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Association / Carnegie-Mellon University".


This etext was prepared from a reprint of the 1639 edition
by Donal O'Danachair, email Kodak_seaside@hotmail.com

The Golden Asse by Lucius Apuleius "Africanus"

Translated by William Adlington

First published 1566
This version as reprinted from the edition of 1639.
Typed, scanned and proofed by Donal O'Danachair,
The original spelling, capitalisation and punctuation have been


To the Right Honourable and Mighty Lord, THOMAS EARLE OF
SUSSEX, Viscount Fitzwalter, Lord of Egremont and of Burnell,
Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, Iustice of the
forrests and Chases from Trent Southward; Captain of the
Gentleman Pensioners of the House of the QUEENE our
Soveraigne Lady.

After that I had taken upon me (right Honourable) in manner of
that unlearned and foolish Poet, Cherillus, who rashly and
unadvisedly wrought a big volume in verses, of the valiant
prowesse of Alexander the Great, to translate this present booke,
contayning the Metamorphosis of Lucius Apuleius; being mooved
thereunto by the right pleasant pastime and delectable matter
therein; I eftsoones consulted with myself, to whom I might best
offer so pleasant and worthy a work, devised by the author, it being
now barbarously and simply framed in our English tongue. And
after long deliberation had, your honourable lordship came to my
remembrance, a man much more worthy, than to whom so homely
and rude a translation should be presented. But when I again
remembred the jesting and sportfull matter of the booke, unfit to be
offered to any man of gravity and wisdome, I was wholly
determined to make no Epistle Dedicatory at all; till as now of late
perswaded thereunto by my friends, I have boldly enterprised to
offer the same to your Lordship, who as I trust wil accept the
same, than if it did entreat of some serious and lofty matter, light
and merry, yet the effect thereof tendeth to a good and vertuous
moral, as in the following Epistle to the reader may be declared.
For so have all writers in times past employed their travell and
labours, that their posterity might receive some fruitfull profit by the
same. And therfore the poets feined not their fables in vain,
considering that children in time of their first studies, are very
much allured thereby to proceed to more grave and deepe studies
and disciplines, whereas their mindes would quickly loath the wise
and prudent workes of learned men, wherein in such unripe years
they take no spark of delectation at all. And not only that profit
ariseth to children by such feined fables, but also the vertues of
men are covertly thereby commended, and their vices
discommended and abhorred. For by the fable of Actaeon, where
it is feigned that he saw Diana washing her selfe in a well, hee
was immediately turned into an Hart, and so was slain of his own
Dogs; may bee meant, That when a man casteth his eyes on the
vain and soone fading beauty of the world, consenting thereto in his
minde, hee seemeth to bee turned into a brute beast, and so to be
slain by the inordinate desire of his owne affects. By Tantalus that
stands in the midst of the floud Eridan, having before him a tree
laden with pleasant apples, he being neverthelesse always thirsty
and hungry, betokeneth the insatiable desires of covetous persons.
The fables of Atreus, Thiestes, Tereus and Progne signifieth the
wicked and abhominable facts wrought and attempted by mortall
men. The fall of Icarus is an example to proud and arrogant
persons, that weeneth to climb up to the heavens. By Mydas, who
obtained of Bacchus, that all things which he touched might be gold,
is carped the foul sin of avarice. By Phaeton, that unskilfully took
in hand to rule the chariot of the Sunne, are represented those
persons which attempt things passing their power and capacity. By
Castor and Pollux, turned into a signe in heaven called Gemini, is
signified, that vertuous and godly persons shall be rewarded after
life with perpetuall blisse. And in this feined jest of Lucius
Apuleius is comprehended a figure of mans life, ministring most
sweet and delectable matter, to such as shall be desirous to reade
the same. The which if your honourable lordship shall accept ant
take in good part, I shall not onely thinke my small travell and
labour well employed, but also receive a further comfort to attempt
some more serious matter, which may be more acceptable to your
Lordship : desiring the same to excuse my rash and bold enterprise
at this time, as I nothing doubt of your Lordships goodnesse. To
whome I beseech Almighty God to impart long life, with encrease
of much honour.

>From Vniversity Colledge in Oxenforde, the xviij. of September,

Your Honours most bounden,


The Life of Lucius Apuleius Briefly Described

LUCIUS APULEIUS African, an excellent follower of Plato his
sect, born in Madaura, a Countrey sometime inhabited by the
Romans, and under the jurisdiction of Syphax, scituate and lying on
the borders of Numidia and Getulia, whereby he calleth himself half
a Numidian and half a Getulian : and Sidonius named him the
Platonian Madaurence : his father called Theseus had passed all
offices of dignity in his countrey with much honour. His mother
named Salvia was of such excellent vertue, that she passed all the
Dames of her time, borne of an ancient house, and descended from
the philosopher Plutarch, and Sextus his nephew. His wife called
Prudentila was endowed with as much vertue and riches as any
woman might be. Hee himselfe was of an high and comely stature,
gray eyed, his haire yellow, and a beautiful personage. He
flourished in Carthage in the time of Iolianus Avitus and Cl.
Maximus Proconsuls, where he spent his youth in learning the
liberall sciences, and much profited under his masters there,
whereby not without cause hee calleth himself the Nource of
Carthage, and the celestial Muse and venerable mistresse of
Africke. Soone after, at Athens (where in times past the well of all
doctrine flourished) he tasted many of the cups of the muses, he
learned the Poetry, Geometry, Musicke, Logicke, and the universall
knowledge of Philosophy, and studied not in vaine the nine Muses,
that is to say, the nine noble and royal disciplines.

Immediately after he went to Rome, and studied there the Latine
tongue, with such labour and continuall study, that he achieved to
great eloquence, and was known and approved to be excellently
learned, whereby he might worthily be called Polyhistor, that is to
say, one that knoweth much or many things.

And being thus no lesse endued with eloquence, than with singular
learning, he wrote many books for them that should come after :
whereof part by negligence of times be now intercepted and part
now extant, doe sufficiently declare, with how much wisdome and
doctrine hee flourished, and with how much vertue hee excelled
amongst the rude and barbarous people. The like was Anacharsis
amongst the most luskish Scythes. But amongst the Bookes of
Lucius Apuleius, which are perished and prevented, howbeit greatly
desired as now adayes, one was intituled Banquetting questions,
another entreating of the nature of fish, another of the generation of
beasts, another containing his Epigrams, another called
'Hermagoras' : but such as are now extant are the foure books
named 'Floridorum', wherein is contained a flourishing stile, and a
savory kind of learning, which delighteth, holdeth, and rejoiceth the
reader marvellously; wherein you shall find a great variety of
things, as leaping one from another : One excellent and copious
Oration, containing all the grace and vertue of the art Oratory,
where he cleareth himself of the crime of art Magick, which was
slanderously objected against him by his Adversaries, wherein is
contained such force of eloquence and doctrine, as he seemeth to
passe and excell himselfe. There is another booke of the god of the
spirit of Socrates, whereof St. Augustine maketh mention in his
booke of the definition of spirits, and description of men. Two
other books of the opinion of Plato, wherein is briefly contained that
which before was largely expressed. One booke of Cosmography,
comprising many things of Aristotles Meteors. The Dialogue of
Trismegistus, translated by him out of Greeke into Latine, so fine,
that it rather seemeth with more eloquence turned into Latine, than
it was before written in Greeke. But principally these eleven
Bookes of the 'Golden Asse', are enriched with such pleasant
matter, with such excellency and variety of flourishing tales, that
nothing may be more sweet and delectable, whereby worthily they
may be intituled The Bookes of the 'Golden Asse', for the passing
stile and matter therein. For what can be more acceptable than this
Asse of Gold indeed. Howbeit there be many who would rather
intitule it 'Metamorphosis', that is to say, a transfiguration or
transformation, by reason of the argument and matter within.

The Preface of the Author To His Sonne, Faustinus And unto the
Readers of this Book

THAT I to thee some joyous jests
may show in gentle gloze,
And frankly feed thy bended eares
with passing pleasant prose :
So that thou daine in seemly sort
this wanton booke to view,
That is set out and garnisht fine,
with written phrases new.
I will declare how one by hap
his humane figure lost,
And how in brutish formed shape,
his loathed life he tost.
And how he was in course of time
from such a state unfold,
Who eftsoone turn'd to pristine shape
his lot unlucky told.

What and who he was attend a while, and you shall understand that
it was even I, the writer of mine own Metamorphosie and strange
alteration of figure. Hymettus, Athens, Isthmia, Ephire Tenaros,
and Sparta, being fat and fertile soiles (as I pray you give credit to
the bookes of more everlasting fame) be places where myne
antient progeny and linage did sometime flourish : there I say, in
Athens, when I was yong, I went first to schoole. Soone after (as
a stranger) I arrived at Rome, whereas by great industry, and
without instruction of any schoolmaster, I attained to the full
perfection of the Latine tongue. Behold, I first crave and beg your
pardon, lest I should happen to displease or offend any of you by
the rude and rusticke utterance of this strange and forrein
language. And verily this new alteration of speech doth correspond
to the enterprised matter whereof I purpose to entreat, I will set
forth unto you a pleasant Grecian jeast. Whereunto gentle Reader
if thou wilt give attendant eare, it will minister unto thee such
delectable matter as thou shalt be contented withall.



How Apuleius riding in Thessaly, fortuned to fall into company with
two strangers, that reasoned together of the mighty power of

As I fortuned to take my voyage into Thessaly, about certaine
affaires which I had to doe ( for there myne auncestry by my
mothers side inhabiteth, descended of the line of that most excellent
person Plutarch, and of Sextus the Philosopher his Nephew, which
is to us a great honour) and after that by much travell and great
paine I had passed over the high mountaines and slipperie vallies,
and had ridden through the cloggy fallowed fields; perceiving that
my horse did wax somewhat slow, and to the intent likewise that I
might repose and strengthen my self (being weary with riding) I
lighted off my horse, and wiping the sweat from every part of his
body, I unbrideled him, and walked him softly in my hand, to the
end he might pisse, and ease himself of his weariness and travell :
and while he went grazing freshly in the field (casting his head
sometimes aside, as a token of rejoycing and gladnesse) I
perceived a little before me two companions riding, and so I
overtaking them made a third. And while I listened to heare their
communication, the one of them laughed and mocked his fellow,
saying, Leave off I pray thee and speak no more, for I cannot abide
to heare thee tell such absurd and incredible lies; which when I
heard, I desired to heare some newes, and said, I pray you masters
make me partaker of your talk, that am not so curious as desirous
to know all your communication : so shall we shorten our journey,
and easily passe this high hill before us, by merry and pleasant

But he that laughed before at his fellow, said againe, Verily this tale
is as true, as if a man would say that by sorcery and inchantment
the floods might be inforced to run against their course, the seas to
be immovable, the aire to lacke the blowing of windes, the Sunne to
be restrained from his naturall race, the Moone to purge his skimme
upon herbes and trees to serve for sorceries : the starres to be
pulled from heaven, the day to be darkened and the dark night to
continue still. Then I being more desirous to heare his talke than
his companions, sayd, I pray you, that began to tell your tale even
now, leave not off so, but tell the residue. And turning to the other
I sayd, You perhappes that are of an obstinate minde and grosse
eares, mocke and contemme those things which are reported for
truth, know you not that it is accounted untrue by the depraved
opinion of men, which either is rarely seene, seldome heard, or
passeth the capacitie of mans reason, which if it be more narrowly
scanned, you shall not onely finde it evident and plaine, but also
very easy to be brought to passe.


How Apuleius told to the strangers, what he saw a jugler do in

The other night being at supper with a sort of hungry fellowes,
while I did greedily put a great morsel of meate in my mouth, that
was fried with the flower of cheese and barley, it cleaved so fast in
the passage of my throat and stopped my winde in such sort that I
was well nigh choked. And yet at Athens before the porch there
called Peale, I saw with these eyes a jugler that swallowed up a
two hand sword, with a very keene edge, and by and by for a little
money that we who looked on gave him, hee devoured a chasing
speare with the point downeward. And after that hee had
conveyed the whole speare within the closure of his body, and
brought it out againe behind, there appeared on the top thereof
(which caused us all to marvell) a faire boy pleasant and nimble,
winding and turning himself in such sort, that you would suppose he
had neither bone nor gristle, and verily thinke that he were the
naturall Serpent, creeping and sliding on the knotted staffe, which
the god of Medicine is feigned to beare. But turning me to him that
began his tale, I pray you (quoth I) follow your purpose, and I alone
will give credit unto you, and for your paynes will pay your charges
at the next Inne we come unto. To whom he answered Certes sir I
thank you for your gentle offer, and at your request I wil proceed in
my tale, but first I will sweare unto you by the light of this Sunne
that shineth here, that those things shall be true, least when you
come to the next city called Thessaly, you should doubt any thing of
that which is rife in the mouthes of every person, and done before
the face of all men. And that I may first make relation to you,
what and who I am, and whither I go, and for what purpose, know
you that I am of Egin, travelling these countries about from
Thessaly to Etolia, and from Etolia to Boetia, to provide for honey,
cheese, and other victuals to sell againe : and understanding that at
Hippata (which is the principall city of all Thessaly), is accustomed
to be soulde new cheeses of exceeding good taste and relish, I
fortuned on a day to go thither, to make my market there : but as it
often happeneth, I came in an evill houre; for one Lupus a purveyor
had bought and ingrossed up all the day before, and so I was

Wherefore towards night being very weary, I went to the Baines to
refresh my selfe, and behold, I fortuned to espy my companion
Socrates sitting upon the ground, covered with a torn and course
mantle; who was so meigre and of so sallow and miserable a
countenance, that I scantly knew him : for fortune had brought him
into such estate and calamity, that he verily seemed as a common
begger that standeth in the streets to crave the benevolence of the
passers by. Towards whom (howbeit he was my singular friend
and familiar acquaintance, yet half in despaire) I drew nigh and
said, Alas my Socrates, what meaneth this? how faireth it with
thee? What crime hast thou committed? verily there is great
lamentation and weeping for thee at home : Thy children are in
ward by decree of the Provinciall Judge : Thy wife (having ended
her mourning time in lamentable wise, with face and visage
blubbered with teares, in such sort that she hath well nigh wept out
both her eyes) is constrained by her parents to put out of
remembrance the unfortunate losse and lacke of thee at home, and
against her will to take a new husband. And dost thou live here as
a ghost or hogge, to our great shame and ignominy?

Then he answered he to me and said, O my friend Aristomenus,
now perceive I well that you are ignorant of the whirling changes,
the unstable forces, and slippery inconstancy of Fortune : and
therewithall he covered his face (even then blushing for very
shame) with his rugged mantle insomuch that from his navel
downwards he appeared all naked.

But I not willing to see him any longer in such great miserie and
calamitie, took him by the hand and lifted him up from the ground :
who having his face covered in such sort, Let Fortune (quoth he)
triumph yet more, let her have her sway, and finish that which shee
hath begun. And therewithall I put off one of my garments and
covered him, and immediately I brought him to the Baine, and
caused him to be anointed, wiped, and the filthy scurfe of his body
to be rubbed away; which done, though I were very weary my
selfe, yet I led the poore miser to my Inne, where he reposed his
body upon a bed, and then I brought him meat and drinke, and so
wee talked together : for there we might be merry and laugh at our
pleasure, and so we were, untill such time as he (fetching a pittifull
sigh from the bottom of his heart, and beating his face in miserable
sort, began to say.


How Socrates in his returne from Macedony to Larissa was
spoyled and robbed, and how he fell acquainted with one Meroe a

Alas poore miser that I am, that for the onely desire to see a game
of triall of weapons, am fallen into these miseries and wretched
snares of misfortune. For in my returne from Macedonie, wheras I
sould all my wares, and played the Merchant by the space of ten
months, a little before that I came to Larissa, I turned out of the
way, to view the scituation of the countrey there, and behold in the
bottom of a deep valley I was suddenly environed with a company
of theeves, who robbed and spoiled me of such things as I had, and
yet would hardly suffer me to escape. But I beeing in such
extremity, in the end was happily delivered from their hands, and so
I fortuned to come to the house of an old woman that sold wine,
called Meroe, who had her tongue sufficiently instructed to flattery
: unto whom I opened the causes of my long peregrination and
careful travell, and of myne unlucky adventure : and after that I had
declared to her such things as then presently came to my
remembrance, shee gently entertained mee and made mee good
cheere; and by and by being pricked with carnall desire, shee
brought me to her own bed chamber; whereas I poore miser the
very first night of our lying together did purchase to my selfe this
miserable face, and for her lodging I gave to her such apparel as
the theeves left to cover me withall.

The I understanding the cause of his miserable estate, sayd unto
him, In faith thou art worthy to sustaine the most extreame misery
and calamity, which hast defiled and maculated thyne owne body,
forsaken thy wife traitorously, and dishonoured thy children,
parents, and friends, for the love of a vile harlot and old strumpet.
When Socrates heard mee raile against Meroe in such sort, he held
up his finger to mee, and as halfe abashed sayd, Peace peace I
pray you, and looking about lest any body should heare, I pray you
(quoth he) I pray you take heed what you say against so venerable
a woman as shee is, lest by your intemperate tongue you catch
some harm. Then with resemblance of admiration, What (quoth I)
is she so excellent a person as you name her to be? I pray you tell
me. Then answered hee, Verily shee is a Magitian, which hath
power to rule the heavens, to bringe downe the sky, to beare up the
earth, to turne the waters into hills and the hills into running waters,
to lift up the terrestrial spirits into the aire, and to pull the gods out
of the heavens, to extinguish the planets, and to lighten the deepe
darknesse of hell. Then sayd I unto Socrates, Leave off this high
and mysticall kinde of talke, and tell the matter in a more plaine and
simple fashion. Then answered he, Will you hear one or two, or
more of her facts which she hath done, for whereas she enforceth
not onely the inhabitants of the countrey here, but also the Indians
and the Ethiopians the one and the other, and also the Antictons, to
love her in most raging sort, such as are but trifles and chips of her
occupation, but I pray you give eare, and I will declare of more
greater matters, which shee hath done openly and before the face
of all men.


How Meroe the Witch turned divers persons into miserable beasts.

In faith Aristomenus to tell you the truth, this woman had a certaine
Lover, whom by the utterance of one only word she turned into a
Bever, because he loved another woman beside her : and the
reason why she transformed him into such a beast is, for that it is
his nature, when hee perceiveth the hunters and hounds to draw
after him, to bite off his members, and lay them in the way, that the
hounds may be at a stop when they find them, and to the intent it
might so happen unto him (for that he fancied another woman) she
turned him into that kind of shape.

Semblably she changed one of her neighbours, being an old man
and one that sold wine, into a Frog, in that he was one of her
occupation, and therefore she bare him a grudge, and now the
poore miser swimming in one of his pipes of wine, and well nigh
drowned in the dregs, doth cry and call with an hoarse voice, for his
old guests and acquaintance that pass by. Like wise she turned
one of the Advocates of the Court (because he pleaded and spake
against her in a rightful cause) into a horned Ram, and now the
poore Ram is become an Advocate. Moreover she caused, that
the wife of a certain lover that she had should never be delivered of
her childe, but according to the computation of all men, it is eight
yeares past since the poore woman first began to swell, and now
shee is encreased so big, that shee seemeth as though she would
bring forth some great Elephant : which when it was knowne
abroad, and published throughout all the towne, they tooke
indignation against her, and ordayned that the next day shee should
most cruelly be stoned to death. Which purpose of theirs she
prevented by the vertue of her inchantments, and as Medea (who
obtained of King Creon but one days respit before her departure)
did burn all his house, him, and his daughter : so she, by her
conjurations and invocations of spirits, (which she useth in a
certaine hole in her house, as shee her selfe declared unto me the
next day following) closed all the persons in the towne so sure in
their houses, and with such violence of power, that for the space of
two dayes they could not get forth, nor open their gates nor doore,
nor break downe their walls, whereby they were inforced by
mutuall consent to cry unto her, and to bind themselves strictly by
oaths, that they would never afterwards molest or hurt her : and
moreover, if any did offer her any injury they would be ready to
defend her. Whereupon shee, mooved by their promises, and
stirred by pitty, released all the towne. But shee conveyed the
principal Author of this ordinance about midnight, with all his house,
the walls, the ground, and the foundation, into another towne,
distant from thence an hundred miles, scituate and beeing on the
top of an high hill, and by reason thereof destitute of water, and
because the edifices and houses were so nigh built together, that it
was not possible for the house to stand there, she threw it downe
before the gate of the towne. Then I spake and said O my friend
Socrates you have declared unto me many marvellous things and
strange chances, and moreover stricken me with no small trouble of
minde, yea rather with great feare, lest the same old woman using
the like practice, should fortune to heare all our communication.
Wherefore let us now sleepe, and after that we have taken our
rest, let us rise betimes in the morning, and ride away hence before
day, as far as we can possible.


How Socrates and Aristomenus slept together in one Chamber, and
how they were handled by Witches.

In speaking these words, and devising with my selfe of our
departing the next morrow, lest Meroe the witch should play by us
as she had done by divers other persons, it fortuned that Socrates
did fall asleepe, and slept very soundly, by reason of his travell and
plenty of meat and wine wherewithall hee had filled him selfe.
Wherefore I closed and barred fast the doores of the chamber, and
put my bed behinde the doore, and so layed mee downe to rest.
But I could in no wise sleepe, for the great feare which was in my
heart, untill it was about midnight, and then I began to slumber.
But alas, behold suddenly the chamber doores brake open, and
locks, bolts, and posts fell downe, that you would verily have
thought that some Theeves had been presently come to have
spoyled and robbed us. And my bed whereon I lay being a truckle
bed, fashioned in forme of a Cradle, and one of the feet broken and
rotten, by violence was turned upside downe, and I likewise was
overwhelmed and covered lying in the same. Then perceived I in
my selfe, that certaine affects of the minde by nature doth chance
contrary. For as teares oftentimes trickle downe the cheekes of
him that seeth or heareth some joyfull newes, so I being in this
fearfull perplexity, could not forbeare laughing, to see how of
Aristomenus I was made like unto a snail [in] his shell. And while I
lay on the ground covered in this sort, I peeped under the bed to
see what would happen. And behold there entred in two old
women, the one bearing a burning torch, and the other a sponge
and a naked sword; and so in this habit they stood about Socrates
being fast asleep. Then shee which bare the sword sayd unto the
other, Behold sister Panthia, this is my deare and sweet heart,
which both day and night hath abused my wanton youthfulnesse.
This is he, who little regarding my love, doth not only defame me
with reproachfull words, but also intendeth to run away. And I
shall be forsaken by like craft as Vlysses did use, and shall
continually bewaile my solitarinesse as Calipso. Which said, shee
pointed towards mee that lay under the bed, and shewed me to
Panthia. This is hee, quoth she, which is his Counsellor, and
perswadeth him to forsake me, and now being at the point of death
he lieth prostrate on the ground covered with his bed, and hath
seene all our doings, and hopeth to escape scot-free from my
hands, but I will cause that hee will repente himselfe too late, nay
rather forthwith, of his former intemperate language, and his
present curiosity. Which words when I heard I fell into a cold
sweat, and my heart trembled with feare, insomuch that the bed
over me did likewise rattle and shake. Then spake Panthia unto
Meroe and said, Sister let us by and by teare him in pieces or tye
him by the members, and so cut them off. Then Meroe (being so
named because she was a Taverner, and loved wel good wines)
answered, Nay rather let him live, and bury the corpse of this poore
wretch in some hole of the earth; and therewithall shee turned the
head of Socrates on the other side and thrust her sword up to the
hilts into the left part of his necke, and received the bloud that
gushed out, into a pot, that no drop thereof fell beside : which
things I saw with mine own eyes, and as I thinke to the intent that
she might alter nothing that pertained to sacrifice, which she
accustomed to make, she thrust her hand down into the intrals of
his body, and searching about, at length brought forth the heart of
my miserable companion Socrates, who having his throat cut in
such sort, yeelded out a dolefull cry, and gave up the ghost. Then
Panthia stopped up the wide wound of his throat with the Sponge
and said, O sponge sprung and made of the sea, beware that thou
not passe by running river. This being said, one of them moved and
turned up my bed, and then they strid over mee, and clapped their
buttocks upon my face, and all bepissed mee until I was wringing
wet. When this was over they went their wayes, and the doores
closed fast, the posts stood in their old places, and the lockes and
bolts were shut againe. But I that lay upon the ground like one
without soule, naked and cold, and wringing wet with pisse, like to
one that were more than half dead, yet reviving my selfe, and
appointed as I thought for the Gallowes, began to say Alasse what
shall become of me to morrow, when my companion shall be found
murthered here in the chamber? To whom shall I seeme to tell any
similitude of truth, when as I shall tell the trueth in deed? They will
say, If thou wert unable to resist the violence of the women, yet
shouldest thou have cried for help; Wouldst thou suffer the man to
be slaine before thy face and say nothing? Or why did they not slay
thee likewise? Why did they spare thee that stood by and saw
them commit that horrible fact? Wherefore although thou hast
escaped their hands, yet thou shalt not escape ours. While I
pondered these things with my selfe the night passed on, and so I
resolved to take my horse before day, and goe forward on my

Howbeit the wayes were unknown to me, and thereupon I tooke up
my packet, unlocked and unbarred the doors, but those good and
faithfull doores which in the night did open of their owne accord,
could then scantly be opened with their keyes. And when I was
out I cried, O sirrah Hostler where art thou? Open the stable doore
for I will ride away by and by. The Hostler lying behinde the stable
doore upon a pallet, and half asleepe, What (quoth hee) doe you not
know that the wayes be very dangerous? What meane you to rise
at this time of night? If you perhaps guilty of some heynous crime,
be weary of your life, yet thinke you not that we are such Sots that
we will die for you. Then said I, It is well nigh day, and moreover,
what can theeves take from him that hath nothing? Doest thou not
know (Foole as thou art) if thou be naked, if ten Gyants should
assaile thee, they could not spoyle or rob thee? Whereunto the
drowsie Hostler half asleepe, and turning on the other side,
answered, What know I whether you have murthered your
Companion whom you brought in yesternight, or no, and now seeke
the means to escape away? O Lord, at that time I remember the
earth seemed ready to open, and me thought I saw at hell gate the
Dog Cerberus ready to devour mee, and then I verily beleeved, that
Meroe did not spare my throat, mooved with pitty, but rather cruelly
pardoned mee to bring mee to the Gallowes. Wherefore I returned
to my chamber, and there devised with my selfe in what sort I
should finish my life. But when I saw that fortune should minister
unto mee no other instrument than that which my bed profered me,
I said, O bed, O bed, most dear to me at this present, which hast
abode and suffered with me so many miseries, judge and arbiter of
such things as were done here this night, whome onely I may call to
witnesse for my innocency, render (I say) unto me some
wholesome weapon to end my life, that am most willing to dye.
And therewithal I pulled out a piece of the rope wherewith the bed
was corded, and tyed one end thereof about a rafter by the
window, and with the other end I made a sliding knot, and stood
upon my bed, and so put my neck into it, and leaped from the bed,
thinking to strangle my selfe and so dye, behold the rope beeing old
and rotten burst in the middle, and I fell down tumbling upon
Socrates that lay under : And even at that same very time the
Hostler came in crying with a loud voyce, and sayd, Where are you
that made such hast at midnight, and now lies wallowing abed?
Whereupon (I know not whether it was by my fall, or by the great
cry of the Hostler) Socrates as waking out of sleepe, did rise up
first and sayd, It is not without cause that strangers do speake evill
of all such Hostlers, for this Catife in his comming in, and with his
crying out, I thinke under a colour to steale away something, hath
waked me out of a sound sleepe. Then I rose up joyfull with a
merry countenance, saying, Behold good Hostler, my friend, my
companion and my brother, whom thou didst falsly affirme to be
slaine by mee this might. And therewithall I embraced my friend
Socrates and kissed him : but hee smelling the stinke of the pisse
wherewith those Hagges had embrued me, thrust me away and
sayd, Clense thy selfe from this filthy odour, and then he began
gently to enquire, how that noysome sent hapned unto mee. But I
finely feigning and colouring the matter for the time, did breake off
his talk, and tooke him by the hand and sayd, Why tarry we? Why
lose wee the pleasure of this faire morning? Let us goe, and so I
tooke up my packet, and payed the charges of the house and
departed : and we had not gone a mile out of the Towne but it was
broad day, and then I diligently looked upon Socrates throat, to see
if I could espy the place where Meroe thrust in her sword : but
when I could not perceive any such thing, I thought with my selfe,
What a mad man am I, that being overcome with wine yester night,
have dreamed such terrible things? Behold I see Socrates is sound,
safe and in health. Where is his wound? Where is the Sponge?
Where is his great and new cut? And then I spake to him and said,
Verily it is not without occasion, that Physitians of experience do
affirme, That such as fill their gorges abundantly with meat and
drinke, shall dreame of dire and horrible sights : for I my selfe, not
tempering my appetite yester night from the pots of wine, did
seeme to see this night strange and cruel visions, that even yet I
think my self sprinkled and wet with human blood : whereunto
Socrates laughing made answer and said, Nay, thou art not wet
with the blood of men, but art embrued with stinking pisse; and
verily I dreamed that my throat was cut, and that I felt the paine of
the wound, and that my heart was pulled out of my belly, and the
remembrance thereof makes me now to feare, for my knees do so
tremble that I can scarce goe any further, and therefore I would
faine eat somewhat to strengthen and revive my spirits. Then said
I, behold here thy breakefast, and therewithall I opened my script
that hanged upon my shoulder, and gave him bread and cheese, and
we sate downe under a greate Plane tree, and I eat part with him;
and while I beheld him eating greedily, I perceived that he waxed
meigre and pale, and that his lively colour faded away, insomuch
that beeing in great fear, and remembring those terrible furies of
whom I lately dreamed, the first morsell of bread that I put in my
mouth (that was but very small) did so stick in my jawes, that I
could neither swallow it downe, nor yet yeeld it up, and moreover
the small time of our being together increased my feare, and what
is hee that seeing his companion die in the high-way before his
face, would not greatly lament and bee sorry? But when that
Socrates had eaten sufficiently hee waxed very thirsty, for indeed
he had well nigh devoured a whole Cheese : and behold evill
fortune! There was behind the Plane tree a pleasant running water
as cleere as Crystal, and I sayd unto him, Come hither Socrates to
this water and drinke thy fill. And then he rose and came to the
River, and kneeled downe on the side of the banke to drinke, but he
had scarce touched the water with lips, when as behold the wound
in his throat opened wide, and the Sponge suddenly fell out into the
water, and after issued out a little remnant of bloud, and his body
being then without life, had fallen into the river, had not I caught
him by the leg and so pulled him up. And after that I had lamented
a good space the death of my wretched companion, I buried him in
the Sands there by the river.

Which done, in great feare I rode through many Outwayes and
desart places, and as culpable of the death of Socrates, I forsooke
my countrey, my wife, and my children, and came to Etolia where I
married another Wife.

This tale told Aristomenus, and his fellow which before obstinatly
would give no credit unto him, began to say, Verily there was never
so foolish a tale, nor a more absurd lie told than this. And then he
spake unto me saying, Ho sir, what you are I know not, but your
habit and countenance declareth that you should be some honest
Gentleman, (speaking to Apuleius) doe you beleeve this tale? Yea
verily (quoth I), why not? For whatsoever the fates have appointed
to men, that I beleeve shall happen. For may things chance unto
me and unto you, and to divers others, which beeing declared unto
the ignorant be accounted as lies. But verily I give credit unto his
tale, and render entire thankes unto him, in that by the pleasant
relation thereof we have quickly passed and shortned our journey,
and I thinke that my horse was also delighted with the same, and
hath brought me to the gate of this city without any paine at all.
Thus ended both our talk and our journey, for they two turned on
the left hand to the next villages, and I rode into the city.


How Apuleius came unto a city named Hipate, and was lodged in
one Milos house, and brought him letters from one Demeas of

After that those two Companions were departed I entred into the
City : where I espied an old woman, of whom I enquired whether
that city was called Hipata, or no : Who answered, Yes. Then I
demaunded, Whether she knew one Milo an Alderman of the city :
Whereat she laughed and said : Verily it is not without cause that
Milo is called an Elderman, and accounted as chiefe of those which
dwel without the walls of the City. To whom I sayd againe, I pray
thee good mother do not mocke, but tell me what manner of man
he is, and where he dwelleth. Mary (quoth shee) do you see these
Bay windowes, which on one side abut to the gates of the city, and
on the other side to the next lane? There Milo dwelleth, very rich
both in mony and substance, but by reason of his great avarice and
insatiable covetousnes, he is evill spoken of, and he is a man that
liveth all by usurie, and lending his money upon pledges. Moreover
he dwelleth in a small house, and is ever counting his money, and
hath a wife that is a companion of his extreame misery, neither
keepeth he more in his house than onely one maid, who goeth
apparelled like unto a beggar. Which when I heard, I laughed in
my self and thought, In faith my friend Demeas hath served me
well, which hath sent me being a stranger, unto such a man, in
whose house I shall not bee afeared either of smoke or of the sent
of meat; and therewithall I rode to the doore, which was fast
barred, and knocked aloud. Then there came forth a maid which
said, Ho sirrah that knocks so fast, in what kinde of sort will you
borrow money? Know you not that we use to take no gage, unless
it be either plate or Jewels? To whom I answered, I pray you maid
speak more gently, and tel me whether thy master be within or no?
Yes (quoth shee) that he is, why doe you aske? Mary (said I) I am
come from Corinth, and have brought him letters from Demeas his
friend. Then sayd the Maid, I pray you tarry here till I tell him so,
and therewithall she closed fast the doore, and went in, and after a
while she returned againe and sayd, My master desireth you to
alight and come in. And so I did, whereas I found him sitting upon
a little bed, going to supper, and his wife sate at his feet, but there
was no meat upon the table, and so by appointment of the maid I
came to him and saluted him, and delivered the letters which I had
brought from Demeas. Which when hee had read hee sayd,
Verily, I thanke my friend Demeas much, in that hee hath sent mee
so worthy a guest as you are. And therewithall hee commanded
his wife to sit away and bid mee sit in her place; which when I
refused by reason of courtesie, hee pulled me by my garment and
willed me to sit downe; for wee have (quoth he) no other stool
here, nor no other great store of household stuffe, for fear of
robbing. Then I according to his commandement, sate down, and
he fell in further communication with me and sayd, Verily I doe
conjecture by the comly feature of your body, and by the maidenly
shamefastnesse of your face that you are a Gentleman borne, as
my friend Demeas hath no lesse declared the same in his letters.
Wherfore I pray you take in good part our poore lodging, and
behold yonder chamber is at your commaundement, use it as your
owne, and if you be contented therewithall, you shall resemble and
follow the vertuous qualities of your good father Theseus, who
disdained not the slender and poore Cottage of Hecades.

And then he called his maid which was named Fotis, and said,
Carry this Gentlemans packet into the chamber, and lay it up safely,
and bring water quickly to wash him, and a towel to rub him, and
other things necessary, and then bring him to the next Baines, for I
know that he is very weary of travell.

These things when I heard, I partly perceived the manners of Milo,
and endeavouring to bring my selfe further into his favour, I sayd,
Sir there is no need of any of these things, for they have been
everywhere ministred unto mee by the way, howbeit I will go into
the Baines, but my chiefest care is that my horse be well looked to,
for hee brought mee hither roundly, and therefore I pray thee Fotis
take this money and buy some hay and oats for him.


How Apuleius going to buy fish, met with his companion Pythias.

When this was done, and all my things brought into the Chamber, I
walked towards the Baines; but first I went to the market to buy
some victuals for my supper, whereas I saw great plenty of fish set
out to be sould : and so I cheapened part thereof, and that which
they at first held at an hundred pence, I bought at length for twenty.
Which when I had done, and was departing away, one of myne old
acquaintance, and fellow at Athens, named Pithias, fortuned to
passe by, and viewing me at a good space, in the end brought me to
his remembrance, and gently came and kissed mee, saying, O my
deare friend Lucius, it is a great while past since we two saw one
another, and moreover, from the time that wee departed from our
Master Vestius, I never heard any newes from you. I pray you
Lucius tell me the cause of your peregrination hither. Then I
answered and sayd, I will make relation thereof unto you tomorrow
: but I pray you tell me, what meaneth these servitors that follow
you, and these rods or verges which they beare, and this habit
which you wear like unto a magistrate, verily I thinke you have
obtained your own desire, whereof I am right glad. Then answered
Pithias, I beare the office of the Clerke of the market, and therfore
if you will have any pittance for your supper speake and I will
purvey it for you. Then I thanked him heartily and sayd I had
bought meat sufficient already. But Pithias when hee espied my
basket wherein my fish was, tooke it and shaked it, and demanded
of me what I had payd for all my Sprots. In faith (quoth I), I could
scarce inforce the fishmonger to sell them for twenty pence.
Which when I heard, he brought me backe again into the market,
and enquired of me of whom I bought them. I shewed him the old
man which sate in a corner, whome by and by, by reason of his
office, hee did greatly blame, and sayd, Is it thus you serve and
handle strangers, and specially our friends? Wherefore sell you this
fish so deare, which is not worth a halfepenny? Now perceive I
well, that you are an occasion to make this place, which is the
principall city of all Thessaly, to be forsaken of all men, and to
reduce it into an uninhabitable Desart, by reasone of your excessive
prices of victuals, but assure yourself that you shall not escape
without punishment, and you shall know what myne office is, and
how I ought to punish such as offend. Then he took my basket and
cast the fish on the ground, and commanded one of his Sergeants to
tread them under his feet. This done he perswaded me to depart,
and sayd that onely shame and reproach done unto the old Caitife
did suffice him, So I went away amazed and astonied, towards the
Baines, considering with myself and devising of the grace of my
companion Pythias. Where when I had well washed and refreshed
my body, I returned againe to Milos house, both without money and
meat, and so got into my chamber. Then came Fotis immediately
unto mee, and said that her master desired me to come to supper.
But I not ignorant of Milos abstinence, prayed that I might be
pardoned since as I thought best to ease my wearied bones rather
with sleepe and quietnesse, than with meat. When Fotis had told
this to Milo, he came himselfe and tooke mee by the hand, and
while I did modestly excuse my selfe, I will not (quoth he) depart
from this place, until such time as you shall goe with me : and to
confirm the same, hee bound his words with an oath, whereby he
enforced me to follow him, and so he brought me into his chamber,
where hee sate him downe upon the bed, and demaunded of mee
how his friend Demeas did, his wife, his children, and all his family :
and I made answer to him every question, specially hee enquired
the causes of my peregrination and travell, which when I had
declared, he yet busily demanded of the state of my Countrey, and
the chief magistrates there, and principally of our Lievtenant and
Viceroy; who when he perceived that I was not only wearied by
travell, but also with talke, and that I fell asleep in the midst of my
tale, and further that I spake nothing directly or advisedly, he
suffered me to depart to my chamber. So scaped I at length from
the prating and hungry supper of this rank old man, and being
compelled by sleepe and not by meat, and having supped only with
talke, I returned into my chamber, and there betooke me to my
quiet and long desired rest.



How Apuleius fortuned to meet with his Cousin Byrrhena.

As soone as night was past, and the day began to spring, I fortuned
to awake, and rose out of my bed as halfe amazed, and very
desirous to know and see some marvellous and strange things,
remembring with my selfe that I was in the middle part of all
Thessaly, whereas by the common report of all the World, the
Sorceries and Inchauntments are most used, I oftentimes repeated
with my self the tale of my companion Aristomenus touching the
manner of this City, and being mooved by great desire, I viewed the
whole scituation thereof, neither was there any thing which I saw
there, but that I did beleeve to be the same which it was indeed, but
every thing seemed unto me to be transformed and altered into
other shapes, by the wicked power of Sorcerie and Inchantment,
insomuch that I thought that the stones which I found were
indurate, and turned from men into that figure, and that the birds
which I heard chirping, and the trees without the walls of the city,
and the running waters, were changed from men into such kinde of
likenesses. And further I thought that the Statues, Images and
Walls could goe, and the Oxen and other brute beasts could speake
and tell strange newes, and that immediately I should see and heare
some Oracles from the heavens, and from the gleed of the Sun.
Thus being astonied or rather dismayed and vexed with desire,
knowing no certaine place whither I intended to go, I went from
street to street, and at length (as I curiously gazed on every thing) I
fortuned unwares to come into the market place, whereas I espied
a certaine woman, accompanied with a great many servants,
towards whom I drew nigh, and viewed her garments beset with
gold and pretious stone, in such sort that she seemed to be some
noble matron. And there was an old man which followed her, who
as soon as he espied me, said to himself, Verily this is Lucius, and
then he came and embraced me, by and by he went unto his
mistresse and whispered in her eare, and came to mee againe
saying, How is it Lucius that you will not salute your deere Cousin
and singular friend? To whom I answered, Sir I dare not be so bold
as to take acquaintance of an unknown woman. Howbeit as halfe
ashamed I drew towards her, and shee turned her selfe and sayd,
Behold how he resembleth the very same grace as his mother
Salvia doth, behold his countenance and stature, agreeing thereto in
each poynt, behold his comely state, his fine slendernesse, his
Vermilion colour, his haire yellow by nature, his gray and quicke
eye, like to the Eagle, and his trim and comely gate, which do
sufficiently prove him to be the naturall childe of Salvia. And
moreover she sayd, O Lucius, I have nourished thee with myne
owne proper hand : and why not? For I am not onely of kindred to
thy mother by blood, but also by nourice, for wee both descended
of the line of Plutarch, lay in one belly, sucked the same paps, and
were brought up together in one house. And further there is no
other difference betweene us two, but that she is married more
honourably than I : I am the same Byrrhena whom you have often
heard named among your friends at home : wherfore I pray you to
take so much pains as to come with me to my house, and use it as
your owne. At whose words I was partly abashed and sayd, God
forbid Cosin that I should forsake myne Host Milo without any
reasonable cause; but verily I will, as often as I have occasion to
passe by thy house, come and see how you doe. And while we
were talking thus together, little by little wee came to her house,
and behold the gates of the same were very beautifully set with
pillars quadrangle wise, on the top wherof were placed carved
statues and images, but principally the Goddesse of Victory was so
lively and with such excellencie portrayed and set forth, that you
would have verily have thought that she had flyed, and hovered
with her wings hither and thither. On the contrary part, the image
of the Goddesse Diana was wrought in white marble, which was a
marvellous sight to see, for shee seemed as though the winde did
blow up her garments, and that she did encounter with them that
came into the house. On each side of her were Dogs made of
stone, that seemed to menace with their fiery eyes, their pricked
eares, their bended nosethrils, their grinning teeth in such sort that
you would have thought they had bayed and barked. An moreover
(which was a greater marvel to behold) the excellent carver and
deviser of this worke had fashioned the dogs to stand up fiercely
with their former feet, and their hinder feet on the ground ready to
fight. Behinde the back of the goddesse was carved a stone in
manner of a Caverne, environed with mosse, herbes, leaves, sprigs,
green branches and bowes, growing in and about the same,
insomuch that within the stone it glistered and shone marvellously,
under the brim of the stone hanged apples and grapes carved finely,
wherein Art envying Nature, shewed her great cunning. For they
were so lively set out, that you would have thought if Summer had
been come, they might have bin pulled and eaten; and while I
beheld the running water, which seemed to spring and leap under
the feet of the goddesse, I marked the grapes which hanged in the
water, which were like in every point to the grapes of the vine, and
seemed to move and stir by the violence of the streame.
Moreover, amongst the branches of the stone appeared the image
of Acteon : and how that Diana (which was carved within the
same stone, standing in the water) because he did see her naked,
did turne him into an hart, and so he was torne and slaine of his
owne hounds. And while I was greatly delighted with the view of
these things, Byrrhena spake to me and sayd, Cousin all things here
be at your commandement. And therewithall shee willed secretly
the residue to depart : who being gone she sayd, My most deare
Cousin Lucius, I do sweare by the goddesse Diana, that I doe
greatly tender your safety, and am as carefull for you as if you
were myne owne naturall childe, beware I say, beware of the evil
arts and wicked allurements of that Pamphiles who is the wife of
Milo, whom you call your Host, for she is accounted the most chief
and principall Magitian and Enchantresse living, who by breathing
out certain words and charmes over bowes, stones and other
frivolous things, can throw down all the powers of the heavens into
the deep bottome of hell, and reduce all the whole world againe to
the old Chaos. For as soone as she espieth any comely yong man,
shee is forthwith stricken with his love, and presently setteth her
whole minde and affection on him. She soweth her seed of
flattery, she invades his spirit and intangleth him with continuall
snares of unmeasurable love.

And then if any accord not to her filthy desire, or if they seeme
loathsome in her eye, by and by in the moment of an houre she
turneth them into stones, sheep or some other beast, as her selfe
pleaseth, and some she presently slayeth and murthereth, of whom
I would you should earnestly beware. For she burneth continually,
and you by reason of your tender age and comely beauty are
capable of her fire and love.

Thus with great care Byrrhena gave me in charge, but I (that
always coveted and desired, after that I had heard talk of such
Sorceries and Witchcrafts, to be experienced in the same) little
esteemed to beware of Pamphiles, but willingly determined to
bestow my money in learning of that art, and now wholly to
become a Witch. And so I waxed joyful, and wringing my selfe out
of her company, as out of linkes or chaines, I bade her farewell,
and departed toward the house of myne host Milo, by the way
reasoning thus with my selfe : O Lucius now take heed, be vigilant,
have a good care, for now thou hast time and place to satisfie thy
desire, now shake off thy childishnesse and shew thy selfe a man,
but especially temper thy selfe from the love of thyne hostesse, and
abstain from violation of the bed of Milo, but hardly attempt to
winne the maiden Fotis, for she is beautifull, wanton and pleasant in
talke. And soone when thou goest to sleepe, and when shee
bringeth you gently into thy chamber, and tenderly layeth thee
downe in thy bed, and lovingly covereth thee, and kisseth thee
sweetly, and departeth unwillingly, and casteth her eyes oftentimes
backe, and stands still, then hast thou a good occasion ministred to
thee to prove and try the mind of Fotis. Thus while I reasoned to
myselfe I came to Milos doore, persevering still in my purpose, but
I found neither Milo nor his wife at home.


How Apuleius fell in love with Fotis.

When I was within the house I found my deare and sweet love
Fotis mincing of meat and making pottage for her master and
mistresse, the Cupboord was all set with wines, and I thought I
smelled the savor of some dainty meats : she had about her middle
a white and clean apron, and shee was girded about her body under
the paps with a swathell of red silke, and she stirred the pot and
turned the meat with her fair and white hands, in such sort that with
stirring and turning the same, her loynes and hips did likewise move
and shake, which was in my mind a comely sight to see.

These things when I saw I was halfe amazed, and stood musing
with my selfe, and my courage came then upon mee, which before
was scant. And I spake unto Fotis merrily and sayd, O Fotis how
trimmely you can stirre the pot, and how finely, with shaking your
buttockes, you can make pottage. The shee beeing likewise merrily
disposed, made answer, Depart I say, Miser from me, depart from
my fire, for if the flame thereof doe never so little blaze forth, it will
burne thee extreamely and none can extinguish the heat thereof but
I alone, who in stirring the pot and making the bed can so finely
shake my selfe. When she had sayd these words shee cast her
eyes upon me and laughed, but I did not depart from thence until
such time as I had viewed her in every point. But what should I
speak of others, when as I doe accustome abroad to marke the
face and haire of every dame, and afterwards delight my selfe
therewith privately at home, and thereby judge the residue of their
shape, because the face is the principall part of all the body, and is
first open to our eyes. And whatsoever flourishing and gorgeous
apparell doth work and set forth in the corporal parts of a woman,
the same doth the naturall and comely beauty set out in the face.
Moreover there be divers, that to the intent to shew their grace and
feature, wil cast off their partlets, collars, habiliments, fronts,
cornets and krippins, and doe more delight to shew the fairnesse of
their skinne, than to deck themselves up in gold and pretious stones.
But because it is a crime unto me to say so, and to give no example
thereof, know ye, that if you spoyle and cut the haire of any woman
or deprive her of the colour of her face, though shee were never so
excellent in beauty, though shee were throwne downe from heaven,
sprung of the Seas, nourished of the flouds, though shee were
Venus her selfe, though shee were waited upon by all the Court of
Cupid, though were girded with her beautifull skarfe of Love, and
though shee smelled of perfumes and musks, yet if shee appeared
bald, shee could in no wise please, no not her owne Vulcanus.

O how well doth a faire colour and a shining face agree with
glittering hair! Behold, it encountreth with the beams of the Sunne,
and pleaseth the eye marvellously. Sometimes the beauty of the
haire resembleth the colour of gold and honey, sometimes the blew
plumes and azured feathers about the neckes of Doves, especially
when it is either anointed with the gumme of Arabia, or trimmely
tuft out with the teeth of a fine combe, which if it be tyed up in the
pole of the necke, it seemeth to the lover that beholdeth the same,
as a glasse that yeeldeth forth a more pleasant and gracious
comelinesse than if it should be sparsed abroad on the shoulders of
the woman, or hang down scattering behind. Finally there is such a
dignity in the haire, that whatsoever shee be, though she be never
to bravely attyred with gold, silks, pretious stones, and other rich
and gorgeous ornaments, yet if her hair be not curiously set forth
shee cannot seeme faire. But in my Fotis, her garments unbrast
and unlaste increased her beauty, her haire hanged about her
shoulders, and was dispersed abroad upon her partlet, and in every
part of her necke, howbeit the greater part was trussed upon her
pole with a lace. Then I unable to sustain the broiling heat that I
was in, ran upon her and kissed the place where she had thus laid
her haire. Whereat she turned her face, and cast her rolling eyes
upon me, saying, O Scholler, thou hast tasted now both hony and
gall, take heed that thy pleasure do not turn unto repentance. Tush
(quoth I) my sweet heart, I am contented for such another kiss to
be broiled here upon this fire, wherwithall I embraced and kissed
her more often, and shee embraced and kissed me likewise, and
moreover her breath smelled like Cinnamon, and the liquor of her
tongue was like unto sweet Nectar, wherewith when my mind was
greatly delighted I sayd, Behold Fotis I am yours, and shall
presently dye unlesse you take pitty upon me. Which when I had
said she eftsoone kissed me, and bid me be of good courage, and I
will (quoth shee) satisfie your whole desire, and it shall be no longer
delayed than until night, when as assure your selfe I will come and
lie with you; wherfore go your wayes and prepare your selfe, for I
intend valiantly and couragiously to encounter with you this night.
Thus when we had lovingly talked and reasoned together, we
departed for that time.


How Byrrhena sent victuals unto Apuleius, and how hee talked
with Milo of Diophanes, and how he lay with Fotis.

When noone was come, Byrrhena sent to me a fat Pigge, five
hennes, and a flagon of old wine. Then I called Fotis and sayd,
Behold how Bacchus the egger and stirrer of Venery, doth offer
him self of his owne accord, let us therefore drink up this wine, that
we may prepare our selves and get us courage against soone, for
Venus wanteth no other provision than this, that the Lamp may be
all the night replenished with oyle, and the cups with wine. The
residue of the day I passed away at the Bains and in banquetting,
and towards evening I went to supper, for I was bid by Milo, and so
I sate downe at the table, out of Pamphiles sight as much as I
could, being mindfull of the commandement of Byrrhena, and
sometimes I would cast myne eyes upon her as upon the furies of
hell, but I eftsoones turning my face behinde me, and beholding my
Fotis ministring at the table, was again refreshed and made merry.
And behold when Pamphiles did see the candle standing on the
table, she said, Verily wee shall have much raine to morrow.
Which when her husband did heare, he demanded of her by what
reason she knew it? Mary (quoth shee) the light on the table
sheweth the same. Then Milo laughed and said, Verily we nourish
a Sybel prophesier, which by the view of a candle doth divine of
Celestiall things, and of the Sunne it selfe. Then I mused in my
minde and said unto Milo, Of truth it is a good experience and proof
of divination. Neither is it any marvell, for although this light is but
a small light, and made by the hands of men, yet hath it a
remembrance of that great and heavenly light, as of his parent, and
doth shew unto us what will happen in the Skies above. For I knew
at Corinth a certain man of Assyria, who would give answers in
every part of the City, and for the gaine of money would tell every
man his fortune, to some he would tel the dayes of their marriages,
to others he would tell when they should build, that their edifices
should continue. To others, when they should best go e about their
affaires. To others, when they should goe by sea or land : to me,
purposing to take my journey hither, he declared many things
strange and variable. For sometimes hee sayd that I should win
glory enough : sometimes he sayd I should write a great Historie :
sometimes againe hee sayd that I should devise an incredible tale :
and sometimes that I should make Bookes. Whereat Milo laughed
againe, and enquired of me, of what stature this man of Assyria
was, and what he was named. In faith (quoth I) he is a tall man
and somewhat blacke, and hee is called Diophanes. Then sayd
Milo, the same is he and no other, who semblably hath declared
many things here unto us, whereby hee got and obtained great
substance and Treasure.

But the poore miser fell at length into the hands of unpittifull and
cruell fortune : For beeing on a day amongst a great assembly of
people, to tell the simple sort their fortune, a certaine Cobler came
unto him, and desired him to tel when it should be best for him to
take his voyage, the which hee promised to do : the Cobler opened
his purse and told a hundred pence to him for his paines.
Whereupon came a certaine young gentleman and took Diophanes
by the Garment. Then he turning himselfe, embraced and kissed
him, and desired the Gentleman, who was one of his acquaintance,
to sit downe by him : and Diophanes being astonied with this
sudden change, forgot what he was doing, and sayd, O deare friend
you are heartily welcome, I pray you when arrived you into these
parts? Then answered he, I will tell you soone, but brother I pray
you tell mee of your comming from the isle of Euboea, and how
you sped by the way? Whereunto Diophanes this notable Assyrian
(not yet come unto his minde, but halfe amased) soone answered
and sayd, I would to god that all our enemies and evil willers might
fall into the like dangerous peregrination and trouble. For the ship
where we were in, after it was by the waves of the seas and by the
great tempests tossed hither and thither, in great peril, and after that
the mast and stern brake likewise in pieces, could in no wise be
brought to shore, but sunk into the water, and so we did swim, and
hardly escaped to land. And after that, whatsoever was given unto
us in recompense of our losses, either by the pitty of strangers, or
by the benevolence of our friends, was taken away from us by
theeves, whose violence when my brother Arisuatus did assay to
resist, hee was cruelly murthered by them before my face. These
things when he had sadly declared, the Cobler tooke up his money
againe which he had told out to pay for the telling of his fortune,
and ran away. The Diophanes comming to himselfe perceived
what he had done, and we all that stood by laughed greatly. But
that (quoth Milo) which Diophanes did tell unto you Lucius, that you
should be happy and have a prosperous journey, was only true.
Thus Milo reasoned with me. But I was not a little sorry that I had
traind him into such a vaine of talke, that I lost a good part of the
night, and the sweete pleasure thereof : but at length I boldly said to
Milo, Let Diophanes fare well with his evil fortune, and get againe
that which he lost by sea and land, for I verily do yet feel the
wearinesse of my travell, whereof I pray you pardon mee, and give
me licence to depart to bed : wherewithall I rose up and went unto
my chamber, where I found all things finely prepared and the
childrens bed (because they should not heare what we did in the
night) was removed far off without the chamber doore. The table
was all covered with those meats that were left at supper, the cups
were filled halfe full with water, to temper and delay the wines, the
flagon stood ready prepared, and there lacked nothing that was
necessary for the preparation of Venus. And when I was entring
into the bed, behold my Fotis (who had brought her mistresse to
bed) came in and gave me roses and floures which she had in her
apron, and some she threw about the bed, and kissed mee sweetly,
and tied a garland about my head, and bespred the chamber with
the residue. Which when shee had done, shee tooke a cup of wine
and delaied it with hot water, and profered it me to drinke; and
before I had drunk it all off she pulled it from my mouth, and then
gave it me againe, and in this manner we emptied the pot twice or
thrice together. Thus when I had well replenished my self with
wine, and was now ready unto Venery not onely in minde but also
in body, I removed my cloathes, and shewing to Fotis my great
impatiencie I sayd, O my sweet heart take pitty upon me and helpe
me, for as you see I am now prepared unto the battell, which you
your selfe did appoint : for after that I felt the first Arrow of cruell
Cupid within my breast, I bent my bow very strong, and now feare,
(because it is bended so hard) lest my string should breake : but
that thou mayst the better please me, undresse thy haire and come
and embrace me lovingly : whereupon shee made no long delay, but
set aside all the meat and wine, and then she unapparelled her
selfe, and unattyred her haire, presenting her amiable body unto me
in manner of faire Venus, when shee goeth under the waves of the
sea. Now (quoth shee) is come the houre of justing, now is come
the time of warre, wherefore shew thy selfe like unto a man, for I
will not retyre, I will not fly the field, see then thou bee valiant, see
thou be couragious, since there is no time appointed when our
skirmish shall cease. In saying these words shee came to me to
bed, and embraced me sweetly, and so wee passed all the night in
pastime and pleasure, and never slept until it was day : but we
would eftsoones refresh our wearinesse, and provoke our pleasure,
and renew our venery by drinking of wine. In which sort we
pleasantly passed away many other nights following.


How Apuleius supped with Byrrhena, and what a strange tale
Bellephoron told at the table

It fortuned on a day, that Byrrhena desired me earnestly to suppe
with her; and shee would in no wise take any excusation.
Whereupon I went to Fotis, to aske counsell of her as of some
Divine, who although she was unwilling that I should depart one
foot from her company, yet at length shee gave me license to bee
absent for a while, saying , Beware that you tarry not long at
supper there, for there is a rabblement of common Barrettors and
disturbers of the publique peace, that rove about in the streets and
murther all such as they may take, neither can law nor justice
redress them in any case. And they will the sooner set upon you,
by reason of your comelinesse and audacity, in that you are not
afeared at any time to walke in the streets.

Then I answered and sayd, Have no care of me Fotis, for I
esteeme the pleasure which I have with thee, above the dainty
meats that I eat abroad, and therefore I will returne againe quickly.
Neverthelesse I minde not to come without company, for I have
here my sword, wherby I hope to defend my selfe.

And so in this sort I went to supper, and behold I found in
Byrrhena's house a great company of strangers, and the chiefe and
principall of the city : the beds made of Citron and Ivory, were
richly adorned and spread with cloath of gold, the Cups were
garnished pretiously, and there were divers other things of sundry
fashion, but of like estimation and price : here stood a glasse
gorgeously wrought, there stood another of Christall finely painted.
There stood a cup of glittering silver, and there stood another of
shining gold, and here was another of amber artificially carved and
made with pretious stones. Finally, there was all things that might
be desired : the Servitors waited orderly at the table in rich apparell,
the pages arrayed in silke robes, did fill great gemmes and pearles
made in the forme of cups, with excellent wine. Then one brought
in Candles and Torches, and when we were set down and placed in
order, we began to talke, to laugh, and to be merry. And Byrrhena
spake unto mee and sayd, I pray you Cousine how like you our
countrey? Verily I think there is no other City which hath the like
Temples, Baynes, and other commodities which we have here.
Further we have abundance of household stuffe, we have pleasure,
we have ease, and when the Roman merchants arrive in this City
they are gently and quietly entertained, and all that dwell within this
province (when they purpose to solace and repose themselves) do
come to this city. Whereunto I answered, Verily (quoth I) you tell
truth, for I can finde no place in all the world which I like better
than this, but I greatly feare the blind inevitable trenches of witches,
for they say that the dead bodies are digged out of their graves, and
the bones of them that are burnt be stollen away, and the toes and
fingers of such as are slaine are cut off, and afflict and torment
such as live. And the old Witches as soone as they heare of the
death of any person, do forthwith goe and uncover the hearse and
spoyle the corpse, to work their inchantments. Then another sitting
at the table spake and sayd, In faith you say true, neither yet do
they spare or favor the living. For I know one not farre hence that
was cruelly handled by them, who being not contented with cutting
off his nose, did likewise cut off his eares, whereat all the people
laughed heartily, and looked at one that sate at the boords end, who
being amased at their gazing, and somewhat angry withall, would
have risen from the table, had not Byrrhena spake unto him and
sayd, I pray thee friend Bellerophon sit still and according to thy
accustomed curtesie declare unto us the losse of thy nose and
eares, to the end that my cousin Lucius may be delighted with the
pleasantnes of the tale. To whom he answered, Madam in the
office of your bounty shall prevaile herein, but the insolencie of
some is not to be supported. This hee spake very angerly : But
Byrrhena was earnest upon him, and assured him hee should have
no wrong at any mans hand. Whereby he was inforced to declare
the same, and so lapping up the end of the Table cloath and carpet
together, hee leaned with his elbow thereon, and held out three
forefingers of his right hand in manner of an orator, and sayd,
When I was a young man I went unto a certaine city called Milet,
to see the games and triumphs there named Olympia, and being
desirous to come into this famous province, after that I had
travelled over all Thessaly, I fortuned in an evil hour to come to the
City Larissa, where while I went up and down to view the streets
to seeke some reliefe for my poore estate (for I had spent all my
money) I espied an old man standing on a stone in the middest of
the market place, crying with a loud voice and saying, that if any
man would watch a dead corps that night hee should be reasonably
rewarded for this paines. Which when I heard, I sayd to one who
passed by, What is here to doe? Do dead men use to run away in
this Countrey? Then answered he, Hold your peace, for you are
but a Babe and a stranger here, and not without cause you are
ignorant how you are in Thessaly, where the women Witches bite
off by morsels the flesh and faces of dead men, and thereby work
their sorceries and inchantments. Then quoth I, In good fellowship
tell me the order of this custody and how it is. Marry (quoth he)
first you must watch all the night, with your eyes bent continually
upon the Corps, never looking off, nor moving aside. For these
Witches do turn themselves into sundry kindes of beasts, whereby
they deceive the eyes of all men, sometimes they are transformed
into birds, sometimes into Dogs and Mice, and sometimes into flies.
Moreover they will charme the keepers of the corps asleepe,
neither can it be declared what meanes and shifts these wicked
women do use, to bring their purpose to passe : and the reward for
such dangerous watching is no more than foure or sixe shillings.
But hearken further (for I had well nigh forgotten) if the keeper of
the dead body doe not render on the morning following, the corps
whole and sound as he received the same, he shall be punished in
this sort : That is, if the corps be diminished or spoyled in any part
of his face, hands or toes, the same shall be diminished and spoyled
in the keeper. Which when I heard him I tooke a good heart, and
went unto the Crier and bid him cease, for I would take the matter
in hand, and so I demanded what I should have. Marry (quoth he)
a thousand pence, but beware I say you young man, that you do
wel defend the dead corps from the wicked witches, for hee was
the son of one of the chiefest of the city. Tush (sayd I) you speak
you cannot tell what, behold I am a man made all of iron, and have
never desire to sleepe, and am more quicke of sight than Lynx or
Argus. I had scarse spoken these words, when he tooke me by the
hand and brought mee to a certaine house, the gate whereof was
closed fast, so that I went through the wicket, then he brought me
into a chamber somewhat darke, and shewed me a Matron
cloathed in mourning vesture, and weeping in lamentable wise.
And he spake unto her and said, Behold here is one that will
enterprise to watch the corpes of your husband this night. Which
when she heard she turned her blubbered face covered with haire
unto me saying, I pray you good man take good heed, and see well
to your office. Have no care (quoth I) so you will give mee any
thing above that which is due to be given. Wherewith shee was
contented, and then she arose and brought me into a chamber
whereas the corps lay covered with white sheets, and shee called
seven witnesses, before whom she shewed the dead body, and
every part and parcell thereof, and with weeping eyes desired them
all to testifie the matter. Which done, she sayd these words of
course as follow : Behold, his nose is whole, his eyes safe, his eares
without scarre, his lips untouched, and his chin sound : all which
was written and noted in tables, and subscribed with the hands of
witnesses to confirme the same. Which done I sayd unto the
matron, Madam I pray you that I may have all things here
necessary. What is that? (quoth she). Marry (quoth I) a great
lampe with oyle, pots of wine, and water to delay the same, and
some other drinke and dainty dish that was left at supper. Then
she shaked her head and sayd, Away fool as thou art, thinkest thou
to play the glutton here and to looke for dainty meats where so long
time hath not been seene any smoke at all? Commest thou hither
to eat, where we should weepe and lament? And therewithall she
turned backe, and commanded her maiden Myrrhena to deliver me
a lampe with oyle, which when shee had done they closed the
chamber doore and departed. Now when I was alone, I rubbed
myne eyes, and armed my selfe to keep the corpes, and to the
intent I would not sleepe, I began to sing, and so I passed the time
until it was midnight, when as behold there crept in a Wesel into the
chamber, and she came against me and put me in very great feare,
insomuch that I marvelled greatly at the audacity of so little a beast.
To whom I said, get thou hence thou whore and hie thee to thy
fellowes, lest thou feele my fingers. Why wilt thou not goe? Then
incontinently she ranne away, and when she was gon, I fell on the
ground so fast asleepe, that Apollo himself could not discern which
of us two was the dead corps, for I lay prostrat as one without life,
and needed a keeper likewise. At length the cockes began to
crow, declaring that it was day : wherewithall I awaked, and being
greatly afeard ran to the dead body with the lamp in my hand, and I
viewed him round about : and immediately came in the matron
weeping with her Witnesses, and ran to the corps, and eftsoons
kissing him, she turned his body and found no part diminished.
Then she willed Philodespotus her steward to pay me my wages
forthwith. Which when he had done he sayd, We thanke you
gentle young man for your paines and verily for your diligence
herein we will account you as one of the family. Whereunto I
(being joyous of by unhoped gaine, and ratling my money in my
hand) did answer, I pray you madam esteeme me as one of your
servants, and if you want my service at any time, I am at your
commandement. I had not fully declared these words, when as
behold all the servants of the house were assembled with weapons
to drive me away, one buffeted me about the face, another about
the shoulders, some strook me in the sides, some kicked me, and
some tare my garments, and so I was handled amongst them and
driven from the house, as the proud young man Adonis who was
torn by a Bore. And when I was come into the next street, I
mused with my selfe, and remembred myne unwise and unadvised
words which I had spoken, whereby I considered that I had
deserved much more punishment, and that I was worthily beaten
for my folly. And by and by the corps came forth, which because
it was the body of one of the chiefe of the city, was carried in
funeral pompe round about the market place, according to the right
of the countrey there. And forthwith stepped out an old man
weeping and lamenting, and ranne unto the Biere and embraced it,
and with deepe sighes and sobs cried out in this sort, O masters, I
pray you by the faith which you professe, and by the duty which
you owe unto the weale publique, take pitty and mercy upon this
dead corps, who is miserably murdered, and doe vengeance on this
wicked and cursed woman his wife which hath committed this fact
: for it is shee and no other which hath poysoned her husband my
sisters sonne, to the intent to maintaine her whoredome, and to get
his heritage. In this sort the old man complained before the face of
all people. Then they (astonied at these sayings, and because the
thing seemed to be true) cried out, Burne her, burne her, and they
sought for stones to throw at her, and willed the boys in the street
to doe the same. But shee weeping in lamentable wise, did swear
by all the gods, that shee was not culpable of this crime. No quoth
the old man, here is one sent by the providence of God to try out
the matter, even Zachlas an Egypptian, who is the most principall
Prophecier in all this countrey, and who was hired of me for money
to reduce the soule of this man from hell, and to revive his body for
the triall hereof. And therewithall he brought forth a certaine
young man cloathed in linnen rayment, having on his feet a paire of
pantofiles, and his crowne shaven, who kissed his hands and knees,
saying, O priest have mercy, have mercy I pray thee by the
Celestiall Planets, by the Powers infernall, by the vertue of the
naturall elements, by the silences of the night, by the building of
Swallows nigh unto the towne Copton, by the increase of the floud
Nilus, by the secret mysteries of Memphis, and by the instruments
and trumpets of the Isle Pharos, have mercy I say, and call to life
this dead body, and make that his eyes which he closed and shut,
may be open and see. Howbeit we meane not to strive against the
law of death, neither intend we to deprive the earth of his right, but
to the end this fact may be knowne, we crave but a small time and
space of life. Whereat this Prophet was mooved, and took a
certaine herb and layd it three times against the mouth of the dead,
and he took another and laid upon his breast in like sort. Thus
when hee had done hee turned himself into the East, and made
certaine orisons unto the Sunne, which caused all the people to
marvell greatly, and to looke for this strange miracle that should
happen. Then I pressed in amongst them nigh unto the biere, and
got upon a stone to see this mysterie, and behold incontinently the
dead body began to receive spirit, his principall veines did moove,
his life came again and he held up his head and spake in this sort :
Why doe you call mee backe againe to this transitorie life, that have
already tasted of the water of Lethe, and likewise been in the
deadly den of Styx? Leave off, I pray, leave off, and let me lie in
quiet rest. When these words were uttered by the dead corps, the
Prophet drew nigh unto the Biere and sayd, I charge thee to tell
before the face of all the people here the occasion of thy death :
What, dost thou thinke that I cannot by my conjurations call up the
dead, and by my puissance torment thy body? Then the corps
moved his head again, and made reverence to the people and sayd,
Verily I was poisoned by the meanes of my wicked wife, and so
thereby yeelded my bed unto an adulterer. Whereat his wife taking
present audacity, and reproving his sayings, with a cursed minde did
deny it. The people were bent against her sundry wayes, some
thought best that shee should be buried alive with her husband : but
some said that there ought no credit to be given to the dead body.
Which opinion was cleane taken away, by the words which the
corps spoke againe and sayd, Behold I will give you some evident
token, which never yet any other man knew, whereby you shall
perceive that I declare the truth : and by and by he pointed towards
me that stood on the stone, and sayd, When this the good Gard of
my body watched me diligently in the night, and that the wicked
Witches and enchantresses came into the chamber to spoyle mee
of my limbes, and to bring such their purpose did transforme
themselves into the shape of beasts : and when as they could in no
wise deceive or beguile his vigilant eyes, they cast him into so dead
and sound a sleepe, that by their witchcraft he seemed without
spirit or life. After this they did call me by my name, and never did
cease til as the cold members of my body began by little and little
and little to revive. Then he being of more lively soule, howbeit
buried in sleep, in that he and I were named by one name, and
because he knew not that they called me, rose up first, and as one
without sence or perseverance passed by the dore fast closed, unto
a certain hole, whereas the Witches cut off first his nose, and then
his ears, and so that was done to him which was appointed to be
done to me. And that such their subtility might not be perceived,
they made him a like paire of eares and nose of wax : wherfore
you may see that the poore miser for lucre of a little mony
sustained losse of his members. Which when he had said I was
greatly astonied, and minding to prove whether his words were true
or no, put my hand to my nose, and my nose fell off, and put my
hand to my ears and my ears fell off. Wherat all the people
wondred greatly, and laughed me to scorne : but I beeing strucken
in a cold sweat, crept between their legs for shame and escaped
away. So I disfigured returned home againe, and covered the losse
of myne ears with my long hair, and glewed this clout to my face to
hide my shame. As soon as Bellephoron had told his tale, they
which sate at the table replenished with wine, laughed heartily.
And while they drank one to another, Byrrhena spake to me and
said, from the first foundation of this city we have a custome to
celebrate the festivall day of the god Risus, and to-morrow is the
feast when as I pray you to bee present, to set out the same more
honourably, and I would with all my heart that you could find or
devise somewhat of your selfe, that might be in honour of so great
a god. To whom I answered, verily cousin I will do as you
command me, and right glad would I be, if I might invent any
laughing or merry matter to please of satisfy Risus withall. Then I
rose from the table and took leave of Byrrhena and departed. And
when I came into the first street my torch went out, that with great
pain I could scarce get home, by reason it was so dark, for ear of
stumbling : and when I was well nigh come unto the dore, behold I
saw three men of great stature, heaving and lifting at Milos gates to
get in : and when they saw me they were nothing afeard, but
assaied with more force to break down the dores whereby they
gave mee occasion, and not without cause, to thinke that they were
strong theeves. Whereupon I by and by drew out my sword which
I carried for that purpose under my cloak, and ran in amongst them,
and wounded them in such sort that they fell downe dead before
my face. Thus when I had slaine them all, I knocked sweating and
breathing at the doore til Fotis let me in. And then full weary with
the slaughter of those Theeves, like Hercules when he fought
against the king Gerion, I went to my chamber and layd me down
to sleep.



How Apuleius was taken and put in prison for murther.

When morning was come, and that I was awaked from sleep, my
heart burned sore with remembrance of the murther I had
committed the night before : and I rose and sate downe on the side
of the bed with my legges acrosse, and wringing my hands, I
weeped in most miserable sort. For I imagined with my selfe, that I
was brought before the Judge in the Judgement place, and that he
awarded sentence against me, and that the hangman was ready to
lead me to the gallows. And further I imagined and sayd, Alasse
what Judge is he that is so gentle or benigne, that will thinke that I
am unguilty of the slaughter and murther of these three men.
Howbeit the Assyrian Diophanes did firmely assure unto me, that
my peregrination and voyage hither should be prosperous. But
while I did thus unfold my sorrowes, and greatly bewail my fortune,
behold I heard a great noyse and cry at the dore, and in came the
Magistrates and officers, who commanded two sergeants to binde
and leade me to prison. whereunto I was willingly obedient, and as
they led me through the street, all the City gathered together and
followed me, and although I looked always on the ground for very
shame, yet sometimes I cast my head aside and marvelled greatly
that among so many thousand people there was not one but
laughed exceedingly. Finally, when they had brought me through all
the streets of the city, in manner of those that go in procession, and
do sacrifice to mitigate the ire of the gods, they placed mee in the
Judgement hall, before the seat of the Judges : and after that the
Crier had commanded all men to keep silence, and people desired
the Judges to give sentence in the great Theatre, by reason of the
great multitude that was there, whereby they were in danger of
stifling. And behold the prease of people increased stil, some
climed to the top of the house, some got upon the beames, some
upon the Images, and some thrust their heads through the
windowes, little regarding the dangers they were in, so they might
see me.

Then the officers brought mee forth openly into the middle of the
hall, that every man might behold me. And after that the Cryer had
made a noise, and willed all such that would bring any evidence
against me, should come forth, there stept out an old man with a
glasse of water in his hand, dropping out softly, who desired that
hee might have liberty to speake during the time of the continuance
of the water. Which when it was granted, he began his oration in
this sort.


How Apuleius was accused by an old man, and how he answered
for himselfe.

O most reverend and just Judges, the thing which I propose to
declare to you is no small matter, but toucheth the estate and
tranquillity of this whole City, and the punishment thereof may be a
right good example to others. Wherefore I pray you most
venerable Fathers, to whom and every one of whom it doth
appertain, to provide for the dignity and safety of the
Commonweale, that you would in no wise suffer this wicked
Homicide, embrued with the bloud of so many murthered citisens,
to escape unpunished. And thinke you not that I am moved
thereunto by envy or hatred, but by reason of my office, in that I
am captain of the night Watch, and because no man alive should
accuse mee to bee remisse in the same I wil declare all the whole
matter, orderly as it was done last night.

This night past, when as at our accustomed houre I diligently
searched every part of the City, behold I fortuned to espy this cruell
young man drawing out his sword against three Citisens, and after
a long combat foughten between them, he murthered one after
another miserably : which when hee had done, moved in his
conscience at so great a crime hee ran away, and aided by the
reason of darknes, slipt into a house, and there lay hidden all night,
but by the providence of the Gods, which suffereth no heynous
offence to pass unpunished, hee was taken by us this morning
before he escaped any further, and so brought hither to your
honourable presence to receive his desert accordingly.

So have you here a guilty person, a culpable homicide, and an
accused stranger, wherefore pronounce you judgement against this
man beeing an alien, when as you would most severely and sharply
revenge such an offence found in a known Citisen. In this sort the
cruell accuser finished and ended his terrible tale. Then the Crier
commanded me to speake, if I had any thing to say for my selfe,
but I could in no wise utter any word at all for weeping. And on
the other side I esteemed not so much his rigorous accusation, as I
did consider myne owne miserable conscience. Howbeit, beeing
inspired by divine Audacity, at length I gan say, Verily I know that
it is an hard thing for him that is accused to have slaine three
persons, to perswade you that he is innocent, although he should
declare the whole truth, and confesse the matter how it was indeed
, but if your honours will vouchsafe to give me audience, I will
shew you, that if I am condemned to die, I have not deserved it as
myne owne desert, but that I was mooved by fortune and
reasonable cause to doe that fact. For returning somewhat late
from supper yester night (beeing well tippled with wine, which I will
not deny) and approaching nigh to my common lodging, which was
in the house of one Milo a Citisen of this city, I fortuned to espy
three great theeves attempting to break down his walls and gates,
and to open the locks to enter in. And when they had removed the
dores out of the hookes, they consulted amongst themselves, how
they would handle such as they found in the house. And one of
them being of more courage, and of greater stature than the rest,
spake unto his fellows and sayd, Tush you are but boyes, take mens
hearts unto you, and let us enter into every part of the house, and
such as we find asleep let us kill, and so by that meanes we shall
escape without danger. Verily ye three Judges, I confess that I
drew out my sword against those three Citizens, but I thought it
was the office and duty of one that beareth good will to this weale
publique, so to doe, especially since they put me in great fear, and
assayed to rob and spoyl my friend Milo. But when those cruell
and terrible men would in no case run away, nor feare my naked
sword, but boldly resist against me, I ran upon them and fought
valiantly. One of them which was the captain invaded me strongly,
and drew me by the haire with both his hands, and began to beat
me with a great stone : but in the end I proved the hardier man, and
threw him downe at my feet and killed him. I tooke likewise the
second that clasped me about the legs and bit me, and slew him
also. And the third that came running violently against me, after
that I had strucken him under the stomacke fell downe dead. Thus
when I had delivered my selfe, the house, Myne host, and all his
family from this present danger, I thought that I should not onely
escape unpunished, but also have some great reward of the city for
my paines.

Moreover, I that have always been clear and unspotted of crime,
and that have esteemed myne innocency above all the treasure of
the world, can finde no reasonable cause why upon myne
accusation I should be condemned to die, since first I was mooved
to set upon the theeves by just occasion. Secondly, because there
is none that can affirm, that there hath been at any time either
grudge or hatred between us. Thirdly, we were men meere
strangers and of no acquaintance. Last of all, no man can prove
that I committed that fact for lucre or gaine.

When I had ended my words in this sort, behold, I weeped againe
pitteously, and holding up my hands I prayed all the people by the
mercy of the Commonweale and for the love of my poore infants
and children, to shew me some pitty and favour. And when my
hearts were somewhat relented and mooved by my lamentable
teares, I called all the gods to witnesse that I was unguilty of the
crime, and so to their divine providence, I committed my present
estate, but turning my selfe againe, I perceived that all the people
laughed exceedingly, and especially my good friend and host Milo.
Then thought I with my selfe, Alasse where is faith? Where is
remorse of conscience? Behold I am condemned to die as a
murtherer, for the safeguard of myne Host Milo and his family.
Yet is he not contented with that, but likewise laugheth me to
scorne, when otherwise he should comfort and help mee.


How Apuleius was accused by two women, and how the slaine
bodies were found blowne bladders.

When this was done, out came a woman in the middle of the
Theatre arrayed in mourning vesture, and bearing a childe in her
armes. And after her came an old woman in ragged robes, crying
and howling likewise : and they brought with them the Olive boughs
wherewith the three slaine bodies were covered on the Beere, and
cried out in this manner : O right Judges, we pray by the justice and
humanity which is in you, to have mercy upon these slaine persons,
and succour our Widowhood and losse of our deare husbands, and
especially this poore infant, who is now an Orphan, and deprived of
all good fortune : and execute your justice by order and law, upon
the bloud of this Theefe, who is the occasion of all our sorrowes.
When they had spoken these words, one of the most antient Judges
did rise and say, Touching this murther, which deserveth great
punishment, this malefactor himselfe cannot deny, but our duty is to
enquire and try out, whether he had Coadjutors to help him. For it
is not likely that one man alone could kill three such great and
valiant persons, wherefore the truth must be tried out by the racke,
and so wee shall learne what other companions he hath, and root
out the nest of these mischievous murtherers. And there was no
long delay, but according to the custome of Grecia, the fire, the
wheele, and many other torments were brought in. Then my
sorrow encreased or rather doubled, in that I could not end my life
with whole and unperished members. And by and by the old
woman, who troubled all the Court with her howling, desired the
Judges, that before I should be tormented on the racke, I might
uncover the bodies which I had slaine, that every man might see
their comely shape and youthfull beauty, and that I might receive
condign and worthy punishment, according to the quality of my
offence : and therewithall shee made a sign of joy. Then the Judge
commanded me forthwith to discover the bodies of the slain, lying
upon the beere, with myne own handes, but when I refused a good
space, by reason I would not make my fact apparent to the eies of
all men, the Sergeant charged me by commandement of the Judges,
and thrust me forward to do the same. I being then forced by
necessity, though it were against my wil, uncovered the bodies : but
O good Lord what a strange sight did I see, what a monster? What
sudden change of all my sorrows? I seemed as though I were one
of the house of Proserpina and of the family of death, insomuch
that I could not sufficiently expresse the forme of this new sight, so
far was I amased and astonied thereat : for why, the bodies of the
three slaine men were no bodies, but three blown bladders mangled
in divers places, and they seemed to be wounded in those parts
where I remembred I wounded the theeves the night before.
Whereat the people laughed exceedingly : some rejoyced
marvellously at the remembrance thereof, some held their
stomackes that aked with joy, but every man delighted at this
passing sport, so passed out of the theatre. But I from the time that
I uncovered the bodies stood stil as cold as ice, no otherwise than
as the other statues and images there, neither came I into my right
senses, until such time as Milo my Host came and tooke mee by
the hand, and with civil violence lead me away weeping and
sobbing, whether I would or no. And because that I might be
seene, he brought me through many blind wayes and lanes to his
house, where he went about to comfort me, beeing sad and yet
fearfull, with gentle entreaty of talke. But he could in no wise
mitigate my impatiency of the injury which I conceived within my
minde. And behold, by and by the Magistrates and Judges with
their ensignes entred into the house, and endeavoured to pacify
mee in this sort, saying, O Lucius, we are advertised of your
dignity, and know the genealogie of your antient lineage, for the
nobility of your Kinne doe possesse the greatest part of all this
Province : and thinke not that you have suffered the thing wherfore
you weepe, to any reproach and ignominy, but put away all care
and sorrow out of your minde. For this day, which we celebrate
once a yeare in honour of the god Risus, is alwaies renowned with
some solemne novel, and the god doth continually accompany with
the inventor therof, and wil not suffer that he should be sorrowfull,
but pleasantly beare a joyfull face. And verily all the City for the
grace that is in you, intend to reward you with great honours, and to
make you a Patron. And further that your statue or image may be
set up for a perpetuall remembrance.

To whome I answered, As for such benefits as I have received of
the famous City of Thessaly, I yeeld and render the most entire
thanks, but as touching the setting up of any statues or images, I
would wish that they should bee reserved for myne Auntients, and
such as are more worthy than I.

And when I had spoken these words somewhat gravely, and
shewed my selfe more merry than I was before, the Judges and
magistrates departed, and I reverently tooke my leave of them, and
bid them farewell. And behold, by and by there came one running
unto me in haste, and sayd, Sir, your cousin Byrrhena desireth you
to take the paines according to your promise yester night, to come
to supper, for it is ready. But I greatly fearing to goe any more to
her house in the night, said to the messenger, My friend I pray you
tell to my cousine your mistresse, that I would willingly be at her
commandement, but for breaking my troth and credit. For myne
host Milo enforced me to assure him, and compelled me by the
feast of this present day, that I should not depart from his company,
wherefore I pray you to excuse, and to defer my promise to
another time.

And while I was speaking these words, Milo tooke me by the hand,
and led me towards the next Baine : but by the way I went
couching under him, to hide my selfe from the sight of men,
because I had ministred such an occasion of laughter. And when I
had washed and wiped my selfe, and returned home againe, I never
remembred any such thing, so greatly was I abashed at the nodding
and pointing of every person. Then went I to supper with Milo,
where God wot we fared but meanly. Wherefore feigning that my
head did ake by reason of my sobbing and weeping all day, I
desired license to depart to my Chamber, and so I went to bed.


How Fotis told to Apuleius, what witchcraft her mistresse did use.

When I was a bed I began to call to minde all the sorrowes and
griefes that I was in the day before, until such time as my love
Fotis, having brought her mistresse to sleepe, came into the
chamber, not as shee was wont to do, for she seemed nothing
pleasant neither in countenance nor talke, but with sowre face and
frowning looke, gan speak in this sort, Verily I confesse that I have
been the occasion of all thy trouble this day, and therewith shee
pulled out a whippe from under her apron, and delivered it unto mee
saying, Revenge thyself upon mee mischievous harlot, or rather
slay me.

And thinke you not that I did willingly procure this anguish and
sorrow unto you, I call the gods to witnesse. For I had rather myne
owne body to perish, than that you should receive or sustaine any
harme by my means, but that which I did was by the
commandement of another, and wrought as I thought for some
other, but behold the unlucky chance fortuned on you by my evill

The I, very curious and desirous to know the matter, answered, In
faith (quoth I), this most pestilent and evill favoured whip which
thou hast brought to scourge thee withal, shal first be broken in a
thousand pieces, than it should touch or hurt thy delicate and dainty
skin. But I pray you tell me how have you been the cause and
mean of my trouble and sorrow? For I dare sweare by the love
that I beare unto you, and I will not be perswaded, though you your
selfe should endeavour the same, that ever you went to trouble or
harm me : perhaps sometimes you imagined an evil thought in your
mind, which afterwards you revoked, but that is not to bee deemed
as a crime.

When I had spoken these words, I perceived by Fotis eys being
wet with tears and well nigh closed up that shee had a desire unto
pleasure and specially because shee embraced and kissed me
sweetly. And when she was somewhat restored unto joy shee
desired me that shee might first shut the chamber doore, least by
the untemperance of her tongue, in uttering any unfitting words,
there might grow further inconvenience. Wherewithall shee barred
and propped the doore, and came to me againe, and embracing me
lovingly about the neck with both her armes, spake with a soft
voice and said, I doe greatly feare to discover the privities of this
house, and to utter the secret mysteries of my dame. But I have
such confidence in you and in your wisedome, by reason that you
are come of so noble a line, and endowed with so profound
sapience, and further instructed in so many holy and divine things,
that you will faithfully keepe silence, and that whatsoever I shall
reveale or declare unto you, you would close them within the
bottome of your heart, and never discover the same : for I ensure
you, the love that I beare unto you, enforceth mee to utter it. Now
shal you know all the estate of our house, now shal you know the
hidden secrets of my mistres, unto whome the powers of hel do
obey, and by whom the celestial planets are troubled, the gods
made weake, and the elements subdued, neither is the violence of
her art in more strength and force, than when she espieth some
comly young man that pleaseth her fancie, as oftentimes it hapneth,
for now she loveth one Boetian a fair and beautiful person, on
whom she employes al her sorcerie and enchantment, and I heard
her say with mine own ears yester night, that if the Sun had not
then presently gon downe, and the night come to minister
convenient time to worke her magicall enticements, she would have
brought perpetuall darkness over all the world her selfe. And you
shall know, that when she saw yester night, this Boetian sitting at
the Barbers a polling, when she came from the Baines shee
secretly commanded me to gather up some of the haires of his
head which lay dispersed upon the ground, and to bring it home.
Which when I thought to have done the Barber espied me, and by
reason it was bruited though all the City that we were Witches and
Enchantresses, he cried out and said, Wil you never leave off
stealing of young mens haires? In faith I assure you, unlesse you
cease your wicked sorceries, I will complaine to the Justices.
Wherewithall he came angerly towards me, and tooke away the
haire which I had gathered, out of my apron : which grieved me
very much, for I knew my Mistresses manners, that she would not
be contented but beat me cruelly.

Wherefore I intended to runne away, but the remembrance of you
put alwayes the thought out of my minde, and so I came homeward
very sorrowful : but because I would not seeme to come to my
mistresse sight with empty hands, I saw a man shearing of blowne
goat skinnes, and the hayre which he had shorne off was yellow,
and much resembled the haire of the Boetian, and I tooke a good
deale thereof, and colouring of the matter, I brought it to my
mistresse. And so when night came, before your return form
supper, she to bring her purpose to passe, went up to a high Gallery
of her house, opening to the East part of the world, and preparing
her selfe according to her accustomed practise, shee gathered
together all substance for fumigations, she brought forth plates of
mettal carved with strange characters, she prepared the bones of
such as were drowned by tempest in the seas, she made ready the
members of dead men, as the nosethrils and fingers, shee set out
the lumps of flesh of such as were hanged, the blood which she had
reserved of such as were slaine and the jaw bones and teeth of
willed beasts, then she said certaine charmes over the haire, and
dipped it in divers waters, as in Wel water, Cow milk, mountain
honey, and other liquor. Which when she had done, she tied and
lapped it up together, and with many perfumes and smells threw it
into an hot fire to burn. Then by the great force of this sorcerie,
and the violence of so many confections, those bodies whose haire
was burning in the fire, received humane shape, and felt, heard and
walked : And smelling the sent of their owne haire, came and
rapped at our doores in stead of Boetius. Then you being well
tipled, and deceived by the obscurity of the night, drew out your
sword courageously like furious Ajax, and kild not as he did, whole
heard of beastes, but three blowne skinnes, to the intent that I, after
the slaughter of so many enemies, without effusion of bloud might
embrace and kisse, not an homicide but an Utricide.

Thus when I was pleasantly mocked and taunted by Fotis, I sayd
unto her, verily now may I for this atcheived enterprise be
numbered as Hercules, who by his valiant prowesse performed the
twelve notable Labors, as Gerion with three bodies, and as
Cerberus with three heads, for I have slaine three blown goat
skinnes. But to the end that I may pardon thee of that thing which
though hast committed, perform, the thing which I most earnestly
desire of thee, that is, bring me that I may see and behold when thy
mistresse goeth about any Sorcery or enchantment, and when she
prayeth unto the gods : for I am very desirous to learne that art, and
as it seemeth unto mee, thou thy selfe hath some experience in the
same. For this I know and plainly feele, That whereas I have
always yrked and loathed the embrace of Matrones, I am so
stricken and subdued with thy shining eyes, ruddy cheekes,
glittering haire, sweet cosses, and lilly white paps, that I have
neither minde to goe home, nor to depart hence, but esteeme the
pleasure which I shall have with thee this night, above all the joyes
of the world. Then (quoth she) O my Lucius, how willing would I
be to fulfil your desire, but by reason shee is so hated, she getteth
her selfe into solitary places, and out of the presence of every
person, when she mindeth to work her enchantments. Howbeit I
regarde more to gratify your request, than I doe esteeme the
danger of my life : and when I see opportunitie and time I will
assuredly bring you word, so that you shal see all her
enchantments, but always upon this condition, that you secretly
keepe close such things as are done.

Thus as we reasoned together the courage of Venus assailed, as
well our desires as our members, and so she unrayed herself and
came to bed, and we passed the night in pastime and dalliance, till
as by drowsie and unlusty sleep I was constrained to lie still.


How Fotis brought Apuleius to see her Mistresse enchant.

On a day Fotis came running to me in great feare, and said that her
mistresse, to work her sorceries on such as shee loved, intended
the night following to transforme her selfe into a bird, and to fly
whither she pleased. Wherefore she willed me privily to prepare
my selfe to see the same. And when midnight came she led me
softly into a high chamber, and bid me look thorow the chink of a
doore : where first I saw how shee put off all her garments, and
took out of a certain coffer sundry kindes of Boxes, of the which
she opened one, and tempered the ointment therein with her
fingers, and then rubbed her body therewith from the sole of the
foot to the crowne of the head, and when she had spoken privily
with her selfe, having the candle in her hand, she shaked the parts
of her body, and behold, I perceived a plume of feathers did burgen
out, her nose waxed crooked and hard, her nailes turned into
clawes, and so she became an Owle. Then she cried and
screeched like a bird of that kinde, and willing to proove her force,
mooved her selfe from the ground by little and little, til at last she
flew quite away.

Thus by her sorcery shee transformed her body into what shape
she would. Which when I saw I was greatly astonied : and
although I was inchanted by no kind of charme, yet I thought that I
seemed not to have the likenesse of Lucius, for so was I banished
from my sences, amazed in madnesse, and so I dreamed waking,
that I felt myne eyes, whether I were asleepe or no. But when I
was come againe to my selfe, I tooke Fotis by the hand, and moved
it to my face and said, I pray thee while occasion doth serve, that I
may have the fruition of the fruits of my desire, and grant me some
of this oyntment. O Fotis I pray thee by thy sweet paps, to make
that in the great flames of my love I may be turned into a bird, so I
will ever hereafter be bound unto you, and obedient to your
commandement. Then said Fotis, Wil you go about to deceive me
now, and inforce me to work my own sorrow? Are you in the mind
that you will not tarry in Thessaly? If you be a bird, where shall I
seek you, and when shall I see you? Then answered I, God forbid
that I should commit such a crime, for though I could fly in the aire
as an Eagle or though I were the messenger of Jupiter, yet would I
have recourse to nest with thee : and I swear by the knot of thy
amiable hair, that since the time I first loved thee, I never fancied
any other person : moreover, this commeth to my minde, that if by
the vertue of the oyntment I shall become an Owle, I will take
heed I will come nigh no mans house : for I am not to learn, how
these matrons would handle their lovers, if they knew that they
were transformed into Owles : Moreover, when they are taken in
any place they are nayled upon posts, and so they are worthily
rewarded, because it is thought that they bring evill fortune to the
house. But I pray you (which I had almost forgotten) to tell me by
what meanes when I am an Owle, I shall return to my pristine

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