History of Apollonius of Tyre, Chapter 16


Apollonius then laid out an account of all his misfortunes, and when he had finished his speech, he began to cry. When the king saw him crying, he looked back to his daughter and said, “My sweet child, you have done wrong in that, by learning his name and misfortunes, you have renewed his old sufferings. Therefore, my sweet smart girl, it is right that you have learned the truth, so that you may display to him your liberality, as befits a queen.”

The girl, looking back at Apollonius, said, “Now you are ours – set aside your grief; because my father’s indulgence permits it, I will make you rich.” Apollonius then gave thanks mixed with sobbing.

The king, then, rejoiced right well when he saw the goodness of his daughter, and said to her, “Sweet child, mark me down as a happy man. Order that your lyre be brought to you, and bear off this young man’s grief, and make him glad enough to enjoy the feast.” The girl ordered that her lyre be brought out. When she took it up, she began to mingle the sounds of the strings with a surpassing sweetness of voice. All of the guests began to marvel, saying, “Nothing could be better, nothing could be sweeter than that which we have just heard!”

Among these acclamations, Apollonius alone was silent. The king said to him, “Apollonius, this is base of you! Everyone praises my daughter for her musical skill, but you alone reproach her with your silence? Then, Apollonius responded, “Lord and king, if I may, I shall say what I think: your daughter indeed has entered upon the art of music, but she has not truly learned it. Order now that a lyre be brought to me, and you will quickly know what so recently you did not.” Apollonius then took his place, crowned his head, and taking up the lyre, and sat down. He did this in such a way that everyone around thought that he was Apollo himself, not Apollonius. Then, once the room fell silent,

He took up the pick and matched

                                his spirit to his art.

His voice was mixed with the song given out by the strings. All of the diners and the king together began to cry out in praise and say, “Nothing could be better, nothing could be sweeter!” After this, he set down the lyre, and walked in wearing a comic actor’s garb, and with wonderful gestures and dancing he expressed actions without words, and after this he put on the tragic part: and in just the same degree did he please them, that all of the king’s friends proclaimed that they had never heard nor seen anything of the sort.

16 Apollonius vero universos casus suos exposuit et finito sermone lacrimas effundere coepit. Quem ut vidit rex flentem, respiciens filiam suam ait: “Nata dulcis, peccasti, quod, dum vis nomen et casus adolescentis agnoscere, veteres ei renovasti dolores. Ergo, dulcis et sapiens filia, ex quo agnovisti veritatem, iustum est, ut ei liberalitatem tuam quasi regina ostendas.” Puella vero respiciens Apollonium ait: “Iam noster es, iuvenis, depone maerorem; et quia permittit indulgentia patris mei, locupletabo te.” Apollonius vero cum gemitu egit gratias.

Rex vero videns tantam bonitatem filiae suae valde gavisus est et ait ad eam: “Nata dulcis, me salvum habeas. Iube tibi afferre lyram et aufer iuveni lacrimas et exhilara ad convivium.” Puella vero iussit sibi afferri lyram. At ubi eam accepit, cum nimia dulcedine vocis cordarum sonos, melos cum voce miscebat. Omnes convivae coeperunt mirari dicentes: “Non potest esse melius, non esse dulcius plus isto, quod audivimus!”

Inter quos solus tacebat Apollonius. Ad quem rex ait: “Apolloni, foedam rem facis. Omnes filiam meam in arte musica laudant, quare tu solus tacendo vituperas?” Apollonius ait: “Domine rex, si permittis, dicam, quod sentio: filia enim tua in artem musicam incidit, sed non didicit. Denique iube mihi dari lyram, et statim scies, quod ante nesciebas.” Rex Archistrates dixit: “Apolloni, ut intelligo, in omnibus es locuples.”

Et induit statum et corona caput coronavit et accipiens lyram introivit triclinium. Et ita fecit, ut discumbentes non Apollonium, sed Apollinem existimarent. Atque ita facto silentio ‘arripuit plectrum, animumque accomodat arti.’ Miscetur vox cantu modulata cordis. Discumbentes una cum rege in laude clamare coeperunt et dicere: “Non potest melius, non potest dulcius!”

Post haec deponens lyram ingreditur in comico habitu et mirabili manu et saltu inauditas actiones expressit. Post haec induit tragicum: et nihilominus admirabiliter complacuit ita, ut omnes amici regis et hoc se numquam audisse testarentur nec vidisse.

One thought on “History of Apollonius of Tyre, Chapter 16

  1. Site friend and real life friend Professor Mortis proposed that this passage might need some KRS-One

    Here’s the first verse of “Knowledge Reigns Supreme”

    The word I bring to you today
    Is Knowledge Reigns Supreme
    You got no time to joke and play
    Cause Knowledge Reigns Supreme
    While others play that game for fame
    Their concepts bring you stress and strain
    But blessed are those that know my name
    Is Knowledge Reigns Supreme

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