The Golden Asse eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about The Golden Asse.
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.

THE FIFTH CHAPTER

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

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The Golden Asse from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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