Apolonius and Silla

During the tyme that the famous Citie of Constantinople remained in the handes of the Christians, emongst many other noble menne, that kepte their abidyng in that florishing citie, there was one whose name was Apolonius, a worthie duke, who beyng but a verie yong man, and euen then newe come to his possessions whiche were verie greate, leuied a mightie bande of menne, at his owne proper charges, with whom he serued against the Turke, duryng the space of one whole yere, in whiche tyme although it were very shorte, this yong duke so behaued hym selfe, as well by prowesse and valiaunce shewed with his owne handes, as otherwise, by his wisedome and liberalitie, vsed towardes his souldiors, that all the worlde was filled with the fame of this noble duke. When he had thus spent one yeares seruice, he caused his trompet to sounde a retraite, and gatheryng his companie together, and imbarkyng theim selues he sette saile, holdying his course towardes Constantinople: but beeyng vppon the sea, by the extremitie of a tempest whiche sodainly fell, his fleete was deseuered some one way, and some an other, but he hym selfe recouered the Ile of Cypres, where he was worthily receiued by Pontus duke and gouernour of the same ile, with whom he lodged, while his shippes were newe repairyng.

This Pontus that was lorde and gouernour of this famous ile, was an auncient duke, and had twoo children, a soonne and a daughter, his sonne was named Siluio, of whom hereafter we shall haue further occasion to speake, but at this instant he was in the partes of Africa, seruyng in the warres.

The daughter her name was Silla, whose beautie was so perelesse, that she had the soueraintie emongest all other dames, aswell for her beautie as for the noblenesse of her birthe. This Silla hauing heard of the worthinesse of Apolonius, this yong duke, who besides his beautie and good graces, had a certaine naturall allurement, that beeyng now in his companie in her fathers courte, she was so strangely attached with the loue of Apolonius, that there was nothyng might content her but his presence and sweete sight, and although she sawe no maner of hope, to attaine to that she moste desired: knowing Apolonius to be but a geaste, and readie to take the benefite of the next winde, and to departe into a straunge countrey, whereby she was bereued of all possibilitie euer to see hym againe, and therefore striued with her self to leaue her fondenesse, but all in vaine, it would not bee, but like the foule whiche is once limed, the more she striueth, the faster she tieth her self. So Silla was now constrained perforce her will to yeeld to loue, wherefore from tyme to tyme, she vsed so greate familiaritie with hym, as her honour might well permitte, and fedde him with suche amourous baites as the modestie of a maide could reasonably afforde, whiche when she perceiued, did take but small effecte, feelyng her self so muche out raged with the extreamitie of her passion, by the onely countenaunce that she bestowed vpon Apolonius, it might haue been well perceiued, that the verie eyes pleaded vnto hym for pitie and remorse. But Apolonius commyng but lately from out of the feelde, from the chasyng of his enemies, and his furie not yet thoroughly desolved, nor purged from his stomacke, gaue no regarde to these amourous entisementes, whiche by reason of his youth, he had not been acquainted with all. But his minde ranne more to heare his pilotes bryng newes of a merrie winde, to serue his turne to Constantinople whiche in the ende came very prosperously: and giuing Duke Pontus heartie thankes for his greate entertainment, takyng his leaue of hym self, and the Ladie Silla his daughter, departed with his companie, and with a happie gaale ariued at his desired porte: gentlewomen accordyng to my promise, I will heare for breuities sake, omit to make repetition of the long and dolorous discourse recorded by Silla, for this sodaine departure of her Apolonius, knowyng you to bee as tenderly harted as Silla her self, whereby you maie the better coniecture the furie of her feuer.

But Silla the further that she sawe her self bereued of all hope, euer any more to see her beloued Apolonius, so much the more contagious were her passions, and made the greater speede to execute that she had premeditated in her mynde, whiche was this: emongest many seruauntes that did attend vppon her, there was one whose name was Pedro, who had a long time waited vpon her in her chamber, whereby she was well assured of his fidelitie and trust: to that Pedro therefore she bewraied first the feruencie of her loue borne to Apolonius, coniuring him in the name of the Goddes of Loue her self, and bindyng hym by the duetie that a seruante ought to have, that tendereth his mistresse safetie and good likyng, and desiryng hym with teares tricklyng doune her cheekes, that he would giue his consent to aide and assiste her, in that she had determined, whiche was for that she was fully resolued to goe to Constantinople, where she might againe take the vewe of her beloued Apolonius, that hee accordyng to the trust she

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