I.                  Travels in France and Spain

Now hear how Ampedo and Andolosia, the two sons of Fortunatus, fared with the two magical treasures.  When their lord and father died, they wore their grief and observed mourning for a year, like dutiful sons.  And while Andolosia was living a quiet life, not daring to participate in jousts or other courtly pastimes, he came across his fatherfs books.  When he read them, and learnt how many Christian kingdoms and heathen lands his father had passed through, he was filled with such delight and desire that he fixed on the earnest resolve to travel.

So he went to see Ampedo.  gDear brother, what are we doing here?  Let us travel and strive for honour, following in our fatherfs footsteps!  If you havenft yet read about all the distant lands he travelled across, then read now.h

Ampedo answered his brother good-naturedly: gGod speed the man who wants to travel.  But I have no desire to, for I could easily come to a place where I am not so well-off as I am here.  I shall stay put in Famagusta, and conclude my days in the beautiful palace.h

gIf youfre of that mood and mind, then letfs share out the treasures,h said Andolosia.

gDo you wish to overrule our fatherfs command?  Arenft you aware that his last will was that we should not, on any account, separate the two valuables?h

Andolosia replied, gI donft care about that; hefs dead, Ifm alive; and I want to share.h

gThen take the Hat and go wherever you will,h said Ampedo.

gYou take it yourself and stay here,h rejoined Andolosia.

And they could not come to an agreement, for they both wanted the Purse.  Finally, Andolosia said: gDear brother, I know how we can resolve this; according to our fatherfs advice, we should share our division with no one.  So letfs fill two chests with gold from the Purse, and you keep them here; they will more than meet your needs.  You also keep the Hat – itfll give you many happy hours – and leave the Purse to me.  Ifll travel and strive for honour for six years, and when I return, the Purse will be yours for six years.  In this way we can own and enjoy it in common.h

Ampedo, who was a kindly soul, let it pass as his brother suggested; and when Andolosia understood that he was going to be allowed to depart with the Purse, he was happy with all his heart.  He began his preparations, hiring strong servants and buying handsome horses; and he had a cart constructed, which was to follow in his train and bear his jousting equipment and other courtly paraphernalia.

Then he took his leave of Ampedo and rode out of Famagusta with forty smart menservants on prancing chargers, all dressed in his livery.  His first stop was at the King of Francefs Court, where he joined the company of nobles, counts and barons.  Being prodigal, and having an accommodating disposition, he was held in high regard by the majority; and he served the King as if he were his hired man.  While he sojourned there, it so happened that a tournament was held, with jousts, wrestling and leaping, and Andolosia came first in every event, so that his praise was cried abroad.  After the jousting, it was customary to hold a ball for the noble ladies; Andolosia was invited to this and given the first dance.  The ladies enquired after his name and land, and were informed that he was called Andolosia from Famagusta in Cyprus, and he came from a noble line.  Then they began to single him out for attention and to flirt with him; and he was not slow to return the compliment.  And the King invited him to table.

Andolosia, seeing that his appearance and society were pleasing to the nobility, invited them, and all their wives, to be his guests.  He provided them with a splendid banquet, which delighted the noble ladies and convinced them that he was born of noble lineage.  In the midst of their merriment, there was a nobleman at the Kingfs Court whose wife was a paragon of beauty; her appearance far surpassed that of all other women.  This nobleman was Andolosiafs jousting-partner, and there was no one to match them for skill.  His wife captivated Andolosia, who began to woo her assiduously, promising her a thousand crowns if she would spend one night with him.  The wife thought that a thousand crowns were soon earned, but her honour prevented her from complying, and she told her husband.  He said: gOh wife, the thousand crowns would be handy, we could really use them – but it is best not to do this, for honour takes precedence over riches.

gI know what we can do,h he continued.  gWe have a beautiful, shapely neighbour, an accommodating companion, who refuses her body to no one if the price is right.  How if you were to tell her about the proposal that has been made you, which you do not dare undertake, for your husband is a stickler for honour and you would fear for your life?h

The woman followed her husbandfs instructions and spoke to their neighbour: gSo that is what has occurred.  If you wish to take the matter on, I will see to it that you take my place, in my house, and you will lie with the nobleman who is here at the moment and is good with his lance.  He offered me a thousand crowns for spending a night with him; if you do this for me, Ifll give you a hundred.h

The good neighbour said: gI donft care much about that – I would lie with such a man for nothing.  But Ifm afraid that if I went through with this, you wouldnft give me the hundred crowns, but would send me away with one or two, because of my low station.h

gIfll give you the hundred crowns up front, before you earn them,h the wife assured her.

She was satisfied with this, and said that if the lady arranged the preparations, she would oblige her with great gusto.  The lady told her husband how she had won their neighbour over to her will, and he expressed his contentment.

Then Andolosia came up to the lady and urged his suit in true loverfs fashion, mentioning the thousand crowns.  She replied: gIf you are not merely fooling, then come to me tomorrow night and bring the money with you; for tomorrow my husband rides out in the Kingfs service.h

Andolosia was overjoyed, and he regarded the expense as a mere trifle.  So the following night he sneaked away from his men, bearing the thousand crowns, and crept alone to the ladyfs house, where she was waiting for him.  She received him with the money, which was in a bag, and she did not count it out, for she could tell by the weight that all was in order.  Leading him to her room, she told him to get into the bed and not make a sound; she would join him presently.  Then she hurriedly sent for her neighbour and gave her a hundred crowns.  The good lass had really spruced herself up with clean and sweet-scented hands and other enticements, for she was well versed in the ins-and-outs of these affairs.  And as they lay together in vigorous joy, Andolosia believed himself to be in the arms of his jousting-companionfs wife.  But when the good young lady heard how deeply she pleased Andolosia, and how wonderful he thought her, it struck her as unfair that the lady should pocket nine hundred crowns, while she had no more than one hundred.  So she disclosed the deception, and when Andolosia heard how he had been cheated, he did not care about the money he had expended, but he was afraid that the affair would spread throughout the city and he would become a laughing-stock for having let himself be tricked by two women.  So he stood up and gave the lass another hundred crowns, and returning to his inn, he woke all his servants up and ordered them to make ready: he was about to ride away.  eFrom now on, Ifll be on my guard against the tricks of faithless womenf, he thought; and he rode away from Paris, without blessing, without leave, in a black mood.

And when he had a dayfs ride from Paris behind him, the affair still preyed on his mind; so he sent a servant to the woman he had lain with to give her another two hundred crowns and the instruction to prosecute the noblemanfs wife before the King or parliament.  She should tell them that the lady had unlawfully appropriated money – to the sum of nine hundred crowns – which was not hers by right; it belonged to the neighbour, as the reward for her services.  The good neighbour promised the serving-lad that he would soon hear how she had prosecuted the affair with a vengeance.  So the two women went to law and expended as much money as they had received, and then more; the case was grist to the mill for the advocates, clerks and procurators, for the greatest part of the money ended up in their hands.

As Andolosia rode away from the King of Francefs court, he thought: eAt least the false women didnft cheat me out of the Pursef.  And he resolved to cast the matter from his mind and to think of a way to restore his spirits.

He rode without stopping to the King of Aragonfs Court, and from there he continued on to Navarre, Castille and Portugal.  It were a long process to write of his chivalric behaviour at each Royal Court: his jousting exploits, his chivalric deportment, and, in particular, his lavish expenditure to maintain a stately equipage.  Afterwards he arrived before the King of Spain, a mighty monarch who held great court and was waging war at that time against the King of Granada, a heathen land bordering his realm, and against the King of Damascus in Barbary, who was also a heathen King.  When Andolosia came there, he was strongly attracted to the people and their customs; for the Spaniards are exceedingly proud, even though their skin is black or brown.  Then he dressed himself, his servants, and his horses, after the fashion of the land; and he penetrated the circle of nobility, attaining the position of servant to the King.  He launched himself into tournaments and pursued all knightly sports, distributed prizes, and extended invitations to the noble ladies, whom he wined and dined superbly.  When the King rode out against his enemies, Andolosia hired a hundred mercenaries at his own expense; and he served the King so diligently that he won his deep affection, for in every battle he would be in the foremost press, where he performed many manly deeds, so that the King dubbed him knight.

There was an old Count who had an only daughter at Court.  The King wanted Andolosia to marry this daughter, so he could make him a Count in the fatherfs place; but Andolosia refused, for the Countfs daughter did not attract him – she was not pretty – and he was perfectly indifferent to the promise of wealth and a comity, for he possessed Fortunefs Purse.  And when he had spent several years with the King, Andolosia found that time began to hang heavy on his hands, especially as there were no beauties at the Court to take to bed or heart.  So he asked the King for leave to depart, which was graciously granted; and the King decorated him with his livery[1] and told him that whenever he returned, Andolosia would find him a well-disposed lord and master.

Then Andolosia sought out a sturdy ship and hired a crew to take him and his to England, and to be well recompensed for their efforts; and he took his leave from many whose close acquaintance he had made.  Some members of the Court were overjoyed at his departure, for they no longer had to witness his luxurious lifestyle; and many were sad, having enjoyed his favours.  So he sailed away and came with a fair wind to England, to the great city of London where the King holds court.  He rented a stately mansion, had all necessities bought to excess, and began to live like a Duke, inviting the nobles at the Kingfs Court to guest, loading them with presents, and earning their favour.  Once again, he jousted, tourneyed, and performed the deeds expected of a knight in more accomplished a fashion than anyone else, which led both women and men, nobles and commoners, to award him the prize.  The King and Queen often saw, with their own eyes, Andolosia giving proofs of his manliness, and they approved of his bearing; and the King asked if he would like to belong to his Court.  Andolosia replied that he would willingly serve him with body and goods.


II.               Agrippina

Now when he was at Court, it so happened that the King of England marched out against the King of Scotland.  Andolosia joined his army at the head of a great host assembled at his own cost, and performed so many knightly deeds that he was extolled above all others.  Although it cannot be denied that there is no race on Earth prouder, haughtier and less willing to acknowledge the merit of others or concede them honour than the English, yet they spoke great praise of Andolosia for the extreme valour he had displayed in battle.  Nevertheless, they maintained that it was still a shame that he was not an Englishman, for they believe that there is no greater race on Earth than their own.

The war having been brought to a successful conclusion, everyone returned home.  Andolosia came to London once more and was received with honour by the King.  After several days had passed, and the mercenaries had dispersed in part, the King invited Andolosia to guest and placed him at a table alone with the King, the Queen and their only daughter, called Agrippina, who was one of the most beautiful women to be found in the world, and so white and delicate that she had been likened to a former Princess of England, the fair Amelia.[2]  She was seated opposite Andolosia at table, and when he saw her he thought that an angel sent to Earth by God could not be more perfectly formed, and he was inflamed with a passionate love; his heart was seized with so deep a lust that he could neither eat nor drink.  He flushed, then blanched, in the manner of the truly ardent lover; and the Queen clearly descried that he had received the Angel of Love.  When the King addressed him, he could form no answer; and then Agrippina threw him a look that fanned the flames of his desire and led him to believe that she returned his love, which was however far from the truth.  During the meal there was much lute-music and recitation of pleasant verses, as is the custom at the tables of lords, but Andolosia had paid scarcely any attention to this, all of his thoughts being fixed on Agrippina.  When the meal was done, he found his way home loaded with love, his burden tied on more tightly than a package of pepper to a sorely-laden camel plodding from India to Cairo.

And when he was alone at home, he thought: eI would to God I were of royal descent!  Then Ifd serve the King so loyally, and stand so in his confidence, that hefd have to marry the fair Agrippina to me.  What more could I ask for than so beautiful a wife?  But though my birth is not high enough, yet I cannot help but strive for her favour and court her love – may I be served as God wills!f  Then he began to joust intensely, and to fling himself into other knightly pursuits, for he knew that the Queen and her daughter were watching.  So he hunted after honour with all his might, and on one occasion invited the Queen, the Princess and all the noble ladies at Court to a marvellous meal.  The King was told about this repast, how Andolosia had presented the Queen and Princess with precious gifts, and how their maids and chambermaids had also felt the full force of his generosity.  This had been done to procure Andolosia a warmer reception at Court, and it worked; when he visited next, he was admitted to the Queen and the lovely Agrippina, to his no small delight.  On one such visit, the King said to him: gI have heard from the Queen and the other ladies that you invited them to a feast fit for a King.  Why did you not invite me?h

gMy most gracious King,h said Andolosia, gif Your Majesty would not scorn my hospitality, I should be delighted.h

gThen invite me; I shall come tomorrow and bring ten people with me.h

Highly contented, Andolosia hurried home and gave his servants great sums of money to buy the best provisions they could find.  He also ordered the cook to concoct the most mouth-watering meal his hands had ever prepared, and not to omit anything for the sake of saving money.

All was made ready, and the King came, with counts and lords, at the arranged time.  The whole company were astounded at the manifold courses of the choicest foods and at the rare wines that were provided.  The King thought: eThis Andolosia can spend without regretyet he owns no land nor vassals.  I must do something to teach him that he is not as powerful as he thinksf.  So one morning soon after, the King sent a message to Andolosia, saying that he would dine with him that day.  Pleased to receive this news, Andolosia sent his servants out to buy all that was needful.  Now the King had forbidden, on pain of loss of body and goods, the sale of wood, and wooden items such as ships, to Andolosia.  So when the servants had bought all the victuals, and the cooks were ready to boil and roast, there was no wood.  Andolosia sent men out to buy houses, ships or fences, whatever they could get hold of, so that the food could be cooked.  But no matter where the servants went, they could not find anyone willing to sell.  On learning this, Andolosia realised that it was the Kingfs commandment; so he sent in haste to the Venetians, who have warehouses in London, and bought cloves, nutmeg, sandal and cinnamon off them.  These were then emptied onto the floor and set alight, and the food was cooked over this fire.

When meal-time came round, the King thought that the food could not possibly have been prepared.  Nonetheless, he rose, assembled the lords who had accompanied him to the previous feast, and rode towards Andolosiafs lodgings.  And as they approached the house, they were met by such an excellent and savoury aroma that they were struck with astonishment; and the nearer they came, the stronger this aroma grew.  The King asked if the meal was ready, and he was told yes, the cooks were boiling and roasting with pure spices; which surprised him somewhat.  And if Andolosia had served the King sumptuously at the previous feast, he now supplied him and his men with yet more magnificent provision; and once all the food had found a home, the Kingfs servants and his companionsf serving-lads came with five hundred horses to escort him home.  When they arrived, Andolosia said: gGracious Majesty, if you have no objections, I should like to give ten crowns to every one of your men.h

gIf you want to hand out money, thatfs fine by me,h replied the King.

So the servants were all summoned to a room where Andolosia was standing by the door, and he gave every man ten crowns; the servants were delighted, and they all began to praise Andolosia.  Once this was over, the King rode home; and when he arrived back in his palace, he began to wonder where Andolosiafs great wealth came from, for a King with land and lieges were unable to maintain so lavish a lifestyle.  And while he was wondering, in walked the Queen; so he told her about the splendid meal Andolosia had given him, cooked with pure spices in the stead of wood, and the ten crowns he had handed to each one of his servants.  He could not imagine whence Andolosia had so much money; there was no stinting, yet time seemed only to increase his extravagance.  The Queen said:

gI know no one who could discover the truth as soon as Agrippina.  He has taken such a shine to her that, rest assured, whatever she asks him, he will tell her.h

gIf I could learn the truthc Ifd dearly like to know!  I think he must scoop it from a fountain.  If I knew where this was, Ifd be there myself,h mused the King.

gIfll do my utmost to get to the bottom of this,h said the Queen; and returning to her chambers, she summoned Agrippina for a talk in private.  After telling her about Andolosiafs lavish mode of living, she continued: gThe King and I cannot understand where all his money comes from, for he has neither land nor lieges.  Now everything about him tells me that he is obsessed with you, and the next time he visits, Ifll allow you more time to converse with him, to see if you can get him to reveal the source of his wealth.h

gI shall certainly try,h promised Agrippina.

So when Andolosia made his next appearance at Court, he was received most handsomely, and admitted to the ladiesf quarters, to his great delight; and it was arranged that he should talk in private with Agrippina.  When they were alone, she began: gAndolosia, everyone is saying that it was most honourable of you to regale the King in such grand style and reward all his servants so bountifully.  But tell me: arenft you afraid that, one day, your money will run out?h

gDear lady,h he said, gwhile I breathe, I cannot want for money.h

gThen it is meet and proper that you say prayers for your father, who has left you such a store.h

Andolosia replied, gI am as rich as my father, and he was never richer than I am now.  But his cast of mind was such that he could take delight only in visiting foreign lands; whereas my pleasure lies with beautiful ladies, in earning their love and favour.h

gNow you have been at Kingsf Courts, where there is always a host of beautiful women.  Have you perhaps seen anything that takes your fancy?h asked Agrippina.

gI have served at the Courts of six Kings, and Ifve seen many beautiful ladies and maidens; but none of those women can begin to compare with you for beauty, elegant deportment and exemplary conduct.  Your virtues have set my heart burning so fiercely with love that I cannot help myself, I must reveal to you the great and unspeakable love I bear for you.  Ifm fully aware that I canft reasonably expect you to return my ardour, for I was not born into the high nobility.  And yet love, which conquers everything – love presses me so hard that I cannot stop myself, I must ask for your love; and if you do not refuse me, then whatever you ask of me will be granted.h

He had not long to wait before Agrippina replied: gAndolosia, be honest with me.  Show me where all your wealth originates.  If you do this in good faith, and do not deceive me, then I shall comply with your desire.h

When Andolosia heard these words, his heart skipped a beat, and with a careless mind and joyful heart he cried out: gDear Agrippina, Ifll trust you with the truth you wish to know!  But give me your word and your faith.h

gOh Andolosia my dearest, do not doubt my love or my word; what I promise with my lips, you shall experience as works.h

At these kind words, Andolosia said to the beautiful maiden, gNow hold out the lap of your skirt,h and pulling out Fortunefs Purse, he showed it to the Princess, and said: gWhile I have this Purse, I have no end of money.h  And he counted out a thousand Crowns into her lap, saying: gThese are a gift for you.  And if you want more, Ifll tell you more.  Do you believe that Ifve told you the truth?h

gI see and acknowledge the truth,h she replied, gand now your expenditure amazes me no longer.h

gNow fulfil your faith to me, as I fulfilled mine.h

gI shall do that, my darling Andolosia.  Tonight the Queen will lie with the King, and I shall arrange with my ladyfs-maid for you to lie with me.  I cannot bring this to pass without her; you will have to seal her lips with gold.h

Andolosia promised to do this and to come that night.  As soon as he had gone, Agrippina ran to the Queen with the thousand Crowns in her skirts and told her with great delight how she had discovered Andolosiafs secret, and the promise she had made him, and the prospect she had given him for that night.  The Queen was highly pleased, for she was a cunning woman, and she asked her daughter:

gCan you remember the shape of the Purse, and its colour and size?h

gYes,h said Agrippina.

Then the Queen sent for a bag-maker and had him make a purse which exactly resembled Andolosiafs.  It was also softened, to give it the appearance of age.  After this she ordered her physician to prepare a sleeping-draught – a drink strong enough to sink a man into a sleep as deep as death for seven or eight hours.  When the potion was ready, it was borne to Agrippinafs chamber, and the ladyfs-maid received instructions to give Andolosia a good reception when he came that night and then to conduct him to Agrippinafs chamber.  The Queen would send her daughter to him, and once they were together, the ladyfs-maid was to present them with sugared sweets with golden icing, then give him the draught; and she was to take care to pour it into Andolosiafs goblet.

And as all things were arranged, so they came to pass.  Andolosia came quite surreptitiously and was led into Agrippinafs chamber; soon the lady herself appeared and sat down with him, and they spoke to one another very cordially.  Then no shortage of confections were brought in, and drinks were poured.  Agrippina said to Andolosia: gI bring you a drink of friendshiph (that is the custom in those lands), and he drank to do her will; and she brought him one cordial after another until he had drunk the whole draught.  As soon as he had finished, he sat down heavily, sank to the ground, and fell so fast asleep that he was insensible to what followed.  Agrippina was on him in a flash, tearing his jerkin open and severing the Fortunate Purse from his body, before sewing the other purse in its place.  Oh Andolosia!  What an unequal exchange!

Early in the morning Agrippina brought the Purse to the Queen, who tested its power and, finding no end of gold coins, took her gold-filled skirts to the King.  She told him how they had dealt by Andolosia; he asked her to induce Agrippina to give him the Purse, for she might lose it.  The Queen tried, but Agrippina refused; so she asked her daughter to give it to her, but Agrippina refused this request as well, remarking that she had risked her life to obtain it, for if Andolosia had woken up while she was busy about him, then ghe would have beaten me to death, and with justice.h

When Andolosia had slept off the draught, he woke up and looked around him, and he saw no one save the old ladyfs-maid.  He asked her what had become of Agrippina.

 gShe has just arisen; my good lady the Queen has sent for her.  Oh sir, you were out like a light!  I tried for long to wake you, but I couldnft rouse you to pleasure and sport with Agrippina.  In fact, your sleep was so sound that if I hadnft been able to sense your breath, Ifd have counted you among the dead.h

When he heard that he had overslept Agrippinafs love, Andolosia began to swear and to curse himself with the most terrible oaths his mind could devise.  The old ladyfs-maid attempted to pacify him, saying, gSir, donft take on so.  What didnft happen last night will come to pass hereafter.h

gMay God light a plague on you, you old procuress!  Why didnft you wake me up?  In all my life, Ifve never slept so deeply that I wouldnft have woken had anyone so much as prodded me.h

She said and swore that she had tried, and gave him good words, for he had handed her two hundred Crowns on the previous night; and with these good words, she ushered him out of Agrippinafs bedchamber, and out of the Kingfs palace.  So Andolosia came home to his men, not as merry of mood as he was want to be, and fretting at the thought of having overslept Matins.  He did not yet know that he had also overslept fortune and felicity.


III.           Hatless in Hibernia

The King, knowing that Agrippina had the Purse, mused: eAndolosia may have more of these virtuous Purses.  If that was his only one, then hefs an utter fool for taking so little care of it that a pretty woman can ease it from his possession.f  He set great store by the Purse, thinking: eNow money will never fail me, and I need not give my daughter a dowry; she can provide for herself quite honourably.  But how am I to discover if Andolosia has any more of these purses?f

So he sent him a message, saying that he would ride out on the following day and he wished Andolosia to join the party; before that, however, the King desired to dine with him.  Hearing this, Andolosia replied that the King should not make requests, but command him at all times as his servant: he would always find him willing.  When this came to the Kingfs ears, he thought: he undoubtedly has more purses.

Andolosia summoned one of his servants, to whom he usually gave three or four hundred crowns to keep a good house, and told him to prepare a sumptuous meal, for the King was coming to dine.  The man said:

gSir, Ifm afraid that I donft have enough money.  Thisfll cost a lot.h

Andolosia, who was still in a black mood, opened his jerkin and pulled out his purse, with a view to counting out four hundred crowns.  But when he put his hand inside, after his accustomed fashion, it closed on air.  He raised his eyes to the heavens, he looked from one wall to the other, he turned the purse inside-out – there was a distinct absence of money.

And he realised that Agrippina had duped him.  He fell, as you can well understand, into a foul mood.  For the first time, he was plunged into fear and want, and he thought of the advice that his father had given him and his brother in good faith on his deathbed, namely to tell no one of the Purse as long as they lived; for the moment that another learnt of its existence, they would lose it.  And this had, alas, come to pass.  Andolosia also realised that the Kingfs message was meant to mock him, and there was no hope of demanding the return of the Purse; he could expect nothing from the King but disgrace, ignominy and derision.  In his heartfs pain it seemed that he could take no better course than that of riding home to his brother: eand Ifll be an unworthy guest, returning without the Pursef.  Having made this resolve, he called for all of his servants and delivered the following speech:

gItfs now nigh on ten years since you entered my service.  I have maintained you honourably and let you suffer no lack. I am in debt to none; you have all been paid in advance. The time has now come when I can no longer hold court as I have been accustomed to, and I can no longer be a lord, not yourfs, not anyonefs.  Now every one of you has a stout horse and good armour, but there is one more trifle that I would like to share with you.h

And turning to his treasurer, he said: gNow count.  How much cash do you have?h

The treasurer told a hundred and sixty crowns.  There were forty servants, and Andolosia gave two crowns to each, saying: gThese crowns, and the horse and armour, are my gift to every one of you, and I pronounce you free, released, and discharged from the vow you made me.  Let each one of you provide for himself as he knows best from now on, for I cannot remain here any longer, and I have no money beyond that which I have shared with you.h

When he had finished speaking, the servants were grievously shocked; they looked at one another, amazed that so luxurious a mode of life and so grand a figure should disappear in one night.  Then one of them spoke out: gOur dear, faithful master, if anyone has done you some injury, give us to understand who it was for he must die by our hands, even if it was the King himself, and we should all lose our lives for it.h

gNo one is to fight for my sake,h replied Andolosia.

They said, gWell, we donft want to part from you.  Wefll sell our horses, armour, and all we have, and not leave you.h

gI thank you all, my dear, dutiful servants, for the offer.  When fortune returns to me I shall repay your loyalty.  But do as I said and saddle my horse for me at once; I will not have anyone riding or walking with me.h

The servants were sad, and deeply pitied their worthy master, with whom they had enjoyed such good cheer; and they lamented among themselves with tears in their eyes while they brought him his horse.  Then Andolosia took his leave of each man in turn, mounted the horse, and rode as fast as he could to his brother Ampedo in Famagusta.

And when he arrived at the beautiful palace, he knocked on the doors and was admitted at once.  Ampedo heard that his brother had come home, and he was delighted; he thought that now he could have his pleasure of the Purse and no longer have to scrimp as he had been doing for ten years.  So he went to his brother and received him with great joy, then asked why he came alone and where he had left his retinue.

gI have dismissed them all, and I praise God that I am come home.h

Ampedo asked, gDear brother, what has happened to you?  Tell me, for it pleases me little that you are come alone.h

Andolosia said, gLet us eat first,h and when the meal was over they retired to a room, where Andolosia began to speak with a humble voice and a sorrowful air: gOh, my dearest brother, Ifm afraid that I must be the herald of bad news, I have done us a grievous injury.  Ifve lost our fortunate Purse.  Ah God, it hurts me to the heart; but I cannot, alas, change what is done.h

Ampedo was shaken to the core, and he swayed on the point of swooning; with heartfelt misery he asked, gWas it wrested from you by force, or did you lose it?h

gI ignored the command our faithful father gave us when he departed this world and I disclosed the secret of the Purse to a loved one.  And as soon as I revealed it to her, she stole it from me – which I had not expected of her.h

gIf we had followed our fatherfs instructions,h said Ampedo, gwe wouldnft have separated the two treasures.  You would go and visit foreign countries!  Well, just look at the success you have met with, and the profit theyfve brought you.h

gOh, dear brother,h sighed Andolosia, git hangs so heavy on my heart that I fear my days are almost done, and I am almost past caring.h

Hearing these words, Ampedo attempted to comfort Andolosia: gDear brother, donft take it so hard to heart.  We still have two chests crammed with ducats; and we have the Hat, wefll write to the Sultan, and hefll pay us handsomely for it.  We may not have the Purse any longer, but we still have enough money to lead the rest of our lives in honourable state.  There is no point in thinking after things that canft be recovered.h

Andolosia replied, gItfs hard to let go of your belongings, and so it is my wish that you give me the Hat; I have hopes of using it to regain the Purse.h

gIt is said that when a man loses his possessions, he loses his wits as well; and I can see that this is the case with you.  Having lost us the Purse, you now want to lose us the Hat as well.  But I wonft grant you my will and favour to take it away from here; you are, however, welcome to use it for recreation.h

eThen Ifll just have to leave without your permissionf, thought Andolosia.

gNow, my dear, faithful brother,h he began, gas I have been guilty of folly, from this point on I shall live according to your will.h  And he sent the servants to the forest to prepare for a hunt, saying that he would soon follow.  Once they had gone, Andolosia said: gDear brother, lend me our Hat.  I want to go to the forest.h

Ampedo readily brought him the Hat, and the second he had it in his hands he left the forest and the hunters to each other and wished himself in Genoa.  He asked after the most precious jewels in the city and had them brought to his inn, where he examined them closely, placed them on a handkerchief as if about to weigh them – and disappeared.  And as he had done in Genoa, so he did in Florence and Venice, collecting the most expensive jewels in the city without paying a penny.  And then he went to London.

Now Andolosia knew that Princess Agrippina went to church, so he hired a stall on the adjoining street and laid his jewels out on display.  Presently Agrippina came along, with many knaves and maids before and behind, including the old ladyfs-maid who had given him the stupefying potion.  He knew them all, but they did not recognise him, for he was wearing a false nose, which was so large and bizarre that his own mother would not have known him from Adam.  When Agrippina had passed by, he picked up two glittering rings and presented them to the two old ladyfs-maids, who he knew to be Agrippinafs constant companions and counsellors, and he asked them to be so good as to persuade the Princess to invite him to her palace; he would bring with him jewels of such exquisiteness that he was certain they had never seen the like.  They promised to bring this to pass; and when Agrippina came home from church, they showed her the two pretty rings and told her about the adventurer.

gWhen he gives you two such beautiful rings, I can well believe that he has precious jewels,h said the Princess.  gSend for him to come here, for I long to see his wares.h  Once he was summoned, the stranger did not take long to arrive, and he was conducted to Agrippinafs antechamber, where he set out his wares.  Agrippina surveyed them with delight, and she began to haggle over the ones she liked best.  There were some jewels there worth a thousand crowns, and others whose value was far greater; but she did not offer him even half their worth.

gGracious Princess,h said the stranger, gI have heard that you are the richest Princess in the whole of the world, and so I have sought out the most beautiful jewels under the sun to bring to Your Majesty.  But you offer me far too little, far less than they cost me.  Do not make my time of no moment; I have journeyed long towards you with the constant dread of being murdered for the sake of these jewels.  Gracious Princess, lay together those you like, and we shall see what loss I can accept.h

Then she selected her favourites, some ten gems of varying size, and the adventurer calculated their value at five thousand Crowns.  She did not want to meet this amount; Andolosia thought, eI donft want to wrangle with her – just let her bring the Pursecf, and so they agreed on for four thousand Crowns.  The Princess carried the jewels to her chamber in her skirts, took the Purse out of a chest, fastened it tightly to her girdle and came through to pay the stranger.

He slowly edged his way towards her, and when she began to count out the money, he threw his arms round her, grasped her tightly, and wished the two of them in a wild, uninhabited desert.  No sooner had he made the wish than they flew through the air to a wretched island off the coast of Hibernia, where they found themselves sitting in the shade of a tree which bore many beautiful apples.

And as the Princess sat under the tree, with the gems in her skirts and the Purse on her girdle, she looked up and saw the shining apples.  Then she cried to the adventurer: gAh God, tell me where we are and how we came here.  I feel so weak; if you could give me one of those apples, so I may refresh myself.h

Hearing this, Andolosia laid the remaining gems in her lap and placed his hat on her head, so that it would not impede him while he was climbing.  Then he clambered up the tree and started to look for the choicest apples.  Agrippina, sitting under the tree without the least idea of what was happening to her, exclaimed: gAh, would to God I were back in my bedchamber.h

And no sooner were the words out of her mouth than she was flew through the air and arrived, without a scratch, in her bedchamber.  The King, the Queen and all the courtiers were truly delighted, and they asked her where she had been.  She replied that she did not know; so they asked where the stranger was, who had abducted her.  Agrippina said, gI left him up a tree.  Donft ask me any more, I must rest; I feel so weak and so weary.h


IV.           Apples, Horns and a Hermit

Now let us return to Andolosia, sitting up the tree, and having just seen Agrippina disappear with the Purse, the Hat and the jewels he had gathered in three great and mighty cities.  As you may imagine, he was shocked beyond measure.  Climbing slowly back down, he looked at the tree, and he said: gCursed be the tree, the fruit it bears, the man who planted it, and the hour in which I came here.h

Then he looked all around, but he did not know where he was, or which direction would lead him to human society; and so he began to swear and imprecate: gCursed be the hour of my birth, and every day and hour of my life.  Oh, grim Death, why did you not throttle me before I fell into this desperate plight?  Cursed be the day and the hour when I first set eyes on Agrippina!  Oh, Almighty God, how wondrous are Thy works; how can it be that nature has the power to conceal so false and faithless a heart beneath such a beautiful exterior?  If I had seen into that false heart when I stared at that perfect countenance, I would have avoided this misery.h

And he wandered hither and thither, grumbling and muttering: gI wish to God my brother was with me in this wilderness; I would choke the life from him then hang myself from a tree with my belt.  With our deaths, the Purse would lose its power, and that old fiend the Queen and falseheart Agrippina would no longer have their pleasure of it.h

And as Andolosia strayed, now here, now there, night came and darkness fell; unable to see anything, he laid himself down beneath a tree and rested awhile.  However, he could not sleep for fear; there seemed no other prospect than death in the desert and dying without extreme unction.  There were no paths around, no trace of anyone having trod this ground for years; and he lay as one in despair, almost desiring death.

When day broke, Andolosia arose and, of necessity, continued to wander.  But there was still no sight or sound of anyone as he came to a tree with unusually shiny red apples.  Now he was sorely and grievously hungry, so he threw a stone at the tree, knocking two large apples to the ground.  He resumed his journey, eating as he walked; and once he had eaten both, two long horns, like a goatfs, grew on his head.  When he felt the horns, and saw them on his shadow, he lowered his head and charged the tree, thinking to butt them off.  But it was all to no avail; so he ran around under the horns, crying: gPoor, miserable man, poor, unhappy wretch that I am!  How can it be that Earth holds so many people, yet there is not a single soul here to point me back to civilisation?h And he yelled out: gOh Almighty God!  Oh Queen of Heaven, Virgin Mary!  Come to my aid in my hour of direst need!h

His pitiable laments were heard by a wood-brother, a hermit, who had been living in the wilderness for thirty years without clapping eyes on another human being.  Walking towards the sound, he came upon Andolosia, and said: gOh, you poor man, who brought you here?  Or what do you seek in this wilderness?h

Andolosia replied, gDear Brother, Ifm sorry I ever came here, for things have gone hard with me.h

And he was about to begin his story, but the hermit had no ears for it: gIfve neither seen nor heard a human being in thirty years, and I dearly wish you had not come here.h

gDear Brother, I am ravenous – have you anything to eat?h

The wood-brother took him to his hermitage, where there was neither bread nor wine, and nothing but fruit and water, on which he subsisted.  But seeing see that this fare was not for Andolosia, he told his guest: gI shall direct you to where you can find sufficient food and drink.h

gDear Brother, what can I do about these horns?  People will regard me as a sea-monster.h
  The hermit led him down a narrow path.

gDear son,h he said, breaking two apples off a tree, gtake these and eat them.h

No sooner had Andolosia eaten the apples than his horns completely disappeared; and he asked how it was possible that he could grow horns, then lose them, in the twinkling of an eye.

The hermit said: gThe Creator, who fashioned Heaven and Earth and all that they contain, also conceived and created these trees and endowed them with the gift of bringing forth such fruit.  Their like is not to be found on the face of this Earth, other than in this wilderness.h

gDear Brother, allow me to pick a few of these apples and take them with me.h

gDear son, take what you will.  Do not ask me; they are not mine.  I own nothing but a poor soul; and if I can return it to the Creator who gave me it, my struggles in this world will have been worthwhile.  It is written on your face that your mind is enveloped in temporal affairs and heavily laden with the burden of transitory concerns.  Fling them out and turn to God; or you will suffer a great loss for the sake of a little pleasure in this short, ephemeral life.h

Andolosia did not at all take these words to his heart, but thinking only of the great loss he had incurred, he picked some of the apples which made the horns grow and some of those which made them disappear.  Then he asked the hermit for the sake of God to show him the road to food, for in two days he had eaten nothing but four apples, gand if I found some more apples, or any other fruit, in this wilderness, I would not dare bite into them.h

The hermit took him to a path and said: gNow go straight down this path, and you will come to a broad river, which is an arm of the Spanish Sea.  If the river is in spate when you arrive there, wait; the tide will recede.  As soon as this happens, cross and head for the high tower you will see before you, and waste no time in crossing; if the tide catches you, there will be no escape.  When you come to the sea, a short distance away, you will find a good village with bread, meat and other foods for the body.h

Thanking the Brother deeply and heartily, Andolosia took his leave and did as instructed.  He crossed the river unscathed, passed by the tower and arrived in the village, where he ate and drank and restored his body with strength; for he had been feeling weak and dulled.  Now that he was himself once again, he asked for the shortest way to London, and he was told that it was a great distance away; as he was still in Hibernia, he would have to travel through Scotland to reach England, and London was a long way from the Scottish border.  Andolosia was disgruntled at this, for he would not have imagined himself to be even ten miles away.  He was also concerned about the apples he was carrying; if he were to be long on the road, they might get bruised or begin to go bad.  When the villagers saw how anxious he was to reach London, they pointed him in the direction of a nearby port which traded with England, Flanders and Scotland, and where he would find a ship affording him passage.

Andolosia soon rose up and walked to this port, where he had the good fortune to find a ship from London.  He hired a passage and enjoyed a smooth journey, arriving safe and sound in the great city.  Once there, he limed one of his eyes and wore a wig, so that he was totally unrecognisable.  Then he hired a bench and set himself up before the church that Agrippina frequented; and after laying the apples on a clean white cloth, he began to cry out: gApples from Damascus!h

Whenever he was asked how much they cost, he replied,gThree crowns!  Three crowns an apple!h, and they walked on.  Of course, Andolosia would have been sorry if they had purchased any of the apples.

In time the Princess came along, with her maids, her servants, and her ladyfs-maids.  Again he cried, gApples from Damascus!h

gHow much for one?h asked the Princess.

gThree crowns.h

gWhat is so special about them that you sell at so high a price?h

gThey give a person beauty and sharp understanding.h

When the Princess heard this, she ordered her ladyfs-maids to buy two.  The purchase completed, Andolosia cleared away his wares, not wishing to sell to anyone else.  Agrippina returned home, and it was not long before she ate both apples; and as soon as she had eaten them, two large horns grew on her head with a severe pain that made her retire to her bed.

When the horns had shot up to their full height, and her headache had eased, she rose up and walked towards her mirror; and on seeing the two tall and hideous horns on her head, she fell on them with her hands, thinking to tear them off – but they would not move.  Then she screamed for two of her maids; and when they saw the Princess, they started back and made many crosses in the air before her, as if she were the Prince of Darkness.  Agrippina was speechless with shock.

gOh Your Majesty, what has happened?h they asked.  gHow has your noble person come to be marked by such a deformity?h

She replied that she did not know.  gI hold it to be a plague from God, or it was caused by the apples from Damascus the untrue grocer was selling.  Help me try to remove them.h

The maids pulled with all their might, but the horns would not move.  So they brought a rope, tied it to the horns, threw it over a beam and pulled down to raise her into the air.  Then they swung from her ankles, hoping to rip the horns off her head.  Agrippina suffered this with great patience, but when she realised how firmly set the horns were, and that all their efforts were unavailing, she grew progressively desperate:

gOh, miserable creature that I am!  What use is my being a Kingfs daughter now?  What good is it that I am the richest woman on Earth and have the Prize of Beauty over my sex?  Now I resemble a senseless beast!  Why was I ever born?  If no one can help me remove these monstrosities, Ifll drown myself in the Thamesh (that is a large and busy river which flows past the Palace), gfor I cannot be seen.h

One of her senior ladyfs-maids began to comfort her: gPrincess, you should not despair.  If those horns can appear just like that, then you may rely on their disappearing just as suddenly.  You should make your devotions to our dear lady Westminster, worker of wondrous miracles, and to St. Thomas at Canterbury, sending offerings that they may intercede with God to restore you to your natural state.  Additionally, there are many skilled and highly-learned doctors in London; it is most probable that they will know, or can find in their books, what causes these growths and how they can be expelled.h

Agrippina was pleased with this advice and said: gTell no one about this; and if anyone asks for me, say I am indisposed and will admit no one.h

Then she had expensive golden offerings prepared and sent away, and her old ladyfs-maid asked the doctors if there were any means to drive away the two horns a relative had grown?  The doctors were astounded at this, and every one of them eagerly desired to see the invalid.

gYou canft see this person unless you know how to help them.  And anyone who can do this will be amply rewarded,h said the ladyfs-maid.

Not one of them had the courage to venture a remedy, for they had never heard or read of this affliction, nor seen such a phenomenon.  So they all refused their services, and the ladyfs-maid, disgruntled and despairing of a doctor, prepared to return to the Court with less favourable news than she had hoped to bear.

In the meantime, Andolosia had disguised himself as a doctor, with a tall red cap and a scarlet robe; he had also assumed a huge nose and applied some face-paint.  He came up to her and said:

gDear attendant, I notice that you have entered the houses of three doctors: have they given you the advice you were seeking?  Do not be angry at my asking; I too am a doctor of medicine.  If you have a pressing concern, you may reveal it to me; it would have to be an exceptionally strange or severe ailment for me not to know how, with the help of God, to drive it away and return the patient to health.h

The ladyfs-maid thought that the doctor had been sent her by God, and she told him how a person of note had incurred a peculiar affliction: two long horns, like a goatfs, had shot up on their head, causing concern beyond the expression of words.

gIf you can help, you will be well rewarded, for they have no shortage of money and goods.h

Dr. Andolosia laughed warmly and said: gThis illness is known to me, and I know the art of making the horns disappear painlessly.  But it will cost a hefty sum, for the ingredients are extremely expensive.  I also know the reason why such horns as you describe spring up.h

gDear doctor, what does cause such monstrous growths?h

And the doctor with the large nose replied: gThey are caused by one person committing an act of gross disloyalty to another person and taking great delight in their wickedness.  Because they do not dare display this delight in public, it must break out somehow; and that man can count himself lucky when it pushes forth on top – for if it pressed out anywhere else, he would die.  Many people have died with no visible sign of illness, and no one knew the cause of death; until the body was cut open and horns were discovered inside which, not having been able to find the proper exit, fatally transfixed the heart or another organ.  It is not yet two years since I was at the King of Spainfs Court, where a powerful Count had a beautiful daughter with a graceful physique, who had grown two tall horns; I removed all trace of them, when all the other doctors had given up in despair.h

The ladyfs-maid asked where his house was; she would soon come to visit him.

gI have no house as of yet; I arrived here only three days ago.  I am lodging at The Swan, you may inquire after me there. I am known as The Doctor with the Big Nose.h

The ladyfs-maid hastened back with unspeakable delight to the despondent Agrippina and said: gGracious Princess, be of good cheer, for help is at hand.h  She recounted how three doctors had left her without comfort, and how she had then found one who promised deliverance; and she told her about the Doctor with the Big Nose, who knew how to cure her as he had cured a Countess: gHe also gave me the reason why such horns sprout up, and I can well believe it.h

The sad princess lay on her bed, downcast and so fiercely ashamed that she would not look at herself, nor allow her maids to see her.  And she said to the ladyfs-maid:

gWhy didnft you bring the doctor with you, when you know how badly I want to be freed from these horns?  Go this instant and fetch him, and tell him to bring what he needs and spare no expense.  Take him a hundred crowns, and if he requires more, then give him as much as he wishes.h

The ladyfs-maid changed her clothes to avoid recognition and made her way to The Swan, where she found the doctor.  Giving him the hundred crowns, she said: gNow be diligent.  You must come to the person Ifm going to take you to only at night, and you must not mention this to anyone; their own mother and father know nothing about this affair.h

gRest assured that the secret will not pass my lips; and I shall accompany you,h said the Doctor.  gBut first I must go to the apothecaryfs and buy the necessary ingredients.  You may either wait here or come back after two hours.h

She said she would wait, for she did not dare return without him.

And The Doctor with the Big, Monstrous Nose went to an apothecaryfs and bought a little rhubarb, which he used, with sugar, to coat half an apple.  After adding many appetising delicacies, he bought a small tin of fragrant ointment and some musk.  Then he returned to The Swan, and the ladyfs-maid led him under cover of night to the Princess, who was lying behind the bed-curtains.  She received him with the faintest of voices, as though she were terribly weak.

gGood day to you, dear lady,h said the doctor.  gWith the help of God and my art, all will soon go well with you.  Now sit up straight and let me grasp and examine your affliction; this will help me to help you.h

Agrippina flushed with shame at being seen with the horns; but she sat up on the bed. The doctor took a firm grip of the outgrowths and pronounced:

gWe need a pelt-bag made of monkey-skin for each horn, and the skin must be warm, for I am going to salve the horns.h

The ladyfs-maid gave the order for an old Court ape to be killed and flayed.  The skin was brought and two bags made from it after the doctorfs instructions; then he salved the horns with monkey-lard a special remedy for such afflictions.  After he had salved her, he pulled a pelt-bag over each horn and said:

gGracious Lady, what I have just done to the horns will soften them, so that they can be removed by bowel movements.  To that end I have brought you a sweetmeat: eat it, then have a short nap; and when you wake up, you will perceive the improvement in your condition.h

Agrippina behaved as a patient bent on a return to health: when the doctor gave her half an apple (one of those which made the horns disappear), she ate it and fell asleep.  Then the rhubarb began to work its effect in her body and drive her to the privy.  When she had returned to her bed, the doctor declared:

gNow let us see if the medication has worked any good.h

And he lifted the pelt-bags up from the top: the horns had shrunk by a quarter.  Agrippina was so bitter an enemy to the horns that she would not touch them; but on being told that they were disappearing, she reached up and discovered that they had indeed become smaller and shorter.  Delighted, she requested that the doctor keep doing his utmost to complete the cure.

He said, gI shall return tomorrow night and bring what is required,h and went to the apothecaryfs again.  Then he had coated half an apple, but with a different flavour from the previous time.  At night he was conducted to the Princessfs chamber, and he feigned ignorance of his surroundings.  Andolosia did as he had done on the previous night, but had the bags made smaller to fit the horns; and after he had given Agrippina the sweetmeat, and she had slept and then dropped her stool, they found that the horns had shrunk to half their original size.  Her previous delight was as nothing to what she felt now; and she asked the doctor not to slacken his efforts, but to expedite the cure – his pains would be well rewarded.  He promised to do his best.

The third night was a repetition of the two preceding.  As Andolosia sat by Agrippina, he thought: eI wonder what reward she intends to give me?  Even if she hands over two or three thousand Crowns – a handsome remuneration for any doctor of medicine – the amount is trifling when set against what she stole from me.  Before I remove the horns entirely, Ifll talk with her and tell her my mind.  If she refuses to do my will, Ifll make her a sweetmeat to return the horns to full size.  Then Ifll travel to Flanders and send her the message that, if she wants them removed, she must come to me and bring what I demand.  When she wakes up Ifll say to her: Dear lady, you can plainly see how your condition is improving.  But the hardest and most demanding part of the cure is the removal of the base of the horns from the brain-pan; it requires various refined and special ingredients, which cost a great deal.  If the expense should occasion reluctance on your part, I shall have to leave things as they stand.  Perhaps you are thinking of sending me away with a paltry fee because I am but a doctor of medicine; now you must know that I am also a Doctor of the Black Arts, and I have invoked the Evil Spirit to advise me what reward I should demand.  He told me that you have two magical possessions a Purse and a Hat and I am to request one of these; and he pronounced that you would give me the Hat.  In addition, you should provide me, every year, with enough money to live like a lordf.

While he was formulating this resolve, the ladyfs-maid appeared with a light to see how the Princess was; she was still asleep.  The doctorfs cap had slipped from his grasp when he took it off, and now, as he bent forward to pick it up, he saw the Wishing-Hat lying under the bed, at the front.  No one had paid it any attention, for they did not know its power; nor did the Princess know that it was this Hat which had brought her home from the wilderness.  If she had known this, there is little doubt that she would have hung it on a different nail!

The doctor sent the ladyfs-maid away to fetch a tin of medicine; and when she was gone, he hurriedly and jubilantly snatched up the Hat and hid it under his robe.  eIf I could only make the Purse mine as wellf, he thought.  Then the Princess awoke and dressed herself.  When the doctor pulled the pelt bags off, the horns were no more than stumps, to Agrippinafs great joy.  The ladyfs-maid whispered to her: gOne more night and youfll be back to your old self.  Then wefll be spared the sight of the ugly doctor with the monstrous nose – he could put you off men for good.h

Now that Andolosia had the Hat, he abandoned his intention of describing himself as a double Doctor.  gDear lady,h he began, gyou can clearly see how effectively my remedies are working.  But the most demanding stage of the treatment is the expulsion of the horns from the brain-pan, which requires rare ingredients, and if I cannot find them here, I shall have to travel for them, or send another doctor whom I would instruct in the matter to fetch them.  The expenditure will be great.  So I would like to know what reward you will give me when the horns are completely removed and your head is as smooth as ever.h

The Princess remarked, gI have found your art to be skilled and efficient, and I request that you help me and spare no money.h

gYou say I should not be sparing with money,h replied the doctor, gbut I must be, for I do not have any.h

Although she possessed the inexhaustible Purse, Agrippina was shy of spending money.  She walked leisurely over to the chest beside her bed, wherein was contained her most precious belongings, including the Purse, which was fitted with a strong strap; and taking it out, she tied it around her waist, walked to a table in front of a scenic window. and began to count.  When she had told three hundred Crowns, the doctor put his hands inside his robe, as if reaching for a purse to hold his fee; and shaping as if to take the money, he threw his cap off, donned the Hat, grabbed the Princess and wished himself in a wild, uninhabited wood.  His wish was instantly fulfilled, and the old ladyfs-maid ran to the Queen to tell her that Agrippina had been abducted once again.  She related the history of the horns and the doctor.  The Queen, her mother, was startled, but thought: eAs she came back soon the last time, so may she make a speedy return again.  Besides, she has the Purse with her, so she can pay people to help her homef.


V.               Sister Agrippina

But when she had waited all day and all night, and there was still no sign of Agrippina, the Queen, as a mother, began to feel in her heart that she had lost her beautiful daughter.  She went with a heavy heart to tell the King the full tale.

He said: gOh, thatfs a wise doctor – the wisest of his profession!  Itfs none other than Andolosia, whom you so falsely deceived.  I perceive that whoever bestowed that good fortune on him also endowed him with the wisdom to regain the Purse should he come from its possession.  Fortune wills that he, and none other, have the Purse; and if Fortune had so willed, then I, or the next man, would also have such a Purse.  There are many men in England but only one King – and I am he.  Such is the lot granted me by God and Fortune.  And it is Andolosiafs lot to be the sole possessor of this purse; if we only had our daughter again!h

gYour Majesty, be so good as to send out messengers to try to discover where she is before she is reduced to poverty and misery,h pleaded the Queen.

gIfm sending no messengers out.  We would be held in disgrace for not having taken better care of her.h

Andolosia, alone in the wild, uninhabited wood with Agrippina, flung the doctorfs robe to the ground, threw the loathsome nose away, and stepped roughly towards the Princess.  She recognised him at once, and the shock shot through every limb, rendering her speechless.  For his eyes were rolling in his head, he was gnashing his teeth, and he gave the appearance of being ready to strike her to death.  Drawing a knife, he hacked her girdle off – his hurry was too great to untie it – and separated the Purse, rudely flinging the girdle far away.  Then he opened his jerkin and laced the Purse to its accustomed place.

Agrippina, watching all this, trembled like an aspen in the wind.  Andolosia spat out in his fury: gYou false, deceitful woman, now youfre in my hands, now Ifll share with you the good faith you shared with me when you cut my Purse away and sewed an impotent one on in its place!  Now you can see that itfs back where it belongs; now try asking your mother and old ladyfs-maid for help and advice, and snap your fingers for a sparkling drink to dupe me with!  And even if both those fiends were here with you, all their arts would never help you to take the Purse from me again!

gOh Agrippina, how could you have it in your heart to show such bad grace to me, who was so faithful to you!  I would have shared my heart, my soul, my person and possessions, with you.  How could you have it in your heart to drive so manly a knight, who jousted and tourneyed every day for your sake, to such extreme poverty, without showing me the slightest sign of pity?  The King and Queen mocked and made carnival fun of me, and the memory still rankles in my heart, for the evil you did me drove me to despair.  I was about to hang myself when Mary, Mother of God, came with Grace to my aid against pernicious temptation; and I shall serve her faithfully until the closing of my days.  If I had proceeded, you would have been the cause of my losing life and soul, honour and possessions.  And when you had the virtuous Purse in your power, and you were told that I was poorer than a church-mouse, and had had to ride away on my own after having dismissed all my servants, you were reluctant to send me a small sum to help me home to my friends with some honour intact.  Now speak your judgement: is it not right and proper that I should show you the mercy you showed me?h

Agrippina was filled with terror and did not know what to say.  Looking up to Heaven, she nervously began to speak: gRigid and virtuous knight, Andolosia, I confess that I have behaved harshly and dishonourably towards you.  I beg you to make allowances for the diffidence, ignorance and recklessness which Nature has given in greater degrees to women, both young and old, than to the male sex.  Do not force this matter to a bitter conclusion, but lay down your anger at this poor girl; return good for evil, as becomes a just and honourable knight.h

gThe injury, disgrace and grief you have occasioned me are still so alive in my heart, that I cannot leave you unpunished.h

gOh Andolosia, reconsider!  People would speak great dishonour of you if you harmed a poor woman whom you held prisoner in a desert.  Without doubt, every mention of this would be ignominious to your knighthood.h

Andolosia replied, gWell, I shall resist my anger, and I give you my word as a knight that I shall injure neither your honour nor your body.  But you have a keepsake from me, and you must keep it till the grave, to hold me in your mind.h

Agrippina had been in such dire fear for her life that she had completely forgotten about the horns on her head.  But once Andolosia had guaranteed her life and honour, she recovered her composure, and said: gI wish to God I were free of these horns and back in my fatherfs palace.h

Hearing her make a wish, Andolosia suddenly noticed the Hat lying on the ground beside her, so he ran over, snatched it up and tied it tight to his belt.  Agrippina could see from this that he was held the Hat especially dear, and it was the agent by which means she had twice been carried off.  Fuming at herself, she thought: eYou had both the treasures in your keeping and you couldnft hold on to themf.  But she hid her anger from Andolosia and asked him very sweetly to remove the horns and take her home to her father.

gIn short,h he said, gthe horns have a home on your head for life.  But I shall willingly take you within sight of your fatherfs palace; I am never setting foot inside there again.h

She asked him a second time, then a third.  But in vain.

When Agrippina saw that no amount of pleading could mollify him, she said: gIf I must then bear these horns and look misshapen, I do not wish to return to England, or be seen by anyone who knows me – father, mother or anyone else.  So take me to the End of the World, where none will recognise me.h

gThere is nowhere you would be better off than with your father and mother, the King and Queen,h said Andolosia.

But she would not agree.  gTake me to a nunnery, so I can live apart from the world.h

gIs that what you desire?  Are you in earnest?h

And she said, gYes.h

Then he put on the Hat and took her to Hibernia, close to the End of the World, and little distance from St. Patrickfs Purgatory.  They arrived in an isolated field, where there was a large and stately nunnery which admitted only ladies of noble birth.  Leaving Agrippina sitting alone in the field, Andolosia entered the convent and sought out the Abbess.  He told her that he had brought a noble and honourable maiden, beautiful and healthy, but with growths on her head which made her too ashamed to live among her friends: gSo she wishes to be where no one knows her.  And if you accept her, I shall pay for her maintenance threefold.h

gThe fee is two hundred crowns, for I provide every lady with a maid and supply all that she needs.  So if you want to pay this threefold, bring her here.h

He soon returned with Agrippina, who thanked the Abbess for her reception with such modesty, and dropped so graceful a curtsey, that the Abbess knew her to be of noble lineage; and she felt sad that this beautiful girl should bear those cursed horns on her head.

gAgrippina,h she said, gis it your wish to make this convent your home?h

gIt is, dear Abbess,h said Agrippina in the humblest of voices.

gAnd will you be obedient to me, and chant in the choir at matins and all the other services?  If you cannot perform a task, will you learn how to do it?  That is all that our Order requires.  Anyone who wishes to enter another Order, or to take a husband, is free to do so.  But the money given for her maintenance will never be returned.h

Agrippina replied: gDear lady, for my part, the venerable traditions and customs of your honourable convent shall not be altered or broken.h

Then Andolosia paid the Abbess six hundred crowns and recommended Agrippina to her care; and she expressly promised to do her utmost, being delighted to have received so much ready money.  So Andolosia took his leave the Abbess, who was a Countess by birth; and she told her new charge: gGo and escort your friend out.h

When they were at the doors, Andolosia said: gAgrippina, God bless you, and may it be His will that you long remain in health and acquire eternal bliss in this convent.h

gMay it be so.  Amen,h she said, then burst into tears.  gO rigid, virtuous knight, now you have accomplished your unbending will on this poor girl.  Now the year is long, there are many days, and the hours are unequal; and I have sincere faith in God that there will yet come a happy hour when your noble heart will be moved to charity, and your mind and mood given to mercy.  At that time remember me, your prisoner in this desolation; display pity towards me, and release me, for I can serve neither God nor the world, so averse am I to these horns.h

These words found Andolosiafs heart, and he could give no reply.  Then, saying gGodfs will be done,h he went his way.

Agrippina sadly shut the doors and returned to the Abbess, who gave her a chamber and a serving-maid to serve her.  All alone, she served God to the best of her powers, although she did not have a mind for prayer.


VI.  A Royal Wedding in Cyprus

Having parted from Agrippina, Andolosia was a happy man.  He put his Hat on and wished himself from one land to another, until he arrived in Bruges; and in this city, where obliging ladies and many other kinds of recreation are to be found, he dispelled the discontent he had been under.  And he appointed himself in honourable attire, bought forty mettlesome steeds, and took many sturdy lads into his service, whom he clothed in his livery.  Then he began to joust and pursue knightly pastimes once again; and he rode through Germany, viewing the beautiful cities of the Holy Roman Empire, before heading for Venice, Florence and Genoa, where he sent for the dealers whose jewels he had purloined and paid them in ready money.

Then, with his horses and his servants, he joyfully sailed to Famagusta and rode home to his brother, who received him handsomely, being highly glad to see Andolosia riding in such lordly state.  After they had eaten, Ampedo took his brother into a chamber and asked him how he had fared.  Andolosia narrated how he had lost the Hat as well as the Purse, at which Ampedo was so thunderstruck that he fell down in a swoon.  Andolosia poured water over him, and when Ampedo had returned to his senses he proceeded to tell him how he had lost both treasures, but regained them afterwards through cunning: gSo donft be so despondent.h  And he unbound the Purse from his jerkin, took the Hat out of a gripsack, and laid them out before Ampedo, saying: gDear brother, now take both treasures and fare well with them!  Enjoy yourself to your heartfs content!  I wish you joy of them with all my heart, and I shall raise no objections.h

Ampedo replied, gI want nothing of that Purse, for he who carries it must bear fear and anxiety at all times.  I have read about the pain and distress it caused our father of blessed memoryh

These words were music to Andolosiafs ears, and he thought, eIf he had taken the Purse in his hands, it would not have been long before I had to ask for it back.  And now, without further ado, itfs minef.  He did not dare tell his brother how he had bought exquisite jewels without paying, lost Purse, Hat and jewels in one blow – and in a wilderness to boot, where there was nothing to eat or drink, or how he had wished to throttle him before hanging himself.  eBetter not to mention that,f he thought, ethe shock might kill him, or plunge him into a grave illnessf.

So Andolosia began to make merry with jousts, and he organised dances to give pleasure to all.  He was generosity personified, so that the whole town sang his praises; everyone revered him, and the common people asked him to be with them always.

When he had been in Famagusta for some time, he rode with his retinue to the Kingfs Court, some sixty miles away, to divert himself there.  The King and his courtiers received him with distinction, and His Majesty asked where he had been all this time.  Andolosia told of the many Kingdoms he had passed through.  The King then asked him more questions than he would have put to another, for Andolosia was his subject, and his father Fortunatus had also found special favour at Court; and he wondered if he had not lately been in England.

 gYes, Your Majesty,h replied Andolosia.

gThe King of England has a beautiful daughter, an only child, called Agrippina.  I had wanted her as a wife for my son, but I have been informed that she has disappeared.  Tell me: have you heard any news of her?  Is she still missing, or has she been found?h

gYour Majesty, I can certainly inform you on this matter.  He does indeed have a beautiful – an extremely beautiful – daughter, who has been transported to Hibernia by a necromancerfs arts.  She is residing there in a convent for noble ladies, where I conversed with her a short while ago.h

gCould she not be brought back to her father?h asked the King.  gI am old, and I would dearly like to settle my son on the throne before my death.h

gGracious Majesty, for your sake and for your son – who is deserving of every honour – I shall essay what I can in this affair.  With Godfs help, I should soon return her to her fatherfs palace.h

The King requested that Andolosia do this and spare no expense; he and his would enjoy the royal favour and gratitude.

gYour Majesty, prepare a distinguished Embassy and send them out a fortnight after I leave; they will find the Princess in her fatherfs palace in London.  If the King promises her to your son, he will send her to you with honour.h

gAndolosia, my good friend,h urged the King, gbe sure to make a success of this matter.  I shall be sending an Embassage in great pomp and splendour; let their journey not be made in vain.h

gHave no fear.  Order your sonfs portrait painted, and send it with the Embassy; you will see that it will please the King and Queen and make them all the more eager to wed their beautiful daughter to so handsome a youth.h

When the Prince heard of the planned transaction, he made his way to Andolosia and urged him to work in earnest to bring the affair to a successful conclusion; he had heard a great deal about Agrippinafs beauty and perfection.  Andolosia promised to do his utmost, and taking his leave, he rode back to Famagusta with his retinue.  He asked his brother to lend him the Hat, saying that he would soon return; and Ampedo was agreeable.  Then he ordered his bursar to be generous to his servants, for they should make merry while he was away.

So Andolosia took the Hat, travelled from one land to the other, and wished himself in the wilderness with the magic apples.  The trees were full of fair fruit, but he could not tell which apples were which, and he was reluctant to eat one.  However, he did not want to leave without the means to release Agrippina from her horns.  So, after due consideration, Andolosia reached for an apple, ate it, and a horn grew on his head; then he ate another, and the horn disappeared.  Filling his pockets with some of both kinds, he atravelled to the convent and knocked on the doors.  He was presently admitted, and arriving before the Abbess, he asked for Agrippina, for he wished to have a word with her.  The Abbess, recognising him, was only too happy to summon her charge; but when the Princess arrived, she received Andolosia badly, for she did not know the reason for his visit, and she was frightened.

gDear lady, allow Agrippina to hold some private converse with me,h said Andolosia.

She willingly gave her assent, and Andolosia withdrew with the Princess to a quiet place.

gAgrippina, do you still loathe those horns as deeply as when I took my leave of you?h

gYes.  The longer I bear them, the harder I hate them,h she said.

gIf you were free and rid of them, where would you like to be?h

gWhere should I wish to be but in London with my dear parents the King and Queen?h

gAgrippina, God has hearkened to your prayer.  Your wish will be granted.h

Then he gave her half an apple to eat and told her to rest awhile; and by the time he roused her, there was no trace of the horns.  The maid she had been allotted plaited her hair and dextrously arranged her head-dress; then they came before the Abbess.  At the sight of Agrippina in her complete beauty, the Abbess called all the nuns out of their cells to witness the miracle that had effected so sudden a transformation.  The nuns were astonished that she had become free of the horns in so short a time, but Andolosia said:

gDo not be amazed.  God can do anything; nothing is impossible to Him.  So you see: when He means well by somebody, no one may harm them.  Agrippina is a Princess, born of the blood, and I shall deliver her to her mother and father.  Before a month has passed, she will be married to a young Prince – the most handsome youth alive on Earth.h

Agrippina listened closely to his words.

Then Andolosia gave the Abbess and the nuns a hundred crowns as a parting present, with expressions of his gratitude for their honourable maintenance of the Princess, and Agrippina thanked them very decorously.  They took their leave, and once they were in the field, Andolosia equipped himself with the Hat and bore the Princess to the street before the King of Englandfs palace – for he shied away from entering the place where he had been the victim of such great infidelity.  Then he returned to his brother and servants in Famagusta.

The King, the Queen and their entourage were overjoyed to find that Agrippina had come back; they hosted a tremendous feast and had their daughter exquisitely attired in gorgeous and luxurious garments.  In their midst of their merriment, a herald announced to His Majesty that the King of Cyprusfs messengers were on their way with a large cavalcade, and they had been sent to ask him to give Agrippinafs hand in marriage to the young Prince of Cyprus.

When the Embassy arrived in London, they were given an excellent reception and provided with luxurious accommodation, where their every need was catered for.  After four days the King sent for them, and they rode to the Palace arrayed in brilliant clothes, each according to his rank.  There were a Duke, two Counts, and numerous knights and squires.  They began to discuss the wedding.  When the Queen understood that Agrippinafs hand was being courted, she was sorely reluctant to marry her beautiful, beloved daughter, to lose her to a distant land, and to a man who could be hunchbacked, lame or blind.  When her laments reached the Cypriotsf ears, they requested the King to send for the Queen.  The royal couple now being together, the Embassy produced the portrait of the Prince.  The King asked if this was a true likeness? if the Prince was really so handsome?  The envoys swore an oath that he had a much finer figure, was very tall and upright, and no older than twenty-four; and the King and Queen were content.

The Queen now took the portrait to Agrippina and told her how it was intended to give her to this Prince, who was even more handsome in the flesh.  With Andolosiafs words fresh in her memory, Agrippina trusted the painting as a likeness and promised obedience to whatever decision the King and Queen should make.  Having heard their daughterfs sentiments, the King and Queen discussed the matter further with the Cypriots, until the arrangements for the wedding were finalised.  Then the King had many ships loaded with provisions and manned with expert sailors, and the Princess attired in magnificent robes and jewellery, as befits a mighty King with a care for his honour.  Agrippina was to be accompanied by many proud nobles, in particular a Count who had long since been a pirate; and the King threw a banquet for the company before they set sail.

When the ships were fully laden and ready to depart, the noble Princess took her leave of the King her father and the Queen her mother: gMy gracious Lord King, and my gracious Lady Queen, may Almighty God in Heaven and his virtuous mother Mary have you in their care at all times and grant you health and long life.h

Then she knelt before her father, and sighing deeply, with tears in her eyes she said: gI request your blessing; for now I must part from you, and I know that I shall never see you or my mother again.h

gAgrippina, my dearest daughter,h said the King, gmay the blessing of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, shield you from sorrow.  And may the Holy Trinity grant you, and all who aid you, peace, health, long life, prosperity, and the goodwill of all men.h

The Queen could wish no more but: gMay this come to pass.  Amen.h

Then Agrippina stood up and walked, with her train, to her ship; and a large crowd followed to escort her to the sea, many of whom were sorrowful that the beautiful Princess was leaving and they should set eyes on her no more.  Now when Agrippina and her retinue had boarded, the crew hoisted sail, and they set off in the name of God.  He granted them good weather and a fortunate journey; whoever wishes to travel from England to Cyprus must cross the Spanish Sea, which is one of the cruellest of all water-passages, yet they came unharmed, with Godfs help, to Cyprus.

When the beautiful young Princess Agrippina and her attendants arrived, safe and sound, they were met by a welcoming-party arranged by the King of Cyprus: a Duchess, four Countesses and many noble ladies, with their male equivalents, who executed their duties with fitting propriety.  A banquet was held, with sumptuous dishes and vintage wines, and there was plenty for hosts and guests alike.  Everyone, young and old, was happy that their Prince was going to have such a beautiful wife.  Then many horses, wagons and carts were made ready, and ceremonious leave was taken.

Agrippina came to Medusa, where the King was holding court.  He had assembled the mightiest nobles, male and female, in his whole Kingdom; and however splendid the reception at Famagusta had been, that at Medusa was ten times more dignified and laudable.  The Queen rode towards Agrippina with a handsome train in stately apparel, followed by the Prince with a company in full armour that sparkled like mirrors in the sun.  When the Prince greeted Agrippina, she recognised him from his portrait; and she thanked him with a smiling countenance and graceful gestures.  Then they rode in great joy to the Kingfs Palace, which was majestically adorned with every kind of decoration, and the festivities began.  The Kingfs Princes and Lords came riding up with great gentility, and all bore splendid gifts to present to the King, of a value according to their means.

The wedding celebrations continued for six weeks and three days.  Much were to write about the regality of the wedding-procession, the feats and displays, and the presents given to the Princess!  But among the gifts was a shipload of malmsey and muscatel from Candia, courtesy of Andolosia, which was lapped up like wine from the Kehlheim[3] slopes; there was enough to last the length of the revels and beyond.

And all the while the festivities lasted, the princes and lords did nought but joust, tourney and pursue courtly pastimes: the King and the Dukes jousted on the first day, the Counts, Barons and knights the day after, and the squires and servants on the third day.  And every night, at the dance, Agrippina would crown the champion of the day with a handsome wreath; so that every competitor felt his courage stirred, and he gave his all to hunt honour and be rewarded by the beautiful Princess.


VII.  The Tragical Death of Andolosia

Among the competitors was Andolosia; and whenever the Counts, Barons and knights jousted, he rode to the lists in more splendid armour than everyone else, apart from the King, who he made no attempt to equal.  He was always the best in all the knightly sports, and he was often awarded the prize.  Now it so happened that on one occasion, Andolosia surpassed his previous accomplishments, producing his best at the last; yet that night the prize, which in all fairness should have gone to him, was awarded, as a mark of honour, to Count Theodore, who had accompanied the Princess from England.  Andolosia paid no heed to this and willingly conceded the Count the honour he had been shown.  But the murmur ran that Andolosiafs prize had been wrongfully given to Count Theodore, and this reached the Englishmanfs ears.  A fierce hatred of Andolosia secretly flared up in his heart, but he did not know how he could do him disgrace and damage.  Although his heart, mind and mood were bent on revenge, he was a stranger in Cyprus, and he owned no land, nor a castle, nor vassals.  Now there was another Count at the royal wedding, a pirate by the name of The Count of Limassol, who owned a castle on an islet not far from Famagusta.  Theodore sought out his society; eBirds of a feather flock together,f they say, and the proverb found corroboration in this instance, for one villain discovered another.

Theodore told his companion that he was annoyed, for there was a man called Andolosia, who lived a lavish and arrogant lifestyle, but was not of noble birth.  He had a high income of honour, being accorded more respect than Counts and others of good birth - yet he owns neither lands nor lieges.  Was Limassol not always infuriated by this?

gYes,h growled The Count of Limassol, git infuriates me and many other nobles.  But he is held in such high favour by the King, to whom he lends and gifts whatever he is asked; and the King reaps bitter enmity from his nobles for the preference he shows this man.h

Count Theodore exclaimed, gIt surprises me that you, and others of your station, can tolerate this, and that you donft have him killed.  If I knew how to do away with him, he would never confound another Count or nobleman at the Kingfs Court.h

Each understood the otherfs will; and they concerted the following plan: when the wedding festivities had run their course, and Andolosia was riding back towards Famagusta, they would surround him, take him prisoner, and stab his servants to death.  He wound then be removed from the Kingfs Land to Limassol, where the Count owned a strong castle; and they would torture and torment him until he gave them enough money to maintain a mode of life on a par with his for luxury.

And it so happened that the utterly unsuspecting Andolosia was attacked as he rode home from the festivities by the two Counts and a hired company, and all his servants were cut down.  He was captured and taken to the castle on the islet of Limassol, where he was guarded so closely that escape was impossible.  He offered his guards great wealth if they would help him escape, but they did not dare trust him, suspecting that, once he was free, he would not give them a penny; and he did not dare show them the Purse, for fear that they would take it only to refuse their aid.  His plight was desperate.

The news reached the King that Andolosiafs entire retinue had been butchered and no one knew whether their master were dead or alive, imprisoned or free.  Nor did anyone know who had perpetrated this atrocity, but Turkish marauders were suspected.  The two guilty Counts rode back to Court and kept their counsel.

Meanwhile, Ampedo had been informed of Andolosiafs disappearance.  He at once sent messengers to Court to request the King to help him recover his brother.  The King replied that he was grieved at Andolosiafs misadventure, and he had no idea where he was or if he were still alive.  But he would leave no stone unturned in his search, and if he were able to discover Andolosiafs whereabouts, he would consider no price too great to free him – should it cost him half his Kingdom.  Receiving this message, Ampedo thought that his brother had been abducted because of the Purse, and he would be racked and tortured until he disclosed the secret of the Hat: then his tormentors would lay their heads together to acquire the second treasure as well.  gNever, by no means, shall that happen,h growled Ampedo; and in a fit of fury, he grabbed the magic, unique Hat, hacked it to shreds, and flung the pieces into the fire.  And he stood over it until it had burnt to ashes and he was sure that no one could ever again enjoy its use.

Ampedo was continually sending messengers to the King, but however many he dispatched, not one returned with news of his brother.  This caused him such depression and sorrow that he fell into a fatal illness.  No doctor could help him, and he died.  Neither the beautiful palace nor his money could help him.

After several days had risen and set, the two Counts, hearing how the King grieved for his dutiful knight Andolosia, feigned heavy sorrow.  The King had it proclaimed that anyone who could bring certain news of Andolosiafs whereabouts would receive a thousand Ducats, whether he were alive or dead.  A wave of enquiries followed, but all were fruitless; those who knew, and had abetted, did not dare reveal the truth for fear of losing their lives.

In the meantime, The Count of Limassol took his leave of the King and returned to his castle, where he found Andolosia sitting in a deep dungeon, his wrists and ankles tightly clamped in stocks.  On seeing the Count, his face brightened, and he began to plead with him to show mercy and help him regain his freedom.  He did not know whose prisoner he was, or why he was being so cruelly constricted.  If he had done anyone an injustice, he would make amends for it and put his person and possessions at the injured partyfs disposal.

gAndolosia,h said the Count, gyou have not been brought here to be released.  You are my prisoner, and you will tell me the source of the money you expend throughout the year.  And youfll do that now, or Ifll torture you until youfll be happy to tell me.h

Andolosia felt sick with shock; all hope drained away, and he was lost for words.  Eventually he said: in his house, in Famagusta, there was a secret ditch, which his father had shown him on the point of death; and however much money he withdrew from this ditch, it never became empty.  If the Count took him, as a prisoner, to Famagusta, he would show him.  But this did not satisfy Limassol; and taking Andolosia out of the stocks, he began to excruciate him.  He laid some savage torments on his prisoner, who suffered them long and held to his initial statement.  But at last the tortures were so severe that he could bear the pain no longer, and he told the Count about the Purse.  Limassol quickly seized the Purse, tested it, and found that he had spoken the truth; then he had poor Andolosia placed back in the stocks, and commended him to his trustiest servant.

The Count of Limassol now sent money to his debtors to settle his accounts, and victualled his castle, before repairing with a happy heart to the Kingfs Court, where he sought out his companion, Count Theodore, and was accorded a joyful reception.  They exchanged many words, true to form, and Limassol related how he had dealt by Andolosia – wresting the Purse from his possession through torture and holding him in pinching chains.

gI donft like this,h said Count Theodore.  gHe would be better dead than alive.  I have heard at Court that he is a Doctor of Necromancy and can travel through the air.  There is the danger that he will escape and spread word of his treatment at our hands, and then we shall lose the Kingfs favour and maybe our lives.h

gHe is sitting so straitly chained that he cannot do us any harm,h replied The Count of Limassol.

And they both took their heartfs fill of money out of the Purse.  Each would dearly have liked to have the magical treasure in his power; but they came to the agreement that each should keep it for six months in turn, and the guardian was to ensure that the other suffered no shortage of money. The Count of Limassol, being the senior, was to take first possession.

Although the two Counts had money enough, they did not dare to spend too lavishly or maintain too extravagant a state, for fear of arousing suspicion.  And they passed their days in great content, except that Count Theodore was plagued by the thought that Andolosia were better dead than alive, for he dreaded the loss of the Purse.  He also harboured the intention to ride away with the Purse, and far enough away to escape the reach of the King and The Count of Limassol, once it was in his keeping.  So he asked Limassol to lend him one of his servants and write a letter granting him admission to Andolosia. The Cypriot Count did as requested, giving him man, letter and money.  Then Count Theodore took his leave of the King and Queen, claiming that he wished to take a look at His Majestyfs lands; and so he galloped to the islet of Limassol, where he was conducted to the castle and then the dungeon that held Andolosia.  When he walked in, poor, disconsolate Andolosia, whose arms and legs had half wasted away by this time, took comfort; he imagined that The Count of Limassol had sent Count Theodore to set him free, and he thought, eNow that they have the Purse, they wonft ask any more of mef.

Count Theodore began: gNow tell me, Andolosia – do you have any more purses like the one you gave my companion?  Come on, give me one.h

gGracious Count, I have no more.  If I had another one, it would not be refused you.h

gPeople say that you are a Doctor of Necromancy, who can travel through the air and invoke the Devil.  Why donft you invoke him now to help you out of here?h

gOh, gracious Count, I canft do it, Ifve never been able to do it!  All I did was divert myself with the Purse, which you now possess.  As God and the world are my witness, I yield it to you and your companion, and Ifll never again lay claim to it; and I beg you, for the honour of God and his virtuous mother Mary, that you help this poor, miserable man out of this cruel prison.  Donft let me die a wretched death here, not having been confessed, not having received the Holy Sacrament!h

gWill you now have a care for the health of your soul?  Why didnft you earlier, when you paraded your arrogance and haughtiness before the King and Queen, showing all of us dishonour?  Where are they now, all the beautiful ladies you served with such assiduity?  Those who awarded you the prize, call on them to help you now.

gBut I perceive that you wish to be released from this prison; do not worry, I shall soon help you out.h

Taking Andolosiafs guard to one side, he offered him fifty ducats to strangle the prisoner.  The guard refused: gHefs a good man, and hefs so weak that hefll die soon anyway.  I wonft load myself with that sin.h

gThen give me a rope; I shall throttle him myself.  I am not leaving until he is dead.h

Again, the guard refused; so Count Theodore unbuckled his belt and wrapped it around wretched Andolosiafs neck.  The prisoner, who sat with his ankles and wrists in the stocks, could not move; and the Count twirled the belt around his sword-hilt, thus garrotting good Andolosia as he sat, and gave the guard money to dispose of the body.  After this, Count Theodore did not make long market in the castle, but rode back to the Royal Court, where he was well received.  And he sought out his companion The Count of Limassol, who asked him how he had fared and how he liked the islet of Limassol and the land of Cyprus.

Very much, was the reply; then they withdrew, and The Count of Limassol asked how things stood with Andolosia.

gThey stand so that hefll never harm us again,h Count Theodore joyfully exclaimed.  gI killed him with my own hands.  I could find no rest until I knew for certain that he was dead – as I know now.h

He thought he had acted wiselyAh God, he did not know the evil he had worked!

For three days they did not have recourse to the Purse; and when the third day came to an end, the first half-year was over, and it was Count Theodorefs turn to possess the treasure.  With a spring in his step he went to his companion The Count of Limassol and told him to fetch the Purse, take out all the money he would be needing, and then hand it over: it was his turn now.  The Count of Limassol raised no objections, and after expressing his readiness to comply, he said:

gWhen I take the Purse in my hands, I pity Andolosia.  I wish you had not killed him; he would soon have died by himself.h

gDead men wage no wars,h said Count Theodore.

And they retreated to a chamber where The Count of Limassol kept the Purse in a chest.  He took it out and placed it on a table, and Count Theodore picked it up.  He tried to count out money, as he had previously done, but there was nothing inside.  The two Counts did not know that the Purse had lost its power with the deaths of Ampedo and Andolosia; if they had known this, they would have held Andolosia in honour and treated him kindly, to prolong his life, or at least have filled a chest or two with gold to keep themselves in wealth for the rest of their lives.

Each Count looked at the other.  Then Theodore spoke with grim fury:

gO you false Count.  So you thought to deceive me, passing off an ordinary purse for the magic one?  On no account shall I accept that from you.  So bring me the Purse of Fortune, and be quick about it!h

Limassol replied that it was the Purse he took from Andolosia; he had no others.  How it had come to lose its power, he did not know.  But Theodore would not be satisfied with this; his anger turned to rage, and he cried: Limassol wished to make him the victim of his villainy, but he would never succeed.  And he drew his sword.

Seeing this, The Count of Limassol also drew, and they both began to hew at one another so fiercely as to deal death.  At the clamour they made, their servants burst into the chamber; and seeing their masters lunging at one another, they ran in between and separated them.  But before the two were parted, Count Theodore had given The Count of Limassol a mortal wound; when they saw this, the Cypriotfs servants seized the Englishman.  The King was informed of the fight between the two Counts, who had been so close as to be joined at the hip; and he commanded that both be arrested and brought to him in chains at once so he could examine them on the cause of their disagreement. When moves were made to obey the Kingfs messenger, it was realised that the Count of Limassol was too seriously wounded to be taken anywhere, so Count Theodore was brought before the King on his own.

The King soon learned that Andolosiafs Purse was the cause of their estrangement, and he hurriedly sent for the executioner to extort, before witnesses, the full and exact details of the case.  Then Count Theodore was tortured and brutally pained until he had to confess to garrotting Andolosia with his own hands in the dungeon; and he disclosed the whole plot, from beginning to end.

When the King heard how they had handled good Andolosia, he was sad to the heart and furious at the murderers.  Without longer consideration, he pronounced his right and judgement: both Counts must be strapped to the wheel.  It did not matter how ill the Count of Limassol was; even if he were dead, he was to be taken to the place of execution and tied to the wheel.  As the judgement was passed, so was it executed: both murderous Counts were broken, thus meeting the end they merited for their treatment of loyal Andolosia.  So they died because of the Purse, having had their pleasure of it for but a short time.

The King then sent men to occupy the islet of Limassol, with its castles, towns and villages, and in particular the castle where good Andolosia had been held prisoner.  All the men and women who were guilty of knowing of the murder and keeping silence were seized and hung without mercy from its walls.  Having discovered that Andolosiafs corpse had been deposited in a ditch not far from the castle, the King had it lifted out and honourably borne to Famagusta in a flambeau-lit procession.  There the body was laid to rest in the magnificent cathedral his father had founded and endowed; and a stately memorial service was held on the seventh and thirtieth days after his burial, with many masses sung for his soul, as though for a member of one of the highest and mightiest families in the Kingdom.  In attendance were the King, the Prince, the Queen, and Princess Agrippina, who deeply mourned the loss of faithful Andolosia.  As neither he nor Ampedo had left an heir, the King took possession of the magnificent palace, and found great abundance of money, jewels, and sumptuous furnishings inside.  Into this palace moved the Prince; and he held court in Famagusta until his fatherfs death.





From this history is to be noted: if young Fortunatus had desired and chosen Wisdom from Lady Fortune in the wood, instead of the Purse of Riches, it would have been granted him in abundance, and no one could have stolen this treasure from him.  Through this wisdom and intelligence he would have gained temporal goods, an honourable sustenance, and extensive possessions.  But because, at that time in his youth, he preferred wealth and worldly goods, for the sake of pleasure and sensual appetite – and many others would undoubtedly desire such a Purse above a world of intelligence – he brought much bitterness and gall on his own and his sonsf heads.  All was milk and honey for a short while, but the ending was such as you have heard.

So anyone who faces such a choice need not reflect for long: follow reason, ignore forward folly, and select wisdom before wealth.  This is what Solomon did, and it made him the richest King on Earth.  But there is the real concern that Lady Fortune, who deals such choices and bestowed the Purse on Fortunatus, has been hunted from our lands, and is to be found in this world no longer.


- End -




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[1] Here: as a sign that Andolosia belongs to the privileged few and is exempt from many duties.

[2] This is a reference to Rudolf von Emsf 13th-century verse-tale of love and adventure, Willehalms von Orlens und Amelies, one of the most widespread German texts of the Middle Ages.  Emsf poem, edited by Victor Junk (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1905), is available online through the University of Heidelberg.  The author of Fortunatus may have encountered it through a 15th-century prose redaction, which was printed in Augsburg in 1491.

[3] On the Danube.

[4] The epilogue was omitted as early as the second edition (1518). It was almost certainly not written by the author; it may have been added, with the foreword, by the printer, Johann Otmar.