|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|By Heliodorus of Emesa (Third Century)|
From Theagenes and Chariclea: The First Booke: Translation of Thomas Underdowne
|AS soone as the day appeared and the Sunne began to shine on the tops of the hilles, men whose custome was to live by rapine and violence ranne to the top of a hill that stretched towards the mouth of Nylus called Heracleot: where standing awhile they viewed the sea underneath them, and when they had looked a good season a far off into the same, and could see nothing that might put them in hope of pray, they cast their eyes somewhat neare the shoare: where a shippe, tyed with cables to the maine land, lay at road, without sailers, and full fraughted, which thing they who were a farre of might easily conjecture: for the burden caused the shippe to drawe water within the bourdes of the decke. But on the shore every place was ful of men, some quite dead, some halfe dead, some whose bodies yet panted, and plainly declared that there had ben a battell fought of late.|| 1|
| But there could be seene no signes or tokens of any just quarell, but there seemed to be an ill and unluckie banket, and those that remained, obtained such ende. For the tables were furnished with delicate dishes, some whereof laie in the handes of those that were slaine, being in steede of weapons to some of them in the battaile, so souddenly begunne. Others covered such as crope under them to hide themselves, as they thought. Besides, the cuppes were overthrowen, and fell out of the handes, either of them that dranke, or those who had in steade of stones used them. For that soudaine mischiefe wrought newe devises, and taught them in steade of weapons to use their pottes. Of those who lay there, one was wounded with an axe, an other was hurte with the shelles of fishes, whereof on the shore there was great plentie, an other was al to crushed with a lever, many burnt with fire, and the rest by divers other meanes, but most of all were slaine with arrowes. To be briefe, God shewed a wonderfull sight in so shorte time, bruing bloude with wine, joyning battaile with banketting, mingling indifferently slaughters with drinkings, and killing with quaffinges, providing such a sight for the theeves of Egypt to gaze at.|| 2|
| For they, when they had given these thinges the lookinge-on a good while from the hill, coulde not understande what that sight meante: for asmuch as they saw some slaine there, but the conquerors coulde they see no where; a manifest victorie but no spoyls taken away; a shippe without mariners onely, but as concerning other things untouched, as if shee had beene kept with a garde of many men, and lay at road in a faulse harboure. But for all that they knew not what that thing meant, yet they had respect to their lucre and gaine.|| 3|
| When therefore they had determined that themselves were the victors, they drewe neare unto the same: and not being farre from the ship and those that were slaine, they saw a sight more perplexed then the rest a great deale. A maid endued with excellent beautie, which also might be supposed a goddesse, sate uppon a rocke, who seemed not a little to bee grieved with that present mischaunce, but for al that of excellent courage: she had a garland of laurell on her head, a quiver on her backe, and in her lefte hand a bowe, leaning upon her thigh with her other hande, and looking downewarde, without moving of her head, beholding a certaine young man a good way off, the which was sore wounded, and seemed to lift up himselfe as if he had bin wakened out of a deep sleepe, almost of death it selfe: yet was he in this case of singular beautie, and for all that his cheekes were besprinkled with bloude, his whitenes did appeare so much the more. He was constrained for griefe to cloase his eyes, yet caused he the maide to looke stedfastly upon him, and these things must they needs see, because they saw her. But as soone as he came to him selfe a little, he uttered these words very faintly. And art thou safe in deede my sweet hart, quoth hee? or else hast thou with thy death by any mischance augmented this slaughter? Thou canst not, no, not by death, be separated from me. But of the fruition of thy sight and thy life, doeth all mine estate depend. Yea in you (answered the maide) doeth my whole fortune consist, whither I shall live or die; and for this cause, you see (shewing a knife in her hande) this was hetherto readie, but only for your recovering was restrayned. And as soone as shee had saide thus, she leapt from the stone, and they who were on the hill, as well for wonder as also for the feare they had, as if they had beene stricken with lightning, ranne everie man to hide them in the bushes there beside. For she seemed to them a thing of greater price, and more heavenlie, when she stoode upright, and her arrowes with the sudden moving of her bodie, gave a clashe on her shoulders, her apparrell wrought with golde glistered against the Sunne, and her haire under her garlande, blowen about with the winde, covered a great part of her backe. The theeves were greatly afraide of these thinges, the rather for that they understoode not what that should meane which they sawe. Some of them said indeede it was a Goddesse and Diana, other said it was Isis, which was honoured there: but some of them said it was some Priest of the Gods, that replenished with Divine furie had made the great slaughter which there appeared; and thus everie man gave his verdite, because they knewe not the trueth. But she hastilie running to the young man embraced him, wept for sorrow, kissed him, wiped away his bloud, and made pitiful mone, being very carefull for his safetie.|| 4|