that was the most secret time, when the goddesse Ceres had most puissance and force, considering that all humane things be governed by her providence: and not onely all beasts private and tame, but also all wild and savage beasts be under her protection. And considering that all bodies in the heavens, the earth and the seas, be by her increasing motions increased, and by her diminishing motions diminished: as weary of all my cruell fortune and calamity, I found good hope and soveraigne remedy, though it were very late, to be delivered from all my misery, by invocation and prayer, to the excellent beauty of the Goddesse, whom I saw shining before mine eyes, wherefore shaking off mine Assie and drowsie sleepe, I arose with a joyfull face, and mooved by a great affection to purifie my selfe, I plunged my selfe seven times into the water of the Sea, which number of seven is conveniable and agreeable to holy and divine things, as the worthy and sage Philosopher Pythagoras hath declared. Then with a weeping countenance, I made this Orison to the puissant Goddesse, saying: O blessed Queene of heaven, whether thou be the Dame Ceres which art the originall and motherly nource of all fruitfull things in earth, who after the finding of thy daughter Proserpina, through the great joy which thou diddest presently conceive, madest barraine and unfruitfull ground to be plowed and sowne, and now thou inhabitest in the land of Eleusie; or whether thou be the celestiall Venus, who in the beginning of the world diddest couple together all kind of things with an ingendered love, by an eternall propagation of humane kind, art now worshipped within the Temples of the Ile Paphos, thou which art the sister of the God Phoebus, who nourishest so many people by the generation of beasts, and art now adored at the sacred places of Ephesus, thou which art horrible Proserpina, by reason of the deadly howlings which thou yeeldest, that hast power to stoppe and put away the invasion of the hags and Ghoasts which appeare unto men, and to keepe them downe in the closures of the earth: thou which art worshipped in divers manners, and doest illuminate all the borders of the earth by thy feminine shape, thou which nourishest all the fruits of the world by thy vigor and force; with whatsoever name or fashion it is lawfull to call upon thee, I pray thee, to end my great travaile and misery, and deliver mee from the wretched fortune, which had so long time pursued me. Grant peace and rest if it please thee to my adversities, for I have endured too much labour and perill. Remoove from me my shape of mine Asse, and render to me my pristine estate, and if I have offended in any point of divine Majesty, let me rather dye then live, for I am full weary of my life. When I had ended this orison, and discovered my plaints to the Goddesse, I fortuned to fall asleepe, and by and by appeared unto me a divine and venerable face, worshipped even of the Gods themselves. Then by little and little I seemed to see the whole figure of her body, mounting out of the sea and standing before mee, wherefore I purpose to describe her divine semblance, if the poverty of my humane speech will suffer me, or her divine power give me eloquence thereto. First shee had a great abundance of haire, dispersed and scattered about her neck, on the crowne of her head she bare many garlands enterlaced with floures, in the middle of her forehead was a compasse in fashion of a glasse, or resembling the light of the Moone, in one of her hands she bare serpents, in the other, blades of corne, her vestiment was of fine silke yeelding divers colours, sometime yellow, sometime rosie, sometime flamy, and sometime (which troubled my spirit sore) darke and obscure, covered with a blacke robe in manner of a shield, and pleated in most subtill fashion at the skirts of her garments, the welts appeared comely, whereas here and there the starres glimpsed, and in the middle of them was placed the Moone, which shone like a flame of fire, round about the robe was a coronet or garland made with flowers and fruits. In her right hand shee had a timbrell of brasse, which gave a pleasant sound, in her left hand shee bare a cup of gold, out of the mouth whereof the serpent Aspis lifted up his head, with a swelling throat, her odoriferous feete were covered with shoes interlaced and wrought with victorious palme. Thus the divine shape breathing out the pleasant spice of fertill Arabia, disdained not with her divine voyce to utter these words unto me: Behold Lucius I am come, thy weeping and prayers hath mooved mee to succour thee. I am she that is the naturall mother of all things, mistresse and governesse of all the Elements, the initiall progeny of worlds, chiefe of powers divine, Queene of heaven! the principall of the Gods celestiall, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the ayre, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be diposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout all the world in divers manners, in variable customes and in many names, for the Phrygians call me the mother of the Gods: the Athenians, Minerva: the Cyprians, Venus: the Candians, Diana: the Sicilians Proserpina: the Eleusians, Ceres: some Juno, other Bellona, other Hecate: and principally the Aethiopians which dwell in the Orient, and the Aegyptians which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustome to worship mee, doe call mee Queene Isis. Behold I am come to take pitty of thy fortune and tribulation, behold I am present to favour and ayd thee, leave off thy weeping and lamentation, put away all thy sorrow, for behold the healthfull day which is ordained by my providence, therefore be ready to attend to my commandement. This day which shall come after this night, is dedicated to my service, by an eternall religion, my Priests and Ministers doe accustome after the tempests of the Sea, be ceased, to offer in my name a new ship as a first fruit of my Navigation. I command thee not to prophane or despise the sacrifice in any wise, for the great Priest shall carry this day following in procession by my exhortation, a Garland of Roses, next the timbrell of his right hand: follow thou my procession amongst the people, and when thou commest to the Priest make as though thou wouldest kisse his hand, but snatch at the Roses, whereby I will put away the skin and shape of an Asse, which kind of beast I have long time abhorred and despised, but above all things beware thou doubt not nor feare any of those things, as hard and difficill to bee brought to passe, for in the same houre that I am come to thee, I have commanded the Priest by a vision what he shall doe, and all the people by my commandement shall be compelled to give thee place and say nothing! Moreover, thinke not that amongst so faire and joyfull Ceremonies, and in so good a company that any person shall abhorre thy ill-favoured and deformed figure, or that any man shall be so hardy, as to blame and reprove thy suddaine restoration to humane shape, wherby they should gather or conceive any sinister opinion: and know thou this of certaine, that the residue of thy life untill the houre of death shall be bound and subject to me! And think it not an injury to be alwayes serviceable towards me, since as by my meane and benefit thou shalt become a man: thou shalt live blessed in this world, thou shalt live glorious by my guide and protection, and when thou descendest to Hell, where thou shalt see me shine in that subterene place, shining (as thou seest me now) in the darkness of Acheron, and raigning in the deepe profundity of Stix, thou shalt worship me, as one that hath bin favourable to thee, and if I perceive that thou art obedient to my commandement, addict to my religion, and merite my divine grace, know thou, that I will prolong thy dales above the time that the fates have appointed, and the celestial Planets ordeined.



Martin Van Maele
 

When the divine Image had spoken these words, she vanished away! By and by when I awaked, I arose, haveing the members of my bodie mixed with feare, joy and sweate, and marvailed at the cleare presence of the puissant goddesse, and being sprinkled with the water of the sea, I recounted orderly her admonitions and divine commandements. Soone after, the darknes chased away, and the cleare and golden sunne arose, when as behold I saw the streets replenished with people going in a religious sort and in great triumph. All things seemed that day to be joyfull, as well all manner of beasts and houses, as also the very day it selfe seemed to rejoyce. For after the hore-frost, ensued the hot and temperat sun, whereby the little birds weening that the spring time had bin come, did chirp and sing in their steven melodiously: the mother of stars, the parent of times, and mistres of all the world: The fruitfull trees rejoyced at their fertility: The barren and sterill were contented at their shadow, rendering sweete and pleasant shrills! The seas were quiet from winds and tempests: the heaven had chaced away the clouds, and appeared faire and cleare with his proper light. Behold then more and more appeared the pomps and processions, attired in regall manner and singing joyfully: One was girded about the middle like a man of armes: Another bare and spare, and had a cloake and high-shooes like a hunter! another was attired in a robe of silke, and socks of gold, having his haire laid out, and dressed in forme of a woman! There was another ware legge-harnesse, and bare a target, a sallet, and a speare like a martial souldier: after him marched one attired in purple with vergers before him like a magistrate! after him followed one with a maurell, a staffe, a paire of pantofles, and with a gray beard, signifying a philosopher: after him went one with lime, betokening a fowler, another with hookes declaring a fisher: I saw there a meeke and tame beare, which in matron habite was carried on a stoole: An Ape with a bonet on his head, and covered with lawne, resemling a shepheard, and bearing a cup of gold in his hand: an Asse which had wings glewed to his backe, and went after an old man, whereby you would judge the one to be Pegasus, and the other Bellephoron. Amongst the pleasures and popular delectations, which wandered hither and thither, you might see the pompe of the goddesse triumphantly march forward: The woman attired in white vestiments, and rejoicing, in that they bare garlands and flowers upon their heads, bedspread the waies with hearbes, which they bare in their aprons, where this regall and devout procession should passe: Other caried glasses on their backes, to testifie obeisance to the goddess which came after. Other bare combs of Ivory, and declared by their gesture and motions of their armes, that they were ordained and readie to dresse the goddesse: Others dropped in the wayes as they went Balme and other pretious ointments: Then came a great number, as well of men as women, with Candels, torches, and other lights, doing honour to the celestiall goddesse: After that sounded the musical harmony of instruments: then came a faire companie of youth, apparelled in white vestiments, singing both meter and verse, with a comely grade which some studious Poet had made in honour of the Muses: In the meane season, arrived the blowers of trumpets, which were dedicated unto Serapes, and to the temple before them were officers and beadles, preparing roome for the goddess to passe. Then came the great company of men and women, which had taken divine orders, whose garments glistered all the streets over. The women had their haire annointed and their heads covered with linnen: but the men had their crownes shaven, which were the terrene stars of the goddesse, holding in their hand instruments of brasse, silver and gold, which rendered a pleasant sound.



Martin Van Maele
 

The principall Priests which were apparelled with white surplesses hanging downe to the ground, bare the relikes of the puissant goddesse. One carried in his hand a light, not unlike to those which we used in our houses, saving that in the middle thereof appeared a bole which rendred a more bright flame. The second attired hike the other bare in his hand an Altar, which the goddesse her selfe named the succor of nations. The third held a tree of palme with leaves of gold, and the verge of Mercurie. The fourth shewed out a token of equitie by his left hand, which was deformed in every place, signifiing thereby more equitie then by the right hand. The same Priest carried a round vessell of gold, in forme of a cap. The fifth bare a van, wrought with springs of gold, and another carried a vessell for wine: By and by after the goddesse followed a foot as men do, and specially Mercurie, the messenger of the goddesse infernall and supernall, with his face sometime blacke, sometime faire, lifting up the head of the dogges Annubis, and bearing in his left hand, his verge, and in his right hand, the branches of a palme tree, after whom followed a cow with an upright gate, representing the figure of the great goddesse, and he that guided her, marched on with much gravity. Another carried after the secrets of their religion, closed in a coffer. There was one that bare on his stomacke a figure of his god, not formed like any beast, bird, savage thing or humane shape, but made by a new invention, whereby was signified that such a religion should not be discovered or revealed to any person. There was a vessel wrought with a round bottome, haveing on the one side, pictures figured like unto the manner of the Egyptians, and on the other side was an eare, whereupon stood the Serpent Aspis, holding out his scaly necke. Finally, came he which was appointed to my good fortun according to the promise of the goddesse. For the great Priest which bare the restoration of my human shape, by the commandement of the goddes, Approached more and more, bearing in his left hand the timbrill, and in the other a garland of Roses to give me, to the end I might be delivered from cruel fortune, which was alwaies mine enemie, after the sufferance of so much calamitie and paine, and after the endurance of so manie perilles: Then I not returning hastilie, by reason of sodaine joye, lest I should disturbe the quiet procession with mine importunitie, but going softly through the prease of the people, which gave me place on every side, went after the Priest. The priest being admonished the night before, as I might well perceive stood still and holding out his hand, thrust out the garland of roses into my mouth, I (trembling) devoured with a great affection: And as soone as I had eaten them, I was not deceived of the promise made unto me. For my deforme and Assie face abated, and first the rugged haire of my body fell off, my thick skin waxed soft and tender, the hooves of my feet changed into toes, my hands returned againe, my neck grew short, my head and mouth began round, my long eares were made little, my great and stonie teeth waxed lesse like the teeth of men, and my tayle which combred me most, appeared no where: then the people began to marvaile, and the religious honoured the goddesse, for so evident a miracle, they wondered at the visions which they saw in the night, and the facilitie of my reformation, whereby they rendered testimonie of so great a benefit which I received of the goddesse. When I saw my selfe in such estate, I stood still a good space and said nothing, for I could not tell what to say, nor what word I shoulde first speake, nor what thanks I should render to the goddesse, but the great Priest understanding all my fortune and miserie, by divine advertisement, commanded that one should give me garments to cover me: Howbeit as soone as I was transformed from an asse to my humane shape, I hid the privitie of my body with my hands as shame and necessity compelled mee. Then one of the company put off his upper robe and put it on my backe: which done, the Priest looked upon me, with a sweete and benigne voice, gan say in this sort: O my friend Lucius, after the endurance of so many labours, and the escape of so many tempests of fortune, thou art at length come to the port and haven of rest and mercy: neither did thy noble linage, thy dignity, thy doctrine, or any thing prevaile, but that thou hast endured so many servil pleasures, by a little folly of thy youthfullnes, whereby thou hast had a sinister reward for thy unprosperous curiositie, but howsoever the blindnes of fortune tormented thee in divers dangers: so it is, that now unwares to her, thou art come to this present felicitie: let fortune go, and fume with fury in another place, let her finde some other matter to execute her cruelty, for fortune hath no puissance against them which serve and honour our goddesse. For what availed the theeves: the beasts savage: thy great servitude: the ill and dangerous waits: the long passages: the feare of death every day? Know thou, that now thou art safe, and under the protection of her, who by her cleare light doth lighten the other gods: wherefore rejoyce and take a convenable countenance to thy white habit, follow the pomp of this devout and honorable procession, to the end that such which be not devout to the Goddes, may see and acknowledge their errour. Behold Lucius, thou art delivered from so great miseries, by the providence of the goddesse Isis, rejoyce therefore and triumph of the victory of fortune; to the end thou maist live more safe and sure, make thy selfe one of this holy order, dedicate thy minde to the Obsequy of our Religion, and take upon thee a a voluntary yoake of ministrie: And when thou beginnest to serve and honour the goddes, then thou shalt feele the fruit of thy liberty: After that the great Priest had prophesied in this manner, with often breathings, he made a conclusion of his words: Then I went amongst the company of die rest and followed the procession: everie one of the people knew me, and pointing at me with their fingers, said in this sort: Behold him who is this day transformed into a man by the puissance of the soveraigne goddesse, verily he is blessed and most blessed that hath merited so great grace from heaven, as by the innocencie of his former life, and as it were by a new regeneration is reserved to the obsequie of the goddesse. In the meane season by little and little we approached nigh unto the sea cost, even to that place where I lay the night before being an Asse. There after the images and reliques were orderly disposed, the great Priest compassed about with divers pictures according to the fashion of the Aegyptians, did dedicate and consecrate with certaine prayers a fair ship made very cunningly, and purified the same with a torch, an egge, and sulphur; the saile was of white linnen cloath, whereon was written certaine letters, which testified the navigation to be prosperous, the mast was of a great length, made of a Pine tree, round and very excellent with a shining top, the cabin was covered over with coverings of gold, and all the shippe was made of Citron tree very faire; then all the people as well religious as prophane tooke a great number of Vannes, replenished with odours and pleasant smells and threw them into the sea mingled with milke, untill the ship was filled up with large gifts and prosperous devotions, when as with a pleasant wind it launched out into the deep. But when they had lost the sight of the ship, every man caried againe that he brought, and went toward the temple in like pompe and order as they came to the sea side. When we were come to the temple, the great priest and those which were deputed to carrie the divine figures, but especially those which had long time bin worshippers of the religion, went into the secret chamber of the goddesse, where they put and placed the images according to their ordor. This done, one of the company which was a scribe or interpreter of letters, who in forme of a preacher stood up in a chaire before the place of the holy college, and began to reade out of a booke, and to interpret to the great prince, the senate, and to all the noble order of chivalry, and generally to all the Romane people, and to all such as be under the jurisdiction of Rome, these words following (Laois Aphesus) which signified the end of their divin service and that it was lawfull for every man to depart, whereat all the people gave a great showt, and replenished with much joy, bare all kind of hearbs and garlands of flowers home to their houses, kissing and imbracing the steps where the goddesse passed: howbeit I could not doe as the rest, for my mind would not suffer me to depart one foot away, so attentiv was I to behold the beauty of the goddesse, with remembrance of the great miserie I had endured.

 

THE FORTY-EIGHTH CHAPTER



Martin Van Maele



How the parents and friends of Apuleius heard news that he was alive and in health.

In the mean season newes was carried into my countrey (as swift as the flight of birds, or as the blast of windes) of the grace and benefit which I received of the goddesse, and of my fortune worthy to be had in memory. Then my parents friends and servants of our house understanding that I was not dead, as they were falsely informed, came towards me with great diligence to see me, as a man raised from death to life: and I which never thought to see them againe, was as joyfull as they, accepting and taking in good part their honest gifts and oblations that they gave, to the intent I might buy such things as was necessarie for my body: for after I had made relation unto them of all my pristine miserie, and present joyes, I went before the face of the goddesse and hired me a house within the cloister of the temple to the end I might continually be ready to the service of the goddesse, and ordinarily frequent the company of the priests, whereby I would wholy become devout to the goddesse, and an inseparable worshipper of her divine name: It fortuned that the goddesse appeared to me oftetimes in the night perswading and commanding me to take the order of her religion, but I, though I was indued with a desirous good will, yet the feare of the same withheld me considering her obeysance was hard and difficile, the chastitie of the Priests intolerable, and the life fraile and subject to manie inconveniences. Being thus in doubt, I refrained my selfe from all those things as seemed impossible.

On a night the great priest appeared unto me, presenting his lap full of treasure, and when I demanded what it signified, he answered, that it was sent me from the countrey of Thessaly, and that a servant of mine named Candidus was arived likewise: when I was awake, I mused in my selfe what this vision should pretend, considering I had never any servant called by that name: but what soever it did signifie, this I verely thought, that it was a foreshew of gaine and prosperous chance: while I was thus astonied I went to the temple, and taried there till the opening of the gates, then I went in and began to pray before the face of the goddesse, the Priest prepared and set the divine things of every Altar, and pulled out the fountaine and holy vessell with solempne supplication. Then they began to sing the mattens of the morning, testifying thereby the houre of the prime. By and by behold arived my servant which I had left in the country, when Fotis by errour made me an Asse, bringing with him my horse, recovered by her through certaine signes and tokens which I had upon my backe. Then I perceived the interpretation of my dreame, by reason that beside the promise of gaine, my white horse was restored to me, which was signified by the argument of my servant Candidus.

This done I retired to the service of the goddesse in hope of greater benefits, considering I had received a signe and token, whereby my courage increased every day more and more to take upon me the orders and sacraments of the temple: insomuch that I oftentimes communed with the Priest, desiring him greatly to give me the degree of the religion, but he which was a man of gravitie, and well renowned in the order of priesthood, deferred my affection from day to day, with comfort and better hope, as parents commonly bridle the desires of their children, when they attempt or indeavour any unprofitable thing, saying, that the day when any one should be admitted into their order is appointed by the goddesse, the Priest which should minister the sacrifice is chosen by her providence, and the necessary charges of the ceremonies is alotted by her commandement, all which things he willed me to attend with marvailous patience, and that I should beware either of too much hastinesse, or too great slacknesse, considering that there was like danger, if being called I should delay: or not called I should be hasty: moreover he said that there was none of his company either of so desperate a mind, or so rash and hardy, as to enterprise any thing without the commandernent of the goddesse, whereby he should commit a deadly offence, considering that it was in her power to damne and save all persons, and if any were at the point of death, and in the way to damnation, so that he were capable to receive the secrets of the goddesse, it was in her power by divine providence to reduce him to the path of health, as by a certaine kind of regeneration: Finally he said that I must attend the celestiall precept, although it was evident and plaine, that the goddesse had already vouchsafed to call and appoint me to her ministery, and to will me refraine from prophane and unlawfull meates, as those Priests which were already received, to the end I might come more apt and cleane to the knowledge of the secrets of religion. Then was I obedient unto these words, and attentive with meek quietnesse, and probable taciturnity, I daily served at the temple: in the end the wholesome gentlenesse of the goddesse did nothing deceive me, for in the night she appeared to me in a vision, shewing that the day was come which I had wished for so long, she told me what provision and charges I should be at, and how that she had appointed her principallest Priest Mythra to be minister with me in my sacrifices.



Martin Van Maele
 

When I heard these divine commandements, I greatly rejoyced: and arose before day to speake with the great Priest, whom I fortuned to espie comming out of his chamber: Then I saluted him, and thought with my selfe to aske and demand his counsell with a bold courage, but as soone as he perceived me, he began first to say: O Lucius now know I well that thou art most happy and blessed, whom the divine goddesse doth so greatly accept with mercy, why dost thou delay? Behold the day which thou desiredst when as thou shalt receive at my hands the order of religion, and know the most pure secrets of the gods, whereupon the old man tooke me by the hand, and lead me to the gate of the great temple, where at the first entrie he made a solempne celebration, and after morning sacrifice ended, brought out of the secret place of the temple books, partly written with unknown characters, and partly painted with figures of beasts declaring briefly every sentence, with tops and tailes, turning in fashion of a wheele, which were strange and impossible to be read of the prophane people: There he interpreted to me such things as were necessary to the use and preparation of mine order. This done, I gave charge to certaine of my companions to buy liberally, whatsoever was needfull and convenient, then he brought me to the next bains accompanied with all the religious sort, and demanding pardon of the goddesse, washed me and purified my body, according to custome. After this, when noone approached, he brought me backe againe to the temple, presented me before the face of the goddesse, giving a charge of certaine secret things unlawfull to be uttered, and commanding me, and generally all the rest, to fast by the space of ten continuall daies, without eating of any beast, or drinking any wine, which thing I observed with a marvellous continencie. Then behold the day approached, when as the sacrifice should be done, and when night came there arrived on every coast, a great multitude of Priests, who according to their order offered me many presents and gifts: then was all the Laity and prophane people commanded to depart, and when they had put on my back a linnen robe, they brought me to the most secret and sacred place of all the temple. You would peradventure demand (you studious reader) what was said and done there, verely I would tell you if it were lawfull for me to tell, you should know if it were convenient for you to heare, but both thy eares, and my tongue shall incur the like paine of rash curiositie: Howbeit, I will content thy mind for this present time, which peradventure is somewhat religious and given to some devotion, listen therefore and beleeve it to be true: Thou shalt understand that I approached neere unto Hell, even to the gates of Proserpina, and after that, I was ravished throughout all the Element, I returned to my proper place: About midnight I saw the Sun shine, I saw likewise the gods celestiall and gods infernall, before whom I presented my selfe, and worshipped them: Behold now have I told thee, which although thou hast heard, yet it is necessarie thou conceale it; this have I declared without offence, for the understanding of the prophane.

When morning came, and that the solemnities were finished, I came forth sanctified with xii. Stoles and in a religious habit, whereof I am not forbidden to speake, considering that many persons saw me at that time: there I was commanded to stand upon a seate of wood, which stood in the middle of the temple, before the figure and remembrance of the goddesse; my vestiment was of fine linnen, covered and embroidered with flowers. I had a pretious Cope upon my shoulders hanging downe to the ground, whereon were beasts wrought of divers colours as Indian dragons, and Hiperborian Griphons, whom in forme of birds, the other world doth ingender; the Priests commonly call such a habit, a celestiall Stole: in my right hand I carried a light torch, and a garland of flowers upon my head, with Palme leaves sprouting out on every side: I was adorned like unto the Sun, and made in fashion of an Image, in such sort that all the people compassed about to behold me: then they began to solemnize the feast of the nativitie, and the new procession with sumptuous bankets and delicate meates: the third day was likewise celebrated with like ceremonies with a religious dinner, and with all the consummation of the order: when I had continued there a good space, I conceived a marvailous great pleasure and consolation in beholding ordinarily the Image of the goddesse, who at length admonished me to depart homeward, not without rendring of thanks, which although it were not sufficient, yet they were according to my power. Howbeit I could unneth be perswaded to depart, before I had fallen prostrate before the face of the goddesse, and wiped her steps with my face, whereby I began so greatly to weepe and sigh that my words were interrupted, and as devouring my prayer, I began to say in this sort: O holy and blessed dame, the perpetuall comfort of humane kind, who by thy bounty and grace nourishest all the world, and hearest a great affection to the adversities of the miserable, as a loving mother thou takest no rest, neither art thou idle at any time in giving thy benefits, and succoring all men, as well on land as sea; thou art she that puttest away all stormes and dangers from mans life by thy right hand, whereby likewise thou restrainest the fatall dispositions, appeasest the great tempests of fortune and keepest backe the course of the stars: the gods supernall doe honour thee: the gods infernall have thee in reverence: thou environest all the world, thou givest light to the Sunne, thou governest the world, thou treadest downe the power of hell: By thy meane the times returne, the Planets rejoyce, the Elements serve: at thy commandment the winds do blow, the clouds increase, the seeds prosper, and the fruits prevaile, the birds of the aire, the beasts of the hill, the serpents of the den, and the fishes of the sea, do tremble at thy majesty, but my spirit is not able to give thee sufficient praise, my patrimonie is unable to satisfie thy sacrifice, my voice hath no power to utter that which I thinke, no if I had a thousand mouths and so many tongues: Howbeit as a good religious person, and according to my estate, I will alwaies keepe thee in remembrance and close thee within my breast. When I had ended mine orison, I went to embrace the great Priest Mythra my spirituall father, and to demand his pardon, considering I was unable to recompence the good which he had done to me: after great greeting and thanks I departed from him to visit my parents and friends; and within a while after by the exhortation of the goddesse. I made up my packet, and tooke shipping toward the Citie of Rome, where with a prosperous winde I arrived about the xii. day of December. And the greatest desire that I had there, was daily to make my praiers to the soveraigne goddesse Isis, who by reason of the place where her temple was builded, was called Campensis, and continually adored of the people of Rome. Her minister and worshipper was I, howbeit I was a stranger to her Church, and unknowne to her religion there.



Martin Van Maele

 

When the yeare was ended, and the goddesse warned me againe to receive this new order and consecration, I marvailed greatly what it should signifie, and what should happen, considering that I was a sacred. person already. but it fortuned that while I partly reasoned with my selfe, and partly examining the thing with the Priests and Bishops, there came a new and marvailous thought in my mind, that is to say, I was onely religious to the goddesse Isis, but not sacred to the religion of great Osiris the soveraigne father of all the goddesses, between whom, although there was a religious unitie and concord, yet there was a great difference of order and ceremony. And because it was necessary that I should likewise be a minister unto Osiris, there was no long delay: for in the night after, appeared unto me one of that order, covered with linnen robes, holding in his hands speares wrapped in Ivie, and other things not convenient to declare, which then he left in my chamber, and sitting in my seate, recited to me such things as were necessary for the sumptuous banket of mine entrie. And to the end I might know him againe, he shewed me how the ankle of his left foote was somewhat maimed, which caused him a little to halt.

After that I manifestly knew the will of the God Osiris, when mattins was ended, I went from one to another, to find him out which had the halting marke on his foote, according as I learned by my vision; at length I found it true: for I perceived one of the company of the Priests who had not onely the token of his foote, but the stature and habite of his body, resembling in every point as he appeared in the night: he was called Asinius Marcellus, a name not much disagreeing from my transformation. By and by I went to him, which knew well enough all the matter, as being monished by like precept in the night: for the night before as he dressed the flowers and garlands about the head of the god Osiris, he understood by the mouth of the image which told the predestinations of all men, how he had sent a poore man of Madura, to whom he should minister his sacraments, to the end hee should receive a reward by divine providence, and the other glory, for his vertuous studies. When I saw my selfe this deputed unto religion, my desire was stopped by reason of povertie, for I had spent a great part of my goods in travell and peregrination, but most of all in the Citie of Rome, whereby my low estate withdrew me a great while.



Martin Van Maele
 

In the end being oft times stirred forward, not without great trouble of mind, I was constrained to sell my robe for a little money: howbeit sufficient for all my affaires. Then the Priest spake unto me saying, How is it that for a little pleasure thou art not afraid to sell thy vestiments, and entring into so great ceremonies, fearest to fall into povertie? Prepare thy selfe, and abstaine from all animall meats, as beasts and fish. In the meane season I frequented the sacrifices of Serapis, which were done in the night, which thing gave me great comfort to my peregrination, and ministred unto me more plentifull living, considering I gained some money in haunting the court, by reason of my Latin tongue.

Immediately after I was eftsoones called and admonished by the god Osiris, to receive a third order of religion. Then I was greatly astonied, because I could not tell what this new vision signified, or what the intent of the celestiall god was, doubting least the former Priests had given me ill counsell, and fearing that they had not faithfully instructed me: being in this manner as it were incensed the god Osiris appeared to me the night following, and giving me admonition said, There is no occasion why thou shouldest be afraid with so often order of religion, as though there were somewhat omitted, but that thou shouldest rather rejoyce, since as it hath pleased the gods to call thee three times, when as there was never yet any person that atchieved to the order but once: wherefore thou maist thinke thy selfe happy for so great benefits. And know thou that the religion which thou must now receive, is right necessary, if thou meane to persever in the worshipping of the goddesse, and to make solempnity on the festivall day with the blessed habite, which thing shalt be a glory and renowne to thee.

After this sort, the divine majesty perswaded me in my sleepe, whereupon by and by I went towards the Priest, and declared all that which I had seene, then I fasted ten dayes according to the custome, and of mine owne proper will I abstained longer then I was commanded: and verely I did nothing repent of the paine which I had taken, and of the charges which I was at, considering that the divine providence had given me such an order, that I gained much money in pleading of causes: Finally after a few dayes, the great god Osiris appeared to me in the night, not disguised in any other forme, but in his owne essence, commanding me that I should be an Advocate in the court, and not feare the slander and envie of ill persons, which beare me stomacke and grudge by reason of my doctrine, which I had gotten by much labour: moreover, he would not that I should be any longer of the number of his Priests, but he allotted me to be one of the Decurions and Senatours: and after he appointed me a place within the ancient pallace, which was erected in the time of Silla, where I executed my office in great joy with a shaven Crowne.


Martin Van Maele

 

 
     
         
 

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